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Friday November 16 2012

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

3 YEAR OLD DIES IN ARSON FIRE

ALTOONA SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICIALS SAY GRIEF COUNSELING WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR STAFF, PARENTS AND STUDENTS AT THE LEARNING EXPRESS AT CURTIN PRE-SCHOOL PROGRAM. A 3 YEAR OLD STUDENT, DARYL ETCHISON JUNIOR, DIED IN A FIRE EARLY YESTERDAY MORNING AT 113 SOUTH 2ND STREET IN THE EAST END OF TOWN. ALTOONA POLICE SAY 62 YEAR OLD AARON DISHONG OF EAST FREEDOM STARTED THE FIRE AFTER STALKING HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND AND MISTAKENLY BELIEVING SHE WAS IN THE HOUSE.BRANDY ETCHISON, WHO LIVES ON THAT SIDE OF THE DUPLEX WAS ABLE TO HELP HER 2 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER JUMP FROM THE ROOF OF A PORCH, BUT SHE COULDN’T GET BACK INSIDE TO SAVE HER SON. BOTH MOTHER AND DAUGHTER WERE FLOWN TO PITTSBURGH HOSPITALS AND BRANDY ETCHISON REMAINS IN CRITICAL CONDITION. 2 YEAR OLD MADISON IS EXPECTED TO BE RELEASED SOON. 2 PENN STATE ALTOONA STUDENTS LIVING IN THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DUPLEX HEARD SCREAMING AND GOT OUT. DISHONG IS IN THE BLAIR COUNTY PRISON WITHOUT BAIL. A PRELIMINARY HEARING SCHEDULED WEDNESDAY.

DEATH PENALTY CASE IN INDIANA COUNTY

AN INDIANA COUNTY MAN HAS BEEN ORDERED TO TRIAL IN APRIL ON CHARGES HE KILLED 3 FAMILY MEMBERS BACK IN 2009. 51 YEAR OLD KEVIN MURPHY OF SALTSBURG FACES A POSSIBLE DEATH SENTENCE IF HE IS CONVICTED. PROSECUTORS SAY MURPHY SHOT HIS MOTHER, SISTER, AND AN AUNT BECAUSE THEY DID NOT APPROVE OF HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH A MARRIED WOMAN.  THAT WOMAN ALLEGEDLY TOLD MURPHY TO KILL HIS FAMILY BUT SHE HAS NOT BEEN CHARGED.

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

THE PENN STATE BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETS TODAY AT 1:30 AT THE PENN STATER CONFERENCE CENTER. 8 MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC HAVE REGISTERED TO MAKE COMMENTS. THE AGENDA ALSO SHOWS THAT TRUSTEES WILL HEAR FROM BOARD CHAIRWOMAN KAREN PEETZ ABOUT THE SEARCH FOR A NEW PRESIDENT TO REPLACE RODNEY ERICKSON WHEN HIS CONTRACT EXPIRES IN JUNE 2014. TRUSTEES SAY THE SEARCH WILL INVOLVE HEAD HUNTERS, A SEARCH COMMITTEE OF FACULTY, STAFF AND STUDENTS, AND A GROUP OF TRUSTEES TO OVERSEE THE PROCESS. OFFICIALS HOPE TO SELECT THE NEXT UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT BY NOVEMBER OF NEXT YEAR.

THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES REPORTS THAT PROSECUTORS IN THE TIM CURLEY AND GARY SCHULTZ CASE ARE ASKING A DAUPHIN COUNTY JUDGE TO DENY THE DEFENSE’S MOTION TO THROW OUT THE CHARGES BECAUSE OF QUESTIONS SURROUNDING THE PENN STATE ATTORNEY WHO ACCOMPANIED THEM TO THE GRAND JURY. LAWYERS FOR CURLEY AND SCHULTZ SAY FORMER PENN STATE COUNSEL CYNTHIA BALDWIN HAD A CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN REPRESENTING THE MEN SO THE GRAND JURY TESTIMONY SHOULD BE THROWN OUT AND THE CHARGES TOSSED. CURLEY, SCHULTZ, AND FORMER UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT GRAHAM SPANIER ARE DUE IN COURT FOR A PRELIMINARY HEARING ON NEW CHARGES NEXT MONTH.

A COURT HEARING CONCERNING STAYING MIKE MCQUEARY’S WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUIT WILL BE HELD IN CENTRE COUNTY COURT TODAY. THE FORMER ASSISTANT COACH IS SUING FOR 4 MILLION DOLLARS AND HE ACCUSES PENN STATE OF DEFAMATION AND MAKING HIM A SCAPEGOAT. PENN STATE WANTS TO DELAY THE CASE UNTIL AFTER THE CRIMINAL CASES AGAINST GRAHAM SPANIER, TIM CURLEY, AND GARY SCHULTZ.

CHEERLEADER RECOVERING

19 YEAR OLD PENN STATE CHEERLEADER PAIGE RAQUE FELL 39 FEET FROM A DOWNTOWN STATE COLLEGE APARTMENT WINDOW, SUFFERING SERIOUS HEAD INJURIES AND A BROKEN PELVIS…NOW HER FAMILY SAYS SHE WILL BE BACK IN HER HOME STATE OF KENTUCKY IN TIME FOR THANKSGIVING. PAIGE WILL CONTINUE REHAB THERE.THE PENN STATE COMMUNITY HAS BEEN SELLING SHIRTS AND “PRAY FOR PAIGE” BRACELETS TO RAISE MONEY FOR HER MEDICAL EXPENSES.

ALTOONA’S BALANCED BUDGET?

ALTOONA CITY MANAGER JOE WEAKLAND TELLS THE ALTOONA MIRROR HE’S COME UP WITH A BALANCED BUDGET AFTER RECEIVING THE PROPOSED ACT 47 FINANCIAL RECOVERY PLAN. THE SPENDING PLAN INCLUDES A QUARTER-PERCENTAGE HIKE IN THE EARNED INCOME TAX FOR RESIDENTS AND POINT-15-PERCENT FOR NON-RESIDENTS WHO WORK IN THE CITY. THAT ALONE IS EXPECTED TO GENERATE 2-POINT-1 MILLION DOLLARS. MAYOR BILL SCHIRF WILL CONTINUE HOLDING OFFICE HOURS AT CITY HALL FOR ANYONE WHO WISHES TO DISCUSS THE ACT 47 PLAN.

OBAMA & CORBETT’S JOB PERFORMANCE

FOLLOWING LAST WEEK’S ELECTION, A QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY POLL SHOWS PRESIDENT OBAMA’S APPROVAL RATING AMONG PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENTS AT 52-PERCENT. GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT’S CLIMBED TO 40-PERCENT, HIS HIGHEST RATING SINCE MARCH. MOST PEOPLE GAVE BOTH MEN HIGH MARKS FOR THEIR HANDLING OF SUPERSTORM SANDY.