Wednesday March 14 2012

Feed(s): 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2012

JURY SELECTION CONTINUES

NICHOLAS HORNER OF ALTOONA HAD THREATENED TO SKIP HIS TRIAL IF HE CAN’T TAKE 2 ANTI-ANXIETY MEDICATIONS, BUT YESTERDAY HE RETURNED TO THE BLAIR COUNTY COURTHOUSE AS JURY SELECTION CONTINUED. SO FAR, 4 MEN AND 2 WOMEN HAVE BEEN SEATED ON THE PANEL AND LAWYERS NEED 6 MORE, PLUS 4 ALTERNATES. THE IRAQ WAR VETERAN IS FACING THE DEATH PENALTY FOR THE 2009 MURDERS OF SCOTT GARLICK AND RAYMOND WILLIAMS. THE SHOOTING BEGAN AT THE 58TH STREET SUBWAY RESTAURANT AND LEFT A FEMALE EMPLOYEE INJURED.

FATHER ARRAIGNED ON MURDER CHARGES

CAMBRIA COUNTY FATHER JUSTIN CHARLES OF SOUTH FORK WAS ARRAIGNED YESTERDAY ON 3RD-DEGREE MURDER, CRIMINAL HOMICIDE, AND RELATED CHARGES FOR ALLEGEDLY SHAKING HIS 7 WEEK OLD SON, JUSTIN JUNIOR, WHO WAS TAKEN OFF LIFE SUPPORT IN DECEMBER. THE 23 YEAR OLD HAS PLEADED NOT GUILTY PLEA TO ALL CHARGES. IF CONVICTED OF 3RD-DEGREE MURDER, CHARLES WOULD FACE UP TO 40 YEARS IN PRISON.

NO CRIMINAL CHARGES IN FATAL PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT

CAMBRIA COUNTY PROSECUTORS HAVE DECIDED NOT TO FILE ANY CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST VICTOR COUTURIAUX OF PHILIPSBURG WHO STRUCK AND KILLED 90-YEAR-OLD ANNA JUBA OF PATTON AS SHE CROSSED THE ROAD TO HER HOME AFTER PICKING UP HER MORNING NEWSPAPER ON DECEMBER 5TH. AN ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTIONIST DETERMINED THAT COUTURIAUX WAS GOING 54 MILES PER HOUR IN THE 45 ZONE, BUT PROSECUTORS WOULD BE UNABLE TO SHOW GROSS NEGLIGENCE OR RECKLESSNESS. COUTURIAUX COULD FACE A COUPLE OF SUMMARY TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS.

SANDUSKY’S LAWYER WANTS CASE DISMISSED

SENIOR JUDGE JOHN CLELAND SAYS ORDERING THE PROSECUTION TO GIVE INFORMATION THEY CLAIM THEY CAN’T SUPPLY MAKES LITTLE SENSE, SO YESTERDAY HE DISMISSED JERRY SANDUSKY’S LAWYER’S REQUEST FOR MORE SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHARGES AGAINST HIM AND EACH ACCUSER. CLELAND STATED THERE ARE PLENTY OF CASES INVOLVING ASSAULTS AGAINST CHILDREN IN WHICH PROSECUTORS DIDN’T HAVE TO PROVIDE SPECIFIC TIMES OR DATES. DEFENSE ATTORNEY JOE AMENDOLA PLANS TO SEEK DISMISSAL OF ALL CHARGES AGAINST SANDUSKY.

PENN STATE BOARD MAKING CHANGES

LOOKING TO IMPROVE TRANSPARENCY, THE NEW CHAIR OF PENN STATE’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES KAREN PEETZ IS PROPOSING CHANGES TO THE BOARD’S COMMITTEE STRUCTURE. PEETZ SAID YESTERDAY THAT THE NEW CONCEPT IS MEANT TO BE “OUTWARDLY LOOKING, OUTWARDLY REACHING, AND ENGAGING TOWARDS PARTIES ACRESS THE PENN STATE COMMUNITY.” PEETZ ALSO TOLD MEMBERS OF THE FACULTY SENATE THAT THE UNIVERSITY HAS TALKED TO OFFICIALS AT CORNELL ABOUT A POTENTIAL TRANSITION TO BECOMING A PRIVATE UNIVERSITY. IT WOULD NOT BE A QUICK TRANSITION, BUT WOULD BE DUE TO PENN STATE’S STEADILY-DECLINING STATE SUPPORT.

TRUSTEES WANT TO BE CLOSE TO PATERNO FAMILY

PENN STATE’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES RELEASED A STATEMENT MONDAY SAYING THEY FIRED JOE PATERNO BECAUSE HIS LACK OF FOLLOW UP ON A SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATION AGAINST JERRY SANDUSKY “CONSTITUTED A FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP”. THE PATERNO FAMILY CALLED IT “ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO DEFLECT CRITICISM OF THEIR LEADERSHIP BY TRYING TO FOCUS THE BLAME ON PATERNO.” THE TRUSTEES YESTERDAY RESPONDED TO THE CRITICISM WITH CHAIRMAN KAREN PEETZ SAYING “WE HAVE NO INTEREST IN HAVING A BACK AND FORTH WITH THE PATERNO FAMILY, WE WANT TO BE CLOSE TO THEM, WE WANT THEM TO BE CLOSE TO THE UNIVERSITY.” ACCORDING TO PEETZ, THE REPORT WAS RELEASED TO ANSWER QUESTIONS FROM PEOPLE STILL CONFUSED ABOUT WHY PATERNO WAS FIRED.  THE BOARD MEETS THIS FRIDAY IN HERSHEY.

VOTER I-D BILL DELAYED

AFTER ALMOST 6 HOURS OF DEBATE, THE STATE HOUSE DELAYED A VOTE ON THE VOTER IDENTIFICATION BILL WHICH REQUIRES THAT EVERYONE SHOW SOME KIND OF PHOTO ID BEFORE THEY CAN VOTE. REPUBLICANS SAY IT WILL COMBAT VOTER FRAUD, WHILE DEMOCRATS, THE N-DOUBLE-A-C-P, A-C-L-U, AND A-A-R-P SAY IT DISCRIMINATES AGAINST THE POOR AND THE ELDERLY AND MAY BE UN-CONSTITUTIONAL. RIGHT NOW STATE I-DS COST ABOUT 13 DOLLARS, BUT THE VOTER I-D BILL WOULD MAKE THEM FREE IF PEOPLE CAN’T AFFORD THEM TO VOTE. THE HOUSE WILL GO BACK TO WORK THIS MORNING. IF THEY APPROVE THE BILL, THE GOVERNOR HAS SAID HE WILL SIGN IT.

ALTOONA LOOKING TO BECOME DISTRESSED MUNICIPALITY

NOW THAT ALTOONA IS APPLYING TO ENTER THE DISTRESSED MUNICIPALITIES PROGRAM, SOME STATE OFFICIALS WILL MEET WITH ALTOONA LEADERS TOMORROW TO GO OVER FINANCIAL DETAILS. THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WILL USE THE INFORMATION TO FORMULATE A REPORT ON THE CITY’S PETITION. IT WILL BE PRESENTED AT A PUBLIC HEARING SET FOR 6PM APRIL 3RD AT CITY HALL.

HOCKEY ARENA ON THE WAY

PENN STATE HAS SET THE OFFICIAL GROUNDBREAKING FOR THE PEGULA ICE ARENA FOR FRIDAY, APRIL 20TH AT THE FIELD HOCKEY COMPLEX. THAT’S BLUE & WHITE WEEKEND IN HAPPY VALLEY. THE STATE OF THE ART ARENA IS SLATED TO BE COMPLETED IN SEPTEMBER OF NEXT YEAR NEAR THE CORNER OF UNIVERSITY DRIVE AND CURTAIN ROAD ACROSS FROM THE BRYCE JORDAN CENTER.