Latest Pennsylvania news, business, and entertainment

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Gov. Tom Corbett says Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin made the “correct” decision to resign effective May 1. Corbett said Monday that Melvin’s departure will spare taxpayers the expense of impeachment proceedings and allow lawmakers to focus on other issues. The governor says he’ll nominate an interim justice as soon as practical. If confirmed by the Senate, that person would serve until voters elect a new justice in 2015 to a full 10-year term. An Allegheny County jury found Melvin guilty of using government employees to work on her 2003 and 2009 campaigns for the high court. She is scheduled to be sentenced on May 7.

 

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Pennsylvania Game Commission says hunters bagged about 2 percent more deer this season than last. The game commission Monday estimates 343,110 deer were harvested during the 2012-2013 hunting seasons. That’s up from 336,200 during the 2011-12 hunting seasons. The increase was driven by a 5-percent increase in antlered deer killed. For the most recent season, hunters took 133,860 bucks, up from 127,540 last season. The harvest of antlerless deer also increased slightly, from 208,660 in 2011-2012 to 209,250. The game commission’s executive director, Carl Roe, says the most recent season was slightly above the average harvest since 2005, when the commission began trying to stabilize the deer population in most areas of Pennsylvania.

 

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved)

 

Latest Business News

 

NEW YORK (AP) – Worries about Europe’s economy are blamed for sending stocks lower on Monday. Optimism about a deal to prevent financial collapse in Cyprus faded shortly after the start of trading on Wall Street. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index moved to within a half-point of its all-time high before reversing course. It ended the day down five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,551. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 64 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,447. The Nasdaq slipped nine points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,235. Traders’ jitters intensified after a top European official said inflicting losses on banks’ shareholders, bondholders, and even large depositors should become the 17-country eurozone’s default approach for dealing with ailing lenders.

 

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – A 2011 crude oil spill into Montana’s scenic Yellowstone River looks like it’s going to cost ExxonMobile some money. Federal regulators have proposed $1.7 million in civil penalties against Exxon Mobil for safety violations linked to the pipeline rupture that spilled an estimated 63,000 gallons of crude oil. In a notice sent to the company, U.S. Department of Transportation regulators alleged a chain of bad decisions by Exxon leading up to the spill and in its immediate aftermath. That included Exxon employees’ failure to close an upstream safety valve, which could have significantly reduced the size of the spill after it was first detected.

 

As a result, the agency said, oil continued gushing into the flooding river for almost an hour after the break was noticed by pipeline controllers in Houston. The agency also faulted the company for not addressing flood risks and not taking adequate measures to prevent a spill. The rupture near Laurel fouled 70 miles of the Yellowstone River’s banks, killing fish and wildlife, and prompting a massive, months-long cleanup.

 

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved)

 

Features & Entertainment

 

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) – Some residents in Newtown, Conn., say they’re outraged at receiving robocalls from the National Rifle Association only three months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Town residents say the automated calls from the NRA began last week and urge people to tell their state legislators to oppose gun control proposals. Lawmakers are debating whether to ban military-style assault weapons, prohibit high-capacity ammunition magazines and other measures in response to the school shootings. Dan O’Donnell lives in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown and told WVIT-TV that the robocalls are “ridiculous and insensitive.” Messages seeking comment were left with the NRA, which like other nonprofit groups is allowed to make robocalls under federal law. A gunman killed 20 first-graders, six educators, and himself in December after shooting his mother to death.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) – The nation’s clergy are divided as the Supreme Court takes up two cases involving gay marriage. The Reverend Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, says his Episcopal diocese performs gay marriages. He has come to believe “that’s a good and holy thing for the church to be doing.” The Reverend Bill Owens, founder of the Coalition of African American Pastors, strongly disagrees. He says, “There’s no Biblical support for same-sex marriage. As a matter of fact, if it does anything, it’s just the opposite.” He says marriage should provide children with a mother and a father, and the Supreme Court should uphold the will of voters who passed California’s Proposition 8 and other state bans on gay marriage. Owens and Hall both planned to be outside the Supreme Court as the arguments are presented inside.

 

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) – A Utah bomb squad thought a package marked “Army” was suspicious, but it was just part of an elaborate plan by a guy trying to ask a girl to a dance. St. George police rushed to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple on Saturday after the package was placed near a gazebo. Surrounding streets were closed as a precaution. The investigation ended, however, when officers were told the package was part of a treasure hunt, and contained candy and a note asking a girl to a dance.

 

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved)

 

 

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