Wednesday, April 2 2014

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014

CLAYSBURG CRIME SPREE

GREENFIELD TOWNSHIP POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING A RASH OF BREAK-INS IN THE CLAYSBURG AREA OF BLAIR COUNTY. THE ALTOONA MIRROR SAYS THE THIEVES HAVE ENTERED EMPTY GARAGES AND CARS, SOMETIMES BREAKING IN. THEY STOLE GIFT CARDS, CASH, CAMERAS, AND VIDEO RECORDERS. LATE MONDAY NIGHT, ONE HOMEOWNER CHASED A SUSPICIOUS MAN…AND EARLY TUESDAY, ANOTHER HOMEOWNER FIRED SEVERAL WARNING SHOTS AT THE SUSPECT. HE’S DESCRIBED AS ABOUT 5-FOOT-7, WEARING A BLUE HOODED SWEATSHIRT AND BLACK PANTS.

HEARING POSTPONED IN DRIVE-BY SHOOTING

57 YEAR OLD RUSSELL SHICK OF CLEARFIELD COUNTY WAS SCHEDULED FOR A PRELIMINARY HEARING YESTERDAY IN CONNECTION WITH A DRIVE-BY BAR SHOOTING, BUT SEVERAL WITNESSES DID NOT SHOW UP…SO THE HEARING HAS BEEN POSTPONED. POLICE SAY SHICK FIRED INTO GEORGE’S TAVERN IN DYSART BACK IN OCTOBER, INJURING 31 YEAR OLD ROBERT EDGAR OF COALPORT. SHICK HAD BEEN KICKED OUT OF THE BAR EARLIER THAT NIGHT. EDGAR DIED IN FEBRUARY FOLLOWING AN ATV ACCIDENT.

HUSBAND DUE IN COURT

69 YEAR OLD ROBERT KURTZ OF ALTOONA IS IN THE BLAIR COUNTY PRISON ON ASSAULT CHARGES, WITH A PRELIMINARY HEARING SCHEDULED TODAY. HE WAS ARRESTED LAST MONTH AFTER HE ALLEGEDLY USED THE BUTT OF A RIFLE TO STRIKE HIS WIFE IN THE HEAD 3 TIMES…THEN IN THE FACE TWICE. POLICE SAY IT STARTED WHEN KURTZ’ DAUGHTER COULDN’T FIND THE MISSING CAR KEYS. HE ALLEGEDLY POINTED THE GUN AT HER AND SAID HE WAS GOING TO KILL HER. THAT’S WHEN HIS WIFE INTERVENED. BAIL IS SET AT 50-THOUSAND DOLLARS CASH.

PA’S “STEER CLEAR LAW”

STATE POLICE ARE WARNING DRIVERS ABOUT THE “STEER CLEAR LAW” WHICH IS DESIGNED TO PROTECT POLICE, EMERGENCY RESPONDERS, AND TOW TRUCK OPERATORS. WHEN YOU APPROACH A TRAFFIC STOP, TOW TRUCK RESPONDING TO A DISABLED VEHICLE, OR A CONSTRUCTION CREW…YOU MUST MOVE OVER TO THE OTHER LANE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. IF IT IS NOT POSSIBLE, YOU SHOULD PROCEED AT A REASONABLE SPEED. FAILURE TO OBEY THE LAW COULD MEAN A FINE OF UP TO 250-DOLLARS. TROOPERS WILL BE DOING TARGETED ENFORCEMENT OF THIS LAW.

PATERNO OFF THE BALLOT

JAY PATERNO’S NAME HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY REMOVED FROM THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY BALLOT FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. PATERNO ANNOUNCED HIS WITHDRAWAL FRIDAY, 2 DAYS AFTER THE DEADLINE…AND THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES SAYS THE COMMONWEALTH COURT GRANTED HIS REQUEST. 5 CANDIDATES ARE STILL SEEKING THE NOMINATION.

PENN STATE STUDENTS RALLY AT THE CAPITOL

MORE THAN 200 PENN STATE STUDENTS AND ALUMNI RALLIER IN HARRISBURG YESTERDAY, URGING LAWMAKERS TO APPROVE MORE STATE FUNDING. GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT HAS PROPOSED 214 MILLION DOLLARS, BUT THEY SAY MORE IS NEEDED TO SUBSIDIZE IN-STATE TUITION. THIS YEAR, A FRESHMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA WILL PAY 16-THOUSAND-90 DOLLARS IN TUITION. AN OUT-OF-STATE FRESHMAN WILL PAY 28-THOUSAND-664. THE STATE MUST PASS ITS BUDGET BY JUNE 30TH. NEW TUITION RATES WILL BE DECIDED ON IN JULY.

MIXED NEWS ON THE JOB FRONT

BLAIR COUNTY’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPPED 2-TENTHS OF A PERCENTAGE POINT TO LAND AT 5-POINT-8 IN FEBRUARY. SMALL DECREASES WERE ALSO REPORTED IN CAMBRIA, CENTRE, AND CLEARFIELD COUNTIES…WHILE THE JOBLESS RATE CLIMBED SLIGHTLY IN BEDFORD COUNTY…AND HELD STEADY IN HUNTINGDON COUNTY. THE STATEWIDE NUMBER IS DOWN 2-TENTHS TO 6-POINT-2…AND NATIONWIDE UNEMPLOYMENT ROSE ONE TENTH TO 6-POINT-7.

NORTH AMERICAN COMMUNICATIONS OFFICIALS SAY THE COMPANY WILL ADD UP TO 100 NEW JOBS LOCALLY BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR. THE ALTOONA MIRROR REPORTS THE DIRECT MAIL MARKETING COMPANY HAS ALREADY HIRED 58 PEOPLE SINCE SEPTEMBER. N-A-C ALSO ANNOUNCED THE LAUNCH OF ITS SUPPLIER DIVERSITY PROGRAM AND THE COMPANY IS INVITING ALL CERTIFIED MINORITY AND WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES FROM THE REGION TO PARTICIPATE.

ST. PAT’S NOT CLOSING NEXT YEAR

THERE HAVE BEEN RUMORS THAT ST PATRICK’S SCHOOL IN NEWRY WOULD BE CLOSING, BUT OFFICIALS TELL THE ALTOONA MIRROR THE SCHOOL WILL BE OPEN NEXT YEAR. AFTER THAT, PRINCIPAL JOAN KELLER SAYS THE SCHOOL’S FUTURE IS UNCERTAIN. BACK IN JANUARY, ALTOONA JOHNSTOWN CATHOLIC BISHOP MARK BARTCHAK ANNOUNCED A PLAN TO DIVIDE THE DIOCESE’S SCHOOLS INTO 4 QUADRANTS. IN FEBRUARY, OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED THE CLOSING OF ST. MARY’S SCHOOL.