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Monday January 14 2012

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MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 2013

FORMER COP WILL GO ON TRIAL

JURY SELECTION IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN TODAY IN BLAIR COUNTY COURT FOR THE TRIAL OF FORMER ALTOONA POLICE OFFICER DUANE EICHENLAUB. TESTIMONY SHOULD START NEXT TUESDAY. HE AND ANOTHER FORMER COP, ERIC KRINER, WERE CHARGED WITH BEATING 2 MEN BACK IN 2010 AT PELLEGRINE’S LOUNGE, LEAVING THEM WITH SIGNIFICANT INJURIES…AND THEN CONSPIRING TO COVER UP THE INCIDENT. KRINER HAS PLEADED GUILTY TO REDUCED CHARGES AND WILL BE SENTENCED IN MARCH.

ROBBERS POSE AS COPS

ALTOONA POLICE SAY STEPHEN ESPENLAUB AND ANGEL VASQUEZ POSED AS POLICE AND DRUG ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND DEMANDED CASH FROM PEOPLE LIVING IN AN ALTOONA HOME BACK ON DECEMBER 18TH. ESPENLAUB RETURNED TO THE 13-HUNDRED BLOCK OF 9TH STREET LAST FRIDAY, AGAIN POSING AS A MEMBER OF LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND PRESENTED A WRITTEN DEMAND FOR MONEY WITHIN 24 HOURS. THE VICTIMS CALLED THE POLICE AND COPS WERE WAITING WHEN ESPENLAUB CAME FOR THE CASH. HE TOLD POLICE VASQUEZ…WHO LIVES IN PITTSBURGH…WAS HIS ACCOMPLICE ON THE FIRST ROBBERY AND ARRANGED FOR HIM TO MEET FOR THE MONEY EXCHANGE. POLICE WERE WAITING INSTEAD. COPS FOUND FIREARMS AND FAKE POLICE UNIFORMS IN ESPENLAUB’S HOME AND 2 HANDGUNS IN VASQUEZ’ VEHICLE.

MURDER TRIAL WINDING DOWN

CLOSING ARGUMENTS ARE EXPECTED TO BE HEARD TODAY IN THE MURDER TRIAL OF MARQUIS NEAL AND HIS COUSIN, ANTHONY HARVEY, BOTH OF PHILADELPHIA. THEY ARE CHARGED IN THE OCTOBER 2011 SHOOTING DEATH OF 21 YEAR OLD J-QUAN LEWIS OUTSIDE JOHNSTOWN’S OAKHURST HOMES. NEAL TESTIFIED SATURDAY AND SAID HE DOESN’T REMEMBER PART OF THE INCIDENT BECAUSE HE WAS DRINKING AND ON PILLS THE MORNING OF THE MURDER. NEAL CLAIMS HE THOUGHT LEWIS WAS REACHING FOR A GUN.

KILLER WANTS PLEA THROWN OUT

42 YEAR OLD JOHN GERHOLT OF MOUNT UNION, HUNTINGDON COUNTY, IS SERVING A LIFE SENTENCE AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO THE 2008 SHOOTING DEATH OF HIS ESTRANGED WIFE, KAREN, IN THE EVERETT MCDONALDS PARKING LOT. NOW, GERHOLT IS TRYING TO GET HIS PLEA TOSSED, CLAIMING HE WAS NOT AWARE THAT HE WOULD BE SENTENCED TO LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE. GERHOLT’S ATTORNEYS SAY HE DID KNOW AND THEY DON’T EXPECT HIS PLEA TO BE THROWN OUT. A HEARING IS SCHEDULED THIS WEEK IN BEDFORD COUNTY COURT.

INDIANA COUNTY MAN KILLED

A FATAL CRASH THIS WEEKEND IN INDIANA COUNTY. POLICE SAY 20 YEAR OLD THOMAS KELGRAN OF CENTER TOWNSHIP LOST CONTROL OF HIS S-U-V AND HIT A TREE ALONG ROUTE 217 IN BLACKLICK TOWNSHIP. IT HAPPENED JUST BEFORE 6:30 SATURDAY MORNING AND THE CORONER SAYS VISIBILITY WAS POOR DUE TO FOG.

TEENS BUSTED FOR BURGLARY/VANDALISM

3 BLAIR COUNTY TEENS ARE DUE IN COURT TOMORROW TO FACE FELONY CHARGES. POLICE SAY THEY CAUSED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OF DAMAGE TO THE FORMER MORAN’S NURSING HOME IN BELLWOOD. SHAWN HIMES JUNIOR, DANIEL MORSE, AND TYLER KENSINGER ALLEGEDLED VANDALIZED THE PROPERTY AND STOLE COPPER. DAMAGES ARE ESTIMATED AT 330-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

PRIVATIZING THE LOTTERY

STATE REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT CONKLIN OF CENTRE COUNTY IS QUESTIONING THE MOVE TO PRIVATIZE THE PENNSYLVANIA LOTTERY. GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT’S ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED A CONTRACT FRIDAY WITH CAMELOT GLOBAL SERVICES, WHICH PROMISES 34 BILLION DOLLARS IN PROFITS TO THE STATE OVER THE NEXT 20 YEARS. CAMELOT IS ALSO THE OPERATOR OF THE BRITISH NATIONAL LOTTERY. CONKLIN AND OTHER LAWMAKERS HAVE FILED A LAWSUIT TO STOP THE DEAL BECAUSE IT HAPPENED WHILE THE HOUSE AND SENATE WERE ON BREAK. HE ALSO SAYS CAMELOT MADE THE ONLY BID. IF IT GOES THROUGH, PENNSYLVANIA WOULD BE THE THIRD STATE IN THE COUNTRY WITH A PRIVATE LOTTERY SYSTEM.

SHOWCASE FOR COMMERCE

JOHNSTOWN’S SHOWCASE FOR COMMERCE COULD HAVE BEEN IN TROUBLE SINCE THE DEATH OF CONGRESSMAN JOHN MURTHA AND THE RECENT ELECTION LOSS OF CONGRESSMAN MARK CRITZ, BUT U-S SENATOR BOB CASEY HAS AGREED TO BECOME THE EVENT’S LEAD CONGRESSIONAL SPONSOR AND KEEP THE DIRECT LINK TO WASHINGTON D-C. CASEY WILL ATTEND THE 23RD ANNUAL SHOWCASE, WHICH WILL BE HELD INSIDE THE CAMBRIA COUNTY WAR MEMORIAL MAY 29TH THROUGH THE 31ST. THIS YEAR’S EVENT IS EXPECTED TO ATTRACT MORE THAN 150 INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.

GAS PRICES ON THE RISE

THE LATEST LUNDBERG SURVEY SAYS THE PRICE FOR A GALLON OF REGULAR GAS INCREASED IN THE LAST 3 WEEKS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE BEGINNING OF OCTOBER. NATIONWIDE GAS PRICES AVERAGED $3.32 PER GALLON ON JANUARY 6TH. THAT WAS UP MORE THAN 6 CENTS FROM DECEMBER 21ST. ALTOONA-AREA DRIVERS ARE PAYING $3.59.