Archives for April 2015

2 arrested in fight, pistol whipping at Altoona bar

Two men are arrested for allegedly pistol whipping and kicking a man in the face at an Altoona bar. Police say Travis Taylor of Altoona and Jeremy Vasas of Tyrone got into a fight with a man outside the Black and Gold Tavern at 6th Avenue and 30th Street early Wednesday. Police say Vasa hit a man in the forehead with a handgun while Taylor repeatedly kicked him in the face. The local paper reports a witness told police Vasas, a convicted criminal, said he was going to shoot the man. Both men were charged with felony aggravated assault; they’re behind bars on lack of bail.

Results of Penn State fraternity investigation to come out next week

Penn State says their investigation into the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity is almost over.
The KDR fraternity is accused of operating a private Facebook page that showed photos of naked, passed out young women. State College Police are handling the criminal aspects of the investigation, but any violations of student conduct rules could lead to further disciplinary action. Reports say the Facebook page also showed evidence of drug use and hazing. Graduation is next week, and the findings are expected to be made public by the end of the semester.

State College Police considering body cameras

Body cameras may be coming to the State College Police Department. Chief Tom King tells a local TV station a large downside to the cameras involves the state’s wiretapping law, which requires both parties to consent to recording audio. King says he doesn’t want someone to be too afraid to call police because of what might be captured on a body camera-which could end up being public record. Even still, officers could be wearing them by 2016.

Wolf administration posting detailed expenses online

Governor Tom Wolf’s administration is now posting their expenses in detail online. A new interactive website shows nearly $38,000 in expenses were claimed by nearly two dozen top administration officials over a three-month period. Wolf’s press secretary says the Pennsylvania governor is the first in the nation to take such a step. The site doesn’t show receipts, but gives a breakdown of expenses into several categories including airfare, hotels, and parking.

Letter From School To Pennsylvania Dad Goes Viral

Mike Rossi, a Pennsylvania father, had been planning for years to run the Boston Marathon and bring along his family to see him make it to the finish line. Before the 26-mile race, his wife emailed teachers letting them know that their two third graders would be out of school for three days. They were truthful about it, saying that their father was running in the Boston Marathon. Things took a turn though when they returned home. In a letter dated April 22nd from the principal, they were informed that their children’s time off had been officially marked as “unexcused”. The letter warned Rossi that it could result in a referral to the attendance officer and even a notice of a violation of the compulsary school attendance law. Rossi posted the letter on his personal Facebook page along with his own response. The letter and his response quickly went viral, viewed by many as fighting back against the zero-tolerance policy of the school district that is thought to be outdated. While in Boston, Rossi wrote that they walked the Freedom Trail, visited the site of the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, and visited the graves of several signers of the Declaration of Independence. He said it was a teaching experience his kids will never forget. Since the letter went viral, Rossi has met with school officials, and the policy was discussed. He says he holds no animosity toward the school, as the policy is not theirs, but a zero tolerance policy initiated by the state, that he simply disagrees with.

Shooter Arrested In Philadelphia

A man who is accused of wounding five bystanders outside a downtown Williamsport night club earlier this month, has been jailed without bail. 32 year old Michael Spencer was arrested Wednesday in Philadelphia. Spencer was arraigned early today on charges he attempted to kill twin brothers but instead hit five of the 20 to 30 people socializing outside the club after he got into an altercation with one of the twins inside. The five victims ranged in ages from 23 to 33. Two of those shot were taken to Geisinger Medical Center near Danville where they underwent surgery. The other three were treated at Williamsport Regional Medical Center and released. Spencer is charged with attempted homicide, aggravated and simple assault, illegal possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license and recklessly endangering.

Paper GED testing could return to Pennsylvania

Paper based GED testing could be making a comeback in Pennsylvania.
The state Department of Education says they’re looking to bring back the paper test next year for people in rural areas.

Blair County gets ‘F’ in pollution report

Blair County gets a big fat “F” when it comes to clean air. A new report by the American Lung Association finds the Altoona area got a failing grade when it comes to ozone pollution. Particle pollution got a passing grade of a “C.” Centre and Clearfield counties fared a bit better. Overall, the region ranks 32nd in the country in air pollution.

Report: Pennsylvania drivers distracted

Despite tougher laws, a new report finds Pennsylvania drivers are focused on everything but what’s in front of them! The Pennsylvania court system found 1,400 drivers were cited for texting while driving last year. State police say the report shows drivers are also being cited for wearing headphones while behind the wheel. Data shows more than 3,000 people died in distracted driving crashes in 2013.
Drivers caught texting must pay a $50 fine since the state banned texting while driving in 2012.

Tensions high at Blair County Tea Party meeting

Emotions were high at the Blair County Tea Party’s meeting Tuesday night. County District Attorney Richard Consiglio and Harrisburg attorney Marc Scaringi clashed over law enforcement seizures of properties involved in illegal activity. The local paper reports Scaringi doesn’t believe property should be forfeited due to criminal activity unless there’s a conviction. But Consiglio objected saying money from forfeited assets goes into a drug fund. He says any law change would take funds away from combatting crime and could result in lost opportunity.