TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2017
City Taxes Increase In Budget Amendment
After the mandatory 10-day waiting period, Mayor and Council in the City of Washington amended the budget ordinance for 2017 at a special meeting Tuesday. With that, Mayor Scott Putnam confirmed that all property owners will see a half-mil increase on the building value of their property. He says the city will receive around $213,000 in additional revenue compared to 2016. When the amendmended budget was approved in December, Putnam told WJPA News that the change was intended to cover appeals to countywide reassessment values. Councilman Joe Manning was one of two votes against the amendment on Tuesday, saying he believed the city "would be okay going into the fiscal year," and he "was ready to take a longer term look at it." Tax bills are expected to be sent at the end of January.

Record Revenue At PA Casinos
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania casinos are reporting record revenue totaling more than $3.2 billion last year. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board says the figure is 1.25% higher than the $3.17 billion in gross revenue recorded in 2015. Officials said slot machine revenue was slightly down last year from the year before, but revenue from table games reached a record high. The board said it also marked the sixth straight calendar year in which total casino revenue topped $3 billion.

State Officials Sworn In
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's auditor general is starting his second term by promising to protect children, push for testing of backlogged rape kits and fight the opioid crisis. Democrat Eugene DePasquale (middle) took the oath of office Tuesday, the first of three swearings-in of Democrats for the state's row offices. Also taking office on Tuesday, Josh Shapiro (left) as attorney general and Joe Torsella (right) as treasurer. DePasquale, a former state representative from York, says the state will be "in an even greater position than it would be moving forward" if it can tackle the three agenda items he laid out. Shapiro is a former state representative who more recently had been commissioner in the Philadelphia suburb of Montgomery County. Torsella is formerly a deputy mayor in Philadelphia and chief executive of the National Constitution Center.

Airport Shooting Suspect In Court
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - The man suspected of fatally shooting five people and wounding six others at a Florida airport is due back in federal court. A hearing is set for this morning in Fort Lauderdale on whether 26-year-old Esteban Santiago could be released on bail. Prosecutors have said they want Santiago held in custody until trial. Santiago could get the death penalty if convicted of federal airport violence and firearms charges that resulted in death. He's accused of a Jan. 6 shooting rampage at a Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport baggage claim area. The FBI says that after Santiago flew from Anchorage, Alaska, to Fort Lauderdale, he took a 9mm handgun out of a checked gun box, loaded it in a bathroom and emerged firing. Santiago has yet to enter a plea.

Wife Of Nightclub Shooter Appears In Court
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A family member says the widow of the Orlando nightclub shooter is a victim herself and innocent of charges of helping her husband in the months leading up to the June massacre. Al Salman, uncle of 30-year-old Noor Salman, said Tuesday that his niece knew nothing of her husband's plan to attack the Pulse nightclub, killing 49 people. He said his niece was a "simple and innocent" woman who was physically and mentally abused by husband Omar Mateen. Noor Salman's attorney said at a brief court hearing that he'll seek her release from jail pending trial. Salman said little and looked sadly back at her uncle as she was led back to jail. A judge scheduled another hearing Wednesday to formally appoint a lawyer to represent Salman, discuss transporting her to Florida to face federal charges and her possible release pending trial.

Eight Injured In Miami Shooting
MIAMI (AP) - Miami-Dade police say eight people - five of them juveniles - were wounded in a shooting at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. Police Department spokesman Detective Daniel Ferrin says that two suspects are being questioned about the Monday afternoon shooting. He says two firearms were recovered and the active investigation is continuing. The Miami Herald reports that hundreds of people had gathered in the park after the annual MLK Day parade in the Liberty City neighborhood in northwest Miami-Dade. Ferrin says the victims range in age from 11 to 30, with five listed in stable condition and one critical. He says two juveniles grazed by bullets were treated and released on the scene.

GM To Announce $1 Billion Investment
DETROIT (AP) - A person briefed on the matter says General Motors will announce a $1 billion investment in its factories that will create or keep around 1,000 jobs.
The investment will be announced today. The person tells The Associated Press that the investment is part of the normal process of equipping factories to build new models, and it's been planned for months. The person didn't want to be identified because the announcement hasn't been made yet. The person also says multiple factories will see investment, but GM won't say where the new jobs will go.
President-elect Donald Trump has attacked GM and other automakers for building vehicles in Mexico and shipping them to the U.S. Trump has threatened to tax GM for importing the compact Chevrolet Cruze. While GM builds hatchback Cruzes in Mexico, most Cruze sales are Ohio-built sedans.

Hyundai Motor Eyes U.S. Expansion
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Hyundai Motor Group says it will significantly increase its investment in the U.S. while Donald Trump is president and is considering building a new U.S. factory. A president of the Hyundai group says Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and their affiliated companies will spend $3.1 billion during the five years through 2021 on research and development and maintaining their factories in Alabama and Georgia.

Happy Birthday Betty White
Betty White says the best thing about being 95 is that she's still employed. The actress celebrated her birthday Tuesday. She tells Yahoo's Katie Couric that she's "most grateful" for still getting job offers. She says she appreciates "the fact that people have been so kind to me all these years." Following a series of high-profile celebrity deaths in 2016, one fan started a tongue-in-cheek fundraiser to help keep the "Golden Girls" star safe until 2017. White says fans "spoil me rotten" and adds that she enjoys "every minute of it." White was a trending topic on social media Tuesday thanks to well-wishes from fans.

East Washington Pulls Library Funding
At Tuesday's Board of Directors meeting at Citizens Library, East Washington Council Vice President Mary Taufer announced that her borough will not fund the library in 2017. Taufer said council members felt bad about the move, but said unexpected expenditures, including road repairs. She said the council has offered to spearhead a fundraiser for the $5,000 that isn't in the borough's budget, but response has been scarce, so the council plans to renew the request at their February 6 meeting. Newly-elected library board president David Franz said East Washington will continue to have representation until a lack of funding is confirmed either through a formal letter, or from the borough's board representative. Franz also said he's received word that two library board members have given verbal notification of their resignation, just a month after two separate resignations late last year. Neither of the men who reportedly resigned were present at Tuesday's meeting.

Antonio Brown Will Be Disciplined
Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin wasted no time during his weekly press conference Tuesday, in addressing the issue of a video posted on Facebook, Sunday, by Antonio Brown. The video was shot in the Steelers locker room after their win over Kansas city and on it, Tomlin can be heard using vulgar words when talking about their upcoming opponents, the New England Patriots. Tomlin says Brown's decision to record the video was foolish and selfish, and he will be disciplined. As for whether the video will impact Sunday's game, Tomlin says he doesn't believe it will matter regarding the possibility that it could be used as a motivational tool by the Patriots. He says it's not like the Steelers would be sneaking up on the team.

Armed Robbery At Interstate Foodland
State police are looking for the man who walked into Interstate Foodland in Canton Township shortly before 8 Monday night and stole money from the cash register. Police say the man had a knife but no one was injured. He fled on foot headed west on Route 40. No word on how much money was taken. Police said the robber was a white male, about 5-7, 160 punds and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirts, a knit hat and black tennis shoes. Anyone with information is asked to call state police at 724-223-5200.

Beaver County Deaths Linked To Strong Drug
BEAVER, Pa. (AP) - Authorities in Beaver County are blaming two overdose deaths within the past few months on the victims' abuse of an opioid-based sedative for elephants and other large animals. County coroner David Gabauer says the deaths, which occurred in Beaver Falls in late November and New Brighton in mid-December, are the first in Pennsylvania to be linked to carfentanil. Carfentanil is considered 100 times more powerful than fentanyl and 10,000 times stronger than morphine. Gabauer declined to provide information about the victims, citing the ongoing investigation being conducted by Pennsylvania State Police and the Beaver County District Attorney's office. The number of overdose deaths linked to carfentanil began raising concerns across the country last year, when the federal Drug Enforcement Administration issued a warning about the potent drug.

Manhunt Underway
TARENTUM, Pa. (AP) - State police have announced a manhunt for a suspect charged with assaulting a trooper after a traffic stop on a busy western Pennsylvania highway. Troopers say 26-year-old Byron Williams, of Pittsburgh, should be considered armed and dangerous. Police say a trooper stopped a car for a lane-changing violation about 4:30 p.m. Jan. 8 and became concerned when a passenger twice gave a false name and birth date. That man, now known to be Williams, got out of the car, rushed the trooper, and wrestled with him before running into some nearby woods in Frazer Township. Police haven't seen Williams since and, on Monday, announced they've charged him with aggravated assault and continue to look for him. Williams was wanted on assault and weapons charges at the time of the stop.

Inaugural Parade Details Released
NEW YORK (AP) - The Presidential Inaugural Committee has announced the details of Friday's Inaugural parade. Military bands and units from all branches of the service, high school bands and even the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will join newly sworn-in President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. More than 8,000 people are expected to proceed 1.5 miles from the swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol to the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue.

President Commuting Chelsea Manning's Sentence
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who is serving 35 years for leaking Army documents. Manning is more than six years into a 35-year sentence for leaking classified government and military documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Her sentence is now set to expire May 17. The White House says Manning is one of 209 inmates whose sentences Obama is shortening.

Search Called Off For Flight 370
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysia Airlines says the search for the missing Flight 370 has been "thorough and comprehensive." The underwater search ended today after three years of effort failed to find a trace of the plane. It disappeared in March of 2014 with 239 people on board. The airline says it hopes that new information will come to light, and that the plane will eventually be found.

Judge Issues Ruling In Spanier Suit
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) - A judge has ordered Penn State's former president to pare down his defamation lawsuit against former FBI director Louis Freeh. Graham Spanier is suing Freeh over the 2012 report he issued on Penn State's handling of the Jerry Sandusky sex assault case. But Judge Robert Eby on Monday threw out the lawsuit and told Spanier's lawyers to refile it within 60 days. They vowed to do so.

Wal-Mart Adding Jobs
NEW YORK (AP) - Wal-Mart plans to add about 10,000 retail jobs in the U.S. It's opening new stores and expanding existing locations. Wal-Mart says there will also be about 24,000 construction jobs. The world's biggest retailer is building, expanding and relocating 59 stores and Sam's Club facilities.

Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo Dies At 87
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, whose reign over the Philadelphia Mafia in the 1980s was one of the bloodiest in its history, has died at a federal medical center in North Carolina. He was 87. Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Nancy Ayers says Scarfo died Saturday. No cause of death was released. Scarfo led the Philadelphia-southern New Jersey mob from 1981 until around the time he and more than a dozen associates were convicted of racketeering charges in 1988. Philadelphia Inquirer reporter George Anastasia described the 5-foot-5 mobster with the high-pitched voice as "a greedy, ruthless despot" who reveled in "senseless violence." The Philadelphia Daily News referred to him as "the undersized Atlantic City man with the oversized temper." Ultimately, Scarfo's vengeance and mismanagement forced several associates to be witnesses for prosecutors.

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