Govt fails to vet chemical plants for terror risk
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional investigators say the government has failed to inspect virtually all of the chemical facilities that it considers to be at high risk for a terror attack and has underestimated the threat to densely populated cities.
A year-long investigation by Republican staff on the Senate Homeland Security Committee paints a picture of inspection delay, government errors in risk assessment and industry loopholes in a $595 million terror prevention program. A copy of the report was obtained by The Associated Press.
The report said the Department of Homeland Security failed to conduct security inspections on 3,972 chemical facilities, or 99 percent of those deemed higher risk.
Roughly half of the higher-risk facilities are in 10 states: California, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan and New Jersey.
Chevron puts plans for Pittsburgh facility on hold
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Chevron is putting on hold its plans for a large regional headquarters in the Pittsburgh suburbs.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday that the energy company has delayed a final decision on the office project for the foreseeable future.
The company, based in San Ramon, California, paid more than $17 million to buy land for what was envisioned as a 61-acre project.
Chevron is one of the region's largest producers of natural gas from the Marcellus shale formation, with holdings in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
APNewsbreak: Defense to oversee plagiarism probe
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A U.S. Army War College official says the Department of Defense has taken the unusual step of overseeing a plagiarism investigation against Sen. John Walsh of Montana.
The Carlisle, Pennsylvania, college began the investigation after a New York Times story showed Walsh used others' work without attribution in a 2007 research paper required for a master's degree.
Provost Lance Betros said Tuesday Defense Department officials told the college the inspector general's office of the Defense Department will decide whether any discipline is warranted based on the school's review.
Betros says that decision is normally reserved for the school's deputy commandant.
He says the Defense Department intervention is very unusual and was done because Walsh is a member of Congress who is a military veteran.
Neither the inspector general's office nor Walsh's campaign immediately returned messages.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE-FITNESS
US sues Pennsylvania over police fitness tests
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The federal government is suing Pennsylvania over physical fitness tests given to its applicant for state trooper positions. It says the tests discriminate against women and keeps them out of entry-level positions.
The Justice Department's lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Harrisburg.
It says the use of the tests to screen and select the applicants for the entry-level positions amounts to a pattern of employment discrimination
A state police spokeswoman says the agency has not seen the 10-page lawsuit and cannot comment on it.
The lawsuit says much greater percentages of male applicants than female applicants passed the physical fitness tests going back to 2003.
The Pennsylvania State Police has 4,677 sworn members.
Grant helps 10 Pa. liberal arts colleges team up
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Ten of Pennsylvania's liberal arts colleges are teaming up - with the help of an $800,000 grant - to cut costs and improve their academic offerings.
Pennlive.com reported Tuesday that the Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts has been working together with the help of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The effort brings together Bryn Mawr, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Haverford, Juniata, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, Ursinis and Washington and Jefferson colleges.
The project includes faculty development, study abroad, library resources, administrative services, compliance and risk management, and institutional climates for diversity.
PHILADELPHIA TRAIN STATION
Bill to rename Philly train station advances
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia's major train station may soon be getting a new name following a vote in Congress.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday that a proposal to rename 30th Street Station for former U.S. Rep. Bill Gray passed the House in a voice vote.
Gray helped get millions to refurbish the station in the 1980s, while serving as a Democratic congressman from 1979 to 1991.
Gray died at age 71 a year ago.
If it passes the Senate, the bill would rename the facility the "William H. Gray III 30th Street Station."
The paper says the 81-year-old station is Amtrak's third-busiest.
Pennsylvania town gets wet yet again on Rain Day
WAYNESBURG, Pa. (AP) - It's just a sprinkle, but it counts enough for people in a southwestern Pennsylvania town to celebrate Rain Day.
The Washington Observer-Reporter says the brief precipitation in Waynesburg makes for the 114th time in 141 years rain has fallen in the town on July 29.
The town's street festival includes the crowning of a Miss Rain Day.
The newspaper says the rain was reported by the mayor and a Rain Day committee member, on whose notebook a few drops fell.
Every year a celebrity wagers a hat that it won't rain in Waynesburg on July 29. This year's loser is actress Patricia Heaton.
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