Tuesday July 24 2012

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TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2012

PENN STATE HIT HARD

JOE PATERNO IS NO LONGER THE WINNINGEST COACH IN DIVISION 1 FOOTBALL…NOW THAT THE NCAA HAS VACATED PENN STATE’S WINS FROM 1998 THROUGH 2011. THE ORGANIZATION ALSO HANDED DOWN 60-MILLION DOLLARS IN FINES AND DECIDED THE NITTANY LIONS ARE INELIGIBLE FOR POST-SEASON PLAY FOR 4 YEARS. SCHOLARSHSHIPS WILL BE REDUCED AND PENN STATE WILL BE ON PROBATION FOR 5 YEARS. THE BIG 10 IS ADDING ANOTHER 13-MILLION DOLLARS IN FINES. PENN STATE SPOKESMAN DAVID LA TORRE SAYS UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT RODNEY ERICKSON HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO ACCEPT THE SANCTIONS, GIVEN THE THREAT OF A TOTAL SHUTDOWN OF THE FOOTBALL PROGRAM.

THE NCAA WILL ALLOW EASIER TRANSFERS FOR CURRENT AND INCOMING PLAYERS TO THE PENN STATE FOOTBALL TEAM. PENN STATE WILL RELEASE THEM FROM THE NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT AND THEY WILL NOT HAVE TO SIT OUT A YEAR OF COMPETITION. PERMISSION-TO-CONTACT RULES WILL BE SUSPENDED AND PENN STATE CANNOT RESTRICT IN ANY WAY A STUDENT-ATHLETE FROM PURSUING A POSSIBLE TRANSFER. THE NCAA IS CONSIDERING WAIVING SCHOLARSHIP LIMITS FOR THE OTHER PROGRAMS INVOLVED.

THE PATERNO FAMILY RESPONDED WITH A STATEMENT SAYING “SEXUAL ABUSE IS REPREHENSIBLE, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT INVOLVES CHILDREN, AND NO ONE STARTING WITH JOE PATERNO CONDONES OR MINIMIZES IT. THE HORRIFIC ACTS COMMITTED BY JERRY SANDUSKY SHOCK THE CONSCIENCE OF EVERY DECENT HUMAN BEING. HOW SANDUSKY WAS ABLE TO GET AWAY WITH HIS CRIMES FOR SO LONG HAS YET TO BE FULLY UNDERSTOOD, DESPITE THE CLAIMS AND ASSERTIONS OF THE FREEH REPORT.” THE FAMILY SAYS THE NCAA ACCEPTED THE FREEH REPORT AS THE FINAL WORD ON THE SANDUSKY SCANDAL AND THE ORGANIZATION IS DEFAMING THE LEGACY AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF A GREAT COACH AND EDUCATOR WITHOUT ANY INPUT FROM THE FAMILY OR THOSE WHO KNEW HIM BEST.

FORMER PENN STATE PRESIDENT GRAHAM SPANIER CLAIMS HE WAS PHYSICALLY ABUSED AS A CHILD, SO HE NEVER WOULD HAVE IGNORED CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE CLAIMS. IN A LETTER SENT TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES, SPANIER CALLED HIMSELF SOMEONE WHO “EXPERIENCED MASSIVE AND PERSISTENT ABUSE AS A CHILD.” HE ALSO SAID HE NEVER RECEIVED EMAILS ABOUT THE 1998 INVESTIGATION INTO JERRY SANDUSKY ALLEGEDLY SHOWERING WITH A YOUNG BOY ON CAMPUS. AND HE DID NOT UNDERSTAND THAT THE 2001 INCIDENT WITNESSED BY MIKE MCQUEARY WAS SEXUAL IN NATURE.

TEEN DIES IN RUSSIAN ROULETTE SHOOTING

15 YEAR OLD COLE MCCONOUGHEY OF EVERETT IS CHARGED AS AN ADULT IN A RUSSIAN-ROULETTE SHOOTING DEATH EARLY FRIDAY MORNING…AND NOW HIS DEFENSE ATTORNEY SAYS HE WILL TRY TO GET THE CASE MOVED TO JUVENILE COURT. POLICE SAY MCCONOUGHEY POINTED A 38 CALIBER REVOLVER AT THE HEAD OF HIS FRIEND, 15-YEAR-OLD NEAL HAMMOND, AND FIRED. HAMMOND DIED SEVERAL HOURS LATER. A 3RD TEEN HAD BROUGHT THE GUN AND BULLETS TO MCCONOUGHEY’S HOME FOR A SLEEPOVER.

SPECIAL PROSECUTOR IN POLICE SHOOTING?

LAST MONTH, 27 YEAR OLD ELIP CHEATHAM OF JOHNSTOWN WAS SHOT AND KILLED BY JOHNSTOWN POLICE OFFICERS…NOW HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE CALLING FOR THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE THE CASE. THE OFFICERS CLAIM CHEATHAM ACCELERATED HIS CAR AT THEM FOLLOWING A SHOOTING OUTISIDE THE EDDERS DEN BAR, BUT ANOTHER MAN IN THE CAR SAYS CHEATHAM WAS JUST RUSHING HIS INJURED COUSIN TO THE HOSPITAL. CARRYING SIGNS READING “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE” AND “STOP ABUSE OF POWER,” ABOUT 2 DOZEN PEOPLE HELD A VIGIL AT CENTRAL PARK YESTERDAY. A SPOKESMAN SAYS ATTORNEY GENERAL LINDA KELLY COULD ONLY GET INVOLVED AT THE REQUEST OF CAMBRIA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY KELLY CALLIHAN. CALLIHAN HAS SAID SHE WILL WAIT FOR THE OFFICIAL REPORT FROM THE STATE POLICE BEFORE CONSIDERING ANY ACTION. THAT REPORT IS EXPECTED WITHIN A WEEK.

WIFE STABS HUSBAND

TAIYUAN WRIGHT OF ALTOONA WAS LISTED IN CRICITAL CONDITION YESTERDAY AFTER BEING STABBED IN THE CHEST WITH A 12 INCH KITCHEN KNIFE. HIS WIFE CLAIMS THEY ARGUED AND HE ASSAULTED HER AT THEIR 12TH STREET HOME. LABERTHA DUKES IS CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT, AND HARASSMENT. SHE’S JAILED ON 35-THOUSAND DOLLARS BAIL.

WOMAN KIDNAPPED, THEN DUMPED

STATE POLICE IN CENTRE COUNTY ARE INVESTIGATING AN ASSAULT THAT LEFT A 38 YEAR OLD BELLEFONTE WOMAN INJURED SOMETIME DURING THE OVERNIGHT HOURS SATURDAY. AMY REED WAS FOUND DISORIENTED WITH SEVERE CUTS AT THE INTERSECTION OF YARNELL AND CIRCLE ROADS IN BOGGS TOWNSHIP. SHE TOLD POLICE SHE REMEMBERED FALLING ASLEEP AT HER HOME…THEN SHE WOKE UP AND WAS THROWN FROM A VEHICLE BY AN UNKNOWN MAN AND WOMAN. THE VICTIM WAS TAKEN TO GEISINGER MEDICAL CENTER FOR TREATMENT. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION SHOULD CALL TROOPERS AT 342-33-70.

ALTOONA HOUSE FIRE

THE FORMER HOME OF FORMER BLAIR COUNTY COMMISSIONER DONNA GORITY WENT UP IN FLAMES YESTERDAY MORNING AT 11-18 6TH AVENUE IN ALTOONA. THE BLAZE BROKE OUT ON THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE EMPTY HOME, BUT INVESTIGATORS FOUND A CANDLE BURNING ON THE FIRST FLOOR, SO SOMEONE HAD APPARENTLY BEEN THERE. GORITY AND HER HUSBAND MOVED OUT ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO, BUT LEFT SOME PROPERTY BEHIND. THEY PLAN TO TEAR DOWN THE DAMAGED HOUSE.

SENTENCING FOR DRUNK DRIVER

21 YEAR OLD KEVIN MCELHENY OF LORETTO FACES 16 TO 32 MONTHS IN PRISON TODAY WHEN HE’S SENTENCED BY A CAMBRIA COUNTY JUDGE. HE PLEADED GUILTY TO HOMICIDE BY VEHICLE WHILE DRIVING DRUNK FOR THE AUGUST 2010 CRASH THAT KILLED 19-YEAR-OLD DANIEL LECOMTE OF ASHVILLE. STATE POLICE SAY LECOMTE WAS A BACKSEAT PASSENGER WHEN MCELHENY’S S-U-V HIT A TREE ALONG LEMON DROP ROAD IN EAST CARROLL TOWNSHIP. LECOMTE DIED THREE DAYS LATER. MCELHENY WAS 19 AT THE TIME.

QUECREEK RESCUE—10 YEARS LATER

A CELEBRATION BEGINS TODAY IN SOMERSET COUNTY TO MARK THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RESCUE OF THE 9 QUECREEK MINERS. EVENTS INCLUDE A COMMUNITY DAYS CELEBRATION TOMORROW AT THE SITE. MINERS AND RESCUERS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PHOTOS AND AUTOGRAPHS THURSDAY…AND A BENEFIT DINNER IS SATURDAY AT HIDDEN VALLEY RESORT. THE FESTIVITIES WRAP UP SATURDAY WITH AN 11AM CEREMONY ATTENDED BY FORMER LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MARK SCHWEIKER WHO WAS ON SITE TO HELP DIRECT THE RESCUE EFFORT. THERE WILL BE NO ADMISSION CHARGE DURING THE ANNIVERSARY WEEK.

GOVERNOR IN A KAYAK

GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT TODAY CONTINUES HIS 3-DAY KAYAK TOUR THROUGH WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA TO PROMOTE THE STATE’S NATURAL RESOURCES AND RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES. ALONG FOR THE TRIP ARE FIRST LADY SUSAN CORBETT AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. THEY STARTED MONDAY MORNING FROM TIDIOUTE IN WARREN COUNTY AND WILL KAYAK DOWN THE ALLEGHENY AND CONEMAUGH RIVERS, ALSO VISITING JOHNSTOWN AND PITTSBURGH. CORBETT WILL ALSO TOUR SEVERAL PENNSYLVANIA PARKS AND HISTORIC SITES.

BLOOD DONORS NEEDED

THE AMERICAN RED CROSS HAS AN EMERGENCY NEED FOR ALL BLOOD TYPES AND TODAY IS THE 24TH ANNUAL BLAIR MEDIA BLOOD BLITZ AT ALTOONA’S JAFFA SHRINE. YOU CAN DONATE FROM 8AM TO 8PM. PRE-REGISTER AT redcrossblood.org OR BY CALLING 1-800-RED-CROSS.