Latest Pennsylvania news, business, and entertainment

 

RED LION, Pa. (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union is threatening to sue if a Pennsylvania school district doesn’t allow a transgender student to run for prom king, even though the student is registered under his female birth name and has acknowledged his diploma will be issued in that female name, too. The student born Sierra Stambaugh has self-identified as Issak Wolfe for several years. The ACLU contends Wolfe has a right to attend Saturday’s Red Lion Area High School prom with a girlfriend and to be on the ballot for prom king, not queen. Red Lion schools Superintendent Scott Deisley didn’t immediately return requests for comment. The student is in therapy and plans to undergo a physical transition. The student also wants the district to announce call him Issak Wolfe and let him wear a boy’s cap-and-gown at graduation May 3.

 

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – An advisory panel is recommending the U.S. and Canada consider using artificial structures to raise water levels in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The International Joint Commission announced its proposal Friday, following a 5-year study by scientists and engineers. The commission advises both nations on issues involving the Great Lakes and other shared waterways. Lakes Michigan and Huron hit their lowest level ever recorded in January after lagging well below normal since the late 1990s. The commission acknowledges their shared level was lowered by dredging in the St. Clair River at the south end of Lake Huron in the last century. However, scientists say drought and evaporation are the biggest causes. The commission report suggests looking at placing structures in the river that could boost levels 5 to 10 inches.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A judge has denied a request to immediately stop a plan by Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration to close nearly half of Pennsylvania’s 60 community health centers. Corbett’s Department of Health said it’ will move ahead with its plan following Thursday’s Commonwealth Court decision. The month-old lawsuit by a state employees’ union, Department of Health nurses, and several Democratic state lawmakers remains pending. The lawsuit says the plan violates a 1996 law that requires legislative approval before closing any centers. However, Department of Health officials say their plan is legal and they can do a better job treating public health problems by making community health nurses more mobile. The union says closing the centers runs the risk of slowing the detection or prevention of outbreaks of communicable diseases, particularly in rural areas.

 

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

 

The Latest Business News

 

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks were mostly lower on Wall Street Friday after the U.S. economy didn’t grow as much as hoped and earnings from big companies failed to excite investors. Economic growth was 2.5 percent in the first quarter, but below the 3.1 percent rate forecast by economists. The Dow closed up 12 points at 14,712. The S&P 500 fell three points to 1,582. In addition, the Nasdaq lost 11.

 

UNDATED (AP) – Oil prices are dropping again. Crude oil futures ended lower on the New York Mercantile Exchange today. The near-month contract for the benchmark grade fell 64 cents — closing at $93.00 a barrel.

 

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

 

Features & Entertainment

 

WATFORD, England (AP) – Britain’s young royals had a magical day out Friday with a visit to the studio where the “Harry Potter” movies were filmed. Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry toured Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden near London, home to “The Making of Harry Potter” studio tour. The royals, accompanied by 500 children and adults from charities they support, had a wand lesson, visited the Great Hall of Hogwarts School and saw props, costumes and models from the Potter series in the company of the boy wizard’s creator, author J.K. Rowling. William also seemed taken with props from “The Dark Knight” Batman trilogy. “I’m a very happy man,” he joked after exploring the Batmobile and sitting astride the Batpod motorcycle. Kate, who is six months pregnant and wore a polka-dot dress, smiled indulgently at her husband.

 

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Gov. Rick Perry is expressing “disgust and disappointment” after a California newspaper ran a cartoon depicting him boasting about business booming in Texas just before a major explosion. The cartoon in The Sacramento Bee shows the Texas governor crowing “Business is Booming” and flanked by signs saying, “Low Tax” ”Low Regs!” The next panel reads “Boom!” as an explosion engulfs the area behind the governor. An explosion last week at a fertilizer plant in Texas killed 14 people and injured 200 others. In a letter to the Bee’s editor Friday, Perry says he wouldn’t stand for “someone mocking this tragedy.” He demanded an immediate apology for the newspaper’s “detestable attempt at satire.” Fellow Republican and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst called for the firing of the artist, political cartoonist Jack Ohman.

 

NEW YORK (AP) – Guitarist Bob Weir fell onstage while strumming his guitar at a concert in Port Chester, N.Y. Video posted online shows the 65-year-old musician collapsing Thursday night during a performance with Furthur. He was quickly helped off the floor as the crowd cheered him on. Weir is on tour with Furthur, the band he formed with fellow Grateful Dead member Phil Lesh. Lesh told the crowd Thursday that Weir had been suffering from a strained shoulder. A representative for Furthur didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The band’s next show is scheduled for Saturday in Atlantic City, N.J.

 

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

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