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BC-PA--Pennsylvania News Digest, PA

February 9, 2019

Good afternoon! Here’s a look at AP’s general news coverage today in Pennsylvania. For questions about the state report, contact the Philadelphia bureau at 215-561-1133. Editor Larry Rosenthal can be reached at 215-446-6631 or lrosenthal@ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with updates

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.



HARRISBURG _ When Gov. Tom Wolf took office in 2015, he told lawmakers that he had a plan to fix Pennsylvania’s system of school funding. Four years later and a couple of budget fights later, public school advocates say huge gaps still persist between poor and wealthy districts, and the subject didn’t rate a mention in the Democrat’s budget speech to the Legislature. By Marc Levy. SENT: About 780 words.



QUAKERTOWN _ Educators across the region agree schools need to be a safer place to learn. In January, Pennsylvania added another tool to help safeguard students. Pennsylvania became the first state to mandate all schools — public and private — activate the Safe2Say Something Anonymous Reporting System, a tip line developed by Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit founded by several parents whose children who were killed in the 2012 school shooting. Over the next few weeks, schools will train staff and students on how to report potential threats of violence, self-harm and other problems through an anonymous app, website, or 24/7 crisis hotline. Chris English and Marion Callahan, Bucks County Courier Times.


PITTSBURGH _ Broken jaw. Busted knee. Broken nose. Through his 19-year career in the NHL, former Penguin Lyle Odelein was well-acquainted with pain. But none of it compared to what he went through last spring at Allegheny General Hospital, simply trying to stand up and take a step. “Nothing was like being as sick as I was,” he said. “Everything was just so hard and frustrating.” Mr. Odelein, who lives in Fox Chapel and is retired from the NHL, had been living the good life well: a steady diet of golf, travel and socializing. But while playing golf in Arizona in March, an encounter with the porcupine-like spike of a cactus set off a chain of events that would land him — like Sleeping Beauty pricked by a spindle — in a month-long coma, a rare and risky transplant procedure his only chance at survival. Anya Sostek, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


PHILADELPHIA _ Meet Kambel Smith, a 32-year-old self-taught artist with autism whose large and intricate cardboard sculptures of Philadelphia buildings are gaining attention in the art world. Kambel created hundreds of oil paintings before his dad could no longer afford the expensive supplies. Undeterred, Kambel grabbed cardboard from the trash and started to create sculptures of iconic Philadelphia buildings like the Museum of Art and the Divine Lorraine Hotel. Kambel spends at least seven hours a day carefully creating his sculptures, according to his dad, Lonnie Smith. “Sometimes I can’t even watch him do it,” Lonnie said. “The patience it takes ... it will just drive me nuts.” As Lonnie Smith was fixing a vent in his home about 20 years ago, his son Kambel’s drawings — crumpled and perfect — came tumbling out. Stephanie Farr, The Philadelphia Inquirer.


FRACKVILLE — Being twins, Leah Robbins and Lila Garber naturally have a lot in common, with the most obvious of which being their love of life and sense of humor. Leah and Lila are celebrating their 95th birthdays, born to John and Emily Kessler in 1924. As the theme song of 1960s TV show “The Patty Duke Show” says, “They laugh alike, they walk alike, at times they even talk alike.” These are twin sisters who are two of a kind, except for seafood. Lila really likes it, while Leah is not fond of it, except for deviled crab cakes. Also, Lila likes dark chocolate and Leah enjoys milk chocolate. John E. Usalis, The (Pottsville) Republican-Herald.


ERIE _ The calls starting coming more often during the summer of 2018. Marinda Matasowski’s relationship with her boyfriend was deteriorating. The 20-year-old would call her mother when their arguments turned violent. “A lot of times it was a phone call with her crying that he had hit her,” said Matasowski’s mother, Kim Lobaugh. “I really wanted her to leave him. Somehow she always ended up back there.” The cycle ended tragically on Aug. 2. It’s a pain too many families experienced in 2018. In a year that shattered Erie County’s record for the most homicides, a staggering number of the killings were alleged to have been committed by a person the victim was close to — a spouse, a relative or someone with whom they’d had a relationship. Madeleine O’Neill and Tim Hahn, Erie Times-News.


KILLED BY SHED _ Authorities say a woman was killed when high winds tipped a temporary shed on top of her outside a Pennsylvania workplace.



MILWAUKEE _ No. 10 Marquette, two games behind Big East leader Villanova after losing to St. John’s, plays host to the No. 14 Wildcats. Nova is unbeaten in conference play. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 2:30 p.m. EST.


North Carolina State plays Pittsburgh at Petersen Events Center.


TAMPA, Fla. _ The Tampa Bay Lightning try to stop a two-game losing streak when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins, who’ve dropped three in a row. By Mark Didtler. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m. EST.


PHILADELPHIA _ The Anaheim Ducks visit the Philadelphia Flyers.


STORRS _ No. 5 UConn returns to campus to host Temple, a team they beat on the road last month by 21 points.


If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to phillyap@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

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