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Wednesday February 27 2013

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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2013

DEADLY WRECK

THE SOMERSET COUNTY CORONER WAS CALLED OUT TO A HEAD-ON COLLISION JUST BEFORE 6 LAST EVENING. STATE POLICE SAY 2 VEHICLES CRASHED ALONG ROUTE 30 NEAR THE INTERSECTION WITH ROUTE 219 IN JENNER TOWNSHIP. ONE PERSON WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE. ANOTHER PERSON WAS TAKEN TO MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER IN JOHNSTOWN. THERE WERE MANY OTHER MINOR ACCIDENTS DUE TO THE SNOW AND FREEZING RAIN.

ILLEGAL GUN PURCHASE?

52 YEAR OLD BRENDA SHULTZ OF HOLLIDAYSBURG HAS WAIVED HER PRELIMINARY HEARING. SHE’S ACCUSED OF FILLING OUT THE PAPERWORK TO BUY A HANDGUN FOR HER BOYFRIEND, JEFFREY MICHAEL, IN JANUARY OF 2011. THE WEAPON WAS USED WHEN MICHAEL KILLED 3 PEOPLE IN A FRANKSTOWN TOWNSHIP SHOOTING SPREE DECEMBER 21ST. MICHAEL WAS SHOT TO DEATH BY STATE TROOPERS AFTER HE FIRED ON THEM. SHULTZ TOLD POLICE MICHAEL DIDN’T THINK HE WAS ALLOWED TO BUY A GUN BECAUSE OF A PREVIOUS PROTECTION-FROM-ABUSE ORDER. SHULTZ ATTORNEY SAYS SHE WILL FIGHT THE CHARGES. HER NEXT COURT APPEARANCE IS APRIL 5TH.

EMERGENCY LANDING

NO ONE WAS INJURED JUST AFTER 7 LAST EVENING WHEN A SMALL COMMERCIAL PLANE HEADING TO NEW YORK MADE AN EMERGENCY LANDING AT UNIVERSITY PARK AIRPORT. PENN STATE OFFICIALS SAY THE DELTA AIRLINES FLIGHT WAS HEADING FROM CLEVELAND TO LAGUARDIA AIRPORT WHEN SMOKE WAS SEEN IN THE COCKPIT. 12 PASSENGERS AND 4 CREW MEMBERS ALL MADE IT OFF THE PLANE SAFELY AND THE AIRPORT REOPENED BY AROUND 9. THE PLANE WILL BE INSPECTED FOR MALFUNCTIONS.

FIRE AT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

PORTAGE AREA SCHOOLS ARE EXPECTED TO RE-OPEN TODAY AFTER A FIRE AT THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL EARLY TUESDAY MORNING. DISTRICT OFFICIALS ESTIMATE DAMAGE AT UP TO 250-THOUSAND DOLLARS, BUT SAY IT COULD HAVE BEEN MUCH WORSE. A 30-FOOT SECTION OF ROOF AND INSULATION BURNED ALONG THE BACK WALL AND THERE IS ALSO MINOR WATER DAMAGE INSIDE THE BUILDING. A STATE POLICE FIRE MARSHAL IS INVESTIGATING THE CAUSE AND THE BLAZE IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN ELECTRICAL.

STUDENTS DUE IN COURT

19 YEAR OLD PENN STATE CHEERLEADER PAIGE RAQUE SUFFERED CRITICAL INJURIES IN OCTOBER WHEN SHE FELL 39 FEET FROM A DOWNTOWN STATE COLLEGE APARTMENT WINDOW…NOW 8 STUDENTS, INCLUDING 4 CHEERLEADERS AND ONE DANCE TEAM MEMBER, HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH SUPPLYING ALCOHOL AT THE PARTY. ACCORDING TO STATE COLLEGE-DOT-COM, 2 OF THE WOMEN WAIVED THEIR PRELIMINARY HEARINGS AND THE REST ARE DUE IN COURT TODAY. THE STUDENTS HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THEIR TEAMS AND ARE FACING POTENTIAL SANCTIONS FROM THE UNIVERSITY’S OFFICE OF STUDENT CONDUCT. RAQUE WILL NOT BE CHARGED.

FEDERAL CUTBACKS

U.S. SENATOR PAT TOOMEY OF PENNSYLVANIA AND OKLAHOMA SENATOR JAMES INHOFE SAY THEY HAVE COME UP WITH A FIX TO THE DEEP FEDERAL SPENDING CUTS SET TO HAPPEN FRIDAY. THE 2 REPUBLICANS SAY THE 85-BILLION DOLLARS IN CUTS WOULD STILL HAPPEN, BUT THEIR PLAN ALLOWS THE WHITE HOUSE TO MOVE THE CUTS AROUND WITHIN BROAD FEDERAL SPENDING CATEGORIES. THE PENTAGON STANDS TO TAKE THE BIGGEST HIT, WITH A 13-PERCENT CUT IN FUNDING, WHILE OTHER DEPARTMENTS ARE FACING A REDUCTION OF ROUGHLY 9-PERCENT. 

LT. GOV. VISITING ALTOONA

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR JIM CAWLEY WILL BE IN ALTOONA TODAY TO TALK ABOUT GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT’S BUDGET PROPOSAL. CAWLEY WILL SPEAK AT THE CASINO AT LAKEMONT PARK AT A NOON LUNCHEON SPONSORED BY THE BLAIR COUNTY CHAMBER’S LEGISLATIVE ACTION COMMITTEE.

NEW FORM OF GOVERNMENT FOR ALTOONA?

THE ALTOONA MIRROR REPORTS THAT 10 PEOPLE HAVE PICKED UP PACKETS FROM THE COUNTY ELECTIONS OFFICE TO RUN FOR THE GOVERNMENT STUDY COMMISSION THAT COULD LEAD TO A HOME RULE FORM OF GOVERNMENT FOR THE CITY. THEY INCLUDE FORMER MAYOR WAYNE HIPPO, 3 CITY EMPLOYEES, A MEMBER OF THE REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, AND LABOR LEADER BOB KUTZ. HOME RULE COULD HELP THE CITY GET OUT OF THE STATE’S DISTRESSED MUNICIPALITIES PROGRAM.

RALLY FOR NURSING HOME

THE ALTOONA MIRROR REPORTS THAT SUPPORTERS OF VALLEY VIEW NURSING HOME WILL HOLD A DEMONSTRATION TODAY AROUND NOON FOLLOWED BY A RALLY AT 3:15. BLAIR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ARE CURRENTLY REVIEWING BIDS FROM HEALTH CARE COMPANIES WHO WANT TO BUY THE FACILITY.

HIGHER PRICES AT THE PUMP

TRIPLE A FUEL GAUGE SAYS AREA DRIVERS ARE PAYING AN ADDITIONAL 6 CENTS AT THE PUMP THIS WEEK AS PRICES AVERAGE $3.84 PER GALLON IN WESTERN PA. TODAY’S NATIONAL AVERAGE IS $3.78…3-POINT-4 CENTS MORE THAN ONE WEEK AGO…43-POINT-5 CENTS MORE THAN ONE MONTH AGO…AND 9-POINT-4 CENTS MORE THAN ONE YEAR AGO. INDUSTRY EXPERTS SAY THE RECENT INCREASE HAS BEEN DRIVEN ONLY SOMEWHAT BY RISING CRUDE OIL PRICES AND INSTEAD HAS BEEN DUE TO REFINERY MAINTENANCE AND OTHER ISSUES. THIS YEAR’S REFINERY MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE AND SWITCH-OVER TO SUMMER-BLEND GASOLINE PRODUCTION APPEARS TO BE MORE DRAMATIC THAN RECENT YEARS AND IS TAKING PLACE EARLIER THAN IN 2012.