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Tuesday February 26 2013

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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2013

FIRE AT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

AN OVERNIGHT FIRE DAMAGED PORTAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN CAMBRIA COUNTY…AND ALL CLASSES ARE CANCELLED TODAY FOR THE PORTAGE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT. THE BLAZE DESTROYED A PORTION OF THE ROOF AND THERE IS A LOT OF WATER DAMAGE INSIDE. NO WORD YET ON THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE. 

LAWSUITS FILED AGAINST DIOCESE

ALTOONA ATTORNEY RICHARD SERBIN YESTERDAY FILED LAWSUITS AGAINST THE ALTOONA-JOHNSTOWN CATHOLIC DIOCESE, THE FRANCISCAN FRIARS OF THE 3RD ORDER REGULAR, BISHOP MCCORT HIGH SCHOOL, FORMER BISHOP JOSEPH ADAMEC, AND OTHERS. THEY ARE ON BEHALF OF 3 ALLEGED VICTIMS OF BROTHER STEPHEN BAKER WHO STABBED HIMSELF TO DEATH AT ST. BERNADINE’S MONSTERY IN HOLLIDAYSBURG BACK IN JANUARY AFTER IT BECAME PUBLIC THAT HE HAD SETTLED WITH 11 MEN IN OHIO WHO CLAIMED HE ABUSED THEM. SINCE THEN, DOZENS OF MEN HAVE COME FORWARD… MANY OF THEM STUDENTS AT JOHNSTOWN’S BISHOP MCCORT. NO COMMENT FROM THE DIOCESE OR ANY OF THOSE BEING SUED.

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT ARGUED IN A COURT DOCUMENT FILED LATE MONDAY THAT THE NCAA HAS BEEN TRYING TO USE HIS LAWSUIT AGAINST IT IN THE JERRY SANDUSKY CASE TO COMBAT WHAT HE DESCRIBES AS A GROUNDSWELL OF PUBLIC CRITICISM. CORBETT SAYS THE JUDGE SHOULD NOT GRANT THE NCAA’S REQUEST TO DISMISS THE SUIT WHICH SEEKS TO THROW OUT ALL PENALTIES AGAINST PENN STATE, INCLUDING A 60-MILLION DOLLAR FINE, A 4-YEAR BOWL BAN, AND THE LOSS OF FOOTBALL SCHOLARSHIPS. CORBETT SAYS THE SANCTIONS HAVE HARMED STUDENTS, BUSINESS OWNERS, AND OTHERS.

HOSPITAL CLOSE TO PARTNERSHIP

ONE STEP CLOSER TO A PARTNERSHIP FOR ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM. ACCORDING TO A NEWS RELEASE, THE BOARDS OF DIRECTORS OF ALTOONA REGIONAL AND PARENT COMPANY CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATION HAVE SIGNED A NON-BINDING LETTER OF INTENT TO NEGOTIATE AN AFFILIATION WITH UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH MEDICAL CENTER. UPMC WAS RANKED NUMBER 10 IN THE PRESTIGIOUS U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT ANNUAL HONOR ROLL OF AMERICA’S BEST HOSPITALS IN 2012 AND NUMBER 1 IN PENNSYLVANIA, WITH 15 ADULT SPECIALTY AREAS RANKED FOR EXCELLENCE. A DUE DILIGENCE PERIOD WILL FOLLOW AND THE NEXT AND FINAL STEP IN THE PROCESS WOULD BE THE SIGNING OF A DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO AFFILIATE.

FEDERAL LAYOFFS

UNDER THE LOOMING “SEQUESTER” NATIONAL BUDGET CUTS, ABOUT 35-HUNDRED EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS IN PENNSYLVANIA RECEIVED NOTICE YESTERDAY THAT THEY LIKELY WILL HAVE TO TAKE A 10 PERCENT PAY CUT BY WORKING REDUCED HOURS BEGINNING IN APRIL AND CONTINUING UNTIL THE END OF SEPTEMBER. A UNION REPRESENTATIVE SAYS ALL AFFECTED EMPLOYEES WOULD NEED TO TAKE 14 UNPAID DAYS OFF. THAT INCLUDES THOSE AT THE FEDERAL PRISON IN LORETTO. ELSEWHERE, THE TOP COMMANDER IN THE PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL GUARD SAID MONDAY THAT WHILE THE PENTAGON HAS DIRECTED THAT 800-THOUSAND CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES BE FURLOUGHED, THE STATE GUARD PROBABLY WILL BE ABLE TO ABSORB THE SPENDING CUTS WITHOUT LAYING OFF ANY STAFF. OTHER STATE AGENCIES ARE STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO IF CONGRESS DOESN’T MADE A DEAL.

SEARCH FOR KILLERS CONTINUES

CAMBRIA COUNTY CRIME STOPPERS IS GOING HIGH-TECH IN HOPES OF SOLVING A LOCAL MURDER. ELECTRONIC BILLBOARDS ARE NOW UP IN RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, OFFERING A 4-THOUSAND DOLLAR REWARD FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO AN ARREST IN THE JANUARY MURDER OF 38 YEAR OLD ROBERT WILLIAMS. HE WAS SHOT TO DEATH AT HIS LYDIA DRIVE HOME, ALLEGEDLY BY 2 BLACK MEN. YOU CAN CALL CRIME STOPPERS AT 800-281-16-80.

SHOOTING STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION

JOHNSTOWN POLICE HAVE STILL NOT RELEASED THE NAMES OF THOSE INVOLVED IN SATURDAY’S SHOOTING AT A HIGHLAND AVENUE HOME IN MOXHAM, BUT THEY SAY SOMEONE SHIPPED A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA TO SOMEONE ELSE’S HOUSE PRIOR TO THE SHOOTING. THEY TOOK THE DRUGS TO THE POLICE STATION AND WENT BACK HOME…THEN 2 SUSPECTS FORCED THEIR WAY INSIDE. SOMEONE FIRED A GUN HITTING ONE SUSPECT IN THE HEAD. THE SAME BULLET THEN APPARENTLY STRUCK THE HOMEOWNER IN THE KNEE. BOTH ARE STILL IN THE HOSPITAL AND THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES.

BURGLAR CAUGHT WITH TRASH CAN

ALTOONA POLICE SAY 32 YEAR OLD PHILIP RICHARDS OF ALTOONA IS IN THE BLAIR COUNTY PRISON AFTER HE BROKE INTO A HOME ON THE 12-HUNDRED BLOCK OF BROADWAY AVENUE FRIDAY MORNING. THE VICTIM’S GARBAGE CAN WAS FOUND NEAR RICHARDS’S HOME AND WITNESSES REPORTED SEEING HIM DRAGGING IT DOWN THE ALLEY. HE ALLEGEDLY FILLED THE CAN WITH A STOLEN HANDGUN AND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN CASH, COINS, AND JEWELRY. A PRELIMINARY HEARING IS SCHEDULED TOMORROW.

GAS PRICES KEEP CLIMBING

THE BREAK FROM HIGHER GAS PRICES DIDN’T LAST LONG. THEY’VE JUMPED ALMOST 50 CENTS IN THE LAST MONTH…AND 4 CENTS IN JUST THE LAST WEEK. CURRENTLY DRIVERS IN THE ALTOONA AND STATE COLLEGE AREAS ARE FILLING UP FOR $3.89. TRIPLE-A SAYS THERE ARE SEVERAL PROVEN MYTHS WHEN IT COMES TO SAVING GAS MILEAGE. ADDING THINGS TO YOUR GAS OR REPLACING THE COMPRESSED TIRE AIR WITH NITROGEN AND OVER-INFLATING THEM WILL NOT BOOST FUEL EFFICIENCY.

2 NEW HIGH SCHOOLS?

THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES REPORTS THAT STATE COLLEGE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICIALS SAY THE CONSTRUCTION OF 2 NEW HIGH SCHOOLS WOULD COST AN ESTIMATED 154 TO 162 MILLION DOLLARS. THE DISTRICT IS ALSO CONSIDERING RENOVATING THE NORTH AND SOUTH BUILDINGS OR BUILDING JUST ONE NEW SCHOOL. ANOTHER PUBLIC MEETING IS SCHEDULED THURSDAY. TOURS OF THE SCHOOL BUILDINGS WILL START AT 5:30 FROM THE SOUTH BUILDING AUDITORIUM LOBBY. THE FORUM GETS UNDERWAY AT 7.