Regional News

News from our media partners

A dispute over a last-minute appointment and an unceremonious dismissal has given rise to what Commonwealth Court President Judge Dan Pellegrini called "probably the most important independent agency case that we've had in decades."

On Wednesday, a court panel heard arguments over whether Governor Tom Wolf had the authority to fire Erik Arneson, appointed to a six-year term as director of the state Office of Open Records in the twilight of then-Governor Tom Corbett's tenure.

Robert J. Powell, a key player in the kids-for-cash scandal, has reached a $4.75 million settlement of a class-action suit with juveniles improperly jailed in a detention center he co-owned.

A settlement agreement in the 6-year-old case was filed on Tuesday in U.S. Middle District Court in Scranton.

A few times a week, Stephanie Schott attends a "New Moms Coffee" group connected to her 13-month-old son's pediatrician's office.

"It's a moms' group where moms with babies 1 year old and younger can go," Schott says. "There's even prenatal classes, yoga classes. It's basically a meet-up place for families and moms."

School districts across the state cut staff and eliminated programs as they faced climbing pension, health-care and charter school costs. They raised property taxes and increased class sizes. They shut down extracurricular activities and cut prekindergarten.

Districts are facing more of the same challenges or even worsening fiscal conditions in 2015-16, according to an annual survey by district administrators and business officials.

Topping the list of concerns: an increase in total pension obligations of $562 million over 2014-15.

State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale plans to investigate the circumstances surrounding double pension benefits that were awarded to some members of Scranton’s nonuniform union.

For 35-year-old Emma McFadden, the decision to empty her retirement account was simple.

She could continue occupying a body she didn't experience as her own and live with the feelings that led to multiple suicide attempts and genital mutilation. Or she could pay $20,000 out of pocket for a surgery that might finally make those feelings disappear, perhaps permanently.

Members of the House Education Committee announced plans Tuesday to create a new Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness.

With college costs rising faster than inflation for the last decade, Pennsylvania lawmakers have unveiled a 13-bill package that would make higher education more affordable, especially for students from lower-income families.

The “College Access Plan” would establish merit based scholarship funds; $50 million in loan forgiveness for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) majors, and Department of Education funding to encourage high school students to attend college and earn more college credits in high school.

Representatives of several environmental groups took their fight against the Shenango Inc. coke works on Neville Island to Pittsburgh City Council last week, asking council to pass a resolution calling for stepped-up enforcement of air-quality standards by the Allegheny County Health Department.

It was just the latest stop on a tour aimed at putting pressure on the health department.


Subscribe to PublicSource: Regional News