New Speed Limit Along I-80
Get ready to drive faster in Pennsylvania! Portions of both the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-80 will see a new 70 mile an hour speed limit. PennDOT and the PA Turnpike Commission announced increased speed limits, following a pilot program which started last summer. New signs are being posted along an additional 400 miles on parts of Interstates 79, 80, 99 and 380, along with US Route 15. In addition, close to 90 percent of the Turnpike will have a top posted speed of 70.
In our area, speed limits will be raised on I-80 from mile marker 195 in Clinton County near Milton to mile marker 247 in Columbia County near Mifflinville.
Prison Warden on Probation
Gerald Cutchall has been the warden at the Montour County prison for 13 years and he will stay on the job for the next month he'll be on probation. The prison board announced that move on Monday at a public meeting. No reason was given for the decision. In Addition to one month of probation and six months of evaluations, the board says Cutchall will also have to complete a corrective action plan.
Sandusky's latest appeal of his child sex crimes conviction ran into some legal trouble Monday in the Centre County Courthouse.
Judge John Cleeland reported he took issue with Sandusky's lawyers over what he called a gap between what they've identified as issues that could warrant a new trial, and evidence proving the merit of those issues.
Sandusky's attorneys said Cleveland is setting too high a standard too early, and said they need a another hearing - with testimony from as many as two dozen witnesses - to get the chance to establish that proof. Cleveland didn't make any rulings from the bench Monday, but said that he would review all of the defenses 33 separate appellate claims on their merits.
Trash To Treasure
The annual Trash to Treasure event is coming up on Saturday, May 14. There will be a change in venue though, as it will be held at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds instead of at Bloomsburg University. Adrenne Mael from the United Way was on The Morning Buzz yesterday, and said they hope to alternate locations: holding the event at the Fairgrounds in the Spring, and at BU during the Winter.
For more information on this Spring’s Trash to Treasure Click Here.
The State House Gaming Oversight Committee is holding a series of hearings this month on how Pennsylvania Casinos can remain Competitive. Casino officials testified during a public hearing at Dauphin County's Hollywood Casino - speaking out against proposed smoking bans and Governor Tom Wolf's proposed tax on promotional credits. They point to the need to compete with a growing number of gaming facilities across state borders, which are already having an effect on some Pennsylvania casinos. Additional hearings on the subject are scheduled this month, including at Valley Forge and Parx Casinos in southeastern PA...
School Budget Failsafe
A bill meant to help public school districts in the event of a delayed state budget has passed a key committee. The bill would require the state make payments to school districts based on the last year’s budget if a new budget isn’t in place by mid-August.
Democrats on the House Education committee say allowing payments to continue reduces any urgency in resolving the issue. Republican Representative Seth Grove says he sees that point, but state employees already get paid when there’s no budget.
State health officials are calling on parents to vaccinate early this year. Pennsylvania is in the process of changing regulations that govern when school kids must receive their vaccinations. Children had been able to wait until March of the school year to get up to date… but the new regulations will not allow a child to start school in the fall without the shots. PA Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy says parents are getting their kids immunized for the most part, but they are putting it off for as long as they can.
If a child does not have insurance coverage for vaccines, the State Health Department holds regular immunization clinics across the commonwealth year round.
Pittsburgh Gas Explosion
We told you yesterday about the Sunbury Pipeline project being given the OK to go forward by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Part of the pipeline will go through Montour County… In the meanwhile, officials in Western PA continue their investigation into the cause of that gas line explosion last week.
WHLM’s Tory Gates reports:
Health Benefits for School Teachers
The House Democratic Policy Committee heard testimony on a proposal to create a single health plan for teachers in all 500 school districts. Members heard mainly from those on the administrative end, including the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials. Most agreed that the best choice would be to divide school districts into regions and choose a health plan best suited to teachers in a specific part of the state.