AP PA Headlines 3/27/20
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education has announced that Penn State University will be required to make major changes to how it handles sexual assault complaints following an investigation of the school’s handling of allegations in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos details how the university will be held accountable through a major overhaul of its Title IX procedures after it “failed to protect students and address their complaints of sexual abuse.” The university has paid more than $100 million to settle claims from about three dozen people who alleged 73-year-old Sandusky had abused them. The former coach has consistently maintained his innocence.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) —Attorneys general from 33 states are asking online sales and retail companies to aggressively monitor price gouging by third-party sellers on their websites. Consumers have complained since the start of the virus outbreak that prices online for certain household essentials, like toilet paper, sanitizers and wipes, have skyrocketed. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and 33 other attorneys general are requesting that Amazon, Facebook, ebay, Walmart and Craigslist should actively keep an eye out on their sites for illegal price hikes and put procedures in place to keep more from happening in the future.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) —The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has leaped by 50% and record numbers of Pennsylvanians are filing for unemployment compensation, the most in the nation. Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said Thursday that five more people stricken with coronavirus died, bringing the death toll to 16. With 560 new cases confirmed by the state Department of Health, there are now more than 1,680 cases in 48 counties. Meanwhile, Pennsylvanians filed about 650,000 unemployment compensation claims over the past 11 days as Wolf unveiled an order for “non-life-sustaining” businesses to shut down to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld laws that requires sex offenders deemed “sexually violent predators” to undergo lifetime counseling and registration and be the subject of community notices. The court said in Thursday’s ruling that the requirements have the legitimate purpose of keeping the community safe and therefore don’t amount to punishment. The Butler County case is one of several under review in Pennsylvania that challenge the constitutionality of sex offender registries amid concerns about harassment, ostracism and unfair punishment. Actor Bill Cosby has raised the issue in appeals of his 2018 sex assault conviction and three- to 10-year prison term.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The company that makes Major League Baseball uniforms has switched to producing masks and gowns in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Fanatics has suspended production on jerseys at its factory in Easton, Pennsylvania, and is instead using the polyester mesh fabric to make protective wear. The new gowns and masks will go to hospitals in Pennsylvania and nearby states. Fanatics hoped to produce nearly 15,000 masks and gowns a day. The company is making Level 1 masks, used for low-risk, nonsurgical procedures that are for single-use only..
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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is threatening legal action against local TV stations in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin if they don’t pull a Democratic anti-Trump commercial the campaign says is false. Priorities USA Action Fund responded by soliciting financial contributions to keep the 30-second ad on the airwaves. The campaign says the commercial includes the “false assertion” that Trump called the coronavirus a “hoax.” The ad strings together audio of comments by Trump, including of him saying, “This is their new hoax.” The states where the ad is airing are among those where Trump is spending heavily to win reelection.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people around the world who have contracted coronavirus has surged past 500,000, and the United States now tops the list. Those are the latest grim milestones for a global outbreak that is taking lives and wreaking havoc on economies. The global death toll climbed past 23,000 and Spanish and Italian medical workers are at breaking point. In the U.S., markets soared on news the Senate had unanimously passed an unprecedented $2.2 trillion economic rescue package that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says will gain final congressional approval Friday. The U.N. chief told industrialized nations that the world is not winning the fight against the virus.
WASHINGTON (AP) — IndyCar remains in limbo as to when its season can start because of the coronavirus pandemic. The series will go to virtual racing in the meantime. The first of six iRacing events will be held Saturday and streamed to viewers. IndyCar says 25 drivers are scheduled to compete. The field may not be complete as many expect NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson to enter the event. The announcement came the same day the Indianapolis 500 was rescheduled from May to August.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Taylor Swift is helping fill the blank space where incomes have gone for several of her fans. Some have gotten thousands of dollars from the “Lover” and “1989” hit-maker. In other entertainment news Thursday, the Academy of Country Music announced an all-star list of performers for its at-home country music special. Another top publisher has dropped out of BookExpo. And stage, movie and TV character actor Mark Blum, who had roles in the films “Desperately Seeking Susan” and “Crocodile Dundee,” has died from complications from the coronavirus. Tinashe is turning her living room in the Hollywood Hills into a live performance area and will kick off a weekly live show called “LiveXLive Presents.”
BOSTON (AP) – It may be a little awkward, but humor is helping people around the planet cope with the fear and anxiety the coronavirus pandemic has unleashed. Psychologists and comedians alike say laughter really is the best medicine, so long as it’s within the bounds of good taste. Los Angeles-based comic Erica Rhodes says quarantined people need humor as much as toilet paper. She recently posted iPhone video of herself pretending to work a nonexistent crowd on an outdoor stage, saying, “How’s everyone not doing?” Canadian psychologist Wayne Maxwell has extensively researched so-called “gallows humor.” He says mankind has used humor to get through times of crisis as far back as ancient Egypt.
BOSTON (AP) – Hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer has shifted from making visors for helmets to medical visors for those fighting the coronavirus pandemic. The company did not close its plants when hockey leagues put their seasons on hold. Instead, Bauer changed its production. A group of engineers in Quebec brainstormed the idea of producing medical shields to protect people on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. By the middle of this week, Bauer had roughly 100,000 devices ready for distribution. The company said its facility in Liverpool, New York, made 1,300 face shields Thursday with a goal of producing 2,000 more Friday and 4,000 daily next week.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new light show at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis is aimed at inspiring hope during the coronavirus pandemic. A heart projected on one building pulsates and changes size and color while images of the globe and various countries are projected on another as a recording plays of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water” being performed by two Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians. Bob Schultz of the business group Downtown Indy says it is a message of love to the world. Downtown Indy isn’t encouraging people to visit the Circle to watch it unless they are already out. It posted a video on the group’s website for at-home viewing..
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