Tuesday, February 7 2012

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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2012

 

PENN STATE BRACING FOR MAJOR CUTS

 

GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT WILL PROPOSE HIS MUCH-ANTICIPATED BUDGET FOR 2012-13 TODAY. IT’S EXPECTED TO TOTAL ABOUT 27-BILLION DOLLARS, APPROXIMATELY THE SAME LEVEL AS THIS YEAR.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER REPORTS THE SPENDING PLAN COULD INCLUDE A FUNDING CUT OF UP TO 30-PERCENT FOR PENN STATE, PITT, TEMPLE, AND LINCOLN UNIVERSITIES. THE SCHOOLS WERE SLASHED 19-PERCENT DURING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR.

 

HORNER JURY DISMISSED

IT’S BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD FOR THE NICHOLAS HORNER DEATH PENALTY TRIAL. THE JUDGE DECIDED YESTERDAY THAT A NEW JURY WILL BE SELECTED STARTING MARCH 12TH WITH TESTIMONY TO BEGIN THE 19TH.   THE IRAQ WAR VETERAN WAS TO STAND TRIAL IN MID-JANUARY AND 12 JURORS AND 2 ALTERNATES WERE ALREADY SEATED WHEN THE STATE SUPREME COURT HALTED THE PROCEEDINGS.  LAST WEEK, THE HIGH COURT DECIDED THE CASE COULD GO FORWARD AND THEY WOULD WAIT TO CONSIDER JUDGE JOLENE KOPRIVA’S DECISION DISALLOWING THE INSANITY DEFENSE.

SANDUSKY HEARING ON FRIDAY

JERRY SANDUSKY’S NEXT COURT HEARING IS FRIDAY, BUT HIS ATTORNEY SAYS IT’S NOT CERTAIN WHETHER THE FORMER COACH WILL ATTEND. BELLEFONTE OFFICIALS SAY DOWNTOWN STREETS WILL BE KEPT OPEN. THE ONLY CHANGE WILL BE 4 METERED PARKING SPACES ON THE HIGH STREET DIAMOND, WHICH WILL BE USED FOR SATELLITE TRUCKS AND POLICE WILL CHARGE THE MEDIA FIRMS A FEE. SOME COUNTY EMPLOYEES’ PARKING SPACES WILL ALSO BE USED FOR THE SATELLITE TRUCKS, AND THOSE EMPLOYEES WILL BE GIVEN PASSES TO PARK ELSEWHERE. SANDUSKY HOPES THE JUDGE WILL MODIFY HIS BAIL TO ALLOW HIM TO HAVE SUPERVISED VISITS WITH HIS 11 GRANDCHILDREN IN HIS COLLEGE TOWNSHIP HOME. THE HEARING MAY ALSO IINVOLVED PROSECUTORS’ REQUEST FOR AN OUT-OF-COUNTY JURY.

PARENTS DUE IN COURT

A PRELIMINARY HEARING IS SCHEDULED TODAY FOR A MOUNT UNION COUPLE ACCUSED OF ABUSING 6-WEEK-OLD TWINS. HUNTINGDON COUNTY CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES REMOVED THE BABIES, AND 2 OTHER CHILDREN, FROM THE APARTMENT OF IAN HONORAT AND SHAKIRAH SHELTON IN NOVEMBER. DOCTORS SAY ONE OF THE TWINS HAD AS MANY AS 10 HEALING RIB FRACTURES, AND THE OTHER UP TO 15 AS WELL AS OTHER INJURIES. MOUNT UNION POLICE SAY HONORAT WAS INVOLVED IN A SIMILAR CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION IN NEW YORK.

2 FIRES

CENTRE COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS SAY IT TOOK THEM ABOUT 2-AND-A-HALF HOURS TO GET A HILLSIDE WILDFIRE NEAR FILLMORE, IN BENNER TOWNSHIP, UNDER CONTROL MONDAY AFTERNOON. IT STARTED WHEN RESIDENTS BURNING GARBAGE IN A WOODED AREA IGNITED AN AEROSOL CAN. THE CAN EXPLODED AND LIT THE SURROUNDING BRUSH ON FIRE. BETWEEN 10 AND 15 ACRES OF BRUSH BURNED, WITHOUT IGNITING ANY TREES.

FIRE DESTROYED A WINDMILL TURBINE AT THE ALLEGHENY RIDGE WIND FARM ON TOP OF BLUE KNOB MOUNTAIN IN BLAIR COUNTY ABOUT 7 MONDAY MORNING. LILLY FIRE CHIEF ROBERT CRUM SAID IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO FIGHT A FIRE AT A TURBINE 250 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND, SO FIREFIGHTERS FROM BLUE KNOB SET UP A PERIMETER FOR SAFETY REASONS AND EXTINGUISHED BRUSH FIRES THAT STARTED WHEN HOT EMBERS FELL TO THE GROUND. NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED.

 

BURGLAR CANNOT WITHDRAW PLEA

 

ALEXEI SEMIONOV PLEADED GUILTY TO BEING PART OF A GANG THAT BURGLARIZED DOZENS OF BUSINESSES AND HOMES IN CENTRE COUNTY BACK IN 2010…NOW A COUNTY JUDGE HAS DECIDED THAT HE CANNOT WITHDRAW THE PLEA AND WILL BE SENTENCED IN 2 WEEKS. SEMIONOV’S ATTORNEY SAYS HE WILL APPEAL FURTHER. LAST YEAR, SEMIONOV AGREED TO TESTIFY AGAINST MAKSIM ILLARIONOV, DMITRIY LITVINOV AND ANATOLIY VERETNOV AND THEIR TRIAL ENDED IN A MISTRIAL. THEY ARE FIGHTING AGAINST A SECOND TRIAL, SAYING THAT WOULD AMOUNT TO DOUBLE JEOPARDY.

 

DEWEESE GUILTY

AT HIS CORRUPTION TRIAL, A JURY MONDAY CONVICTED FORMER STATE HOUSE SPEAKER BILL DEWEESE ON FELONY COUNTS OF CONSPIRACY, CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND 3 COUNTS OF THEFT.
HE PROMISES AN APPEAL AND PLANS TO CONTINUE HIS RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN. SENTENCING IS SCHEDULED APRIL 24, WHICH IS ALSO THE DATE OF PENNSYLVANIA’S PRIMARY ELECTION. A SPOKESMAN FOR THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE SAYS…UNDER HOUSE RULES, IF DEWEESE DOES NOT RESIGN BY THE TIME HE IS SENTENCED, A RESOLUTION CALLING FOR HIS EXPULSION WILL BE DRAFTED AND PUT TO A VOTE.

 

RECORD GAS PRICES?

 

PENNSYLVANIA GAS PRICES INCHED UP 3 CENTS FROM LAST WEEK AND THE AVERAGE IS NOW $3.56. SOME ANALYSTS ARE PREDICTING RECORD PRICES BY SPRING, BUT TRIPLE-A’S GINA TIDWELL SAYS IT WILL DEPEND ON DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND GLOBAL FINANCIAL MARKETS. ALTOONA-AREA DRIVERS ARE STILL FILLING UP FOR $3.59.