Pennsylvania

Over two dozen attendees met at the Philipsburg-Osceola Middle School for a school safety discussion on Friday, September 14, 2018.
Min Xian / WPSU

The state senate majority policy committee hosted a school safety discussion on Friday in Philipsburg. It’s the seventh out of ten sessions planned regarding the allocation of $60 million in state funding for schools. 

Over two dozen attendees met at the Philipsburg-Osceola Middle School, including representatives from eight school districts in Central Pennsylvania.

Dr. John Zesiger is the superintendent of the Moshannon Valley School District. He said the school district will most likely use the funding to improve their mental health resources.

Poet Julia Spicher Kasdorf and photojournalist Steven Rubin spent five years documenting Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania. The project became their new book, "Shale Play."
Zsuzsanna Nagy

Poet Julia Spicher Kasdorf and photojournalist Steven Rubin spent five years documenting Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania. The project became their new book, "Shale Play." 

We talked to them about what they’ve witnessed and how they decided to blend poetry and photography.

Obama To Stump For Democrats In Philadelphia Rally

Sep 14, 2018
AP Photo/David Dermer

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Former President Barack Obama's stops on the mid-term campaign trail will run through Philadelphia.
The state Democratic Party said Obama will headline a Sept. 21 rally in Philadelphia to boost the re-election campaigns of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, but also other down-ballot races that Democrats are contesting.
In the Philadelphia area alone, Democrats are hoping to flip four U.S. House seats and more than a dozen state legislative seats that will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballots.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is marking 17 years since the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil by visiting the Pennsylvania field that became a Sept. 11 memorial.
Trump and his wife, Melania, were participating in Tuesday's somber remembrance in Shanksville. It's where a California-bound commercial airliner crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, after the 40 passengers and crew members learned what was happening and attempted to regain control of the aircraft. Everyone on board was killed.

Road closed sign
Kelly Tunney / WPSU

Dozens of roads are closed across southwestern and northcentral Pennsylvania due to heavy rainfall and flooding. The state Department of Transportation said more closures may be expected on Tuesday.

In five counties in the southwestern part of the state, the closures impacted roads including U.S. 22, which connects Blair and Huntingdon Counties. But PennDOT press officer Tara Callahan-Henry said the majority of the roads closed are not major arteries.

FILE – This June 1, 2018, file photo, shows a control center in the west section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix in Collegeville, Pa.
(AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's state prisons are on lockdown after staff members at a fourth prison required treatment in recent weeks from exposure to a yet-unidentified substance described as a liquid synthetic drug.

The Department of Corrections announced the step Wednesday, a couple hours after it reported that two guards and three nurses at Albion state prison reported feeling sick and required medical attention.

The department didn't say how long the lockdown will last.

State Representative Scott Conklin, D-Centre, introduced two new bills on Monday, which would demand greater accountability from religious organizations.
Min Xian / Keystone Crossroads

Following the grand jury report on the alleged widespread clergy abuse in Pennsylvania’s Catholic Church, state lawmakers are pushing for reforms. State Representative Scott Conklin, D-Centre, introduced two new bills on Monday, which would demand greater accountability from religious organizations.

Photo: AP

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A report on safety threats and security concerns in Pennsylvania schools concludes there is a need for better access to mental health services.
The task force led by the governor and elected auditor general released a 46-page report Monday that recommends expanded use of existing mental health programs and better ways to inform parents and students about what is currently available.
The broad findings of the report were made public in June, but the full document was just released and posted online.

Judge Blocks Online Plans for Printing 3D Guns

Aug 27, 2018
AP Photo: Eric Gay

A U.S. judge in Seattle blocked the Trump administration Monday from allowing a Texas company to post online plans for making untraceable 3D guns. The judge  agreed with 19 states (including Pennsylvania) and the District of Columbia that such access to the plastic guns would pose a security risk.
The states sued to stop an agreement that the government had reached with Austin, Texas-based Defense Distributed, saying guidelines on how to print undetectable plastic guns could be acquired by felons or terrorists.

Photo: AP Manuel Balce Ceneta

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey says Google alerted the Pennsylvania Republican's office that hackers with ties to a "nation-state" had sent phishing emails to old campaign email accounts.
Steve Kelly says Google alerted Toomey's office earlier this week about the attempt to infiltrate email accounts. Kelly says the accounts hadn't been used since the end of the 2016 campaign, and the nation-state wasn't identified.

Wolf Says 'No' To All But One Debate In Governor's Race

Aug 23, 2018
Photo: AP

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is agreeing to participate in just one debate before the Nov. 6 election with his Republican rival Scott Wagner, an event to be moderated by "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek.
Wolf's campaign said this week that will be his only debate, and gave no explanation as to why. That prompted Wagner's campaign to accuse Wolf of being "afraid to defend himself in front of Pennsylvanians."

Pa. Public School Funding Lawsuit May Head To Trial

Aug 22, 2018
image: AP

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A lawsuit that claims Pennsylvania is failing to provide students with an adequate education will likely head to trial.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the Commonwealth Court rejected Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati's request for a dismissal Monday. The 2014 suit filed by the Education Law Center and Public Interest Center claims the state is violating its constitution and that low-wealth districts are hurt by the formula.
Scarnati had argued Pennsylvania's school funding formula was satisfactory.

Wagner Says He Doesn't Want Workers Knowing What He Makes

Aug 21, 2018
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner said he will not release a tax return because his income is nobody else's business and he suggested that labor unions will use it to try to organize workers at the non-union waste-hauling business he owns.
Wagner made the comments in response to a questioner at a Monday night question-and-answer session in Erie in video captured by the Democratic Party.

Parishioners pray the Rosary at Holy Infancy Roman Catholic in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania after mass on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.
Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

More than 300 “predator priests” allegedly sexually abused over one thousand victims in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses for decades, while bishops and other high-ranking church officials covered it up and urged victims not to go to the police.

That is according to a lengthy Pennsylvania grand jury report released Tuesday, which had been in the making for two years. It faced several legal challenges by priests and others named in its pages who claimed the report would violate their right to reputation as guaranteed by the Pa. constitution.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Updated: 5:52 p.m.

A long-awaited grand jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania was released Tuesday in an interim, redacted form — detailing decades of alleged misconduct and cover-ups in six of the state’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses.

In his office on Penn State’s main campus, Sascha Meinrath, a professor of telecommunications, tested his internet speed.
Min Xian / Keystone Crossroads

In his office on Penn State’s main campus, Sascha Meinrath, a professor of telecommunications, tested his internet speed.

With an upload speed of 200 megabits and a download speed of 80 megabits per second, it blew past the federal definition of broadband.

“That’s way over the FCC definition,” said Meinrath.

But many in Pennsylvania aren’t so lucky.

In this file photo, a welder fabricates anchor bolts for roads and bridges at the custom manufacturer in Pennsylvania.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

A study by Bucknell University’s Institute For Public Policy counts Pennsylvania as one of the states where residents are most skeptical of free trade agreements.

The study found especially negative attitudes in states where voters supported President Barack Obama in 2012 and flipped to President Donald Trump in 2016: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa.

AP Photo/MichaelRubinkam

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — Colored bulbs cast an eerie blue glow in the restroom of a convenience store where people who inject heroin and other drugs have been seeking the relative privacy of the stalls to shoot up.

The blue lights are meant to discourage people from using drugs in store bathrooms by making it more difficult for them to see their veins. It's an idea that's been around for years but is getting a fresh look as a result of the nation's opioid epidemic.

Pennsylvania Has Budget Peace A Week Early

Jun 22, 2018
photo: AP

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on Pennsylvania's budget legislation (all times local):
8:50 p.m.
Pennsylvania has budget peace, for now, and spending authorization intact a week early for the upcoming fiscal year.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday signed a $32.7 billion budget package, avoiding the partisan acrimony and protracted budget fights of his first three years in office.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

 (Harrisburg) -- Efforts to overhaul the state’s redistricting process are faltering.

Earlier this month, the legislature looked like it might be on track to approve a sweeping plan to establish a citizen’s commission to draw the maps — plus change how Pennsylvania elects judges.

Ashley Oleson, with the League of Women Voters of Maryland, carries signs of the state's districts, before oral arguments in Benisek v. Lamon in front of the Supreme Court, Wednesday, March 28, 2018.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The U.S. Supreme Court was expected to make a defining decision on extreme partisan gerrymandering this term. It took up two cases, one from Wisconsin, and the other from Maryland. But, in unanimous decisions, the court avoided the key constitutional question at stake in these cases: How much politics is too much when determining voting districts?

Instead, it ruled on technicalities.

The study showed a stark divide in employment recovery after the 2008 recession in different parts of the state.
"Pennsylvania Employment on the Move: 2001-17" study 

National unemployment levels are as low as they have been in years, but that rising tide isn’t necessarily lifting all boats. Penn State researchers say recent economic development in different parts of Pennsylvania varies dramatically.

Senator Lisa Boscola asks for support for her redistricting bill before the chamber's Appropriations Committee.
Katie Meyer / WITF

After more than a year of on-and-off negotiation, the state Senate has moved a congressional redistricting overhaul to the floor of the full chamber.

However, the compromise measure is expected to undergo significant changes before it heads to the House as soon as next week.

In this May 21, 2018 photo, a sign opposing an industrial hog farm is displayed at a home in Berwick, Pa. Residents who complain about foul smells from the nearby hog farm have taken their fight to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
AP Photo/Michael Rubinka

For several years, a hog farm in Luzerne County has been under legal fire for emitting a stench that people say can make the surrounding area almost unlivable.

A lawsuit is now awaiting consideration before the state Supreme Court.

But the outlook isn't good--and that's largely because Pennsylvania law makes it near-impossible to sue farms for nuisances like smells.

Gov. Tom Wolf signing an anti-discrimination executive order in April 2016.
Courtesy of Pa. Dept. of General Services

Should private schools that benefit from Pennsylvania’s tax credit programs adhere to the rules of the public system?

That debate often revolves around school accountability because the state does not require private schools to administer and publish the results of standardized tests.

But the question has also cropped up in recent weeks around an entirely different issue — employee discrimination.

Ashley Oleson, with the League of Women Voters of Maryland, carries signs of the state's districts, before oral arguments in Benisek v. Lamon in front of the Supreme Court, Wednesday, March 28, 2018.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

 

This month the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to deliver two highly anticipated decisions on cases involving partisan gerrymandering — one from Wisconsin and the other from Maryland.

The central question in both cases is: How much politics is too much when it comes to drawing the boundaries of a voting district?

In the past, the court has said it couldn’t answer that question.

Pennsylvania’s population is on the rise again.
Source: Pennsylvania State Data Center

Pennsylvania’s population is on the rise again, after declining in 2016 — but growth remains concentrated in certain spots, and most communities keep losing residents.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimates show the state lost people during 2016, but added more than 18,000 last year, the most since 2012, according to a Keystone Crossroads analysis of the latest statistics.

(AP Photo/Marc Levy)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on the Pennsylvania primary election (all times local):

10:19 p.m.

John Fetterman has won a five-way Democratic Party primary race for lieutenant governor, making Lt. Gov. Mike Stack the first holder of the office to lose in a primary election.

The Braddock mayor's victory in Tuesday's primary election means he will run on a ticket with Gov. Tom Wolf in the fall. Pennsylvania first started allowing lieutenant governors to serve a second term in the 1970s.

Braddock had made a failed bid in 2016 for the U.S. Senate.

photo: courtesy of Scott Sackett & Paul Lamont

On Thursday, January 4 at 8:00pm, WPSU-TV will broadcast the PBS documentary, “Lake of Betrayal: The Story of Kinzua Dam” about the history of the Kinzua Dam in Warren County, Pennsylvania. 

First Transgender Candidate Wins in Pa.

Nov 8, 2017
photo: Tyler James Titus / Tyler Titus for Erie School Board Facebook

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania school board has a new, openly transgender member.

The Erie Times-News reports Tyler Titus won one of four open seats on the Erie School Board on Tuesday.

The Victory Fund, a political action committee dedicated to electing openly LGBT people, says 33-year-old Titus is the first openly transgender person ever elected in the state of Pennsylvania.

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