Wednesday February 6 2013

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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2013

DEADLY SHOOTING IN JOHNSTOWN

A MAN IN LATE 20’S IS DEAD FOLLOWING A SHOOTING IN JOHNSTOWN AND A PERSON IF INTEREST IS REPORTEDLY IN CUSTODY. IT HAPPENED ABOUT 1AM AT A HOME ALONG THE 500 BLOCK OF CYPRESS AVENUE IN THE MOXHAM SECTION TOWN. THE VICTIM’S NAME HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED AND POLICE HAVE NOT COMMENTED ON A MOTIVE.

CORBETT’S BUDGET

AS PART OF HIS BUDGET PROPOSAL, GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT ANNOUNCED THAT THE STATE WON'T EXPAND THE MEDICAID PROGRAM. THE NATIONAL HEALTH REFORM LAW CALLS FOR STATES TO COVER MORE MEDICAID RECIPIENTS IN EXCHANGE FOR INCREASED FEDERAL FUNDING, BUT CORBETT SAYS THAT WOULD COST TOO MUCH, REQUIRING ALMOST 1 BILLION DOLLARS IN NEW STATE TAXES THROUGH 2016. THE SPENDING PLAN CALLS FOR 100 MILLION DOLLARS TO BE DISTRIBUTED TO PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOLS, INCREASING BUDGETS BY A LITTLE MORE THAN 1-PERCENT. HE’S ALSO RECOMMENDING PRIVATIZING THE STATE’S LIQUOR SALES. DEMOCRATIC STATE REPRESENTATIVE GARY HALUSKA OF CAMBRIA COUNTY SAYS HE’S ANGERED BY CORBETT’S PRIVATIZATION INITIATIVES – FIRST TARGETING THE LOTTERY, THEN THE LIQUOR SYSTEM. HALUSKA SAYS CORBETT IS DISMANTLING PENNSYLVANIA PIECE BY PIECE.

PENNSYLVANIA DRIVERS ARE BRACING FOR EVEN HIGHER GAS PRICES…MAYBE AN IMMEDIATE 30 CENTS PER GALLON…UNDER GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT’S PROPOSED BUDGET. HE WANTS TO RAISE 5-BILLION DOLLARS OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS FOR ROAD IMPROVEMENTS AND UPGRADES TO TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE …AND HIS IDEA IS TO ELIMINATE THE CAP ON WHOLESALE GAS PRICES. IT’S EXPECTED THAT THE INCREASE WOULD TRICKLE-DOWN TO CUSTOMERS.

ELDERLY COUPLE IDENTIFIED

BLAIR COUNTY CORONER PATTY ROSS HAS RELEASED THE NAMES OF THE COUPLE KILLED IN A MONDAY CRASH ON UNION AVENUE AT 31ST STREET. 82 YEAR OLD WALTER LYNAM AND HIS 78 YEAR OLD WIFE, PATRICIA, DIED AFTER WALTER SUFFERED A MEDICAL EVENT AND HIT THE ACCELERATOR. THEIR CAR SLAMMED INTO A PICKUP, THEN HIT A CONCRETE BRIDGE BARRIER. THE LYNAMS RECENTLY CELEBRATED THEIR 62ND WEDDING ANNIVERSARY.

MORE VICTIMS?

JUDY JONES, PRESIDENT OF THE ADVOCACY GROUP “SURVIVORS NETWORK OF THOSE ABUSED BY PRIESTS” SAYS IT HAS UNCOVERED A 1977 VICTIM OF FRANCISCAN FRIAR STEPHEN BAKER. COURT DOCUMENTS SHOW A 2006 SETTLEMENT IN MINNESOTA. BACK IN OCTOBER, BAKER SETTLED WITH 11 MEN WHO SAID THEY WERE MOLESTED IN OHIO. BAKER COMMITTED SUICIDE AT ST. BERNADINE’S MONASTERY IN HOLLIDAYSBURG LAST MONTH. SINCE THEN, DOZENS OF MEN HAVE COME FORWARD, INCLUDING SOME FORMER STUDENTS AT JOHNSTOWN’S BISHOP MCCORT HIGH SCHOOL.

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

ANOTHER PERSON HAS COME FORWARD CLAIMING HE WAS ABUSED BY JERRY SANDUSKY. WJAC TV REPORTS THAT THE ALLEGED VICTIM IS NOT FROM CENTRE COUNTY…BUT THE ABUSE OCCURRED THERE…AND IT HAS NO TIES TO THE SECOND MILE FOUNDATION. PENN STATE IS ALREADY NEGOTIATING WITH UP TO 25 VICTIMS AND TRYING TO SETTLE CIVIL SUITS.

ALTOONA MAN CHARGED WITH RAPE

23 YEAR OLD DANIEL MARKEL OF ALTOONA IS IN THE CAMBRIA COUNTY JAIL, CHARGED WITH RAPING A WOMAN HE KNOWS AT GUNPOINT IN CRESSON TOWNSHIP…THEN THREATENING TO KILL HER FAMILY IF SHE TOLD ANYONE. MARKEL ALLEGEDLY TEXTED THE WOMAN FOR A RIDE ON MONDAY NIGHT…THEN ASSAULTED HER AT THE ALLEGHENY PORTAGE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE. HE THEN MADE HER DRIVE HIM BACK TO THE LOGAN VALLEY MALL. BAIL IS SET AT 50-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

ASSAULT LAWSUIT SETTLED

THE ALTOONA MIRROR REPORTS THAT THE MANAGEMENT COMPANY THAT OPERATES VALLEY VIEW NURSING HOME HAS AGREED TO A 125-THOUSAND DOLLAR SETTLEMENT FOLLOWING THE ALLEGED ASSAULT OF AN ELDERLY PATIENT BY A WORKER. IT HAPPENED IN 2009 AND 77 YEAR OLD CHRISTINE WELSHANS WAS LEFT WITH A BADLY BRUISED EYE AND MARKS ON HER NECK. SHE DIED 2 WEEKS LATER. THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT PREVIOUSLY FOUND THE ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS UNFOUNDED AND WELHANS’ DEATH WAS RULED HEART-RELATED.

SELLING VALLEY VIEW?

BLAIR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SAY 8 DIFFERENT HEALTH CARE COMPANIES HAVE SUBMITTED BIDS TO BUY VALLEY VIEW NURSING HOME. THE NEXT STEP IS FOR THE COUNTY’S CONSULTANT TO REVIEW THE BIDS AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS. ALL OF THE BIDS CAME WITH A SECURITY DEPOSIT OF 150-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

LOCAL COMPANY EXPANDING

TIMES ARE TOUGH FOR MANY COMPANIES, BUT ABLEMARLE CHEMICAL COMPANY YESTERDAY ANNOUNCED PLANS TO SPEND 30-MILLION DOLLARS TO EXPAND ITS PLANT IN TYRONE. THE FACILITY EMPLOYS 177 PEOPLE NOW AND WILL ADD 20 WHEN THE EXPANSION IS COMPLETED. MOST OF ABLEMARLE’S CHEMICALS ARE USED BY THE AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY.

ALTOONA PUBLIC MEETING

AS REQUIRED BY LAW, ALTOONA IS HOLDING MEETINGS TO GIVE THE PUBLIC THE CHANCE TO COMMENT ON HOW THE CITY SHOULD SPEND ITS ANNUAL ENTITLEMENT FROM THE FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT. THE FIRST IS TONIGHT AT 5 IN THE 4TH FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM AT CITY HALL. A SECOND MEETING WILL BE HELD APRIL 10TH…THEN COUNCIL VOTES ON THE PLAN MAY 13TH. LAST YEAR, THE CITY RECEIVED 1-POINT-46 MILLION DOLLARS FROM THE COMMUNITY BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM…249-THOUSAND FROM THE “HOME” PROGRAM…AND 157-THOUSAND FROM THE EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT PROGRAM.

RISING GAS PRICES

WESTERN PA GAS PRICES JUMPED 12 CENTS THIS WEEK TO $3.67 PER GALLON. PRICES AROUND THE COUNTRY HAVE INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY DUE TO ESCALATING OIL PRICES, REFINERY ISSUES, AND PREPARATIONS FOR THE SWITCHOVER TO SUMMER BLENDS. TODAY’S NATIONAL AVERAGE IS $3.53, 17 CENTS MORE THAN ONE WEEK AGO…23 CENTS MORE THAN ONE MONTH AGO…AND A NICKEL MORE THAN THE AVERAGE PRICE ONE YEAR AGO. TODAY’S PRICE IS THE HIGHEST ON RECORD FOR THIS CALENDER DAY.