Tuesday June 19 2012

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TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2012

SANDUSKY TRIAL

THE MOTHER OF ACCUSER 9 WRAPPED UP THE PROSECUTIONS’S TESTIMONY MONDAY AT THE JERRY SANDUSKY TRIAL…TELLING THE JURY THAT SHE FELT BAD FOR ENCOURAGING HER SON TO SPEND TIME WITH SANDUSKY WHO HE MET THROUGH THE SECOND MILE. THE WOMAN CLAIMS HER SON WOULD SPEND WEEKENDS WITH SANDUSKY, THEN HIDE OR THROW AWAY HIS UNDERWEAR. AFTER SEVERAL YEARS, HER SON REFUSED TO GO WITH SANDUSKY ANYMORE. THE DEFENSE BEGAN WITH TESTIMONY FROM 2 FORMER COACHES WHO SAID OTHER ADULT MALES SHOWERED WITH BOYS, BUT THEY NEVER WITNESSED ANYTHING ILLEGAL. THE DEFENSE IS EXPECTED TO REST ITS CASE AROUND NOON WEDNESDAY. REBUTTAL TESTIMONY COULD FOLLOW…THEN CLOSING ARGUMENTS THURSDAY. THE JURY WILL BE SEQUESTERED IN A HOTEL AS DELIBERATION BEGINS.

JUDGE JOHN CLELAND YESTERDAY ALLOWED ONE 3RD-DEGREE FELONY CHARGE TO BE DROPPED. IT INVOLVED SO-CALLED VICTIM 7, BUT THE PROSECUTION WAS NOT ABLE TO PIN DOWN THE EXACT TIMELIME. THE JUDGE REFUSED MORE DEFENSE MOTIONS TO DROP THE ENTIRE CASE.

FATAL FIRE

A FATAL FIRE OVERNIGHT IN CAMBRIA COUNTY. AUTHORITIES SAY THE BODY OF A YOUNG MAN WAS FOUND IN A BURNING APARTMENT ON THE 200 BLOCK OF TANNER STREET IN EBENSBURG. THE BLAZE BROKE OUT AROUND 2AM. NEIGHBORS SAY THE MAN AND HIS GIRLFRIEND HAD JUST MOVED IN. SHE ESCAPED SAFELY. THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES.

VICTIM IDENTIFIED

FEW DETAILS HAVE BEEN RELEASED ABOUT A DEADLY HEAD-ON CRASH SUNDAY NIGHT ON ROUTE 219 IN CAMBRIA COUNTY. POLICE SAY 41-YEAR-OLD JOHN FARABAUGH OF CARROLLTOWN WAS KILLED WHEN HIS CAR SLAMMED INTO ANOTHER CAR. NO WORD IF ANYONE ELSE WAS INJURED.

ACCUSED ROBBERS ARE ON TRIAL AGAIN

MAKSIM ILLARIONOV, DMITRIY LITVINOV, AND ANATOLI VERETNOV WENT ON TRIAL YESTERDAY AT THE CENTRE COUNTY COURTHOUSE ANNEX. A FORMER PRISONER AT THE CENTRE COUNTY JAIL TESTIFIED THAT LITVINOV BRAGGED ABOUT COMMITTING A STRING OF ROBBERIES AND A CARJACKING IN 2009 AND 2010. THE TRIAL IS SLATED TO CONTINUE THROUGH JUNE 27TH. THE MEN’S FIRST ONE ENDED IN A MIS-TRIAL WHEN A 4TH DEFENDANT PLEADED GUILTY.

ACCUSED DRUG DEALERS DUE IN COURT

A MAJOR DRUG BUST IN BLAIR COUNTY LAST WEEK…AND PRELIMINARY HEARINGS ARE SCHEDULED TODAY FOR JOSEPH CASTRO OF ROARING SPRING AND NICHOLE RANKIN AND PETER DONATO, BOTH OF TIRE HILL. THE DRUG TASK FORCE RECEIVED INFORMATION FROM THE F-B-I THAT A COURIER WAS TRANSPORTING A LARGE AMOUNT OF HEROIN TO ROARING SPRING. THEY SEIZED MORE THAN 6-THOUSAND BAGS OF HEROIN WITH A STREET VALUE OF OVER 180-THOUSAND DOLLARS. THEY ALSO NABBED 5 HANDGUNS, 13 RIFLES, 8 SHOTGUNS…2 OF THEM SAWED OFF…MARIJUANA, SCALES, DRUG PARAPHERNALIA, AND 16-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN CASH. ALL 3 SUSPECTS ARE IN THE BLAIR COUNTY PRISON.

PRELIMINARY HEARINGS SCHEDULED TODAY FOR 2 CAMBRIA COUNTY DRUG SUSPECTS ARRESTED LAST WEEK AT THE EBENSBURG COMFORT INN. POLICE SAY A HOUSEKEEPER FOUND A SUSPICIOUS POWDERY SUBSTANCE IN A ROOM AND CALLED THE POLICE WHO SEIZED 29-THOUSAND DOLLARS WORTH OF BATH SALTS, METHADONE, VARIOUS DRUG-MAKING MATERIALS, AND 25-HUNDRED DOLLARS IN CASH. 28 YEAR OLD MELISSA MENTZER OF SUMMERHILL AND 38 YEAR OLD JOSEPH FRAZIER OF DUNCANSVILLE ARE IN THE COUNTY JAIL.

ALTOONA’S RECOVERY

THE CITY OF ALTOONA DOESN’T WANT TO REMAIN IN THE STATE’S DISTRESSED MUNICIPALITIES PROGRAM FOR LONG…AND OFFICIALS MET FOR THE FIRST TIME LAST NIGHT WITH THE TEAM HIRED TO COME UP WITH A RECOVERY PLAN. A DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SPOKESMAN TELLS THE ALTOONA MIRROR THE KEY WILL BE GROWING THE TAX BASE…PARTLY THROUGH PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS, DISCIPLINED FISCAL MANAGEMENT, AND A NEW NEGOTIATING STRATEGY WITH UNIONS.

SCHOOL BUDGETS APPROVED

THE ALTOONA AREA SCHOOL BOARD LAST NIGHT PASSED AN 88-POINT-4 MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET FOR THE COMING SCHOOL YEAR. IT INCLUDES NO TAX INCREASES, BUT USES FINANCIAL RESERVES TO COVER A 2-POINT-8 MILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT.

THE SPRING COVE SCHOOL BOARD APPROVED A 2-POINT-49 MILL TAX HIKE AT LAST NIGHT’S MEETING. THE BUDGET TOTALS 22-POINT-5 MILLION DOLLARS AND THE TAX HIKE WILL COST THE AVERAGE PROPERTY OWNER A LITTLE LESS THAN 26 DOLLARS.

SOME CASINOS MAKING MONEY

STATE GAMING OFFICIALS SAY REVENUE FROM TABLE GAMES WAS UP 7-POINT-4 PERCENT LAST MONTH WHEN COMPARED WITH MAY 2011. THAT INCREASE IS BOOSTED BY PLAY AT VALLEY FORGE CASINO RESORT, WHICH OPENED IN MARCH. TABLE GAMES BROUGHT IN 55-POINT-2 MILLION DOLLARS IN GROSS REVENUE LAST MONTH, UP FROM 51-POINT-4 MILLION DURING THE SAME PERIOD LAST YEAR. SEVERAL CASINOS, HOWEVER, SAW DECLINES IN THEIR NUMBERS.