News for Feb. 3 2012

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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2012

 

DOUBLE MURDER TRIAL CAN RESUME

 

THE BLAIR COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE LEARNED YESTERDAY THAT THE STATE SUPREME COURT HAS DENIED THE DEFENSE’S MOTION AND LIFTED A STAY, ALLOWING THE NICOLAS HORNER DOUBLE MURDER TRIAL TO RESUME. THE HIGH COURT DECIDED NOT TO CONSIDER BLAIR COUNTY JUDGE JOLENE KOPRIVA’S RULING THAT DISALLOWED AN INSANITY DEFENSE. INSTEAD, THE JUDGES PUT OFF CONSIDERATION OF HER OPINION UNTIL A POST-TRIAL APPEAL IF THE IRAQ WAR VETERAN IS CONVICTED OF KILLING 2 PEOPLE AND WOUNDING A 3RD IN A SHOOTING THAT STARTED AT THE 58TH STREET SUBWAY RESTAURANT IN 2009. HORNER’S ATTORNEY TOM DICKEY SAYS HE SUFFERS FROM POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER AND HE WILL CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR THE INSANITY DEFENSE, EVEN IF THAT MEANS APPEALING A CONVICTION. 12 JURORS AND 2 ALTERNATES HAVE ALREADY BEEN SEATED. LAWYERS WILL INTERVIEW THEM AGAIN TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE STILL IMPARTIAL. NO TIMETABLE HAS BEEN SET TO RESUME THE TRIAL.


2 MEN DIE IN CRASHES


JOHN PAUL RICHARDSON OF WILLIAMSBURG DIED IN A WRECK SHORTLY BEFORE 8 LAST NIGHT ALONG I-99 IN GREENFIELD TOWNSHIP, BLAIR COUNTY. STATE POLICE SAY RICHARDSON’S SPEEDING PICKUP LEFT THE HIGHWAY AND CRASHED, EJECTING HIM FROM THE VEHICLE. RICHARDSON WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE AND THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES.

28-YEAR-OLD JOSHUA BERKEY OF SOMERSET WAS KILLED YESTERDAY MORNING WHEN HIS S-U-V RAN OFF ROUTE 653, HIT A DRAINAGE DITCH AND ROLLED OVER. STATE POLICE SAY BERKEY WAS NOT WEARING A SEATBELT AND WAS EJECTED. HIS 9-MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER WAS SECURED IN A CHILD SAFETY SEAT AND SUFFERED MINOR INJURIES.

MORE SUICIDES IN BLAIR COUNTY

 

BLAIR COUNTY CORONER PATTY ROSS SAYS HER OFFICE INVESTIGATED 22 SUICIDES IN 2011, INCLUDING 2 MURDER/SUICIDES. ROSS IS WORKING WITH A SUICIDE-PREVENTION TASK FORCE TO HELP EDUCATE RESIDENTS ABOUT WHERE TO GET HELP FOR DEPRESSION. THE CORONER’S OFFICE ALSO HANDLED 2 HOMICIDES, 27 DRUG-RELATED DEATHS, 15 MOTOR-VEHICLE FATALITIES, AND 19 FATAL FALLS.

 

ANOTHER SERVICE FOR JOE-PA

 

A MEMORIAL MASS FOR JOE PATERNO WILL BE HELD WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15TH, AT THE CATHEDRAL PARISH OF SAINT PATRICK IN HARRISBURG. THE PATRIOT NEWS REPORTS THAT SCOTT PATERNO WILL MAKE REMARKS ON BEHALF OF HIS FAMILY AT THE 4PM SERVICE. THERE WILL BE RESERVED SEATING FOR FAMILY, FORMER MEMBERS OF THE NITTANY LION FOOTBALL TEAM, AND ELECTED OFFICIALS.

 

SANDUSKY TRIAL WILL BE IN BELLEFONTE

 

NEITHER THE PROSECUTION NOR THE DEFENSE ASKED THAT THE JERRY SANDUSKY TRIAL BE MOVED OUT OF CENTRE COUNTY BEFORE THIS WEEK’S DEADLINE, SO IT WILL STAY IN BELLEFONTE. THE DEFENSE IS HOPING FOR A CENTRE COUNTY JURY, BUT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE HAS REQUESTED AN OUT-OF-COUTY JURY. THE TRIAL COULD START THIS SUMMER AND SOME BELLEFONTE BUSINESS OWNERS AND RESIDENTS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT ALL THE PROBLEMS IT WILL CAUSE WITH TRAFFIC AND MEDIA. AUTHORITIES SAY THEY’RE ALREADY WORKING TO FIGURE OUT THE LOGISTICS.

 

N-D-I-C IS CLOSING

 

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK THAT JOHNSTOWN’S NATIONAL DRUG INTELLIGENCE CENTER WILL CLOSE ITS DOORS, AFFECTING ABOUT 100 EMPLOYEES. U-S SENATOR BOB CASEY SAY THE DECISION IS 100-PERCENT WRONG BECAUSE THE NDIC HAS PLAYED A CRUCIAL ROLE IN FIGHTING DRUG TRAFFICKING AND GANG VIOLENCE IN PENNSYLVANIA AND THROUGHOUT THE NATION. CASEY PLANS TO WORK WITH SENATOR PAT TOOMEY AND CONGRESSMAN MARK CRITZ TO HELP THE WORKERS IMPACTED BY THE CLOSURE.

 

PENNSYLVANIA’S MONEY SITUATION

 

STATE REVENUES LAGGED BEHIND EXPECTATIONS AGAIN IN JANUARY, BUT THERE ARE SOME BRIGHT SPOTS. GENERAL FUND COLLECTIONS FINISHED THE MONTH 10 MILLION DOLLARS BELOW ESTIMATES, ONE OF THE SMALLEST MONTHLY SHORTFALLS OF THE FISCAL YEAR. SALES TAXES CAME IN 8-POINT-8 PERCENT HIGHER THAN EXPECTED. INDEPENDENT FISCAL OFFICE DIRECTOR MATT KNITTEL SAYS THE NUMBERS SUGGEST IMPROVEMENT IN CONSUMER CONFIDENCE.