State Leaders Get Pay Raise: AP PA Headlines, Features, Scores

AP PA Headlines 11/26/19

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania state lawmakers, judges and top executive branch officials will collect another annual salary increase in 2020, with the governor’s salary passing $200,000 and rank-and-file lawmakers’ base salaries passing $90,000.  The salary increases come as lawmakers consider increasing Pennsylvania’s minimum wage for the first time since 2009 and a citizen activist presses Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers to increase Pennsylvania’s tax forgiveness threshold for adults for the first time in two decades.


Their salary increase for the year ahead will be 1.9%, a figure tied by state law to the year-over-year change in the consumer price index published by the U.S. Department of Labor for urban consumers in the mid-Atlantic region.  The boost takes effect Dec. 1 for lawmakers and Jan. 1 for judicial and executive branch officials.

The increase is about one-third larger than last year’s increase comes at a time of steady growth in wages for private sector workers.


Federal data from the three-month period ending in June showed average weekly wages for private-sector workers in Pennsylvania increased 3.8% year-over-year, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. However, hourly wage data shows that wages have grown more slowly for workers at the bottom of the income ladder.  Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Saylor is highest-paid, pulling down a $4,000 raise to just above $221,000. The rest of the Supreme Court’s seven members will be paid $215,000. Wolf’s salary will rise about $3,800 to almost $201,700, although he donates it to charity. Both are among the nation’s highest.

Most lawmakers, the nation’s third-highest paid, will see increases of $1,725 to about $90,300 in base pay. They also receive per diems, pensions and health benefits.


Lawmakers in leadership posts will top out at $141,000 for House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson. The four caucus floor leaders in the House and Senate will each make almost 130,900 while the four caucus whips and the four Appropriations Committee chairs will receive $121,100.  County court judges will see increases to about $186,700, while judges in larger districts, such as Philadelphia and Allegheny County, will get slightly more.


The salary for Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will surpass $169,400, while the three statewide elected row officers — Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Treasurer Joe Torsella and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale — each will make a little more than $167,800.  The salaries for the heads of Wolf’s 18 cabinet agencies will rise by law, topping out at almost $161,400 for leaders of the largest departments.

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby says he’s prepared to serve his 10-year maximum sentence for sexual assault rather than show remorse for a crime the comedian says he didn’t commit.  Cosby is serving three to 10 years in a state prison near Philadelphia after a jury last year convicted him of sexually assaulting a Temple University employee in 2004.

The 82-year-old says the Pennsylvania parole board is “not going to hear me say that I have remorse.” He thinks it’s therefore unlikely he’ll be released early.  He made the comments in a phone interview on Sunday with BlackPressUSA as he appeals his felony conviction and sex offender status.  Legal experts say sex offenders typically must show remorse to be considered for parole.  Cosby is best known for his 1980s-era sitcom, “The Cosby Show.”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Officials say 42 people were charged with disorderly conduct after a protest interrupted a Saturday football game between archrivals Harvard and Yale.  Students and alumni from both schools occupied the midfield of the Yale Bowl during Saturday’s halftime protest. Some held banners urging their colleges to act on climate change. Other signs referred to Puerto Rican debt relief and China’s treatment of Uighurs.

Most protesters walked off after about an hour; those who remained were charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. They were issued a court summons and released, according to a statement from Yale University.  Actor Sam Waterston was among those arrested, according to the Connecticut Post. The actor known for his roles in TV’s “Law & Order,” “The Newsroom” and “Grace and Frankie” is a graduate of Yale and was also arrested last month, at a climate protest in Washington.

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip (AP) — Whenever Mohammed al-Shenbari sees a new object, he quickly tries to find its “balancing point” and make it stand in a way that appears to defy the law of gravity.  The 24-year-old self-taught Palestinian artist says he can balance almost any object, using what he calls a mix of mind and body.  This has made him a popular entertainer and frequent participant in psychological support sessions that are common in conflict-ridden, poverty-stricken Gaza.

In the yard of his home in northern Gaza, al-Shenbari stood a chair on one leg, propped two gas canisters on a slanted pipe wrench and balanced an upside-down TV screen on the rim of a Coke bottle.  “You just need to know the fulcrum of the object and you get it,” he said.  A fitness and bodybuilding coach, al-Shenbari says his healthy lifestyle helped him slowly develop “the great focus” required to balance the objects.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — An intruder in Rochester, New York likely never expected his break-in to take such an unexpected turn. That’s because few 82-year-old women are expected to pack the kind of punch Willie Murphy does. She works out nearly every day at the gym and can deadlift 225 pounds. That meant the intruder didn’t stand a chance with Murphy’s muscle and nerves of steel. Murphy says the man pounded on her door and said he needed an ambulance. She called police but wouldn’t open the door. It’s unclear if the man really needed medical attention when he knocked — but he sure did after he broke in. Murphy clobbered him with a table before pouring shampoo in his face. When police arrived, they found Murphy whacking the man with a broom.

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (AP) — Fake frogs? It’s a real thing. A high school in Florida has begun using synthetic frogs for students to do classroom dissections. J.W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey began using the fake amphibians last week — becoming the first school in the world to use them. The frogs are made of water, fibers and salts — and can be reused. They are made by SynDaver and cost $150 apiece. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals provided some of the funding to develop the synthetic frogs. PETA says 3 million frogs are killed for use in classrooms each year.

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s said every dog has its day. And in the case of this dog — that day was yesterday. President Donald Trump honored the U.S. military dog that took part in the operation that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In a brief appearance with the dog on the White House Rose Garden yesterday, Trump described Conan as “probably the world’s most famous dog.” Trump says he gave Conan a medal and a plaque. Conan was slightly hurt in the operation. But he has since recovered and is now back on active duty.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


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TORONTO (AP) — Pascal Siakam scored 25 points, Fred VanVleet had 24 and the Toronto Raptors held Joel Embiid scoreless for the first time in his career in a 101-96 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who posted their 14th consecutive home victory over the 76ers.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Following consecutive losses to New England and Seattle, the Eagles are still only one game behind Dallas in the division. Four of their last five games are against teams currently with a 2-9 record. The other is a home game against the Cowboys in Week 16. If they win all five, they will secure the division. The Eagles play on our sister station Eagle 107.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers are facing an unlikely quarterback controversy heading into a rematch with the Cleveland Browns. Coach Mike Tomlin pulled Mason Rudolph in favor of Devlin Hodges in the second half of a victory over winless Cincinnati. Hodges came on and threw a game-changing 79-yard touchdown pass that gave the Steelers the lead for good. Tomlin says he may have already made up his mind. His decision could have a lasting effect on the franchise. The Steelers play on our sister station 100.9 The Valley.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jakub Voracek scored midway through the third period to lift the Philadelphia Flyers over the Vancouver Canucks 2-1. Voracek one-timed Justin Braun’s pass off the right post and behind goalie Thatcher Demko. Voracek’s sixth of the season and second in two games snapped a 1-1 tie. Sean Couturier scored his seventh goal for Philadelphia, and Carter Hart stopped 16 shots.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jake Guentzel beat David Rittich on a rush 4:04 into overtime to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Calgary Flames 3-2. Jared McCann scored his ninth goal and Alex Galchenyuk got his first with the Penguins. Both had a goal and an assist, helping Pittsburgh get a point for the 11th time in 13 games. Eight of those 13 have gone to overtime. Tristan Jarry stopped 32 shots and has allowed two goals or fewer in six of seven games.


Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:



Final    Brooklyn         108      Cleveland        106

Final    Detroit 103      Orlando           88

Final    Indiana            126      Memphis         114

Final    Minnesota       125      Atlanta            113

Final    Boston 103      Sacramento     102

Final    Miami  117      Charlotte         100

Final    Toronto           101      Philadelphia    96

Final    Portland          117      Chicago           94

Final    Milwaukee      122      Utah    118

Final    L.A. Lakers     114      San Antonio    104

Final    Oklahoma City            100      Golden State   97



Final    Columbus        1          Ottawa            0

Final OT          N-Y Rangers   3          Minnesota       2

Final    Philadelphia    2          Vancouver       1

Final OT          Pittsburgh        3          Calgary            2

Final    Tampa Bay      5          Buffalo            2

Final SO          Nashville         3          St. Louis          2

Final    Dallas  4          Vegas  2

Final    Anaheim          3          N-Y Islanders 0

Final OT          San Jose          4          Los Angeles    3



Final    Baltimore        45        L.A. Rams       6



Final    Virginia Tech  71        (3)Michigan St.           66

Final    (4)Kansas        93        Chaminade      63

Final    (10)Ohio St.    71        Kent St.           52

Final    (17)Tennessee 58        Chattanooga    46

Final    (18)Auburn     84        New Mexico   59

Final    (20)VCU         78        Alabama St.    62





L.A. Clippers  at         Dallas  8:30 p.m.

Washington     at         Denver            9 p.m.



Boston at         Montreal          7 p.m.

Minnesota       at         New Jersey      7 p.m.

Dallas  at         Chicago           8 p.m.



Stephen F. Austin       at         (1)Duke           9 p.m.

Georgia           at         (3)Michigan St.           2:30 p.m.

(4)Kansas        at         BYU   10:30 p.m.

(18)Auburn     at         Richmond       7:30 p.m.

(21)Colorado   at         Clemson          11:30 p.m.


Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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