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{caption}Philipsburg-Osceola holds off West Branch 44-39 –B1{/caption}

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jyingling / Photo by Jaclyn Yingling 

Getting Patched Up

West Branch trainer Ashlee McQuown tapes up Sarah Betts’ knee brace in between the first and second quarters on Tuesday night. The Lady Warriors lost to Philipsburg-Osceola 44-39. For more on the game see B1.


State
After brief lull, new winter storm looms

STATE COLLEGE — A combination of rain, wintry mix and snow will spread across areas from Kansas to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as the week progresses.

A new round of travel problems associated with the next winter storm will spread from the central United States to the Northeast following a lull from snow and ice for a time this week.

The storm is destined to bring wintry precipitation and travel problems over a broad swath, even though Arctic air in place to start this week will grow stale and trend milder over time, forecasters say.

During Wednesday night to Friday, a swath of snow from the main storm is forecast to extend from parts of northeastern Kansas to northern Michigan.

While only up to a few inches of snow are likely to fall in this swath, enough can fall to make some roads slippery in the Interstate 35, I-80 and I-90 corridors.

The storm this weekend will be operating on stale Arctic cold air, and will crawl eastward, rather than northward and is also likely to hook up with the jet stream level of the atmosphere.

With the storm still several days away from fully taking shape, forecasters say there is uncertainty with regard to the specific timing as well as forms and intensity of precipitation.

With the leftover Arctic air being cool at best, the initial form of precipitation is likely to be more of the liquid variety for the Ohio Valley, central Appalachians, mid-Atlantic coast and southern New England. Rain or a combination of snow, ice and rain are likely in these areas for a while during the first part of the storm.

Forecasters caution that because this storm will take a more eastward, rather than northward track, and the air aloft may turn colder over part of the storm, a transition from rain to snow or from an icy mix to snow can take place in parts of the Ohio Valley and central Appalachians.

Details will unfold with the storm as the weekend progresses. At this time, the potential for heavy snow for part of the Northeast cannot be dismissed.


Local
Resident asks prison board for update on complaint

At the November meeting of the Clearfield County Prison Board, a resident voiced her complaints about treatment she had while incarcerated at the Clearfield County Jail.

At Tuesday’s prison board meeting, Jan Gaikwad once again asked what the status of her complaint was.

Gaikwad asked the board if her complaint had been turned into law enforcement, as she had previously criticized alleged treatment she received from a guard while she was there on a 48-hour detainment, and also about a dismissal of a complaint she filed with CCJ Warden Greg Collins.

At that time, Collins said the review of the surveillance tape and an interview with the guard did not support further action.

Chairman President Judge Frederic Ammerman told Gaikwad that it’s not the prison board’s “responsibility to hand your complaint over to law enforcement.”

Ammerman said he was aware that Gaikwad had spoken to Clearfield Borough Police, and was told they had no jurisdiction over the matter. Ammerman said Lawrence Township Police and Clearfield-based state police “each said the other one should do it.”

“I know you attempted to file a private criminal complaint, and I remember that you had some difficulties with the paperwork,” Ammerman said.

Ammerman suggested that since they have a new District Attorney in Ryan Sayers — who is now also seated on the prison board — she could speak to him regarding a criminal complaint.

“That being said, we have no ability as the prison board to cause charges to be filed,” Ammerman said.

Ammerman showed Gaikwad a packet of information they’ve collected on her complaint and said they are also dealing with another case at this time that happened “significantly before (Gaikwad’s).” Once all of the information is collected on Gaikwad’s request by the prison board, Ammerman said they will give it to the prison board personnel committee and they will further review it.

It was also mentioned by Ammerman that Gaikwad filed a right-to-know to view the video.

“It is my understanding that the solicitor for the commissioners is looking at that situation and will — I’m assuming — will be advising the commissioners her legal opinion as to whether that video should be released to you,” Ammerman said.

“Well it just seems that the way you guys have it set up is for people to give up,” Gaikwad responded. “And I’m not going to give up. I just wanted you to know that.”

Ammerman again reiterated that for the sake of the prison board, Gaikwad’s complaint has been referred to the personnel committee — a committee that Ammerman is chairman of.

“I am putting everything together, just like I did on the other case,” Ammerman said. “I’m just not quite done yet. I know it’s taking longer than you would like, but I would guess that before the next prison board meeting, our personnel committee will have all the paperwork.”

Ammerman said the issue will then likely be discussed “probably initially in an executive session because it’s a personnel issue,” should they decide that action be taken against CCJ employees.

“But at some point, that would have to then be discussed at a meeting to the public session of the prison board,” Ammerman said.

Gaikwad said that the longer it takes, “the more upsetting it gets.” She then asked about disciplinary action against employees.

“If I wanted disciplinary action taken against Greg (Collins), like if I were to sign a petition, how many signatures would I need to get him fired?” Gaikwad asked.

“It doesn’t matter how many signatures you would have — it would not mean anything,” Ammerman said. “We don’t do business by petition with members of the public signing petitions. That’s not the way it works. I mean, I respect your right to do that and for anybody else who would wish to sign any petition. If you want to give that to the warden, or give it to the DA or give it to me, or if you want to bring it to the prison board meeting, that would be fine. But we don’t do business or make decisions based upon how many signatures are on a petition.”


Submitted 

Squirrel Tails for Trout celebrates successful Christmas fundraiser


Crime
Inmate gets lengthy jail sentence for spraying guard

An inmate at SCI-Houtzdale who sprayed urine in the face of a corrections officer received a lengthy prison sentence by Judge Paul Cherry yesterday at sentencing court.

Angel Manuela Ortiz, 27, an inmate of SCI-Houtzdale, pleaded guilty to aggravated harassment by prisoner, a felony of the third degree.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on June 20 at 4:45 p.m., a corrections officer reported he was serving food to Ortiz at SCI-Houtzdale when Ortiz refused to remove his hands from the feeding aperture because the CO wouldn’t change the channel on the TV for him. The corrections officer said he left Ortiz’s cell and when he returned, Ortiz used a shampoo bottle to spray urine in his face.

The corrections officer said he knew it was urine due to its strong smell. The CO’s shirt was sent to the Erie Regional Crime Lab, and the shirt tested positive for urine.

Ortiz’s attorney Steven Johnston of the public defender’s office said his client is willing to accept the plea, but asked Cherry make the sentence concurrent to all previous sentences because his client would reach the maximum on his current sentence next year.

However, Deputy District Attorney Trudy Lumadue objected to this and asked the sentences be made consecutive due to the nature of the crime.

Cherry sentenced Ortiz to serve 21 months to four years in state prison to be served consecutive to all previous sentences. He was also ordered to have no contact with the victim.