Tuesday February 11 2014

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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2014

NURSES STRIKING

ABOUT 800 REGISTERED NURSES AT UPMC ALTOONA ARE SCHEDULED TO BEGIN A ONE-DAY STRIKE AT 7AM. AT A NEWS CONFERENCE YESTERDAY, HOSPITAL CEO AND PRESIDENT JERRY MURRAY SAID UPMC HAS BROUGHT IN 279 REPLACEMENT NURSES AND OFFICIALS EXPECT ABOUT A QUARTER OF THE UNION RNS TO CROSS THE PICKET LINE. THE HOSPITAL SAYS EXTRA SECURITY WILL BE ON DUTY AND THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT WILL MAKE SURE CORRECT PROCEDURES ARE BEING FOLLOWED. NURSES SAY THE MAIN ISSUES OF CHANGES IN STAFFING AND BENEFITS. BOB KUTZ, PRESIDENT OF THE BLAIR/BEDFORD CENTRAL LABOR COUNCIL, TELLS THE ALTOONA MIRROR THAT ALLIES OF THE SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION WILL ATTEND A RALLY WITH THE STRIKERS TODAY AT NOON IN FRONT OF THE HOSPITAL. A VIGIL IS ALSO SCHEDULED FOR 5:30PM.

BOMB SUSPECT COULD BE RELEASED

IN JOHNSTOWN’S FEDERAL COURT YESTERDAY, THE JUDGE RULED THAT YEAR OLD PENN STATE ALTOONA STUDENT VLADISLAV MIFTAKHOV SHOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR BAIL, BUT HE DID NOT SET A BAIL AMOUNT, AND THE PROSECUTION PLANS TO APPEAL. THE RUSSIAN NATIVE WAS ARRESTED LAST MONTH WHEN POLICE FOUND EXPLOSIVE DEVICES AND BOMB MAKING MATERIALS INSIDE HIS JUNIATA APARTMENT. MITAKHOV CLAIMS HE WAS JUST GOING TO BLOW THEM UP IN A FIELD AND DIDN’T PLAN TO HURT ANYONE. THE CASE WAS HELD OVER FOR TRIAL AT YESTERDAY’S PRELIMINARY HEARING.

SHOTS FIRED

FREEDOM TOWNSHIP POLICE TELL THE ALTOONA MIRROR THAT 28 YEAR OLD TRAVIS ZETH OF EAST FREEDOM IS IN THE BLAIR COUNTY PRISON AFTER HE ALLEGEDLY FIRED A SHOTGUN AT HIS NEIGHBORS’ HOUSE MONDAY. HE HIT THE ROOF AND THE SIDE OF THE HOUSE, BUT THE MAN AND WOMAN INSIDE WERE NOT INJURED. ZETH LEFT A NOTE ON THE NEIGHBORS’ CAR, ACCUSING THEM OF REPEATEDLY ENTERING HIS HOME AND THREATENING TO KILL THEM IF IT HAPPENED AGAIN. POLICE SAY THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF A BREAK-IN. COPS FOUND VARIOUS DRUGS AND PARAPHERNALIA IN 2 HOMES WERE ZETH STAYS.

BUS CRASHES

4 PEOPLE REMAIN HOSPITALIZED IN STABLE CONDITION AFTER SUNDAY’S TOUR BUS CRASH NEAR CENTERVILLE, BEDFORD COUNTY. MORE THAN 30 PEOPLE WERE TRAVELING FROM ALTOONA TO ROCKY GAP CASINO IN MARYLAND WHEN THE BUS RAN OFF A SNOW-COVERED ROUTE 220. OFFICIALS SAY SPEED WAS A FACTOR AND ONE OF THOSE HOSPITALIZED IS THE DRIVER, 65 YEAR OLD TERRENCE SHULTZ OF ALTOONA.

FIRES

A DOG DIED YESTERDAY WHEN FIRE BROKE OUT AT 213 51ST STREET IN ALTOONA. ALTOONA FIRE CAPTAIN STEVE OSMOLINSKI TELLS THE ALTOONA MIRROR THE BLAZE BEGAN IN A BASEMENT EXTENSION TO THE FIRST FLOOR. NO ONE WAS HOME AT THE TIME. NO WORD ON THE EXTENT OF DAMAGE.

CAMBRIA COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS BATTLED A FIRE AT A HOME ON MAIN STREET IN VINTONDALE STARTING ABOUT 9:15 LAST NIGHT. NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED…AND NO OTHER DETAILS HAVE BEEN RELEASED.

GRICAR INVESTIGATION

FORMER CENTRE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY RAY GRICAR DISAPPEARED IN APRIL OF 2005 AND WAS DECLARED LEGALLY DEAD IN 2011…NOW…AT THE REQUEST OF BELLEFONTE BORO POLICE…THE STATE POLICE MAJOR CASE SQUAD FROM THE ROCKVIEW AND LEWISTOWN BARRACKS WILL TAKE OVER THE INVESTIGATION. TROOPER JEFF PETUCCI SAYS OTHER AGENCIES WILL CONTINUE TO BE INVOLVED, BUT NEW TIPS AND OVERSIGHT WILL BECOME THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STATE. GRICAR’S CAR WAS FOUND IN LEWISBURG THE DAY AFTER HE WAS REPORTED MISSING, AND HIS COMPUTER WAS RECOVERED FROM THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER 3 MONTHS LATER. INVESTIGATORS WERE NOT ABLE TO GET ANY INFORMATION FROM IT.

MORE ALTOONA BREAK-INS

ACCORDING TO A FACEBOOK POST, ALTOONA POLICE CONTINUE TO HAVE AN INCREASED NUMBER OF THEFTS FROM MOTOR VEHICLES OCCURRING THROUGHOUT THE CITY. THE THEFTS ARE OCCURRING IN THE LATE EVENING OR EARLY MORNING HOURS. SOMETIMES, THE THIEF ENTERED AN UNLOCKED CAR…OR ELSE BREAKS A WINDOW THEN STEALS EVERYTHING FROM LOOSE CHANGE TO FIREARMS AND ELECTRONICS. WITNESSES DESCRIBE A VERY TALL WHITE MALE AND FOOTPRINTS LEFT AT THE SCENE INDICATE THAT HE WEARS A MEN'S SIZE 12 OR 13 SHOE. SEVERAL RESIDENCES HAVE ALSO BEEN ENTERED USING A GARAGE DOOR OPENER LEFT INSIDE THE VEHICLE. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION SHOULD CALL POLICE AT 949-24-89 OR PRIVATE MESSAGE APD FACEBOOK.