Local News 7-11-13

Waupelani Fire Cause

Fire investigators confirmed yesterday the July 4 fire that left more than 40 residents in the Wapulani Heights apartment complex homeless was accidental.Fire officials believe the fire started while a tenant was cooking outside on an upper floor patio in the rear of the building.

According to Steve Bair, the Fire Director for the Centre Region Council of Governments, investigators are still working to determine how the accident happened and an official report is expected next week.  

Ziegler

Filmmaker John Ziegler released a transcript yesterday from an interview Joe Paterno had with a state police investigator at his home in late October of 2011. According to the transcript released on framingpaterno dot com Paterno discusses the 2001 locker room incident in which Mike McQueary saw Sandusky in a shower with a young boy.

Paterno told investigator Anthony Sasso that he didn’t hear specifics from McQueary about the incident but it was “inappropriate.” The interview also reiterated that Paterno reported the incident to Tim Curley and he also didn’t feel he had the “authority to make any kind of decision about Sandusky because he had retired from his coaching staff two or three years earlier.”The Paterno family has distanced themselves from him and has no relationship with Ziegler.

Student Loans

Though negotiations continue, the U.S. Senate rejected a proposal by the Democrats yesterday to temporarily reverse an interest rate increase on student loans. Thought more people favored than objecting the proposal, it fell short of the 60 votes needed. Republicans are pushing for a broader approach, asking for budget cuts in other programs to fund new government-backed loans.

If nothing is resolved, interest rates on federal students loans will remain at 6 point 8 percent, double the rate prior to July 1.the Rate is expected to impact more than 7 million undergraduates.

ACLU

Citing that the law violates the constitution, The Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is filing a lawsuit on behalf of the 21 same-sex couples who either want to marry, or have the Commonwealth recognize their out of state marriages.The suit comes two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on gay marriage, but left state prohibitions untouched.

Shoplifters

State College Police say they have identified and issued a warrant for the arrest of three suspects who ran a coordinated shoplifting ring which targeted stores in State College and other locations.

The suspects, Naquan Williams, Davon Hurst and Julia Fogle, all of Edgewood, MD, allegedly stole electronics from Radio Shack and the Verizon Wireless Store at the Nittany Mall.

Police say the three individuals stole similar items in at least four other states including New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Ohio. Police identified the suspects after viewing them on surveillance video and matching on of the suspects’ fingerprints.

PSU Research Grant

The Pennsylvania Department of Health presented Penn State with a grant for nearly 6 point 6 million dollars. The award comes from the Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program (CURE) and will help support Penn State Milton S Hershey Medical Center’s research mission.

The grant will fund research that is helped at aimed at improving the health of Pennsylvanians. The money will fund projects ranging from cancer research to smoking. Since the grant program began, Penn State has received more than $104 million in formula funds, which has also lead to creating or sustaining jobs in the academic medical sector.

Child Care Transition

Penn State will push back the start date for new management to take over a child care center on campus. According to WTAJ-TV, university officials say the Bennett Family Center will now operate under new management starting April 1. The date was previously set for August 19.

Officials say the change has come at the request of the Hildebrandt Learning Center, the company that will manage the Center, to allow for a smoother transition.