FRIDAY, AUGUST 1, 2014

PA Governor's Race Down To Two
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Both third-party candidates who hoped to compete in Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race have given up - leaving Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic nominee Tom Wolf to compete one-on-one. Green Party nominee Paul Glover and the Libertarian Party's Ken Krawchuk said they could not gather the nearly 17,000 petition signatures needed to qualify for the Nov. 4 ballot by Friday's deadline. Glover blames his failed bid on the large number of signatures required, his campaign's low public profile and a lack of more money to pay signature gatherers. Krawchuk says third-party candidates actually must raise many more than the minimum number of signatures as insurance against petition challenges. Statewide major-party candidates need to gather only 2,000 signatures, but they have to then win the nomination in the primary election.

New Salem Man Facing Sex Assault Charges
A New Salem man has been arrested in connection with the sexual assault of a teenage girl. California Police say 37-year-old Scott Seaman is facing multiple charges, including rape, statutory rape and aggravated indecent sexual assault, in connection with an alleged assault on a 13-year-old.

Police Search For Man Impersonating An Officer
Authorities in Fayette County are investigating reports that a man may be impersonating a Fayette County Juvenile Probation Officer. State Police say the badge may belong to Rick Nosky, a juvenile probation officer who told authorities his badge was stolen two years ago, during a burglary at his home. Troopers say a white male was reportedly displaying a badge and identifying himself as an officer to several people in the Brownfield area.

Tropical Storm Forms In Atlantic
MIAMI (AP) - Tropical Storm Bertha has formed. It's the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. The Hurricane Center in Miami says the tropical storm's maximum sustained winds Thursday night were near 45 mph. A tropical storm warning has been issued for Barbados and Dominica.

Tank Fire Shatters Cease Fire
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Gaza officials say at least four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli tank fire nearly two hours after Israel and Hamas began observing a three-day cease-fire. The Health Ministry and Gaza police say 15 other Palestinians were wounded in the shelling east of the southern Gaza city of Rafah.
An Israeli Army spokesman in Jerusalem says the military is looking into the incident.

Travel Warning After Ebola Outbreak
NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. health officials are warning Americans not to travel to the three West African countries hit by an Ebola outbreak. The deadly disease has killed more than 700 people this year in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the purpose of the travel warning is to not only protect U.S. travelers, but limit their use of overburdened clinics and hospitals for injuries or other illnesses.

Federal Highway Funding Maintained
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress has approved a bill to prevent a 28 percent cut in federal highway and mass transit aid at the height of the summer construction season. The Senate voted Thursday night for a House-passed measure to augment the federal Highway Trust Fund with in infusion of $10.8 billion from the general Treasury - enough to keep the fund solvent through May. The Transportation Department set today as the date the fund would no longer be able to provide all the aid promised from incoming gasoline and diesel fuel taxes. The two houses played legislative ping pong with the issue in recent days over what critics called a "gimmick" to fund the measure by letting companies defer government-required contributions to their employees' pension plans. The bill now goes to the president.

NY Chokehold Death Ruled Homicide
NEW YORK (AP) - The medical examiner has ruled that a police officer's chokehold on a New York City man last month caused his death. Medical examiner spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said Friday that Eric Garner's July 17 death was ruled a homicide. Bolcer says his death was caused by "the compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police." She says asthma and heart disease were contributing factors. Garner, who is black, was being arrested for selling untaxed, loose cigarettes. Video shows him being placed in a chokehold by a white officer. The video has caused widespread outcry, and Attorney General Eric Holder has said the Justice Department is "closely monitoring" the investigation into his death. The NYPD hasn't responded to a request for comment on the medical examiner's ruling. (Photo: NBC)

W&J Study Examines Gas Drilling Impacts
Washington & Jefferson College has released a study about communities and governments that have Marcellus Shale gas development. The white paper examines the "boom and bust" cycle that many areas experience with gas drilling. The Director of the College's Center for Energy Policy and Management, Diana Stares, says they looked at how thousands of gas wells impact issues like housing, roads, tax bases, jobs and the environment. She says one of the biggest findings concerns damage to local roads and how repairs are funded. The study, which polled local officials, also discusses the need for communities receiving impact fees and to use those fees wisely and plan for the future. Stares said they explored the best practices to forestall or mitigate a subsequent economic downturn or "bust." The study is lengthy and available on the college's website under the heading "publications."

Lawmaker Bills Taxpayers To Study Marijuana
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania state senator who is charging a nearly $5,000 trip to taxpayers to see how Colorado is dealing with marijuana's legalization says it's home to a high-tech, high-paid industry and isn't a state full of "stoners."
Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County wrote an editorial this week about his three-day trip last weekend with three staff aides. Leach is perhaps the Pennsylvania Legislature's foremost proponent of legalizing marijuana. Sen. Mike Folmer of Lebanon County traveled to Colorado for a three-day trip with a staff aide two months ago. A spokesman says they paid their own way. Folmer supports a narrower legalization of a marijuana extract for medical purposes. A bill co-sponsored by Leach and Folmer awaits a Senate vote. House GOP leaders and Gov. Tom Corbett oppose it.

Bayer Pulls Sign From Mount Washington
PITTSBURGH (AP) - An iconic sign atop Pittsburgh's Mount Washington won't have the Bayer name in lights much longer. The chemical and pharmaceutical giant said Thursday that it no longer wants to pay for the 30-foot-tall advertisement and asked sign owner Lamar to turn it off as quickly as possible. The Bayer name has been in lights on the sign since 1995 and the company has long complained that the 90-year-old sign is in need of lighting upgrades and repairs. A real estate manager for Lamar tells the Tribune-Review of Pittsburgh that a new advertiser is being sought and an application is pending with the city to authorize repairs and upgrades. The Germany-based Bayer has about 2,200 employees in suburban Pittsburgh where it houses the North American headquarters of its material sciences business.

   
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