News for 2/22/13

Sandusky                                                                         2 22 13

 As expected, Jerry Sandusky is not giving up on a new trial. Sandusky’s lawyer, Joseph Amendola, filed a notice of appeal to the State Superior Court yesterday asking to overturn the conviction of the former Penn State defensive coordinator.

 Late last month, Senior Judge John Cleland denied the post sentencing motions of the defense team, including their argument that they did not have enough time to prepare for the trial.

 During cross examination last month, Amendola testified that his strategy probably wouldn’t have changed if the trial had been pushed back. 

McQueary………………..jrl……………2 22 13

 In a 33 page legal brief filed yesterday, Penn State reiterated that Mike McQueary’s whistleblower lawsuit against the university should be dismissed because it lacks legal merit and is too vague to support whistleblower allegations.

 McQueary is suing the university seeking 4 million dollars in punitive damages. He claims that he could not find another job coaching football due to Penn State terminating him because he cooperated with investigators in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.

 He is also accusing Penn State of defamation based on statements made by former president Graham Spanier shortly after Sandusky’s arrest where he expressed his support for administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.   

 A hearing on the universities arguments has been set for March 18 in the Centre County Courthouse.  

Corman

 Senator Jake Corman released a statement yesterday on the NCAA’s lawsuit which challenges a new Pennsylvania law designed to keep all of Penn State’s fine money in the commonwealth.

 Corman argues that the suit will delay the money from positively impacting programs and services that assist child abuse victims in the state and the NCAA clearly misrepresents Penn State as a private university. 

 He says in arguing that Pennsylvania has no role in the policy decisions of a state related institution, the organization has gone well beyond its bylaws and believes it can operate as an unchecked governing body.

 Corman feels the lawsuit is an unfortunate power grab by the NCAA, who he feels is more concerned with its own reputation and not giving the money to those who need it the most. 

Power

 Nearly 4000 people in State College lost power yesterday and traffic signals were disrupted by a circuit breaker malfunction at a substation near the intersection of South Atherton Street and University Drive.

 Customers lost power between 1:15 and 1:30. West Penn Power confirmed that power was restored to all customers by around 3pm.  

 There was also traffic accident at the intersection of Houserville Road and East College Avenue in College Township around 11:30 am yesterday which damaged a traffic signal and altered traffic patterns on State Route 26. 

Road Work

 The State College Borough Public Works Tree crew will be removing a tree on the 1300 block of South Atherton Street today between 9am and noon. Appropriate work zone signs will alert motorists and pedestrians of the immediate work areas which will require a lane closure for north bound traffic.

 Drivers and pedestrians are asked to use caution through the areas and be aware that minor delays are possible. 

Orie Melvin

 Suspended Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin and her sister Janine were found guilty on all but one count yesterday in an Allegheny County Courthouse.

 Both sisters were found guilty of felony counts of theft of services as well as criminal conspiracy, and one count each of misappropriation of state property.

 They were charged with conspiring to use Orie Melvin’s former Superior Court staff and the legislative staff of another sister, former Senator Jane Orie, to run campaigns for the Supreme Court in 2003 and 2009.

 Jane Orie is currently serving 2 ½ to 10 ½ years in prison for her conviction on illegally using her staff to work on her own campaigns. 

Bellefonte Property

 Bellefonte has reached a tentative agreement on the final property for its waterfront project. According to the Centre Daily Times, the agreement was made during a mediation hearing in Harrisburg yesterday and is expected to be cleared and signed by the Bellefonte council early next week. 

 Borough officials would like to see those properties along spring Creek between High Street and Lamb Street be transformed into a high-rise apartment complex and a boutique hotel with parking in the middle to serve both.

 Borough manager Ralph Stewart told the CDT that the acquisition will not use tax dollars, but will be paid for by a private loan and a bulk water fund.