Tuesday July 2 2012

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TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2012

HOMES DESTROYED

ON A VERY HOT DAY, JOHNSTOWN FIREFIGHTERS BATTLED A BLAZE THAT DESTROYED 2 HOMES THAT ARE ONLY 24 INCHES APART ON PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE IN THE MORRELLVILLE SECTION OF JOHNSTOWN. 2 ADJACENT HOMES ALSO SUSTAINED DAMAGE. A MOTHER AND HER 18-MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER LIVING IN ONE OF THE DESTROYED HOMES GOT OUT SAFELY, AND A MAN IN THE OTHER HOUSE ESCAPED WITH HIS 2 MINIATURE DACHSHUNDS. A STATE POLICE FIRE MARSHAL IS INVESTIGATING THE CAUSE AND ONE FIREFIGHTER SUFFERED MINOR BURNS. FIRE CREWS FROM WEST HILLS AND RICHLAND TOWNSHIP WERE ALSO CALLED IN.

ONE TEENAGER ESCAPED SAFELY, BUT 3 DOGS DIED YESTERDAY AFTERNOON WHEN A FIRE BROKE OUT AT A TRAILER ON CAMBRIDGE DRIVE AT THE WILLOWBROOK MOBILE HOME PARK IN ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP, BLAIR COUNTY. FIREFIGHTERS HAD A HARD TIME WITH THE INTENSE HEAT OF THE DAY AND ROTATED CREWS IN AND OUT OF THE STRUCTURE. THE CAUSE OF THE BLAZE IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION. THE RED CROSS IS ASSISTING THE 2 ADULTS AND 2 TEENS WHO LIVED IN THE MOBILE HOME.

PENN STATE COVER-UP?

RELEASING A STATEMENT THROUGH THEIR ATTORNEY, THE PATERNO FAMILY SAYS THE RECENT LEAK OF EMAILS FROM THE LOUIS FREEH INVESTIGATION IS PART OF A SMEAR CAMPAIGN…AND THEY ARE CALLING FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE AND THOSE INVOLVED WITH THE INVESTIGATION TO RELEASE ALL RELEVANT INFORMATION. THE EMAILS APPEAR TO SHOW THAT FORMER PRESIDENT GRAHAM SPANIER, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF GARY SCHULTZ, AND FORMER ATHLETIC DIRECTOR TIM CURLEY DISCUSSED THE JERRY SANDUSKY SHOWER INCIDENT ON CAMPUS IN 2001. CURLEY WROTE THAT, AFTER A CONVERSATION WITH JOE PATERNO, HE WAS NO LONGER COMFORTABLE WITH CONTACTING THE DEPARTMENT OF WELFARE AND INSTEAD WANTED TO CONFRONT SANDUSKY. THE PATERNO FAMILY STATEMENT SAYS FROM THE VERY BEGINNING JOE PATERNO CALLED FOR A THOROUGH AND PROFESSIONAL INVESTIGATION THAT PROTECTED NO ONE WHILE PRESERVING DUE PROCESS FOR EVERYONE. 

STATE COLLEGE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING A REPORT OF “SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY” SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE HOME OF JERRY SANDUSKY ON GRANDVIEW ROAD IN COLLEGE TOWNSHIP. POLICE DID NOT RELEASE DETAILS, BUT CHIEF TOM KING SAYS IT IS “TOTALLY UNRELATED” TO ANY OF THE CRIMES SANDUSKY WAS CONVICTED OF. SANDUSKY REMAINS IN THE CENTRE COUNTY JAIL AWAITING SENTENCING.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE EUGENE DEPASQUALE PLANS TO INTRODUCE LEGISLATION THAT WOULD STOP STATE PENSION PAYMENTS TO JERRY SANDUSKY. THE BILL WOULD DISQUALIFY PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES FROM RECEIVING PENSION BENEFITS IF THEY HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF CERTAIN CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN. IT WOULD INCLUDE A RETROACTIVITY CLAUSE THAT WOULD APPLY THE CHANGES STARTING JUNE 1ST.

JOHNSTOWN POLICE SHOOTING JUSTIFIED?

JOHNSTOWN AUTHORITIES AND STATE POLICE SIT DOWN TODAY TO DISCUSS THE SHOOTING DEATH OF 27 YEAR OLD ELIP CHEATHAM WHO WAS KILLED BY POLICE LAST WEEK FOLLOWING A SHOOTING OUTSIDE AN OAKHURST BAR. THEY MUST DECIDE IF DEADLY FORCE WAS JUSTIFIABLE BECAUSE CHEATHAM WAS ACCELERATING HIS CAR TOWARD THEM. A MAN WHO WAS INSIDE THE VEHICLE CLAIMS CHEATHAM WAS ONLY RUSHING HIS INJURED COUSIN TO THE HOSPITAL. THE 3 POLICE OFFICERS REMAIN ON PAID ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED.

STATUS CONFERENCE FOR DEATH ROW INMATE

BLAIR COUNTY JUDGE HIRAM CARPENTER RULED THIS SPRING THAT DEATH ROW INMATE WILLIAM WRIGHT OF ALTOONA IS NOT COMPETENT TO FIRE HIS ATTORNEYS AND WITHDRAW HIS APPEALS. HIS APPEALS WILL NOW BE HANDLED BY THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER IN PITTSBURGH AND THE ANTI-DEATH PENALTY ORGANIZATION, THE DEFENDERS ASSOCIATION OF PHILADELPHIA. WRIGHT WAS SENTENCED TO DIE FOR THE 1998 SHOOTING DEATH OF JAMES MOWRY. A STATUS CONFERENCE IS SCHEDULED TODAY TO DETERMINE THE NEXT STEP.

A REPRIEVE AT CAMBRIA COUNTY AIRPORT

UNDER PRESSURE FROM CONGRESS, THE PROPOSED CLOSING OF THE 258TH AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SQUADRON AT THE JOHNSTOWN/CAMBRIA COUNTY AIRPORT HAS BEEN HALTED FOR AT LEAST A YEAR BY THE PENTAGON. DEFENSE SECRETARY LEON PANETTA SAYS THE CLOSING OF THE 911TH AIRLIFT WING AT THE PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAS ALSO BEEN HALTED UNTIL AT LEAST THE 2013 FEDERAL FISCAL YEAR BECAUSE THE DEPARTMENT MAY NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO MOVE FORWARD ON THE CLOSINGS. THE 171ST AIR REFUELING WING IN FINDLEY IS ALSO AFFECTED.

READY FOR THE HOLIDAY?

THE 4TH OF JULY TRAVEL PERIOD RUNS TODAY THROUGH SUNDAY…AND STATE AND LOCAL POLICE ARE READY WITH THE “DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER” ENFORCEMENT EFFORT. EXTRA COPS WILL BE PATROLLING THE ROADS AND FOCUSING ON DRUNK DRIVERS. OVER LAST YEAR’S INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY TRAVEL PERIOD, THERE WERE 897 CRASHES AND 14 FATALITIES. 146 WRECKS AND 6 FATALITIES WERE ALCOHOL-RELATED. POLICE ALSO REMIND AREA RESIDENTS TO LOCK THEIR VEHICLES AND HOMES, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE GOING OUT OF TOWN FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME.

THE JULY 4TH HOLIDAY IS UNDERWAY AND AUTHORITIES ARE REMINDING PENNSYLVANIANS THAT ONLY SMALL, NOVELTY FIREWORKS ARE APPROVED FOR USE BY CONSUMERS. THAT INCLUDES SPARKLERS AND TRICK NOISE-MAKERS. IF YOU’RE USING THEM, REMEMBER TO HAVE WATER HANDY AND THAT ALCOHOL AND FIREWORKS DO NOT MIX. YOUR BEST BET IS TO ENJOY A PROFESSIONAL FIREWORKS DISPLAY IN YOUR AREA.

GAS PRICES HAVE BEEN FALLING AND THAT COULD MEAN A RECORD NUMBER OF TRAVELERS ON THE HIGHWAYS FOR THE JULY 4TH HOLIDAY. TRIPLE-A PREDICTS 35-POINT-5 MILLION AMERICANS WILL HIT THE ROAD, A 4 PERCENT INCREASE FROM LAST YEAR.
THAT WOULD BE THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF AUTO TRAVELERS IN THE PAST DECADE. SINCE THE ACTUAL HOLIDAY IS ON A WEDNESDAY, MANY PEOPLE ARE STRETCHING THE BREAK INTO A 5-DAY WEEKEND.