AP-PA–Pennsylvania News Digest, PA

January 17th, 2016 12:58 am

Good evening! Here's a look at AP's general news coverage today in Pennsylvania. For questions about the state report, contact the Philadelphia bureau at 215-561-1133. Ron Todt is on the desk. Editor Larry Rosenthal can be reached at 215-446-6631 or [email protected]

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with updates.



HARRISBURG — It now seems predictable that Democrat Tom Wolf's first year as Pennsylvania governor would be consumed by a knock-down, drag-out budget fight with the Legislature. Pennsylvania governors historically have had difficult first years and Wolf, the scion of a business family, had run as a liberal, soundly defeating an unpopular incumbent to win the right to share power with the largest and perhaps most conservative Republican legislative majorities in modern Pennsylvania history. By Marc Levy. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos.



HARRISBURG — Competition for Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office is already intense, but interest in the other two statewide row offices is far less apparent barely a week before would-be candidates begin circulating nomination petitions. By Peter Jackson. SENT: About 720 words.


PHILADELPHIA An ex-prosecutor is expected to testify that he promised Bill Cosby would never be charged over a Pennsylvania sex-assault complaint, but a judge must decide if that constitutes an immunity deal. By Maryclaire Dale. SENT: About 510 words.


WASHINGTON — A Virginia man originally from Pennsylvania who was allegedly attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group and a man accused of helping him have been arrested. SENT: About 570 words.


ALLENTOWN — City council members in Allentown are scheduled to vote next week on a no confidence motion calling on the mayor to resign in the wake of an FBI probe of government contracting in Pennsylvania's third-largest city. SENT: About 340 words.


ALLENTOWN — Trial has been postponed for a former professional wrestling star charged in the death of his mistress more than three decades ago with a defense attorney saying his client isn't competent for the proceedings. SENT: About 410 words.



PITTSBURGH — Dr. Jon Tucker fixes his eyes on the X-rays of his neck and points to the two artificial discs that cushion the bones of his spine. He grimaces as he looks at the black-and-white images, a reminder of the degenerative disease that abruptly ended his 25-year career in orthopedic surgery. "I'm not a doctor anymore," Tucker, dressed in khakis and a green sweater, says while standing in his office. It's not an easy admission for Tucker, a highly respected surgeon at St. Clair Hospital in Mt. Lebanon. Youthful at 55, the former college swimmer no longer fixes shoulders and replaces knees. Instead, Tucker is reinventing himself as he begins a consulting firm and tries to muster the confidence he mastered in the operating room. Hundreds of physicians find themselves in similar circumstances: grieving the loss of a rewarding career that brought them prominence, affluence and, many times, a sense of identity. Luis Fábregas, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.


ERIE — While attention is focused on the astronauts orbiting Earth aboard the International Space Station, it's someone down below on the ground who's turning the lights on and off each day and making the thrusters go. Soon, that person will be Wattsburg native Mary Lawrence. "We get to do the real flying of the International Space Station," she said. The graduate of Seneca High School and Penn State Behrend was one of five new flight directors named in September to manage International Space Station operations from NASA's Mission Control Center in Houston. Lawrence, 36, is in training and hopes to be certified in a few months to support real-time operations as one of 27 active flight directors for NASA. Dana Massing, Erie Times-News.


STATE COLLEGE — Some athletes earn the nickname "Iron man." There's at least one Penn State football usher who also deserves the moniker. Joseph Furfaro, 85, hasn't missed a single Penn State home game in 50 years— that's 315 home games he's ushered in a row. It's also 251 times he's cheered Penn State to a win and 64 times he's watched the team lose. He has gotten used to ushering on the visitor side's 50-yard line, but the view from his Spring Township living room might be Furfaro's new vantage point for Penn State home games. A flat screen TV is just a few feet, maybe three steps, from Furfaro's couch. It would be a much shorter than the walk he said he has to take for work on game days. Shawn Annarelli, Centre Daily Times.


PITTSBURGH — Some celebrities and athletes say dumb things on social media, and they've learned the hard way what kind of damage the wrong tweet or post can do. Teens are making the same kinds of missteps on social media. Many are unaware of the consequences. A local company aims to help students better navigate the complicated worlds of high school social life and social media. It has developed a lesson for high school kids that makes them think before they post. Socialize Right was developed by Eric Sloss, Cynthia Closkey and Sarah Mayer of Shift Collaborative in East Liberty, a marketing and communications agency that manages social media campaigns along with traditional marketing and communications. Adrian McCoy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


BRADFORD — When Brian Mahaney started riding his Harley, he experienced a sense of freedom and adventure— but realized that many others wouldn't have that. "I got thinking about those in wheelchairs, disabled vets, and others who wouldn't get to feel the road this way," said Mahaney, who took that thought, and put some wheels on it. Mahaney and his wife, Michelle, started "Forged Spirit Garage" this past summer with the intent to develop a wheelchair accessible sidecar, which offers what he calls "two-wheel therapy." Josh Hatcher, The (Bradford) Era.


SHOT NEAR CHURCH — A western Pennsylvania man has been ordered to stand trial in a shooting death near a church that he has called self-defense.

BOY SET ON FIRE — A teenager is heading to prison for spraying hand sanitizer on an 11-year-old old boy and setting him on fire last summer in west Philadelphia.

MURDER CASE-JUVENILE — New Jersey authorities say a 17-year-old boy has been arrested on a murder charge in the shooting death of a Pennsylvania man in Newark last year.

TEXAS CHEMICAL PLANT-SPILL — Police say a spill at a Houston-area chemical plant has left one person dead and three hurt. Pasadena police say the accident happened Saturday afternoon at the PeroxyChem Bayport Plant. A statement from Philadelphia-based PeroxyChem says the workers were doing a routine function when the contractor's equipment exploded.



PHILADELPHIA -- The Portland Trail Blazers head to Philadelphia to play the 76ers. UPCOMING. 650 words. Game starts at 7:30 p.m. AP Photos.


PHILADELPHIA -- Mats Zuccarello scored in a shootout and Henrik Lundqvist reached 20 wins for the 11th straight season, leading the New York Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. AP Photos.


ANAHEIM — Carl Hagelin and David Perron both struggled to score this season, and their teams are hoping a swap of scenery will change both forwards' fortunes. The Anaheim Ducks traded Hagelin to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night for Perron and defenseman Adam Clendening. The Ducks announced the exchange of two slumping 27-year-old left wings after their 4-2 victory over Dallas.


WASHINGTON — Josh Hart had 15 points and 12 rebounds as No. 6 Villanova took advantage of a cold-shooting, mistake-heavy rival and survived its own second-half cold spell to beat Georgetown 55-50 on Saturday for their 21st consecutive Big East victory. By Stephen Whyno.


EVANSTON, Ill. — Bryant McIntosh looks to build on a 28-point effort as Northwestern takes on Penn State. McIntosh came up huge in a rare win over Wisconsin on Tuesday night. Penn State got pounded by No. 24 Purdue on Wednesday night. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 8:30 p.m. ET.


PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon didn't burn the tape from his team's 18-point loss to No. 21 Louisville on Thursday so much as he ignored it. By Will Graves.


STORRS, Conn. — Top-ranked UConn returns from a three-game road trip to host Temple as the Huskies look to extend their winning streak to 52 games. 650 words. Developing from 6 p.m. start.


If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to [email protected] If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at [email protected] or 877-836-9477.

MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from Pennsylvania and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational pane of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click "All" or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.