Wednesday December 12 2012

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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2012

DOZENS OF DRUG ARRESTS

STATE AND LOCAL DRUG AGENTS HAD WARRANTS FOR 48 SUSPECTS WHEN THEY HIT THE STREETS OF BLAIR COUNTY YESTERDAY MORNING. AGENT JAMES WALSTROM OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S BUREAU OF NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION SAYS 40 ARE NOW IN CUSTODY WHILE 8 ARE STILL AT LARGE. THEY’RE CHARGED WITH SELLING HEROIN, COCAINE, MARIJUANA AND PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.  
ONE OF THE PEOPLE ARRESTED IS CONVICTED KILLER MARVIS BOYD OF NEWARK NEW JERSEY WHO WAS ALREADY IN THE BLAIR COUNTY PRISON WHO ALLEGEDLY SOLD HEROIN TO AN UNDERCOVER INFORMANT BACK IN SEPTEMBER. PRELIMINARY HEARINGS ARE SCHEDULED NEXT FRIDAY.

SHOOTER SURRENDERS

33 YEAR OLD BENJAMIN SHOENFELD OF PORTAGE IS IN THE CAMBRIA COUNTY PRISON AFTER A SHOOTING THAT POLICE BELIEVE WAS DRUG-RELATED. AROUND 2AM TUESDAY, SHOENFELD ALLEGEDLY FIRED SEVERAL SHOTS THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR OF A HOME AT 608 MAKIN STREET AND DONALD LEWIS THE 3RD WAS HIT IN THE ARM. SHOENFELD TURNED HIMSELF INTO FACE CRIMINAL ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE CHARGES. HIS PRELIMINARY HEARING IS NEXT WEDNESDAY.

ACCUSED ARSONIST BEHIND BARS

JAMES MCDONALD OF JOHNSTOWN IS NOW IN THE CAMBRIA COUNTY PRISON CHARGED WITH ARSON.
JOHNSTOWN POLICE SAY HE STARTED A MASSIVE FIRE THANKSGIVING NIGHT IN THE 6-HUNDRED BLOCK OF COLEMAN AVENUE IN MOXHAM. MCDONALD TOLD AUTHORITIES HE HAD ISSUES WITH THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR, SO HE USED BOXES, AN OLD MATTRESS AND A COUCH TO SPARK THE BLAZE, LEAVING 10 FAMILIES HOMELESS AND DAMAGING SEVERAL HOMES.  

ATTEMPTED ROBBERY AT UPJ

A ROBBERY AND ASSAULT LAST NIGHT IN A PARKING LOT ACROSS FROM THE CHAPEL ON THE PITT-JOHNSTOWN CAMPUS. POLICE SAY A MAN IN BLACK WEARING ORANGE TENNIS SHOES APPROACHED A STUDENT AND DEMANDED HIS WALLET. THE STUDENT REFUSED AND WAS STRUCK WITH A KNIFE OR LETTER OPENER BUT NOT SERIOUSLY HURT. CAMPUS POLICE ARE NOW ESCORTING STUDENTS WHO DON’T WANT TO WALK ALONE. ON SUNDAY, A STUDENT WAS SHOT DURING AN ATTEMPTED ROBBERY AT HIS APARTMENT. DAVID CONSIGLIO…A RELATIVE OF BLAIR COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY RICH CONSIGLIO…REMAINS HOSPITALIZED.

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

STATE REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT CONKLIN HELD A NEWS CONFERENCE YESTERDAY TO OUTLINE HIS PROPOSAL TO REFORM PENN STATE’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES. HE SUGGESTS REDUCING THE SIZE OF THE BOARD BY 10 TO 22 MEMBERS AND THE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT WOULD NOT HAVE A SPOT. 3 ALUMNI SEATS WOULD ALSO BE GONE. THE GOVERNOR WOULD REMAIN, BUT WOULD NOT BE A VOTING MEMBER. CONKLIN SAID HIS PROPOSALS ARE AIMED AT INCREASING ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY... AND THEY ARE BASED ON RECOMMENDATIONS ISSUED IN NOVEMBER BY STATE AUDITOR GENERAL JACK WAGNER.

THE STATE SUPERIOR COURT HAS GRANTED AN EXTENSION FOR JERRY SANDUSKY’S DEFENSE LAWYERS, WHO MISSED A DEADLINE LAST MONTH TO FILE AN APPEAL IN THE CASE. ATTORNEY KARL ROMINGER NOW HAS UNTIL DECEMBER 26TH TO FILE A BRIEF EXPLAINING HIS APPEAL OF A PROTECTIVE ORDER THE TRIAL JUDGE IMPOSED IN JUNE. ACCORDING TO COURT DOCUMENTS, THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE ASKED THE COURT IN EARLY DECEMBER TO DISMISS THE APPEAL BECAUSE ROMINGER MISSED THE DEADLINE. ROMINGER SAYS A PARALEGAL IN HIS OFFICE INADVERTENTLY FAILED TO NOTE THE DEADLINE ON HIS CALENDAR AND ASKED THAT THE MISTAKE NOT BE HELD AGAINST SANDUSKY.

COURTMARTIAL UNDERWAY

OPENING ARGUMENTS ARE SCHEDULED TODAY AT JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD IN WASHINGTON STATE IN THE COURTMARTIAL OF CAPTAIN JARED FOLEY. HE’S CHARGED WITH RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT AND DERELICTION OF DUTY FOR APPROVING A PARATROOPER’S JUMP OUTSIDE OF AN ESTABLISHED DROP ZONE DURING WINDY CONDITIONS IN JULY OF LAST YEAR. SERGEANT FRANK CAMPION OF HOLLIDAYSBURG LANDED ON A BUILDING AND DIED.

SAVING SOCCER FIELDS

A BIG CROWD ATTENDED YESTERDAY’S BLAIR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETING AS THE ALTOONA YOUTH SOCCER ORGANIATION FIGHTS TO SAVE THE VALLEY VIEW SOCCER FIELDS. COMMISSIONERS ARE TRYING TO SELL THE VALLEY VIEW NURSING HOME AND THE SURROUNDING 8 ACRES. OFFICIALS SAY ANY NEW OWNER COULD NEGOTIATE A NEW DEAL WITH THE A-Y-S-O. COMMISSIONERS MEET AGAIN NEXT TUESDAY.

IT’S ALREADY A BAD FLU SEASON

IT’S EARLY THIS YEAR, BUT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SAYS THERE HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT RISE IN INFLUENZA ACTIVITY ACROSS PENNSYLVANIA SINCE THANKSGIVING…AND AT LEAST HALF OF THE STATE’S REGIONS ARE EXPERIENCING OUTBREAKS OF FLU OR INCREASES IN INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESS. THE NUMBER OF CASES REPORTED TO THE DEPARTMENT MORE THAN DOUBLED IN THE PAST WEEK. ACTING SECRETARY OF HEALTH MICHAEL WOLF IS RECOMMENDING VACCINATIONS AND HE SAYS THE FLU STRAINS THIS YEAR APPEAR TO BE WELL MATCHED TO THE VACCINE. IT TAKES 10 TO 14 DAYS TO OBTAIN THE FULL PROTECTIVE BENEFIT FROM THE FLU VACCINE.

NO MORE GIFT CARD EXPIRATION DATES?

U-S SENATOR BOB CASEY IS PROPOSING LEGISLATION THAT WOULD PREVENT RETAILERS FROM PLACING EXPIRATION DATES ON GIFT CARDS. FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS, GIFT CARDS HAVE TOPPED CHRISTMAS WISH LISTS. BETWEEN 2005 AND 2011, HOWEVER, MORE THAN 41-BILLION DOLLARS IN GIFT CARDS WENT UNUSED, MOSTLY BECAUSE THEY EXPIRED. CASEY SAYS THAT IS UNFAIR TO CONSUMERS.