The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 1, 2012

Midday briefing: State officials don't expect storm to hamper voting

News from around the state

Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Officials say they expect next Tuesday's election to proceed without significant problems in Pennsylvania, as crews focus on restoring power to voting sites.

A spokesman for Gov. Tom Corbett says voting precincts are a priority for repair crews, after hospitals and other critical care facilities.

Experts also say that voting machines have backup batteries that last up to six hours.

Corbett has also ordered some county election offices to extend the deadline for absentee ballots to be returned following the disruptions caused by this week's massive storm.

Absentee voters in counties where election officers were closed this week have until 5 p.m. Monday to submit their ballots, either by mail or in person.

Anonymous donor offers reward in '07 Derry slaying

DERRY — An anonymous donor is offering $15,000 as a limited time reward for information in an unsolved Westmoreland County slaying in 2007.

Twenty-two-year-old Samantha Joann Lang was found with her throat slashed at the home where she lived with her father and brother in Derry Township on March 27, 2007.

The Lang men weren't living there at the time, because they were incarcerated on drug charges and, police say, their house was known for drug activity.

Lang was found slain in the ransacked house, but nobody has ever been charged in her death.

The victim's mother, Carol Polo, says the reward offer made her cry. Previously, other sources were offering $5,000 for information, so any new tipsters stand to gain as much as $20,000 for information that solves the case.

Bradford man tried to light school bus rider on fire

BRADFORD — An 18-year-old McKean County man has been charged with trying to light a 15-year-old boy on fire while they rode a bus home from a school for students for behavioral problems.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Johnny Krouse, of Bradford, who faces a Nov. 8 preliminary hearing on aggravated assault, risking a catastrophe and other charges.

Bradford Township police tell The Bradford Era that Krouse and the 15 year-old were returning from the Beacon Light School when they tried to use cigarette lighters to set one another on fire. The younger teen isn't being identified because police also expect to charge him, but in juvenile court.

Police say nobody was injured, but the bus was slightly damaged.

Krouse remained in the McKean County Jail today, unable to post $50,000 bond.

Cops: Allegheny County man threatened to kill probation officer

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh police have been searching for a man who allegedly left a voice mail threatening to kill his probation officer because the man's upset that his mother died of a heart attack shortly after she was charged with hindering his arrest on an alleged probation violation.

Police tell KDKA-TV that 35-year-old Theodore Hatcher, of Carnegie, called his probation officer on Oct. 19 and left a profanity-laced message that threatened to kill the officer saying, "You killed my mother, something's gotta go down."

Online court records don't list an attorney for Hatcher, and police say they want to find him before he acts on his threats.

Hatcher's mother was charged with hindering apprehension after Allegheny County sheriff's deputies showed up at her home seeking to arrest him on a probation violation.

Philly firm moving on W. Pa. racetrack permits

NEW CASTLE — A Philadelphia firm that's getting a license transferred to build a harness racetrack in Lawrence County has applied for storm water and other permits needed to begin construction.

The moves by Endeka Entertainment signal the firm also plans to apply for a state casino license soon.

Applying for the various permits within 30 days was one of the conditions mandated when the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission last month approved transferring the harness racing license to Endeka from American Harness Tracks.

American Harness failed to get the necessary financing and a casino license to build the casino-racetrack to be known as Valley View Downs in Lawrence County, about 50 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Endeka says the facility will provide 1,500 permanent jobs and attract about 14,000 patrons a day.

Police trying to ID pedestrian killed in Harrisburg

HARRISBURG — Police are trying to determine the identity of a woman struck and killed by a car in this city.

Harrisburg police say they have identified the driver of an industrial truck they believe hit the woman Wednesday morning. The driver did not stop at the scene but contacted police after investigators put out a call for motorists who thought they may have struck a curb.

Authorities say the woman suffered fatal head trauma.

Officials don't know the woman's name but says she was in her late teens or early 20s and about 5-foot-2 and 105 pounds with short, dark braided hair and a light complexion. She had tattoos on each wrist.

Prosecutors: Shot led to death of man hit by car

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia man accused of opening fire during the production of a rap video has been ordered to stand trial in the death of a man fatally struck by a car trying to get away.

The car's driver told a judge Wednesday he heard the gunfire and swerved around a car to get away, hitting 33-year-old Roger Long, who had fallen in the road while trying to get to safety.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports a judge ordered 24-year-old Quintein Jenkins to stand trial on charges including third-degree murder after hearing the testimony.

Jenkins' attorney says his client did not kill or target Long and isn't responsible for his death.

But prosecutors argue Jenkins set off a chain of events that left Long dead.

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