Wednesday July 18 2012

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TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

PENN STATE OFFICIALS PLAN TO DECIDE THE FATE OF THE JOE PATERNO STATUE IN THE NEXT 7 TO 10 DAYS. A NATIONWIDE DEBATE CONTINUES…AND YESTERDAY A PLANE CIRCLED THE UNIVERSITY FOR ABOUT 2 HOURS WITH A TRAILING MESSAGE READING – QUOTE –“TAKE DOWN THE STATUE OR WE WILL.” THE PLANE AND THE BANNER BOTH CAME FROM DRAKE AERIAL ENTERPRISE, A COMPANY NEAR TOLEDO OHIO, BUT IT’S UNCLEAR WHO PAID FOR THEM. MEANWHILE, A LETTER WRITTEN TO JOE PATERNO WAS TUCKED BEHIND THE TIE ON JOE-PA’S STATUE YESTERDAY. IT READ “JOE, IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, I WANT YOU TO KNOW IT’S OKAY. NO MATTER HOW IT LOOKS LIKE FROM HEAVEN, WE STILL LOVE YOU. THE TRUE PENN STATE, THE TRUE BLUE AND WHITE. YOU ARE HUMAN, WE ARE HUMAN.” THE LETTER IS SIGNED, “FROM A 17-YEAR OLD PENN STATE FAN. WE ARE PENN STATE.”

JOE PATERNO’S REPUTATION IS TAKING MORE HITS. HUNDREDS OF MILES AWAY AT BROWN UNIVERSITY, PATERNO'S ALMA MATER, HIS NAME IS BEING STRIPPED FROM AN AWARD GIVEN YEARLY TO THE SCHOOL'S TOP MALE FRESHMAN ATHLETE.  BROWN EARLIER THIS YEAR GOT RID OF A FOOTBALL COACHING CHAIR NAMED AFTER PATERNO.

PENN STATE PRESIDENT RODNEY ERICKSON TOLD REPORTERS YESTERAY HE’S SURE THE UNIVERSITY CAN REBUILD ITS TARNISHED IMAGE IN THE WAKE OF THE SANDUSKY SCANDAL. ERICKSON SAYS THE SCHOOL IS REACHING OUT TO THE ABUSE VICTIMS AND PLANS TO AGREE ON A FAIR FINANCIAL SETTLEMENT. HE ALSO SAID THE YOUNG MEN WHO TESTIFIED AGAINST SANDUSKY SHOWED TREMENDOUS BRAVERY.ERICKSON SAYS THE FREEH REPORT INDICATES THERE WERE BAD JUDGMENTS MADE, AND THAT WILL FOREVER BE A MARK AGAINST PATERNO’S CONTRIBUTIONS. SOME HAVE BEEN CALLING FOR PENN STATE TO VOLUNTARILY SUSPEND ITS FOOTBALL PROGRAM FOR A YEAR, BUT THE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT SAID HE EXPECTS THERE WILL BE FOOTBALL.

SEVERAL SOURCES ARE REPORTING THAT THAT JERRY SANDUSKY HAS BEEN TAKEN OFF SUICIDE WATCH AT THE CENTRE COUNTY PRISON WHERE HE IS AWAITING SENTENCING, PROBABLY IN SEPTEMBER. THE FORMER COACH UNDERWENT PSYCHOLGICAL TESTS ABOUT 3 WEEKS AGO…AND APPARENTLY THEY SHOW THAT HE IS NOT AT RISK OF COMMITTING SUICIDE. SANDUSKY REMAINS IN ISOLATION AND ANOTHER EVALUATION IS PLANNED TO DETERMINE WHETHER HE IS A SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR.

A DAUPHIN COUNTY JUDGE HAS SET AN AUGUST 16TH COURT DATE TO HEAR ORAL ARGUMENTS ON PRE-TRIAL MOTIONS IN THE CASE AGAINST FORMER PENN STATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR TIM CURLEY AND FORMER VICE PRESIDENT GARY SCHULTZ. THEY ARE CHARGED WITH PERJURY AND FAILING TO REPORT SUSPECTED CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE. CURLEY AND SCHULTZ ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE AT THE HEARING, AND THEY ARE NOT EXPECTED TO ATTEND. THE FREEH REPORT, ISSUED LAST WEEK, SAID THE MEN ALONG WITH FOOTBALL COACH JOE PATERNO AND UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT GRAHAM SPANIER COVERED UP THE ABUSE MORE THAN A DECADE AGO TO AVOID BAD PUBLICITY.  

NCAA PRESIDENT MARK EMMERT TOLD PBS’S “TAVIS SMILEY SHOW” THAT HE PLANS TO EXAMINE ALL OF HIS OPTIONS IN THE ORGANIZATION’S RESPONSE TO PENN STATE’S HANDLING OF THE JERRY SANDUSKY SCANDAL. EMMERT SAID HE DOESN’T “WANT TO TAKE ANYTHING OFF THE TABLE,” INCLUDING THE “DEATH PENALTY” FOR THE FOOTBALL PROGRAM. THE NCAA HAS ISSUED THE DEATH PENALTY TO JUST ONE FOOTBALL PROGRAM IN ITS 106-YEAR HISTORY. SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY MISSED THE 1987 SEASON BECAUSE OF IMPROPER BENEFITS PROVIDED TO PLAYERS, AND IT DECIDED AGAINST FIELDING A TEAM IN 1988. EMMERT SAYS THE NCAA DOESN’T WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN THE CRIMINAL OR CIVIL CASES.

INMATE DIES AT S-C-I CRESSON

OFFICIALS AT THE STATE PRISON IN CRESSON, CAMBRIA COUNTY, ARE INVESTIGATING THE DEATH OF 23 YEAR OLD INMATE BRANDON PALAKOVIC. HE WAS FOUND UNRESPONSIVE IN HIS CELL MONDAY EVENING AND DIED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM. THE PERRY COUNTY MAN HAD BEEN SERVING TIME FOR BURGLARY.

APARTMENT GUTTED

NO ONE WAS INJURED TUESDAY AFTERNOON WHEN FIRE DESTROYED A 3RD FLOOR APARTMENT AT THE CORNER OF ALLEGHENY AND BISHOP STREETS IN BELLEFONTE. INVESTIGATORS BELIEVE A WINDOW AIR CONDITIONING UNIT SPARKED THE BLAZE. SMOKE AND WATER DAMAGE WAS REPORTED IN THE OTHER APARTMENTS OF THE BUILDING.

PELLET GUN SHOOTING IN JOHNSTOWN

JOHNSTOWN POLICE HAVE CHARGED 22 YEAR OLD JOHN TESTON JUNIOR WITH AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND OTHER OFFENSES FOR SHOOTING A WOMAN IN THE NECK WITH A PELLET GUN MONDAY AFTERNOON. JOAN ALTEMUS WAS STANDING ON HER PORCH WITH HER GRANDSON IN THE KERNVILLE SECTION OF TOWN AND TESTON TOLD POLICE HE WAS AIMING AT A BIRD. THE PELLET REMAINS LODGED IN THE VICTIM’S NECK AND DOCTORS AREN’T SURE IF THEY CAN TAKE IT OUT. TESTON’S BAIL IS SET AT 25-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

CARNIVAL TRUCK WRECK

CARNIVAL SUPPLIES WERE SCATTERED ALL OVER THE SOUTHBOUND LANES OF I-99 NEAR PINECROFT IN BLAIR COUNTY LAST EVENING. STATE POLICE SAY A SEMI REAR-ENDED A TRUCK CARRYING THE SUPPLIES TO THE BEDFORD COUNTY FAIR. THE TRUCK ENDED UP ON ITS SIDE AND THE DRIVER WAS TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL AS A PRECAUTION.

WHO’S REGISTERED TO VOTE?

MANY PEOPLE ARE UNENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT THE NOVEMBER 6TH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION…AND THERE ARE A HALF-MILLION FEWER REGISTERED PENNSYLVANIA VOTERS THAN 4 YEARS AGO…AS WELL AS A SMALLER DEMOCRATIC ADVANTAGE IN REGISTRATION. NUMBERS OUT TUESDAY SHOW DEMOCRATS OUTNUMBER REPUBLICANS BY LESS THAN 1-POINT-1 MILLION VOTERS…DOWN FROM A 1-POINT-2 MILLION ADVANTAGE HELD WHEN BARACK OBAMA WON PENNSYLVANIA IN 2008. THE CURRENT TOTAL OF ABOUT 8-POINT-3 MILLION VOTERS IS LESS THAN IN THE 2004 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. OCTOBER 9TH IS THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER.

FILLING UP IS MORE EXPENSIVE

GAS PRICES JUMPED TO $3.45 THIS WEEK IN THE ALTOONA AREA AND TRIPLE A FUEL GAUGE SAYS THE CURRENT AVERAGE IN WESTERN PA IS $3.43, UP 3-POINT-1 CENTS PER GALLON FROM A WEEK AGO.TODAY’S NATIONAL AVERAGE IS $3.40.