Associated Press

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Lars Ploughmann / flickr

 A Pennsylvania couple is suing the police and an insurance company because they say they were handcuffed for hours in a patrol car after their hibiscus plants were confused for marijuana.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped in October to a new post-recession low, although the labor force, employment and payrolls all shrank during the month.

Peter Petokas / AP

There's another salamander vying to become Pennsylvania's official amphibian.

House Republican leader Dave Reed circulated a memo Thursday seeking support for forthcoming legislation to make Wehrle's salamander the state's official amphibian.

His memo appeared a day after the Senate voted overwhelmingly to make the Eastern hellbender the official amphibian of Pennsylvania.

Mike Groll / AP

Maine officials say a new species of wasp has been discovered.

Jose Luis Magana / AP

A spokesman says former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge is in critical condition after undergoing an emergency heart procedure at a hospital in Austin, Texas.

Ridge spokesman Steve Aaron says the 72-year-old Ridge, who served as Republican governor from 1995 to 2001, was attending the Republican Governors Association conference when he called for help at his hotel about 7 a.m. 

The spokesman says Ridge underwent a cardiac catheterization at Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas.

Aaron says Ridge has been responsive with physicians.

Matt Rourke / AP

Federal officials are investigating a threat made against the annual Gettysburg Remembrance Parade in Pennsylvania.

Parade organizers are asking attendees not to bring backpacks or coolers to the events scheduled for this weekend. They also say people can't carry caps, powder, ammunition or any other explosive devices.

The Gettysburg Borough Police Department said Wednesday they are working with state police and the FBI to ensure everyone's safety.

Parade attendees are asked to report any suspicious activity to police.

Rick Callahan / 90.5 WESA

The state Senate is advancing legislation to make the Eastern hellbender the official amphibian of Pennsylvania, as researchers say its population is shrinking because of pollution.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

A Democratic state senator is introducing legislation to bar non-disclosure agreements in Pennsylvania from attempting to stop people from reporting claims of sexual misconduct.

The bill introduced Wednesday by Berks County Sen. Judith Schwank would also prohibit Pennsylvania courts from enforcing such agreements in civil lawsuits over sexual misconduct allegations.

It would void pre-existing agreements when a party to it entered it while under duress, impaired or a minor.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A former Pittsburgh police sergeant has been sentenced to 27 months in prison on a conviction of violating the civil rights of drunken teenager in an assault at a high school football game two years ago.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is threatening to sue a Pittsburgh city councilwoman for blocking constituents on Facebook.

ACLU Legal Director Vic Walczak says City Councilwoman Darlene Harris is censoring critical comments from her Facebook page, and is thus violating the First Amendment. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports Walczak wrote a letter Tuesday asking Harris to unblock four residents from her Facebook page by Dec. 4.

Nell Redmond / AP

For a second straight year, the Pennsylvania Senate is advancing legislation to permit Pennsylvania's municipal police departments to use radar to catch speeders.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The longtime mayor of the small southwestern Pennsylvania town of Braddock has announced his bid for lieutenant governor.

Keith Srakocic / AP

NFL veterans Drew Brees, Joe Thomas, Von Miller and Luke Kuechly are among the 32 nominees announced Tuesday for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

JD Hancock / flickr

A Pennsylvania police department is waiving traffic violations in the hope that people will donate toys instead.

Matt Rourke / AP

Hundreds of people have gathered in Philadelphia to protest rapper Meek Mill's imprisonment on probation violations.

Celebrities and athletes spoke at the rally Monday evening near City Hall, including former 76er Julius Erving, Eagles player Malcolm Jenkins and rapper Rick Ross. Erving called Mill's sentence "excessive" and "cruel."

Mill was sentenced to two to four years in prison last week for violating probation in a nearly decade-old gun and drug case.

Alfred de Montesquiou / AP

Police say they captured a big African cat, resembling a cheetah, running loose through the streets of a small Pennsylvania town.

Reports about the spotted feline started coming in on Nov. 3. When Reading officers tracked it down, they initially thought they'd found a cheetah.

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County says they got a call from the police department about the feline on Saturday.

Office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro

Six people are charged after authorities made the first known seizure in Allegheny County of a deadly opioid that's used to tranquilize elephants.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro says the six were selling $750,000 worth of carfentanil, fentanyl and heroin. Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid that's considered 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

Shapiro says his office and the Allegheny County Police Department "took down major drug dealers selling poison and carrying guns on the streets of Allegheny County.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The National Weather Service is testing a new snow squall warning system designed to help motorists in whiteout conditions avoid deadly chain reaction crashes at high speeds.

Keith Srakocic / AP

One candidate is leaving the Republican field seeking the nomination to challenge Pennsylvania's two-term Democrat Sen. Bob Casey, and one candidate is getting in.

Fourth-time candidate Joe Vodvarka said Thursday that he's running as a Republican, after losing three straight primaries as a Democrat.

Vodvarka is a semiretired owner of a Pittsburgh-area spring manufacturing shop. Also running are Republican U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, state Rep. Jim Christiana and Libertarian Dale Kerns.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

It will soon look a lot like Christmas in New York City thanks to a tree from Pennsylvania.

Ryan Kang / AP

More than 3,800 patients have registered for Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program in its first week.

Governor Tom Wolf says more than 200 caregivers have also registered for the program. He says the demand shows the "need for this vital medication."

A 2016 state law gives people under a doctor's care access to medical marijuana if they suffer from an illness on a list of 17 qualifying conditions.

The law permits pills, oils, vapor or liquid marijuana, but not marijuana in plant form.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A Pittsburgh hospital is opening a unit for that will allow new mothers to stay with their opioid-addicted infants.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Magee-Womens Hospital says the unit will initially consist of six rooms.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

*UPDATED: Nov. 8, 2017 at 1:09 p.m.

About 100,000 water customers in western Pennsylvania have been told that they no longer need to boil their water due to possible contamination.

Pennsylvania American Water said Wednesday that "acceptable test results" were obtained from samples collected Monday and Tuesday.

The company said the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection had authorized lifting of the advisory.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The constitutional amendment that Pennsylvania voters approved Tuesday could eventually lead to reductions in the state's heavy dependence on property taxes, but it is only a tiny step in that direction.

The amendment gives the General Assembly the authority to pass a law authorizing local governments to exclude up to the full value of residents' homes that they own from taxation.

The new language does not by itself change anything, however.

Matt Rourke / AP

The constitutional amendment that Pennsylvania voters approved Tuesday could eventually lead to reductions in the state's heavy dependence on property taxes, but it is only a tiny step in that direction.

Matt Rourke / AP

A Republican justice is keeping her seat on Pennsylvania's highest court, earning a 10-term after being appointed last year.

Justice Sallie Mundy held off Allegheny County Judge Dwayne Woodruff on Tuesday in what was the most closely watched race in the off-year election. Woodruff is a former Pittsburgh Steeler.

The result means the court's partisan balance remains five Democrats and two Republicans. Two other justices won up-or-down retention contests.

Tyler James Titus / Tyler Titus for Erie School Board Facebook

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.

Titus is a clinical therapist and Democrat who won a write-in Democratic nomination in May.

Chris O'Meara / AP

Authorities have confirmed that former Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay died in a small plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

Daveynin / flickr

Authorities have released the names of two men killed during a storm that weather officials have confirmed spawned a tornado in Pennsylvania.

PennDOT

 The commonwealth is hoping tourists will pursue happiness.

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