Latest Pennsylvania news, business, and entertainment

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Gov. Tom Corbett is suggesting that he’s interested in a concept that combines an expansion of Medicaid eligibility for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians by using federal dollars to buy private insurance plans. Corbett said Wednesday he’s seeking information about the idea, a day after meeting with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. It was first broached by Arkansas’ Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe as a way to get his Republican-controlled Legislature on board with a Medicaid expansion under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. A number of other governors are studying it. However, a Congressional Budget Office report suggests that it is more expensive than traditional Medicaid coverage. Corbett, a Republican, says he isn’t supporting the Medicaid expansion without substantial changes because he’s worried about the long-term cost.

 

HARRISBURG — Windy, dry conditions spur red flag warning Windy and dry conditions have prompted a red flag warning for brush fires across a broad section of the East, including New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. The National Weather Service says gusty winds, along with humidity levels as low as 20 percent, mean there is a “great potential” for wildfires in the area through the day along with the possibility any blazes that do start could easily spread. In some areas, winds are expected to gust to as high as 30 mph. The warnings extend from Virginia north to New York and Connecticut and will stay in effect into the evening hours Wednesday. Forecasters are also cautioning against doing any outdoor burning.

 

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

 

The Latest Business News

 

NEW YORK (AP) – Will it be another down day on Wall Street or will the markets turn around? Traders will be looking closely at the government’s numbers on weekly unemployment claims. Weak reports on hiring and service industries sent the stock market sharply lower yesterday, giving the Dow Jones industrial average its worst day in more than a month. The Dow fell nearly 112 points, or 0.8 percent, to 14,550, its worst decline since Feb. 25. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 16 1/2 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,553. Both indexes closed at record highs the day before. The Nasdaq composite lost 36 points, or 1.1 percent. The losses were widespread. All 10-industry groups in the S&P 500 index fell. Banks and energy stocks had the worst losses.

 

BANGKOK (AP) – Weak economic reports on hiring and service industry growth in the U.S. sent Asian stock markets lower today. The Institute for Supply Management said that its index of non-manufacturing activity grew at a slower rate in March, reaching its lowest level in seven months. A separate report from payroll processor ADP also pointed to slightly weaker hiring in March. Benchmark crude oil fell, remaining above $94 per barrel. The dollar rose against the euro and the yen.

 

WASHINGTON – There are two important bellwether reports due out today. The Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims this morning. Also today, mortgage giant Freddie Mac reports weekly mortgage rates.

 

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

 

Features & Entertainment

 

UNDATED (AP) – “Welcome! This is ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon … for now.” That’s how Fallon opened his show last night. It was his first since NBC made it official, that Fallon will be taking over for Jay Leno on the “Tonight Show” in about a year. Leno opened the Tonight Show by saying it had been a tough day. Leno says he had to call David Letterman, to “tell him he didn’t get the ‘Tonight Show’ again.” Letterman noted that he’s known Leno for 38 years. Letterman congratulated Leno “on a nice long run” on the Tonight Show. However, Letterman adds, that is if Leno is “not coming back.”

 

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) – Did you hear the one about the goat that walks into a bar? It’s not a joke, but a complaint in Butte, Montana. An animal control officer was sent to a bar after a patron reported that somebody had brought a female pygmy goat into the tavern. Animal shelter workers are calling the goat Shirley and say she’s sweet and friendly. If the owner doesn’t claim Shirley soon, the shelter will put the goat up for adoption.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans, except those who worship regularly, aren’t producing enough children to support elderly retirees. The plunging birth rate and its consequences are documented in Jonathan Last’s new book, “What to Expect When No One’s Expecting.” It tracks how the retiring baby boom generation, which embraced contraception and legal abortion, has borne fewer taxpayers to fund Social Security and Medicare. Last told an audience at the Family Research Council that means either the diminished younger generation will have to be taxed more or retirees’ benefits will have to be cut. He noted that young Americans also are putting off marriage, reducing their own childbearing years. Last said government incentives to have children haven’t been effective in other nations, but religion has been shown to boost fertility among those who worship every week.

 

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

 

Sports

 

Driven O’Brien keeps focus on football at PSU

 

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – Amid all the bickering at Penn State over the delicate issues related to football, the football program itself is often stuck in the middle. Coach Bill O’Brien would like all sides – no matter their positions – to keep that in mind before the next exchange of verbal volleys. It’s not the ideal backdrop in the middle of spring practice, and with coaches trying to woo recruits amid the NCAA sanctions for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Still, O’Brien said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press that 61 prospects have taken unofficial visits since the end of the 2012 season. He says potential recruits get a sense of community in the football program, and he would love for them to feel it outside the program, too.

 

Halladay has flat opener

 

ATLANTA (AP) – Freddie Freeman had three RBIs and Justin Upton homered to back Paul Maholm’s solid start, helping the Atlanta Braves to a 9-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night. Jason Heyward and rookie Evan Gattis also connected for the Braves, who have hit six homers in winning the first two games of the series. Roy Halladay (0-1) failed to make it out of the fourth inning and left with Philadelphia trailing 4-0. The game was played in a steady drizzle, but the conditions hardly affected Maholm (1-0), who gave up six hits in 5 2-3 scoreless innings. He struck out six.

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Wednesday’s Games

Chicago White Sox 5, Kansas City 2

Texas 4, Houston 0

Minnesota 3, Detroit 2

Boston 7, N.Y. Yankees 4

Cleveland 3, Toronto 2, 11 innings

Tampa Bay 8, Baltimore 7

Cincinnati 5, L.A. Angels 4

Oakland 6, Seattle 2

Thursday’s Games

L.A. Angels (Blanton 0-0) at Cincinnati (Arroyo 0-0), 12:35 p.m.

Detroit (Porcello 0-0) at Minnesota (Pelfrey 0-0), 1:10 p.m.

Kansas City (Guthrie 0-0) at Chicago White Sox (Floyd 0-0), 2:10 p.m.

Baltimore (Mi.Gonzalez 0-0) at Tampa Bay (R.Hernandez 0-0), 3:10 p.m.

Seattle (Maurer 0-0) at Oakland (Griffin 0-0), 3:35 p.m.

Boston (Dempster 0-0) at N.Y. Yankees (Pettitte 0-0), 7:05 p.m.

Cleveland (Myers 0-0) at Toronto (Buehrle 0-0), 7:07 p.m.

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Wednesday’s Games

Pittsburgh 3, Chicago Cubs 0

Washington 3, Miami 0

Cincinnati 5, L.A. Angels 4

Atlanta 9, Philadelphia 2

N.Y. Mets 8, San Diego 4

Colorado 7, Milwaukee 3

Arizona 10, St. Louis 9, 16 innings

San Francisco 5, L.A. Dodgers 3

Thursday’s Games

Chicago Cubs (Wood 0-0) at Pittsburgh (McDonald 0-0), 12:35 p.m.

L.A. Angels (Blanton 0-0) at Cincinnati (Arroyo 0-0), 12:35 p.m.

San Diego (Stults 0-0) at N.Y. Mets (Gee 0-0), 1:10 p.m.

Miami (LeBlanc 0-0) at Washington (Zimmermann 0-0), 4:05 p.m.

Philadelphia (Lee 0-0) at Atlanta (Medlen 0-0), 7:10 p.m.

 

NBA

Wednesday’s Games

Brooklyn 113, Cleveland 95

New York 95, Atlanta 82

Charlotte 88, Philadelphia 83

Toronto 88, Washington 78

Boston 98, Detroit 93

Minnesota 107, Milwaukee 98

San Antonio 98, Orlando 84

Denver 113, Utah 96

Memphis 94, Portland 76

Houston 112, Sacramento 102

Golden State 98, New Orleans 88

L.A. Clippers 126, Phoenix 101

Thursday’s Games

Chicago at Brooklyn, 7 p.m.

Dallas at Denver, 9 p.m.

San Antonio at Oklahoma City, 9:30 p.m.

 

NHL

Wednesday’s Games

N.Y. Rangers 6, Pittsburgh 1

Philadelphia 5, Montreal 3

Edmonton 8, Calgary 2

Anaheim 5, Dallas 2

San Jose 4, Minnesota 2

Thursday’s Games

New Jersey at Boston, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at Toronto, 7 p.m.

N.Y. Islanders at Washington, 7 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Carolina, 7 p.m.

Winnipeg at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Columbus at Nashville, 8 p.m.

St. Louis at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

Detroit at Phoenix, 10 p.m.

Edmonton at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m.

Minnesota at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

 

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