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Wednesday January 9 2013

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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2013

S-C-I CRESSON CLOSING

IT SHOULD SAVE TAXPAYER DOLLARS WHEN THE AGING STATE PRISONS IN CRESSON AND GREENSBURG CLOSE AND A NEW FACILITY OPENS NEAR STATE COLLEGE. STATE SENATOR JOHN WOZNIAK SAYS HE LEARNED THE NEWS YESTERDAY AND CORRECTIONS SECRETARY JOHN WETZEL HAS SCHEDULED A PRESS CONFERENCE THIS MORNING. S-C-I-BENNER IN CENTRE COUNTY COST NEARLY 200 MILLION DOLLARS TO BUILD, BUT IT’S BEEN VACANT SO FAR. MOST PRISONERS FROM CRESSON AND GREENSBURG WILL BE MOVED TO BENNER AND EMPLOYEES WILL REPORTEDLY BE OFFERED JOBS AT STATE PRISONS WITHIN 50 MILES. THERE ARE ABOUT 5-HUNDRED EMPLOYEES AT S-C-I CRESSON AND APPROXIMATELY 14-HUNDRED INMATES. THERE ARE LESS THAN 1-THOUSAND INMATES AT S-C-I GREENSBURG.

BICYCLIST SERIOUSLY INJURED

STATE COLLEGE POLICE SAY A MAN SUFFERED SERIOUS FACIAL INJURIES AND WAS FLOWN TO ALTOONA REGIONAL TRAUMA CENTER AFTER HE CRASHED HIS BICYCLE THROUGH THE BACK WINDOW OF A PARKED CAR ON THE 1-THOUSAND BLOCK OF SOUTH PUGH STREET EARLY TUESDAY MORNING. THE MAN...WHO MAY HAVE BEEN INTOXICATED… MADE IT BACK TO HIS HOME ABOUT A BLOCK AWAY…THEN HE WAS FOUND BY POLICE.

HEARING IN FATAL WRECK

MATTHEW SHIRK OF BELLEFONTE IS DUE AT A PRELIMINARY HEARING TODAY ON CHARGES INCLUDING AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WHILE DRIVING DRUNK AND ACCIDENTS INVOLVING DEATH OR INJURY WHILE NOT PROPERLY LICENSED. POLICE SAY HE CRASHED IN DECEMBER 2011, KILLING 24 YEAR OLD KELLY RIDER OF PORT MATILDA AND SERIOUSLY INJURING 3 OTHERS, INCLUDING HIMSELF. SHIRK’S INSURANCE HAD LAPSED, AND HIS PICKUP WAS FIT WITH TIRES NOT DESIGNED FOR USE ON A ROADWAY.

MURDER TRIAL OPENING

12 JURORS ARE SEATED AND 2 ALTERNATES ARE STILL NEEDED BEFORE TESTIMONY CAN BEGIN IN THE CAMBRIA COUNTY MURDER TRIAL OF MARQUIS NEAL AND HIS COUSIN, ANTHONY HARVEY, BOTH OF PHILADELPHIA. POLICE SAY NEAL SHOT 21-YEAR OLD J-QUAN LEWIS OUTSIDE JOHNSTOWN’S OAKHURST HOMES IN OCTOBER 2011. HARVEY ALLEGEDLY DROVE THE GETAWAY CAR. THE TRIAL WILL BE HELD IN DOWNTOWN JOHNSTOWN RATHER THAN AT THE COURTHOUSE IN EBENSBURG, BECAUSE MOST OF THE WITNESSES ARE FROM THE CITY.

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

A JUDGE HAS ORDERED FORMER PENN STATE PRESIDENT GRAHAM SPANIER TO HAVE NO CONTACT WITH UNIVERSITY TRUSTEES WHO MAY BE WITNESSES AT HIS TRIAL, BUT HIS ATTORNEYS SAY THE ORDER IS UNJUSTIFIED, POSSIBLY EVEN UNCONSTITUTIONAL, AND SHOULD BE REVERSED. THE LAWYERS SAY SPANIER SOMETIMES RUNS INTO TRUSTEES WHILE GROCERY SHOPPING OR AT SOCIAL EVENTS. AND 2 FORMER TRUSTEES LIVE IN SPANIER’S HIGH-RISE APARTMENT BUILDING IN COLLEGE TOWNSHIP. THE DEFENSE ALSO SAYS SPANIER DOESN’T KNOW WHO MAY BE ON THE WITNESS LIST TO TESTIFY.

PENN STATE’S EXPENSES FROM THE JERRY SANDUSKY SCANDAL CONTINUE TO RISE. THROUGH OCTOBER 31ST, PENN STATE SPENT ALMOST 26 MILLION DOLLARS DEALING WITH THE FALL OUT. THE MONEY IS FOR LEGAL FEES AND PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSULTANTS. COSTS ARE EXPECTED TO BE REIMBURSED BY THE UNIVERSITY’S INSURER AND THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT IS PAYING THE 60 MILLION FINE TO THE NCAA.

NAKED BURGLAR

STATE COLLEGE POLICE ARRESTED 21 YEAR-OLD CHASE CARMODY OF SAN DIEGO EARLY YESTERDAY MORNING AFTER HE ALLEGEDLY BROKE INTO 2 APARTMENTS IN THE PALMERTON BUILDING. CARMODY WAS NAKED AT THE TIME AND WAS CHASED FROM THE FIRST APARTMENT BY THE FEMALE RESIDENT. HE THEN ENTERED ANOTHER APARTMENT AND WAS SEEN PERFORMING A LEWD ACT. CARMODY ALSO RAN FROM POLICE WHEN THEY ARRIVED. HE IS CHARGED WITH BURGLARY, CRIMINAL TRESPASS, INDECENT EXPOSURE, AND OPEN LEWDNESS.

ALTOONA’S FINANCIAL RECOVERY

THE ALTOONA MIRROR REPORTS THAT CITY OFFICIALS WILL SOON BE WORKING WITH THE ACT 47 COORDINATOR TO COME UP WITH LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS TO THE CITY’S FINANCIAL PROBLEMS. THE COORDINATOR WILL ALSO MEET PERIODICALLY WITH THE FULL CITY COUNCIL TO PROVIDE UPDATES DURING PUBLIC MEETINGS.

TURNPIKE TROUBLES

STATE AUDITOR GENERAL JACK WAGNER LEAVES OFFICE AT THE END OF THE WEEK AND WILL BE REPLACED BY EUGENE DIPASQUALE. DURING HIS FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE YESTERDAY, WAGNER URGED THAT SOMEONE PAY ATTENTION TO THE DEBT CRISIS AT THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE COMMISSION. WAGNER HAS CRITICIZED THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF THE COMMISSION AS WELL AS THE STATE’S PLAN THAT REQUIRED THE COMMISSION TO BEGIN PAYING PENNDOT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN EXCHANGE FOR THE RIGHT TO ADD TOLLS ON INTERSTATE 80. WAGNER SAYS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FORBID PENNSYLVANIA FROM TOLLING I-80, BUT THE COMMISSION HAS BEEN MAKING ITS PAYMENTS, RUNNING UP A DEBT THAT HAS EXCEEDED 8 BILLION DOLLARS. THERE HAVE BEEN OTHER PROBLEMS AS WELL…AND AUDITORS FOUND THAT TURNPIKE OFFICIALS SPENT 60-THOUSAND DOLLARS ON MEALS AND LODGING DURING THE 4-YEAR PERIOD REVIEWED.

GAS PRICES KEEP CLIMBING

WESTERN PA GAS PRICES INCREASED ANOTHER 2 CENTS OVER THE PAST WEEK TO LAND AT AN AVERAGE OF $3.52. ALTOONA-AREA-DRIVERS ARE PAYING $3.59. ACCORDING TO AAA FUEL GAUGE, ONLY 12 STATES INCLUDING PENNSYLVANIA AND WASHINGTON D-C CURRENTLY HAVE AN AVERAGE PRICE AT THE PUMP THAT IS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN ONE YEAR AGO. THESE ARE ALSO THE STATES WHERE SUPPLIES AND DISTRIBUTION WERE MOST HEAVILY IMPACTED BY HURRICANE SANDY. TODAY’S NATIONAL AVERAGE PRICE IS JUST $3.30. THAT’S 6 CENTS CHEAPER THAN ONE MONTH AGO AND 7 CENTS LESS THAN ONE YEAR AGO.

HOCKEY GAME CANCELLED

THE JOHNSTOWN TOMAHAWKS WERE SUPPOSED TO PLAY 9 MEMBERS OF THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS TONIGHT AT THE CAMBRIA COUNTY WAR MEMORIAL IN A CHARITY EVENT, BUT IT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. THE PENS WILL BEGIN TRAINING CAMP AS SOON AS SUNDAY…AND OFFICIALS ALSO CITE INSURANCE CONCERNS OVER POTENTIAL PLAYER INJURIES. REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN TO FANS WHO BOUGHT TICKETS TO THE SOLD-OUT EVENT, BEGINNING MONDAY.