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Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf isn't saying yet what he'll do with the budget bill on his desk as a state government impasse threatens to enter its seventh month.

The Wolf administration isn't saying whether it'll announce a decision Monday.

The House and Senate have no plans to return this week. Efforts to pass a bipartisan budget package supported by Wolf stalled last week.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

 

Gov. Tom Wolf is facing a decision over what to with a last-ditch spending bill sent to him without the increase in public school aid he had sought.

House Speaker Mike Turzai formally signed the bill Thursday morning and sent it to the Democratic governor's desk. Wolf's office says no decision is likely before Monday.

Republicans are urging Wolf to sign it, and stop the borrowing, layoffs or service delays by school districts, counties and social services agencies struggling to get by without state aid.

David Amsler / Flickr

 

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf isn't saying whether he'll sign a budget bill sent to him by the Senate in a last-ditch bid to break a six-month stalemate before Christmas and get money flowing to schools and social service agencies.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

There are signs of a potential breakthrough in Pennsylvania's budget stalemate just three days before Christmas.

Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

 

Gov. Tom Wolf says the 500,000 Pennsylvanians who have signed up for health care under the Medicaid expansion are part of keeping a campaign promise he made in last year's election campaign.

Wolf joined state Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas and health care advocates to mark the milestone Thursday at a news conference at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Wolf, a Democrat who expanded Medicaid eligibility under the federal Affordable Health Care Act soon after he took office in January, says he hopes the number of enrollments will continue to grow.

Ken Marshall / Flickr

 

The Pennsylvania Senate's Republican leaders say they're going to send more budget-related bills to the House and then leave Harrisburg, with plans to return within six hours if needed.

President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and Majority Leader Jake Corman didn't report any concrete progress during a Thursday morning meeting with House Republican majority leaders over how to end a 5-month-old budget stalemate.

But Scarnati says the tenor of their discussions is good as they try to resolve their differences.

Mic Smith / AP

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter wants to ban Donald Trump from the city after the Republican presidential candidate called for a national ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

Nutter calls Trump's proposal "ignorant" and says if he had the power, he'd ban Trump from the city. He saysPhiladelphia doesn't have "any room for that kind of stupidity."

Matt Rourke / AP

 

A top aide to Pennsylvania's attorney general is in court Monday defending charges he snooped on emails to keep tabs on a grand jury investigation involving boss Kathleen Kane.

A defense lawyer has argued that Patrick Reese wasn't aware of the court order protecting the emails.

Montgomery County prosecutors charged Reese with criminal contempt the same day in August they charged Kane with perjury and obstruction.

Kane denies charges that she leaked grand jury material and then lied about it.

 

Police say the man suspected of fatally shooting a western Pennsylvania police officer refused to drop his weapon, but it's unclear if he or the officer fired first.

Ray Shetler Jr. has been released from the hospital. The 31-year-old from New Florence was arraigned Monday on a homicide charge stemming from the shooting Saturday night of St. Clair Township Officer Lloyd Reed, who was responding to a domestic dispute.

Gov. Tom Wolf is asking Pennsylvania residents to be vigilant and report suspicious activity following the Paris terror attacks but says "there remains no known imminent threat" to the commonwealth.

Wolf said the Office of Homeland Security has advised him that police in Philadelphia have stepped up security for the weekend. He said citizens may also experience increased security in other areas of the commonwealth.

The governor said Pennsylvania residents "should be vigilant, remain patient and be respectful" to law enforcement officers.

Democrats swept all three open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Tuesday's election, locking in a majority on the state's highest court for at least a decade that could help shape the legislative redistricting that will follow the 2020 census.

The winners of the seven-way race were Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty and Superior Court judges David Wecht and Christine Donohue of Allegheny County.

Ryan Kang / AP Photo

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — The latest on the deadly shooting Thursday at a community college in Oregon (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

A candlelight vigil is planned for 8 p.m. in Roseburg, Oregon, following a mass shooting at a community college there.

The public vigil is set to take place in Stewart Park, west of Interstate 5.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin says 10 people died after a gunman opened fire Thursday at Umpqua (UHMP'-kwah) Community College.

Chevron Appalachia has agreed to pay a nearly $940,000 fine levied by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources over an explosion and fire that killed a contractor at a company well site in Dunkard Township, Greene County. 

Attorney General Kathleen Kane engaged in a cover-up and lied about her role in an alleged unlawful leak of information from a 2009 investigation, according to a report by the grand jury that recommended she face criminal charges.

"The testimony of Attorney General Kane was not an honest account of the events, and she mischaracterized events to cover up activities undertaken at her direction to unlawfully release documents subject to grand jury secrecy," said the report released Monday, three months after its recommendations were made public.

Associated Press

If you think it's been a cold February in Pittsburgh, you're right — near-record cold, in fact.

The National Weather Service says the city is on track for the second-coldest February since record-keeping began in 1871.

Meteorologist Rihaan Gangat said Saturday that the temperature averaged about 18.6 degrees for the first 27 days of February.

That is just over the 18-degree average recorded in 1979, the coldest February in recorded Pittsburgh history.

The next coldest February occurred in 1963, with an average temperature of 19.3 degrees.

The Canadian National Railway Co. is hoping to finish cleaning up and repairing a line nearly in Butler County two days after 27 cars carrying iron ore derailed.

The cars, which were part of a 71-car freight train, derailed about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in Center Township, Pennsylvania. The accident scene, near Route 308, is about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Railroad spokesman Patrick Waldron said the railroad hoped to reopen the tracks Friday afternoon, provided the cars and spilled cargo could be removed and the tracks repaired by that time.

JMR_Photography / flickr

A proposal to sell off most of Pennsylvania's state-owned liquor system and its wholesale distribution network moved ahead with a vote on the Legislature on Monday, although its prospects to become law remain uncertain.

The state House Liquor Control Committee voted 15-to-10 to advance a Republican-backed proposal that was very similar to a bill that passed the House but stalled in Senate during the last legislative session.

Governor Tom Wolf on Thursday reversed an order by his Republican predecessor, Tom Corbett, by issuing an executive order banning new gas drilling leases in state forests and parks.

Wolf’s order supersedes that signed by Corbett last May to resume issuing drilling leases for forests and parks.

In 2010 then Gov. Ed Rendell issued the moratorium—two years after his administration first allowed drilling in state forests.

Pennsylvania's capital city is facing a lawsuit believed to be the first filed under a new state law designed to give gun owners and gun rights groups a better chance at dismantling municipal firearms ordinances.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Dauphin County court named as defendants the city of Harrisburg and various city officials.

Pittsburgh police plan to test an electronic gunshot-detection system later this month in a three square mile area stretching from the East Hills to East Liberty.

Councilman Ricky Burgess, who represents the neighborhoods, said there are three reasons for installing the ShotSpotter system, which can pinpoint the location and direction of shots fired.

"It's hard to make predictions around here and be accurate," says U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) about the fate of the $1.1 trillion budget.

It's now up to the Senate to pass the huge  spending bill to keep the government running through the end of the current fiscal year — Sept. 30.  

The state is launching a website to help consumers through the impending termination of a contract between a Western Pennsylvania insurer and the region's dominant hospital and outpatient network.

Officials said they're posting information to stayInformed.pa.gov about changes taking effect Jan. 1 when most Highmark subscribers lose in-network access to UPMC doctors and hospitals. This change has raised many questions, and they have been fielded through the PA Department of Insurance.

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Wednesday four of her employees have been fired and 11 suspended without pay for involvement in a pornographic email scandal that also prompted a state Supreme Court justice to step down.

Kane said two other union employees face possible termination after "the exhaustion of their contractually mandated rights." Two others quit before being disciplined, and several others described as having limited involvement received written reprimands or counseling.

A University of Pittsburgh researcher charged in the cyanide poisoning death of his wife last year was convicted on Friday of first-degree murder.

Dr. Robert Ferrante, who hung his head when the verdict was read in court, faces a mandatory life sentence in the April 2013 death of 41-year-old neurologist Dr. Autumn Klein.

A survivalist accused of ambushing two Pennsylvania state troopers, leaving one dead and seriously injuring the other, was captured on Thursday by U.S. marshals in an abandoned airplane hangar, ending a seven-week manhunt for him, authorities said.

State police confirmed Eric  Frein was taken into custody but released no details.

Former state senator Jane Orie promised Wednesday to file a federal court appeal now that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge of her campaign corruption conviction and prison sentence.

"I have always been known to be a fighter — and I fight for what I believe in and in what is right," Orie said in an emailed statement. "My case is by no means over, and I will aggressively pursue my appeal in federal court."

Six years into a natural gas boom, Pennsylvania has for the first time released details of 243 cases in which companies prospecting for oil or gas were found by state regulators to have contaminated private drinking water wells.

A western Pennsylvania judge has approved the sale of the Johnstown-based Conemaugh Health System to a for-profit Tennessee network, Duke LifePoint Healthcare.

Under the deal approved Wednesday by Cambria County Judge Timothy Creany, Duke LifePoint will pay $111 million for Conemaugh, and agree to invest $425 million more on capital improvements, including new facilities in Richland Township, near Johnstown, and Ebensburg, over the next decade.

Additionally, the properties in the system will now be taxable.

whitehouse.gov

American manufacturing was the focus of President Obama’s visit to Pittsburgh Tuesday.

The president stopped at TechShop in Bakery Square, a facility that allows start-up businesses, tinkerers and hobbyists to use high-end instruments they may not otherwise have access to. Obama said part of continuing the manufacturing boom in the country will be finding ways to make resources of the federal government more available to the general public.

Federal prosecutors and the FBI say they've charged 44 people in a suburban Pittsburgh heroin ring that brazenly sold drugs while wearing T-shirts with the slogan, "Bricks R Us."

U.S. Attorney David Hickton and the FBI say the group was supplied out of Newark, New Jersey. They say the ring sold drugs in Pittsburgh and several of its south and east suburbs.

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