The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 11, 2012

Morning Briefing | Man honored for perfect Rotary attendance


Associated Press

BRADFORD — Robert Kirk has spent 52½ of his 85 years doing one thing exceptionally well: attending Rotary Club meetings.

The northwestern Pennsylvania man is being honored by the service organization's international magazine, The Rotarian, for never missing a monthly meeting in those 52-plus years.

Kirk lives in Bradford, about 130 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, but has taken advantage of a rule that allows members to attend meetings in other states and countries.

A world traveler who enjoyed free trips because of his son's employment with a major airline, Kirk has attended Rotary meetings in all 50 states and 33 foreign countries. He estimates he's kept his perfect attendance streak alive by attending 400 to 500 meetings in other locations.

The Bradford Era reports Kirk also braved a blizzard in Denver, and checked out of a hospital to attend meetings.

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Police: Dad left daughter, 1, to go rob homes

BROOKHAVEN — Police say a man left his 1-year-old daughter home alone while he tried to break into neighbors' houses in a Philadelphia suburb.

Authorities say it happened Wednesday morning in Brookhaven. They say 20-year-old Arthur Langley was arrested after a resident called 911 to report a suspicious person.

The Delaware County Times reports Langley allegedly told police he had been looking for places people sometimes leave keys, and then mentioned he'd left his daughter home alone.

Police went to his house and found the girl in a child seat watching television. Police called the girl's mother to come pick her up.

Langley is being held on $100,000 bail on charges including attempted burglary and endangering the welfare of a child. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

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Chopper in fatal crash was nearing airport

TOBYHANNA — A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board says a helicopter involved in a crash that killed two people and injured a third in northeastern Pennsylvania had hit trees as it approached an airport.

NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson says the helicopter crashed after striking the trees. Authorities say the site of Tuesday night's crash site in Coolbaugh Township is about a mile from the airport.

The NTSB says it will be conducting an investigation on the crash throughout the week.

Authorities have identified the victims as 52-year-old William Ellsworth, of Califon N.J., and 51-year-old Tighe Sullivan, of Darien, Conn. A third man, Stephen Barral, of Bernardsville, N.J., was seriously hurt.

Officials say the men were on their way back from a golf outing in New York and hit bad weather.

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Slain officer's canine may go to his family

NORRISTOWN — The canine partner of a suburban Philadelphia police officer who was fatally shot while pursuing a suspect may be reunited with the officer's family.

Plymouth Township Officer Bradley Fox was shot after an attempted traffic stop last month. His canine partner, Nick, was wounded but is recovering. Authorities say the suspect killed himself.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman now says she hopes to reunite the dog with Fox's pregnant wife, Lynsay, and their young daughter. Nick, a Belgian Malinois, was purchased by the county using Homeland Security funds and then provided to the Plymouth Township Police Department.

Now, Ferman says officials are reviewing paperwork to see if they can cut through the "red tape" and reunite the dog with the Fox family.

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Fired Cal. U. president sues SSHE, other officials

CALIFORNIA — The fired president of California University of Pennsylvania has sued in federal court saying the State System of Higher Education and other officials violated his civil rights and wrongly created a public pretext to fire him by likening the school's spending during his tenure to money laundering.

The SSHE Board of Governors fired Angelo Armenti Jr. on May 16.

SSHE spokesman Kenn Marshall declined comment.

Armenti was fired after an audit showed a new $59 million convocation center added $2.5 million to the school's annual debt payments and that he raised only $4,000 of $12 million he's alleged to have promised to raise for the project.

Armenti contends the audit was released to "defame" him and claims he was really fired for complaining about SSHE policies that have saddled lower-income students with student loan debt, among other issues.

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Glass moulding plant closing, idling 35

BROCKWAY — A glass container moulding plant in northwestern Pennsylvania is closing, idling its remaining 35 workers.

Brockway Mould has been owned since 1994 by Ross Mould, of Washington, Pa., which has plants in other states, South Africa, Colombia and Hungary. Ross Mould announced in July that it would close the plant 85 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, because of outsourcing and the inability to compete with Chinese moulds being dumped into the market at lower prices.

The plant had been in Jefferson County for about 40 years.

The plant is scheduled to close Saturday.

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Talks possible between West Penn, Highmark heads

PITTSBURGH — The chairman of the board of West Penn Allegheny Health System and the head of insurer Highmark, Inc. might resume talks less than a month after western Pennsylvania's second-largest hospital network pulled out of a $475 million takeover by Highmark.

Some West Penn doctors who don't want to see the deal die, met Wednesday with Highmark officials. And now West Penn officials say chairman Jack Isherwood has called Highmark president and CEO William Winkenwerder to talk.

West Penn, which operates hospitals in the Pittsburgh area, balked at the deal last month claiming Highmark breached parts of the agreement and demanded that the hospital group restructure through bankruptcy.

Highmark denies a breach of contract, but wants West Penn to go Chapter 11 in hopes of reducing nearly $1 billion in debt obligations, which Highmark would assume in the deal.