Tuesday, October 24, 2006

State News-Tuesday, Oct. 24th

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The state Senate approved a bill early today to expand state-subsidized health insurance to thousands of children without coverage. The unanimous vote came after three in the morning. Afterward, the Senate went home until after the election. Senators also approved a bill designed to strengthen oversight and anti-corruption measures in Pennsylvania's slot-machine gambling law. That's happened twice before over the past year. But this is the first version expected to win approval in the state House of Represenatives. Just before midnight, the Senate passed a lobbyist disclosure bill. If it becomes law, Pennsylvania will end its status as the only state to lack a law requiring lobbyists to report what they're spending to influence state government. The House is expected to take up all three bills today.

SHIPPINGPORT, Pa. (AP) - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will meet with representatives of First Energy Nuclear Operating Company today. It's to discuss what the government calls apparent violations identified during an emergency preparedness drill at the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in Shippingport, Beaver County.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta says he hopes to catch an illegal alien from Italy to prove that his town's immigration crackdown isn't racist. Barletta is of Italian descent but he says an Italian living in Hazleton illegally would be treated the same under the ordinance as a Hispanic who does the same thing. After a speech to the Pennsylvania Press Club yesterday, Barletta told reporters that all of the illegal immigrants involved in criminal activity in his city have been Hispanics, mostly from the Dominican Republic. The ordinance has been approved by Hazleton's city council and is scheduled to take effect November first.

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A Bucks County man pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the shooting death of a police officer at a hospital last year. District Attorney Diane Gibbons is seeking the death penalty against 39-year-old Robert Flor of Bedminster Township. Defense lawyers didn't say yesterday whether they want a jury or a judge to decide whether Flor should get the death penalty. If the defense wants a jury to decide, jury selection should begin today. Flor was charged with the murder of Newtown officer Brian Gregg, and the wounding of two others in the shooting on September 29th, 2005.

NEW BRIGHTON, Pa. (AP) - State officials say everyone who was evacuated following a frieght train fire in Beaver County has been allowed to return home. Evacuations began after several tank cars jumped the tracks on a bridge on Friday and burst into flames. Most of the roughly 50 nearby residents who had been evacuated were allowed to return home Sunday and the last were allowed to return yesterday. The state Department of Environmental Protection says drinking water wasn't affected.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State University has organized a van trip to Erie today for students who want to attend services for a freshman killed in an elevator accident. Friday's accident killed 18-year-old Andrew Polakowski. A city fire official for Columbus, Ohio, said yesterday that the dormitory elevator was overloaded, though it's unclear if that caused the accident. The elevator was most recently inspected in July and it passed.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A trial is in progress in Philadelphia about whether the government may require proof of age to view adult material on the Internet. The government argues that filters designed to block certain types of Web sites don't always work, so it's easier to stop the material at the source. Those trying to strike down the law note that it only applies to Web sites based in the United States. The founder of one Web site says he will likely move his
operations overseas if the law is upheld. He says requiring viewers to submit a credit card or jump through other hoops before viewing the site would cut traffic dramatically -- a disaster for advertising revenues. Opening statements were heard yesterday. The trial is expected to take about a month.


Post a Comment

<< Home