Thursday, January 25, 2007

State News-Thursday, Jan. 25th

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Congressman Bob Brady is speaking later today to begin his campaign for mayor of Philadelphia. Brady is one of five Democrats seeking their party's nomination in the May primary. The winner of the Democratic primary is heavily favored to win the general election. No Republican candidates have joined the race so far.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - The president of Penn State University says the institution takes equal opportunity seriously. Graham Spanier wrote to the state Human Relations Commission last night, saying the university has one of the lowest levels of citations for large employers. Spanier acknowledges that the university isn't perfect, but say it takes action when warranted. For example, it fined women's basketball coach Rene Portland ten-thousand dollars and ordered her to attend diversity classes because of a complaint of anti-gay bias. Portland disagreed with that decision. The state commission will review discrimination complaints to see if there's a pattern of bias on its campuses. A report is due in March.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - It turns out that 47-year-old John Healy of Yardley wasn't on trial for murder after all. A man identified in court records as Healy was convicted Monday of the murder of a police officer in Oneida County, New York. But it turns out the convict has used about 20 different aliases and authorities aren't sure what his real name is. Prosecutors used the name Healy because the defendant had a driver's license under that name. They say they didn't realize until this month that it was the name of a real person. The real John Healy is a salesman for Home Depot. He says he's been having trouble for some time ever since his identity was stolen. But it wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that he knew someone was being prosecuted for murder under his name.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Governor Ed Rendell says he's more optimistic that a new arena agreement can be reached to keep big-league hockey in Pittsburgh. There have been several days of back-and-forth exchanges between the governor and Penguins chairman and former star player Mario Lemieux. Now Rendell says he believes an agreement is in reach. In a phone conversation Tuesday night, Rendell and co-owner Ron Burkle discussed some of the arena issues that needed to be clarified and agreed to work on them. The governor also says he expects to speak with Burkle again early next week, but that no new negotiating sessions are scheduled. Burkle is also talking with Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - There is a Powerball winner. Of the (m) millions of tickets sold for Wednesday night's drawing, one of them matched all six numbers to win the 254 (m) million-dollar jackpot. The winning ticket was sold in Missouri. The multi-state lottery game had gone without a top winner since November 29th, when one player in North Carolina won a jackpot worth 74-and-a-half (m) million dollars. That prize still hasn't been claimed. In addition, 23 players matched five of the six winning numbers in Wednesday's drawing to win at least 200-thousand dollars each. The winning numbers were: nine, 19, 29, 42 and 53. The Powerball was 17. Powerball is played in Pennsylvania and 27 other states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U-S Virgin Islands.


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