Protests lead to Corbett cancellation

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Gov. Tom Corbett canceled his first visit as governor to a district-run public school in Philadelphia just before dozens of protesters had come to greet him. Corbett instead held a news conference Friday at his downtown Philadelphia office. He says he didn’t want to create a distraction for students at Central High School. Corbett is mounting a months-long campaign to commend high-achieving schools as rated by Pennsylvania’s new performance profiles.

The Philadelphia teachers’ union, the NAACP and other community leaders had organized the demonstration. The Philadelphia School District, Pennsylvania’s largest, is weathering its worst financial crisis in recent memory. Some parents and teachers in the heavily Democratic city say it was worsened by Corbett’s budget-balancing cuts to education aid in 2011. Corbett, a Republican, is running for re-election in November.

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Despite a new law designed to protect imperiled streams, the state Department of Environmental Protection says it has never denied a request by a Marcellus shale gas driller to circumvent the stream setback regulations in a recent law. The State Supreme Court struck down the setback aspect of the law known as Act 13 because it was so easy for companies to bypass the rules.

Scott Perry from DEP’s office of Oil and Gas Management says they’ve been able to work cooperatively with companies to protect waterways. Perry believes Act 13 gave the DEP the ability to enforce the setbacks and deny waivers when appropriate. The Act 13 setbacks required unconventional gas wells to be at least 300 feet from streams and wetlands.

 (Copyright 2013, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved)

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