Latest Pennsylvania news, sports, business, and entertainment

 

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says he is abandoning his bid to seek reelection, but will remain in office. Ravenstahl made the announcement Friday after speculation fueled by an aide’s comments earlier this week that the mayor would soon be calling a news conference to discuss “some issues.” That prompted reporters to camp outside the mayor’s office Thursday for an announcement, which never came, until Ravenstahl’s Friday morning news conference. Ravenstahl became the city’s youngest-ever mayor at age 26. He took office in 2006 because he was City Council president when Mayor Bob O’Connor died, and won a special election in 2007 to finish that term and was re-elected to a full four-year term in 2009.

 

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Defense Department says military sites in Pennsylvania would be heavily affected by automatic federal spending cuts. A letter to Gov. Tom Corbett says the army would lose $7 million in base operations funding across the state, including cuts at Carlisle Barracks and Fort Indiantown Gap. The letter says depot operations at Tobyhanna and Letterkenny could be cut by as much as $751 million. In addition, the state’s 26,000 civilian defense workers could have unpaid furloughs. Government-wide budget reductions totaling $85 billion are scheduled to take effect Friday at midnight. The Defense Department is set to lose $46 billion in funding. Agency officials sent warning letters to the 10 states that will be most severely impacted, including Pennsylvania. Copies of the letters were provided to The Associated Press on Friday.

 

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) – The National Park Service says federal budget cuts won’t derail the events planned for the Battle of Gettysburg’s 150th anniversary. Bob Kirby, the superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park, says Friday that an extensive series of special programs will take place as planned this summer, though the budget cuts will have some impacts. Kirby says the non-profit Gettysburg Foundation is also providing some extra support this year. The park has numerous events planned for June 30 to July 4. Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will speak and country music artist Trace Adkins will sing the National Anthem accompanied by the United States Military Academy Orchestra. Kirby also hopes President Barack Obama will visit in November to celebrate the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

 

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

 

The Latest Business News

 

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks edged higher on Wall Street, closing out a volatile week. An upturn in manufacturing outweighed the threat of looming cuts to government spending. The Dow Jones industrial average Friday closed up 35 points at 14,089, overcoming an early loss of 116 points. The S&P 500 index rose 3 1/2 points to close at 1,518. The Nasdaq rose 9 1/2 points.

 

NEW YORK (AP) – Oil has fallen to its lowest level of the year on worrisome economic developments in the world’s two largest oil-consuming nations, the U.S. and China. The price of crude fell 1.5 percent and is down 6 percent in two weeks. Benchmark crude for April delivery fell $1.37 to close at $90.68 a barrel in New York. Oil last closed below $91 in New York on Dec. 28.

 

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

 

Features & Entertainment

 

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Is poker a game of skill or a game of chance? The Virginia Supreme Court isn’t playing that hand. They folded when asked to rule on the skill or luck question. Poker host Charles P. Daniels hoped to get a ruling, so he could go ahead with his charitable Texas Hold ‘Em Tournaments. A lower court heard testimony from math experts and a world champion poker player. The judge ruled that since the outcome of any one hand is uncertain, poker is a game of chance. Daniels appealed to the state Supreme Court. However, the justices ruled that because Daniels was never charged with a crime, the lower court shouldn’t have considered the case. Therefore, the skill versus chance question remains unanswered.

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) – One of the oldest fulltime schoolteachers in the nation has retired at the age of 94. Rose Gilbert has been educating kids in Los Angeles for the past 63 years. Gilbert says she decided to retire last week from Palisades Charter High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District before she got too old to do something else. She’s now volunteering at a health clinic and a domestic violence shelter. It’s unknown whether Gilbert was the oldest fulltime teacher in the nation, but her age makes her one of the most senior. The widow of a wealthy developer, Gilbert says she continued to teach out of love of kids, who call her “Mama G.”

 

WASHINGTON (AP) – Maybe your boss screams and throws a fit anytime something goes wrong. Alternatively, you suffer constant verbal abuse from a co-worker. Workplace bullying can take many forms and a growing number of companies see it as a problem that can sap morale and lead to increased employee turnover. It could become the next major battleground in employment law as a growing number of states consider legislation that would let workers sue for on-the-job harassment that causes physical or emotional harm. More than a dozen states – including New York and Massachusetts – have considered anti-bullying laws in the past year. Business groups strongly oppose the measures, arguing they would open the floodgates to frivolous lawsuits. A recent survey found that 56 percent of companies have some kind of anti-bullying policy.

 

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