Archives for February 2014

Man With Weapon Arrested At Library

Police rushed to a local library Thursday afternoon to look for a man with a gun.
When they arrived at the Altoona Public Library, Altoona officers were directed to a man in the computer section.
After removing the weapon from the man’s waistband, without incident, the man was arrested and taken into custody on several outstanding warrants.
The investigation into that case of an armed man at the Altoona Library yesterday continues today.

More On Trooper Shooting Case

More information about what exactly happened when a Trooper was shot in Jefferson County back in September is now being released.
State Police say they were serving a warrant at a home on Cemetery Hill Road in Brockway, when Trooper Brad Wilson was shot.
Police had been investigating drug activity at the house for several weeks, and they had found evidence of meth production.
When they went to serve the search warrant, the owner, Kenneth Lees Sr. shot Trooper Wilson, then barricaded himself inside the house, where he later killed himself.
His son, Kenneth Lees Jr. was taken into custody, that same night.
Yesterday, more charges were added to his already long list including manufacturing meth.
Police say the elder Lees apparently needed more money and since Junior was in school for chemistry, he used his knowledge to allegedly make meth and ecstasy.

Sue Paterno Hospitalized

Sue Paterno, the widow of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, was rushed to the hospital after a fall Thursday.
According to WTAJ-TV, a family spokesperson says that Sue Paterno fell on campus while going to a memorial service. She was taken to the hospital for observation and is expected to be released within a day or two.

VA Facility Plans Expansion

The VA Medical Facility in Altoona announced yesterday that they plan to break ground this summer on a $10 Million dollar behavior health facility this summer. The James E. Van Zandt Medical Center will use the new facility to help vets overcome more than the physical scars of battle. Facility Direct William Mills told WTAJ that the VA also plans to expand its clinics in Johnstown and State College, essentially doubling the square footage of of those facilities. And by the end of the year, will have two new clinics for veterans, those slated for construction in Indiana and Huntingdon Counties. There are an estimated 50,000 Veterans serviced by the VA in Central PA.

Fatal Accident on Cross Cove Road

One person died and at least one person was injured in a three-car collission in icy conditions on Cross Cove Road near Cove Lumber yesterday afternoon. State Police say 52-year old Lawrence Price the second lost control of his car while driving eastbound, which led to an on-coming car hitting the side of his car. A third car that was behind Price, then hit both vehicles. Price died at the scene. Cross Cove Road was closed for several hours while police conducted an investigation and cleared the scene.

Leighty Sentenced in Murder of Daughter-in-Law

A Huntingdon County man will spend 14 years in prison for the murder of his daughter-in-law. Kenneth Leighty bludgeoned to death 23-year old Sherry Leighty, and buried her body on his hunting propery where she remained for 13 years. Sherry Leighty’s family pressed police to investigate the young mother’s disappearance, resulting in an Altoona police officer being assigned the cold case in 2012. Prosecutors cut a deal with Leighty, offering a lighter sentence in exchange for showing investigators where he had buried Sherry’s body.

Apartment Fire on Allgheny Street

An explosion and fire damaged seven units of an apartment complex on Allgheny Street yesterday afternoon. No one was injured in the blaze that started in a second floor apartment and gutted several units and collapsed a roof. Fire crews had to battle more than the flames… high winds caused the flames to spread quickly, and sub-freezing temperatures caused issues with water hoses. Phoenix Volunteer Fire Chief Tony Dibona said two of the units are severely damaged, others have minor or smoke and water damage. Ten people and several pets are without a home this morning. The Red Cross responded to the scene to provide some creature comforts to residents who fled their apartments, some without so much as a jacket or shoes. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Hospital Deal Reached

It looks like there is a deal, in principal anyway, between registered nurses AND UPMC Altoona. Julius White reports…

((( A published report says according to a hospital spokesman a tentative agreement on a new contract was reached late Wednesday, potentially bringing to an end two months of contention that climaxed with a 24-hour strike early this month,. The Altoona Mirror reports UPMC has committed to the new deal, but the nurses’ rank and file must ratify it. The 800-member group planned to vote soon. The sides have apparently worked out staffing, pension and health insurance disagreements that the nurses said were the obstacles to a new deal.)))

Killer Sentenced Today

A Blair County man will learn his fate today in court when he is sentenced for killing his daughter-in-law.
66 year-old Kenneth Leighty pleaded guilty to 3rd degree murder in December in exchange for 7 to 14 years in jail.
Leighty admitted in a recorded phone conversation, that he killed Sherry Leighty, and then buried her body on his 150 acre property in Huntingdon County.
The District Attorney and Sherry Leighty’s family both agreed that Leighty should serve more time in prison for killing Sherry, but authorities say they had no choice but to offer Kenneth Leighty the deal so that he would lead them to Sherry’s remains.

Gas Pains At The Pump

Gas prices here in Pennsylvania are among the highest in the nation according to a new report from AAA.
The average price of a gallon of regular gas in Pennsylvania now stands at $3.63, the sixth highest in the country. Only Hawaii, California, Alaska, Connecticut and New York have higher prices.
Some retailers and also some motorists blame Harrisburg and the recent increase in state gas taxes.
Unfortunately however, the price most likely hasn’t yet peaked. AAA says that between now and April, we may see it go up another 40 cents or so a gallon. AAA says in some areas, it could rise by as much as another 50 cents!