Latest Pennsylvania news, sports, business, and entertainment

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is rejecting Gov. Tom Corbett’s contract to hire a British firm to manage the $3.5 billion Pennsylvania Lottery. Kane said Thursday that she won’t approve the 20- to 30-year contract with Camelot Global Services because it contravenes the state constitution and it’s not allowed by law. The contract’s legality is being challenged in court by Democratic lawmakers and the union that represents lottery employees. Corbett can challenge Kane’s decision in court. Corbett has said he believes Camelot can do a better job than the state in raising lottery profits. Democratic lawmakers criticize Corbett as diverting money from programs for the elderly to a foreign firm. Camelot runs the United Kingdom’s official lottery. The attorney general’s office reviews state contracts for form and legality.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Two former Pennsylvania House employees who were convicted of corruption along with their former boss Mike Veon have lost a pair of state appeals court decisions. A three-judge Superior Court panel on Wednesday upheld guilty verdicts against Brett Cott and Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink, both convicted with Veon after lengthy trial in 2010. A jury convicted them both of conflict of interest, theft of services and conspiracy, but also acquitted them on multiple counts. Calls seeking comment from their lawyers weren’t immediately returned. The attorney general’s office says it’s pleased with the decisions but isn’t making further comment. Veon is a former Beaver County state representative who was once the second-ranking leader in the House Democratic caucus. He’s currently in a western Pennsylvania state prison.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s voter identification law won’t be enforced in the state’s May 21 primary. Lawyers in a pending lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality agreed Thursday that voters will not be required to show photo ID at the polls as a condition of voting. That means local election officials can ask voters to show ID, but they will be permitted to cast ballots as usual even if they lack the necessary documents. Whether the law is constitutional is expected to be decided in a trial in state Commonwealth Court that’s slated to start July 15. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson halted the law before last fall’s presidential election on grounds that the state failed to make it possible for voters to easily get IDs before the election.

 

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Energy experts say the boom in Marcellus Shale natural gas production will slow this year but not because of a lack of supply. The slowdown is happening because drillers are waiting for pipelines to expand, new markets to develop and wholesale prices to rise. The president of the industry group Marcellus Shale Coalition says hiring has tapered off and most companies are in a holding pattern. Colorado company Bentek, which analyzes energy trends, estimates that total Marcellus production rose to about 2.8 trillion cubic feet in 2012, about double last year. That’s about 10 percent of the nation’s natural gas output. About 75 percent of the Marcellus production came from Pennsylvania, and most of the rest is from West Virginia. The Marcellus formation also lies beneath New York and Ohio.

 

EASTON, Pa. (AP) – A judge in eastern Pennsylvania has ruled against a former Lehigh University graduate student who sued to have a grade of C-plus changed to a B and was seeking $1.3 million in damages. The Express-Times of Easton reports that Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano made the ruling Thursday in the lawsuit filed by Megan Thode. Thode was seeking damages over the grade in a 2009 therapist internship course. She alleged the grade was retaliation because she supports gay marriage. She said the grade was preventing her from becoming a licensed therapist. An expert estimated Thode would suffer $1.3 million in damages in lost earnings. Lehigh University argued that professors, not judges, possess the expertise required to make academic decisions. In addition, the teacher testified she stood by the grade.

 

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

 

The Latest Business News

 

NEW YORK (AP) – A slowdown in Europe’s economy is overshadowing an encouraging report on the U.S. jobs market. That caused the stock indexes to end little changed on Wall Street yesterday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 9 1/2 points to close at 13,973. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index edged up 1 point to 1,521.38. The Nasdaq composite index rose nearly 2 points to 3,198.66. Gloomy news out of Europe weighed on the market. Germany’s economy shrank late last year, deepening a recession across the region. Ketchup maker H.J. Heinz soared 20 percent after agreeing to be bought by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Whole Foods slumped 10 percent after the grocery chain cut its earnings forecast. Rising and falling stocks were evenly split on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was slightly higher than the recent average, 3.7 billion shares.

 

BANGKOK (AP) – Disappointing news about Germany’s economy sent Asian stock markets down on Friday. Europe’s biggest economy contracted a worse-than-expected 0.6 percent in the last quarter of 2012 as recession deepened across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro. It was Germany’s worst performance since early 2009, amid a global recession. The worry for European policymakers is that output is declining beyond weaker, debt-laden economies like Greece and Spain. France, Europe’s second-biggest economy, also suffered a drop in output. The slowdown in Europe was gloomy news for Asia, which depend on exports to the region to help drive their economies. Benchmark crude oil rose to remain above $97 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.

 

WASHINGTON – There’s only one major government report due out today. The Federal Reserve will release industrial production data for January this morning.

 

NEW YORK (AP) – Warren Buffett and a fellow billionaire are teaming up to snap up the Heinz ketchup company, marking the food industry’s biggest ever deal and yet another sign that the lifeless merger market is finally picking up. H.J. Heinz announced Thursday a $23.3 billion deal to be purchased by Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, which was co-founded by Jorge Lemann, one of Brazil’s richest men. The news came the same day that American Airlines and U.S. Airways announced their $11 billion merger. Just a little over a week ago, Michael Dell said he struck a deal to buy the computer company that he founded and bears his name. Even before Thursday’s blockbuster deals were announced, the year had been shaping up to be a promising one for mergers. U.S. mergers total $219 billion year-to-date, which is the fastest start to a year since 2000, according to Dealogic. At the same time last year, mergers had totaled just $85 billion.

 

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

 

Pennsylvania Lottery Numbers

 

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

 

Cash 5

09-21-29-30-32

 

Evening Big 4

9-9-9-5

 

Evening Daily Number

4-3-1

 

Evening Quinto

3-8-7-2-7

 

Match 6 Lotto

10-17-24-30-36-43

 

Midday Big 4

6-4-4-0

 

Midday Daily Number

2-9-7

 

Midday Quinto

8-3-0-1-1

 

Treasure Hunt

05-08-17-20-28

 

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

 

Features & Entertainment

 

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) – If the Crawley family of “Downton Abbey” were American, they’d summer at Newport. The wild stateside success of the British period drama about post-Edwardian aristocrats and their live-in help has piqued interest in the life of servants in the Gilded Age mansions of the seaside Rhode Island city. Just as the Downton servants develop relationships downstairs, servants in Newport carried on a lively social scene of their own. A tour about servants in one of Newport’s most picturesque houses, The Elms, has become one of the city’s most popular. The American character portrayed on “Downton” by Shirley MacLaine has a home in Newport. The city is even mentioned on the show from time to time.

 

NEW YORK (AP) – New York police are being told not to get out of joint over pot charges. The city plans to stop booking and arraigning those busted for low-level possession. Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the change will take place next month. People picked up on charges of having just a small amount of marijuana will be released with desk appearance tickets. Bloomberg says it will let police use their resources where most needed.

 

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A high school coach is seeking clarification of a rule which led to a warning for one of his wrestlers after he stopped to pray on the mat prior to his match. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that junior Nicholas Fant stopped for a two-second prayer before his match against a Cary High School wrestler. Coach Sam Hershey said Fant has prayed before all of his matches this season. The referee advised the scorer that Fant would get a stalling warning for delaying the match. The decision cost Fant a point. Hershey said he would not comment on the call but would inquire about the spirit of the rule and its implementation. He said he wouldn’t report the official’s decision to the N.C. High School Athletic Association.

 

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

 

 

 

 

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