Sept. 29, 2015

PENNSYLVANIA

Pittsburgh: Alcoa announces split

Alcoa announced that it will split into two independent companies as an approach to separate the stronger part of the company from the weaker. The aluminum and upstream company will keep the Alcoa name while the engineering company’s name is yet to be determined.

Pittsburgh: PNC celebrates

After more than three years and $400 million, PNC will celebrate the completion of its new 33-story tower at PNC Plaza Thursday. The tower, the tallest built downtown in 30 years, will use 50 percent less energy than a typical office building.

Allentown: Students protest for better education

Hundreds of Allentown School District students walked out of classes Monday in an effort to highlight issues about their education. Students from William Allen and Dieruff high schools and Roberto Clemente, Lincoln Leadership and Medical Academy charter schools gathered at the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in protest, saying they weren’t ready for college classes.

Harrisburg: Survey directed to help school health insurance plans

Senator David Argall of Schuylkill County collected health insurance data from all 500 school districts in Pennsylvania to find savings in school health insurance plans. Argall hopes the survey will help him diagnose the issue and come up with a plan for savings such as consolidating smaller plans.

Statewide: Turnpike to test cash-free system

The Pennsylvania Turnpike will launch a cash-free program next year in its mission to achieve an all-electronic toll system to save costs. Drivers at the Beaver Valley Expressway in western Pennsylvania and the Delaware River Bridge in Bucks County will either be required to have an EZ-Pass or have their license plates scanned by cameras to receive a monthly bill.   

National

Water exists on Mars

In its search for life beyond Earth, NASA announced Monday the discovery of life-giving water on Mars. The revelation does not confirm life on the planet, but it does suggest more habitable conditions than previously believed.

Violence and property crimes down

In the wake of some cities experiencing an increase in violence, violent crimes and property offenses are down slightly overall from 2014, according to a new FBI report. Robbery recorded a 5.6 percent decline, and property offenses dropped more than 10 percent for burglary, 3 percent for larceny and 1.5 percent for vehicle theft.

Prison worker turns inmate

Joyce Mitchell, a former New York prison worker who helped two murderers escape from a maximum security prison, was sentenced Monday to up to seven years in prison. Mitchell also faces a hearing in November where prosecutors will request she pay up to $200,000 in restitution.

Shell Oil stops drilling off Alaska’s shore

After $7 billion spent in exploration, Royal Dutch Shell Oil announced Sunday that it will abandon its exploration efforts on Alaska’s shore because of the lack of oil. The project was previously halted in 2012, but was resumed earlier this year.

IN OTHER NEWS

An unlikely surprise falls through the roof

A 23-pound parcel of marijuana crashed through the roof of an Arizona home. The package was likely to have come from a smuggler’s aircraft that took off from Mexico, police officials said.

The daily report was compiled by Christine Manganas, a PublicSource intern. You can reach her with questions or suggestions at cmanganas@publicsource.org.