Associated Press

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Plum Borough School District

  A western Pennsylvania school board is preparing to release a report on how administrators handled reports and rumors that teachers were having sex with students.

The Plum School board has moved its Tuesday night meeting to the junior high school to accommodate a larger-than-normal crowd.

Edward Conner / via AP

A Pennsylvania fair vendor, who turned out to be a registered sex offender, was booted from the event after visitors complained that he was selling Nazi flags.

Visitors to the Bloomsburg Fair, which started Saturday, posted photos of the vendor's flags on the fair's Facebook page. The photos showed a red-and-white flag with a black swastika draped from one side of a booth and a flag endorsing Donald Trump and declaring "Make America Great Again" on the other side.

Morry Gash / AP Photo

First lady Michelle Obama will be in Pennsylvania on Wednesday to campaign for Hillary Clinton.

She's attending a late afternoon rally for Clinton at the University of Pittsburgh following a Democratic Party event at noon at LaSalle University in Philadelphia.

Obama will speak at Fitzgerald Field House at 3:30 p.m. Doors open at 1 p.m. 

Hartford Police Department via AP

Recently, paramedics in the midstate have been carefully approaching the scene of a heroin overdose.

They fear they'll come in contact with heroin mixed with a tranquilizer often used on large animals.

Emergency responders have already encountered carfentanil in western Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.

It's said to be 10,000 times stronger than morphine, and is often used to tranquilize an elephant.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Pennsylvania has extended a moratorium on oil and gas drilling in state forests and parks for five years.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that a new five-year forest management plan spells out an oil and gas management policy that supports the public lands drilling moratorium ordered by Gov. Tom Wolf.

The 234-page plan released last week by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources also addresses climate change impacts for the first time.

State Department of Corrections

A federal judge is directing the state Corrections Department to end an inmate's stay in solitary confinement after 36 years.

U.S. Middle District Judge Christopher Conner has ruled any concerns 64-year-old convicted murderer Arthur Johnson might escape are outweighed by arguments he should be housed with the general population.

Johnson made several escape attempts after being convicted of the 1970 murder of a man in Philadelphia, but officials describe him as being a model prisoner for the past 25 years.

Clarion.edu

A university in northwestern Pennsylvania is allowing students and workers to use nicknames on some campus records, including student identification cards and emails, in an effort to better allow them to express their identities.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Clarion University says it's the first of the state's 14 state-owned universities to implement such a policy. It became effective this fall.

istock

 

A Philadelphia woman has pleaded guilty to plotting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State.

Keonna Thomas, 32, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization.

Defense attorney Kathleen Gaughan said her client has accepted responsibility and "looks forward to putting this behind her and being a mother to her two young children."

Thomas, who was arrested in April at a public housing development in north Philadelphia, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 17.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

Pennsylvania's auditor general says the largest online charter school in the state paid millions of taxpayer dollars to entities tied to the school's founder.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale on Thursday released the findings of a performance audit of Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School in Midland, Beaver County.

Duquesne University

 

Law school dean and legal scholar Ken Gormley has taken the helm as president of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

The 61-year-old lawyer and professor was installed Thursday as the 13th president of the 137-year-old private, Catholic school.

Gormley was hired as a law professor at Duquesne in 1994 after first teaching at the University of Pittsburgh and practicing privately. He's been dean of the law school since 2010.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

 

The state agency that regulates taxicabs and transportation businesses in Pennsylvania says it doesn't have jurisdiction over free trips in self-driving cars being offered by Uber, but it will once the company starts charging. 

 

Faculty at Pennsylvania's 14 state universities are scheduled to vote on whether to authorize a strike next month.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties announced Thursday that faculty will vote on the campuses from Sept. 7-9 and members of the coaches belonging to the union will vote a week later.

Union president Kenneth Mash says its members don't feel the state system has negotiated fairly.

The State System of Higher Education says it wants to reach a fair contract but noted the system's financial strains.

WITF

The ticking departures board at Philadelphia's main train station could make its own exit soon. But just how long the letters will continue to flip and signal passing trains at 30th Street Station remains in question.

Amtrak spokesman Mike Tolbert says the plan to swap the Solari board with a digitized model is in its early design phase with no replacement timeline. A flipboard has directed station travelers for at least 35 years.

Tolbert says the model has grown obsolete, making it difficult to find replacement parts.

Michael Righl / Flickr

 

Faculty and staff members at the University of Pittsburgh now receive transgender benefits, including behavioral health support, medications and surgery.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports officials say the change, which was sent to employees last week, is meant to bring the university into compliance with federal rules on sex discrimination in employment.

WITF

 

All schools remain closed in a Cumberland County district while work continues to clean mold from the buildings. 

The school superintendent says East Pennsboro Area Middle School, East Pennsboro Elementary and West Creek Hills Elementary will be closed until Tuesday.

Air quality tests found elevated levels of spores in the Middle School and West Creek Hills school.

They'll be cleaned over the weekend. 

The first week back to school was thwarted after mold was found on ceiling tiles at the high school.

Reed Saxon / AP

 

Local courts that jail poor defendants because they can't afford to pay bail are unlawfully discriminating against the poor, federal attorneys say in a legal brief in a Georgia lawsuit.

The U.S. Justice Department says such policies are unconstitutional.

The federal brief was filed Thursday with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the lawsuit of a north Georgia man who spent six days in jail in the city of Calhoun because he couldn't afford $160 bail following his arrest on a misdemeanor charge.

Matt Rourke / AP

Former Democratic congresswoman Gabby Giffords is endorsing the re-election bids of Republicans U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, citing their votes on gun control.

Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, made the endorsements in a Monday editorial on behalf of their organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions. Giffords was gravely wounded in a 2011 mass shooting in Arizona.

Alan Levine / Flickr

 

Data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education shows an increase in unsolved bomb threats in its public schools over the last three academic years, but a general decrease in terroristic threats.

An Associated Press analysis of school threat data found the disruptions increasing nationwide at the expense of students' learning time and local police departments' resources.

The state department provided data gathered from Pennsylvania's 500 public school districts.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

A grocery store in Pennsylvania has become the first since Prohibition to sell wine in the state.

A Giant Eagle store in Robinson Township will sell wine beginning Friday. Only state-owned liquor stores had been allowed to sell wine since the nationwide constitutional ban on alcohol that lasted from 1920 to 1933.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports store officials and Republican House Speaker Mike Turzai plan a ceremonial Champagne toast to mark the occasion.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

A federal jury will be allowed to decide whether a white Pittsburgh police officer violated the rights of a black man left paralyzed after he was shot during a traffic stop almost four years ago.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Maureen Kelly on Monday rejected a motion for summary judgment on the portion of the civil rights lawsuit involving the officer who shot Leon Ford in November 2012.

Kelly also allowed the suit to continue against another officer who Ford said tried to drag him out of his car, but threw out claims against a third officer and the city of Pittsburgh.

Daveynln / Flickr

 

Pennsylvania's auditor general has announced a review of Penn State University's performance, focusing on governance, safety and tuition across its 24 campuses.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Tuesday that his audit will revisit former auditor general Jack Wagner's recommendations to the university following the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case, as well as compliance with state and federal guidelines. He says it won't rehash the university-commissioned 2012 report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

Mel Evans / AP

 

 

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has belatedly reported receiving $160,000 in gifts from friends, including $45,000 worth of roof repairs and other home improvements.

Philly.com reports the Democrat omitted the gifts on annual statements of financial interest he filed from 2010 to 2015.

Williams issued a statement through his 2017 re-election campaign citing "the need for greater transparency."

His attorney, Samuel Stretton, called the omissions a "terrible mistake."

Nati Harnik / AP

 

Noelle, who is in labor at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, tells a nurse that she isn't feeling right. Then her water breaks. The nurse checks the monitors and realizes that the umbilical cord has prolapsed. This is an obstetrical emergency.

Noelle has had this emergency — and others — thousands of times in the past three years that she has been in the simulation lab at Conemaugh. Noelle Birthing Simulator, made by Gaumard Scientific Co., Florida, is a full-size mannequin used to help nurses, residents and physicians practice real-life emergencies.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A municipal authority that oversees Pittsburgh International Airport is considering downsizing the facility, which has seen significantly less passenger traffic since US Airways closed its hub there in 2004.

Allegheny County Airport Authority officials say they're considering reducing the number of gates and better promoting the area's economy, culture and innovation.

The authority is considering demolishing parts of the concourses.

Officials say the authority is working on a master plan that should be completed next year.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

  A judge has ruled that a foul ball lawsuit can continue against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Major League Baseball and a municipal authority that owns public sports and entertainment venues in the area.

An usher at PNC Park in April helped Wendy Camlin to her seat when a foul ball hit the netting behind home plate and struck her in the head.

The game was delayed more than 20 minutes while she was taken away on a stretcher.

Art Gentile / Bucks County Courier Times via AP, Pool

  A political consultant for Attorney General Kathleen Kane says her security agents took him to a parking garage, seized his phone, wallet and keys and searched him for a recording device before he had lunch with Kane at a luxury hotel.

Consultant Josh Morrow is testifying Thursday at Kane's perjury and obstruction trial. The first-term Democrat is accused of leaking grand jury files to the press to embarrass a rival.

Alex Loy / Twitter

  The city is increasing police patrols and bringing back an advisory council to try to prevent violence among rowdy teens, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said Tuesday.

Police made more than a half dozen arrests after several groups of youths gathered Sunday night in Pittsburgh, the final day of the Three Rivers Regatta.

Witnesses said the teens stopped traffic, jumped on vehicles and knocked into bystanders.

betaylor.com

 

B.E. Taylor, a musician whose annual Christmas concerts and recordings made him well known in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, is dead of complications from brain cancer at age 65.

The general manager of a funeral home where Taylor lived in Wheeling, West Virginia, confirmed that he died Sunday. Funeral arrangements will be private.

The Aliquippa native's series of popular Christmas recordings began in 1991 and led to seasonal shows that drew thousands.

A family spokesman says he was working on "B.E. Taylor Christmas 4" at the time of his death.

Sue Seecof / Flickr

Pennsylvania's alcohol regulators are taking applications for permits under the expanded sales of booze approved by the Legislature and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this summer.

The Liquor Control Board said the law that went into effect Monday lets about 11,000 businesses that currently have what's called restaurant or hotel licenses, which let them sell beer to go, apply for permission to also sell takeout wine.

Eating place licenses that sell beer to go, typically pizza shops or similar establishments, can apply to upgrade to a restaurant license.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

 

Former Gov. Ed Rendell and the artists who created 57 painted donkeys installed before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia are at odds over donkey dollars.

Caryn Kunkle, an advocate for the artists, is upset because only four of the donkeys will be auctioned off to pay the artists. Kunkle contends the agreement with the convention's host committee, 
which Rendell headed, called for all of the donkeys to be auctioned off to help pay the artists, who already received $1,000 per sculpture.

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