Former Penn State Football Trainer Files Suit

A former Penn State football trainer filed a lawsuit Monday that accused the university and its athletic director of making his working conditions “so intolerable” that he resigned. Tim Bream, who served as the in-house adviser at the fraternity house where Tim Piazza was fatally injured in February 2017, also accused the university of scapegoating him to distance the university from Piazza’s death.
A university spokesman declined to comment Wednesday, saying the university does not typically comment on pending litigation.

Sunday Hunting on the Way in PA

It was a long time coming as Gov. Tom Wolf will sign legislation allowing hunting on three Sundays a year in Pennsylvania. The bill permits Sunday hunting one day during rifle deer season, one during statewide archery deer season and a third day the Game Commission selects. It also requires a landowner’s written permission and makes it easier for wardens to enforce the anti-trespassing law. Pennsylvania has banned Sunday hunting since the 19th century, although there are currently exceptions for crows, foxes and coyotes, and for noncommercial private game reserves.

PA Dem Switches to Independent

A moderate Democrat in Pennsylvania’s state Senate from an area that shifted decisively to support Donald Trump in 2016’s presidential election is switching his registration to become an independent and said Tuesday that he will caucus with the Republican majority. In a news conference in his Capitol office, Sen. John Yudichak of Luzerne County said that he had found a growing disconnect with an increasingly liberal Democratic caucus and party, and that some issues that are important to him will find a better home in the Republican caucus.

Raise in PA Minimum Wage in Discussion

A compromise package to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage for the first time since 2009 began advancing in the Legislature on Monday, up against a deadline for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to relent on his effort to extend overtime pay eligibility to thousands of workers. A Senate committee passed the newly unveiled measure to raise the minimum wage in four steps to $9.50 in 2022, up from the state’s current minimum wage, the federal minimum of $7.25. Wolf, supports the bill.

Penn State Working Through Tough Enrollment Trends

Penn State University’s president says he is working to counter difficult national and state enrollment trends that could even put pressure on a financially healthy school like Penn State. President Eric Barron says almost every county in Pennsylvania has a decline in the number of high school graduates and that those graduates are less likely to go to college. To fight those trends, Barron told trustees Friday that the university has created a task force to focus on recruiting international students, including from areas such as South America and Africa.

Holidaysburg Announces Citizen of the Year

The Borough of Hollidaysburg announced their 2019 Citizen of the Year at the American Legion Post #516 social hall. Donna Malone of Hollidaysburg was recognized in front of her family and friends for her commitment to service in the community. Donna has been an active member of the GFWC Hollidaysburg Area Women’s Club for thirty years and has held several officer positions, including president. Mayor Joe Dodson started the recognition program for outstanding citizens in the Borough of Hollidaysburg thirteen years ago.

PA Unemployment Rate up Slightly

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate ticked up in October for the second straight month, even as payrolls and the labor force hit record highs. The state Department of Labor and Industry said earlier today that Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.2%. It hit a four-decade low of 3.8% earlier this year. The national unemployment rate was 3.6% in October.

All Clear at Altoona-Blair Airport

State police say there were no explosive materials located in the suspicious packages found at the Altoona-Blair County Airport this morning. Troopers say there is no threat to public safety, and the airport has reopened. Troopers say an airport employee found three packages inside the airport around 6:30 a.m. this morning and
The airport was immediately evacuated. It has since reopened.

PA Medical Pot Business is Thriving

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program has passed a half-billion dollars in sales since it began dispensing the drug nearly two years ago. John Collins, director of the state’s Office of Medical Marijuana, said at an advisory board meeting Wednesday that about 147,000 people are currently certified to purchase medical marijuana at one of the 72 dispensaries now in operation. He says there are currently about 65,000 patient visits to dispensaries per week. Their average purchase is about $120.

FBI Looks Into Pipeline Case

The FBI has begun a corruption investigation into how Governor Tom Wolf’s administration came to issue permits for construction on a multibilllion-dollar pipeline project to carry highly volatile natural gas liquids across Pennsylvania. FBI agents have interviewed current or former state employees in recent weeks about the Mariner East project and the construction permits. The focus of the questions involves the permitting of the pipeline, whether Wolf and his administration forced environmental protections staff to approve construction permits and whether Wolf or his administration received anything in return.