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Pennsylvania

Researchers at Pennsylvania’s top universities take to the web to fund projects

By Megha Satyanarayana
Young researchers at Pennsylvania’s top universities are turning to the general public to fund science experiments. Using a crowdfunding platform called experiment.com, four researchers at the ...

Reading’s ‘ugly’ Christmas tree getting single red bulb

By The Associated Press
READING — A much-maligned public Christmas tree is getting the Charlie Brown treatment. Officials in Reading say the spindly branches will be decorated with a ...

Beds needed for thousands hoping to see pope in Philly

By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA — Residents of the Philadelphia area are being asked to show some brotherly love to those traveling to the city to see Pope Francis ...

Prison phone cost to drop 70% in Pa.

By Megan Harris
The cost for a Pennsylvania inmate to help a child with difficult homework, talk to a spouse or confer with an attorney will drop by nearly 70 percent next month, state Department of Corrections officials announced Wednesday. Beginning in late evening ...

Soldier from Pottstown died Sunday in fiery crash near Martinsburg, W.Va.

By Tribune-Review
Officials at Fort Hood, Texas have identified a soldier from Pottstown who died Sunday in a fiery crash near Martinsburg, West Virginia. Spc. Stephen James Parson, 34, had served in the U.S. Army since July, 2012, most recently as a behavioral ...

DEP awaiting tests for ‘cat urine’ smell in New Castle

By The Associated Press
State environmental officials don’t believe a “cat urine” smell plaguing part of New Castle is harmful, but neither do they yet know what’s causing it. Residents began noticing the smell Nov. 1, and it’s still lingering near a sewage treatment plant ...

Crawford County man gets prison — and lecture — for tattooing 12-year-old

By The Associated Press
A Centerville man received 16 months to five years in prison — and a lecture from the judge — for tattooing a smiley face and a derogatory word on a 12-year-old girl who spent the night at his home last ...

Feds accused of bullying state over police test

By The Associated Press
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania has accused the federal government of browbeating it over the physical fitness tests administered to trooper candidates, insisting it remains committed to recruiting women into the state police force. The state asked a federal judge in Harrisburg to ...

Judges with Pittsburgh ties enter race for Pa. Supreme Court

By Tribune-Review
Two judges with strong Pittsburgh ties announced plans Monday to run for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, where a trio of vacancies is attracting a quickly ...

Turnpike employees disciplined over sexually explicit emails

By Brad Bumsted
HARRISBURG — An internal investigation by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission found as many as a dozen employees were sending or receiving sexually explicit emails on the agency’s system, officials told the Tribune-Review. The employees, whose names weren’t made public, were disciplined ...

State leaders give input on budget woes at Pittsburgh meeting

By Natasha Lindstrom
State Rep. George Dunbar, R-Penn Township, said he made an unsettling observation when he took his seat in Harrisburg five years ago. To Dunbar, a certified public accountant, Pennsylvania’s budget process relied too heavily on past allocations and across-the-board increases ...

Pennsylvania human services agency gets new name

By The Associated Press
HARRISBURG — The Department is Public Welfare is gone in Pennsylvania. As of Monday, it is now the Department of Human Services, under a state law signed two months ago by Gov. Tom Corbett. Secretary Beverly Mackereth unveiled the new ...

Judge hears arguments on Conneaut tax status, sheriff’s sale could be delayed

By Tribune-Review
A sheriff’s sale of Conneaut Lake Park could be delayed until January if Crawford County’s president judge doesn’t rule by Dec. 5 on a motion by the state Attorney General’s Office to keep it from being sold, court officials said ...

Horse racing industry banks on Wolf

By Melissa Daniels
Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry placed a $37,500 bet on Gov.-Elect Tom Wolf this election season. That’s how much three associations representing the $3 billion industry gave to Wolf during the final stretch of his campaign. They’re hoping that with this administration, ...

Need for new community college in Northwestern Pennsylvania questioned

By Andrew Conte
Pennsylvania lawmakers will spend $1.2 million this year to establish a community college for the state’s northwest corner even as critics question the need for ...

Conneaut Lake Park to take case to court for tax-exempt status

By Bill Vidonic
If Conneaut Lake Park is to be declared tax-exempt and get a pass on a sheriff’s sale for $900,000 in back taxes, it must meet a five-point test from the state Supreme Court to determine its tax status, a Duquesne ...

Leak of grand jury information could cost Attorney General Kane

By Brad Bumsted
HARRISBURG — As an assistant Lackawanna County prosecutor, Kathleen Kane testified at the 1999 trial of Judge Francis Eagen, charged with taking bribes. He had sought information about the investigation, she said, and she told him that grand juries operate ...

With enrollment dropping, Mercyhurst cuts jobs

By Erie Times-news
ERIE — Mercyhurst University has eliminated 14 administration and staff positions and is reducing the positions of six other employees from full time to part time. The university is suspending employer contributions to its pension plan through May, Mercyhurst President Tom ...

153-year-old Venango well pumps out oil, history

By Bloomberg News
About 70 miles north of Pittsburgh, a pothole-pocked dirt road along the side of a warehouse leads to a solitary oil well, undisturbed by the recent plunge in crude prices. McClintock No. 1, the world’s oldest continually producing oil well, is ...

Geologist: Site of idyllic 1833 painting of Lancaster found

By Ad Crable
LANCASTER — In 1833, well-known early American painter Jacob Eichholtz finished an idyllic scene of an oxbow bend in Conestoga Creek with the many-steepled outline of Lancaster city in the distance. It was a reminder of home for the artist’s ...