Can photos be scanned or imported into Blender 2.7 and manipulated.

well, you can “import” photos into Blender ( quite basic operation), but how do you want to “manipulate” them?

If you’re looking for an image editor like Photoshop that is open source like Blender, I recommend GIMP. Blender is a 3D suite, not a Photoshop replacement.

I’ll echo what K Horseman said. You’re probably looking for something more like GIMP or Krita:

It helps if you state your questions and goals clearly.

The compositor is done for that purpose !
You can manipulate the image, grade the colors, add some effects or 3d integration, anything you want is almost possible.

But you can’t scan the picture directly in Blender.