Friday, October 27, 2006

State News-Friday, Oct. 27th

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A city police officer reportedly was taken to a hospital after a shooting early this morning in Allentown. Few details are available, but authorities say the shooting occurred between midnight and 12:30 a-m in the 100 block of South Madison Street, just west of the downtown area. The officer was taken to Cedar Crest Hospital. His name and condition, and the nature of his injuries, is not yet available. Why police were called to the area also is not known. Several families in the area reportedly left their homes as a precaution, and a city bus was brought in to provide them temporary shelter while police investigate.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The state Senate returns to Harrisburg today to address lobbyist disclosure and slot-machine gambling, two major legislative issues that did not get finalized over the past few days. Disagreement between the House and Senate has persisted on a bill originally intended to strengthen regulatory oversight and
anti-corruption measures in the state's slots law. The House and Senate are in agreement on legislation requiring
lobbyists to disclose what they spend to influence policymakers. However, the Senate mistakenly voted Monday night on a bill that included erroneous material left in it by a clerical mistake. As a result, senators will take one more vote on it before sending it to Governor Ed Rendell, who is expected to sign it.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Democratic Senate candidate Bob Casey says Republican Senator Rick Santorum is being "ridiculous" by calling him unprepared for the Senate. Casey notes that he has held statewide public office for a
decade. Santorum also says Casey is too parochial in his thinking. Casey responds that Santorum is the one who trivialized world affairs by comparing the Iraq war to "Lord of the Rings." Santorum says Casey is "unready, unqualified for the office that he seeks at a very critical time in our nation's future." The senator said the U-S must pay attention to escalating security threats from countries such as Iran, Venezuela and North Korea.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Bob Casey says abortion wouldn't be his top priority if he's elected to the U-S Senate.
Casey is the Democratic challenger to Republican Senator Rick Santorum. Both men oppose abortion. In an interview with a panel of Associated Press journalists, Casey says he might support bills that further restrict a woman's access to an abortion. But he says his focus would be on health care and job creation. Casey also says more federal money for family planning, contraception and programs that benefit children would reduce the
number of abortion. Santorum hasn't accepted invitations to a similar Associated Press interview in the final weeks of the campaign.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A spokeswoman for the U-S Justice Department says federal monitors observing Philadelphia's elections won't enter voting booths unless the voters ask them to. Earlier, the city solicitor said the federal government couldn't guarantee him that federal monitors wouldn't follow voters into polling booths.
Philadelphia city officials and Hispanic community leaders are objecting to the federal government's plans to put monitors at city polling places on Election Day. They say those efforts could discourage people from voting.
The federal government has accused the city of failing to provide sufficient election materials in Spanish and not recruiting enough bilingual poll workers.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Members of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against the city's two biggest newspapers. About half of the union's one-thousand members who work for The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News attended last night's meeting. Only four voted against authorizing a strike after leaders talked about lack of progress in contract talks. The current contract expires Tuesday. The vote means the negotiating committee is authorized to call a strike if they decide it is neccesary.
A management spokesman says the other eleven unions at the papers aren't taking this step and the company is disappointed.

PHOENIX (AP) - U-S Airways says it plans to focus on improving the lost-luggage rate in Philadelphia. Airline executives say they plan to hire 260 more employees, 60 of them as managers, to assist in baggage service at Philadelphia International Airport. Providing they can secure the appropriate gates at the airport, the company also anticipates offering nonstop flights next year from Philadelphia to three European cities. They are Brussels,
Belgium; Athens, Greece; and Zurich, Switzerland. Those announcements came as the airline gave its earnings
report. U-S Airways says its third-quarter loss narrowed by 21 percent, a performance that was good enough to beat Wall Street's expectations. The company predicts that the fourth quarter will turn a profit.


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