New Highway Design On I-70
An Open House will be held next week to display plans for a new highway project in South Strabane Township. PennDOT plans to widen the highway and install what's known as a "diverging diamond" interchange in the area of Route 19. The overall project will add three lanes on I-70 between the North and South junctions. The area of Route 19 between Oak Spring Road and Trinityi Point will be upgraded with the diverging diamond interchange at Murtland Avenue--the first of its kind in Pennsylvania.Plans will be on display at the township's fire hall on Oak Spring Road May 8th between 5-7 p.m.
Theft Scheme Costs Millions
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A federal prosecutor in Pennsylvania says a massive ID theft and fake tax return scheme cost the U.S. Treasury an estimated $10 million. U.S. Attorney David Hickton announced the indictments of five men on Wednesday. Hickton says the men sought $21 million in fraudulent tax refunds, and the IRS paid out about half of that. Three of the people charged Wednesday are from New York, one is from Rhode Island, and one is from Tennessee. The defendants are also accused of obtaining false driver's licenses and Social Security cards, which were then used to open bank accounts, including at Widget Financial in Erie and PNC Bank in Pittsburgh. The defendants allegedly spent some of the illegally obtained funds and sent some to Nigeria.
Two Students Released From Hospital
MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Two students injured in a stabbing and slashing rampage at a western Pennsylvania high school have been released from the hospital.
Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville said a 16-year-old student was discharged Wednesday evening. The hospital has two students remaining, one in fair condition and one in critical condition. Seventeen-year-old Jared Boger was released Wednesday afternoon from UPMC Presbyterian hospital, according to family members. Doctors had said Boger was one of the most seriously injured in the April 9 attacks at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, which is outside of Pittsburgh. A fellow student, 16-year-old Alex Hribal, is charged as an adult with multiple counts of attempted homicide and aggravated assault and a school weapons violation. He faces a preliminary hearing April 30.
New Concerns Over e-Cigarettes
WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal government wants to crack down on the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry. The Food and Drug Administration plans to propose today to ban sales of e-cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels.
Obama Urges Russia To Ease Tensions
TOKYO (AP) - President Barack Obama is warning that if Russia doesn't abide by an agreement to ease tensions in eastern Ukraine, "there will be further consequences and we will ramp up further sanctions." Obama, who's in Tokyo, says militias and armed men continue to take over government buildings in Ukraine in defiance of Ukrainian authorities and he says Russia have been making aggressive moves on Ukraine's eastern border.
American Doctors Killed In Kabul
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan says three doctors killed by an Afghan security guard at a Kabul hospital are American citizens.
Today's shooting at Cure International Hospital in western Kabul was the latest attack on foreign civilians in the Afghan capital this year.
The embassy says on Twitter: "With great sadness we confirm that three Americans were killed in the attack on Cure hospital."
The motive for the attack was unclear.
New Support For Keystone XL Pipeline
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is calling on President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, joining 11 incumbent Democrats as the party tries to keep control of the Senate this November.
Grimes' statement Wednesday came on the same day a group committed to blocking the pipeline's construction announced plans to spend $500,000 setting up field offices in Kentucky to defeat U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. And it comes after McConnell and Republican party officials have repeatedly criticized Grimes for delaying her opinion on the project, which has become a key issue in Senate races across the country.
The Keystone pipeline would transport crude oil from Canada through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska before linking up with existing pipelines. It would not cross through Kentucky.
Most Planning Vacations This Year
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The frugality of the Great Recession may be history.
Orbitz senior editor Jeanenne Tornatore says the travel website's survey finds 88 percent of Americans plan real vacations this year. She says "people don't talk staycation anymore," as was popular a few years ago. This year's survey finds "people really getting back out, taking these longer vacations and kind of trading up for some bigger destinations."
Tornatore says Orbitz bookings show the Mexican resort of Cancun as the top destination, but most of the other hot spots for fun-seekers are in the U.S. -- with Las Vegas, Orlando, Seattle and Los Angeles rounding out the top five, and Honolulu ranks tenth.
Average airfares are up about six percent from a year ago, according to Tornatore. She urges vacation travelers to shop around for deals, and use rewards points -- they can save big time.
Tornatore says mid-June through late July is the peak summer vacation period, and you should get airline tickets about 60 days in advance. She says if you're planning your vacation during that busy period, "you really want to book now."