Thursday October 18 2012

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012

MENINGITIS SPREADS

A SECOND FUNGAL MENINGITIS PATIENT IS BEING TREATED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM…AND HIS DAUGHTER TELLS WTAJ THAT HE RECEIVED A STEROID INJECTION AT ALLEGHENY PAIN MANAGEMENT FOLLOWING NECK SURGERY. THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL NOW REPORTS THAT 19 PEOPLE HAVE DIED AND 245 HAVE BEEN INFECTED NATIONWIDE.   AUTHORITIES HAVE RECALLED ALL DRUGS PRODUCED BY THE NEW ENGLAND FACILITY THAT PRODUCED THE CONTAMINATED STEROIDS LINKED TO THE OUTBREAK. MEANWHILE, A CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE THAT OVERSEES DRUG SAFETY ISSUES HAS CALLED ON THE U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION TO PROVIDE DOCUMENTS REGARDING INSPECTIONS OF THE NEW ENGLAND COMPOUNDING CENTER. 

CHEERLEADER STILL CRITICAL

A FAMILY SPOKESMAN SAYS PENN STATE CHEERLEADER PAIGE RAQUE IS SHOWING SIGNS OF PROGRESS, BUT SHE REMAINS IN CRITICAL CONDITION AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM. SHE FELL 39 FEET FROM A CALDER COMMONS APARTMENT WINDOW SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUFFERED MAJOR BRAIN INJURIES. GET-WELL CARDS CAN BE SENT TO PAIGE VIA THE PENN STATE CHEERLEADING OFFICE.

HIT AND RUN DRIVER CONFESSES

AUTHORITIES IN CLEARFIELD COUNTY SAY A 20-YEAR-OLD PHILIPSBURG MAN HAS CONFESSED TO BEING THE DRIVER IN A HIT AND RUN THAT HAPPENED NEAR CHESTER HILL TUESDAY NIGHT. A 29 YEAR OLD MAN WAS HIT WHILE WALKING ALONG DECATUR STREET. HE IS RECOVERING FROM LEG SURGERY AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM. POLICE WERE LED TO THE SUSPECT BY A TIP.

ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING CHARGES DROPPED

ALTOONA POLICE SAY ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING AND OTHER CHARGES HAVE BEEN DROPPED AGAINST REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER BRIAN LAWRENCE JUNIOR, BUT HE REMAINS A PERSON OF INTEREST. LAWRENCE WAS ARRESTED AFTER A 13 YEAR OLD GIRL CLAIMED A MAN GRABBED HER AS SHE WALKED TO ALTOONA JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL TUESDAY MORNING. THE VICTIM’S MOTHER TELLS THE ALTOONA MIRROR LAWRENCE PASSED A VOICE-BASED LIE DETECTOR TEST AND HE ALSO HAD AN ALIBI. SHE THINKS THE CRIMINAL WAS JUST TRYING TO STEAL HER DAUGHTER’S PURSE AND NOT KIDNAP HER.

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

ELECTRONIC BILLBOARDS HAVE GONE UP IN HARRISBURG TIED TO THE JERRY SANDUSKY SCANDAL. ONE SAYS “IF PENN STATE’S TRUSTEES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OVERSIGHT, WHY HAVEN’T THEY RESIGNED?” ANOTHER ASKS “WHY WAS GOVERNOR CORBETT SO QUICK TO BLAME JOE PATERNO AND SO SLOW TO PROSECUTE JERRY SANDUSKY?” THE BILLBOARDS WERE PAID FOR BY A GROUP CALLED “PENN STATERS 4 TRUTH”. THEY ARE UNHAPPY WITH THE WAY THE UNIVERSITY HANDLED THE CASE…GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT…AND THE FREEH REPORT.

REPUBLICAN DAVID FREED AND DEMOCRAT KATHLEEN KANE ARE RUNNING FOR STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND BOTH SAY THEY WILL REVIEW THE CASE AGAINST JERRY SANDUSKY IF THEY ARE ELECTED. SOME HAVE CALLED FOR AN INVESTIGATION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE’S ROLE IN THE CASE AND HAVE CRITICIZED THAT IT TOOK 3 YEARS TO CHARGE SANDUSKY. WHOEVER IS ELECTED NEXT MONTH WILL HANDLE SANDUSKY’S APPEAL, AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT COMES UP IN THE CASE.

DEMOCRATIC LEADERS IN THE STATE HOUSE ARE ASKING U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER TO REVIEW THE INVESTIGATION OF JERRY SANDUSKY. 
DEMOCRATIC LEADER FRANK DERMODY AND DEMOCRATIC WHIP MIKE HANNA SENT A LETTER ASKING HIM TO APPOINT A SPECIAL COUNSEL. THEY SAY HOLDER SHOLD LOOK INTO WHETHER THE INVESTIGATION TOOK TOO LONG AND PUT CHILDREN AT RISK. 

SHOOTING SUSPECT ORDERED TO TRIAL

45 YEAR OLD KEVIN MCGEE OF JOHNSTOWN FIRED A SHOTGUN INTO AN UNOCCUPIED RICHLAND TOWNSHIP POLICE CRUISER LAST MONTH…THEN POINTED HIS LOADED WEAPON AT 2 OFFICERS…AND YESTERDAY A DISTRICT JUDGE ORDERED HIM TO STAND TRIAL ON CHARGES INCLUDING ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT. MCGEE WAS SHOT IN THE ABDOMEN BY OFFICER JOHN LUCAS AND AUTHORITIES HAVE RULED THAT THE SHOOTING WAS JUSTIFIED. MCGEE…WHO VIDEOTAPED THE INCIDENT…WAS REPORTEDLY ANGRY AT ANOTHER COP WHO HAD PREVIOUSLY ARRESTED HIM ON DRUG CHARGES.

JOBS BILL APPROVED BY STATE LAWMAKERS

STATE REPRESENTATIVE KERRY BENNINGHOFF’S JOBS BILL IS NOW WAITING FOR A SIGNATURE FROM GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT AFTER PASSING BOTH CHAMBERS LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THE MEASURE WOULD ALLOW PENNSYLVANIA BUSINESSES TO HOLD ONTO NEW-EMPLOYEE PAYROLL TAXES THAT OTHERWISE WOULD BE COLLECTED BY THE COMMONWEALTH. THE BILL PASSED THE SENATE, 33-16, EARLIER IN THE DAY. BENNINGHOFF SAYS THIS WILL HELP EMPLOYERS CREATE GOOD-PAYING JOBS WITH QUALITY HEALTH BENEFITS FOR PENNSYLVANIA WORKERS.