County Posts No Tax Increase Budget
The Washington County Commissioners say they have no plans to raise taxes in 2015. The county is posting its nearly $82 million budget and all three commissioners tell WJPA NEWS say they will hold-the-line on taxes. Commissioner Chairman Larry Maggi said they are grateful for money generated by the Marcellus Shale gas drilling and will use some of that money for building improvements and work on more than 100 bridges. Commissisoner Harlan Shober noted they will also put some money into a "legacy" fund for the future. Commissioner Diana Irey-Vaughan pointed out that Washington County has one of the lowest tax rates in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Final budget adoption is December 18th.
Water Line Break
Pennsylvania American Water crews were called to Peters Township shortly after 3:30 this morning for a water line break in the area of Robin Hood Lane and Waterdam Road. About a dozen customers were without water. A spokesman for the water company expects repairs by early afternoon.
Buffalo Digging Out
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The snow is expected to stop in the Buffalo, New York area, but residents are still unable to breathe easy.
Two blasts of lake-effect snow have left 7 feet or more of snow.
And temperatures are expected to warm up considerably this weekend, meaning floods are possible.
New Charges Against Cosby
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - A Florida woman is the latest person to publicly accuse comedian Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her when she was younger.
Fifty-seven-year-old Therese Serignese says Cosby attacked her backstage in 1976 following a show in Las Vegas when she was 19.
A Cosby spokesman has not responded to the allegations.
Meanwhile, the 77-year-old comedian performed Thursday in the Bahamas to benefit a women's service organization.
Guilty Pleas In Turnpike Scandal
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A prosecution of "pay-to-play" allegations within the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is ending with two former high-ranking officials pleading guilty and getting probation. Former chief executive Joe Brimmeier and former chief operating officer George Hatalowich pleaded guilty Thursday to a single count of conflict of interest. Both were sentenced to five years of probation. The state attorney general's office says both pleas involved accepting hospitality from engineering firms. In Brimmeier's case, he solicited campaign donations for former Gov. Ed Rendell. Hatalowich admitted he influenced how turnpike contracts were awarded to help a firm. Former turnpike chairman Mitch Rubin pleaded guilty to commercial bribery last week and received a similar sentence. The only remaining count against former state Sen. Bob Mellow was dropped last month after the judge threw out other charges.
Ex-Coal Executive Pleads Not Guilty In Mine Blast
BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) - Former coal company chief executive Don Blankenship has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges in the deadliest U.S. coal mine accident in four decades. Blankenship entered the plea Thursday at his first court appearance since he was indicted last week. He is accused of conspiring to violate safety and health standards at the Upper Big Branch mine. In April 2010, an explosion at the mine killed 29 men. The 64-year-old Blankenship faces up to 31 years in prison if convicted. His bond was not immediately set. The hearing was in a recess and bond was expected to be set later Thursday.