Friday March 16 2012

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FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

TRUCK DRIVER KILLED/STUDENTS INJURED

SOMERSET COUNTY AUTHORITIES SAY IT COULD TAKE WEEKS TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF WEDNESDAY’S FATAL HEAD-ON COLLISION BETWEEN A PEPSI TRACTOR-TRAILER AND SCHOOL BUS NEAR NEW LEXINGTON. 31 YEAR OLD ROBERT DODSON JUNIOR OF DUNCANSVILLE DIED OF BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA TO THE TORSO WHEN HIS TRUCK SWERVED INTO THE PATH OF THE BUS CARRYING 22 STUDENTS FROM THE TURKEYFOOT VALLEY AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT. THE BUS DRIVER, 63 YEAR OLD WILBERT KEMP REMAINS IN CRITICAL CONDITION…AND AN ADULT AIDE ON THE BUS, 62 YEAR OLD RICHARD EDWARDS, SUFFERED MAJOR INJURIES AS WELL. THE INJURED CHILDREN WERE TREATED AT AREA HOSPITALS. ONE REMAINS IN JOHNSTOWN’S MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER AND IS EXPECTED TO BE RELEASED TODAY.

SATURDAY JURY SELECTION?

AFTER AN 11 HOUR DAY AT THE BLAIR COUNTY COURTHOUSE, 3 MORE JURORS HAVE BEEN SELECTED TO HEAR THE DOUBLE MURDER CASE AGAINST NICHOLAS HORNER OF ALTOONA. THE JURY COUNT NOW STANDS AT 6 MEN AND 4 WOMEN. A TOTAL OF 12 ARE NEEDED, PLUS 4 ALTERNATES. IF IT DOESN’T GET FINISHED TODAY, JUDGE JOLENE KOPRIVA SAYS A SPECIAL SATURDAY SESSION WILL BE HELD SO TESTIMONY CAN BEGIN MONDAY. THE IRAQ WAR VETERAN IS FACING THE DEATH PENALTY FOR KILLING 2 MEN IN APRIL 2009.

SERIAL RAPIST IN ST. COLLEGE?

STATE COLLEGE POLICE BELIEVE ONE MAN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 3 FORCIBLE RAPES THAT OCCURRED BETWEEN AUGUST OF 2010 AND APRIL OF LAST YEAR.
INVESTIGATORS SAY THE CONNECTION WAS MADE THROUGH DNA EVIDENCE AFTER 3 DIFFERENT WOMEN REPORTED THEY WERE ATTACKED BY A COLLEGE-AGED MAN WHILE THEY WERE ALONE AND INTOXICATED. POLICE HAVE NO SUSPECTS SO FAR, BUT THEY ARE OFFERING A REWARD OF UP TO 1-THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO AN ARREST AND CONVICTION.

PENN STATE NOT BECOMING PRIVATE

IN AN EMAIL TO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS YESTERDAY, PENN STATE SPOKESWOMAN LISA POWERS SAID THE UNIVERSITY IS NOT LOOKING TO BECOMING A PRIVATE INSTITUTION, BUT IS EXPLORING HOW TO “REMAIN PUBLIC IN THE FACE OF DECLINING PUBLIC FUNDS.” EARLIER THIS WEEK, NEW BOARD OF TRUSTEES CHAIRWOMAN KAREN PEETZ TOLD THE FACULTY SENATE SHE IS INTRIGUED BY A PRIVATE-PUBLIC MODEL USED BY CORNELL UNIVERSITY. GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT HAS PROPOSED CUTTING 64 MILLION DOLLARS IN AID TO PENN STATE DURING THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR, WHICH WOULD COME ON TOP OF A 68 MILLION DOLLAR CUT THIS YEAR. MEANWHILE, PENN STATE TRUSTEES ARE MEETING TODAY IN HERSHEY, WHERE THEY ARE EXPECTED TO DISCUSS PROPOSALS TO INCREASE TRANSPARENCY. TRUSTEES HAVE BEEN UNDER FIRE FOR MONTHS FOR THEIR HANDLING OF THE CHILD SEX-ABUSE SCANDAL INVOLVING FORMER ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH JERRY SANDUSKY. TODAY’S MEETING WILL BE STREAMED LIVE BY PENN STATE PUBLIC BROADCASTING. IT BEGINS AT 1:15 WITH REMARKS FROM UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT RODNEY ERICKSON.

NEW AIRPORT CARRIER?

COLGAN AIR WANTS TO LEAVE THE ALTOONA AND JOHNSTOWN AIRPORTS WHEN CONTRACTS EXPIRE IN JUNE AND THE ALTOONA MIRROR REPORTS THAT SILVER AIRWAYS HAS FILED A PROPOSAL WITH THE U-S TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT TO TAKE OVER. SILVER WANTS 3-POINT-99 MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY THROUGH THE “ESSENTIAL AIR SERVICE” PROGRAM AND HOPES TO PROVIDE 18 FLIGHTS A WEEK TO WASHINGTON’S DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT USING A 34-SEAT AIRCRAFT. SILVER CURRENTLY ONLY FLIES INTO CLEVELAND AND JAMESTOWN NEW YORK. THEY WOULD HAVE TO REACH AN AGREEMENT WITH UNITED AIRLINES BEFORE OFFERING FLIGHTS TO DULLES.

GOOD AND BAD UNEMPLOYMENT NEWS

BLAIR COUNTY’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPPED 2-TENTHS OF A PERCENTAGE POINT TO STAND AT 6-POINT-6 PERCENT IN JANUARY. BEDFORD COUNTY’S NUMBER FELL THE SAME AMOUNT TO 8-POINT-7. CAMBRIA COUNTY DROPPED FROM 8-POINT-4 TO 8-POINT-3. THE NEWS IS NOT GOOD IN HUNTINGDON COUNTY WHERE UNEMPLOYMENT JUMPED FROM 9-POINT-1 TO 9-POINT-5. CENTRE COUNTY HELD STEADY AT 5-POINT-2. THE STATEWIDE JOBLESS NUMBER IS 7-POINT-6 AND THE NATIONAL RATE IS 8-POINT-3.

HOW’S THE GOVERNOR DOING?

MANY PENNSYLVANIANS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT’S BUDGET PLAN AND HIS APPROVAL RATING IS ON THE DECLINE. A QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY POLL RELEASED YESTERDAY SHOWS THAT 41-PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS APPROVE OF CORBETT’S JOB PERFORMANCE, DOWN FROM 47 IN DECEMBER. 41 PERCENT ALSO DISAPPROVE. A POLLING INSTITUTE SPOKESMAN SAYS VOTERS OPPOSE CUTTING FUNDING FOR PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES BY A MARGIN OF 65 TO 28-PERCENT.

D-U-I TASK FORCES READY FOR BUSY WEEKEND

IT’S ST. PATRICK’S DAY WEEKEND AND THAT OFTEN MEANS A LOT OF CELEBRATING. PENNDOT AND THE PA D-U-I ASSOCIATION ARE URGING MOTORISTS TO AVOID DRIVING IMPAIRED AND WARN THAT AREA LAW-ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AND D-U-I TASK FORCES WILL BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR DRUNK DRIVERS ALL WEEKEND. LAST YEAR ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY, THERE WERE AN ESTIMATED 39 ALCOHOL-RELATED CRASHES STATEWIDE.