Altoona Man Charged in Wife’s Murder

The husband of an Altoona woman whose body was found in a city garage months after she disappeared has been charged in her death.Michael D. Copley, 30, was taken from Blair County Prison, where he is serving a sentence from a March assault, to the Altoona Police Department at about 11:30 a.m. Altoona police filed homicide and related charges against Copley for the death of his wife, 29-year-old Catherine Copley, who vanished Dec. 10, 2015. Her decomposed body was found in a garage behind an abanondoned house at 408 E. Pleasant Valley Boulevard on June 8, 2016.

Tougher PA DUI Penalties on the Way

Tougher penalties for repeat DUI offenders will soon become state law following passage by the Pennsylvania Legislature. The bill that received final votes in both chambers late Wednesday would establish the state’s first felony offense of driving under the influence. It applies to those with a third conviction of driving with at least twice the legal limit of alcohol in their system and for anyone with fourth DUI convictions. The legislation also establishes more severe penalties, including longer mandatory jail time, for unintentionally causing the death of another person as a result of a repeat DUI violation. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf plans to sign the bill.

Another PA Priest Pleads Guilty

One of two Roman Catholic priests charged as a result of the Pennsylvania grand jury investigation admitted he sexually abused children, pleading guilty today to corruption of minors and child endangerment. The Rev. David Lee Poulson , 65, of Oil City, was arrested earlier this year during a grand jury probe that concluded hundreds of clergy in the state had sexually abused at least 1,000 children over seven decades. Prosecutors say Poulson abused an altar boy in church rectories and had him confess afterward. They say he also abused the boy and attempted to assault another boy at a hunting camp.

Enrollment Down at PA State Universities

The 14 state-owned universities in Pennsylvania are seeing enrollment fall by 4 percent this year, including a nearly 38 percent decline at Cheyney University outside Philadelphia. The drop in the State System of Higher Education has left it with fewer than 100,000 students for the first time since 2001. Enrollment has fallen for eight years, and only two schools didn’t see a decline this year, West Chester and Millersville. Kutztown and Slippery Rock saw only modest declines. Student numbers that peaked at nearly 120,000 in 2010 are now just over 98,000. A system spokesman says one factor is an ongoing decline in the number of high school graduates in western Pennsylvania. Cheyney, the nation’s oldest historically black college, has 469 students this year, down from 755 last year.

Three Die in 11 Vehicle Crash

A tractor-trailer driver is facing charges following a crash in Pennsylvania that killed three people, including a toddler, and injured seven others, Police said vehicles on Interstate 83 in Lower Paxton Township had slowed or stopped, but the tractor-trailer failed to stop and struck other vehicles in the left/center lane at about 8:30 p.m. Friday. Police say a total of 11 vehicles were involved.

Altoona Family Displaced by Fire

An unfortunate tragedy hit a family in Altoona this morning, losing everything to a house fire. But one thing that wasn’t burned by the fire, was HOPE! Officer Nixon of the Altoona Police Department and Fire Inspector Hughes of the Altoona Fire Department made sure of it! You can help. The family of 3 on 10th st and 17th Ave lost everything . They are in need of colthes and anything else that can help them start over. Contact Kelly @ 8145154276 for drop off or more information.

PA Students Question the Candidates

Pennsylvania students who wanted to know how the state’s gubernatorial candidates would address school safety and funding have gotten a chance to ask them.
Fourth and fifth graders from around the state were able to ask questions Wednesday of Democratic Governor Tom Wolf and Republican challenger Scott Wagner. The forum was hosted by the Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement to get children interested in government and politics. The children’s questions— chosen in advance— centered mostly on education; one student asked about addressing homelessness. Each candidate answered separately in an event structured as a forum rather than a debate. Wolf championed the creation of a task force to assess school safety and security. Wagner said he wanted to increase campus security .

PA Republicans Look at New District Map

Scott Perry has won his conservative district by no fewer than 25 percentage points on his way to three terms in Congress, but a sweeping redraw of Pennsylvania’s House district boundaries has forced several Republican congressmen into newly competitive seats, Perry as much as anyone. Now, Perry — a member of the Freedom Caucus, a particularly conservative group of House Republicans — is battling for his political life in conservative central Pennsylvania, and the state has emerged as a keystone for Democrats aiming to recapture a House majority.

Today is Voter Deadline Day

The clock is winding down for Pennsylvanians who want to register to vote or update their voter information in time for the Nov. 6 General Election. Today is the last day for Pennsylvanians to get on the voting rolls in time to participate in the midterm election. Voters in the state will choose a governor, lieutenant governor, United States senator, members of Congress and most of the state Legislature. People can check on their voter information and status online . Voters may also register at county voter registration offices. Those on active military duty, and hospitalized or bedridden military veterans, may register at any time. Those who are not U.S. citizens and Pennsylvania residents for at least a month before the coming election may not register to vote.

PA Prison Policy Changes Have Helped

Major changes in mail and visiting polices at Pennsylvania prisons have sharply cut the number of corrections officers and employees seeking help for suspected exposure to synthetic marijuana, prison officials say. The Corrections Department says cases of suspected staff exposure have plummeted since Sept. 6, when new policies were announced. There had been more than 50 instances in the prior month, but only eight since the start of September. Officials said all have been cleared to return to work.