Pa. transportation secretary defends highways law
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The head of Pennsylvania's highway agency says he's not surprised that some people aren't happy about the billions of dollars in higher fees and taxes to fund transportation needs but says others are voicing their support.
Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch told reporters Wednesday he didn't expect people to celebrate over higher gas taxes and motorist fees. But he's also hearing from those who believe the cost of doing nothing would have been greater.
Schoch says talk of promising special projects to get the bill passed is "comical" because a decade's worth of needs is laid out on the department's website.
Schoch says the near-term focus will be on bridges, safety and increasing mobility. He says decisions about raising speed limits from 65 to 70 mph may be made this spring.
Pa. asked to bid on attracting Boeing plant
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania is among the states hoping to compete for a new Boeing aircraft assembly plant.
Department of Community and Economic Development spokesman Steve Kratz said Wednesday the company contacted the state on Tuesday, asking for proposals to attract a plant to build the new 777X aircraft.
Kratz says the state is looking at what it might offer as a competitive proposal that also takes into account the use of taxpayer dollars.
He says the large number of potential jobs makes Gov. Tom Corbett very interested.
The company is approaching states, asking them to bid on the production of the plane after its machinist union members rejected a proposed contract with concessions on pensions and health care costs.
Montco GOP pick successor to disgraced ex-chair
JEFFERSONVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Republicans in the Philadelphia suburb of Montgomery County have a successor to former chairman Robert Kerns, who is facing criminal charges.
Members of the Montgomery County GOP Committee elected state Rep. Mike Vereb on Wednesday night.
Vereb, a fourth-term legislator, holds a leadership post in the House majority caucus.
County committee director John Kelemen says Vereb would serve at least through a scheduled party reorganization in the spring.
The 66-year-old Kerns faces charges he drugged and raped a female employee of his former law firm after a work-related party in October. He's free on $100,000 bail and maintains he is innocent.
He resigned in November.
Pa. woman charged with stabbing man she met online
SUNBURY, Pa. (AP) - An 18-year-old central Pennsylvania woman is charged with killing a man she met on Craigslist and dumping his body in an alley before meeting her husband to celebrate his birthday.
Northumberland County prosecutors said Wednesday that Miranda Barbour of Selinsgrove is facing homicide and other charges in the stabbing death of 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara of Port Trevorton.
His body was found Nov. 12 in Sunbury. Investigators said he had been stabbed about 20 times.
According to court documents, Barbour told police she occasionally meets men in exchange for money. Police said she admitted stabbing LaFerrara after he groped her and put his hands around her throat.
Barbour is being held without bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 10.
SOCIAL MEDIA SITE-WITNESSES
Philly teen pleads guilty to Twitter intimidation
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Philadelphia teenager pleaded guilty in juvenile court to using his Twitter account to intimidate a crime victim.
The Philadelphia Inquirer said the 17-year-old Martin Luther King High School student pleaded guilty Wednesday in Family Court to witness intimidation and terroristic threats.
He used Twitter to post a photo of the victim and copies of secret investigative documents related to a 2012 attempted shooting.
Police initially suspected the teenager was linked to a now-defunct anonymous Instagram account called rats215, which posted witness' photos next to statements they gave police. Prosecutors said the investigation continues but the teen isn't accused in that case.
Assistant District Attorney Jan McDermott said she would ask for "a significant period of confinement" to a juvenile treatment facility when he is sentenced Dec. 16.
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