Nor'easter Moves On
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The worst is essentially over for Southwestern Pennsylvania as far as this latest winter storm is concerned, but New Jersey's governor says that the worst is yet to come from the nor'easter pounding his region. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday warned people not to be trapped into thinking they can carry on business as normal. Ice on power lines has contributed to about 7,000 power outages in the state, while there were about 2,000 outages in Pennsylvania. Heavy snow was falling as Wednesday's evening commute began. New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito warned people planning to shovel the heavy, wet snow to "really be cautious" and take it slow. In Washington County Wednesday there were numerous accidents but all were relatively minor and there were no major injuries. Route 18 in Chartiers Township was closed for a short time after a tanker truck overturned and Route 40 was shutdown briefly when a box truck and a tractor-trailer collided. (Photo: WPXI)
Murphy's Mistress Fails To File For Election Run
HAMILTON, Berm HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A woman whose affair with a married eight-term Pennsylvania congressman led to his resignation didn't file paperwork to run for a U.S. House seat after she announced her bid last month. Shannon Edwards' name didn't appear in a Department of State listing of candidates filing to run for Congress by Tuesday evening's deadline. Edwards didn't return a call seeking comment Wednesday. Edwards announced last month that she'd seek the Republican nomination to take on Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle of Pittsburgh. Candidacy requirements include submitting the signatures of 1,000 registered party voters from the district. Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, an outspoken abortion-rights opponent, resigned in October after text messages obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggested that he had wanted Edwards to get an abortion when they thought she might be pregnant.
North Strabane Hears Flooding Concerns
Flooding concerns were at the forefront of some North Strabane Township residents because of a new housing development. Plans for the new Walnut Grove community were discussed at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday night. The 31 unit plan will be located off of Thomas Road in between Ross and Springdale Roads. The stormwater retaining pond location has residents who live nearby concerned. The developer wants to put the pond across the street from the plan, causing new pipelines to be ran into an area that is already a wetland and prone to flooding. According to a resident, the DEP has already named that area a clearwater stream, which legally restricts most construction and redevelopment. The Board of Supervisors are not thrilled about the current plans for construction and has asked the developer to come up with a better stormwater pond location.
Domestic Violence Ruling; Tighter Gun Laws
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Pennsylvania Senate is giving unanimous approval to a bill to force people with a domestic violence ruling against them to more quickly forfeit their firearms. The Senate's 50-0 vote Wednesday sends the bill to the House. Domestic violence- and gun violence-prevention groups support the bill. It passed after changes negotiated by gun-rights groups. Under the bill, people convicted of a domestic violence crime would have 48 hours to give up their firearms to a law enforcement agency, a federally licensed firearms dealer or their lawyer. Under current law, people convicted of domestic violence have 60 days and can give their guns to a relative, friend or neighbor. In addition, defendants in final protection-from-abuse cases would have to hand over their guns in 24 hours. Current law leaves forfeiture to a judge's discretion.
Miccarelli Won't Run For Re-Election
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania lawmaker who is the subject of a protection-from-abuse order against him by another lawmaker over claims he was violent and abusive toward her says he won't run for re-election. State Rep. Nick Miccarelli of Delaware County said in a statement Wednesday that he's decided to remove his name from the ballot. Miccarelli says it's in his best interests to move on to a new chapter. Miccarelli has said that fellow Republican Rep. Tarah Toohil's allegations are false. Toohil alleges Miccarelli pulled a gun and threatened to kill her when they dated several years ago. She also says he's been physically intimidating her at the Capitol this year.
Family Blames Doctor For Child's Disfiguration
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A Texas family is claiming in a medical malpractice case that a Pennsylvania doctor's decision to use a head wrap on their premature baby left the child with permanent head scarring.
Ian Harker and Corradina Baldacchino filed their lawsuit against Dr. John Chan, the Conemaugh Health System and its parent company in 2015. The couple's attorney told a jury Tuesday their 5-year-old girl will never grow a full head of hair, and she will face a lifetime of reconstructive surgeries. The couple is seeking more than $3 million in damages. Defense attorneys say Chan ordered the bandage over concerns the newborn had a growing hemorrhage. Baldacchino was 30 weeks pregnant when she gave birth in 2012. Representatives for both groups declined to comment outside of trial.
Sex Allegations Mount Against Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) - The chorus of women from President Donald Trump's past is getting louder. Accusations about Trump's past sexual exploits bubbled up on three fronts Tuesday. The latest developments serve as a fresh reminder of the shadow thrown by questions about the thrice-married businessman's past. A former Playboy model, Karen McDougal (pictured), who claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006 filed a lawsuit in California seeking to invalidate a confidentiality agreement. A New York judge ruled that a defamation lawsuit by a former contestant on "The Apprentice" can move forward while Trump is in office. She has accused Trump of unwanted sexual contact. And porn actress Stormy Daniels and her lawyer continue their media campaign against Trump as she seeks to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election.
Homemade Explosives Found In Suspect's Home
ROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) - Authorities say they've recovered homemade explosives from inside the home of the man responsible for planting a series of bombs around Austin. The Austin Police Department and federal authorities said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that they were "working to safely remove and dispose of" the explosives at a home on Second Street in Pflugerville, just north of Austin. That's the home suspected serial bomber Mark Conditt shared with roommates.Authorities evacuated four blocks around the home "in an abundance of caution." Police say Conditt built five bombs that exploded over three weeks, killing two people and severely wounding four others. He used one of his own devices to blow himself up overnight as a SWAT team closed in.
Teen Used His Father's Gun In School Shooting
GREAT MILLS, Md. (AP) - Police say a 17-year-old boy used his father's gun in an attack at his Maryland high school. The St. Mary's County sheriff's office said investigators have determined that the handgun that Austin Rollins used was legally owned by his father. Attempts to reach his family have been unsuccessful. The sheriff's office also says that Rollins and a 16-year-old girl he shot "had a prior relationship which recently ended." Jaelynn Willey remains in critical condition at a hospital. They say their investigation has not yet uncovered any significant social media posts or threats posted online by Rollins.
Documents Show Design Change To Bridge
MIAMI (AP) - Documents show construction of a Miami area pedestrian bridge that collapsed and killed six people was behind schedule and millions over budget amid a key design change involving the placement of one of its support towers. The documents obtained by The Associated Press show the Florida Department of Transportation in October 2016 advised Florida International University and its contractors to move one of the bridge's main support structures 11 feet (3 meters) north to the edge of a canal, requiring some new structural design. The span's signature, 109-foot-tall (33-meter-tall) pylon was to be built atop a base at the span's northern end. Videos of Thursday's collapse show a prefabricated concrete segment of the bridge began crumbling on the same end of the span where the tower redesign occurred.
Federal Reserve Raising Benchmark Interest Rate
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Reserve is raising its benchmark interest rate and signaling that it is sticking with a gradual approach to rate hikes under its new chairman, Jerome Powell. The Fed is boosting its key short-term rate by a modest quarter-point to a still-low range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent and will keep shrinking its bond portfolio. Both steps show confidence that the U.S. economy remains sturdy nearly nine years after the Great Recession ended. The actions mean consumers and businesses will face higher loan rates over time.
Facebook CEO Admits Mistakes
NEW YORK (AP) - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is admitting mistakes and outlining steps to protect user data in light of privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm. Zuckerberg is breaking more than four days of silence as he posts an update about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook page Wednesday that Facebook has a "responsibility" to protect its users' data, and "if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you." Zuckerberg and Facebook's No. 2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg, have been quiet since news broke Friday that Cambridge may have used data improperly obtained from roughly 50 million Facebook users to try to sway elections.
What's The Catch?
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The NFL's catch rule would get less complicated if team owners approve recommendations from the powerful competition committee. One of the first orders of business when the league's annual meetings begin Monday will be a proposal by the committee to clarify what is a catch. Commissioner Roger Goodell said during the week of the Super Bowl he would urge simplification of the rules. Troy Vincent, the NFL's football operations chief, says: "Catch/no catch is at the top of everyone's minds." The owners will be asked to vote on clarifications that eliminate parts of the rule involving a receiver going to the ground, and that also eliminate negating a catch for slight movement of the ball while it is in the receiver's possession. No calls in the last few years have caused more consternation than overturned catches in key situations.