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Monday, May 11, 2009

Recap Of Today's News From Gerri Miller.com

Hear the local news first on Black Forest Broadcasting starting at 7:00am

Contact: gerrimiller@pennswoods.net

Copyright: 2008 G.R. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


The Associated Press reported over the weekend that The Pennsylvania State Police is backtracking on a blanket policy to withhold victims' names from news releases just one day after it was issued.

Spokeswoman Cpl. Linette Quinn said the department rescinded its policy Friday after realizing it was too broad. Quinn says the policy directed troopers not to release the names or addresses of victims, and put only their ages and ethnic background on public news releases.

She says the idea was to expand a longstanding practice of withholding names of sexual assault and rape victims to also include victims of sexual harassment. She says the policy is being rewritten to clearly define which crime victims it will cover and a new policy should be in place by the end of May.

Black Forest News stumbled on the policy a few weeks ago when the Kane Barracks refused to release the name of an accused in a domestic violence incident and encountered the broader ruling late last week when names of victims, even those suffering loss in an accidental fire, where kept from the public.

The slippery slope of keeping news from the public began several years ago when State Police arbitrarily began withholding the names of anyone under the age of 18 for any reason at all, even if they were passengers in a car crash.

That policy was vigorously opposed by this reporter and others took up the cause.

A couple of years ago, the state legislature approved a new, more stringent open records law. The information state police are trying to withhold from the public is available through a process request which requires time, paperwork and sometimes lawsuits.

Much of it is available from District Judges. The new policy is seen by some as a way for state police, the main law enforcement agency in Pennsylvania, to avoid obeying the law.

Some barracks did not get the word about the temporary back tracking on the policy and consequently, some of our reports today lack victim information.

Coudersport-based state police say numerous charges are pending against 18 year old Taras Luneve of Snyder Road Coudersport following a one-vehicle crash early Saturday morning on the Dingman Run Road a mile and a half north of Route 6 in Eulalia Township. Troopers said Lunev was headed north at a high rate of speed when his Chevy Blazer went off the road on a left turn, traveled up an embankment and overturned, slid back down onto the road and overturned again, coming to rest on its roof. Luneve was found walking north on the Dingman Run Road about three miles from the crash scene and was flown by medical helicopter to Altoona hospital for treatment of injuries. He was not wearing a seatbelt and police say they believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. Also, they claim they found several controlled substances and related paraphernalia at the crash site The SUV sustained major damage and had to be towed from the scene. Coudersport volunteer emergency services, and Coudersport Borough police assisted troopers at the site.

Kane-based state police say 25 year old Nicole Thompson of Perry, NY escaped injury Friday night when her Suzuki Forenza hit a deer on Route 46 in Keating Township while headed north. The car had to be towed from the scene.

Coudersport-based state police say their investigation into an incident taking place on the afternoon of April 29 in the village of Roulette has led to charges being filed against 58 year old Randy Cornelius. Troopers allege he was the operator of a lowboy towing a large garage before turning right onto Burleson Avenue. Charges of accidents involving damage to unattended vehicles, failing to have registration and certificate of title, and inspection sticker have been filed with District Judge Barbara Easton.

Raymond Tomb, 48 of Roulette was committed to the Potter County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail after being arraigned on one count each of aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and harassment. State police allege Tomb pushed a 54 year old female victim to the ground causing her leg to break during an argument in his home on Oak Lane Friday night.

Mansfield-based state police have charged 39 year old Jennifer Willow of Tioga, PA with aggravated assault in connection to an incident allegedly taking place early Saturday morning at her home on School Road. Authorities claim that during an argument, Willow grabbed a 9” kitchen knife to use against a 42 year old male victim during an argument. Apparently there were no injuries by Willow was committed to the Tioga County Prison upon being taken into custody.

An identity theft case victimizing a Galeton resident is under investigation by Coudersport-based state police. Harold Cawley, 72, told police that he recently discovered someone used his Discover Card during mid-April to rack up nearly $4000.00 in charges.

Jamie Gleason, 19, of Blossburg was released on $3500 unsecured bail after being arraigned recently on charges of access device fraud and theft charges this past Friday. Troopers at Mansfield claim Gleason the crimes took place in mid-April and victimized a 43 year old woman. A preliminary hearing has been tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.

Kane-based state police are investigating a theft from a vehicle taking place between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm Friday at the Holden residence on Columbia Hill Road in Otto Township. Thieves removed beauty supplies and a car CD player from a vehicle owned by a 21 year old white, non-Hispanic female.

A criminal mischief taking place Friday on the Dogtown Road in Genesee Township is being probed by state police at the Denton Hill Barracks. Vandals broke a gas lamp along the sidewalk of the Eugene Brundgate residence between 7:15 am and 5:30 pm. Damage estimated to be $40. More news...

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Anonymous said...

Getting any victims information is stupid!! People who are the victim of any crime should be allowed to keep the public from knowing who they are.

Glad the State Police are fighting for their privacy!

Anonymous said...

"Luneve was found walking north on the Dingman Run Road about three miles from the crash scene and was flown by medical helicopter to Altoona hospital for treatment of injuries."...

I hope this young adult is okay but my question is if he was found walking 3 miles from the scene why was he life flown?

Seems to be an awful lot of that lately.

I thought life flight was for a matter of life or death?

Anonymous said...

Its obvious if you were there, The injuries that he sustained were actually life threatening. Thus rather than taking him here where they would have flown him anyway.

Anonymous said...

with internal injuries , the body sometimes goes into shock mode .. that could be why he was flown. after medical proffessionals had a chance to examine him.

Anonymous said...

Come one now....someone has to pay for all those fancy helicopters. It's like the Doc running all those unnecessary tests....keep the $'s rollin baby!

Anonymous said...

yea i believe his case of being flown out is a matter of life and death when there is blood coming out of his ears..... he walk 3 miles because he was still in shock! that is a very traumatic happening to be thrown from your vehicle!!!

Anonymous said...

I heard he had a head injury and wasn't acting right. CCMH does not treat head injuries and will fly them somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

People you are missing the point we have more and more incidents with young people under the influence in the county. This needs to be a higher priorty in our county before we lose anymore young lives. We need stiffer penalties and parents need to see that thier kids are doing these things.

Anonymous said...

Seriously???? You are questioning why he was flown out??? Don't you think we should leave that up to the medical professionals? Come on! Yes, there is a more important issue here. Let's stay on the topic people.

Anonymous said...

my brother had a case of beer and a pancake griddle taken from his camp 2 years ago and he told them not to put his name in the paper. the cops said they had to put his name out there cause its the law. what a bunch of bs!! no ones business but my brothers if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

So...we should have no concern over the well being of the young man in the accident, just how much a life flight will cost??? Accually, it is none of your business and you are not the one paying for it so MYOB!!! I pray that the young man will recover from his injury's and for the alcohol, I hope he has learned his lesson. Just how many of you out there have experimented with alcohol at an age where you were not legally permitted??? This is a problem in this community and if you want to believe it or not, almost everyone in that High School has experimented with illegal substances.....not neccesarally the parents fault, kids lie and sneek!!! The real problem is the ASSHOLES who supply the alcohol and sell the drugs to our children. Children's brains are not fully developed in the area to controll impulses and this is a fact....but the adult who provides the alcohol...well that is a different story and that is who should be procecuted to the fullest extent of the law!!!

Unknown said...

It is the law. It's called the Freedom of Information Act and the Public Access Policy. Since tax payers pay for the court system it is their right to know who and what their money is being used for. The victim's name can be withheld by the court if they are a minor, victim of a sex crime, or the release could jeopardize the person's safety.

Anonymous said...

Alcohol related in Potter County.
Why not? Have you ever counted all the bars from Galeton to Port Allegany on Route 6? You would be surprised. From what I have seen in this town, that's about all anyone does so if this is what our teens see in Coudersport-monkey see monkey do. Not a good place to raise a family like I was told.

Anonymous said...

Thank God the kid was not killed or killed others. What is the point on second guessing why he was life-flighted, he's alive. As far as how many bars what does that have to do with it? Do you really think our area is the only place in the USA with bars everywhere? Not, that's why the beer, whiskey and wine industry is thriving, our area isn't using all they make. It is called responsibility of knowing what your kids are doing and your own responsible drinking. I don't feel the blame should be put on any other than ones self.

Anonymous said...

If someone had to tell you it's not a good place to raise a family and you listen, then get to hell out of Dodge......You're not smart enough to think for yourself...who needs ya.

Anonymous said...

Potter County was actually a freat place to grow up. From someone who was born there, moved away and came back to complete high school in the area, I am proud of the area and what it has. There are more churches than bars and no one is forcing anyone to drink. it is also a great place to fish, camp, hike, enjoy nature!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the type - I meant GREAT place to live.

Anonymous said...

There is no question that young people drink much more in a place like PC than in a more urban environment because there is very little else to do. I spent the first 22 years of my life there and the last 14 in a city. Getting together with friends and a keg at someone's house, camp, or even a field was a weekly occurance. Where I am now kids have the opportunity to get together with friends and join a basketball/baseball/soccer/golf/and more league. Go to the mall, see a movie, go to a concert, go to a museum, go to the zoo, go see a professional sports team. I could go on and on and on. It is very unfortunate and I definitely feel that I was very deprived when I was there now that I see what the world has to offer. For an older adult or a retiree PC can be a sanctuary. A place for peace and quiet, no crime, few worries. For an 18 year old who wants the exact opposite of peace and quiet it can be a strangling place to live with very few options to dedicate their time which often leads to very unproductive activities.

Anonymous said...

i disagree....living in the country you have a ton more things to do then living in the city...i particulary enjoy getting high and drunk and driving around....when i do this i wave at the police so they think nothing is up....seems to work everytime!

Anonymous said...

I want to know if my neighbor is sex affender or a thief, or a drug dealer.The innocent need to protect themselves. You do the crime your name needs to be in big print. Maybe if it was in big print they would think twice before doing the crime.I dont think my taxmoney should pay the police to be secret agents.

Anonymous said...

Don't get your panties in a twist over a simple question! I stated I hoped the young adult was okay, guess you missed that part!

I have talked with several different EMT's from several different areas and they all agree!

And the smart ass that stated why do you care you are not the one paying for it so MYOB!!! Well when some have to sign up for assistance to help pay for this 13,000 to 20,000 ride I guess it is my business! As my tax dollars will be used to pay this bill!

I asked a simple question because there are in fact more and more chopper rides that are NOT life threatening...heart, Oh we are sorry it was not your heart like Charles Cole stated, you are free to have your wife take you home now, on and on and on!

Ya it does and has happened!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael for your input regarding the law. However, I already knew all of that. It's a stupid law. A victim of any crime should be allowed to remain unknown. They didn't ask to be made public, they aren't asking for anymore than for the CRIMINAL to be held accountable. That's all that the public needs to know. If you do need to know, take yourself to the Court House and look it up yourself.

Look how victims are talked about on this site for example.....when you become the victim, you might have a different view on it.

Unknown said...

Easy 5:28. I visit about 40 different blogs and this has got to be the angriest blog on the internet. If you just read this blog you would think everyone in PC hates each other. Aren't you supposed to stick together up there?

I wasn't stating a view I was just throwing out what the law states so others reading here understand that when a public information request is made by someone the police have to comply and not to be angry with law enforcement. I happen to agree with you. I don't really see a reason why the victim's name should be released.

Anonymous said...

1:52, I think you misread things. The issue was whether or not the police should release VICTIMS information. I agree with you that if a person is arrested they should have their names plastered everywhere. As another person has pointed out, the victim never asked to be brought into things, so why should they have their name put in the paper?