The Associated Press

The field of candidates for three open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is now set.

Republicans on Tuesday chose Superior Court Judge Judy Olson, Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey and Adams County Judge Mike George as their candidates. Democrats nominated Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty, and Superior Court judges David Wecht and Christine Donohue.

Philadelphia Judge Alice Beck Dubow was dubbed the Democratic nominee for a seat on the state Superior Court. She defeated Allegheny County Judge Robert Colville.

Updated at 1 p.m.

It's primary election day in Pennsylvania.

At the top of Tuesday's statewide ballot are nomination races for three seats on the state Supreme Court, with 12 candidates to choose from. The three top vote-getters in each party will compete in the general election for a 10-year term on the state's highest court.

Also on the ballot are Democratic nomination races for the Superior and Commonwealth courts.

Gov. Tom Wolf may not like a Senate GOP plan to overhaul pension benefits for public school and state government employees, but Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman warns that Wolf's budget plan has zero votes among the chamber's Republicans.

Corman made the comments Friday on WITF-FM's show "Smart Talk." The House has scheduled a June 4 hearing on the bill, which was fast-tracked through the Senate without a hearing. Senate Democrats opposed it.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Updated at 12:37 p.m.

State and city officials say 13 cars that derailed on a Pittsburgh freight train were empty and injured nobody.

Guy Costa, the city's director of operations, says the 13 cars derailed shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday. Costa says the entire train, not just the derailed hopper cars, was empty. John Poister, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection confirmed the information and says nobody was hurt.

Pennsylvania state senators have for the second time sent legislation to legalize various forms of medical marijuana to the House, where it faces an uncertain future.

The Senate voted 40-7 Tuesday.

It passed a similar bill last fall, but it died in the House. This latest version expands the number of eligible medical conditions to 15 and expands the methods of delivery to include vaporization along with oils, pills, liquids and gels.

Smoking it wouldn't be allowed.

AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File

Gov. Tom Wolf has hired a specialist in railroad engineering and safety to help limit the risk of a potential oil train derailment on Pennsylvania's rail freight system.

Wolf's administration said Tuesday that the hiring of Allan Zarembski of the University of Delaware is for three months at $38,000.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

A Pennsylvania court says a legal challenge to the state's system of funding public schools involves political questions that don't belong in the courts.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Gov. Tom Wolf is applauding the board that oversees Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities for tentatively agreeing to a tuition freeze in exchange for a $45 million increase in the system's appropriation.

The State System of Higher Education voted 9-8 on Thursday to endorse the freeze, which also applies to instructional fees.

The resolution approved by the board says the freeze ultimately is subject to approval by the board. Wolf says the freeze is contingent upon passage of the funding increase.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is threatening to terminate its Medicare contract with rival Highmark, which could cause about 180,000 seniors in western Pennsylvania to lose in-network access to UPMC hospitals and doctors next year.

UPMC says Highmark has refused to pay contracted rates for cancer treatment at the Hillman Cancer Center in Shadyside.

Spokesman Paul Wood said Highmark owes UPMC about $143 million.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

A county prosecutor says she'll review evidence and other material from an investigation that prompted a grand jury to recommend that Pennsylvania's attorney general be charged with perjury and other offenses.

State environmental officials have granted a request to give the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County more time to include more "green" solutions to the region's sewer system problems.

The antiquated sewers overflow during heavy rains because storm drains are tied to sewers in a way no longer permitted under environmental laws.

The department said Monday that it will provide an 18-month extension to a March 30 deadline for a plan to fix the problem.

Two unrelated missing persons cases were solved when the bodies of the men each surfaced separately downstream in a river in West Virginia in recent days — with the death of one of the Pittsburgh men now being treated as a homicide, police said.

The cases of Andre Gray, 34, and Paul Kochu, 22, aren't related, except by the coincidence that their bodies each surfaced in the Ohio River in recent days, likely because of the spring thaw, city police Cmdr. RaShall Brackney said at a Thursday night news conference. Bodies can remain submerged for weeks or months when rivers are icy or the water is near freezing, but rise to the surface as temperatures warm.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The Pittsburgh Steelers' football stadium will keep the name Heinz Field despite the company's planned merger with Kraft Foods Group.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File

H.J. Heinz Co. is buying Kraft Foods, creating one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world with annual revenue in excess of $28 billion.

The deal was engineered by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and the company that owns Heinz, Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital. Berkshire and 3G will invest $10 billion in what will come to be known as The Kraft Heinz Co.

AP Photo/Marc Levy

Penn State's president has told the university community an investigation into the Facebook posting of nude photographs by a now-suspended fraternity could lead to a re-evaluation of the overall fraternity system.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The president of Penn State University says a fraternity's Facebook posting of photos of nude and partly nude women is both sad and "very offensive."

Eric Barron tells The Associated Press the behavior is the kind that could get students expelled.

A fraternity at Penn State University has been suspended as police investigate allegations that members used a secret Facebook page to post photos of nude women, some of whom appeared to be sleeping or passed out.

According to a copy of a State College police warrant obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, a former member of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity came to authorities and told them about the page. The former member also turned over printouts from the page on a computer thumb drive.

Police say some Facebook posts also related to hazing and drug deals.

AP Photo/Pittsburgh Police Department via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A man whose fatal stabbing of a K-9 prompted Pennsylvania lawmakers to stiffen the penalty for harming police animals has been sentenced to up to 44 years in prison.

A judge on Tuesday decided John Lewis Rush should serve a minimum of 17 years, nine months in prison and said he must also serve eight years of probation after being released.

The 22-year-old Stowe Township resident was convicted in December of torturing a police animal, aggravated assault on the dog's handler and three other officers, and other offenses.

Gov. Tom Wolf is holding off on a search for a permanent director of the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records while a state court considers whether he had legal authority to fire the last one.

Wolf's lawyers said in court filings this week, ahead of a Commonwealth Court hearing next month, that he has delayed the national search "out of respect for the expedited judicial process."

Another new filing, by the Office of Open Records, argues the court should remove it from the case brought by Erik Arneson and the state Senate Republican caucus against Wolf.

AP Photo/Office of the Governor of West Virginia, Steve Wayne Rotsch

Speed doesn't appear to have been a factor in an oil train derailment in southern West Virginia, a federal transportation official said Thursday.

The CSX train was going 33 mph at the time of Monday's crash in the town of Mount Carbon.

Courtesy PixController / Via YouTube

A pair of bald eagles being monitored on a live video feed has laid its first egg of the new breeding season.

Camera operator PixController says the egg appeared around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the nest in Pittsburgh's Hays neighborhood.

A round-the-clock stream featuring the city's beloved bald eagles went online in December. The cameras are mounted in nearby trees.

Fires burned for hours Tuesday after a train carrying 109 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm alongside a West Virginia creek, sending fireballs into the sky and threatening the nearby water supply.

Hundreds of families were evacuated and two water treatment plants were shut down after dozens of the cars left the tracks and 19 caught fire Monday afternoon, creating shuddering explosions and intense heat.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Ex-Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord pleaded guilty Tuesday to two federal counts of attempted extortion, admitting that he tried to use his office's position to strong-arm state contractors into donating money to his failed gubernatorial campaign.

The plea capped a steep and fast fall from public office for the once-promising candidate for governor. During the hearing in a federal courtroom in Harrisburg, McCord acknowledged the plea agreement that prosecutors filed Feb. 2. He declined comment to reporters afterward.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Gov. Tom Wolf fleshed out his plan to tax natural-gas drilling Wednesday, saying it would bring Pennsylvania into line with other gas-producing states and generate as much as $1 billion a year largely earmarked for helping the state's financially strained public schools.

The Democrat made his case for the tax during a visit to Caln Elementary School in Thorndale, located in one of the poorest school districts in Chester County, as he kicked off a statewide "Schools that Teach" tour.

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File

A poll says Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly want Penn State to put back a statue of former football coach Joe Paterno that was removed after Jerry Sandusky's child molestation conviction.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday said the majority — 59 percent to 25 percent — favored restoring the statue to a prominent place on campus.

Pennsylvanians also strongly support a recent deal between Penn State and the NCAA that restored 112 wins to the football team and Paterno's status as winningest coach in major college football.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration on Monday announced it is simplifying the benefits packages for adult Medicaid recipients.

Wolf's administration released letter to the federal government saying it is withdrawing a request from former Gov. Tom Corbett for approval of a low-risk benefits package for healthier adults.

A Pennsylvania mall that was the scene of a shooting that injured three people, two of them critically, plans to institute a new policy barring unaccompanied minors on weekend nights.

The gunfire in the Macy's department store at the Monroeville Mall on Saturday sent panicked shoppers running. Police say a 17-year-old suspect has been arrested.

Three people were hospitalized Sunday with gunshot wounds after a 17-year-old male opened fire on a man at a Pittsburgh-area mall, police said, striking his intended target as well as two bystanders.

The Monroeville Mall went on lockdown Saturday evening after the shooting. The gunman managed to escape but police say they were able to identify him by matching surveillance video with images on social media.

Updated 8:03 a.m. Sunday

Three people were hospitalized Sunday with gunshot wounds after a 17-year-old male opened fire on a man at the Monroeville Mall, police said, striking his intended target as well as two bystanders.

The mall went on lockdown Saturday evening after the shooting. The gunman managed to escape but police say they were able to identify him by matching surveillance video with images on social media.

An historic mill that's a popular western Pennsylvania tourist destination has been destroyed by fire.

Firefighters battled the blaze at the 140-year-old Emlenton Mill in Venango County for more than seven hours Thursday night into Friday morning.

Part of the complex was still burning as of 5:30 a.m. Friday.

Emlenton Fire Chief Dave Whitehill says the mill, two shop buildings and four houses were damaged.

The fire started around 10 p.m. Thursday and spread quickly. Freezing weather hampered firefighters from getting water on the structures.

Pages