Archives for December 2017

PA Taxpayers Wont Catch a Break

Pennsylvania taxpayers hoping to avoid higher rates next year by paying taxes before 2017 ends this weekend appear to be out of luck. Experts say a 1945 state law prevents such prepayment. Taxpayers in other states are hoping to avoid higher taxes imposed as part of an overhaul signed last week by President Donald Trump.
The new law limits to $10,000 how much people can deduct from their federal taxes for state and local tax payments.

PA Medical Marijuana Registration Increases

More than 10,000 people have registered to be among Pennsylvania’s first medical marijuana patients, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday. About 11.7 percent — or 1,188 applicants — have been certified by a doctor to participate in the state’s Medical Marijuana Program when it’s implemented next year, according to Wolf and the state Department of Health. “Patients have started to receive their medical marijuana identification cards, bringing us one step closer to getting medication to patients in the next four months.

Gov. Wolf Appoints New Chairwoman of State Board of Education

Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf is naming a new chairwoman of the State Board of Education, a day after accepting the resignation of the chairman after accusations he pursued sexual relationships with teen girls more than 35 years ago. Gov. Wolf said today that Karen Farmer White of Pittsburgh will step in immediately to lead the board, which develops policies for education in the state. She’s replacing 68-year-old Larry Wittig, who’s denied claims of two women who say they had long-term sexual relationships with him that started when they were 16 and 17. Farmer White holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. She’s been on the board for two terms and has been involved with numerous educational and philanthropic entities.

PA Motorists have More Travel Technology

Pennsylvania Motorists heading to grandma’s house for the holidays can use a new “Check My Route” feature on the state-operated 511PA.com to see when the roads were last plowed and whether there’s any construction or accidents along their route, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday. The feature shows up as a button in the upper right hand corner of the site’s map. It allows a motorist to enter start and end points as well as intermediate stops. It only shows information for state roads along the route. Another new feature shows images and information from 69 PennDOT Road Weather Information System sites along the major state roadways. Each station shows a photo along with temperature, wind and precipitation data.
The stations are accessed from the menu on the left side of the website, click on “travel conditions” and then “weather stations.”

New Report Grades New Mexico 3/10 On Preparedness For Health Emergency

THE TRUST FOR AMERICA’S HEALTH GRADED NEW MEXICO A 3-OUT-OF-10 IN TERMS OF THE STATE’S READINESS FOR A HEALTH EMERGENCY. DARRELL MOODY HAS A CLOSER LOOK AT THE REPORT…

CEO JOHN AUERBACH TAKES ISSUE WITH NEW MEXICO’S OVERALL PUBLIC HEALTH FUNDING…
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AURBACH SAYS NEW MEXICO DOES NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE CDC’S ANTIBIOTIC STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM FOR HOSPITALS…OR THE ENHANCED NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT.

PA Guardsman Admits he Threatened VP Pence

A National Guardsman has admitted that he threatened to kill Vice President Mike Pence before his visit to Pennsylvania for the annual commemoration of the Flight 93 crash on Sept. 11.
William Robert Dunbar pleaded guilty Tuesday. The 23-year-old Berlin, Pennsylvania, man now faces up to five years in prison when he’s sentenced. Authorities say Dunbar was on duty at the Army National Guard Training Center on Sept. 8 when he said, “If someone pays me enough money, I will kill the vice president.” Witnesses said they contacted commanding officers after they heard Dunbar make the threat twice.

PA Man Wins Carnegie Medal for Heroism

A 76-year-old museum owner who pulled a semiconscious man from a burning car following a crash in rural Pennsylvania is one of 20 people being honored with Carnegie medals for heroism. The Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced the award winners today. James Raymond Garvey Sr . was driving with his wife in November 2016 when he saw the burning wreckage of Ryan Hindinger’s SUV, according to the commission. Garvey ran to the vehicle, which had rolled over and landed upright after the crash, and urged Hindinger to get out. But the 26-year-old was semiconscious and couldn’t open the driver’s side door because it was jammed shut. Flames ignited patches of brush that bordered the passenger side of the vehicle, complicating the escape. Garvey reached into the driver’s side window, grabbed Hindinger and then braced his feet against the side of the SUV as he pulled the man from the crash. Flames engulfed the car moments later.

Governor Wolf & the Abortion Bill

Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor Tom Wolf is planning to veto a bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature to limit abortions to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, rejecting what Planned Parenthood says would be nation’s most restrictive abortion law. The current limit is 24 weeks. The 20-week limit would keep in place exceptions under current law for when a mother’s life or well-being is at risk. The bill is opposed by the Pennsylvania Medical Society and the Pennsylvania section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Grand Jury Report on Penn State Drinking Death

A grand jury’s report in the wake of a fraternity pledge’s drinking death said today that Penn State officials displayed “a shocking apathy” to dangers from excessive drinking and that its inaction allowed criminal acts to occur. The report was released by a district attorney in Pennsylvania and recommends a series of changes that the school should undertake in the wake of the death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza in February. The school permanently banned Beta Theta Pi in March, saying its investigation found a persistent pattern of excessive and forced drinking, hazing and drug use and sales. The report calls on state lawmakers to pass stronger laws to deter hazing and underage drinking. It also calls on Penn State to regulate drinking itself, rather than hold a fraternity council responsible, and for the university to expel students involved in hazing after they are “afforded full due process rights.”

PA Casiono Regulators Hand Down Recrod Fines

Pennsylvania’s casino gambling regulators slapped Mohegan Sun Pocono with record fines totaling $1 million for what it called failing to follow internal controls and doing business with unlicensed vendors. The fines of $450,000 and $550,000, approved Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, were the board’s highest one-time fines since the agency was created in Pennsylvania’s original 2004 casino gambling law. The bigger fine stemmed from an investigation into a scheme aided by a casino executive, a cocktail server and her boyfriend that authorities say stole more than $420,000 from Mohegan Sun Pocono in 2014 and 2015. All three are serving a prison sentence or are on probation. The smaller fine stemmed from doing business with unlicensed firms that operate restaurants in the casino and sell vouchers for dining and slots play. In a statement, casino officials say they’ve agreed to pay the fines.