August 1, 2015

PENNSYLVANIA

Pittsburgh: Hundreds of United Steelworkers rally

The union is trying to negotiate new contracts for Allegheny Technologies Inc. workers whose contracts expired June 30. More than 2,200 members are in negotiations, but Allegheny Technologies seeks to cut hundreds of jobs. The company submitted an offer that was rejected by the union.

Harrisburg: The Wolf administration concerned about A.G. Kane

The governor’s spokesman said Wolf is content to “let the legal process play out” in regards to the controversy of Attorney General Kathleen Kane and her possible information leak, but emails from his staffers, obtained through the open records law, show that they’ve already discussed the matter of appointing a successor.

Armstrong County: Escaped convict suspected of murder

On Thursday morning, Robert Crissman escaped from Armstrong County Jail. After his escape, he went to a friend’s house. The man went to work and returned to find his girlfriend dead, strangled and beaten. Crissman is now suspected for her homicide. Crissman apparently then stole several vehicles before leading police on a chase. He crashed and is now in custody.

Central PA: Third infestation of poisonous spiders at school

Montgomery Elementary School in Mercersburg has closed so that a pest control team can spray pesticides and smoke out the school. This is the third batch of brown recluse spiders found there. Their bites can produce ulcers.

Mars: Controversy over frack pad near school

Parents of Mars Area School District children are organizing. A Rex Energy well is going in on a farm just more than a half-mile from the school. A hydraulic fracturing well pad’s center only needs to be 500 feet from any building, but the evacuation zone is one to one-and-a-half miles, and it’s concerning for many parents and residents.

NATIONAL

Charleston, S.C., gunman will plead guilty

Dylann Roof’s attorney told a federal judge that Roof plans to plead guilty to the federal hate crimes charges. However, the guilty plea won’t be officially entered until the sentence for those crimes is determined, so the plea could change in order for Roof to avoid the death penalty.

Search ends for missing Florida teenagers

The U.S. Coast Guard’s search for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen ended at sundown Friday. The 14-year-olds have been missing since July 24, when they went fishing off the Florida coast. The case will be closed unless new information surfaces.

Prison-level education

The Obama administration intends to allow adult prisoners access to PELL grants, which would pay for college-level classes while they’re in prison. Congress banned prisoners’ access to the grants 20 years ago, but a limited-time pilot program will get around this barrier to test the effectiveness of college education in a prison setting.

Million-dollar campaign donors

Super PACs (political action committees) are allowed to raise as much money as they want to fund presidential campaigns, unlike the official campaign committees. So far, more than 30 wealthy individuals and corporations have donated $1 million or (much) more to super PACs.

IN OTHER NEWS

‘Once in a blue moon’

Did you catch Friday night’s blue moon? Unfortunately that doesn’t mean the moon actually turns blue in color; it means that the year has an extra full moon (13 instead of the usual 12). The moon’s cycle is about 29.5 days, so a blue moon only occurs every three years or so.

The daily report was compiled by Stephanie Roman, a PublicSource intern. You can reach her with questions or suggestions at sroman@publicsource.org.