Latest Pennsylvania news, sports, business, and entertainment

 

 

STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) – It’s snowing heavily in parts of eastern Pennsylvania. The National Weather Service now expects the Poconos to get 8 to 10 inches of snow, with lower accumulations elsewhere in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia can expect 1-2 inches. PennDOT has been treating major roads with brine. No road closures have been reported. Airports canceled flights, hundreds of Pennsylvania schools dismissed early, and all sorts of Friday-night events are postponed due to the storm.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office has more time to consider a contract that Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration signed with British firm Camelot Global Services to take over management the $3.5 billion Pennsylvania Lottery. Kane’s office said the time extension was triggered Thursday after Corbett’s administration responded to “clarifying questions” from her office. Kane now has another 30 days to review the contract. It was originally submitted to her office in mid-January. Kane’s spokeswoman Ellen Mellody declined to release the correspondence, saying the attorney general’s office doesn’t consider it a public record. Camelot’s obligated to generate at least $34 billion in lottery profits over 20 years. The union that represents state lottery employees is suing to block the agreement. The attorney general’s office reviews state contracts for form and legality.

 

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) – A proposed four-year contract covering 5,500 faculty members at Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities is headed for a ratification vote by the union rank and file. The leadership body of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties endorsed the contract agreement Friday at a meeting in Gettysburg. Union spokeswoman Lauren Gutshall says the tally was nearly unanimous. The faculty members of the 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education have worked without a contract since June 2011. Officials said the proposal mirrors contracts covering tens of thousands of other state workers. It includes union concessions on health care coverage, but calls for pay raises of one to two percent in each of the last three years. Faculty members are expected to vote on the contract in early March.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Gov. Tom Corbett says a former state lawmaker will run the massive Department of Public Welfare after two years of missteps and federal scrutiny over why tens of thousands of children disappeared from Medicaid rolls. Corbett said Friday that Bev Mackereth will be acting secretary. She’ll succeed Gary Alexander, a Rhode Island resident who told The Associated Press earlier this week that he planned to leave the post. His last day is Feb. 15. Mackereth, of York County, served eight years in the state House of Representatives and has managed the department’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families since November 2011. Even before Alexander was sworn in 2011, Rhode Island officials disputed his claims over his fiscal achievements as that state’s secretary of Health and Human Services.

 

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

 

The Latest Business News

 

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks have finished the day with solid gains. The S&P 500 added 8 and a-half points to 1,518, its highest point since 2007. The Nasdaq added nearly 29 points, closing at 3,194. The Dow added 49 points to 13,993. While that was enough to offset yesterday’s loss, it wasn’t enough to extend the bluechips’ streak of weekly gains.

 

BOSTON (AP) – Snow is locking down residents of the Northeast. Amtrak has stopped service in cities across the region while airlines have cancelled more than 3,700 flights. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has enacted a statewide driving ban for the first time since the region’s famed Blizzard of 1978. Forecasters say Boston could get up to 3 feet of snow before it’s all over.

 

NEW YORK (AP) – Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint have been topping off fuel at cell-tower generators in Northeastern states, preparing for a storm that could bring power outages. Cell-towers are dependent on electric power from the grid, but many of them have backup batteries, and in some cases generators that can power the antennas independently for longer.

 

ROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) – One of Dell’s largest stockholders is trying to thwart the company’s plans to sell itself for $24.4 billion. Southeastern Asset Management is the second largest shareholder after the personal computer maker’s CEO and founder, Michael Dell. Southeastern CEO O. Mason Hawkins dismisses the proposed sale price as “woefully inadequate.” It would pay existing stockholders $13.65 per share, but Hawkins says the struggling company is worth at least $24 per share.

 

ATLANTA (AP) – Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the makers of surgical mesh used to treat incontinence and other pelvic problems in women. The lawsuits accuse the companies of inadequate testing, failing to disclose potential risks and fraudulently promoting the mesh as a safe medical device. The manufacturers deny the allegations. Some doctors say the lawsuits are misguided and blame inexperienced surgeons.

 

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

 

Pennsylvania Lottery Numbers

 

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

 

Cash 5

06-09-10-17-38

 

Evening Big 4

1-1-8-7

 

Evening Daily Number

9-0-1

 

Evening Quinto

1-7-7-1-4

 

Mega Millions

06-15-20-39-50, Mega Ball: 5

 

Megaplier

4

 

Midday Big 4

1-5-0-5

 

Midday Daily Number

7-6-4

 

Midday Quinto

2-5-4-0-4

 

Treasure Hunt

02-06-16-28-30

 

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

 

Features & Entertainment

 

HONOLULU (AP) – Rock legends Steven Tyler and Mick Fleetwood have convinced a Hawaii Senate committee to approve a bill to protect celebrities or anyone else from intrusive paparazzi. The state Senate Judiciary Committee approved the so-called Steven Tyler Act Friday after the stars testified at a hearing. The bill would give people power to sue others who take photos or video of their private lives in an offensive way. Tyler says he asked state Sen. Kalani English to introduce the measure after paparazzi took a photo of the Aerosmith frontman and his girlfriend in his home, causing a ripple in his family. The former “American Idol” judge says his kids don’t want to go out with him in Hawaii because of the threat of paparazzi. Opponents say the bill limits constitutional rights.

 

OS ANGELES (AP) – Catherine Zeta-Jones will take part in the tribute to movie musicals at the Oscars. She says she doesn’t know what she’ll do yet. She won an Oscar for the musical “Chicago.” Zeta-Jones can now be seen in the movie “Side Effects,” which opened today. Her husband, Michael Douglas, will be starring as Liberace in an upcoming film. Matt Damon plays his lover. Zeta-Jones says Damon told her he thought of her while he was kissing Douglas. She says that was “one of the biggest compliments” she’s ever had.

 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) – Dr. Watson is accepting new patients. IBM says two medical applications using the Watson supercomputer are being offered for commercial use. One application helps assess treatments for lung cancer. The other helps manage health insurance decisions and claims. Both applications take advantage of the speed, huge database and language skill the computer has already demonstrated. It defeated the best human “Jeopardy!” players on television two years ago. Watson’s medical training comes through pilot programs at WellPoint health insurance and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. IBM says the computer’s database now includes 1,500 lung cancer cases from the hospital and 2 million pages of medical textbooks and journals. The company says Watson also learned by being corrected when it came up with wrong answers as it was questioned by doctors.

 

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