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BC-PA--Pennsylvania News Digest, PA

February 2, 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.



In the first week of 2019, an investigation by Oregon’s labor agency deemed the state Capitol to be a hostile workplace because of an unchecked pattern of sexual harassment among lawmakers. A few days later, two Washington state lawmakers accused of sexual misconduct resigned. Then came new allegations of sexual wrongdoing in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, where a veteran male lawmaker was accused of groping a newly elected female colleague during a pre-session reception. By David A. Lieb. SENT: About 1400 words.




PUNXSUTAWNEY — It may be hard to believe as a large swath of the U.S. thaws out from a bitter polar vortex, but spring is coming early, according to handlers for some of the country’s most famous prognosticating groundhogs. SENT: About 210 words, photos.



LANSFORD _ Alicia Kachmar was out of Tylenol and her toothache was getting worse by the minute. “I’d rather cut it out right now with a knife. I’d rather give natural childbirth than feel this pain in my mouth,” she said as she trudged from her home in Lansford, where empty storefronts, abandoned homes and crumbling sidewalks are painful reminders of the Coal Region’s decline, to a hospital about two miles away in Coaldale. To get there, she has to walk on the shoulder of Route 209 as cars whiz by at 45 mph — or more. She needed an oral surgeon to pull the tooth out, but the nearest one who accepts her Medicaid was almost an hour away. Kachmar didn’t have a car or money for a cab. Actually, her problems went deeper: She didn’t have a phone. The borough is in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Coal Region, known for the richest deposits of anthracite in the country. The industry that once defined and supported the people living there has burned out. In its place are poverty, sickness and addiction. Binghui Huang, The (Allentown) Morning Call.


PHILADELPHIA _ There are times in court when Qawi Abdul-Rahman, a Center City-based defense attorney, gets the sense that folks listening didn’t understand a piece of testimony. “You get it all the time, truthfully,” Abdul-Rahman said. He’s been concerned that the true meaning of statements like “I don’t fool with them” glide past the ears of listeners who aren’t black. The unaware might think the speaker has a problem with someone. But saying this doesn’t necessarily imply hard feelings — it means the speaker isn’t really in someone’s circle. Along with lapses in comprehension, Abdul-Rahman has observed persisting biases around how African Americans speak: “The system keeps perpetuating the same faulty norms about us.” New research confirms his hunch. Cassie Owens, The Philadelphia Inquirer.


SCRANTON _ Alaska hooked Mike Dunleavy early in life. The nation’s largest state by geography and its mostly untamed wilderness sat a whole country away from the North Scranton neighborhood where Dunleavy grew up, and deeply embedded itself in his mind as he grew to 6 feet 7 inches tall. “I was always outside. When I lived in North Scranton, I would walk up to what they used to call Bell Mountain up there above Keyser Avenue,” Dunleavy said. It took about 35 years, but Dunleavy runs Alaska now. The 1979 Scranton Central High School graduate, who starred in basketball there and in college, won the Alaska governor election Nov. 6. “Pennsylvania is a beautiful state,” Dunleavy, 57, said. “Alaska is a spectacular state.” Borys Krawczeniuk, The (Scranton) Times-Tribune.


IRWIN _ John Titus and Tim Molinari are taking the plunge into the competitive world of craft beer brewing, after toiling for months to open their New Crescent Brewing Co. taproom in a converted storefront in downtown Irwin. Although craft brewers dot Route 30 in North Huntingdon and others are planned for Greensburg and Jeannette, the business partners aren’t worried that their brewery will get lost among the crowd when it officially opens Saturday, after recent “soft openings.” Despite the growing competition for craft beer drinkers, area tavern operators and brewers — veterans and newcomers alike — agree the market for specialized beer is not saturated. The craft beer market is strong enough that Pennsylvania had 282 craft breweries in 2017, the sixth most in the nation, according to the Brewers Association. Joe Napsha, Tribune-Review.


ERIE _ Luke Soboleski and two friends dragged their equipment-laden sled onto the Misery Bay ice on a recent sunny afternoon, joining about 25 other huts dotting the popular Presque Isle State Park ice-fishing spot. Soboleski, 19, of McKean, and his friends drilled three holes — one for each fisherman — and then used their auger to carve an additional hole and lowered an underwater camera. The three settled into a hut to watch the underwater activity, the heater keeping them toasty warm inside the hut. “I fish year-round,” Soboleski said. “No matter where I go, I have a pole in my Jeep and I’m ready to fish.” Until recently, he didn’t have the option, since a mild winter meant open water or unsafe conditions _ but a week of sub-freezing temperatures — and adeep freeze due — were expected to rescue the ice fishing season. Ron Leonardi, Erie Times-News.



SACRAMENTO, Calif. _ The Philadelphia 76ers visit the Sacramento Kings. By Michael Wagaman. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m. PST.


PHILADELPHIA _ The Edmonton Oilers visit the Philadelphia Flyers.


TORONTO _ The Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.


PITTSBURGH _ Syracuse (15-6, 6-2 ACC) travels to Pittsburgh on Saturday to face the Panthers (12-9, 2-6). The Orange cruised in the first meeting between the two teams last month. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game begins at 6 p.m. EST.

Also moving:

_ PODCASTONE SPORTS NOW _ Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice says Antonio Brown would take San Francisco’s offense “to a whole different level.”


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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