School Delays 

Friday, September 20, 2019

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Local News

Patriots Release Brown Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

(AP) – The New England Patriots have released receiver Antonio Brown after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct.   The team announced the move Friday in a statement emailed to reporters.  The statement said: “We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.”   Brown has been accused of rape in a lawsuit by a former trainer. He is also accused of exposing himself to a painter he had hired. He has denied the allegations.   The Patriots signed Brown this month hours after he was released by Oakland. He was traded to the Raiders after wearing out his welcome with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was a four-time All-Pro in nine seasons.

Vazquez Could Be Deported If Convicted

PITTSBURGH (WPXI) – Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Felipe Vazquez could be deported if he is convicted of charges related to a sexual encounter with an underage girl, The Wall Street Journal  reported. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is tracking the charges against Vazquez, a native of Venezuela, according to The Wall Street Journal. However, political instability in  Venezuela might make deportation difficult for the U.S. Vazquez, 28, admitted to exchanging sexually explicit pictures with the 13-year-old victim and driving to her home in Scottdale, where he  attempted to have sex with her in his car about two years ago, officials said. The girl is now 15 years old and lives in Florida. According to an affidavit from Westmoreland County, Vazquez  admitted to investigators the victim “looked too young and that she appeared to be 16 years of age or younger.” Police said Vazquez told them he initially refused to communicate with her due to  her age. Vazquez is being held in the Allegheny County Jail.

Parents Demand Answers On Canon Mac Football Coach

CANONSBURG, Pa. – (WPXI) – The Canon McMillan school board meeting Thursday night was packed with parents, the district’s football team and so many others to support the football team’s head coach. Mike Evans has been suspended with pay for weeks due to a personnel problem. “They want their coach back and they want him back immediately he’s been gone for almost three weeks now,” said Canon-Mac Quarterback Club Booster President Jennifer McMahon. Lane Turturice, the attorney representing Evans, said there was an incident that happened at the second game of this season during halftime. “What transpired is nothing that hasn’t gone on in any locker room in western PA two or three times during a season,” Turturice said.  There was a vote Thursday night to initiate disciplinary actions. Five were in favor and four were opposed. While district officials remained tight-lipped, those who support Evans had a lot to say at the meeting. Some were even in tears. Everyone who spoke at the meeting was in support of Evans. Many credited him for being there for them, even on the field. But by the end of the meeting, things got heated. Turturice said he’s optimistic there will be a resolution soon and expects Evans to be back on the field with his team, but it’s not a resolution that would happen as early as Friday’s game.

Clean-up Underway After Massive Water Main Break

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh is cleaning up after a massive water main break turned streets into river rapids, required the rescue of people and pets, and closed schools.  Pittsburgh Public Schools announced the closure of at least 10 schools Friday because of limited access to water in buildings. Schools in Mount Lebanon and Brentwood Borough were also closed.  Pittsburgh police say that a 24-inch main broke in the morning and that three people were rescued from two homes.  Wendy Gitzen was among the rescued. She says the rushing waters moved her car and a shed about 30 feet away from the house.  Police say the break was closed around 11:30 a.m., after about six hours.

Handyman Charged In Death Of Missing Woman

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Prosecutors in Pittsburgh have charged a handyman in the death of a woman who went missing in the spring.  District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. says investigators believe Douglas Berry killed 67-year-old Elizabeth Wiesenfeld, who was last heard from April 29.  Her remains haven’t been found. Police filed the homicide case Thursday morning.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Wiesenfeld told her family she was afraid of Berry, who had been doing work on her house. According to warrants, she told them she’d stopped hiring him to do jobs, but he would show up anyway.  A criminal complaint says police were led to Berry when surveillance video showed his truck pull into the woman’s driveway the day she went missing. Her credit card was later found in his trash.

State House Backs Tax Credit To Boost Methane In Manufacturing

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Legislation to cut taxes for manufacturers who use methane to make fertilizer or petrochemicals is on its way to Pennsylvania’s Senate after a positive vote in the state House of Representatives.  House members voted 139 to 46 on Thursday in favor of the proposed Energy and Fertilizer Manufacturing Tax Credit program.  The bill would provide a nickel-per-gallon credit for methane purchased and used by large facilities located within Pennsylvania, the nation’s No. 2 natural gas-producing state behind Texas. The measure targets production of ammonia, methanol and urea.  Supporters describe it as a way to fuel economic development, create good-paying jobs and attract customers for the state’s natural gas industry.  Opponents framed it as a taxpayer giveaway to the fossil fuels industry.

Three Mile Island Plant Shutdown Is Imminent

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The shutdown of Three Mile Island, site of the United States’ worst commercial nuclear power accident, is imminent.  Exelon Corp. officials said the plant will stop producing electricity around noon Friday, following through on a decision the Chicago-based energy giant made in May after it became clear that it would not get a financial rescue from Pennsylvania.  Three Mile Island’s Unit 1 opened in 1974 and is licensed to operate through 2034. But Exelon has complained that the plant is losing money in competitive electricity markets.
Three Mile Island also faces particularly difficult economics because the 1979 accident left it with just one reactor. Decommissioning it could take decades.  No nuclear plant that was proposed after the accident has been successfully completed and put into operation in the United States.

World News

Multiple Fatalities In Tour Bush Crash In Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Officials say a tour bus has crashed near a national park in southern Utah, killing at least four people.   Utah Highway Patrol troopers said Friday that the crash on a highway near Bryce Canyon National Park also left a number of people seriously injured.   Corp. Chris Bishop says the crash was reported Friday morning, but he did not immediately have further details on the cause or the number of people involved.  Bryce Canyon is known for its distinctive landscape of narrow red-rock spires and is about 300 miles (480 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City.

Death Toll Climbs In Texas Flooding

HOUSTON (AP) – Authorities say the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda have led to the death of a third person.  Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jason Spencer said Friday that  preliminary indications are a man whose body was found in a ditch Friday north of Houston drowned from storm-related flooding.  An autopsy will be performed to confirm the cause of death.  The unidentified man had last been seen walking during severe rainfall that hit the Houston area.  Imelda’s remnants also led to the deaths of two other men on Thursday. A 19-year-old man in  Jefferson County drowned and was electrocuted while trying to move his horse to safety. A man in his 40s or 50s drowned when he tried to drive a van through 8-foot-deep floodwaters near Bush  Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

Schiff Disturbed By Trump’s Whistleblower Attack

WASHINGTON (AP) – The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says President Trump’s attack on a whistleblower who alerted intelligence officials to a serious and urgent matter is  “disturbing.”  Rep. Adam Schiff says it’s also “deeply disturbing” that the White House appears to know more about the whistleblower’s complaint than the complaint’s intended recipient,  Congress.  The Trump administration is refusing to let congressional oversight committees see it.  Schiff says the information “deserves a thorough investigation” and that “come hell or high water,  that’s what we’re going to do.”  The California Democrat worries that the president’s actions will have a “chilling effect” on other whistleblowers and pose a “real threat” to accountability.  The intelligence agencies’ inspector general notified Congress of the “urgent” complaint concerning a series of events, reportedly including Trump’s conversation with a foreign leader.  Trump is defending himself against a “partisan whistleblower.” He says “it’s just another political hack job” and that his conversations with foreign leaders were “totally appropriate.” (Photo:  CNN)

New York Mayor De Blasio Ending Presidential Bid

NEW YORK (AP) – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he’s ending his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.  De Blasio struggled to gain traction in a sprawling field of Democrats seeking the presidency. He announced his decision in an MSNBC interview on Friday.  De Blasio launched his bid in May, but his campaign largely failed to take off.  De Blasio says he feels he’s contributed all he can “to this primary election.” He tells MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show “it’s clearly not my time.”

Tens Of Thousands Protest Inaction On Climate

NEW YORK (AP) – Tens of thousands of mostly young people have overflowed a New York City square as U.S. activists join a wave of climate change protests unfolding around the world.  Demonstrators rallied Friday with signs bearing such messages as “climate change is real” and “protect the earth, not the corporations.” Then the group began marching through lower Manhattan  streets.  New York City public schools say student absences for the climate strike will be excused, if the students have parental permission.  Thirteen-year-old protester Pearl Seidman says she’s  there with a message for President Donald Trump’s administration: “If they can’t be adults, we’re going to be adults. Because someone needs to do it.”  Trump announced in 2017 he was withdrawing the United States from the international Paris agreement to fight global warming.

Twenty-three States Sue Trump In Support Of CA

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Twenty-three states have sued to stop the Trump administration from revoking California’s authority to set emission standards for cars and trucks.  California Attorney  General Xavier Becerra is leading the lawsuit filed Friday, along with Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Air Resources Board.  The Trump administration on Thursday revoked California’s  authority to set its own auto emission standards. The state has had that power for decades under a waiver from the federal Clean Air Act.  The lawsuit argues that the National Highway Traffic  Safety Administration does not have the authority to revoke California’s waiver.  Becerra says the Trump administration’s action fails to respect states’ authority to protect public health.  Four automakers have said they would voluntarily follow California’s standards.

U.S. Military To Present Options To Trump On Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon will present a broad range of military options to President Donald Trump on Friday as he considers how to respond to what administration officials say was an unprecedented Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry.  In a White House meeting, the president will be presented with a list of potential airstrike targets inside Iran, among other possible responses, and he also likely will be warned that military action against the Islamic Republic could escalate into war.  The national security meeting will likely be the first opportunity for a decision on how the U.S. should respond to the attack. Any decision may depend on what kind of evidence the U.S. and Saudi investigators are able to provide proving that the cruise missile and drone strike was launched by Iran.

Walmart Will Stop Selling E-Cigarettes

NEW YORK (AP) – Walmart says it will stop selling electronic cigarettes at its namesake stores and Sam’s Clubs following a string of illnesses and deaths related to vaping. The nation’s largest retailer  says it will complete its exit from e-cigarettes after selling current inventory. More than 500 people have been diagnosed with vaping-related breathing illnesses. An eight death was reported this  week. But health officials still have not identified the cause.’