Santa Express Brings A Little Christmas Magic To Bellefonte

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BELLEFONTE, PA — Dressed as Rudolph this weekend, Mike Hawbaker made his way through the train cars of the Santa Express.

During one of the 11 trips, Hawbaker approached a small child, who gave the costume-clad volunteer a small piece of paper. The child had hand drawn a little picture of the reindeer and wanted to give it to the red-nosed Christmas staple.

“That’s why we do this,” Hawbaker said, smiling as he looked at the drawing.

The annual event is a joint effort among the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority, the Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad and the Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society, train owner Jeff Pontius said. He also organizes similar events in Williamsport, Bloomsburg and Sunbury.

State College Council To Vote Monday On Budget, Proposed Tax Hike

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  The average State College homeowner, with a property value of $200,000, would pay $7 more per month….

State College Borough Council will decide Monday whether to go along with one member’s last-minute push to avoid a tax increase in 2014.

Council is expected to vote Monday on a proposed budget that carries a property tax increase of 1.5 mills. But Councilman Jim Rosenberger suggested last week that he would make a motion instead to put off the increase and dig deeper into reserve funds to balance the spending plan.

Rosenberger said he hadn’t seen enough at a series of budget discussions to be convinced that the borough needs to raises taxes in 2014.

Borough Manager Tom Fountaine said that the budget could be modified to include no tax increase and still be passed Monday. Council wouldn’t have to start the process over or hold additional meetings.

Penn State Reports 16-Percent Increase In Applications From Prospective Students

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Penn State is seeing a boom in the number of undergraduate applications for admission in the next academic year.

As of Monday, the university had received almost 46,000 applications from prospective baccalaureate students, a figure that is more than 7,500 ahead of the number of applications received at this time last year. The count is more in line with the number of applications received at this time in 2010 and 2011.

From this applicant pool, the university has made 11,000 offers.

Bellefonte Victorian Christmas A Holiday Wonderland

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Step into the holiday wonderland of the 32nd Annual Bellefonte Victorian Christmas, but watch out for some of its characters.

They may be stepping around you.

Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Cratchet and the Fezziwigs will return to Bellefonte in all their festive sartorial splendor to stroll around and greet visitors during the Dec. 12-15 celebration.

They’re among the many attractions scheduled for the traditional holiday extravaganza organized by the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association. Carolers, arts and crafts vendors, concerts, horse-drawn carriage rides, gingerbread houses, visits with Santa and more await to put even the biggest Scrooge in a holiday mood.

Important Races On Your Ballot Tuesday

Election Day is Tuesday, and there will be a meaningful showdown on the ballot, no matter where you live.

The races that will appear on your ballot this week are very important, and the result will arguably have a greater impact on your life than the choosing of the governor, a senator or even a member of the House of Representatives.

Joyce McKinley, director of the Centre County Office of Elections, noted that just 12 percent of county voters cast ballots in the primary.

“We’d like to see a decent turnout,” she said. “We certainly expect to see better turnout than in the spring, but that was disastrous.”

Police: Rockview Inmate Alone With Woman For 27 Minutes During Sexual Assault

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A former Rockview state prison inmate charged Thursday with the brutal sexual assault of a female employee was alone with the woman for 27 minutes, despite the fact that she sounded her emergency whistle, police say.

Omar Best, 36, faces multiple felony counts, including rape and aggravated assault, stemming from the July 25 assault. He is accused of raping the woman and choking her unconscious.

Charging documents filed Thursday by state police revealed new details about the assault.

Police said Best was able to get the woman alone by walking into a clerical area where she was working. She blew a whistle to signify she was in danger when Best approached her, but no help came, police said.

Incumbents Ousted In Penn State Trustees Election

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In what one newly elected member called a referendum on the Penn State board of trustees, alumni chose three new members and ousted veteran members Paul Suhey and Stephanie Deviney.

Endorsed by the family of former head football coach Joe Paterno and vocal alumni critical of the board’s response to the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, the election winners emerged from a field of 39 candidates, including the two incumbents.

The election results came during a meeting Friday on the University Park campus, where the board voted to adopt sweeping changes as Penn State University continues its effort to revamp procedures following Sandusky’s conviction last summer for molesting 10 boys.  Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years in state prison.

The winners in the monthlong election, which saw nearly 34,000 alumni cast ballots, are Edward “Ted” Brown III of State College, Barbara Doran of New York and William F. Oldsey of Basking Ridge, N.J.

Read more:

http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-penn-state-trustees-election-20130503,0,1472995.story

Bellefonte’s Victorian Christmas

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  This is a great example of taking your strengths and maximizing them!

BELLEFONTE – This weekend you will find Bellefonte full of activity everywhere you look; it is the 31st annual Victorian Christmas. There will be something for everyone. Just some of the highlights are a Breakfast With Santa, arts and crafts at three locations, carriage rides, the home tour, walking tours and wonderful concerts.

The event’s opening ceremony is Friday at the Bellefonte Elementary School at 6:30 p.m.. featuring the Bellefonte Community Band, the Nittany Knights, the Bellefonte Elementary School fourth and Fifth Grade Choir, middle school Women’s Chorale, St. John’s Elementary School Choir, and other special performances including a preview performance of “Dickens’ Holiday.”

Mayor Kent Addis will officially open the event.

This year the Bellefonte Historic and Cultural Association offers historic walking tours downtown on both Saturday and Sunday.  The tours meet at 2 p.m. at the courthouse both days.

Read more:   http://www.lockhaven.com/page/content.detail/id/542378/Bellefonte-s-Victorian-Christmas.html?nav=5164

Bedford, Blair, Center And Huntington Counties Brace For Hurricane Sandy

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Blair County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Blair County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Hurricane Sandy continued to batter the East Coast and mid-Atlantic states, county officials in central Pennsylvania moved Monday to enact emergency disaster declarations ahead of the storm’s expected turn toward the area.

Bedford, Blair, Centre and Huntingdon counties issued emergency disaster declarations, and other Pennsylvania counties are expected to follow suit.

The declarations mean emergency management officials and first responders have greater access to resources necessary for relief efforts without the “red tape” of soliciting bids or other typical government procedures, Bedford County Director of Emergency Services Dave Cubbison said.

“We’re definitely going to have water,” Cubbison said.

Read more: http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/565622/Counties-brace-for-Hurricane-Sandy.html?nav=742

Jerry Sandusky Sentenced To At Least 30 Years In Prison

BELLEFONTE, PAJerry Sandusky was sentenced today to at least 30 years in prison — effectively a life sentence — in the child sexual abuse scandal that brought shame to Penn State and led to coach Joe Paterno‘s downfall.

A defiant Sandusky gave a rambling statement in which he denied the allegations and talked about his life in prison and the pain of being away from his family.

Three victims spoke, often fighting back tears. One looked Sandusky in the eyes at times.

The 68-year-old former Penn State assistant coach was found guilty in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, convicted of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period. Witnesses said Sandusky used the charitable organization he founded for troubled children as his personal hunting ground to find and groom boys to become his victims.

His arrest 11 months ago, and the details that came out during his trial over the summer, transformed Sandusky’s public image from a college coach who had been widely admired for his work with The Second Mile charity into that of a reviled pervert who preyed on the very youngsters who sought his help.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=419736

Penn State Punishment: 112 Wins Vacated, 4-Year Bowl Ban, $60 Million Fine, Lost Scholarships

English: National Collegiate Athletic Associat...

English: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) logo. Source: http://www1.ncaa.org/eprise/main/Public/mlp/promotions_special_events/pe_web/promo_manual/memos/identity.pdf Converted by User:King of Hearts from :Image:National Collegiate Athletic Association logo.png using Inkscape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA slammed Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal today with an unprecedented series of penalties, including a $60 million fine and the loss of all the school’s victories from 1998-2011, knocking Joe Paterno from his spot as major college football’s winningest coach.

Other sanctions include a four-year ban on postseason games that will prevent Penn State from playing for the Big Ten title, the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years and five years’ probation. The NCAA also said that any current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school.

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the staggering sanctions at a news conference in Indianapolis. Though the NCAA stopped short of imposing the “death penalty” — shutting down the Nittany Lions‘ program completely. But the punishment is so severe, it’s more like a slow-death penalty.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=402015

Sandusky Convicted Of 45 Counts, Plans To Appeal

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BELLEFONTE, Pa.Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse Friday night and faces spending the rest of his life in state prison. His attorney said he would appeal the verdict.

Sandusky’s attorney, Joseph Amendola, asked Judge John Cleland to allow Sandusky to be released on house arrest, but Cleland summarily rejected the request, saying: “Bail is revoked. Mr. Sandusky is remanded to the custody of the sheriff.”

Sandusky was immediately led out of the courthouse in handcuffs as a large crowd of onlookers cheered. Sentencing was set for late September.

Read more: http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/22/12363955-sandusky-convicted-of-45-counts-plans-to-appeal?lite

Joe Pa Near Death

Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Joe Patern...

Image via Wikipedia

Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is near death, a source close to the Paterno family told The Citizens’ Voice.

On Saturday afternoon, Paterno’s wife, Sue, called close friends of the former coach to the State College hospital where Paterno has been undergoing treatment since Jan. 13 for complications from his fight against cancer.
 
Paterno, 85, wanted to say a final goodbye, Sue said, according to the source.
 
Those close friends included his longtime secretary. Members of Paterno’s extended family were also summoned to the hospital.
 
His son, former assistant coach Jay Paterno, cancelled an appearance in Reading, Pa., telling organizers 15 minutes before the scheduled start that he would not be able to make it because “his wife” was sick.
 

More Penn State News

Joe Paterno is having a bad month.  Not only has he been fired after 60+ years, but now PSU is taking down a 900-pound statue of JoePa that stands outside Beaver Stadium over Thanksgiving break.  It’s being done to avoid riots.  Hmmmmm.

In addition, the Big Ten will be removing JoePa’s name from the conference championship trophy.

Mr. McQueary’s statement that he notified the police about witnessing Jerry Sandusky sexually molesting a 10-year-old boy in the PSU showers has gotten the attention of local police.  State College Police Chief Tom King is sayin’ that ain’t so, Joe Mike.  There is no record on file that McQueary reported Sandusky to the State College popo. 

The Pennsylvania State Police are not commenting if McQueary spoke with them because of the ongoing investigation into the 2002 incident.  Guessing the answer is “no”.

Centre County Rabies Cases Climbing

A Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor) seen near a b...
Image via Wikipedia

First rabid beavers in Philly, now drooling raccoons in State College???  Looks like 2011 is the year of the rabid animal.

Rocky Raccoon was tooling around the main campus at Penn State University on June 30th when authorities shot the animal because it was drooling, running into things and falling down (guess only coeds are allowed to do that).  The raccoon tested positive for rabies (it hadn’t crashed a frat party).  This is rather alarming as there are tens of thousands of students at PSU’s main campus and a rabid raccoon throw into the mix could have been very dangerous.

So far this year there have been 8 diagnosed cases of rabies in Centre County.  In all of 2010 there were only 5 cases of rabies.  The next most recent rabies incident prior to last Thursday happened in nearby Gregg Township.  On June 27th a dog and rabid raccoon fought.  The dog was vaccinated but is being quarantined.

Beaver Stadium Turns 50!

Growing up in North Central Pennsylvania, you can’t help but be a Penn State fan.  Question: Why is the sky is blue and white?  Answer: God is a Penn State fan.

My Dad was a Penn State alumni and Joe Pa’s name was said with reverence.  A big thrill for me was when our high school band participated in Band Day at Beaver Stadium.  Standing on that field, in front of that many people, was a rush!  I can’t drive by Beaver Stadium without looking at it.  It certainly stands out but even after all these years, it still makes me look.

So happy birthday Beaver Stadium.  Hopefully the Nittany Lions will have a banner season to commemorate your big 50.  After all, it is Happy Valley!