Thursday November 21 2013

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013

SMALLER BOARD OF TRUSTEES?

FOLLOWING THE SANDUSKY SCANDAL, STATE SENATOR JOHN YUDICHAK OF NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA WAS JOINED BY SENATOR JAKE CORMAN OF CENTRE COUNTY YESTERDAY IN PROPOSING CHANGES TO HOW THE PENN STATE BOARD OF TRUSTEES IS SELECTED. UNDER YUDICHAK’S MEASURE, THERE WOULD BE 25 MEMBERS, BUT ONLY 23 WOULD BE VOTING MEMBERS. THE PLAN WOULD ALLOW FOR 8 ALUMNI-ELECTED TRUSTEES, 5 GOVERNOR-APPOINTED TRUSTEES, 5 AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY-ELECTED TRUSTEES, 5 TRUSTEES APPOINTED BY A BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY TRUSTEE COMMITTEE, AND THE STATE SECRETARIES OF EDUCATION AND AGRICULTURE WHO WOULD NOT VOTE. THE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT WOULD NO LONGER SERVE ON THE BOARD.

MORE VICTIMS?

THE NON-PROFIT GROUP “ROAD TO RECOVERY” HELD A NEWS CONFERENCE IN JOHNSTOWN YESTERDAY TO URGE ANY VICTIMS OF FRANCISCAN BROTHER STEPHEN BAKER TO COME FORWARD. HE IS BELIEVED TO HAVE ABUSED HUNDREDS OF BOYS WHILE WORKING AT CATHOLIC SCHOOLS INCLUDING JOHNSTOWN’S BISHOP MCCORT. LAWSUITS CONTINUE PILING UP AGAINST THE SCHOOL AND THE ALTOONA-JOHNSTOWN DIOCESE. BAKER COMMITTED SUICIDE LAST YEAR AFTER WE LEARNED THAT HE HAD REACHED OUT OF COURT SETTLEMENTS WITH A NUMBER OF MEN IN OHIO.

TROOOPER STILL HOSPITALIZED

IN JEFFERSON COUNTY COURT YESTERDAY, KENNETH LEES JUNIOR WAIVED HIS PRELIMINARY HEARING. HE’S ACCUSED OF FLEEING FROM POLICE AFTER HIS FATHER, KENNETH SENIOR, SHOT STATE TROOPER BRADLEY WILSON AS WILSON TRIED TO SERVE A SEARCH WARRANT AT THE MEN’S BROCKWAY HOME IN LATE SEPTEMBER. LEES JUNIOR…WHO IS ALSO CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED ASSAULT BECAUSE A TROOPER WAS INJURED DURING THE CHASE…REMAINS IN THE COUNTY JAIL. THE OLDER MAN COMMITTED SUICIDE INSIDE HIS HOME. TROOPER WILSON IS STILL RECOVERING AT A PITTSBURGH HOSPITAL.

HEARING FOR ACCUSED GUNMAN

LAST MONTH, ROBERT EDGAR JUNIOR OF COALPORT WAS SHOT IN THE HIP AT GEORGE’S TAVERN IN DYSART…NOW 56 YEAR OLD RUSSELL SHICK OF BECCARIA IS SCHEDULED FOR A PRELIMINARY HEARING TODAY. SHICK WAS KICKED OUT OF THE BAR EARLIER THAT DAY FOR MAKING NASTY COMMENTS TO A BARTENDER AND THREATENING HER HUSBAND. POLICE SAY SHICK RETURNED LATER AND FIRED MULTIPLE SHOTS OUT OF HIS VEHICLE. 3 OF THEM ENTERED THE BAR. SHICK FACES 4 FELONY COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULT. HE IS FREE ON UNSECURED BAIL.

HIGH SPEED CHASE

IN BLAIR COUNTY YESTERDAY, 22 YEAR OLD CHELSEA EMERICK OF JEROME, SOMERSET COUNTY, LED FREEDOM TOWNSHIP POLICE OFFICERS ON A HIGH SPEED CHASE UNTIL SHE WAS ARRESTED ALONG I-99. COPS SAY EMERICK WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS WHEN THEY TRIED TO STOP HER ON DUNNINGS HIGHWAY. SHE IS IN THE COUNTY PRISON ON 30-THOUSAND DOLLARS BAIL WITH A PRELIMINARY HEARING SCHEDULED DECEMBER 5TH.

HIGHER GAS TAXES

THE STATE SENATE YESTERDAY APPROVED A 2-POINT-3 BILLION DOLLAR TRANSPORTATION FUNDING PROPOSAL THAT AIMS TO IMPROVE THE STATE’S DETERIORATING BRIDGES, HIGHWAYS AND MASS TRANSIT FACILITIES. AFTER FINAL APPROVAL BY THE HOUSE, GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT IS EXPECTED TO SIGN THE BILL WHICH COULD LEAVE PENNSYLVANIA WITH AMONG THE HIGHEST FUEL TAXES IN THE NATION AND HIGHER MOTORIST FEES THAT WILL RISE WITH INFLATION. TENS OF THOUSANDS OF JOBS ARE EXPECTED TO BE CREATED.

PENELEC LOCK OUT POSSIBLE

ROUGHLY 140 PENELEC WORKERS FROM ALTOONA, EBENSBURG, AND BEDFORD MIGHT BE LOCKED OUT OF WORK BECAUSE UNION LABOR NEGOTIATIONS THAT BEGAN IN MAY HAVE FAILED TO PROVIDE A NEW CONTRACT. SCOTT SURGEONER, SPOKESMAN FOR PARENT COMPANY FIRSTENERGY, SAYS MEMBERS OF THE UTILITY WORKERS UNION OF AMERICA LOCAL 180 HAVE BEEN WITHOUT A CONTRACT SINCE AUGUST 31ST. A LAST, BEST, AND FINAL CONTRACT OFFER WAS PRESENTED NOVEMBER 6TH AND, IF IT IS NOT RATIFIED BY UNION WORKERS BY 6PM SUNDAY, A LOCKOUT WILL TAKE EFFECT AT 7 MONDAY MORNING. IT WOULD BE THE FIRST TIME FIRSTENERGY EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN LOCKED OUT. UNION PRESIDENT BOB WHELAN SAYS THE NEGOTIATIONS “NOWHERE NEAR IMPASSE AND ARE PROGRESSING.”

CAR SEAT CHECK UP

STATE POLICE IN BLAIR COUNTY ARE OFFERING FREE CHILD SAFETY SEAT INSPECTIONS IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S “CLICK IT OR TICKET” PROGRAM. ONE EVENT IS TODAY FROM 3 TO 6 AT THE ALTOONA TARGET STORE.