Archives for April 2017

Eric Frein sentenced…

Eric Frein was formally sentenced to death Thursday. Frein shot and killed Cpl. Bryon Dicson and left another trooper Alex Douglas permanantly disabled in the 2014 attack at the Blooming Grove barracks. The manhunt lasted 48 days at a cost of $11-million dollars to state police. Frein managed to survive in the rugged Pocono Mountains. Frein’s lawyers say they plan to tie up his case with appeals. There are currently 171 people on death row in Penssylvania which hasnt carred out an execution since 1999. Governor Tom Wofe has imposed a statewide moratorium on executions.

Prison Warden…

Blair County Prison Warden Michael Johnston plans to retire later this year according to media reports. Johnston filed retirement papers saying he would finish up 33 years of service officially on October 25th. Ten of those years as warden. A searcj committee will start looking into a replacement immediatley. Johnston leaves with the Blair County Prison getting a formal notice from the Department of Corrections that it is in complete compliance during its last inspection.

Home Fire…

According to fire and rescue reports, a family of seven escaped a blaze at their home near Lakemont late Sunday evening. Scott Decker said he was out getting pizza while the rest of the family was at home sleeping. Fortunately a smoke alarm went off around 10 pm and everyone was able to get out of the home safely. Firefighters from Roaring Spring Allegheny Township and Lakemont stations all contributed to putting out the blaze until early this morning.

High speed chase…

According to police reports, a Blair County woman wanted on drug charges, was arrested after a high speed chase Wednesday night on I-99. 56 year old Stephanie Duffield had been wanted for her part in a multi-million dollar heroin trafficking ring that spread from New York to Altoona. Cash bail was set Thursday at $50-thousand dollars. State and Altoona police announced last week the trafficking ring had been broken up.

Facebook killer dies…

The manhunt is over. Steve Stephens, the so-called Facebook killer is dead. Stephens, who Cleveland police said shot and killed an elderly stranger on Easter Sunday, and then put footage of it on facebook has died of a self-inflicted wounds. Stevens was spotted this morning in Erie County, Pennsylvania by members of the Pennsylvania State Police. After a brief pursuit, police say he shot and killed himself. The queston now is whether Stevens left behind more victims before taking his own life as he had threatened. Police have not yet found evidence of the 13 he claimed to have killed. Again, Steve Stephens, the so-called Facebook murderer, is dead.

Pipeline work…

Sunoco officials say work on a new statewide pipeline could begin next month according to media reports. The underground natural-gas pipeline would stretch through Blair, Cambria and Huntingdon counties. The 300 mile long project would carry natural gas liquids from beyond Pennsylvania’s western border to a storage and distribution faciltiy in Delaware County. It is expected to create thousands of construction jobs.

Holidaysburg Trash…

The Holidaysburg trash issue heated up Thursday but still nothing decided. According to newspaper reports arguments for and against a single hauler trash system were heard at the Borough Council meeting. Right now, residents can choose who their hauler is. Bids for a single hauler system are due by May 25th. Council members arent likely to vote on the issue untill June.

City workers new deal.

A new deal for Altoona city workers. According to officials, the City Council gave non-uniformed workers a new 5 year contract. This will mean higher starting salaries along with a 3.6 percent raise the first year. After that a 2 percent raise annually for the length of the contract. The plan also includes increases in health plan deductibles and will maintain the premium the first year. The previous agreement froze wages for 3 years.

Drug Task Force

A heroin bust from a year ago sends a Tyrone man to prison for up to 10 years. Blair County Judge Jolene G. Kopriva received guilty pleas Monday from 49 year old Rodney Carper
who’s been in jail since May of 2016. It was at that time a Blair County Drug Task Force and Altoona Police discovered 18 packets of herioin, pills and $600-dollars in cash at his Snyder Township residence.

Eric Frein trial delay…

After a delay earlier today the trial of Eric Frein resumes in a Pike County courtroom this afternoon. District Attorney Ray Tonkin told members of the media it was delayed because Frein was hopspitalized this morning after falling and hitting his head while brushing his teeth. Frein is charged with killing one Pennsylvania State Trooper and critically injuring another outside the Blooming Grove barracks in September of 2014. Frein faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted.