HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf is unveiling a $1.1 billion package intended to help eliminate lead and asbestos contamination, primarily in Pennsylvania’s schools. The initiatives discussed Wednesday at a news conference in the Capitol includes money in the Democratic governor’s upcoming budget proposal and expanding existing grant programs.
Top Republicans took no position on it, saying they’ll discuss it in budget negotiations. The proposal comes as school districts, including Philadelphia and Scranton, are increasingly grappling with environmental hazards, such as lead, mold and asbestos. Wolf has discussed the need in the past, but a sprawling infrastructure plan he floated last year never saw a vote.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania wants to be a player in the presidential primary, instead of an afterthought. The state Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would move up Pennsylvania’s presidential primary elections by five weeks, starting in 2024. That would make it the third Tuesday in March, rather than what current law dictates, the fourth Tuesday in April.
The bill goes to the state House of Representatives. Critics say Pennsylvania’s presidential primary clout is often diminished by its relatively late vote. This year, Pennsylvania’s primary election is April 28, among the last states, despite Pennsylvania’s having the fifth-most pledged delegates in the competitive Democratic presidential nomination contest.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A group of state judges will decide whether a victims’ rights amendment that voters apparently supported overwhelmingly in November will become part of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Commonwealth Court this week said a full panel of the court will hear oral argument in March about the so-called Marsy’s Law ballot question.
It would enshrine into the state constitution rights for crime victims that include notifications about the case and being allowed to attend and weigh in during plea hearings, sentencings and parole proceedings. The state Supreme Court ruled on the eve of balloting that officials could not tabulate or certify the votes while litigation continued. Unofficial tallies indicated the ballot question passed by a three-to-one margin.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Package deliver company United Parcel Service is committing to spending $1.4 billion to expand its operations in Pennsylvania and hire more than 1,700 new, full-time employees. Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said Wednesday it offered UPS $2.7 million in tax credits and more than $6 million in grants as part of the projects. T
he company says it’ll expand its operations in Philadelphia and Cumberland, Dauphin and Northhampton counties, spending the money on building renovations, equipment and infrastructure improvements at each of the locations.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (AP) – Lamar Stevens scored nine of his 17 points in the second half and grabbed nine rebounds to lead No. 24 Penn State over Indiana 64-49. Curtis Jones Jr. scored 12 points for the Nittany Lions (15-5, 5-4 Big Ten) who won their third straight and snapped a four-game losing skid to the Hoosiers. Trayce Jackson-Davis led Indiana with 14 points. Justin Smith scored 13 for the Hoosiers (15-6, 5-5 Big Ten) who lost their second in a row after trailing the entire second half. This game was on WKOK and WKOK.com.
AMBLER, Pa. (AP) – Teaching area children about produce and healthy eating is something Howard Brosius said he loves — and what he loves even more is taking it on the road. Brosius, executive director of Chipping Hill Micro Farms, pursues his passion on wheels with a mobile greenhouse built to grow plants and double as a small classroomHe grew up in Unionville in Chester County during World War II on a working farm with dairy, cattle, chickens, pigs, steer, vegetables, and mushrooms.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics Committee is warning lawmakers not to share doctored images or videos that could erode public trust or sway an election. The guidance given to House members comes during a proliferation of online misinformation in the run-up to the 2020 elections and three weeks after a Republican congressman tweeted a doctored picture of former President Barack Obama shaking hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The original, unaltered photo featured Obama and an Indian prime minister. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona later said the tweet wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. Researchers who study disinformation say misleading images pose a big risk to public discourse because they’re easy to make and even easier to spread.
MIAMI (AP) – The NFL has been dealing with hackers, not someone trying to peak into the league’s records or team playbooks. The hackers apparently attacked social media accounts for the league and the AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. The NFL says its cybersecurity department noticed a breach of a league-related social media account, then discovered targeted breaches and additional failed attempts across the league and team accounts. The league told teams to secure their social media accounts to stop further access and alerted the social media platform providers to secure all the accounts.
NEW YORK (AP) – People today have more information at their fingertips than ever before. But what can they trust? Organizations interested in the concept of news literacy are making a special effort this week to promote it. The idea is to teach citizens how to distinguish between fact and opinion, and how to recognize when they are being fed false information. The News Literacy Project has created a game-like app designed to help people distinguish between what is factual and what is not. The Scripps company is promoting public service announcements at its local television stations and sending its journalists into high schools to teach students principles of the craft. The long-term goal is to make news literacy a regular part of the civics curriculum in schools. News organizations across the country are backing National News Literacy Week.
GENEVA (AP) – Sophisticated hackers infiltrated U.N. offices in Geneva and Vienna last year in an apparent espionage operation. Their identity and the extent of the data they obtained is not clear. An internal confidential document from the United Nations Office of Information and Technology, obtained by The Associated Press, says dozens of servers were “compromised” at the U.N. offices in Geneva and Vienna. Those include the U.N. human rights office, which has often been a lightning rod of criticism from autocratic governments for its calling-out of rights abuses.
CHICAGO (AP) – Sen. Elizabeth Warren has joined former Vice President Joe Biden in a presidential campaign pledge to avoid the use of manipulated images or misinformation. The declaration on Wednesday signals that viral misinformation is becoming a growing concern for the campaigns as the Democratic primary season nears.
Biden and Warren have both been victims of online smear campaigns that capitalized on trending hashtags, heavily edited video and altered memes to help spread viral misinformation about them. Warren’s announcement came with a number of proposals from her 2020 campaign to stem the spread of viral misinformation that could influence U.S. elections.
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — A pair of civil engineers took their relationship to new heights atop a New Hampshire bridge. Dan Del Tufo arranged to have the Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth lifted to its maximum height, and that’s where he surprised Julia Kallmerten with a marriage proposal — so she could, in his words, “aggravate me for the rest of my life.” She said yes. The couple met at the University of New Hampshire, and both have worked on projects around the bridge, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.
“This is not something we typically do, but through the description of the work they did at UNH and the work that (Julia) has done, DOT approved the request as long it could be tied to normal bridge maintenance operations,” said Eileen Meaney, communications officer for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. “They were super cute, and we wish them the best” Del Tufo says he had to make the proposal on Saturday as special as she is. He brought their families to surprise Kallmerten after the proposal..
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