Latest Pennsylvania news, sports, business, and entertainment

 

 

KINGSTON, Pa. (AP) – A ruptured gas line forced the evacuation of an elementary school and several homes in a northeastern Pennsylvania town. Workers from Pennsylvania American Water Co. were repairing a water line in Kingston when they inadvertently hit the underground gas line Monday morning. Officials say the gas line wasn’t marked properly. Students from Schuyler Avenue Elementary School were taken to the middle school while a utility crew capped the ruptured lines. Residents evacuated temporarily and several businesses closed for a short time, too. There were no injuries.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – State Senate Republican leader Dominic Pileggi is renewing his call for Pennsylvania to change the way it counts its electoral votes. Now that the presidential election is over, the Delaware County senator indicated Monday that he is seeking co-sponsors for a bill similar to a proposal he floated unsuccessfully last year. Pileggi’s goal is to divide the 20 electoral votes between the candidates, instead of awarding all of them to the one who attracts the most popular votes. Pileggi’s latest plan would award two votes to the statewide winner and divide the remaining 18 votes based on the percentages of the popular vote each candidate receives. Currently, all states but Maine and Nebraska award their electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The head of a gay rights advocacy group in Pennsylvania says Rep. Mike Fleck is the country’s only sitting Republican state legislator who is openly gay. Ted Martin of Equality Pennsylvania said Monday that Fleck’s decision to come out was difficult and asked for people to give Fleck time to adjust. The 39-year-old Fleck describes himself as a devout Christian. He attended Liberty University, the evangelical school founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, and he represents a conservative district between Altoona and State College. Fleck first ran for the state House of Representatives in 2006 and was re-elected last month to a fourth two-year term. Martin says a Republican elected to the Ohio House will be the second openly gay state GOP legislator when he’s sworn in January.

 

 

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

 

The Latest Business News

 

NEW YORK (AP) – Dampened by a report showing contraction in manufacturing, stocks closed lower Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 60 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 12,966. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 7 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 1,409. The Nasdaq composite dropped 8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,002.

 

BANGKOK (AP) – A weaker-than-expected U.S. manufacturing report sent Asian stock markets down Tuesday. U.S. manufacturing shrank in November to its weakest level since July 2009. A trade group says one reason for the downturn is that businesses are concerned about the so-called fiscal cliff. Worries about automatic tax increases cut demand for factory orders and manufacturing jobs. Benchmark crude oil fell below $89 per barrel. The dollar rose against the euro but fell against the yen.

 

UNDATED (AP) – On today’s calendar, finance ministers from the 27 European Union countries meet in Brussels to discuss banking regulation. Elsewhere, Spain releases unemployment figures for November.

 

DETROIT (AP) – Superstorm Sandy gave an added push to already strong U.S. auto sales last month. However, carmakers warn uncertainty over the “fiscal cliff” could hurt sales. Most major companies, from Toyota to Chrysler, posted impressive increases from a year earlier. Only General Motors was left struggling to explain its 3-percent sales gain and large inventory of unsold trucks. Americans were already willing to buy a new car or truck last month because they’re more confident in the economy. Home values are rising, hiring is up, and auto financing is readily available. In addition, the average age of a vehicle on U.S. roads is approaching a record 11 years; so many people are looking to replace older cars.

 

Sandy boosted demand. Ford estimates that the storm added 20,000 to 30,000 sales industry wide in November, mostly from people who planned to buy cars during the October storm but had to delay their purchases. People who need to replace storm-damaged vehicles are expected to drive sales for several more months. GM estimates that 50,000 to 100,000 vehicles will eventually need to be replaced. Luxury cars saw their usual yearend surge as holiday commercials crowd the airwaves. Porsche’s sales rose 71 percent to 3,865, a record month for the automaker. Infiniti, Acura, BMW and Lexus all reported big gains.

 

Edmunds.com analyst Jessica Caldwell says luxury brands have historically targeted their customers at this time of year because of holiday bonuses. That’s no longer a driving factor, she says, but it’s still a good time of year for people to buy 2012 model-year luxury vehicles because dealers are trying to clear them out.

 

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

 

Pennsylvania Lottery Numbers

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – These Pennsylvania lotteries were drawn Monday:

 

Cash 5

05-15-19-20-32

 

Evening Big 4

1-5-7-4

 

Evening Daily Number

1-7-3

 

Evening Quinto

4-3-2-2-5

 

Match 6 Lotto

32-39-40-46-47-49

 

Midday Big 4

6-2-5-3

 

Midday Daily Number

7-2-3

 

Midday Quinto

5-7-6-0-9

 

Treasure Hunt

07-11-13-17-24

 

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

 

Features & Entertainment

 

NEWARK N.J. — Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker is prepared for a food stamp challenge. He and one of his Twitter followers each plan to live for a week on the monetary equivalent of food stamps or less. The mayor’s week starts Tuesday. The North Carolina woman’s began Sunday. The mayor prepared for the challenge with a grocery purchase of $27.98. Booker tweeted a picture of a receipt of the purchases he made Saturday at a Pathmark store in neighboring Irvington. The vegetarian mayor’s grocery list included pink and black beans, corn, and red delicious apples. Booker declined requests Monday to be interviewed. He is using social media to provide updates. Other city officials around the country have taken part in similar challenges, including Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter this past April.

 

NEW YORK (AP) – The New York City homeless man – whose gift of boots from an NYPD police officer became an online sensation – is back on the streets with no shoes. The New York Times found him Sunday night wandering barefoot in Manhattan. The paper identified him as Jeffrey Hillman, formerly of South Plainfield, N.J. Asked about the $100 all-weather boots Officer Larry DePrimo gave him on Nov. 14; Hillman says he’s hidden them because “they are worth a lot of money.” He says he’s grateful for the gift, but he wants “a piece of the pie” because the photo was posted online “without permission.” An Arizona tourist snapped the photo of the officer presenting new boots to Hillman. It went viral after it was posted on the NYPD’s Facebook page.

 

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting their first child after 19 months of marriage, the palace announced Monday. The royal revelation, which followed months of tabloid speculation, came as Catherine was admitted to a central London hospital with acute morning sickness Monday afternoon. She is expected to be in King Edward VII Hospital for several days, the palace said. The palace said her illness is hyperemesis gravidarum, which involves nausea and vomiting more severe than typical morning sickness. The news immediately became a top trending topic worldwide on Twitter.

 

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