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Johnstown Tribune Democrat Newspaper Archives Dec 18 1999, Page 3

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Johnstown Tribune Democrat (Newspaper) - December 18, 1999, Johnstown, Pennsylvania ctr Bunc a Altor Jason Green 532-5050 a3 saturday december 18, 1999 Jeff a Arlen what Sall the fuss about 2000? drum Roll please. The clock winds Down. The suspense builds. 2000 step through the Kitchen door off the Back porch and into the Black abyss of a new age holler at the Milky Way Meehaw fire the Shotgun into the air maybe twice every dog in the township howls leap Back into the House and discover just exactly what you be stepped into. This has a calming effect. Welcome to the 21st Century. You re off to a Good Start in Dou Bie ought. Disinfecting your Duck shoes in the Utility tubs you wonder what All the fuss was about. A. But think of it All four numbers changing at once. Its like watching the odometer in the pickup rolling Over to 100,000. You done to want to miss it so you keep looking through the steering wheel to see the cylinders lock and move As one unified and dreaming of Unity among men off the Road you go and into the Corn stubble. You a be better off with your eyes straight ahead As if Only the Ordinary were happening. Same goes for this new years eve. Eyes on the Road. Hands on the wheel. Steady As she goes. This is meant As advice both practical and metaphysical. A relaxed posture takes the pressure off me. Deep thinkers should prepare weighty remarks for the big event but frankly. In a not up to it. Old enough that Harp packets in my Mailbox no longer upset me i have lost any enthusiasm for occasions that Mark time. Instead i try to see time As one unending flow i try to focus on the close at hand not always with Success. The truly big picture is easily dismissed. But the More obvious turning of the spheres is harder to miss. Here we go around our Star again. We number our Days by the rising and setting Sun we Mark our months by the phases of the Moon. But for All my Raissez fair ism something is about to happen with the Moon that excites me. If you be lately seen the pcs astronomer Sas haying Down the handicapped accessible ramp of Saturn in his Golf jacket and Toupee you know we re in for a treat this solstice. On wednesday the first night of Winter the Moon will Rise full and huge and As close to the Earth As it gets. The last time this happened was in 1866. If its Clear it will be so Bright you can turn off your Yard Light and still play croquet at Midnight. If there a Snow you la need shades. The Moon will also be As High As it gets rising As the Sun sets. Even As i write this the Young Moon is noticeably larger and though it is but a Crescent i cast a Shadow on the Field. And behind the Crescent is the rest of the Moon dim with the reflection from this world strange with Earthshine. Get out the binoculars. Take a few minutes to gape. It will be As if you Are seeing it for the first time. Look at the craters and their Bright rays of pulverized ejecta that a Copernicus upper left of Center stamp of a meteor 800 million year ago 60 Miles across and two Miles deep. That a Tycho lower Center a wham sorry resist -100 million years ago 53 Miles across and 3 Miles deep and with the Moons most extensive Ray system some traced Over a distance of 900 Miles. Both of these craters Are ring mountains. In be been looking this stuff up. If i had a Good Telescope i might be up All night. Its easy to take things for granted and we probably get More sleep when we do. But Why pass time half conscious we done to have to solve the mysteries of existence. Nor would we want to. The fun is in wondering. Jeff o Brien is a free Lance writer in Somerset county whose column appears every saturday on this suspect faces competency Hearin by Mike Faher Tribune Democrat Bome get Bureau Somerset a county judge will decide whether Michael Allan Miller knew what he was doing when he allegedly Shook his infant son to death after a sleepless night in August. A competency hearing is scheduled for 1 30 . Jan. 4 for Miller 27, who is charged with criminal homicide aggravated assault and child endangerment in the death of his 4-month-old son William Nicholson ii. Defense lawyers saying Miller Quot May Lack sufficient mental capacity to understand the charges a a have asked for a psychological evaluation of the defendant. A the Issue right now is his competency to stand trial a a said Scott Scurfield Millers court appointed attorney. A a there a some mental health history but Scurfield in a Telephone interview said he cannot say what those issues Are because he has not seen a psychological Rok it the District attorneys Ottice has asked for a separate evaluation but assistant District attorney Catherine Primavera said that report has not been completed yet. Defense attorneys also have asked that Millers evaluation include a appropriate treat ment Quot recommendations if he is declared incompetent to stand trial. Miller remains in Somerset county jail in lieu of .$290.000 bail. Police reports said 21-year-old Melissa Nicholson the baby s Mother rushed her son to Somerset Hospital on aug. 7 after noticing the boy was unresponsive and nauseous. Three Days later at Hildrene a Hospital in Pittsburgh. William Nicholson was dead. An autopsy revealed the to be Blunt Force trauma to the head which state police said was consistent with a shaken baby bruising to the Back left Groin and testicle was found on the child. In an interview with police. Miller allegedly said he was working on a Gas Grill Early on the morning of aug. 7 at his Boswell Heights Home after being awake nearly All night with the baby. He bounced the child on his knee police said but when the crying did no to Stop. Miller Shook the boy. Given a Telephone Book to demonstrate How he had shaken his son. Miller supposedly a Shook it numerous times in a violent manner in a Back and Forth motion the baby smother who has said she did not know about the alleged abuse has not been charged. Family members say Miller knew exactly what he was doing and should face trial. A the was sane enough to try to hide the injuries from my daughter Quot said Carolyn Nicholson the infants grandmother. A the was sane enough not to want to go to the Hospital the family has accused the county a Chi Dnn and youth services Agency of not acting quickly enough to save the t oys life after the Agency received Rex its from a Somerset pc i patrician about signs of abuse three week before the incident. Hut a state investigate concluded the Agency performed its duty properly. Carolyn Nicholson said Miller May been angry but he was not insane. A we All get angry and sometimes we angrier than we she said in a a phone interview from her Stoystown hot. A but we Don t kill babies when we re angry Quot Nicholson said the pain continues a to Ltd family faces what would have been to i grandsons first Christmas. A trial she a. Would help family members move forwrr., though they can never forget. A i think that he Miller should spend tie rest of his life in she said. Judge puts brakes on cabbie please approach the Bench three students this past summer were employed to work on a Bedford county facility and part of their project included making an Oak Bench to be used by judges. On Friday judge Daniel Hows or gave them a tour of the old courthouse. Right Hows or explains How the construction of the Bell Tower was done. With him from left Are the three students who built the Bench Brad Robinette Jerry Conrad and Chad Northcraft. Below Howser shows the Bench to from left Conrad Northcraft instructor Rock manges and Robinette. Rocher kereke8/ the Tribune Democrat contempt order mulled against renegade Driver by Kirk 8wauqer the rib cur my Mcgrat a renegade Johnstown cab Driver has been ordered to temporarily Stop accepting Money for rides. Cambria county judge Timothy Cre any said Friday he will review previous court transcripts before deciding whether to Issue a contempt order against Daniel John Applegate. The county District attorneys Ottice has filed a contempt motion against Applegate. 44. Of Conemaugh township. Cambria county saying he ignored previous court rulings to Stop operating Independent free will Security cab. A emr. Applegate in a telling you this Between now and the time i Issue a decision you can to drive people anywhere even if its just a donation to you a Creany warned at the contempt hearing. A you violate that you re going to although not licensed by the state As a taxi service Applegate contends he is not violating a Between now and the time i Issue a decision you can to drive people any where even if its just a donation to judge Timothy Creany Pennsylvania utilities commission regulations by accepting a free will donations from passengers. A i can pick up 10 million people and there a nothing they can do about it. Because its not illegal a Applegate fumed. Quot As Long As the Money is donated there a nothing they can Applegate wearing camouflage fatigues repeatedly ignored Creany a requests to answer questions from his attorney assistant Public defender Patricia Moore. A see you wont let me talk either a Applegate said slamming his hand on the judges Bench beside the witness stand. A a they re liars All court records showed judge Joseph Leahey accepted a plea agreement from Applegate on Jan. 7, 1998. The agreement stipulated that Applegate Stop operating the taxi service. But records of the sentence and three subsequent contempt hearings were not contained in documents from the clerk of courts office As expected. Creany said he will review transcripts from the prior contempt hearings before issuing a ruling. A with the holidays a he said a it May Well take some Cambria county District attorneys office filed the latest contempt motion against Applegate following separate investigations by the Tribune Democrat and Puc enforcement officer Fred Kuzma. Applegate continues to advertise Independent free will Security Cai. 1282 Frank town Road under Quot taxicabs Quot in the latest edition of the get yellow pages. Late last month. Applegate drove an undercover Tribune Democrat reporter across downtown Johnstown. When asked the Cost he responded. A a it a a Applegate was paid $2. Called to the stand was Debora of Donnell of Portage w to said she paid Applegate $35 for a ride from Portage to Johnstown nov. 9. A copy of the Cheek she gave Applegate was used As Evi Dence by assistant District attorney Gary Jubas. Of Donnell said Ahe called Apple Gnyp from a pay Telephone. A i was under the impression that was there was Only one Quot cab service in Johnstown she said. A i asked him How much it was Quot of Donnell continued a and he told me $35.�?� bling Testi Mony. Applegate said he found a diff e r e n c e Between a Security cab and taxi. A the Public Utility commission does not regulate what 1 do Quot he said. A they after being ordered to Stop accepting Money for rides. Applegate questioned the judge. A what happens if some Friend Calls me up for a ride and leaves Money on the seat a he asked. After informing Applegate that that would violate the court order Creany said he could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 Fine. A a there a Good reason for the Puc Laws a Creany said. A a they re to protect the travelling Public. Puc officials say Applegate is jeopardizing Public safety and siphoning business from three Legal cab companies in the City do cab Christy cab and yellow cab which operate out of a garage at 1301 Frank town Road. The state Agency oversees about 900 taxi services in Pennsylvania including the three in Johnstown. Applegate also is awaiting sentencing on a Federal counterfeiting conviction. In late october a . District court jury found him guilty of making possessing and concealing $117,000 in counterfeit Money from december 1995 to March 3,1997. Applegate faces up to 30 years in prison and $500.000 in fines. A sentencing Date has not been set. Shooting into House sends four to trial by Bill Blair the Tribune Democrat a woman and three men will be tried on charges stemming from a shooting last month in Johnstown that resulted in a stray bullets piercing the Wall of a West end House. Erica Lynn Paul 28, and Tyrone Williams 29, both of the 100 Block of Barron Avenue and Anthony Jones 18, and Robert Adams 32, both of Oakhurst Homes waived their rights to a preliminary hearing thursday. The four suspects Are charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence obstructing the administration of Law and criminal conspiracy. District Justice Michael Musulin of Johnstown sent their cases to Cambria county court. As of thursday afternoon police had not charged anyone with actually pulling the trigger and causing one of the bullets to enter a neighbors House Kelly Callihan an assistant District attorney said at the magistrates office. Paul Williams Jones and Adams Are accused of concealing a handgun which police think was the weapon used in the shooting in a House on Barron Avenue. Officers responded to the 100 Block of Barron Avenue at 2 10 . Nov. 6 after receiving a report that several shots had been fired. Police said they found three spent 9mm Bullet casings in the area. Blood also was found on four vehicles parked on the Street As Well As on the Side of a Brick building. The blood Trail led to a House at 162 Barron where More blood was found on the porch and on a screen door police said. Officers initially were denied Access to the Home but because they thought someone inside might have been wounded they went in police said. No one was shot police said. Officers searched the House and found a 9mm handgun in the attic. Police Are not yet sure the Bullet that pierced the House came from that same gun Callihan said. Results of tests being conducted on the weapon and on the Bullet have not yet come Back from a state police lab. After piercing the Wall the Bullet passed through a video cassette recorder and lodged in the Back of a living room sofa. Kelly said police Learned that the gun in the attic came from Philadelphia but do not know How it came to be in Johnstown

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