Thursday August 23 2012

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THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

FORMER PENN STATE PRESIDENT GRAHAM SPANIER IS FINALLY SPEAKING OUT ABOUT THE SANDUSKY SCANDAL. IN AN INTERVIEW WITH A NEW YORKER MAGAZINE REPORTER EARLIER THIS MONTH, SPANIER DENIED THE FREEH REPORT CLAIMS THAT HE, JOE PATERNO, GARY SCHULTZ, AND TIM CURLEY COVERED UP SANDUSKY’S ACTIONS. SPANIER SAYS – QUOTE – “I NEVER, EVER HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT CHILD ABUSE OR SEXUAL ABUSE OR MY ANTENNA RAISED UP ENOUGH TO EVEN SUSPECT THAT.” HE CALLS THE FREEH REPORT WRONG, UNFAIR, AND DEEPLY FLAWED WITH MANY ERRORS AND OMISSIONS. SPANIER…WHO ADDS THAT HE WAS PHYSICALLY ABUSED BY HIS FATHER WHEN HE WAS A CHILD…ALSO SAYS – QUOTE – “THERE ARE TIMES WHEN I AM IN A MODE OF SUBSTANTIAL GRIEF ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE KIDS. AND THEN I SWITCH INTO TIMES OF GRIEVING FOR MYSELF, AND MY COLLEAGUES, THE PATERNO FAMILY, AND THE COMMUNITY THAT’S SUFFERING HERE.” SOME LEGAL EXPERTS EXPECT SPANIER TO SOON BE FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES.

ATTORNEYS FOR FORMER PENN STATE ADMINISTRATORS TIM CURLEY AND GARY SCHULTZ BOTH RELEASED STATEMENTS YESTERDAY AFTER A MORNING NEWS CONFERENCE HELD BY FORMER PRESIDENT GRAHAM SPANIER’S LAWYER.
SCHULTZ’ REPRESENTATIVE SAYS HE AGREES THAT THE FREEH REPORT IS INACCURATE, INCOMPLETE AND UNFAIR…AND ITS CONCLUSIONS ARE UNREASONABLE AND UNSUPPORTED IN FACT. CURLEY’S LAWYER CALLS THE FREEH REPORT AT ITS BEST, LOPSIDED, INCOMPLETE, BASELESS AND SEVERELY DEVOID OF CRITICAL FACTS.

MISSING STUDENT IN WEST VIRGINIA?

THE SEARCH CONTINUES FOR 21 YEAR OLD JESSE MCMILLEN, THE PENN STATE STUDENT WHO DISAPPEARED. HE WAS LAST SEEN IN BRIDGEPORT WEST VIRGINIA MONDAY AFTERNOON, CARRYING A CARDBOARD SIGN. ON FRIDAY, MCMILLEN TOLD AN EBENSBURG HOTEL CLERK THAT HE WAS TRYING TO HITCHHIKE HIS WAY TO PITTSBURGH, BUT HE NEVER ARRIVED THERE. MCMILLEN… WHO IS NOW ENTERED IN THE NATIONWIDE COMPUTER DATABASE AS A MISSING PERSON…HAS NOT BEEN IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY OR FRIENDS FOR ABOUT A WEEK.

2 FATAL WRECKS

A FATAL CRASH SHORTLY BEFORE MIDNIGHT IN CLEARFIELD COUNTY. STATE POLICE SAY 20 YEAR OLD ABIGAIL GREEN OF KARTHAUS DIED WHEN HER S-U-V ROLED OVER SEVERAL TIMES ALONG ROUTE 219 IN GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP. GREEN WAS NOT WEARING A SEATBELT AND WAS EJECTED.

A 43 YEAR OLD LOCAL MAN DIED SHORTLY BEFORE 10 YESTERDAY MORNING WHEN HIS S-U-V CRASHED ALONG ROUTE 22 IN CRESSON TOWNSHIP, CAMBRIA COUNTY. THE VEHICLE WAS TRAVELING EASTBOUND WHEN IT CROSSED LANES AND FLIPPED OVER. EMERGENCY CREWS HAD TO CUT THE DRIVER OUT.
THE VICTIM’S NAME HAS NOT YET BEEN RELEASED.

STATON EXECUTION STAYED

LAST WEEK, GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT SIGNED AN EXECUTION WARRANT FOR ANDRE STATON WHO IS ON DEATH ROW FOR THE 2004 STABBING DEATH OF HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND, BEVERLY YOHN, IN ALTOONA. NOW BLAIR COUNTY JUDGE ELIZABETH DOYLE HAS STAYED THE EXEUCTION. STATON HAS FILED A PETITION ASKING THAT HE BE ALLOWED TO REPRESENT HIMSELF DURING HIS APPEAL. DOYLE WILL HEAR ARGUMENTS NEXT THURSDAY. STATON CLAIMS HE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT A PROTECTION FROM ABUSE ORDER AGAINST HIM. HIS APPEAL LISTS 32 REASONS WHY HE SHOULD GET A NEW TRIAL.

FORMER FIRE CHIEF WAIVES HEARING

FORMER ROARING SPRING VOLUNTEER FIRE CHIEF AND BLAIR COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR GARY DENNIS WAS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR AT A PRELIMINARY HEARING TODAY, BUT HE WAIVED IT AND NOW FACES ARRAIGNMENT SEPTEMBER 28TH. DENNIS IS CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLING MORE THAN 15-THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM THE FRIENDSHIP FIRE COMPANY OVER A 3 YEAR PERIOD. DENNIS ALLEGEDLY WROTE CHECKS TO HIMSELF USING SOME OF THE MONEY TO PAY HIS OWN PROPERTY TAXES AND ATTEND A NASCAR RACE IN KENTUCKY. HE’S ALSO ACCUSED OF TAKING MONEY FROM FIRE COMPANY FUNDRAISERS.

AREA NATIVE WILL SPEAK AT DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION

SAXTON NATIVE AND TUSSEY MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE SANDRA FLUKE WILL BE AMONG THE SPEAKERS AT THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION IN NORTH CAROLINA STARTING SEPTEMBER 3RD. FLUKE WAS THRUST INTO THE SPOTLIGHT BACK IN MARCH WHEN RADIO TALK SHOW HOST RUSH LIMBAUGH MADE DEROGATORY REMARKS ABOUT HER AFTER SHE SPOKE TO HOUSE DEMOCRATS ABOUT PRESIDENT OBAMA’S WOMEN’S HEALTHCARE POLICY.

LOCAL SOLDIERS READY FOR AFGHANISTAN

MORE THAN 300 LOCAL SOLDIERS FROM THE 104TH RECONNAISSANCE BATTALLION STATIONED IN JOHNSTOWN WILL DEPLOY TO AFGHANISTAN IN JUST A FEW DAYS. FAMILIES AND FRIENDS GATHERED YESTERDAY AT THE CAMBRIA COUNTY AIRPORT FOR A GOODBYE CELEBRATION. THE SOLDIERS WILL SPEND THE NEXT 3 MONTHS OR SO AT FORT HOOD IN TEXAS. THEIR DEPLOYMENT IS SLATED TO LAST A YEAR.

WORST YEAR FOR WEST NILE VIRUS

ABOUT 80 MOSQUITOES HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS THIS YEAR IN BLAIR COUNTY…AND MORE SPRAYING IS SCHEDULED TONIGHT IN ALTOONA AND HOLLIDAYSBURG, AS WELL AS IN BLAIR, LOGAN AND FRANKSTOWN TOWNSHIPS. THE SPRAY IS NOT HARMFUL, BUT OFFICIALS RECOMMEND THAT FOLKS STAY INSIDE WITH PETS, CLOSE WINDOWS, AND SHUT OFF THE A/C. IF YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR GARDEN, YOU CAN PRE-COVER IT. HUMAN CASES OF THE VIRUS HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED IN 7 COUNTIES, INCLUDING CENTRE COUNTY. SPRAYING IS ALSO SCHEDULED TONIGHT IN THE CITY OF DUBOIS AND SANDY TOWNSHIP, CLEARFIELD COUNTY. THIS SUMMER’S OUTBREAK OF THE WEST NILE VIRUS IS THE MOST DEADLY EVER. THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL SAYS 41 PEOPLE HAVE DIED FROM THE VIRUS THIS YEAR. MORE THAN 11-HUNDRED HAVE BEEN INFECTED IN 38 STATES.  

SWINE FLU CONCERNS AT GRANGE FAIR

A NUMBER OF CASES OF A NEW SWINE FLU STRAIN WERE CONFIRMED IN HUMANS FOLLOWING THE HUNTINGDON COUNTY FAIR THIS MONTH…NOW THE CENTRE COUNTY GRANGE FAIR AND ENCAMPMENT OPENS TODAY IN CENTRE HALL. VETERINARIANS WILL EXAMINE ALL ANIMALS FOR SIGNS OF INFECTION AND SYMPTOMATIC ANIMALS WILL BE TURNED AWAY. FOLKS SHOULD WASH THEIR HANDS…DON’T EAT AROUND ANIMAL AREAS…MAKE SURE CHILDREN DON’T PUT THEIR HANDS IN THEIR MOUTHS WHILE INTERACTING WITH ANIMALS…AND AVOID LIVE PIG AREAS IF YOU ARE AT HIGH RISK FOR INFLUENZA.

ALTOONA’S NEW FIRE CHIEF

ALTOONA CITY COUNCIL LAST NIGHT ANNOUNCED THAT DEPUTY CHIEF TIM HILEMAN WILL BECOME THE CITY’S 11TH FIRE CHIEF IN SEPTEMBER. HE REPLACED LONG-TIME FIRE CHIEF RENNY SANTONE WHO IS RETIRING. HILEMAN SAYS HE WILL UPHOLD THE TRADITIONS OF THE COMPANY AND THE FIREFIGHTERS UNDER HIS COMMAND WILL BE SAFE, HAVE PROPER TRAINING AND EQUIPMENT AND THEY WILL PROVIDE THE PEOPLE OF ALTOONA WITH THE BEST AND MOST EFFICIENT FIRE PROTECTION.

NEW TAX COLLECTOR FOR ALTOONA?

THE CENTRAL TAX BUREAU OF PENNSYLVANIA, OR CENTAX, HAS COLLECTED PROPERTY TAXES IN ALTOONA FOR THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, BUT NOW NOW THE PITTSBURGH-AREA BUSINESS IS GOING OUT OF BUSINESS. CITY OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE IN TALKS TO SWITCH TO ANOTHER TAX COLLECTING COMPANY CALLED BERKHEIMERS. CITY MANAGER JOE WEAKLAND TELLS WTAJ THE COMPANY HAS A GOOD REPUTATION AND HE THINKS IT WILL BE A GOOD MOVE FOR THE CITY. HE HOPES TO GET THE DEAL FINALIZED IN THE NEXT 4 OR 5 WEEKS.