Friday, December 16, 2011

Today's News Fri. December 16, 2011

Local News For Fri. December 16, 2011

House Bill Would Ease Inheritance Tax On Family Farms

Legislation which would alleviate the financial burden of the inheritance tax on Pennsylvania's family farms was approved by the State House of Representatives. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) would exempt transfers of agricultural assets from the inheritance tax when the receiving heir is a sibling or child of the deceased farmer. Rep. Bloom says this simple form of tax relief will allow more Pennsylvania farms to stay intact and help increase the amount of land remaining in agricultural use. Mike Davies reports:



A newly finished section of the Schuylkill River Bartram Trail was dedicated Wednesday by state and county officials. The recently completed project includes a 400 foot extension of the trail to Main Street in Landingville, as well as repair of the former railroad bridge over Mahannon Creek. The Schuylkill River Heritage Area completed the $210-thousand-dollar project in partnership with Schuylkill County, with funding coming from the county, the Pennsylvania DCNR Growing Greener Fund and Legislative Initiative Grants secured by Senator Dave Argall, the late Senator Jim Rhoades and former Representative Tim Seip. The Schuylkill River Trail project will eventually stretch the entire length of the river, from Pottsville to Philadelphia.

Frackville Adopts Preliminary Budget With No Tax Increase, Yet

At their meeting on Wednesday evening, the Frackville Borough Council reviewed the tentative 2012 budget before voting to adopt it. There is a deficit in the budget of about $15,000, but council is not finished looking for ways to trim budget items, so there are no plans for a tax increase. Questions remain about whether a grant received for roof repairs can be applied against the line of credit, but it appears that borough residents will continue to be taxed at the current rate of 15.58 mills. The final vote on the budget will be taken at a special council meeting that is scheduled for December 29 at 6:00 p.m.

PennDOT Introduces New Weapon In Fight Against Snow

PennDOT has announced that it will be using a new tool this winter to clear snow from Interstate 81 in Schuylkill County. The tow-plow is a recent addition to the fleet that will allow one plow truck to do the work of two. The tow-plow will be attached to the back of a regular plow truck, and will increase the plow width from one lane to two. PennDOT says these units can only be used on limited-access roadways because of their size, but with one truck doing the work of two, other plows will be free to focus on secondary roads. PennDOT has released a list of safety tips for motorists so they can drive safely when roads are being plowed. The list is available on PennDOT's website.

Christmas Will Be Brighter Because Of Efforts Of T102 And McDonalds

T102 radio personalities RC and Courtney Roberts visited the McDonalds restaurant near St. Clair yesterday to receive donations for Toys for Tots. The campaign has become an annual event, and featured live broadcasts every hour from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. They reported that the need for toys this year is greater than other years due to the losses suffered by local families affected by flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Residents responded to the need, flooding McDonalds with several truckloads of new, unwrapped toys, and donating over $5,500 that will be used to purchase even more toys. Everyone at T102 and Toys for Tots expressed their gratitude for the generosity displayed by those who gave of themselves to help others. Many local children will have a Merry Christmas because of the donations received.

State and National News Fri. December 16, 2011

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Two of Penn State's top administrators are heading to court to fight perjury charges and allegations they didn't respond properly nine years ago after getting a report that a young boy had been sodomized in the football team's showers. Gary Schultz and Tim Curley's preliminary hearing in Harrisburg today will provide more of the alleged evidence against them.

MEDIA, Pa. (AP) - Three women have been found not guilty of abusing an elderly dementia patient at a suburban Philadelphia care home. A Delaware County judge acquitted Ayesha Muhammad, Tyrina Griffin and Samirah Traynham yesterday of all charges. Authorities say the abuse was captured on a hidden camera after the patient
complained to her family she was being abused by workers at the facility in Haverford.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A bill that could force the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and insurer Highmark to settle their dispute over health coverage in western Pennsylvania is headed to the state Senate. The state House voted 186-6 to approve the bill yesterday.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The city of Philadelphia will receive a $10 million federal grant for transportation infrastructure
improvements. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was in the city to make the announcement. He says the grant will pay for upgrades to 100 traffic controllers. The money also will fund upgrades to handicapped ramps and pedestrian countdown signals at crosswalks.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - It's sentencing day for Barry Bonds, who was convicted of obstruction of justice for trying to mislead a federal grand jury investigating sports doping. Bonds, who is set to appear in federal court in San Francisco, could get anything from probation to 21 months in prison.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House is expected to vote today on a massive $1 trillion-plus year-end spending package in time to avoid a possible government shutdown this weekend. The Senate could then follow suit. The spending bill has bipartisan support but is likely to encounter resistance from conservative tea party lawmakers who want far more significant cuts to government agencies.

TOKYO (AP) - Japan's prime minister says the country's tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant has reached a stable state of "cold shutdown" and is no longer leaking substantial amounts of radiation. The March 11 tsunami sent three reactors at the plant into meltdowns in the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A Canadian sports doctor could get up to 18 months in prison for bringing unapproved and mislabeled drugs into the United States. Anthony Galea will appear in court in Buffalo, N.Y. today for sentencing. Galea had a high-profile client list, such as Tiger Woods and other pro athletes, whom he helped come back from injuries. Galea told the judge his arrest has had a devastating effect on his status as a sports doctor.


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