Reload: Week of Feb. 11, 2008

The News Team was at the heighth of busy this week. We brought you stories about Colonial Courtyard’s planned expansion, the Mark Spotz PCRA hearing and a fatal accident on Intersate 80.

We also brough you news about a fugitive from justice being captured, two local police officers getting into trouble and four church burglaries under investgation.

But that’s not all. Ground was broken for an ethanol plant in Clearfield and a man accused of assaulting a bar owner had his days in court.

For these stories and more keep reading the GantDaily Weekly Reload.






Fugitive from Justice Apprehended Following Auto Accident

LUTHERSBURG – DuBois-based state police reported that a fugitive from justice was apprehended early Friday morning after a hit-and-run accident near U.S. Route 322 in Brady Township.

According to police Vance Newell of Reynoldsville was traveling south on U.S. Route 322. A vehicle operated by Bryan Gallup, aka Bryan Gontero of Penfield, was traveling south on state Route 4011 and failed to stop at a stop sign, striking Newell.

For that story click here.



Two Clearfield Borough Police Officers Charged, Officially Placed on Leave

CLEARFIELD – Two Clearfield Borough Police officers had their paid administrative leaves continued after charges were filed against them Thursday.

Clearfield Borough Council unanimously voted to extend the administrative leaves of Sgt. Greg Neeper and Officer Brian Dixon. This vote came during a special meeting of council Thursday night.

Clearfield Borough Police Chief Jeff Rhone released this statement to the media:

“Clearfield Borough recognizes that two officers from the Clearfield Borough Police Department have been charged with various criminal charges this date before District Magistrate Richard Ireland. The Borough of Clearfield has placed the officers involved on administrative leave.

Click here for that story.



A Closer Look at the Complaints Filed Against Two Clearfield Borough Officers

CLEARFIELD – More information has been gathered concerning charges against two Clearfield Borough Police officers.

Officer Brian Dixon faces two counts of intimidation of witnesses or victims, criminal conspiracy to commit intimidation of witnesses or victims, unsworn falsification to authorities, false reports to law enforcement authorities, official oppression.

Sgt. Gregory Neeper faces two counts of intimidation of witnesses or victims, criminal conspiracy to commit intimidation of witnesses or victims and obstructing administration of law or other governmental function.

For that story click here.



BioEnergy Announces Groundbreaking of Bionol Site

QUINCY, MASS. – BioEnergy International, LLC a science and technology leader developing biorefineries using proprietary biocatalysts to produce high value renewable fuels and biobased specialty chemicals, announced ground breaking for the Bionol Clearfield LLC, 100 mgpy corn ethanol biorefinery under construction in Clearfield, Pennsylvania.

“Today, we not only have the responsibility to transform our economy away from fossil fuels – but with ethanol — we have the ability to do so,” said Stephen J. Gatto, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BioEnergy. “Our integrated corn to cellulose program in Clearfield provides America with an extraordinary opportunity to change how we derive our fuels based economy. The partnership between business and government is flourishing in Pennsylvania as embodied by the extraordinary efforts of Governor Rendell, Secretary Yablonsky, Secretary McGinty and their exceptional staffs.”

Click here for that story.



Four Church Burglaries Under Investigation

DUBOIS – The Sandy Township Police reported four local churches were burglarized sometime over the weekend. The four churches included First Baptist, Emmanuel Church of the Nazarene, Christian & Missionary Alliance and the Tri County Church of God.

According to the report, police believe the establishments were entered by force via prying open or breaking a window or kicking open a door. All four had audio equipment stolen.

For that story click here.



Clearfield Borough Police Chief asks for More Manpower, Other Items

CLEARFIELD – Following Clearfield Borough Council’s decision to put two recently-charged officers on leave, Clearfield Borough Police Chief Jeff Rhone asked for permission to hire two part-time officers.

Rhone said that the police department is currently down five officers. Two of those positions have not been filled since Assistant Chief Joe Zelenky retired and Officers Michael Hoskavich was let go by the borough, according to Rhone.

“My staff is getting tired,” said Rhone. “I need at least two part-timers.”

Click here for that story.



Spotz PCRA Hearing Under Way

CLEARFIELD – The Post Conviction Relief Act hearing for convicted murderer Mark Spotz is under way at the Clearfield County Courthouse.

According to a prior GantDaily article, Spotz was convicted of first-degree murder for the 1995 kidnapping, robbery and shooting of a Schuylkill County woman. Spotz was also convicted of voluntary manslaughter on Sept. 26, 1995, for the death of his brother, Dustin, in Clearfield County. He was found guilty in two other cases as well; he murdered two women in York and Cumberland counties.

For that story click here.

And …

Expert Takes Stand in Spotz PCRA Hearing

CLEARFIELD – The second day of Mark Spotz’s Post Conviction Relief Act hearing started with testimony from two officers in the Clarion Police Department.

Spotz was convicted of first-degree murder for the 1995 kidnapping, robbery and shooting of a Schuylkill County woman. Spotz was also convicted of voluntary manslaughter on Sept. 26, 1995, for the death of his brother, Dustin, in Clearfield County. He was found guilty in two other cases as well; he murdered two women in York and Cumberland counties.

A death warrant was signed for Spotz on May 30, 2006 by Gov. Edward G. Rendell. Before the death warrant was even signed, though, an anticipatory stay was granted by the U.S. Middle District Court of Pennsylvania.

Spotz is seeking a retrial. His attorney’s have been addressing concerns over the ineffectiveness of Spotz’s trial council for not objecting to certain issues brought up by the prosecution as well as evidence that may have shown Dustin to have a violent disposition, which may have helped in their self defense claim.

Click here for that story.



County Commissioners Approve Colonial Courtyard Expansion Project

CLEARFIELD – Colonial Courtyard will soon be able to move along with its expansion, as the Clearfield County Commissioners approved the project at Tuesday’s meeting.

Prior to the vote, the commissioners revisited last week’s discussions about the required setbacks.

County Solicitor Kim Kesner said all buildings have a 30-foot setback from roadways. The project calls for a 12-foot encroachment, leaving an 18-foot setback.

“They need us to approve the encroachment into the setback” … “We need to decide if it’s a reasonable accommodation for the facility,” he said.

For that story click here.



New Superintendent Takes Over at the DASD

DUBOIS – Larry Robb takes over as substitute superintendent for the DuBois Area School District beginning Thursday.

He will act in that position until Sept. 10. On Sept. 11, Robb will become the district’s superintendent. His contract will expire on June 30, 2013. Robb’s salary will be $115,000 per year.

Robb was hired in October to take over for retired Superintendent Sharon Kirk. Robb was born in DuBois. He moved to Kittaning at age 10 and graduated from Kittaning High School in 1984. He is married and has four boys.

Click here for that story.



Verdict in on Johns Trial

CLEARFIELD – A two day trial for a Clearfield man accused of assaulting a DuBois business owner and manager wrapped on Tuesday.

Joseph Johns was found not guilty of four counts of simple assault, not guilty of reckless endangerment, not guilty on two counts of terroristic threats, not guilty on one count of harassment, guilty on two counts of disorderly conduct, guilty on other charges of harassment and public drunkenness.

Johns was accused of throwing a pitcher of beer at a woman at Coyote Joe’s in DuBois, pushing the bar manager against a wall and hoisting the bar’s owner, Joe Palumbo, against a wall by the throat in August 2006.

For that story click here.

Potts Run Bridge Re-Opened
University Recycling Looking Up as Tons of Ceiling Tiles Find New Use

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