Friday March 28 2014

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FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014

HUGE FIRE

AT LEAST 18 ROW HOUSES WERE DESTROYED OR SEVERELY DAMAGED LAST EVENING WHEN FIRE BROKE OUT AT JUNIATA TERRACE IN LEWISTOWN, MIFFLIN COUNTY. ALL THE RESIDENTS MADE IT OUT SAFELY, BUT SEVERAL FIREFIGHTERS WERE INJURED. ONE SUFFERED BURNS TO HIS SHOULDERS AND CHEST AND THE OTHER HAD AN ARM INJURY. A FEW WERE ALSO TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL WITH ELEVATED HEART RATES. THERE'S SPECULATION THAT A GREASE FIRE SPARKED THIS MASSIVE BLAZE. OFFICIALS WILL BE INVESTIGATING TODAY.

ACCUSED BOMB MAKER REMAINS JAILED

THE ALTOONA MIRROR REPORTS THAT FEDERAL AUTHORITIES HAVE AGAIN AGREED TO DELAY FILING A FORMAL CRIMINAL INDICTMENT AGAINST PENN STATE ALTOONA STUDENT VLADIMIR MIFTAHKOV BECAUSE THEY ARE DISCUSSING WHICH CRIMES HE WILL BE CHARGED WITH. HE REMAINS IN THE CAMBRIA COUNTY PRISON. LOGAN TOWNSHIP POLICE FOUND 2 EXPLOSIVE DEVICES AND BOMB-MAKING MATERIALS INSIDE HIS ALTOONA APARTMENT BACK IN JANUARY. MIFTAHKOV IS A RUSSIAN NATIVE AND THE PROSECUTION SAYS HE IS CONSIDERED A FLIGHT RISK.

BANK ROBBERY

STATE COLLEGE POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR THE MAN WHO ROBBED THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK IN BOALSBURG JUST BEFORE 2:30PM THURSDAY. EMPLOYEES DESCRIBED THE SUSPECT AS A WHITE MALE, WEARING A BROWN HOODIE AND DARK PANTS. HE HAD A MESH TYPE OF CLOTH COVERING HIS FACE AND A DARK COLORED BAG. THE MAN…WHO DID NOT DISPLAY A WEAPON DURING THE HOLDUP…WAS LAST SEEN HEADING NORTH TOWARD EAST MAIN STREET AND BOAL AVENUE.

MURDER TRIAL SET FOR LATE SUMMER

DURING A STATUS CONFERENCE YESTERDAY IN CAMBRIA COUNTY COURT, THE JUDGE DECIDED 21 YEAR OLD DEMETRIUS GIBSON OF JOHNSTOWN WILL STAND TRIAL IN AUGUST FOR THE STABBING DEATH OF HIS ESTRANGED GIRLFRIEND, LIZ MILLER, LAST SUMMER. JURY SELECTION WILL BEGIN AUGUST 25TH. THE MURDER HAPPENED IN A CAR WASH PARKING LOT IN THE CITY’S MOXHAM NEIGHBORHOOD. GIBSON REMAINED A FUGITIVE FOR NEARLY 2 WEEKS BEFORE TURNING HIMSELF IN TO POLICE. THE DEFENSE IS HOPING FOR AN OUT-OF-COUNTY JURY.

FEWER HOSPITAL JOBS

A NEW REPORT SHOWS THAT PENNSYLVANIA HOSPITALS ARE CUTTING JOBS. THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY SAYS HOSPITALS ELIMINATED 39-HUNDRED POSITIONS IN THE PAST YEAR. THE HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION OF PENNSYLVANIA ALSO SURVEYED THE HOSPITALS STATEWIDE AND REPORTS THAT 2-THIRDS PLAN TO FREEZE HIRING, LAY OFF CURRENT STAFF, CANCEL OR DELAY RENOVATIONS OR BUILDING PROJECTS, AND CUT SOME SERVICES. H-A-P ALSO SAYS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS REDUCED HOSPITAL PAYMENTS SINCE 2010 AND MORE CUTS ARE SCHEDULED IN THEIR MEDICARE PAYMENTS.

A FEE ON YOUR ELECTRIC BILL?

SOME FIRST ENERGY SOLUTIONS CUSTOMERS ARE GOING TO SEE A ONE-TIME FEE OF 5 TO 15 DOLLARS ON ONE OF THEIR UPCOMING BILLS. MAILERS HAVE BEEN SENT OUT NOTIFYING FIXED-RATE CUSTOMERS THAT THEY WILL BE PAYING A ONE-TIME FEE TO HELP THE COMPANY RECOUP LOSSES INCURRED OVER THE FRIGID WINTER. OFFICIALS SAY THERE IS A CLAUSE IN SOME FIXED-RATE CONTRACTS THAT ALLOWS FIRST ENERGY TO CHARGE THE FEE. THE PUC ORDERED THE CLAUSE BE REMOVED IN NOVEMBER OF 2013, BUT CUSTOMERS WHO SIGNED A DEAL PRIOR TO THAT DATE WILL HAVE TO PAY.

A TAX ON PLASTIC BAGS?

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR DAYLIN LEACH IS INTRODUCING LEGISLATION THAT WOULD PUT A STATEWIDE TAX ON PLASTIC BAGS. HE SAYS THE BILL WILL ENCOURAGE CONSUMERS TO CUT BACK ON PLASTIC BAG USAGE. THE 2-CENT PER BAG TAX…ADDED TO GROCERY BILLS…WOULD BE USED FOR STATEWIDE RECYCLING PROGRAMS AND STORES’ RECYCLING BILLS. THE LEGISLATION IS CURRENTLY STALLED IN THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE.