Archives for June 2017

BLAIR CO. BRIDGE CONTRUCTION…

Construction for the Route 1013 Kettle Road bridge, which spans Sinking Run in Tyrone Township, Blair County has been rescheduled. Previously scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2018. Construction now expected the week of August 14th finishing up in late October. For more info visit www.parapidbridges.com.

PENN STATE GREEK ADVISORY SYSTEM…

Penn State has developed an advisory group that includes students, faculty and university trustees to address issues within its Greek system following the February death of pledge Timothy Piazza. This week, university President Eric Barron announced the 17-member advisory group which will provide input to the school’s Greek-life Response Team, which includes university administrators. Three members of the university’s board of trustees are included in the advisory group, as well as representatives of the student Greek-life governing bodies, the University Park Undergraduate Association and a community representative.
The group is the school’s latest step in taking control of the previously self-governing fraternities and sororities. Eighteen members of the now-shuttered Beta Theta Pi fraternity face charges in connection with Piazza’s death.

PA BUDGET

Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers tasked with fixing Pennsylvania’s biggest cash shortfall since the recession are hitting a rough patch over how much more gambling to legalize.
Today is the fourth-to-last day of the fiscal year, and leaders of the House and Senate Republican majorities remained behind closed doors discussing compromise spending and revenue plans.Gambling has emerged as a key piece of the multibillion-dollar revenue puzzle that Republicans are trying to assemble.

PA STATE BUDGET LOOMING.

The state budget deadline is almost here. Pennsylvania lawmakers are returining to the Capitol with just five days to pass an on-time budget with no agreement yet on how to address the state’s biggest cash shortfall since the recession. House and Senate GOP majorities are expected to brief the rank and file Republicans today after spending the weekend in closed-door session. Governor Tom Wolf proposed a $32.3 billion dollar budget plan that includes $1-billion in new spendiing. Republicans are hoping to cut part of that plan. They’ve already rejected Wolf’s $1-billion dollar tax package to help plug the deficit. House Republicans want to raise cash through a massive expansion of casino-style gambling and selling wholesale and retail liquor licenses.

Cosby Jurors…

According to ABC News, two holdout jurors kept Bill Cosby from being convicted guilty of sexual assault. A juror, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said 10 out of 12 jurors agreed Cosby was guility of two of the three counts against him. The anonymous juror said the panel initially voted in a non-binding poll, to find Cosby not guilty on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault. On Saturday, Norristown judge Steven O’Neill granted a mistrial after the jury had deadlocked for the second time. O’Neill said the case will return to court within four months.

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Permits…

Pennsylvania has announced the first round of medical marijuana permits. Hundreds of businesses are vying to get some of the few permits available to operate medical marijuana growing /processing facilities and dispensaries that will be allocated to different regions of the state. The Department of Health announced the winners of 12 grower/processor permits as part of the medical marijuana industry. Many of the applicants have out-of-state connections and deep pockets. The department received 457 applications . The permits will be announced later this mornth. Awardees will have six months to become operational. The plants will be grown in a secure location, not in an open field.

Carnegie Hero Fund…

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, based in Pittsburgh has announced those being honored with Carnegie medals for heroism. Among those are a Colorado Physician who was fatally shot while trying to help his neighbor after she was wounded in a domestic shooting in April of 2016. Dr. Kenneth R. Atkinson was one of four out of 19 honored by the commission. The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission was endowed and founded by the late steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who was inspired by stores of heroism during a coal mine disaster that killed 181 people, including a minor and and engineer who died while trying to rescue others. The commission investigates stories of heroism and awards medals and cash several times a year. It has given away $39.1 million dollars to nearly 10-thousand awardees or their families since 1904.

Missing Person Cambria County…

There is a MISSING ENDANGERED PERSON ADVISORY in Cambria County. The Pennsylvania State Police at Ebensburg are searching for Patricia ARPINO, 74 year old female described as 5’5″ 210 lbs, brown hair, and brown eyes.  Thursday around 11:00 am, she left her residence located on the 1100 block of Cambria St., Portage Township, Cambria County.  There is no clothing description at this time. She was last seen operating her 2011 White/Biege Chevrolet Traverse. She has failed to return to her residence and maybes confused. Police believe this person may be at special risk of harm or injury. Anyone with information on ARPINO is asked to contact police immediately by calling 911 or the Pennsylvania State Police at 814-471-6500.

New Rules for Mentally Ill in Jail…

The commonwealth agrees to new steps for the mentally ill in jail.
Pennsylvania agreed in court today (Thursday) to a second set of steps to try to ensure mentally ill defendants dont suffer long stays in jail before getting transferred to a treatment unit. The jail stays amount to what civil rights lawyers say are hundreds of constitutional violations every day. U.S. District Judge Sylvia Rambo says she will approve a plan for the state Department of Human Services to pay for about 110 more treatment beds and hire consultants to recommend ways to reduce the waiting list for treatment. The agreement follows a court filing last month by the ACLU and a D.C. law firm accusing the department of “foot-dragging” on commitments it made more than a year ago to settle a 2015 lawsuit.

Cosby Update.

The latest on the sexual assault trial of Bill Cosby. The jury is now asking what “without her knowlege” means in one of three counts they’re weighing against the 79 year old comedian. . Jurors asked about the phrasing early this morning during their sixth hour of deliberations. Judge Steven O’Neill said he couldnt define that for them. Cosby is charged with drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand at his surburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He says it was consensual. The panel has also been reviewing Cosby’s deposition testimony. Cosby testified under oath more than a decade ago as part of Constand’s civil suit against him.