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Wednesday December 5 2012

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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2012

HEARING IN DEADLY ARSON

THE PRELIMINARY HEARING FOR MURDER SUSPECT AARON DISHONG OF EAST FREEDOM IS SCHEDULED TODAY. THE 62-YEAR-OLD IS ACCUSED OF LIGHTING A FIRE AT 113 SOUTH 2ND STREET IN ALTOONA LAST MONTH, KILLING 3 YEAR OLD DARREL ETCHISON JUNIOR. HIS MOTHER, BRANDY, BROKE HER BACK AND SPENT 5 DAYS IN A COMA AT A PITTSBURGH HOSPITAL AFTER JUMPING FROM THE PORCH ROOF WITH HER 2-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER, MADISON, IN HER ARMS. BRANDY WAS RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL ON THANKSGIVING DAY.

MAN FALLS FROM ROOF

49 YEAR OLD MICHAEL REED OF JOHNSTOWN WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED YESTERDAY WHEN HE STRUCK A LIVE WIRE AND FELL OFF A ROOF WHILE WORKING AT A HOME IN THE 300 BLOCK OF SOUTH STREET. HE WAS TAKEN TO MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER. PENELEC RESTORED SERVICE TO THE HOMES THAT LOST POWER AS A RESULT OF THE ACCIDENT.

CHEERLEADER OUT OF REHAB

PENN STATE CHEERLEADER PAIGE RAQUE FELL 39 FEET OUT OF A STATE COLLEGE APARTMENT BUILDING WINDOW IN OCTOBER AND SHE WAS RELEASED FROM A KENTUCKY REHABILITATION CENTER YESTERDAY. RAQUE SUFFERED A SEVERE BRAIN INJURY AND SHATTERED HER PELVIS. SHE REMAINED IN I-C-U AT ALTOONA REGIONAL UNTIL JUST BEFORE THANKSGIVING. AT A PRESS CONFERENCE YESTERDAY, PAIGE THANKED EVERYONE WHO HELPED AND SUPPORTED HER RECOVERY. PAIGE PLANS TO RETURN TO PENN STATE TO CONTINUE HER STUDIES, POSSIBLY BY NEXT FALL.

HEARING POSTPONED IN CAMBRIA COUNTY MURDER

AT THE REQUEST OF THE DEFENSE, YESTERDAY’S PRELIMINARY HEARING FOR 50 YEAR OLD GREGORY CONZO OF PORTAGE HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL JANUARY 22ND. HE’S CHARGED WITH BEATING 37 YEAR OLD GREGORY PCOLA WITH A BASEBALL BAT NOVEMBER 5TH. PCOLA DIED 2 DAYS LATER. CONZO REMAINS IN THE CAMBRIA COUNTY PRISON.

SCAMMERS USING MURDER VICTIM’S NAME

SOME PEOPLE IN MEYERSDALE, SOMERSET COUNTY, TELL WJAC TV THAT THEY'VE BEEN SCAMMED BY 2 GIRLS WHO CLAIM THEY ARE TAKING DONATIONS FOR A HEADSTONE FOR MURDER VICTIM JUSTINE JACKSON. HER BODY WAS FOUND LAST MONTH NEAR A HIKING TRAIL AND HER FORMER BOYFRIEND, JONATHAN BEAL, HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH STRANGLING JACKSON AND BURYING HER IN A SHALLOW GRAVE. POLICE SAY THE COLLECTION IS A SCAM AND JACKSON'S FAMILY MEMBERS ARE OUTRAGED. NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED.

POLICE STATION SHOOTER PLEADS NOT GUILTY

KEVIN MCGEE OF JOHNSTOWN YESTERDAY PLEADED NOT GUILTY TO ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE AND OTHER CHARGES. HE’S ACCUSED OF FIRING A SHOTGUN INTO A PARKED RICHLAND TOWNSHIP POLICE CRUISER BACK IN SEPTEMBER. A POLICE OFFICER SHOT HIM IN THE ABDOMEN AFTER HE REFUSED TO DROP HIS WEAPON.

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

UNDER TERMS OF HIS BAIL, FORMER PENN STATE PRESIDENT GRAHAM SPANIER IS NOT ALLOWED TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE STATE, BUT NOW HE’S ASKING THE JUDGE FOR PERMISSION TO VISIT HIS SECOND HOME IN NEW YORK CITY…SPEND THE HOLIDAYS WITH RELATIVES IN IOWA…AND VISIT HIS SICK MOTHER IN CHICAGO. HE WANTS HIS PASSPORT RETURNED SO HE CAN  ATTENDA RELATIVE’S WEDDING IN SLOVAKIA AND A HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL EVENT IN HIS FATHER’S HOMETOWN IN GERMANY. SPANIER ALSO WANTS TO GO TO THE UNITED KINGDOM FOR A PROJECT INVOLVING THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. SPANIER AND FORMER UNIVERSITY OFFICIALS TIM CURLEY AND GARY SCHULTZ ARE DUE AT A PRELIMINARY HEARING NEXT THURSDAY ON CHARGES THAT THEY TRIED TO COVER UP JERRY SANDUSKY’S ABUSE OF CHILDREN.

PENN STATE’S COSTS FOLLOWING THE SANDUSKY SCANDAL CONTINUE TO ADD UP. AT YESTERDAY’S FACULTY SENATE MEETING, PRESIDENT RODNEY ERICKSON SAID THE 60 MILLION DOLLAR FINE FROM THE NCAA IS THE LARGEST SUM OF MONEY OWED. ADD TO THAT 21 MILLION FOR LEGAL AND PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPENSES, AND 2-POINT-5 MILLION IN SEVERANCE OWED TO FORMER UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT GRAHAM SPANIER. THE UNIVERSITY LOANED THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT THE FINE MONEY TO BE PAID BACK OVER 30 YEARS. INSURANCE AND RESERVE FUNDS WILL COVER SOME OTHER COSTS.

THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES REPORTS THAT CENTRE COUNTY HAS RECEIVED A 95-THOUSAND DOLLAR CHECK FROM THE STATE TO COVER THE COST OF JERRY SANDUSKY’S TRIAL AND INCARCERATION IN THE COUNTY JAIL. THE FIGURE COVERS COSTS UP TO SANDUSKY’S SENTENCING ON OCTOBER 8TH AND ONE LAST INVOICE WILL BE SENT LATER THIS MONTH TO RECOUP FINAL EXPENSES. THE FORMER COACH IS SERVING HIS 30 TO 60 YEAR SENTENCE AT THE STATE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION AT GREENE.

PENN STATE SORORITY IN HOT WATER

A HALLOWEEN PARTY PHOTO SHOWED UP ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND NOW PENN STATE’S CHI OMEGA SORORITY IS BEING INVESTIGATED. THE PARTY HAD A MEXICAN THEME AND FEATURED RACIALLY INSENSITIVE SIGNS. THE SISTERS OF THE NU GAMMA CHAPTER OF CHI OMEGA RELEASED A STATEMENT SAYING THEY APOLOGIZE FOR PORTRAYING THE INAPPROPRIATE STEREOTYPES AND THE PICTURE DOES NOT REFLECT THE VALUES OF THEIR ORGANIZATION. A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CHI OMEGA’S NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS SAYS SANCTIONS HAVE NOT YET BEEN FINALIZED.

2 NURSING HOME SALES?

BLAIR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ARE LOOKING TO SELL VALLEY VIEW NURSING HOME AND SAID YESTERDAY THAT THE VALLEY VIEW SOCCER FIELDS WILL ALSO BE SOLD. DURING THE FALL SEASON, ABOUT 450 KIDS USED THOSE 8 ACRES OF FIELDS THAT ARE LEASED TO THE A-Y-S-O SOCCER ORGANIZATION. COUNTY OFFICIALS HAVE SET A MINIMUM BID OF 11-POINT-25 MILLION DOLLARS FOR VALLEY VIEW. THE FIRST ROUND OF BIDS IS DUE BY FEBRUARY 1ST. THE A-Y-S-O HOPES TO WORK OUT A DEAL WITH ANY NEW OWNER.

CENTRE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SAY CENTRE CREST NURSING HOME IS LOSING MORE THAN A MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. ACCORDING TO COMMISSIONER STEVE DERSHEM, MEDICAID ONLY PAYS 160-DOLLARS A DAY TO COVER 220 DOLLARS IN COSTS. THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT THE COUNTY MAY CONSIDER SELLING THE NURSING HOME.

NO TAX HIKE IN CENTRE COUNTY

PROPERTY TAXES WILL HOLD STEADY NEXT YEAR FOR CENTRE COUNTY PROPERTY OWNERS UNDER A BUDGET THAT RECEIVED PRELIMINARY APPROVAL FROM THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS YESTERDAY. IT TOTALS 87 MILLION DOLLARS. FINAL ADOPTION IS SET FOR DECEMBER 27TH.

FREE BUS RIDE

THE CENTRE AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY IS TEAMING UP WITH THE STATE COLLEGE AND BELLEFONTE FOOD BANKS TODAY AND TOMORROW FOR A “FOOD FOR FARE” CANNED FOOD DRIVE.
RIDERS WHO DONATE A CANNED OR NON-PERISHABLE FOOD ITEM WHEN THEY BOARD THE BUS WILL RIDE FARE-FREE FOR THAT TRIP. BOTH CATA OFFICES ARE ALSO TOYS FOR TOTS DROP-OFF LOCATIONS NOW THROUGH MONDAY, DECEMBER 17TH. YOU CAN DROP OFF NEW UNWRAPPED TOYS FOR CHILDREN IN NEED THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.

LOWER GAS PRICES

TRIPLE A FUEL GAUGE SAYS THE CURRENT AVERAGE PRICE FOR A GALLON OF REGULAR, UNLEADED GAS IN WESTERN PA IS $3.57, DOWN 3-POINT-8 CENTS FROM A WEEK AGO. ALTOONA-AREA DRIVERS SAW PRICES DROP TO $3.59 YESTERDAY. TODAY’S NATIONAL AVERAGE IS $3.38.

TEACHER OF THE YEAR

AN 11TH-GRADE ENGLISH TEACHER FROM JEFFERSON COUNTY IS THE STATE’S 2013 TEACHER OF THE YEAR. RYAN DEVLIN OF BROCKWAY AREA JUNIOR-SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL WAS PRESENTED WITH THE AWARD YESTERDAY BY STATE EDUCATION SECRETARY RON TOMALIS. DEVLIN SAYS TEACHERS WANT TO CREATE STUDENTS THAT ARE AS INNOVATIVE AS STEVE JOBS, AS DETERMINED AS MICHAEL JORDAN, AS BRAVE AS ROSA PARKS, AS CREATIVE AS WALT WHITMAN, AS EFFICIENT AS HENRY FORD, AS PASSIONATE AS OPRAH WINFREY AND AS KIND AS MISTER ROGERS.