Monday, November 27, 2006

State News-Monday, Nov. 27th

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - As Pennsylvania's two-week rifle deer season gets under way today, some hunters are saying they no longer have access to their favorite stomping grounds. Farmers and other private landowners have either restricted hunting -- or banned it altogether -- following a recent jury verdict in Lehigh County. In that case, a landowner was found partly liable for the accidental shooting of a pregnant woman by a hunter. The woman, who survived, was shot in the head as she sat in a car outside her home north of Allentown two years ago. Authorities say the shot was fired by a hunter from a 140-acre orchard near the woman's house.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - An estimated 900-thousand hunters will head into the woods today for the state's first day of rifle season for deer. That's according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which issues hunting licenses. But some hunters are frustrated that there will be fewer white-tailed does and bucks to target. The game commission has changed its herd management policies in recent years because of what it says was deer overpopulation. Officials say the herd had reached unhealthy levels and was damaging forests and crops. Last year, hunters killed more than 354-thousand deer -- including 120-thousand bucks. This year's season ends December Ninth.

READING, Pa. (AP) - The widow of a slain Reading police officer may get a one-point-seven-five (m) million-dollar settlement from the city. Denise L. Wise had filed a lawsuit alleging that Reading police did not have the proper training to distinguish between undercover officers and criminals -- a claim the city has denied. Her husband, Patrolman Michael Wise the second, was inadvertently killed by a fellow officer in June 2004 during an undercover operation. The potential settlement still needs approval from City Council. If members approve it today, Denise Wise will receive 750-thousand dollars from the city and one (m) million dollars from an insurance policy.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia police will display over six (m) million dollars' worth of narcotics today, as well as guns and other evidence it had seized. On Friday, police responding to a shooting in Northeast Philadelphia stumbled onto the stash of cocaine. The 61 kilograms found in a house near Oxford Circle amounted to one of the city's largest drug busts this year. The shooting victim, 25-year-old Darnell Romel Bolger, faces conspiracy and drug charges. He was being treated for a gunshot wound to his shoulder. The drugs and other evidence will be displayed in the lobby of police headquarters at Eighth and Race Streets.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Mayoral candidate Jonathan Saidel will be opening his campaign headquarters in Northeast Philadelphia today. The former city controller joins U-S Representative Chaka Fattah in the race for mayor. Former City Councilman Michael Nutter already says he will run. Other likely candidates include state Representative Dwight Evans and businessman Tom Knox.

LEVITTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A couple leaving a Bucks County church on Sunday were struck and killed by an out-of-control pickup truck. Police say 69-year-old Anna Shevchuk died at the scene and her 75-year-old husband, Nick, was critically injured. He later died from his injuries. The Shevchuks were from Trenton, New Jersey. Around noon, a tan pickup truck traveling south on Levittown Parkway hit a red truck going west on Mill Creek Road in Levittown. Police say the red truck spun out of control, crossed the grass yard of the First Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church in Levittown and careened onto the parking lot. The vehicle struck the couple, who were just leaving the morning service, before hitting a car in the lot. The case is still under investigation and identities of the drivers have not been released.

STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A state fire marshal is investigating the cause of a fire in downtown Stroudsburg that heavily damaged three businesses and several apartments. A few other stores appeared to have suffered water and smoke damage. The Pocono Record says firefighters began battling the blaze around 2 o'clock Sunday morning and were still hosing down hot spots around noon. Smoke was first reported Saturday night around 9:30 by an apartment tenant. Firefighters investigated but could not detect the source. They returned early Sunday morning when the flames became visible.

BERWICK, Pa. (AP) - P-P-L officials are investigating why a reactor at the company's Susquehanna nuclear power plant shut down automatically and safely on Saturday. The company says the Unit 1 reactor shut down at 8:42 p-m., while the Unit 2 reactor continued to operate at full power. The Susquehanna plant is located about seven miles north of Berwick.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Companies are hoping they can offset ever-increasing health insurance costs by keeping employees healthy and stress-free. Employers -- including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania -- are offering financial and other incentives to help workers get and stay healthy. State employees are offered reduced premiums if they take a health risk appraisal and join weight loss or other health programs. Corporations offer workers programs that encourage exercise and stress reduction. Such cost reductions are particularly important in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where employer health insurance costs outstrip the nation's as a whole.

NEW YORK (AP) - People can make themselves happier. Among the techniques being tested at the University of Pennsylvania is an exercise in which the participant thinks of three good things that happened that day. It makes people focus more on good things that happen, which might otherwise be forgotten because of daily disappointments. A second approach has people choosing their five best strengths -- such as enthusiasm, curiosity and love of learning. Everyday for a week, they are to apply one or more of those strengths in a new way. Last year, these two exercises were found to increase happiness and reduce symptoms of depression for the six months researchers tracked participants.


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