Wednesday March 7 2012

Feed(s): 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2012

TROOPER KILLS ATTACKER ON THE TURNPIKE

A STATE TROOPER SHOT AND KILLED A 46 YEAR OLD MAN LAST NIGHT ALONG THE EASTBOUND LANES OF THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE IN BRUSH CREEK TOWNSHIP, FULTON COUNTY. THE TROOPER, FROM THE EVERETT BARRACKS, RESPONDED TO A REPORTED CRASH AND THE FIRST DRIVER CONFRONTED THE COP WITH 2 AGGRESSIVE ROTTWEILER DOGS. THE 2 MEN STRUGGLED AND THE DRIVER STRUCK THE TROOPER SEVERAL TIMES WITH A METAL FLASHLIGHT…THEN THE OFFICER DISCHARGED HIS WEAPON. THE TROOPER WAS FLOWN TO ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM FOR TREATMENT OF HIS INJURIES. POLICE SAY THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES AND MORE INFORMATION WILL BE RELEASED AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.

PLANE LANDS SAFELY

A PILOT IS COUNTING HIS BLESSINGS AFTER LANDING A PLANE WITH NO LANDING GEAR YESTERDAY AFTERNOON AT THE JOHNSTOWN AIRPORT. CHUCK BURKHEAD WAS FLYING FROM MASSACHUSETTS TO SOMERSET COUNTY WHEN HE REALIZED THE LANDING GEAR WASN’T WORKING. HE BURNED OFF HIS FUEL AND DIVERTED TO THE CAMBRIA COUNTY AIRPORT BECAUSE HE KNEW THEY HAD BETTER SAFETY RESOURCES. BURKHEAD GLIDED IN AND SKIDDED TO A STOP ON THE RUNWAY. HIS 2 PASSENGERS ALSO ESCAPED INJURY. THE FAA WILL INVESTIGATE.

ACCUSED JOHNSTOWN KILLER CAUGHT IN NEW JERSEY

AFTER MORE THAN 5 MONTHS ON THE RUN, JOHNSTOWN MURDER SUSPECT MARQUIS NEAL WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY LATE MONDAY NIGHT IN GLOUCESTER, NEW JERSEY. THE 30-YEAR OLD IS CHARGED IN THE OCTOBER 1ST SHOOTING DEATH OF J'QUAN LEWIS AT THE OAKHURST HOMES. NEAL IS NOW IN THE CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL. ANTHONY HARVEY, WHO IS ALSO CHARGED WITH MURDER, WAS ARRESTED IN THE PHILADELPHIA AREA BACK IN NOVEMBER.

SANDUSKY HEARING MONDAY

JERRY SANDUSKY IS DUE BACK IN COURT FOR A HEARING NOW SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY. SENIOR JUDGE JOHN CLELAND MUST DECIDE IF HIS DEFENSE TEAM SHOULD GET SENSITIVE INFORMATION RELATED TO THE CASE FROM THE PROSECUTION. AMONG THE INFORMATION SANDUSKY WANTS ARE MEDICAL RECORDS OF SOME OF HIS 10 ACCUSERS…SPECIFIC DATES OF WHEN THE ACCUSERS MAY HAVE KNOWN SANDUSKY…AND THE AGES AND PHONE RECORDS OF THE ACCUSERS. THE HEARING IS SCHEDULED FOR 11AM AT THE CENTRE COUNTY COURTHOUSE IN BELLEFONTE.

STEEPER FINE FOR PUBLIC DRUNKENNESS?

CITING PROBLEMS THAT ARE SOMETIMES ASSOCIATED WITH FRATERNITIES, SORORITIES, AND OFF-CAMPUS APARTMENTS…SENATOR JAKE CORMAN HAS INTRODUCED 2 BILLS THAT WOULD INCREASE THE MAXIMUM FINE FOR PUBLIC DRUNKENNESS TO A THOUSAND DOLLARS…AND ALLOW COLLEGE TOWNS TO ADD A 100-DOLLAR FEE TO A SLEW OF ALCOHOL-RELATED CRIMES TO HELP FUND LOCAL PREVENTION PROGRAMS. CORMAN SAYS THE CURRENT FINE OF 300-DOLLARS FOR PUBLIC DRUNKENNESS HASN’T CHANGED SINCE 1972 AND CLEARLY DOESN’T ACT AS A DETERRENT WHATSOEVER. BOTH BILLS HAVE PASSED THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE.

NO CASH ON THE TURNPIKE?

FOLLOWING A YEAR-LONG STUDY, THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE COMMISSION SAYS A CASHLESS, ALL-ELECTRONIC TOLLING SYSTEM IS FEASIBLE, BOTH FINANCIALLY AND PHYSICALLY. MOTORISTS WOULD STILL BE ABLE TO USE THE SYSTEM WITHOUT REGISTERING FOR E-ZPASS, BUT IT WOULD CONTINUE TO BE THE LEAST EXPENSIVE WAY TO TRAVEL THE TURNPIKE. CURRENTLY, E-ZPASS CUSTOMERS PAY AN AVERAGE OF 17 PERCENT LESS THAN THOSE WHO PAY WITH CASH. NON-REGISTERED DRIVERS WOULD BE BILLED USING CAMERAS AT TOLL SITES. THE COMMISSION’S WEBSITE SAYS ANY CONVERSION IS AT LEAST 5 YEARS AWAY.

AIR FORCE CUTTING JOBS; SOME IN JOHNSTOWN

DUE TO BUDGET CUTS, THE U–S AIR FORCE IS SLASHING 16-HUNDRED-23 JOBS AT BASES THROUGHOUT PENNSYLVANIA, INCLUDING 97 AT THE JOHN MURTHA JOHNSTOWN-CAMBRIA AIRPORT. THE 258TH AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SQUADRON OPERATES THE AIRPORT CONTROL TOWER AND RADAR AND THE ARMY NATIONAL GUARD HAS A RESERVE CENTER AT THE AIRPORT. THE 911TH AIR WING AT PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IS SCHEDULED TO CLOSE ENTIRELY, AFFECTING OVER 14-HUNDRED EMPLOYEES, AND THE 171ST AIR REFUELING WING THERE WOULD LOSE ABOUT 182 POSITIONS. THE NUMBERS INCLUDE CIVILIAN AND MILITARY PERSONNEL. SENATORS BOB CASEY AND PAT TOOMEY AND OTHER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ARE ASKING THE AIR FORCE TO DELAY OR LIMIT THE CUTS, MOST OF WHICH ARE SCHEDULED FOR 2013.

SUPERINTENDENT RETURNING TO JOHNSTOWN

GERALD ZAHORCHAK…WHO SERVED AS STATE EDUCATION SECRETARY FROM 2005 TO 2010…IS RETURNING AS SUPERINTENDENT OF THE GREATER JOHNSTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT. THE SCHOOL BOARD DECIDED LAST NIGHT THAT HE WILL FILL IN FOR SUPERINTENDENT BARBARA PARKINS, WHO HAS BEEN ON MEDICAL SABBATICAL SINCE JANUARY. THE BOARD ALSO AGREED TO HIRE ZAHORCHAK AS SUPERINTENDENT FOR 3 YEARS BEGINNING JULY 1ST, WHEN PARKINS’ CONTRACT EXPIRES. ZAHORCHAK WAS PREVIOUSLY SUPERINTENDENT OF THE JOHNSTOWN DISTRICT FOR 7 YEARS.