The Thursday wrap
Opinions from Western Pennsylvanians on the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul passed by the Senate vary from those who support its reduction in the corporate tax rate (from 35 to 20 percent in 2019) to those angry over eliminated tax deductions. But until the Senate and House tax bills are melded into one and go to a vote, the tax package remains a moving target. So snap judgments may be a tad premature. What is for sure, if a tax package ultimately passes both houses of Congress and gets President Trump's signature, is that what's proposed will be the most sweeping overhaul since the 1980s. ... Freshwater mussels aren't very large, but they're a big thing to turn up in the Kiski River—reportedly after more than a century. And the one captured in an award-winning photograph by Chelsea Walker, a watershed specialist with the Westmoreland County Conservation District and volunteer board member of the Roaring Run and Kiskiminetas watershed associations, shows what authorities say is a pregnant female that's at least 7 years old. Experts say that's good news for a river once in “fearful condition” because of coal-mining drainage. ... Yet another teacher faces a charge of institutional sexual assault for allegedly having sex with a male student. Jordan Dominique Ondish, 24, of Washington Township, has been fired from Summit Academy, a private, nonprofit educational rehabilitation facility for juvenile offenders in Butler County. At what point do supposedly adult, educated teachers learn about where such deviant trysts typically end up?