Tuesday, January 30, 2007

State News-Tuesday, Jan. 30th

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - President Bush says he uses Caterpillar's trademark yellow earth-movers on his Texas ranch. But he'll get a firsthand look at one of their big brothers today during a tour of a central Illinois factory that makes the world's largest bulldozer. Officials say Bush's scheduled stop at the East Peoria plant in Illinois was steered by more than a boyish fascination with the hulking machines. On the eve of his State of the Economy address tomorrow in New York, Bush is touting Caterpillar as an example of how his administration's trade agreements and tax breaks can boost global sales and create jobs for U-S workers. Others, though, say Caterpillar itself is behind a global sales surge that helped the heavy equipment maker post record profits and revenues for three straight years, creating about five-thousand jobs at plants in Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's House of Representatives has adopted some revisions to the temporary rules that guide how the House operates. The temporary rules are in effect pending recommendations expected in March from a special reform panel that is considering permanent rule changes. That panel -- the Speaker's Commission on Legislative Reform -- is slated to open two days of hearings today. One change that was approved eliminated a rule that allowed representatives preoccupied with official business elsewhere in Harrisburg to have their floor leaders cast proxy votes for them. Other changes created a Gaming Oversight Committee to oversee newly legalized slot-machine gambling in the state; added one seat to every standing committee to give the G-O-P minority more of a voice; and extended the reform panel's deadline from mid-February to mid-March.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Two Republican senators are calling for passage of an act to cap state spending and guarantee taxpayers a slice of any revenue surplus. The cap would be calculated using the rates of personal income growth, inflation and population change. The proposal from Senators Bob Regola of Cumberland County and Mike Folmer of Lebanon County echoes last year's gubernatorial campaign, in which Republican nominee Lynn Swann advocated a similar measure. Democratic Governor Ed Rendell opposed the idea. The bill, which has the backing of G-O-P leadership, would earmark 75 percent of any budget surplus for a reduction in the state income tax. The rest would be funneled into the state's Rainy Day Fund.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A jury in Philadelphia days drugmaker Wyeth acted with malice or reckless disregard in selling a hormore-replacement drug that an Arkansas woman said caused her breast cancer. A hearing begins today to consider punitive damages. Yesterday, the jury awarded one (m) million dollars in compensatory damages to plaintiff Mary Daniel and half a (m) million dollars to her husband, Tom. The Hot Springs, Arkansas, woman developed cancer after taking the Wyeth drug Prempro for about 16 months to relieve hot flashes. The drug is a combination of estrogen and progestin. Wyeth's lawyer argued that Prempro is still prescribed to women, and suggested that Daniel's breast cancer was caused by other risk factors, including a family history of cancer.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Pennsylvania leads the nation in the rate of black homicides, with nearly 30 deaths per 100-thousand black residents annually. That's according to a study released by the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit research group. The study says firearms, especially handguns, were used in the overwhelming majority of the nation's six-thousand-six-hundred-44 slayings with black victims. Eighty-five percent of black victims were male. Pennsylvania recorded 29-point-five-two homicides per 100-thousand black residents in 2004. That's the last year for which the F-B-I figures were available. Louisiana followed closely behind at 29-point-four-eight and Indiana was third with 29-point-three. The national rate of black homicides was 18-point-seven-one per 100-thousand.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) - A Nescopeck (Pennsylvania) woman who's agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder for her role in a 1979 rape-slaying in Michigan waived her arraignment yesterday. Forty-nine-year-old Laurie Ann Swank did so along with three male co-defendants. Prosecutors hoped she would enter her guilty plea yesterday, but her lawyer didn't have time to prepare her properly. Back in 1979, Swank was the boss of 23-year-old hotel clerk Janet Chandler. She was kidnapped and taken to a house where she was beaten, raped and strangled. Prosecutors maintain that Swank conspired with the men.

INDIANA, Pa. (AP) - A former western Pennsylvania borough manager has died while awaiting a judge to decide if he committed a crime. James Gladkosky, who was Indiana Borough's former manager, died Saturday after an extended illness and the Indiana County District Attorney's office says it will dismiss the case. Authorities say in 2001, Gladkosky directed that a former assistant manager's pay be roughly doubled, to 75-hundred dollars a month, beginning in January 2002. The assistant retired in March 2002 and borough officials said the change led to her being overpaid 74-thousand dollars before her pension was reduced last year. Gladkosky maintained his innocence at his non-jury trial in October, contending borough council approved of the raise.

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. (AP) - Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's greatest impact might be the future well-being of thoroughbreds. Doctor Dean Richardson says he has learned a great deal from treating the Kentucky Derby winner. He says he will be better equipped to handle a horse with the same injury the next time it comes up. Several vets say they believe other owners now might consider trying to save an injured horse, but cost is still an issue. Barbaro's owners spent tens of thousands of dollars. Barbaro was euthanized yesterday at the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, after a campaign to save him failed.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Nobel laureate Finn Kydland has been named the first Richard Simmons Distinguished Professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business. The school says the chair was established by a five (M) million-dollar endowment from Richard Simmons, retired chairman of Allegheny Technologies. Simmons also is an adjunct professor at the Tepper School. Kydland earned his doctorate in economics from the university in 1973. He won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences with Edward Prescott, who also got his doctoral degree from Carnegie Mellon in 1967.

SAYRE, Pa. (AP) - A dancer and drum maker who collapsed at Mansfield University from a rare and usually fatal form of anthrax is returning to Pennsylvania. Vado Diomande wants to give a thank-you performance for people who saved his life. Last year, the Ivory Coast native who lives in New York City contracted the first case of naturally occurring inhalation anthrax in the United States since 1976. Diomande and health officials believe he contracted the disease while working with a large animal hide to make drums. Diomande lost 45 to 50 pounds during his ordeal. He had to be placed on a ventilator and underwent multiple surgeries to drain fluid from around his lungs. His doctors say his physical fitness and good health played a key role in his survival.

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) - Talk about explosive publicity. The Lawrence County Tourist Promotion Agency says it's been notified by the U-S Trademark Office that it has obtained the trademark as the Fireworks Capital of America. The county is home to two of the world's biggest fireworks manufacturers, Zambelli Fireworks and Pyrotecnico. Tourism officials say the official trademark opens up more promotional opportunities. Tourism is the county's second-largest industry. The county has been using the slogan since 1990, but now has exclusive rights.


Post a Comment

<< Home