Archives for February 2019

Altoona Police Looking for Mising Man

Altoona Police continue looking for a man who went missing. 51-year-old Fred Kearney was last seen by his roomate in Altoona during the first week of January. He was also seen in the Cumberland, Maryland area on January 4 where he was working at a construction site. He has not reported to work since and has not contacted his employer. Kearney has been an Altoona resident for approximately 6-8 months and is originally from the Warren area. He left all of his properties in Altoona and his cell phone has not accepted any calls, and is not responding to Facebook messages. Kearney is believed to be driving a silver Pontiac sedan with the Pennsylvania License Plate KBG-9293. Anyone with information as to where Kearney is asked to contact Altoona Police at 814-949-2519.

Copley Pleads Not Guilty

An Altoona man is pleading not guilty to homicide and other criminal charges in the death of his wife, Catherine Copley. Tuesday in Blair County Court, Dressed in prison garb, Michael D. Copley said nothing other than “No, sir” when Judge Wade Kagarise asked if he wanted to address the court during his formal arraignment. It was Copley’s attorney, Richard Corcoran, who said his client was entering not guilty pleas on all charges. Catherine Copley was last seen Dec. 9, 2015.

Casey Supports Minimum Wage Boost

Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania says he’s adding his name to the 30 fellow Democrats who are co-sponsoring legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. The bill that Casey said today he’s joining would raise the federal minimum wage, set at $7.25 an hour since 2007, in six annual steps to $15.
It’s written by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and backed by five other Democratic senators who, like Sanders, are seeking the party’s nomination to run for president.

3rd time a charm? Wolf’s police fee plan gets new attention

The latest effort by Gov. Tom Wolf to impose a fee on municipalities that rely on state troopers, instead of a local police force, is generating new conversations, if not an embrace, as budget makers try to end the constitutionally questionable use of highway dollars to underwrite the Pennsylvania State Police. This is the third time Wolf, a Democrat, has tried to impose a fee on a lengthening list of municipalities are closing their police departments. The issue has been a sore spot for at least two decades, since then-Gov. Tom Ridge, a Republican, sought unsuccessfully to extract reimbursements from the largest municipalities engaging in the practice. Wolf has not had much support from Republican lawmakers, who control the state Legislature and represent most of the areas that receive state police coverage.

Spanier Appeal Denied

Penn State’s president when the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal erupted may soon be going to jail after Pennsylvania’s highest court declined Thursday to hear the appeal of his conviction for child endangerment. The state Supreme Court ruled it will not take up Graham Spanier’s appeal of the misdemeanor conviction related to Spanier’s handling of a 2001 complaint about Sandusky showering with a boy in the football team locker room.

Altoona Curve Preparing for 2019 Season!

The Altoona Curve will host a press conference at Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona on Tuesday, February 26 at 2:30 p.m. to discuss several items in preparation for the 2019 season, including: New partnership updates, In-stadium sponsorship, New ticketing & promotions updates and more.

PA Elections Official Says WE Need to Replace Voting Machines

Pennsylvania’s top elections official is warning that failing to replace voting machines by 2020 could make the state the only one without a voter-verifiable paper trail. Kathy Boockvar, Pennsylvania’s acting state secretary, also told senators today during an Appropriations Committee hearing that election-security experts agree that moving to voting machines that allow voters to double-check how their vote was recorded needs to happen by next year.

PA Gambling Continues to Thrive

The second full month of legal sports betting in Pennsylvania saw gamblers double the amount they wagered. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said gamblers bet $32 million in January at five casinos and one off-track betting parlor where it approved sports betting. For comparison, New Jersey’s casino and racetrack-based sports books took in $385 million worth of bets in January.

School threat system fields thousands of tips in first month

A threat reporting system now required for all Pennsylvania schools fielded more than 4,900 tips in its first month, about a third of them considered serious enough to pass along to local police and school officials. The goal of the Safe 2 Say Something program, which funnels tips to an around-the-clock call center at the attorney general’s headquarters in Harrisburg, is to respond to troubling behavior, unsafe school situations and anything else tipsters deem appropriate to report. The program passed the Legislature with near unanimity last year, mandating it encompass all K-12 students in Pennsylvania, including charter, private and vocational-technical schools.

Ex Senate Security Chief Accused of Harassment

Republicans in Pennsylvania’s Senate have been paying the legal bills of the chamber’s ex-security chief in lawsuits by two women accusing him of harassing them while on the job as Senate security guards. Joe Scarnati’s office has approved at least $23,355 to cover the legal bills of former security director Justin Ferrante, according to a published report . An aide to Scarnati says Senate officials decided to cover Ferrante’s bills in part because the Senate is also named as a defendant and that some allegations in the lawsuits “are likely not accurate.”