July 24, 2015

PENNSYLVANIA

Pittsburgh: VA workplace harassment case

After an internal investigation, the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System fired two workers and will discipline five more. Reportedly, the workers used duct tape to tie up and abandon a colleague. The discipline could entail formal reprimands or suspension without pay.

Pittsburgh: East Liberty evictions show affordable housing problems

Penn Plaza apartment residents were given 90-day eviction notices, which were delayed for an additional 60 days by Mayor Bill Peduto. But for the low-income tenants, a waiting list for subsidized housing could be five years, highlighting the severe lack of low-rent properties available in East Liberty and elsewhere in the city.

Harrisburg: District judge charged with extortion, coercion

District Judge Robert Jennings III allegedly demanded campaign donations from his employees. He was arraigned Thursday morning after an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General.

Harrisburg: Gov. Tom Wolf appoints new chief of staff

Former chief of staff Katie McGinty resigned Wednesday in order to prepare for a run for U.S. Senate. At a news conference on Thursday, Gov. Wolf announced that Mary Isenhour, his legislative liaison, would fill the role.

Chester County: Lincoln University professor’s conduct questioned

English professor Kaukab Siddique has come under fire from the Anti-Defamation League and others for posts on his Facebook page that come off as anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT and misogynistic. The university will not take action against Siddique because his posts were made as individual statements, not as the opinion of the university.

Statewide: More Pennsylvanians carry guns

There was a 15 percent increase in the number of gun permits issued to Americans over last year. More than a million people in Pennsylvania have permits, making the state the fourth highest in the country. According to Pew, Gallup, Washington Post and ABC polls, guns make people feel safer.

NATIONAL

Social Security disability fund to empty soon

On Wednesday, the trustees of Social Security and Medicare reported that the Social Security disability fund will run out of money in late 2016. When it does, recipients will have a 19 percent cut in benefits, of about $193 a month, unless policymakers make changes.

John Kerry critical of Congress’s reaction to Iran nuclear deal

The Secretary of State is adamant that the six-nation agreement with Iran is the only opportunity to halt Tehran’s nuclear production. If Congress fails to enact the accord, Kerry believes the U.S. would isolate itself irreparably. However, President Obama promised to veto any Congressional move that would hinder the deal.

Kids living in poverty at new high

In 1990, about 11 percent of children lived in high-poverty areas. The 2015 Kids Count report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that the numbers dipped around the millennium, but rose again to 13 percent during the recession and beyond, even though more kids are graduating high school and have access to health care.

Unemployment claims hit lowest levels since 1973

The number of Americans out of a job and filing for benefits dropped to levels not seen for more than 41 years last week. Analysts aren’t sure whether to take it with a grain of salt or celebrate a strengthening economy.

IN OTHER NEWS

Why time goes faster the older you get

It’s based on perspective and perception. French philosopher Paul Janet theorized that at age 1, a year is 100 percent of your life. But at age 35, a year is only about 3 percent of your life. Therefore, the apparent length of time is proportional to the individual’s life span.

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