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NEWS-FRIDAY, JUNE 20TH

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FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2014

ACCORDING TO BLAIR COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY RICH CONSIGLIO, THE POPULATION OF THE BLAIR COUNTY PRISON IN HOLLIDAYSBURG IS NEAR CAPACITY, DUE TO RECENT DRUG ARRESTS. A REPORT IN TODAY’S ALTOONA MIRROR SAYS THAT THE PRISON CAPACITY IS 350, BUT WHEN THE POPULATION REACHES ABOUT 340, SOME OF THE INMATES HAVE TO BE HOUSED IN THE GYMNASIUM. FIGURES PRODUCED BY THE PRISON WARDEN SHOW A TOTAL OF 340 INMATES ARE CURRENTLY JAILED, INCLUDING 276 MEN AND 64 WOMEN. OTHER ISSUES AT THE PRISON THAT ARE BEING ADDRESSED ARE HIGH OVERTIME COSTS AND UNSCHEDULED DAYS OFF BY OFFICERS. AN AFSME REPRESENTATIVE SAYS THAT THE UNION WANTS TO WORK TOGETHER WITH THE PRISON BOARD TO RESOLVE THOSE ISSUES. THE PRISON ALSO CONTINUES TO MAKE REFORMS AS SUGGESTED BY AN EARLIER REVIEW BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS.

TWO WOMEN WERE TAKEN TO MOUNT NITTANY MEDICAL CENTER YESTERDAY MORNING AFTER A TWO-VEHICLE CRASH AT THE INTERSECTION OF ROUTES 26 AND 64 IN SPRING TOWNSHIP, CENTRE COUNTY. THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES REPORTS THAT A CAR DRIVEN BY ALANNAH FLECK CROSSED THE MEDIAN AND STRUCK A MINIVAN DRIVEN BY SALLY TONER OF MINGOVILLE. AFTER BEING TAKEN TO MOUNT NITTANY MEDICAL CENTER, FLECK WAS FLOWN TO GEISINGER MEDICAL CENTER IN DANVILLE. THE ACCIDENT REMAINS UNDER INVESTIGATION.

A REPORT IN TODAY’S ALTOONA MIRROR SAYS THAT A BEDFORD COUNTY PRISON INMATE FROM FLORIDA ALLEGEDLY TRIED TO MAKE A KNIFE OUT OF A SHAMPOO BOTTLE. 25-YEAR-OLD HUGH JEFFREY GILLIAM FACES MISDEMEANOR CHARGES OF MAKING AND PROCURING A WEAPON. PRISON OFFICIALS SAY THE INCIDENT HAPPENED IN APRIL AND THAT GILLIAM HAS A HISTORY OF TRYING TO MAKE IMPROVISED WEAPONS. A PRELIMINARY HEARING FROM WEDNESDAY WAS RESCHEDULED FOR JULY 2ND.

PENNSYLVANIA HAS FILED SUIT AGAINST OIL COMPANIES IT SAYS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR POLLUTING GROUNDWATER WITH THE GASOLINE ADDITIVE M-T-B-E. THE LAWSUITS WERE FILED YESTERDAY IN PHILADELPHIA CITY COURT. PENNSYLVANIA'S ACTION COMES AFTER AN APRIL U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION UPHELD A 105-MILLION-DOLLAR JUDGMENT AGAINST EXXON FOR POLLUTING NEW YORK CITY GROUNDWATER.

FUNDING FOR “CHIP”..THE CHILDRENS HEALTH CARE PROGRAM..COULD END NEXT SEPTEMBER IS CONGRESS DOESN’T TAKE ACTION. SENATOR BOB CASEY, JUNIOR IS GATHERING SUPPORT FOR THE FUNDING TO KEEP THE PROGRAM GOING. THE PROGRAMHAS HELPED MILLIONS OF CHILDREN AND PREGNANT WOMEN SINCE 1997. IT WAS ORIGINALLY SIGNED INTO LAW IN 1992 TO HELP FAMILIES WHO WEREN’T ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE…BUT COULDN’T AFFORD HEALTH INSURANCE.

THE PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ANNOUNCED A GROUNDBREAKING PILOT PROGRAM YESTERDAY TO DISTRIBUTE MILK THROUGH LOCAL FOOD BANKS. AGRICULTURE SECRETARY GEORGE GRIEG CALLS THE PROGRAM THE FIRST STEP TO ASSURE THAT EVERYONE IN THE STATE HAS ACCESS TO MILK. GRIEG SAYS THAT THE PROGRAM WILL MAKE MILK AVAILABLE AT FOOD BANKS IN 27 COUNTIES.