Data Shows 44% Of Luzerne County Spans Are Deficient Or Obsolete

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In advance of a press conference set for this afternoon in Scranton, U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, D-Scranton, released a county by county list of bridges deemed structurally deficient or functionally obsolete throughout Pennsylvania, and while Luzerne County isn’t the worst of the bunch, it’s deep in the bottom half.

The list shows Luzerne County has 441 bridges, with 121 of them structurally deficient and another 75 functionally obsolete. Combined, that means 44 percent of all bridges are sub par.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1368282/Data-shows-44–of-Luzerne-County-spans-are-deficient-or-obsolete

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House Republicans Balk At Deal; Fiscal Cliff Coming

WASHINGTON — Last-minute efforts to step back from the “fiscal cliff” ran into trouble on Tuesday as Republicans in the House of Representatives balked at a deal that would prevent Washington from pushing the world’s biggest economy into a recession.

House Republicans complained that a bill passed by the Senate in a late-night show of unity to prevent a budget crisis contained tax hikes for the wealthiest Americans but no spending cuts.  Some conservatives sought to change the bill to add cuts.

That would set up a high-stakes showdown between the two chambers and risk a stinging rebuke from financial markets that are due to open in Asia in a few hours.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-fiscal-cliff-reuters-20130101,0,6257078.story

Milk Might Hit $8 A Gallon, Absent Federal Action

Picture 487Consumers soon could be defying the adage of not crying over spilled milk.

If Congress doesn’t pass a new farm bill or extend the one in place by Monday, the price of a gallon of milk in grocery stores could go as high as $8, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. said Friday during a media conference call.

Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said lack of action would mean milk prices would be based on permanent law enacted in 1949.

The department would be forced to provide substantial financial support to dairy farmers based on their production costs and start buying up surplus milk, he said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=439496

Reading Gets $4 Million Grant To Add 30 Firefighters

The city won a $4 million federal grant on Thursday to hire 30 new firefighters over the next two years, replenishing a force that was shrunk by budget cuts the past several years.

Although Fire Chief David W. Hollinger and other city officials were elated at the news, they said they’re still working out the details of how the grant will be used, when the new recruits could be hired, and what happens when the grant runs out in two years.

The announcement came in separate statements by U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey Jr., who had written the Department of Homeland Security supporting the city’s application for the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response grant.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=438352

Governor Seen As Key To Reading Crime Summit

Editor’s note:  While you are at it, include Pottstown.  The crime rate is just as bad as Reading!

As Berks County residents digest the latest spate of violence in Reading, retailer Albert R. Boscov has taken center stage in the protracted effort to pull together a crime summit.

Boscov said Wednesday that it was crucial for both federal and state officials – preferably Gov. Tom Corbett – to take part in the proposed group discussion of Reading’s crime problems.  He said both U.S. Sens. Bob Casey Jr. and Pat Toomey have agreed to take part and that he was working to secure Corbett’s participation.

“I think he will come,” Boscov said.

A spokeswoman for Corbett said Wednesday night that he had not been invited to a summit but was open to the concept.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=433457

Sen. Bob Casey Jr.’s Letter to U.S. Attorney General Cites Reading’s Status As Dangerous Place, Cocaine Hub

English: Official photo of Senator Bob Casey (...

English: Official photo of Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note: Thank you Senator Casey! Cleaning up Reading will help Pottstown, which is the biggest victim of the drug traffic between Reading and Philadelphia! Bring on the big guns!!!!

Plans for a summit in August to identify strategies for fighting crime in Reading began moving forward Monday, when U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. urged Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to allow their staffs to figure out what role the federal government should play.

Casey said he expects Holder to respond within a few days.

Reading isn’t the only community facing crime-fighting challenges, but the problem seems to be more pronounced and showing a sharper trend than other communities, Casey said.

The federal, state and county governments need to help because the city can’t deal with it alone, he said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=404941

Pennsylvania Sets Tone For New Era Of Civility

SVG of Pennsylvania state seal

Image via Wikipedia

I am and have always been proud to be a Pennsylvanian.  When I read about things like this it makes me even more proud to be from this great state!

Our two U.S. Senators, Bob Casey, Jr. (D) and Pat Toomey (R) will sit together during the State of the Union address on Tuesday.  This is significant because both parties normally segregate themselves, on opposite sides of the room.

In light of the tragedy in Tucson and the very uncivil political climate in our country, I am pleased that our U.S. Senators will be showing the rest of America that Pennsylvania leads the pack when it comes to bipartisan cooperation!