Legislature Springs into Action: AP PA Headlines, Scores & Skeds

 

AP PA Headlines 11/19/19 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A compromise package to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage for the first time since 2009 began advancing in the Legislature on Monday, up against a deadline for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to relent on his effort to extend overtime pay eligibility to thousands of workers.  A Senate committee passed the newly unveiled measure to raise the minimum wage in four steps to $9.50 in 2022, up from the state’s current minimum wage, the federal minimum of $7.25.

Wolf, who negotiated the bill behind closed doors with leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature, supports the bill, his office said in a statement.  “While he still believes the minimum wage should be $12 or more, this would represent a significant step towards that goal,” his office said.  Senate Republican leaders expect to bring it to a floor vote this week, although its prospects in the House of Representatives are unclear.

The bill is far more modest than what Wolf proposed in January, and requires him to make a number of concessions. That includes rescinding his proposed overtime regulation before a state rule-making board votes on it Thursday.

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, which, like most Republican lawmakers, has long opposed an increase in the minimum wage, has backed a compromise on raising minimum wage as the lesser of two evils.  Wolf’s overtime proposal threatens steeper cost increases on employers, its officials say.  The federal minimum wage was last increased to $7.25 an hour in 2009.  Currently, Pennsylvania is one of 21 states whose minimum wage is set at the ffederal minimum, while half of the 50 states have authorized an automatic future wage increase of some sort. About 385,000 people in Pennsylvania hold a job that pays between $7.25 an hour and $9.50 an hour, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry.

Wolf began pursuing the new overtime regulation last year after fruitlessly asking Republican lawmakers since 2015 to increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage.  The proposed overtime rule would expand overtime pay eligibility to 82,000 workers who earn above a new federal threshold that’s rising to almost $36,000 on Jan. 1, Wolf’s administration has said. Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm payrolls are just above 6 million.  It would phase in the increase over three years and require in 2022 that salaried workers earning up to $45,500 a year get time-and-a-half pay for any time they work over 40 hours in a week. Pennsylvania’s current threshold is set at the federal baseline of $23,660, although the administration said the rising federal threshold will make 61,000 workers in the state newly eligible for overtime pay.  The current threshold took effect in 2004.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf will sign legislation allowing hunting on three Sundays a year in Pennsylvania.  The Senate voted 38-11 on Wednesday, the bill’s last hurdle before it heads to Wolf’s desk.

The bill permits Sunday hunting one day during rifle deer season, one during statewide archery deer season and a third day the Game Commission selects.  It also requires a landowner’s written permission and makes it easier for wardens to enforce the anti-trespassing law.

The long-fought issue overcame opposition from farmers and outdoors groups.  Pennsylvania has banned Sunday hunting since the 19th century, although there are currently exceptions for crows, foxes and coyotes, and for noncommercial private game reserves.  The bill is touted as a way to make it easier for younger people and those who work during the week to hunt.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The families of young people diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer have confronted Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf over what they called his administration’s insufficient response to a health crisis they blame on pollution from the shale gas industry.  Dozens of children and young adults have been diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma and other forms of cancer in a four-county region of southwestern Pennsylvania where energy companies have drilled intensively.

The cause of Ewing sarcoma is unknown, and there’s been no evidence linking the Pennsylvania cases to the natural gas industry.  But the families, confronting Wolf at the Capitol on Monday, demanded that he launch an environmental investigation into the cancers that have devastated their loved ones.  Wolf says he’s ordered his health department to look into the possibility.

ENOLA, Pa. (AP) — Authorities have dropped a charge of driving under the influence against a state lawmaker whose blood-alcohol level was below Pennsylvania’s legal limit for driving.  Court records indicated the allegation against 26-year-old Democratic Rep. Brandon Markosek was withdrawn on Monday, and he pleaded guilty to a speeding citation.  Police in the Harrisburg suburb of East Pennsboro Township had said Markosek’s blood test indicated an alcohol level of 0.058%, below the state’s limit for driving of 0.08%.

In a statement released by his attorney, Markosek says he’s “at a loss” to explain why he was charged and relieved that it was dropped.  The police affidavit said Markosek smelled slightly of alcohol on Sept. 18 and told an officer he’d had two drinks at a nearby restaurant.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania State University’s president says he is working to counter difficult national and state enrollment trends that could even put pressure on a financially healthy school like Penn State.  President Eric Barron says almost every county in Pennsylvania has a decline in the number of high school graduates and that those graduates are less likely to go to college.

To fight those trends, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Barron told trustees Friday that the university has created a task force to focus on recruiting international students, including from areas such as South America and Africa.  Penn State also is sending admission staff to recruit in growing areas domestically, including California, Florida and Texas.  Barron says, however, the university will keep its commitment to a majority enrollment of Pennsylvania residents.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s prison agency is agreeing to improve death row conditions to settle a lawsuit that described the condemned inmates’ treatment as degrading and inhumane.  The Corrections Department and lawyers for the inmates who sued announced an agreement Monday that provides people on death row with at least 42½ hours a week out of their cell, daily access to phones and contact visits with their families, lawyers and religious advisers.

The settlement also limits the use of strip searches, shackling and other restraints unless temporarily needed.  Death row inmates who have been psychologically damaged by long periods in solitary confinement will be evaluated and offered help adapting to a general population setting.  A Wolf administration spokesman confirmed the settlement and said many of the agreement’s changes have already been adopted.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania House majority is giving its approval to a proposal to require the burial or cremation of fetal remains that end up in possession of a health care facility.  The bill, modeled on Indiana legislation that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year, was sent to the state Senate on a vote of 123 to 76.

Supporters framed it as giving parents greater say in the disposal of remains, while opponents argued it would harass abortion facilities and impinge on women’s health choices.  The legislation says parents can decide to dispose of the remains outside a health care facility after an abortion or miscarriage.  If they don’t, the facility must bury or cremate them.

The bill, which Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has vowed to veto, was modeled on Indiana legislation that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year. It was sent to the state Senate on a vote of 123 to 76.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Features

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota’s new anti-meth campaign featuring people of different ages and races saying “Meth. I’m on it” is prompting online guffaws.  Gov. Kristi Noem on Monday launched the nearly half-million-dollar campaign to increase awareness of South Dakota’s methamphetamine epidemic. The campaign includes a new TV ad, billboards, posters and a website.

The campaign’s motto is superimposed over the state outline.  One Twitter user posted: “Surprising anti-meth campaign in South Dakota. With the theme ‘Meth. I’m on it,’ what could go wrong?”  Noem says South Dakota’s meth problem is “growing at an alarming rate.”  The Argus Leader reports a Minneapolis marketing agency created the campaign. South Dakota’s Department of Social Services paid the agency nearly $449,000 this fall, according to the state’s finances website.

GODDARD, Kan. (AP) — Authorities discovered a camel, a cow and a donkey roaming together along a Kansas road in a grouping reminiscent of a Midwestern Christmas Nativity scene. The Goddard Police Department asked for help Sunday in locating the owners of the “three friends traveling together (towards a Northern star).”

Police said in a Facebook post that if they couldn’t find the owners, they would be “halfway toward a live Nativity this Christmas season.”  Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Meyers says the animals belong to an employee of the nearby Tanganyika Wildlife Park. One person who replied to the Facebook post inquired, “Are there 3 wise looking men near?” Another speculated that they “may lead you to the Second Coming.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight, singer and musician Alison Krauss and mystery writer James Patterson are among those being honored by President Donald Trump for their contributions to the arts or the humanities.  The White House announced four recipients of the National Medal of Arts and four of the National Humanities Medal Sunday night.

They’re the first recipients of the prestigious national medals since Trump took office and will be honored during a ceremony Thursday.  Voight is a rare Hollywood star who publicly backs the president, and he has hailed Trump as “the greatest president of this century.”  Neither honor, usually an annual affair, had been awarded since Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. The most recent arts or humanities medals were bestowed by President Barack Obama in September 2016.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees The Doobie Brothers are joining with singer and songwriter Michael McDonald for a 50th anniversary tour next year.  McDonald, who sang with the band starting in 1975 before starting his own solo career, surprised fans at The Doobie Brothers concert with a performance of “Takin’ it to the Streets” on Monday in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Ryman Auditorium.

Formed in Northern California, the group featured harmonies backed by the finger-picking style of guitarist Patrick Simmons paired with the R&B guitar playing by Tom Johnston, singing lead. They had hits with “Listen to the Music,” “Long Train Runnin’” and “China Grove.”  They earned two Grammys with McDonald for “What a Fool Believes” and “Minute By Minute.” The tour will begin June 9 in West Palm Beach, Florida..

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

 PA Sports, Scores & Skeds.

Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation Sports Schedule

Tuesday

  • Penn State Basketball: Bucknell at PSU 6pm on WKOK, WKOK.com, Eagle 107 and eagle107.com

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers are running out of healthy proven skill position players following their ugly loss to the Cleveland Browns. James Conner is dealing with a shoulder injury and wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson are in the concussion protocol. Pittsburgh is also facing the prospect of being without center Maurkice Pouncey, who is appealing a 3-game suspension stemming from the brawl in the final minute against the Browns. The Steelers play on our sister station 100.9 The Valley.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Poor throws. Dropped passes. Missed blocks. Questionable play-calling. It’s all contributed to an ineffective, inconsistent offense that has plagued the Philadelphia Eagles through 10 games. The Eagles couldn’t do much against the New England Patriots in a 17-10 loss. After jumping out to a 10-0 lead, they managed 152 total yards on the final 10 drives. Carson Wentz was sacked five times, lost a fumble and completed only half his passes.  The Eagles play on our sister station Eagle 107.

Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:

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NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Final    New York       123      Cleveland        105

Final    Indiana            115      Brooklyn         86

Final    Toronto           132      Charlotte         96

Final    Milwaukee      115      Chicago           101

Final    Houston          132      Portland          108

Final    Dallas  117      San Antonio    110

Final    Boston 99        Phoenix           85

Final    Minnesota       112      Utah    102

Final    L.A. Clippers  90        Oklahoma City            88

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NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Final    Washington     5          Anaheim          2

Final    Arizona           3          Los Angeles    0

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NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Final    Kansas City     24        L.A. Chargers 17

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TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Final    (3)Michigan St.           94        Charleston Southern   46

Final    (9)Kentucky    82        Utah Valley     74

Final    (19)Auburn     91        Colgate            62

Final    (10)Ohio St.    86        Stetson            51

Final    (23)Colorado   69        UC Irvine        53

Final    (15)Utah St.    82        UTSA  50

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TODAY’S SPORTS SCHEDULE

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NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Golden State   at         Memphis         8 p.m.

Portland          at         New Orleans   8 p.m.

Phoenix           at         Sacramento     10 p.m.

Oklahoma City            at         L.A. Lakers     10:30 p.m.

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NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Minnesota       at         Buffalo            7 p.m.

Montreal          at         Columbus        7 p.m.

Philadelphia    at         Florida 7 p.m.

Boston at         New Jersey      7 p.m.

N-Y Islanders at         Pittsburgh        7 p.m.

Ottawa            at         Detroit 7:30 p.m.

Winnipeg         at         Nashville         8 p.m.

Tampa Bay      at         St. Louis          8 p.m.

Carolina           at         Chicago           8:30 p.m.

Vancouver       at         Dallas  8:30 p.m.

Colorado         at         Calgary            9 p.m.

Toronto           at         Vegas  10 p.m.

Edmonton       at         San Jose          10:30 p.m.

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TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Vermont          at         (7)Virginia       7 p.m.

ETSU  at         (4)Kansas        8 p.m.

Fairfield          at         (6)Maryland    8:30 p.m.

Texas-Arlington          at         (8)Gonzaga     9 p.m.

Maine  at         (25)Washington          11 p.m.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

 

 

 

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