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Tuesday December 31 2013

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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2013

LOSING BILL O’BRIEN?

ESPN IS REPORTING THAT PENN STATE FOOTBALL COACH BILL O’BRIEN IS EXPECTED TO BE NAMED THE NEXT COACH OF THE HOUSTON TEXANS AND AN ANNOUNCEMENT COULD BE MADE TODAY. TEAM OFFICIALS REPORTEDLY VISITED O’BRIEN AT HIS HOME IN CAPE COD AFTER CHRISTMAS. O’BRIEN JUST FINISHED HIS SECOND SEASON WITH THE NITTANY LIONS, LEADING PENN STATE TO A 15 AND 9 RECORD IN THAT TIME. THERE HAS BEEN NO COMMENT FROM O’BRIEN OR PENN STATE.

2 KILLED

2 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN NEWRY, BLAIR COUNTY, WHEN THEIR S-U-V CRASHED ALONG ROUTE 220. FREEDOM TOWNSHIP POLICE SAY THE VEHICLE, DRIVEN BY 30 YEAR OLD DUSTIN CLAYCOMB OF CLAYSBURG, HIT A UTILITY POLE, THEN ROLLED OVER SEVERAL TIMES. CLAYCOMB’S BODY…AND THAT OF HIS PASSENGER, 21 YEAR OLD PAIGE MUSSLEMAN, ALSO OF CLAYSBURG, WERE PULLED FROM POPLAR RUN OFF OF ROUTE 764. THE VEHICLE WAS SPOTTED AROUND 7 MONDAY MORNING, BUT AUTHORITIES THINK THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED AROUND 2:30AM. A CHILD SAFETY SEAT WAS IN THE VEHICLE, BUT POLICE SAY THERE WAS NOT A CHILD RIDING ALONG.

HUNTER’S DEATH

42 YEAR OLD HUNTER TIMOTHY BRUCE OF ASHVILLE WAS KILLED DURING DEER SEASON ON DECEMBER 7TH AND THE CAMBRIA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE AND GAME COMMISSION OFFICIALS ARE TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED TO RELEASE MORE DETAILS ON THURSDAY. AUTHORITIES PREVIOUSLY SAID BRUCE WAS WITH A GROUP OF HUNTERS IN ADAMS TOWNSHIP. THEY SPOTTED SOME DEER AND SEVERAL MEN STARTED SHOOTING. ONE OF THE BULLETS STRUCK BRUCE IN THE ABDOMEN. THE DEATH HAS BEEN RULED ACCIDENTIAL, BUT OFFICIALS MUST STILL DECIDE IF THE SHOT WAS FIRED WITH CARELESSNESS OR NEGLIGENCE. CHARGES ARE POSSIBLE AND THE SHOOTER COULD FACE UP TO 18 MONTHS IN PRISON AND FINE OF UP TO 10-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

KILLER WANTS PAROLE

LAST YEAR, THE U-S SUPREME COURT FOUND IT WAS A VIOLATION OF THE 8TH AMENDMENT COVERING CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT TO IMPOSE AN AUTOMATIC LIFE-WITHOUT-PAROLE SENTENCE OF A JUVENILE WHO COMMITTED MURDER. NOW, THE ALTOONA MIRROR REPORTS THAT LEONARD BOCCHICCHIO IS ASKING FOR PAROLE. BOCCHICCHIO WAS 17 IN 1980 WHEN HE BLUDGEONED THE OWNER OF THE PENN CLASSIC BOWLING ALLEY IN LOGAN TOWNSHIP. HE WAS CONVICTED A FEW YEARS LATER AND IS NOW 50 YEARS OLD, SERVING HIS TIME AT THE STATE PRISON AT HOUTZDALE. THE SUPREME COURT DECISION DOESN’T MENTION PAST CASES AND THE STATE SUPREME COURT HAS SAID THE RULING DOESN’T APPLY.

CAMBRIA COUNTY MONEY TROUBLE

CAMBRIA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SAY TWO 5 MILLION DOLLAR LOANS WILL ALLOW THE COUNTY TO PAY ITS BILLS AND REMAIN CURRENT UNTIL 2014 PROPERTY TAX REVENUES START ROLLING IN. BUT, ACCORDING TO THE TRIBUNE DEMOCRAT, A CONTROVERSIAL LONG-TERM 10-MILLION-PLUS REFINANCING PACKAGE IS STILL IN THE WORKS. YESTERDAY, COMMISSIONERS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A 5 MILLION TAX-ANTICIPATION LOAN DURING A SPECIAL MEETING. THE INTEREST RATE OF 1-POINT-29 PERCENT WAS LOWER THAN THE RATE FOR LAST YEAR’S 10 MILLION DOLLAR TAX-ANTICIPATION LOAN. THE FIRST HALF OF LAST YEAR’S LOAN WAS PAID OFF BY JULY, AND OFFICIALS PLAN TO DO THE SAME THIS YEAR. PAPERWORK WILL BE FINALIZED THURSDAY FOR ANOTHER 5 MILLION DOLLAR LOAN APPROVED EARLIER THIS MONTH.

DEALING WITH THE FLU

AS THE YEAR DRAWS TO A CLOSE, THE FLU VIRUS IS CONSIDERED TO BE WIDESPREAD IN PENNSYLVANIA… AND BLAIR COUNTY HAS THE MOST INFLUENZA CASES IN THE STATE. HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS SAY THERE ARE 79 CONFIRMED CASES. CAMBRIA COUNTY HAS 24…SOMERSET COUNTY 18. 15 IN CLEARFIELD COUNTY…AND HUNTINGDON COUNTY HAS 13 CONFIRMED CASES OF THE FLU. DOCTORS SAY THE BEST WAY TO AVOID THE FLU IS TO WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY AND AVOID PEOPLE WHO ALREADY HAVE IT.

HIGHER NATURAL GAS BILLS

THE NEW YEAR WILL MEAN HIGHER GAS RATES FOR PEOPLES NATURAL GAS CUSTOMERS. STARTING TOMORROW, THE RECOVERY RATE WILL INCREASE FROM $4.32 PER 1-THOUSAND CUBIC FEET TO $5.11. AFTER 2 STRAIGHT QUARTERS OF DECREASES, COMPANY OFFICIALS SAY THE HIKE WILL BRING THE AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMER’S BILL UP FROM 75-DOLLARS TO $81.60.

6TH IN POPULATION

PENNSYLVANIA IS STILL THE 6TH MOST POPULOUS STATE. THE U-S CENSUS BUREAU RELEASED FIGURES YESTERDAY, WHICH SHOWED THE STATE'S POPULATION GROWTH HAS SLOWED BUT IS STILL LARGE ENOUGH TO KEEP PENNSYLVANIA AT NUMBER 6 BEHIND CALIFORNIA, TEXAS, NEW YORK, FLORIDA AND ILLINOIS. THE CENSUS SAYS THE STATE'S POPULATION INCREASED BY JUST OVER 9-THOUSAND PEOPLE BETWEEN JULY OF 2012 AND JULY OF 2013.

STAY SAFE THIS NEW YEAR’S EVE!

STATE POLICE ARE INCREASING PATROLS OVER THE NEW YEAR’S DAY HOLIDAY…ENFORCING SPEEDING, AGGRESSIVE DRIVING, AND SEATBELT LAWS. OFFICERS WILL ALSO BE CONDUCTING DUI CHECKPOINTS BEGINNING NEW YEAR’S EVE, TONIGHT. FREE CAB RIDES HOME HAVE BEEN OFFERED FOR MANY A NEW YEAR’S EVE IN THE ALTOONA AREA…AND THE PROGRAM IS EXPANDING TO THE JOHNSTOWN AREA THIS YEAR. TO TAKE A CAB HOME TONIGHT IN THE JOHNSTOWN AREA, CALL 535-45-84 BETWEEN 10PM AND 3AM. FOR BLAIR COUNTY PARTIERS, YOU CAN GET A FREE RIDE HOME BY CALLING 947-68-05 BETWEEN 10 AND 3.

FIRST NIGHT STATE COLLEGE

PREPARATIONS ARE UNDERWAY FOR FIRST NIGHT STATE COLLEGE AND ACTIVITIES ARE SCHEDULED FROM 10 THIS MORNING UNTIL WE RING IN THE NEW YEAR AT MIDNIGHT. THIS IS THE 20TH YEAR FOR FIRST NIGHT…A FAMILY-ORIENTED, ALCOHOL-FREE, ART- AND MUSIC-CENTERED EVENT. THE TRADEMARK ICE SCULPTURES WILL BE SET UP ON SOUTH ALLEN STREET AND AT SIDNEY FRIEDMAN PARK. YOU CAN CHECK OUT THE FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS AT FIRSTNIGHTSTATECOLLEGE.COM