Corbett shifts on Medicaid proposal's work search
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Tom Corbett appears ready to drop one of the most controversial conditions of his proposal to accept federal Medicaid expansion dollars to expand health care to hundreds of thousands of working poor in Pennsylvania.
A Wednesday letter from Corbett to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius concerns his condition that some newly eligible adults meet job-search requirements.
In the letter, Corbett notes that Sebelius' staff has had a policy position against tying Medicaid eligibility to what he calls "job training and steps toward employment."
Then he asks for a chance to institute a voluntary, incentive-only one-year pilot program for able-bodied adults.
Advocates for the poor and uninsured say no state has ever tied Medicaid coverage to such a requirement and that it isn't allowed by law.
Philly priest awaits verdict on child-sex charges
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A jury has deliberated for two hours without reaching a verdict in the latest Roman Catholic priest-abuse case in Philadelphia.
The Rev. Andrew McCormick has testified that he never abused a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997.
The 57-year-old McCormick has been suspended from ministry since 2011 over other allegations involving pornography and his relationships with children.
The defense witnesses include former altar boys who say they traveled to Poland with McCormick and were not molested.
The 26-year-old accuser says he was molested after his mother met with the priest to discuss concerns her 10-year-old son was gay.
Defense lawyer William Brennan says the accuser's later problems could stem from other struggles, and not from any alleged abuse.
The jury is set to return Friday to continue their deliberations.
W. Pa. boy dies from bacterial meningitis
PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office says a 6-year-old Pittsburgh boy has died from bacterial meningitis.
Officials haven't identified the boy, but say he passed away around 9 p.m. Wednesday at Allegheny General Hospital.
Health officials say the community isn't at risk, because preliminary lab tests indicate the child didn't have the type of meningitis that requires treatment of people who had close contact.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 4,100 cases of bacterial meningitis, including 500 deaths, occurred each year between 2003 and 2007.
Appeal denied for Pa. man who killed girlfriend
(Information in the following story is from: The (Easton, Pa.) Express-Times, http://www.lehighvalleylive.com )
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A veterinarian behind bars for killing his pregnant mistress and dumping her body in an eastern Pennsylvania nature preserve has lost a bid to appeal his conviction.
The Express-Times said the state Superior Court on Thursday rejected the appeal request made by David Rapoport of Upper Gwynedd Township.
Rapoport pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 27-year-old Jennifer Snyder and their unborn son.
Snyder's body was found in March 2011 in a ravine in Trexler Nature Preserve near Allentown.
Prosecutors say the married Rapoport was furious over Snyder's pregnancy and shot her three times - once in the back and twice in the head.
Under the plea deal, prosecutors withdrew seeking the death penalty if Rapoport gave up all of his appeal rights.
BLIND MAN ASSAULTED
Suspect to stand trial in blind man's beating
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Philadelphia man has been ordered to stand trial for the alleged attack of a blind man in broad daylight, an assault that was caught on a surveillance camera.
The camera on a Germantown street corner captured video of the 33-year-old man being beaten unconscious last October as bystanders looked on.
KYW-AM said a judge on Thursday ordered 29-year-old Mustafa Guyton to be tried on aggravated assault and related charges.
The blind man told police he was walking with his guide cane around noontime when another man approached and struck him, knocking him to the ground and kicking him repeatedly.
The defendant told police he didn't know the man was blind and believed him to be part of a group that had attacked him the previous month.
SE Pa. police officer charged with DUI hit-run
UPPER DARBY, Pa. (AP) - A police officer in a Philadelphia suburb has been arrested and charged with drunken driving in connection with a hit-and-run accident earlier this week.
Authorities allege that 43-year-old William Tobin struck a car in Marple Newtown Township on Tuesday night and kept going. Police say the driver of the vehicle that was hit chased down the car and called police.
Upper Darby Police confirm Tobin's employment but said he has been out of work for several months after getting injured in the line of duty. He is a 19-year-veteran of the force.
Marple Newtown Township authorities are handling the investigation.
MILITARY NO-SHOW CHARGES
Md. man to plead in no-show scam at Pa. Guard base
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A former civilian contractor who worked at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland is scheduled to plead guilty to helping the vice commander of a base near Pittsburgh receive extra pay in exchange for getting a no-show job at the Pennsylvania base.
The defense attorney for 50-year-old Robert St. Clair, of Bel Air, Md. did not comment on Thursday's court order setting the guilty plea hearing for April 14 in Pittsburgh.
St. Clair was charged Wednesday along with retired Air National Guard Col. Gerard Mangis.
The 60-year-old Mangis was vice commander of the 171st Air Refueling Wing based at Pittsburgh International Airport when he allegedly got St. Clair the no-show job as an enlisted man.
Federal prosecutors say St. Clair needed the job because financial problems were jeopardizing his security clearance at the Maryland base.
Teen struck by dump truck in W. Pa.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A teenage girl has been struck by a dump truck near Pittsburgh.
Officials say the accident happened at about 3 p.m. Thursday. Allegheny Police Lt. Andrew Schurman says the unidentified 14-year-old was following other students and crossing a street and her view may have been obstructed by a school bus.
The girl was flown by medical helicopter to Children's Hospital for treatment of what are reportedly critical injuries.
ATV WRECK-HOMICIDE CHARGE
Pa. man accused of killing wife, lying about wreck
FELTON, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania man is in jail on a homicide charge after police accused him of assaulting, strangling and drowning his wife nearly two years ago and lying about an ATV wreck into a creek to cover up the crime.
State police said Thursday that 40-year-old Joseph Bernard Fitzpatrick III stood to collect more than $1.7 million from the June 2012 death of his wife Annemarie.
A police affidavit says Joseph Fitzpatrick searched the Internet for "life insurance review during contestability period" and "polygraph legal in which states" in the days before his wife died.
Detectives say Joseph Fitzpatrick was having an extramarital affair at the time and had plans to divorce.
A call seeking comment from his lawyer, Christopher Ferro, wasn't immediately returned.
PENN STATE TRUSTEES
Penn State eyes increase in room, board charges
HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) - Penn State's trustees are poised to vote on a 4.3 percent increase for next year's room and board costs.
Pennlive.com reported that a board committee recommended the higher fees, which will cost a typical undergraduate at University Park an additional $400 a year.
The school says the increase is driven in part by higher debt from $500 million in planned renovations to the East and Pollock housing areas.
The full board will vote on the proposal on Friday.
Next year's tuition rate won't be set for several more months.
Pa. man gets 5 years in prison for mortgage scam
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A suburban Philadelphia man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for his role in a $14 million mortgage fraud scheme that targeted dozens of homeowners facing foreclosure.
Forty-nine-year-old Edward McCusker of Chesterbrook was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison for wire and mail fraud in connection with the scamming of 35 homeowners during the last decade's housing bubble.
His wife Jacqueline McCusker was sentenced Thursday to four years of probation. Both were ordered to repay $400,000 in restitution.
Three other people also were charged in the scheme.
Authorities say the group swindled distressed homeowners, falsely promising that they could save their homes. Instead, they obtained fraudulent mortgages and took whatever equity was left in the homes for their personal gain.
ERIE RESTAURANT-HARASSMENT LAWSUIT
Erie restaurant settles harassment lawsuit
ERIE, Pa. (AP) - An Erie restaurant has agreed to pay a former worker $20,000 to settle a federal sexual harassment lawsuit.
The Erie Times-News reports that the proposed consent decree was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had filed a lawsuit last year, alleging that a co-owner of Ricardo's Restaurant made vulgar remarks about women's bodies and about sexual acts. The paper reports that court records show co-owner Peter West denied making many of the sexually charged remarks, but conceded he sometimes yelled at employees.
The restaurant also agreed to give legal training to employees about sexual harassment and notify other workers about the settlement.
COMCAST-TIME WARNER CABLE
Antitrust official recused from Comcast-TWC review
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department says its top antitrust official, Bill Baer, is recusing himself from the department's review of Comcast's $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc.
Spokeswoman Gina Talamona says that Baer, an assistant attorney general, was not heading the review due to some work he did while in private practice.
Baer represented NBCUniversal and General Electric Co. on antitrust matters as a partner at Arnold & Porter LLP when Comcast Corp. bought a majority stake in NBCU in 2011.
Talamona said Renata Hesse, principal deputy assistant attorney general, will lead the review of the deal along with Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Gelfand.
HISTORIC CRUISE SHIP-MACAULAY
Author makes pitch for saving SS United States
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Best-selling author David Macaulay is in Philadelphia to promote efforts to save the historic ocean liner SS United States.
Macaulay, who crossed the Atlantic on the ship with his family as British immigrants in 1957, is writing a book about the ship and was giving a lecture Thursday at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Macaulay, whose books include "The Way Things Work," also planned to attend the opening of a SS United States exhibition at the city's Independence Seaport Museum.
The nearly 1,000-foot, steam-powered ship, launched in 1952, still holds the record for the fastest trans-Atlantic voyage. It carried 1 million passengers across the ocean, including four U.S. presidents, before it was retired in 1969.
The deteriorating ship has been docked in the Delaware River in South Philadelphia since 1996.
ORANGE JUICE RECALL
Lehigh Valley Dairy announces orange juice recall
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Lehigh Valley Dairy is voluntarily recalling orange juice because it may contain milk, a common allergen.
The Food and Drug Administration said the recall Thursday affects multiple brands distributed to both retail and food-service locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
The affected brands and sizes are Lehigh Valley half pints, half gallons and gallons; Swiss Premium half gallons and gallons, and Price Chopper gallons.
The Allentown-based dairy said due to a manufacturing error, milk became mixed with the orange juice.
All of the affected products have a sell-by date of March 23 and plant code 42-099.
Lehigh Valley Dairy said consumers should discard the product and return the packaging to the place of purchase for a refund or exchange.
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