Archives for December 2015

Eichelberger Fires Back At Wolf

Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday signed a $23.4 billion, line-item-vetoed spending plan that allows the state to begin sending money to cash-strapped school districts and human service agencies for the first time in six months. The governor also called the Republican budget “garbage”…

Just after the Governor’s live address Tuesday morning, State Senator John Eichelberger was on-the-air live by phone on WRTA’s “Two Way Radio with Steve Willett” to give his comments on the Governor’s address. Senator Eichelberger spoke on what he says the Governor should have done six months ago….

Eichelberger then spoke about what he feels will come next…

Don’t Drink And Drive

THE NEW YEARS EVE HOLIDAY IS A DEADLY ONE ON PENNSYLVANIA ROADS BUT EXPERTS ARE WORKING TO CHANGE THAT. DARRELL MOODY HAS THE DETAILS…

THE FOCUS TONIGHT WILL BE ON RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR…AND FOR MANY FOLKS THAT WILL INVOLVE ALCOHOL BUT MATT NASWORTHY WITH TRIPLE A HAS A STARK REMINDER…
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LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES THROUGHOUT BLAIR COUNTY ARE INCREASING PATROLS FROM NOW THROUGH THE WEEKEND LOOKING FOR DRUNK DRIVERS.

Court Orders Termimation Of Father’s Parental Rights

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has ordered the termination of a father’s parental rights because it was found that the man never had a relationship with his 4-year-old son to begin with. The Superior Court order reverses an order by a Blair County Judge that granted the father parental rights, ruling that the mother created “obstacles” to bar the father from the child’s life.
The three-judge Superior Court panel said that the father failed to exercise reasonable firmness in order to overcome the obstacles he alleges that the mother created, and he abdicated all parental responsibility. According to court documents, the father actually did at one point, seek custody in a petition that was filed about a year and a half ago, but he never even met the child. In the end, the State Court concluded that terminating the absentee parent’s rights does not result in psychological harm to the child because the child would not miss the relationship he never had.

Wolf Vetos Budget. Releases Some Funds

Governor Tom Wolf on Tuesday, once again, rejected the Republican budget, leaving the state to continue to operate in a financial state of uncertainty…

Roving DUI Patrols Deemed Successful

THE NUMBERS ARE IN AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ARE APPLAUDING THIS PAST WEEKEND’S ROVING PATROL. DARRELL MOODY HAS THE DETAILS…

SARGEANT CHRISTOPHER COHN IS WITH THE BLAIR COUNTY D-U-I TASK FORCE. HE TELLS ME THEY WERE BUSY SATURDAY NIGHT…
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ONE PERSON WAS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH PUBLIC DRUNKENNESS, DISORDERLY CONDUCT AND MAKING TERRORISTIC THREATS. SARGEANT COHN SAYS THEY’LL BE OUT AGAIN IN FORCE THIS WEEKEND…LOOKING FOR NEW YEARS REVELERS WHO SHOULDN’T BE DRIVING.

Kane Saga Gets Odder & Odder By The Day

As political scandals go, this one is really strange. It was last year that Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane began releasing a string of sexist, racist, and pornographic e-mails that turned up on government computers, from e-mail accounts belonging to dozens of influential state officials and employees. Since then, some state employees have lost their jobs in connection with the so-called “Porngate” scandal, including the head of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection and a State Supreme Court justice. But far from elevating Kane’s reputation in the state, the fallout over the e-mails is just one piece of another scandal, of which the attorney general herself is at the center. Kane, who was once seen as a rising star in Harrisburg, is currently charged with two counts of felony perjury for allegedly leaking grand jury proceedings to The Philadelphia Daily News to discredit a political rival, and then lying about it. The State Supreme Court suspended her law license and governor Tom Wolf has called for her resignation, yet Kane refuses to step down, saying she is the victim of the same “old-boys’ network” whose offensive e-mails she has made public. Meanwhile though, critics say she’s only using the e-mail scandal as a distraction from her own alleged crimes. But in a strange twist, the Washington Post now reports that some of the e-mails were actually sent by Kane’s twin sister, Ellen Granahan Goffer, who is a state prosecutor. Goffer though, unlike dozens of other state employees who have been disciplined for having sexually explicit material on their work computers, has so far avoided any punishment. A former Kane staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity, now describes the whole mess as “a circular firing squad.”

Voting Precinct Adjustments Made

A plan was approved on Monday, that will reduce the number of voting precincts in six Altoona wards, and add precincts in Blair and Frankstown townships. Blair County President Judge Jolene G. Kopriva gave the plan approval, following a 90-minute hearing in Hollidaysburg. The changes will become effective in time for the presidential primary that will be held on April 26. The move was made after it was shown that the voter rolls are up-to-date, and most voter locations meet standards to accommodate the disabled. Precincts, under Pennsylvania law, should serve no more than 1,200 and no fewer than 100 electors.

Budget Stalemate Costly To Local Schools

The budget stalemate in Harrisburg, is costing local school districts and Altoona Area School District is no exception. According to local school administrators, the Altoona District has lost $15 million since the state budget impasse started six months ago. As the money runs out, and supplies dry up, Altoona Area has no choice but to begin to make plans to freeze spending in January. That freeze would affect anything other than payroll, health care, and debt obligations. Although the Senate has sent Gov. Tom Wolf the main appropriations bill in the House GOP’s $30.3 billion spending package in an effort to get money flowing to schools and social service agencies, it’s said to be hundreds of millions of dollars less than what the Governor wanted, and many say they would be surprised if he signs it. If that happens, things will only get tighter. If the governor does however, sign off in the GOP plan, local school leaders say they are prepared to deal with it.

Weekend Crash Sends Several To Hospital In Altoona

A two-car crash over the weekend on 17th Street in front of Lowe’s ended up with several injured people heading by ambulance, to the hospital. The crash yesterday, closed the right westbound lane of 17th Street for about an hour. One car ended up on the elevated triangular slab that separates traffic leaving Lowe’s. The other car had damage to the right front and hood. Logan Township police are investigating. No names have been released, and no updates on the conditions of those injured is yet available.

Altoona Man Jailed On Weapons Charges

An Altoona man has been jailed on gun charges. 35 year old Carl Ruckinger was arrested Tuesday by Altoona police after he was seen carrying a gun and threatening to harm himself. Ruckinger’s girlfriend said she had found him in an upstairs bedroom with a .22 handgun on his lap, saying he was going to pull the trigger. Several other people told police they saw Ruckinger, who is a convicted felon and therefore, not allowed to possess a gun, with the .22 tucked in his waistband. He’s now charged with felony illegal possession of a gun by a convicted felon, and carrying a gun without a license count, along with tampering with evidence and disorderly conduct. Bail was set at $15,000 cash, and Ruckinger was locked up in Blair County Prison.