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Regional News from WTAJ

OSCEOLA MILL, Clearfield County - The Clearfield County district attorney wants people to know they are safe after an afternoon shooting.

Police say the two men do know each other, and they have recovered a gun from the scene.

The DA says around 2 p.m. Wednesday two Clearfield County men got into a fight when shots were fired. He says both are now being treated for gun shot wounds. Their conditions are unknown.

Police and the district attorney say their physical investigation is over but they are continuing to speak with witnesses.

BELLEFONTE, CENTRE COUNTY - A local prosecutor is moving to a different court, at least partially because his life was threatened in Centre County.

Centre County Assistant District Attorney Nathan Boob announced Tuesday that he will start prosecuting in another part of the state. He also references what he called unwarranted attacks on their office in his resignation letter.

Boob says he hates to leave the center county court, but he's been given an opportunity to advance his career. But he also talked about an incident where his life was recently threatened saying. The Centre County DA's office says an attorney put Boob in danger by releasing too much information about the plot.

In his resignation letter Boob also referenced other attorneys that he said couldn't beat the prosecutors in court and didn't like their tough on crime attitude. Last month local attorney Sean McGraw filed court documents accusing Boob and Stacy Parks Miller of sending text messages with Judge Bradley Lunsford saying it indicated they had too close of a relationship.

In his resignation boob said “While such behavior may be expected and deserving of swift adjustment in a third grade classroom, to be carelessly bantered before the court where lives and justice are at stake is repugnant."

The DA’s office isn't saying where Boob is going because of the threat on his life.
KARTHAUS TOWNSHIP, CLEARFIELD COUNTY - A Clearfield County group held a lunch meeting trying to support new coal jobs.

The Quehanna Industrial Development Corporation says this is the fifth meeting they've had in the past two years, and they plan to do another one in November.

They invited representatives of coal companies, and businesses that work with coal, like trucking, tires, heavy equipment and the railroad, for today's discussion at Quehanna Motor Lodge.

"The government's wasting too much money in solar energy and wind energy. That's not doing what coal-fueled power plants can do," says QIDC president Ray Savel.

"My signature was on 7 letters that were sent to the adminsitration regarding these issues, 8 pieces of legislation I've co-sponsored. And now we have the U.S. Senate," says U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-5th District.

Thompson says the Obama adminstration has been against coal, but he is hoping Republican control of the Senate will help change that.

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, CLEARFIELD COUNTY - Six felony drug charges were bound over to court for a man accused of bringing crack cocaine and heroin from New York City to Clearfield County for two years.

At the hearing here inside the Clearfield County Jail, a witness testified that there was trouble with "fiends" here in Clearfield stealing drugs and money, so the operation wasn't profitable.

Manuj McCoon says he met suspect Luther Ware Jr., 64, in the Bronx in 2012. With no job and 4 kids, McCoon decided to work for ware selling drugs.

"The government's entire case rests on the testimony of a witness whose credibility is highly questionable," says Ware's appointed defense attorney Jeff DuBois.

McCoon testified they would sell thousand of dollars worth of crack cocaine on the streets of Clearfield, first visiting contacts on Elk and Front Streets.

"Ware was a major distributor and transporter of crack cocaine from New York City -- the Bronx area -- down here to Clearfield," says senior deputy attorney general Dave Gorman from State College.

McCoon says Ware would re-supply him with up to $10,000 in drugs once a week and would stay in area hotels in Lawrence Township and DuBois.

"There was a lot of people coming and going, staying 5 or 10 minutes, and leaving," says Hope Berry, who lives near where a drug bust went down.

A controlled buy last fall at an apartment in the 300 block of Turnpike Avenue ended with that bust, netting 18 bundles of heroin and 13 bags of crack, according to the criminal complaint.

"There was a lot of commotion, yelling, screaming. The police, they kicked the door in," says Berry.

The criminal complaint says a confidential witness told a grand jury that at one point McCoon was given $64,000 in crack to sell.

Then in November 2013, a traffic stop on I-80 brought McCoon's drug deals to an end, when police say they found 16 grams of crack in the car.

McCoon, a Union County Jail inmate, is now hoping for a deal, by testifying for the Commonwealth against Ware.

"Once we get all the information, we'll be able to show inconsistencies in their case and my client will be proven not guilty," says DuBois.

DuBois argued Ware is not a flight risk, but District Judge Jerome Nevling ordered that his bail remain set at $100,000.

ALTOONA - A concert at a local museum will raise money for sick kids.

Bret Michaels will be performing at the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum.

It's the third annual Rocking for Little Hearts concert.

All the proceeds will go to the heart institute at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
"He's planning to meet with area local pediatric heart patients he takes time prior to the show to do a special meet and greet for them which is very, very special its a really uplifting experience," Cindy Gradowski of the Children's Hospital Foundation said.
They're only selling two thousand tickets. Those tickets are on sale now. The concert is set for June 5th.

Click here for tickets.

NANTY GLO, CAMBRIA COUNTY - A hometown hero is going to receive a long overdue dedication.

For most, a bridge may just seem like a way to get from one place to the next.  However, for members of the Nanty Glo class of 1954, the bridge is a way to show their appreciation.  They plan to dedicate the bridge to honor a fellow classmate who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

James Fresh is one of the organizers.  He says once he found out about his classmate Alfred McCullough, it was obvious something needed to be done, "We finally were aware of all the heroic acts he had done, it made a big difference.  We thought we got to do something for him."

According to Fresh, Sergeant McCullough always wanted to serve his country.  At the age of 33, he was killed in Vietnam.   It wasn't until years later that people in his hometown learned of his heroics.   McCullough saved his fellow soldiers and after he died was awarded a Bronze Star and a Silver Star.

The class of 1954 wants to make a dedication according to Fresh, "We want to name the bridge over route 271 in Nanty Glo for Alfred McCullough."

Fresh and other former classmates have been working on this project since last September.  They say they've put a lot of work into the project, but McCullough deserves even more.

Sergeant McCullough never made it home.   He died in 1968 leaving behind a wife and five children.  Decades later his family will see why their dad was very special.

Fresh says the community is very supportive of this dedication, "It's not a big bridge, but there's going to be big signs and that's important.  It shows that the town is dedicated to it and as we were just to recognize Alfred McCullough."

The dedication ceremony for the bridge will be held April 18.

TYRONE - The CDC estimates that one in 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder, and that means many more kids are the brother or sister of someone with autism. One local mother has launched an effort to help these family members who may sometimes feel forgotten.
Michelle Baughman's daughter Sage didn't start speaking until she was five. Now, nine, she's a student at  Tyrone Elementary School", she says proudly.
She's classified as a high functioning child on the autism spectrum and in a regular third grade classroom, with the help of an aide. But she doesn't always blend in well with the four other kids in her family.
"If  we're in a very crowded area like a park or a party, sometimes that's too much stimulation for her and she gets very upset," her mother says.

Sage has a meltdown, which might seem like a temper tantrum to  someone unaware of her diagnosis, an embarrassment to family members. But it's a familiar situation to those providing services to kids with autism.  

"The siblings are kind of taking the brunt of that aggression sometimes, when things aren't going well with the kid with autism," says Lindsey Hasson, an admissions coordinator with the Home Nursing Agency. She hears about that behavior frequently as she helps families sign up for counseling and support services provided by her agency.

Then, there's the extra time children like Sage requires from their parents.  Other children in the family can feel forgotten. Michelle says "I  think they've been used to it because it's always been our way of life, but sometimes they have a lot of questions."

And Michelle believes, so do brothers and sisters of  other kids with autism so she reached out to the Home Nursing Agency  for a way to help her family and others.  Her proposal: a support group for siblings and families of children with autism.

"When she came to us we're like 'hey that's goes right into some of the things that we do best.' We do a lot of individual and group therapies," says Curt Melton, clinical child adolescent supervisor, Home Nursing Agency.

The Home Nursing Agency is in the process of setting up a support groups for sisters, brothers and parents children with autism. They'll look at the common problems faced by these families and work on strategies for coping with them.
Home Nursing Agency is inviting families of children on the autism spectrum to join their support groups. For more information contact Lindsey Hasson or Brett Miller at 946-0261

JOHNSTOWN - It's finally starting to feel like spring out there, which means it's time for construction season to begin as well.

The Haynes Street Bridge project in downtown Johnstown is already causing headaches for drivers.

PennDOT's detours began Wednesday, directing drivers around Haynes Street.

The eastbound detour begins where Haynes Street meets Napoleon Street.  You will continue along Napoleon Street, John Street, and Washington Street.  Then Washington Street goes to Clinton Street, to Bedford Street.  The detour will finish at the Haynes Street and Franklin Street intersection.

The westbound detour begins at Haynes and Bedford Street.  Drivers continue along Bedford Street, Vine Street, and Franklin Street before the westbound detour also ends at the intersection of Franklin Street and Haynes Street.

Pedestrians are to follow the westbound detour.

The Haynes Street project will replace the current concrete arch structure.  PennDOT says other miscellaneous construction will also take place in addition to this work.

The $4.1 million project isn't expected to be completed until December.

STATE COLLEGE - An area high school was on high alert Wednesday morning after a student pulled what she's calling an April Fool’s joke.

School officials say a female student texted her mother Wednesday morning, saying there was an active shooter in the South Building at State College Area High School.

She says she did it as a prank, but school officials say this is no laughing matter.
"We had a number of police officers here on site. Within, like I said, within about 30 seconds of getting the information from our school resource officer,” Principal Scott DeShong said. “Their response was immediate; they were very specific when they got here."
DeShong says it happened around 9:20 Wednesday morning during class change , and because of that, they couldn't put the school on lockdown. He says police immediately determined there was no real threat.
"I didn't think it was a real threat because there were no signs whatsoever that anything was a miss within the school,” he said. “That being said, you always default to student safety. How can we keep students and everyone else in the building safe? We immediately dispatched people to different parts of the building to get kids into classes and to make sure everything was okay."
"I think it's fair for all of us to think about the consequences of our actions. On a day like today, it's always nice to play some kind of a practical joke on a friend, but obviously, in any community, safety needs to be first and foremost. We would just ask that anyone use good judgment in terms of interactions with other people," he said.
Both school administration and State College Police are investigating this incident. School officials say they will take disciplinary action.

LOWER YODER TOWNSHIP, CAMBRIA COUNTY - The fire marshal is investigating a fire they believe to be arson.

The fire broke out on a porch around noon Wednesday in the 600 block of Fairfield Avenue in Lower Yoder Township.

A man and woman live there with six kids, but no one was in the apartment at the time of a fire.  Captain Randall Shearman of the Lower Yoder Township Fire Department says four crews responded to the fire.

Neighbors say they saw a person wearing a red hoodie running from the house.

It's unclear if this person started the fire.

The fire only damaged the exterior of the building.
With the deadline to file your taxes now just two weeks away, the Attorney General's office is offering a few reminders before the filing deadline.

No one from the IRS will ever contact you over the phone or by email regarding a tax problem. Never give out personal information over the phone or email. Shred any financial or personal documents and always be sure to take your tax filing to the post office instead of leaving it in an outgoing mailbox.

The deadline for filing a Pennsylvania state tax return is typically April 15. Here are some other tips to remember as you prepare your returns:
  • Keep tax paperwork in a safe location.
  • Shred any documents that are no longer needed.
  • If you are filing online, make sure you have updated firewall, antivirus and spyware software installed on your computer.
  • Do not leave tax documents in an open outgoing mailbox. Take them directly to the post office or mailbox.

OSCEOLA MILLS, CLEARFIELD COUNTY - Police and the district attorney say the investigation is unfolding in Osceola Mills after shots were fired at the VFW.
The DA says around 2 p.m. Wednesday two Clearfield County men got into a fight when shots were fired. He says both are now being treated for gun shot wounds.
Police say the two men do know each other, and they have recovered a gun from the scene.
Witnesses are cooperating with police.

ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP, BLAIR COUNTY --  It's all being chalked up to one huge misunderstanding, and one man wants to make sure his name is cleared.
Austin Lynn is always looking at good deals for the Hookies Fire Department in Tyrone.
Austin Lynn, President of the Hookies Fire Company, said, "They were on sale there and that was the only reason we went there."
But he paid more than he expected to for a couple turkey fryers.
"I was woken up by my mother because she found my picture in the paper,” said Lynn.
He was named a suspect in Blair County's Crime of the Week.  We ran a surveillance photo of him last week -- as did a local newspaper.
“It started to get out of control pretty quickly,” said Lynn.
He bought two fryers for the department's chicken barbecues.
"It was a normal transaction,” said Lynn. “[It’s] something I do every week for this place."
He paid with a check at Field and Stream and thought it was a done deal, but police say an employee at the store did not keep a proper record of the purchase.
Allegheny Township Police apologize for the misunderstanding and say the crime solvers program is a useful tool.
Leo Berg, Allegheny Twp. Police Chief said, "This is how we do police work. We receive information from people -- we follow up on that information."
A store employee told police they thought Lynn was from the Phoenix Fire Department, but when Phoenix didn't know about the purchase -- police were contacted.
Berg said, "All we were trying to do was identify the person and rectify this whole thing."
Austin said he has not received an apology from the store, but is glad the entire ordeal is over.
"It's disappointing that I'm not going to be shopping there again but I'm certainly not going to,” he said.”
We reached out to Field and Stream's media department Wednesday. They did not return our request for comment before airtime.

OSCEOLA MILLS, CLEARFIELD COUNTY - Police are investigating a shooting at the VFW in Osceola Mills, Clearfield County.

Two people have been transported by helicopter to the hospital for injuries.

Stick with WTAJ News for the latest on the investigation.
HOLLIDAYSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY - Police in Blair County are saying goodbye to the former chief in Hollidaysburg.

Edward "Chief" Plowman passed away Saturday. Plowman retired from the department in 1995, after 46 years of service.

Wednesday there was a procession of police cars that drove past the borough building. An honor guard was also there as they pulled into the church for the funeral.

"Chief" was 87 years old.

COLLEGE HEIGHTS, CENTRE COUNTY - State College Police have identified a child luring suspect from an investigation that began last week. Police say the incident happened March 25th.

They say an 11-year-old girl was walking to a bus stop in the College Heights neighborhood when a man asked if she wanted a ride.

Detectives have spoken with this individual. They have not released his name. This remains an active investigation.

BEDFORD - Two accused robbers were in Bedford County court Wednesday morning and they both waived their rights in their preliminary hearings.

Police say brothers Brandon and Daniel Bender tried to rob Linda's Little General store in Hopewell last month.

In the store's surveillance video, you can see Brandon trying to steal the cash register before being tackled and held for police.

STATE COLLEGE - Police are interviewing a student and her parents after the State High student texted her parent that a "shooter" was in the South Building. After receiving the text, the parent then called 911 from their home.

Administrators and a school resource officer quickly assessed the situation and located the student that sent the text.

It was at that time the student admitted it was a prank. Seven State College police officers responded to the 911 call within one minute, police say they are investigating this case as a false report.
PITTSBURGH - Select Giant Eagle brand Danish pastries, Bolillo rolls, specialty cheese, meringue pies and heat & serve fried fish, prepared and sold from the Bakery, Cheese and Prepared Foods departments inside Giant Eagle and Market District stores, have been voluntarily recalled by Giant Eagle due to undeclared egg and milk allergens.

The products being recalled due to an undeclared egg ellergen are, Giant Eagle and Market District Danish with Fruit and Cheese Danish, Bolillo Wheat Rolls, and regular Bolillo Rolls, and Belgium Fontal Imported Cheese.  Giant Eagle and Market District, 8" Coconut Meringue Pie and 8" Lemon Meringue Pies have been recalled because of an undeclared milk allergen, and Giant Eagle and Market District Heat and Serve Fired Fish are being recalled because of undeclared egg and milk allergens.

Meantime, GetGo brand 7" Grab-and-Go Turkey and Swiss, and Italian Subs have also been recalled due to an undeclared egg allergen.

People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to egg or milk run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products. The products are safe for consumption by those who do not have egg or milk allergies. There are no confirmed illnesses to date associated with these recalls.

Giant Eagle became aware of the product issues during an ongoing ingredient label review. The product labels for the recalled items, which all contain egg and/or milk, omitted egg and/or milk as allergens. Upon discovering this omission, the company immediately removed all potentially affected products, implemented a register block to ensure that the products were not inadvertently purchased, and is launching its consumer alert telephone outreach system to directly notify customers.

Customers with egg or milk allergies who have purchased an affected product should dispose of it or return it to their local Giant Eagle and Market District store for a refund. Customers with questions may call Giant Eagle Customer Care at 1-800-553-2324 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT.
DUNCANSVILLE, BLAIR COUNTY - PennDOT today announced that prime contractor Scott Grannas Construction LLC of Duncansville will begin work Wednesday, April 1, on the Route 22 and 7th Street (Forsht Drive) Improvements Project in Duncansville Borough and Blair Township, Blair County.

Traffic will be controlled with daylight signs and long term control devices. Traffic during night time work will be controlled using short term signing.

Work on this project will consist of tree cutting and demo of an existing building. The profile of the roadway will then be updated to allow for a new turning lane on Route 22 at the intersection along with new ADA ramps, new intersection poles and lights, and paving of the roadway. Drainage work and other miscellaneous construction will be completed as part of this project.

All work on this $1.2 million project will be completed by early December, 2015.

Motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

- PennDOT