Local News 7-22-14

BURGLAR PLEADS GUILTY 

JESSE HRIBAR PLEADED GUILTY TO SEVERAL BURGLARIES THAT OCCURRED ON STATE PATTY’S DAY. HRIBAR PLEAD GUILTY TO FIVE COUNTS OF BURGLARIES, 14 COUNTS OF CRIMINAL TRESPASS AND SEVERAL OTHER CRIMES. HIS CO-DEFENDANT ANDREW RONCZKA PLEAD GUILTY TO SIMILAR CHARGES. THE PAIR ROBBED SEVERAL APARTMENTS IN THE MERIDIAN 2 BUILDING AND UNIVERSITY TOWERS ON STATE PATTY’S DAY.

ANIMAL CRUELTY

TYLER SNOOK OF MIDDLEBURG WILL SPEND SIX MONTHS IN PRISON FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY IN CENTRE COUNTY. SNOOK WAS CONVICTED OF ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGES AS WELL AS SEVERAL SUMMARY OFFENSES. SNOOK ORDERED AN EMPLOY TO TRANSPORT A SOME CALVES SEVERAL HOURS AWAY, WITH ONE OF THE ANIMALS DYING ON THE TRIP AS A RESULT OF BEING TRANSPORTED IN SUB ZERO TEMPERATURES. SNOOK WILL SPEND 180 DAYS IN JAIL, PAY 2,000 DOLLARS IN FINES AND IS NOT ALLOWED TO DEAL IN LIVESTOCK FOR SIX MONTHS.

CATA OFFICE TO CLOSE

THE CENTRE AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY ANNOUNCED VIA A PRESS RELEASE TUESDAY THAT IT WILL SOON CLOSE ITS MAIN OFFICE. AS OF FRIDAY, THE OFFICE LOCATED AT 2081 WEST WHITEHALL ROAD WILL CLOSE DUE TO AN UPCOMING EXPANSION PROJECT. BEGINNING ON MONDAY, THE STATE COLLEGE OFFICE LOCATED AT 108 EAST BEAVER AVENUE WILL HANDLE ALL CUSTOMER-RELATED DUTIES.

THE EXPANSION INITIATIVE IS SCHEDULED FOR THIS FALL AS CONTRACTORS ARE SET TO BUILD A NEW FACILITY CAPABLE OF STORING MORE BUSES INSIDE OF IT. THE FINISHED PRODUCT WILL BE THE SITE OF THE NEW MAIN OFFICE. 

POSSIBLE SALARY HIKE FOR CENTRE COUNTY OFFICIALS

CENTRE COUNTY ELECTED OFFICIALS COULD SEE AN INCREASE IN PAY AFTER DISCUSSIONS ON THE SUBJECT OCCURRED ON TUESDAY. FOR THE DURATION OF THE 2012-2015 TERM, ELECTED OFFICIALS FAILED TO SEE A PAY RAISE AS THEIR SALARIES STAYED CONSTANT EACH YEAR. NOW FOR THE NEXT TERM, COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WANT TO RAISE THE PAY PER YEAR BY NO MORE THAN 1.5 PERCENT. 

THE PLANS TO INCREASE PAY WILL BE WRITTEN INTO AN ORDINANCE, WITH COUNTY COMMISSIONERS VOTING ON IT SOME TIME LATER THIS YEAR BEFORE NEW YEARS EVE. IF THE PLAN IS ACCEPTED, THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WILL MAKE 71,700 DOLLARS IN 2016 BEFORE SEEING THEIR SALARIES CLIMB TO JUST OVER 75,000 DOLLARS IN 2019. 

HAPPY VALLEY REFRESHMENT BURGLARIZED

STATE COLLEGE POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR A BURGLARY SUSPECT WHO BROKE INTO HAPPY VALLEY REFRESHMENTS IN BOALSBURG. THE THEFT HAPPENED OVERNIGHT SUNDAY INTO MONDAY WITH THE THIEF MAKING OFF WITH MORE THAN 3,400 DOLLARS WORTH OF CHECKS AND MONEY FROM THE STORE. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION REGARDING THE BURGLARY SHOULD CONTACT LOCAL POLICE.

HOME OWNERS LOSE APPEAL 

CRAIG AND SUSAN STOUT OF PATTON TOWNSHIP HAVE BEEN OPERATING A TOURIST HOUSE IN A STATE COLLEGE AREA WHERE SUCH PRACTICES ARE NOT ALLOWED. ON TUESDAY, THE FOUR-PERSON STATE COLLEGE ZONING HEARING BOARD GAVE ITS DECISION ON THE COUPLE’S APPEAL, RULING THAT THE STOUT’S WERE INDEED IN THE WRONG.

THE STOUT’S OWN A PAIR OF HOUSES IN THE HIGHLANDS NEIGHBORHOOD, WITH ONE LOCATED ON WALNUT STREET AND THE OTHER ON PROSPECT AVENUE. THE COUPLE BOUGHT THE HOUSES, FIXED THEM UP AND PLANNED TO SELL THEM, BUT COULDN’T UNLOAD THE PROPERTIES AFTER THE MARKET TOOK A TURN.

THE HOMES ARE ZONED AS R-2 RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES, MEANING THAT THEY ARE DESIGNED TO FUNCTION AS A SINGLE-FAMILY HOME IN A RESIDENTIAL ZONED NEIGHBORHOOD. THE STOUTS HAD BEEN RENTING THE HOMES FOR SHORT-TERM VISITORS, WHICH ANGERED NEIGHBORS. 

WOMAN CRASHES CAR INTO NITTANY EYE ASSOCIATES

STATE COLLEGE POLICE SAY 77-YEAR-OLD CAROL SOKOLOSKI, OF SPRING MILLS, ACCIDENTALLY RAN HER CAR INTO THE SIDE OF NITTANY EYE CARE ASSOCIATES AROUND 2:00 PM TUESDAY. SOKOLOSKI WAS LEAVING HER EYE APPOINTMENT AT THE OFFICE LOCATED AT 428 WINDMERE DRIVE IN COLLEGE TOWNSHIP WHEN SHE NOTICED THAT THE HATCHBACK ON HER BMW SUV WAS OPEN. SOKOLOSKI GOT OUT OF THE VEHICLE TO CLOSE THE  HATCHBACK, AND THE SUV BEGAN TO DRIFT TOWARD THE BUILDING. IN HER RUSHED ATTEMPT TO HIT THE BREAK AND STOP THE SUV, SHE ACCIDENTALLY HIT THE GAS AND CRASHED INTO THE BUILDING.

POLICE SAY THAT THE IMPACT OF THE CRASH WAS STRONG ENOUGH TO DISLODGE A DOOR INSIDE THE BUILDING, TRAPPING AN EYE DOCTOR AND A MALE PATIENT IN THE EXAM ROOM. THE ALPHA FIRE COMPANY WAS CALLED TO FREE THE TWO MEN. NO ONE WAS INJURED IN THE CRASH AND CENTRE REGION CODE DIRECTOR WALT SCHNEIDER CONFIRMED THAT THE CRASH DID NOT CAUSE ANY STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO THE BUILDING. 

NEW HELICOPTERS FOR STATE POLICE

THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE WILL BE UPGRADING ITS AIRBORNE LAW ENFORCEMENT AFTER ACQUIRING THE FIRST TWO OF SIX NEW BELL 407GX HELICOPTERS ON TUESDAY. THESE NEW CHOPPERS WILL HELP ENABLE POLICE TO MORE ACCURATELY PINPOINT GROUND LOCATIONS FROM THE AIR.

THE AIRCRAFTS ALSO HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO PROVIDE INTEROPERABLE RADIO OPERATIONS WITH FIRST RESPONDERS WHO MAY BE LOCATED ON THE GROUND. FUNDING FOR THE HELICOPTERS CAME PREDOMINANTLY FROM STATE POLICE WAIVERED RESERVES AND FEDERAL FORFEITURE MONIES. 

TURNPIKE MEETING 

AMID THE NEWS THAT CERTAIN STRETCHES OF THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE WILL SEE SPEED LIMITS RISE TO 70 MILES PER HOUR, A MEETING WILL TAKE PLACE IN MIDDLETOWN TODAY (JULY 23RD) AT 10:00 AM TO DISCUSS THE DETAILS. TURNPIKE CEO MARK COMPTON AND PENNDOT SECRETARY BARRY J. SCHOCH WILL MEET AT THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION BUILDING TO DISCUSS THE NEW 70-MPH ZONE ON INTERSTATE 76. THE TWO ALSO PLAN TO DISCUSS POSSIBLY INCORPORATING 70-MPH ZONES ON OTHER PENNSYLVANIA INTERSTATES.