Archives for February 2016

College Students Celebrate “State Patty’s Day”

It was a relatively quiet and uneventful “State Patty’s Day” celebration this weekend. Local law enforcement agencies worked together to make sure the early celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, organized by college students because that holiday holiday falls when they’re away on Spring Break, didn’t get too out of hand. The Blair County DUI Task Force focused patrols around Penn State Altoona off-campus housing locations, enforcing laws against underage drinking and loud parties. In State College, the Centre County Alcohol Task Force reported five arrests for DUI, two for public drunkeness, one for disorderly conduct and one for marijuana possession.

Former Altoona resident beaten, son killed

A New Jersey man was indicted yesterday for first degree murder in the beating death of a 3-year old child, Ty’Mill Solomon and for assaulting the child’s mother, Nicole Reagan. The mom and child were both from Altoona. The man is facing those charges in Morris County, New Jersey handed down by a grand jury.

St. Francis students getting sick

After an outbreak of the norovirus at college campuses in Pennsylvania in recent weeks, school officials are watching another situation at St Francis University. Concerned students are reporting that dozens of students have come down with a stomach virus. Officials at the college say it’s too early to determine if its the same virus. They are cleaning and sanitizing the campus to ward off an outbreak and urge everyone to wash your hands often.

Pedestrian victim identified

A State College man killed on Wednesday night while walking on a busy road has been identified. 66-year-old Josef Blunschi died at Mount Nittany Medical Center after a woman’s car hit him while he was crossing Park Avenue at McKee Street. No charges have yet been filed. State College Police are investigating.

Neighbor alerts homeowners son to fire

In Brookville, a fire damaged a home and the man inside was able to get out. An alert neighbor saw the fire and banged on the door to wake the home owners son inside about 9:30 a.m. in the 100 block of Evans Street near Hiawatha. The homeowner, Jim Sarvey, a former borough councilman and owner of Sarvey Insurance, is away on vacation. The fire appears to have started by the porch.

Update on I-80 bridge collision

A tractor trailer hauling an excavator hit a bridge for I-80 on Wednesday, and now that could impact drivers for the next few weeks. According to PennDOT, the excavator has a long arm that hit the 14-foot overpass as the truck went under. The driver hit two beams, then backed up and left the scene. A witness was able to give police the license plate number of the truck and officials say they know which truck it was. Now engineers have closed 970 as a precaution. An emergency bid meeting is being held next week to find a contractor to repair the damage. The road underneath the damage remains closed, and PennDOT is trying to figure out what to do there.

Campus Police Probe Sexual Assault at Penn State Altoona

Penn State Altoona University Police are investigating and warning the community about a forcible sexual assault reported by a student last night. The victim says the assault occurred between November 8th and 14th, in her room at Oak Hall, on the eastern border of the campus adjacent to Rider Road. The suspect is an 18-year-old former Penn State Altoona student.

Governor Announces That He Has Prostate Cancer

Governor Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf on Wednesday, discussed the governor’s recent treatable prostate cancer diagnosis. The Governor also talked about the importance of screening guidelines for early detection…

Altoona Man Headed To Prison For Five Years For Failure To Register

A mandatory five-year prison sentence is what one Altoona man has to look forward to, after he failed to register as required, as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. 43 year old William Hughes Jr was found guilty in Blair County Court on Wednesday, when the jury rejected the argument by Hughes’ attorney, that there were extenuating circumstances which made his violation so minimal that what occurred couldn’t be considered a crime. Blair County Assistant District Attorney Emily Freed however, strongly disagreed, saying Hughes had a 10-day window last July in which he could have, and should have, registered at the state police headquarters in Hollidaysburg and updated his registration form as a sexual offender. According to prosecutors, he should have done it by July 7th, but he never did, until July 31st, and only then because he was locked up in the Blair County Prison. Hughes was convicted 12 years ago in Maryland of rape. At that time, he was declared a sexual offender and required to register annually with police. He moved to Pennsylvania in 2006.

Federal Lawsuit Names Allegheny Township Police

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court against the Allegeny township police department. Joshuaa Brubaker lives across the street from the Allegheny Township Police Department. Last year, he spray painted the initials “A.I.M.” on an American flag and hung it upside down to protest a warrantless search by police and a government proposal to route the Keystone Pipeline through an important Native American historical site. An assistant Police Chief took the flag down, without a warrant, then charged Brubaker with desecration of the flag, insults to the national or commonwealth flag, and desecration of the flag by mutilation, defacing, trampling or casting contempt upon it. Those charges were dismissed. On Wednesday Brubaker, through the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a lawsuit in Federal Court, against the police department, and also asking for compensatory and punitive damages violations of his freedom of expression and fourth amendment rights. Brubaker is also asking that attorney fees be awarded.