Wednesday April 18 2012

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2012

WOMAN KILLED/PRISONERS INJURED

A BEDFORD COUNTY WOMAN DIED YESTERDAY AFTER SHE CRASHED HER RENTAL CAR INTO A BUS CARRYING 10 PRISON INMATES AND 2 CORRECTIONS OFFICERS.
STATE POLICE SAY 27 YEAR OLD NICOLE WAGNER OF WOODBURY CROSSED THE CENTER LINE ON OLD ROUTE 22 IN JUNIATA TOWNSHIP, BLAIR COUNTY, AROUND 1:45PM. SINCE THAT’S NEAR FOOT OF 10 ELEMENTARY, THE SCHOOL WENT INTO LOCK-DOWN MODE FOR ABOUT HALF AN HOUR...AND BLAIR COUNTY CHRISTIAN OPERATED UNDER A “ONE-WAY IN, ONE-WAY OUT POLICY.” THE PRISON BUS WAS TAKING THE INMATES FROM HUNTINGDON COUNTY TO INDIANA COUNTY. THEY WERE ALL TREATED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL TRAUMA CENTER.

“PERSONS OF INTEREST” IN PITT BOMB THREATS

KATHERINE ANNE MCCLOSKEY AND SEAMUS JOHNSTON OF JOHNSTOWN APPEARED BEFORE A GRAND JURY YESTERDAY TO DISCUSS THE SERIES OF RECENT BOMB THREATS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH. THEY WERE ORDERED TO PROVIDE HANDWRITING SAMPLES AND FINGERPRINTS TO INVESTIGATORS. MCCLOSKEY WAS BORN A MAN BUT LIVES AS A WOMAN, AND JOHNSTON WAS BORN FEMALE BUT IS UNDERGOING HORMONE TREATMENTS TO BECOME A MAN. HE WAS EXPELLED FROM PITT-JOHNSTOWN EARLIER THIS YEAR, WHEN HE WAS CHARGED WITH INDECENT EXPOSURE FOR USING A MEN’S LOCKER ROOM. THE COUPLE SAYS THEY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BOMB THREATS.

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

AS OF THE END OF FEBRUARY, PENN STATE HAS RACKED UP ABOUT 7-POINT-5 MILLION DOLLARS IN EXPENSES DEALING WITH THE JERRY SANDUSKY SCANDAL. ABOUT 5-POINT-3 MILLION HAS BEEN SPENT ON CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS AND ON AN INTERNAL PROBE BEING CONDUCTED BY FORMER FBI DIRECTOR LOUIS FREEH. LEGAL EXPENSES ACCOUNT FOR ANOTHER 1-POINT-2 MILLION, BUT THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE 338-THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR THE DEFENSE OF TIM CURLEY AND GARY SCHULTZ. MEANWHILE, PENN STATE PRESIDENT RODNEY ERICKSON SAYS STATE TAX COLLECTIONS IN MARCH WERE ABOUT 100 MILLION DOLLARS ABOVE COLLECTIONS FOR MARCH 2011 AND HE’S “GUARDEDLY OPTIMISTIC” THAT GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT MIGHT BACK DOWN ON HIS PROPOSAL FOR A 28-PERCENT FUNDING CUT.

FORMER PENN STATE ADMINISTRATORS TIM CURLEY AND GARY SCHULTZ ARE ASKING A JUDGE TO GIVE THEM UNTIL MAY 4TH TO MAKE THEIR NEXT PRE-TRIAL COURT FILING, CLAIMING THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE HAS NOT TURNED OVER PROMISED RECORDS. CURLEY AND SCHULTZ ARE ACCUSED OF FAILING TO REPORT SUSPECTED CHILD SEX ABUSE BY JERRY SANDUSKY AND LYING TO THE GRAND JURY. THEY HAVE PLEADED NOT GUILTY.

PENN STATE SPOKESWOMAN LISA POWERS SAYS THE UNIVERSITY PLANS TO HIRE AN AUDITOR TO INDEPENDENTLY REVIEW THE TRUSTEES ELECTION WHICH IS UNDER WAY UNTIL MAY 3. THERE ARE 86 CANDIDATES AND POWER SAYS – QUOTE -- “WE WANT EVERYONE TO FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THE ELECTION PROCESS...AND THIS IS AN UNUSUAL AND UNPRECEDENTED ELECTION YEAR.”

NEW TRIAL FOR CONVICTED KILLER?

BLAIR COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY RICH CONSIGLIO EXPECTS THE SUPERIOR COURT TO DECIDE IN A MONTH OR SO WHETHER PAUL AARON ROSS OF HOLLIDAYSBURG DESERVES A NEW TRIAL. HE WAS CONVICTED IN THE 2004 RAPE AND MURDER OF 26 YEAR OLD TINA MILLER WHOSE BODY WAS FOUND AT CANOE CREEK STATE PARK. CONSIGLIO AND ROSS' ATTORNEY, TOM DICKEY, ARGUED THEIR CASE IN HARRISBURG YESTERDAY. DICKEY SAYS HE DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO PREPARE AND THE JURY SHOULD NOT HAVE HEARD TESTIMONY ABOUT ROSS’ PRIOR BAD ACTS.

ATTEMPTED MURDER TRIAL UNDERWAY

IN CENTRE COUNTY COURT TODAY, TESTIMONY RESUMES IN THE ATTEMPTED MURDER TRIAL OF 39 YEAR OLD RANDAL BROOKS OF HOWARD WHO IS ACCUSED OF SHOOTING HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND’S NEW BOYFRIEND IN A 2009 DRIVE-BY ALONG ROUTE 64.YESTERDAY, MATTHEW ROSS TOLD THE JURY THAT BROOKS FIRED 3 SHOTGUN BLASTS, THEN SPED AWAY. ONE OF THE SHOTS HIT ROSS IN THE SHOULDER. BROOKS IS REPRESENTING HIMSELF AND TOLD THE JURY HE IS A VICTIM OF “MUDSLINGING AND WILD SPECULATION” BY POLICE, PROSECUTORS AND THE MEDIA.

SENTENCING FOR SHOOTER

IN CAMBRIA COUNTY COURT TODAY, COLIN PATTERSON OF JOHNSTOWN FACES UP TO 40 YEARS IN PRISON AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE AND THEFT CHARGES. POLICE SAY PATTERSON ENTERED THE JOHNSTOWN HOME OF JOHN ANDREWS NEARLY 2 YEARS AGO…SHOT ANDREWS IN THE LEG 4 TIMES…THEN STOLE A SAFE, WHICH TURNED OUT TO ONLY CONTAIN VEHICLE REGISTRATION DOCUMENTS.

WOMAN SETS HER HOUSE ON FIRE

JENNIFER YATSKY OF SUMMERHILL TOWNSHIP, CAMBRIA COUNTY, CALLED 911 YESTERDAY AND SAID SHE HAD SET HER HOUSE ON FIRE ALONG THE 300 BLOCK OF WHISKEY SPRINGS ROAD. FIRE CREWS SPENT HOURS TRYING TO PUT OUT THE FLAMES, BUT THE HOUSE IS A TOTAL LOSS. YATSKY’S FATHER-IN-LAW TOLD AUTHORITIES SHE’S GOING THROUGH A DIVORCE AND HER HUSBAND HAD THE KIDS. YATSKY COULD BE CHARGED WITH ARSON, RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT, AND CAUSING OR RISKING A CATASTROPHE. SHE IS BEING EVALUATED AT A LOCAL HOSPITAL.

CORBETT ENDORSES ROMNEY

PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT IS ENDORSING MITT ROMNEY FOR THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION. ROMNEY SAYS PENNSYLVANIA WILL BE A CRUCIAL STATE IN NOVEMBER AND HE HOPES CORBETT WILL HELP HIM SHARE HIS VISION OF RESTORING AMERICAN GREATNESS WITH PENNSYLVANIA VOTERS. OUR STATE’S PRIMARY IS TUESDAY.

CONTROLLED BURN AT CANOE CREEK

TODAY OR TOMORROW, WEATHER CONDITIONS PERMITTING, THE BUREAU OF FORESTRY WILL CONDUCT A ONE-DAY BURN OF OVER-GROWN FIELDS AT CANOE CREEK STATE PARK OUTSIDE OF HOLLIDAYSBURG. THE FIELDS TOTAL NEARLY 5 ACRES AND ARE LOCATED ON THE NORTH, INTERIOR PORTION OF THE PARK. FORESTRY OFFICIALS WANT TO REDUCE THE POTENTIAL FOR FIRE FUELS, CONTROL THE GROWTH OF INVASIVE SPECIES, AND IMPROVE WILDLIFE HABITAT. FIRE TRUCKS AND FIRE POLICE WILL BE ON HAND.

TEACHER OF THE YEAR?

TWO CENTRE COUNTY TEACHERS ARE SEMI-FINALISTS FOR THE STATE’S 2013 TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD. JACQUI WAGNER IS A BIOLOGY TEACHER AT PENNS VALLEY AREA HIGH SCHOOL…AND JENNIFER ZAHURANEC IS A 5TH-GRADE TEACHER AT BENNER ELEMENTARY IN BELLEFONTE. THE POOL OF 39 SEMI-FINALISTS WILL BE NARROWED DOWN TO 12 IN EARLY MAY AND THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN DECEMBER. PENNS VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER TRICIA MILLER WAS NAMED THE 2012 TEACHER OF THE YEAR LAST YEAR.