Thursday May 17 2012

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THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012

SCHOOLS WILL CLOSE

TEARS IN THE CROWD LAST NIGHT AS THE HOLLIDAYSBURG AREA SCHOOL BOARD VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO CLOSE ALLEGHENY ONE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AFTER THIS SCHOOL YEAR ENDS. OFFICIALS SAY IT WOULD COST THEM 3-POINT-5 MILLION DOLLARS TO MAKE NEEDED RENOVATIONS TO THE 58 YEAR OLD BUILDING AND ENROLLMENT IS DECLINING. MOST OF THE STUDENTS WHO CURRENTLY ATTEND ALLEGHENY ONE WILL BE MOVED TO LONGER ELEMENTARY AND A SMALLER NUMBER TO FOOT OF TEN. THE BOARD ALSO GAVE PRELIMINARY APPROVAL TO A 43-POINT-6 MILLION BUDGET THAT HOLDS MILLAGE STEADY.  A FINAL BUDGET VOTE IS SET FOR JUNE 20TH.

THE BEDFORD AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT VOTED LAST NIGHT TO CLOSE THE HYNDMAN-LONDONDERRY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. ENROLLMENT HAS DROPPED FROM ABOUT 180 STUDENTS TO JUST 40 AND DISTRICT OFFICIALS ATTRIBUTE THAT TO THE CHARTER SCHOOL THAT OPENED IN THE FORMER HYNDMAN JUNIOR SENIOR HIGH BUILDING AT THE START OF THIS SCHOOL YEAR.

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

600 JUROR NOTICES HAVE BEEN MAILED TO CENTRE COUNTY RESIDENTS FOR THE TRIAL OF JERRY SANDUSKY. JURY SELECTION IS CURRENTLY SET TO BEGIN JUNE 5TH, BUT THE DEFENSE HAS REQUESTED A DELAY. ABOUT 200 TO 220 POTENTIAL JURORS ARE EXPECTED TO APPEAR AT THE COURTHOUSE. THE OTHERS WILL HAVE ALREADY BEEN EXCUSED FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS.

JERRY SANDUSKY’S ATTORNEY IS ONCE AGAIN ASKING THE COURT TO DISMISS SOME OF THE COUNTS AGAINST THE FORMER COACH. JOE AMENDOLA ARGUES THAT SOME COUNTS ARE TOO VAGUE TO DEFEND…AND OTHERS INVOLVE ALLEGED VICTIMS WHOSE IDENTIFIED HAVE NOT BEEN DETERMINED. IN SEPARATE CASES, AMENDOLA SAYS THE CHARGES RELATED TO VICTIM 2 CANNOT BE SUSTAINED BASED ON THE TESTIMONY OF MIKE MCQUEARY AND PROSECUTORS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ESTABLISH THAT THERE WAS ANY SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A BOY LABELED AS VICTIM 6 WHO REPORTEDLY SHOWERED WITH SANDUSKY IN 1998. IN A 2000 CASE, A JANITOR CLAIMED HE WITNESSED STRANGE BEHAVIOR BY SANDUSKY, BUT THE JANITOR SUFFERS FROM DEMENTIA AND CANNOT TESTIFY.

PENN STATE HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN NOTIFIED THAT FORMER ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH MIKE MCQUEARY PLANS TO FILE A WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUIT. MCQUEARY…WHO REMAINS ON PAID ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE…IS SEEKING MONETARY DAMAGES.

ALTOONA FAMILES HOMELESS

THE AMERICAN RED CROSS IS ASSISTING 3 ALTOONA FAMILIES WHO WERE LEFT HOMELESS YESTERDAY WHEN FIRE BROKE OUT AT THE T AND R USED FURNITURE BUILDING AT 19-12 8TH AVENUE. THE STORE AND 3 UPSTAIRS APARTMENTS WERE ALL DESTROYED AND SEVERAL PETS DIED. FIREFIGHTERS BELIEVE THE ELECTRICAL BLAZE STARTED IN THE FRONT OF THE BUILDING ON THE SECOND FLOOR.THE OWNERS OF THE STORE SAY THERE IS INSURANCE ON THE BUILDING, BUT NONE ON THE CONTENTS. THE TENANTS DID NOT HAVE RENTER’S INSURANCE.

BURNED BUILDING BEING RAZED

FOLLOWING A WEEKEND FIRE, THE CITY OF ALTOONA HAS BEGUN RAZING SECTIONS OF THE FORMER RUSSO SALVAGE COMPLEX ON 31ST STREET. THE ROAD REMAINS CLOSED IN FRONT OF THE BUILDING. FIRE CHIEF RENNY SANTONE SAYS ARSON IS SUSPECTED. THERE HAVE BEEN AT LEAST 5 FIRES AT THE PROPERTY IN THE PAST YEAR. IT HAS BEEN CONDEMNED FOR YEARS.

ARSONIST PLEADS GUILTY

RATHER THAN GO TO TRIAL, ALTOONA ARSON SUSPECT TIMOTHY HUGHES YESTERDAY PLEADED GUILTY TO SETTING A FIRE LAST JUNE THAT DESTROYED A HOUSE AT 106 3RD AVENUE AND DAMAGED THE HOMES ON EITHER SIDE. THE 31YEAR OLD HUGHES ALSO PLEADED GUILTY TO 4 COUNTS OF RISKING A CATASTROPHE FOR STARTING OTHER BLAZES OVER A 3 YEAR PERIOD.
HUGHES WILL SPEND 2 TO 6 YEARS IN PRISON. A RESTITUTION HEARING IS SCHEDULED TUESDAY.

CHARGES WILL BE FILED IN 5 YEAR OLD’S DEATH

BACK ON APRIL 29TH, 5 YEAR OLD JULIAN WINTERS OF HAGERSTOWN MARYLAND WAS KILLED WHEN THE MINI-VAN HE WAS RIDING IN WAS HIT ALONG ROUTE 220 IN BEDFORD TOWNSHIP. DISTRICT ATTORNEY BILL HIGGINS SAYS TOXICOLOGY RESULTS ARE IN FOR THE OTHER DRIVER, AND HE’S PLANNING TO FILE CHARGES SOON AGAINST CORY CHILDERS OF BEDFORD. THE 23 YEAR OLD IS CURRENTLY IN THE COUNTY PRISON ON A PAROLE VIOLATION. SEVERAL OTHER PEOPLE WERE ALSO INJURED.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL TEAM FILMING A MOVIE

NEXT WEEK, 13 MEMBERS OF THE BISHOP MCCORT HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL TEAM AND THEIR COACH WILL TRAVEL FROM JOHNSTOWN TO APOLLO IN ARMSTRONG COUNTY TO FILM THEIR PART IN THE MOVIE “PROMISED LAND,” STARRING MATT DAMON. THE FILM FOCUSES ON FRACKING AND THE NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY. PRINCIPAL KENNETH SALEM TELLS THE TRIBUNE DEMOCRAT SOMEONE AFFILIATED WITH THE SCHOOL FOUND OUT THE MOVIE PRODUCERS WERE LOOKING FOR A BASKETBALL TEAM AND SENT THE TEAM’S PHOTO TO A WEBSITE. HE HAS NO IDEA WHY BISHOP MCCORT WAS SELECTED. FILMING WILL TAKE PLACE WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY.

$2 MILLION FOR FLIGHT 93 MEMORIAL
IN WASHINGTON D-C TUESDAY NIGHT, FORMER PRESIDENTS GEORGE W. BUSH AND BILL CLINTON, AS WELL AS HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, HOSTED A FUNDRAISER FOR THE FLIGHT 93 NATIONAL MEMORIAL. OFFICIALS SAY THE EVENT RAISED 2 MILLION DOLLARS, BUT ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION, 12 MILLION IS STILL NEEDED TO FINISH THE MEMORIAL NEAR SHANKSVILLE.