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The Bedford County District Attorney is speaking out against criticism after he charged a 14-year-old boy with desecration of a venerable object. The teenager took a photo of himself, violating the Jesus statue in front of Love in the Name of Christ" in Everett. He then posted it to Facebook. In Bill Higgins' letter, he says while "there seems to be an intense focus on the religious rights of the juvenile, there seems to be very little attention paid to the religious rights of the offended group."

WINDBER, SOMERSET COUNTY  - Police are searching for a man they say murdered a state trooper. State Police officials have said they don't know where Eric Frein is, but they've been searching the woods near where the shooting happened outside the pike county barracks. Police describe Frein as a survivalist who is very familiar with those woods. And that environment changes the way police search for a suspect.

John Boborchuk Jr. is a National Association for Search and Rescue instructor who lives in Windber, Somerset County. Amongst many other things he teaches people to look for signs in the woods and how to track people. Those signs can show people like Boborchuk the direction people are going in and that really cuts down on the area you have to search.

Just last week Boborchuk was training police officers in the Hagerstown area search and rescue techniques.
Frein is accused of killing Corporal Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass last Friday night.
They say he is leading some kind of fantasy life as a soldier.

ALTOONA - It's time for Pennsylvania seniors to take a closer look at their healthcare coverage.

People on Medicare who don't like their prescription coverage or would like to see if they can save money will soon have a chance to explore their options
 
Medicare's  annual open enrollment period gets underway on October 15.  From then until December 7,  people can join, switch or drop their prescription drug or Medicare Advantage coverage.

Even if you like your current plan, you may want to take another look at it, because insurers can change their benefits, the doctors and hospitals involved in the plan and what they charge you for medical visits.

Local senior centers have trained volunteers that  can help you figure out what's best for you.

At Blair Senior Services, Apprise Coordinator Billie Kochara says, "seniors get inundated with  things from Highmark, things from UPMC, things from Geisinger, because it's that time of the year,   and sometimes that overwhelms them in itself, so it's always good to come in and see what's going on ."

Seniors in Blair County can make appointments at senior centers  in Altoona, Tyrone, and East Freedom for help choosing their Medicare plans.You can also call the state's  apprise number at 1-800-783-7067 for free one-on-one help in other areas.
 

The Jana Marie Foundation board members came up with the idea for short, informative videos after looking for local resources during a tough time in their lives and not finding any.

"Whenever you're struggling, you never know what's going to help," says Marisa Brown, the president and founder of the Jana Marie Foundation.  "I think having these videos can help direct parents where to go and even where to start."

Brown founded the Jana Marie Foundation two and a half years ago after her sister, Jana, committed suicide at age 30.

Brown says the foundation aims to empower young people, especially young women, to make positive choices, practice self-respect and maintain healthy relationships.

"A lot of what we do is also provide resources for parents so they know what kids are facing today and ways that they can safeguard their child from some of the things that are out there," says Brown.

The videos, called Candid Conversations, look at 8 different topics - ranging from Bullying, Sex and the Internet and Eating Disorders. The foundation brought in Centre County experts to discuss how to address these topics with teens, what are the signs and where to find help.

Brown says, when her sister was struggling with the depression, her and her family could not find anything concise that offered information like what they're compiling in the segments.

"We based it off of the way things were when Jana was struggling," says Brown.  "We were on computers looking for information; looking for resources; trying to figure out where we can go to find what we need to provide the help for Jana."

The videos are broken down into chapters so parents can easily find the exact part of a topic they're looking for and go there quickly. Brown says these producers added personal touches during the filming stages - most of the art in the background is Jana's work.

The videos have only been available to the public for a few days but they're already sparking positive conversations.

"They are topics that are really concerning parents right now," says Kelly Aston, an officer with the State College Police Department.  "i think that they're also topics that are very relevant to today's very high-pressured society."

While the audience for the videos are parents, Aston says the information they provide can be helpful to everyone.

"As a parent, as an educator, as an officer, it's something we can us to become educated; that we can use to guide people through difficult times," says Aston.

The subjects the videos address are also leading discussion points with the county's Straight Talk series.



To check out the videos, click here and for more information about the Jana Marie foundation, visit this site.


ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY --  Senate bill 1193 had a public hearing in the senate education committee yesterday. The theory behind it is that teachers in rural districts could carry a concealed firearm to protect students, but some schools aren't necessarily on board.
 
What if -- that's the question math teacher Bob Hummel has about the new proposed bill.
 
Bob Hummel, math teacher at Tussey Mountain High School, said, "You can't concentrate on your job and watching your back and trying to protect a weapon all the time."
 
And Tussey Mountain's superintendent Mark Bollman said it could open a different set of problems.
 
Mark Bollman, Superintendent, Tussey Mountain, said, "Our number one focus is on educating students and that's where teacher efforts lie, but if they're carrying a gun, things could happen."
 
Superintendents all over our area -- including Central Cambria's Dr. Vincent Dileo says even though training would be required, it's not perfect.
 
Dr. Vincent DiLeo, Superintendent, Central Cambria, said, "When you place a loaded weapon in their hands, even with training you can't simulate an actual scenario "
 
Some teachers aren't strangers to firearms. Before being a supernatant, Bollman served in the National Guard for 25 years.
 
Bollman said, "I've fired everything from a pistol to a tank."
 
Because of his experience, he thinks it's just not a good idea.
 
And to a math teacher who works with variables all day, allowing teachers to carry guns in school introduces one variable too many.
 
Hummel said, "Having guns in the school in the hands of teachers goes a step in the wrong direction"
 
Most likely nothing is going to happen with the proposed bill this session, and it is expected to be re-introduced next January.

JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY--- Johnstown City Firefighters teamed up with the Red Cross to go door to door to promote fire safety.

"We are canvassing for the ‘American Red Cross Safe Program,’ said Colleen Sherman, Red Cross Executive Director.  “It's a fire prevention and awareness campaign."

The goal behind the program is to make sure every home has a working smoke detector.

"There's an estimated five million homes that don't have smoke detectors,” said Sherman.  “3 out 5 deaths in America from a home fire are in a home without a smoke detector."

"We’ve had too many fires where no smoke detectors were present in the property," said Mike Kelly, Johnstown Fire Captain.

"There're been too many deaths from fires," said Ron Clausen.

Clausen is visiting friends in the city’s West End from Massachusetts.  He said where he is from it’s required by law to have a smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm.  Clausen said its great the firefighters and Red Cross are giving back to promote fire safety.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Clausen.  “I wish they would do that in my area.”

For more information on how to get a free smoke detector and to have the firefighters install it for free call 814-262-3170, hit option one.





On Tuesday, the State Health Department announced the first 3  cases of EV-D68 in Philadelphia, and doctors there  reported  a total of 4 on Wednesday.  Also, an Erie hospital  is reporting 2 cases.

Altoona Pediatrician, Dr. Nader Younes says enteroviruses  are common and they usually go away after a few days.  Symptoms of EV-D68 are similar to a bad cold or the  flu. Babies and children with asthma or bronchiolitis a common lung infection in young children are more likely to develop complications.
 
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) says 4 patients treated there recovered and left the hospital after 2 to 6 days.  According to the State Health Department, one of them was from out-of-state.

Dr. Susan Coffin from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia talked about the patients, saying, "children that we've cared for, that we know have this virus, have the very typical picture of respiratory viral infection.  So, fever, cough, wheezing and  some of those require hospitalization have difficulty catching the breath."

Since EV-D68 is a virus, antibiotics won't cure it and unlike the flu, there are no anti-viral medications to treat it or vaccines to prevent it.

Patients receive supportive treatments, to help them breathe, and keep them comfortable as they recover. Most kids won't need to  hospital care and not every child with a respiratory infection needs to see a doctor, but Dr. Younes says,  "any time these symptoms keep getting worse anytime you start having difficulty breathing what i mean labored breathing retracted, I do believe it's a good idea to seek medical attention."

To prevent the spread of EV-D68, wash your hands, cough into your elbow, and keep your children home from school or daycare when they're sick.

Now that they are back in session, law makers are meeting to discuss the gun laws in our state.

On the floor Wednesday for a second look is house bill 20-11.

Representative John McGinnis said this bill focuses on firearms defense.

He said currently there are about 60 municipalities that are violating state law by not allowing residents to carry their fire arms on state parks although they have a permit.

He expects a vote to come next week on changing the law.
His family and fellow officers attended the ceremony at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.

The Dickson family watched silently, as the U.S. Honor flag arrived at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.

Cpl. Bryon Dickson's mother , Darla Dickson said, "We're overwhelmed with the greatness and the magnitude of the outpouring of support for our son."

While it was a somber day, the Dickson family appreciated seeing so many of her son's fellow officers united, honoring her son Cpl Bryon Dickson of the Pennsylvania State Police killed in the line of duty.

Darla Dickson went on to say,  "To see this is beyond what we can fathom he would have never really wanted to be in the spotlight,  he is very private but today I, as his mom, and his family, his extended family, he earned and is worthy to be honored and to see this is just beyond."

The tradition of the U.S. Honor flag began after 9-11, to pay tribute to those fallen heroes.

Something Pennsylvania Attorney Kathleen Kane says is extremely important saying, "Our hearts are broken for the families and we want everyone to know that we stand together, we have each others back."

At a time of mourning , Cpl. Dickson's mother Darla had this message for Trooper Alex Douglas, also wounded in Friday night's shooting that killed her son.

Darla Dickson added,  "To Alex and your family, we send our love know that your support is just as real as what's behind us today."
Several towns in Centre County are receiving money back from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Eight municipalities including State College, Bellefonte and Philipsburg are receiving a total of $3,400 from the board. The board is returning the money to areas around the state that renewed or validated their licenses. The PLCB says they reward the municipalities based on fees they have to pay throughout the year. State wide, they're giving back $2.4 million.

STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY -- Former Penn State football players Michael Mauti and Michael Zordich have been painted to the side of the Deli.

But the players will soon be moving next to Joe Paterno on the main mural.

Artist Michael Pilato says he should have the two players painted on the Heister Street mural by Homecoming.

He also says there are plans in the works to create a mural dedicated to inspiring Penn State athletes.
New details are finally emerging three months after several Asian restaurants in State College were raided. State College police Chief Tom King says federal agents detained 21 illegal alien workers during the raids in June. Eleven were later released and ten were held and charged with immigration offenses. Of those ten charged, six people were deported, one person was released and three people are still in custody. Officials say the investigation is ongoing and are not releasing additional information at this time.

A Somerset County priest has agreed to step away from his parish duties after federal agents raided his church. The diocese of Altoona-Johnstown released a statement earlier today, saying Reverend Joseph Maurizio pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish in Central City is on leave. Federal agents and homeland security raided the church on Friday- the diocese was not aware of it until later on. No charges have been filed and it’s unclear what they were looking for.

LOGAN TOWNSHIP, BLAIR COUNTY - A local charity donates 45 thousand dollars to families with medical needs.

For the past 11 years a local group called Burgi's Low Life Riders has been raising money for local charities. For the last couple of years they've focused on giving money to children with medical problem.

Burgi's Low Life Riders raised 45 thousand dollars at this year's ride. Over the last 11 years, they've raised more than 211 thousand dollars. Tuesday night each family got 15 thousand.

Steve Devecchis' son Dominick is battling bone cancer. They stood next to the Duvalls whose son Lincoln has a rare chromosome deletion and April Harmon whose daughter Brielle has a mitochondrial disease. They all plan to use the money for travel expenses to hospitals and upcoming surgeries. And they were all grateful to the low life riders.

Organizers say they're already starting to work on next year's goals.
Kids in Centre County now have a new place to hang out after school.

Monday afternoon the Youth Service Bureau had a grand opening of their Bellefonte Youth Center. 

The center has been months in the making. After planning, packing, painting and pumping up the kids, they finally have a new home.

Children who go there were excited to finally get to see the finished product.

"There's more space and places that we can go," says Zeke, an 11-year-old who goes to the center.

The kids had a parade downtown before a ribbon cutting at the new building.

The Youth Service Bureau is open Monday through Friday after school until 8 p.m.  All children in the Bellefonte area and surrounding communities are invited to stop by and check it out.
EBENSBURG, CAMBRIA COUNTY--- Stephen Jablonski waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday and will remain in jail.

The 50 year old was arrested back in April after he allegedly called 9-1-1 stating there was a bomb at the courthouse.

9-11 Operator:
"9-1-1 what's the address of your emergency?

Stephen Jablonski:
'Cambria County Courthouse - we have placed an explosive device in your courthouse to be triggered at a time of our choosing- you have an unknown period of time to take steps to limit casualties.”

According to the criminal complaint Jablonski told police he made the call to get his girlfriend out of her court hearing.  After several delays, Jablonski finally had his preliminary hearing.  His attorney Thomas M. Dickey said they waived all charges to county court.

“At preliminary hearing’s you can’t challenge the evidence at a later time,” said Dickey.  “We did a special waiver today where we were able to do that if it needs to be the case, right now we just want to collect all of the evidence.”

The defense also said if this case makes it to trial they will be asking the courts for a change of venue.

"This is a unique and complex case - the courthouse and all of the members of the courthouse are- all potential victims,” said Dickey.  “Therefore, it would be tough for the Cambria Courts to handle this case."

The district attorney’s office said that may not be the case.

"I would disagree with the change of venue at this time simple because you would have to try to see if you can pick a jury to prosecute this defendant," said Gary Jubas, Assistant District Attorney.  ‘This was no joke- this is a very serious matter what happened.”

"I know my client he feels terrible- the fact that the courthouse had to be evacuated,” said Dickey. 


HARRISBURG - The severe respiratory virus that's put children across the country, in the hospital with breathing problems, is now in Pennsylvania. The State Health Department announced Wednesday that 3 cases of EV-D68 had been confirmed in the Philadelphia area. Health officials say they were identified from specimens sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from a Philadelphia hospital.

Pennsylvania's Physician General says the State Health Department is working with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health on the cases, and will closely monitor the situation statewide. Dr Carrie Delone says parents should be vigilant and aware of signs and symptoms, but it's also important to know that  other respiratory illnesses are circulating and the best course of action if you're unsure is to talk with your healthcare provider.

Enteroviruses can cause respiratory illness, rashes with fever, and neurologic illness like aseptic meningitis (swelling of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). Most people with enteroviruses have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but some infections can be serious.

Health officials say many infections will be mild and require only treatment of the symptoms. Some people with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 may need to be hospitalized.


The Bellefonte Area School District now has two School Resource Officers.

"With five schools that encompass the Bellefonte area, it's difficult for one officer to kind of have contact, and positive contact, with all the schools," says Shawn Luse, the new SRO at Bellefonte Area School District.

The school district received a grant to fund the second officer. So far, having the extra officer on hand has been paying off.  Officer Jason Brower and Officer Luse are currently making their classroom rounds, talking to students about how they can help but also teaching them about some school and legal rules.  When Officer Brower was the sole SRO, he says it would take him half the school year to complete this. Now, the pair is on track to be finished by mid-October.

"Two is always better than one," says Officer Brower.  "The big advantage of two, obviously, is that we can work off each other."

Administrators say having another officer around offers students another law enforcement member they can trust.

"We want our student to know that they're here to support them and to guide them through whatever they may need," says Sommer Garman, the Principal at Bellefonte Middle School.  "They're not the enemy; they are the good guys here to help them."

The officers hope the relationships they're building now with the students continues into adulthood.

"It's a positive role model," says Officer Luse.  "We're here to help them get through these periods of their years to set up things as they grow up."

"If we're teaching them 'Take care of your communities' now, I would hope that that would help them down the road when they're a part of the communities," says Officer Brower.  "When they're living in those communities, that they want them to be positive, happy places."
BLOOMING GROVE, PIKE COUNTY - State Police have identified Eric Matthew Frein as a key suspect in the murder of Pennsylvania Trooper Cpl. Bryon Dicksonon Friday outside of the Blooming Grove Barracks in Pike County.

Frein has been charged with 5 counts of murder.