Storm Predictions Scaled Back
NEW YORK (AP) - Forecasters now say the winter storm that was to leave up to 3 feet of snow in some parts of the Northeast, is not as bad as they had expected. The National Weather Service is revising its predictions, saying New York could get up to 20 inches; Hartford, Connecticut up to 2 feet and Philadelphia and central New Jersey about 6 inches. Fear that a blizzard could shut down much of the Northeast prompted airlines to cancel some 7,700 flights and officials in many cities told people to stay off the streets.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Transportation officials in Pennsylvania are warning drivers that restrictions may be imposed during the winter storm.
Pennsylvania Turnpike officials said speeds may be reduced to 45 mph at some point between the Harrisburg East exchange and the Delaware River bridge and on the Northeast Extension, and commercial vehicles may be restricted.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said it may impose similar restrictions on interstates in the Philadelphia area and the Pocono Mountains.
Many Flights Canceled In Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Officials say airlines operating at Philadelphia International Airport have canceled most flights today, but there are no plans to close the airport during the storm.
Spokeswoman Diana Gerace says crews will be working for the duration of the storm to be ready when airlines resume operations.
She says officials will be distributing pillows, blankets, bottled water, snacks and kits containing personal care items to stranded passengers. And there will be some cots available in designated sleeping zones.
Wolf Faces Lawsuit Over Firing
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A leading advocate of open government is calling on Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to reconsider his firing of his predecessor's appointee as director of Pennsylvania's Office of Open Records.
The Pennsylvania Freedom of Information Coalition said Monday that Wolf's decision last week to oust Erik Arneson and appoint an acting director will have a long-term, negative impact on its integrity. Arneson was appointed by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett a week before he left office.
The coalition says Wolf's action could lead to firings by future governors who dislike the agency's rulings and erode the agency's authority.
The coalition, part of a national network of more than 50 similar groups, is a non-profit volunteer group working to increase government transparency and help citizens understand the state's open-records and open-meetings laws.
Email Access Blocked
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - A state court has blocked a bid by a Penn State alumnus to gain access to email exchanges between the state attorney general's office and an independent group that was investigating the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at the university.
The ruling came Monday on the correspondence between state prosecutors and investigators hired by trustees and led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.
The three-judge Commonwealth Court panel said the material falls under "investigative exceptions" in Pennsylvania laws governing transparency.
Ryan Bagwell, a 2002 Penn State graduate, said he disagrees with the decision but an appeal is unlikely.
Bagwell earlier won an appeals court decision that he's entitled to see communications between Penn State's board of trustees and a member who was state secretary of education at the time.
Guns In School
BRADDOCK HILLS, Pa. (AP) - Authorities in western Pennsylvania say two suspects were arrested and at least two guns confiscated at a school in western Pennsylvania.
Officials locked down the Propel elementary and high school in Braddock Hills near Pittsburgh after an armed person was reported at about 2:30 p.m. Monday.
Officers from about 20 departments responded and made the arrests, and a search began for a possible third suspect.
Chief Dean Helinski said the third person wasn't found and the lockdown was canceled at about 5 p.m. Monday.
Helinski said the suspects were a juvenile and an adult but declined to say whether they were students. He said at least one of the weapons was unloaded.
Propel operates 10 charter schools in Allegheny County, including the two schools in the Braddock Hills Shopping Center.
JetBlue Investigates Threat
BOSTON (AP) - A threat and the Northeast storm will mean the crew and 135 passengers from a JetBlue flight will be spending at least one night in Boston instead of heading to Palm Beach, Florida.
The plane returned to the gate Monday night before takeoff because of an unspecified threat, which authorities now believe wasn't credible.
Troopers with search dogs swept the aircraft and about 100 pieces of luggage. The passengers will have to be rebooked because the airport had to close.
Obama Wraps Up Trip To India
NEW DELHI (AP) - President Barack Obama is drawing on his own experience as a minority as he gently nudges India to fulfill its constitution's pledge to uphold the "dignity of the individual."
Obama is closing out a three-day visit to New Delhi Tuesday with a speech touting the importance of religious tolerance. Obama says that while he has had extraordinary opportunities, there were moments in his life when he was treated differently because of the color of his skin. He also noted persistent false rumors that he is a Muslim, not a Christian.
Current Prime Minister Narendra Modi was denied a visa to the U.S. in 2005, three years after religious riots killed more than 1,000 Muslims in the Indian state where he was the top elected official.
Castro Calls For Cooperation
HAVANA, Cuba (AP) - Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has finally commented on his country's recent decision to restore diplomatic ties with the United States.
The 88-year-old revolutionary leader said in a written comment that he still distrusts Washington but backs the negotiations.
He said he favors "cooperation and friendship with all the people of the world, including political adversaries."