Local News 7-29-14

CONDO DESIGN HALTS FIRE DAMAGE

A CONDOMINIUM UNIT AT THE GREENWICH CONDO COMPLEX IN FERGUSON TOWNSHIP CAUGHT FIRE DUE TO A LIGHTNING STRIKE LATE SUNDAY NIGHT. ALPHA FIRE COMPANY CHIEF SHAWN KAUFMAN STATED THAT THE DESIGN OF THE CONDOS HAS BEEN CREDITED WITH KEEPING THE FIRE CONTAINED TO JUST THAT ONE UNIT.

SEPARATIONS HAVE BEEN BUILT BETWEEN UNITS AT THE COMPLEX AND THOSE SEPARATIONS ARE DESIGNED TO HALT THE SPREAD OF FIRE. THE BUILDING MATERIAL PUT IN BETWEEN THE UNITS IS NOT AN ACTUAL FIREWALL, BUT FUNCTION SIMILARLY TO THEM. 

CORBETT IN HUNTINGDON

GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT MET WITH HUNTINGDON COUNTY RESIDENTS AND SURROUNDING MEMBERS OF THE AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY AT A FARM OUTSIDE TYRONE ON MONDAY. CORBETT’S MEETING OUTLINED THE FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE FACING. THE GOVERNOR INDICATED THAT THE FINANCIAL STRAIN CAN BE TRACED TO RISING PROPERTY TAXES DRIVEN BY INCREASED PENSION COSTS. 

CORBETT’S STOP IN TYRONE WAS A PLANNED EVENT IN A SERIES OF STATEWIDE MEETINGS, URGING THE STATE LEGISLATURE TO PASS MEANINGFUL PENSION REFORM LEGISLATION DESIGNED TO BRING PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENTS SOME PROPERTY TAX RELIEF. TWO HUNTINGDON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVE CITED PENSION COSTS AS SUFFICIENT REASON TO RAISE PROPERTY TAXES OVER THEIR INDEX FOR THE 2014-15 SCHOOL YEAR. 

STATE POLICE BARRACKS IN TROUBLE

ACCORDING TO A REPORT BY WTAJ, 15 PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE BARRACKS COULD BE IN DANGER OF CLOSING. THERE ARE CURRENTLY MORE THAN 500 TROOPER VACANCIES IN THE STATE AND IF THAT NUMBER EXCEEDS 600, THEN THE COLONEL OF STATE POLICE WILL LOOK TO CLOSE BARRACKS. THERE IS NO INDICATION OF WHICH BARRACKS ACROSS THE STATE WOULD BE IN DANGER OF CLOSING IF THE NUMBER OF VACANCIES DOES REACH THAT LEVEL.

FUNDING IS TO BLAME FOR THE RISK OF CLOSING DOWN BARRACKS. IT COSTS THE STATE ROUGHLY 10 MILLION DOLLARS PER CLASS OF AT LEAST 100 CADETS TO TRAIN AND ULTIMATELY ASSIGN THEM OVER A PERIOD OF SIX MONTHS. 

INTERSECTION WORK

TRAFFIC SIGNAL WORK IS SCHEDULED FOR TODAY (TUESDAY, JULY 29TH) BETWEEN 8:30 AM AND 3:30 PM AT THE INTERSECTION OF WEST WHITEHALL ROAD AND BLUE COURSE DRIVE. THE TRAFFIC SIGNAL WILL BE SHUT DOWN DURING WORK, AND FLAGGERS WILL HELP TRAFFIC NAVIGATE THROUGH THE INTERSECTION. 

LIGHTNING STRIKES IN STATE COLLEGE

THE STRONGEST ELECTRICAL STORM CENTRE COUNTY HAS SEEN IN YEARS ROLLED THROUGH THE AREA SUNDAY NIGHT. NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICIALS ESTIMATED THAT 640 STRIKES HIT THE AREA BETWEEN 7 AND 8 PM.

LIGHTNING BOLTS DAMAGED A GEISINGER LIFE FLIGHT HELICOPTER INSIDE A HANGAR AT THE UNIVERSITY PARK AIRPORT. PENN STATE’S SEWER TREATMENT PLANT WAS ALSO HIT BY LIGHTNING, WITH NO DAMAGE TO REPORT. 

ROAD CLOSED

CONTRACTORS HAVE BEEN HIRED TO BEGIN STORM SEWER WORK ON THE 700 BLOCK OF SOUTH SPARKS STREET, LOCATED BETWEEN HAMILTON AVENUE AND WESTERLY PARKWAY. THIS WORK WILL BEGIN TODAY (TUESDAY, JULY 29TH) AND CONTINUE THROUGH FRIDAY (AUGUST 1ST). WORK WILL BE DONE BETWEEN 7:00 AM AND 5:00 PM, WHICH WILL CAUSE CREWS TO CLOSE THE STREET DURING THAT TIME. SOUTH SPARKS STREET WILL BE OPEN TO LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY. 

SCASD BOARD MEETING

THE STATE COLLEGE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD DISCUSSED SEVERAL ITEMS DURING ITS REGULAR MEETING MONDAY EVENING.

DIRECTOR OF PHYSICAL PLANT ED POPRIK PRESENTED TWO VERSIONS OF THE STATE HIGH PROJECT CALENDAR BEFORE THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS. THE FIRST CALENDAR WAS DEVELOPED BY ARCHITECTS CRABTREE ROHRBAUGH AND ASSOCIATES THAT WILL PROVIDE COMMUNITY MEMBERS WITH AN OUTLINE ON STEPS AND MILESTONES FOR THE PROJECT. THE SECOND CALENDAR IS A DETAILED DOCUMENT FOR THE CORE PROJECT TEAM TO HELP MANAGE THE PROJECT.

AN UPDATE ON THE BUDGET FOR 2014-15 WAS ALSO PRESENTED BEFORE THE BOARD, INDICATING THAT THE DISTRICT CAN EXPECT TO RECEIVE APPROXIMATELY 130,000 DOLLARS MORE THAN WHAT WAS ORIGINALLY BUDGETED. 118,000 DOLLARS OF THAT WILL COME FROM BLOCK GRANT FUNDING. 

VA MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY BREAKS GROUND

BLAIR COUNTY OFFICIALS BROKE GROUND ON A NEW ADDITION TO THE JAMES E. VAN ZANDT MEDICAL CENTER IN ALTOONA ON MONDAY. THE NEW BEHAVIORAL HEALTH BUILDING WILL LOOK TO INCREASE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH AND MENTAL ILLNESS SERVICES FOR VETERANS IN THE SURROUNDING AREA. CONSTRUCTION FOR THE TWO-STORY, 24,000 SQUARE FOOT FACILITY IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED NEAT YEAR.