Southwestern Energy Snaps Up Assets In Marcellus, Utica From Chesapeake

Chesapeake Energy continued its sell-off of gas drilling operations in the Marcellus and Utica shales Thursday with its biggest withdrawal from Appalachia.

Pennsylvania’s biggest shale gas producer agreed to sell 435 shale wells, 1,100 conventional wells and the rights to drill in more than 400,000 acres to Houston-based Southwestern Energy Co. for $5.375 billion.

“I certainly think this is consistent with what we’ve seen from Chesapeake,” said Scott Hanold, an energy analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/6974705-74/energy-southwestern-marcellus#ixzz3GPXRKihi
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Distressed Cities Bill Wins Final OK

HARRISBURG, PA — Scranton and other fiscally distressed cities could triple the local services tax to help them move out of Act 47 status under legislation that won final legislative approval with a 43-5 Senate vote Thursday.

This option would be available to Act 47 municipalities only as an alternative to an increased earned income tax already available to them.

Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to sign the bill after a review, said spokesman Jay Pagni. He has 10 days to review the provisions.

The local services tax could potentially triple from $52 annually to $156 annually for individuals working in those municipalities but those earning under $15,600 annually would be exempt from the higher local services tax.

Read more:  http://citizensvoice.com/news/distressed-cities-bill-wins-final-ok-1.1772463

Lancaster Is Google’s 2014 eCity For Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Editor’s note:  Just another reason to love Lancaster :)

Lancaster is known for its local foods and crafts, and in recent years, those traditional products have begun to be offered in a new way: online.

The Lancaster community on Thursday was recognized for taking business into the digital world.

It was named the “digital capital” of Pennsylvania and recipient of Google’s eCity designation.

For the second year, the internet search giant has recognized a community in each of the 50 states. Last year, Exton, in neighboring Chester County received the award.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/google-names-lancaster-its-ecity-for-pennsylvania/article_32d60764-555a-11e4-8ea5-0017a43b2370.html

Manhunt Impacts State Police’s Future

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

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

HARRISBURG, PA — As the intensive manhunt for suspected cop killer Eric Matthew Frein ends its fourth week, Harrisburg is taking the first steps to address how this unprecedented event will affect the future operations of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Officials here discuss the topic with the caveat that the manhunt isn’t over yet. Considered armed and dangerous, Frein, 31, of 308 Seneca Lane, Canadensis, is the sole suspect in the Sept. 12 sniper attack at the Blooming Grove state police barracks in Pike County that killed Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II of Dunmore and wounded Trooper Alex T. Douglass of Olyphant. Since then, authorities have been searching for Frein, a self-described survivalist, in the dense state forest that straddles Barrett and Price townships in Monroe County.

The estimate by a state police spokesman this week that the manhunt has cost several million dollars so far is one issue emerging on the radar screen of Corbett administration officials and lawmakers. Policy makers are starting to focus on related matters such as security at state police barracks, equipment needs of state troopers, impact on local governments and schools and assistance of local fire companies, 911 centers and the Red Cross with the manhunt.

Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Lehman Township, has requested a Senate committee hearing in Pike County once the manhunt is over to delve into these issues.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/manhunt-impacts-state-police-s-future-1.1769039

Bon-Ton To Close Two Of Its Stores

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Butler County

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

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. is shuttering two of its stores, citing low sales, the company said in a news release.

The Bon-Ton store in the Clearview Mall in Butler, Pennsylvania and the Elder-Beerman store in the Raleigh Mall in Beckley, West Virginia will close before January 31, 2015, when their respective leases end. Approximately 38 employees at the Clearview Mall Bon-Ton and 39 at the Raleigh Mall Elder-Beerman will lose their jobs, the press release said.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_26679132/bon-ton-shuttering-two-stores

Corbett Down 17 In New Quinnipiac Poll

Democratic challenger Tom Wolf leads Gov. Tom Corbett (R) by 17 percentage points among likely voters in Pennsylvania – 55 percent to 38 percent – as the campaign enters its final month, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released Tuesday.

The survey shows a slight improvement for Corbett compared to the last Quinnipiac Poll of the race Sept. 11, when Wolf led 59 percent to 35 percent among likely voters.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/big_tent/Corbett-down-17-in-new-Quinnipiac-Poll.html#Ccbgppqxvz3zPMFX.99

With $30.7 Million In State Grants, U.S. Steel Promises To Stay In Pennsylvania

English: The U.S. Steel Tower, located in Pitt...

English: The U.S. Steel Tower, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, with the new corporate logo of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

United States Steel Corp. is committed to keeping its headquarters in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett said Friday as he announced the state was providing $30.7 million in grants for the Fortune 500 company to help rehabilitate some of its plants.

The company has not said publicly that it was looking to relocate from Pennsylvania, but there has been speculation about whether it would move to another site in the region when its lease at U.S. Steel Tower, Downtown, expires in 2017.

Corbett and administration officials acknowledged that they acted to secure a commitment from the company to stay in Pennsylvania based on fears — and not any knowledge — that it would exit the state.

“I think they were considering it,” said Corbett. The governor cited Chicago and Indiana, where U.S. Steel has its largest mill, as places where he thought it might relocate.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6905730-74/pennsylvania-steel-company#ixzz3FBvNnlfJ
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Corbett Stands By One Of His Appointees In Porn Scandal, Wants Another To Resign

GOV. CORBETT is standing by one state law-enforcement official caught up in a porn scandal, but has asked another to resign.

Corbett says information released this week by state Attorney General Kathleen Kane does not show that State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan opened any of the more than 300 explicit emails he received while working as a top deputy to Corbett when the governor served as attorney general.

Noonan has told the governor he did not look at the files, a Corbett spokeswoman said.

A source familiar with the porn scandal said Randy Feathers, another top deputy when Corbett was attorney general, is resisting for now the governor’s request to resign his post on the state Board of Probation and Parole.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20141005_Corbett_stands_by_one_of_his_appointees_in_porn_scandal__wants_another_to_resign.html#BhkWAdZgxCUCrRcS.99

Wolf Maintains Large Lead Over Corbett With Month Left In Governor’s Campaign

The latest sample of voter opinions in the Pennsylvania governor’s race tested for lingering effects of Gov. Tom Corbett’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation investigation.

It shows the struggling Republican incumbent still trailing Democratic challenger Tom Wolf by double digits.

Robert Morris University Polling Institute found 54.6 percent of voters say the Sandusky case would not affect their vote, according to an online survey sponsored by Trib Total Media. Almost 27 percent say Corbett’s handling of the investigation makes them less likely to support his re-election, and 12 percent say it makes them more likely to vote for Corbett.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6892975-74/voters-percent-corbett#ixzz3F6TB4qOv
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Porngate: The Pa. Good Old Boys Club Strikes Again (York Daily Record Opinion)

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Worth the read as it makes some good points about the political “culture” in our state.

The latest scandal enveloping Harrisburg has already been given the “-gate” treatment.

Every political scandal since Watergate, no matter how absurdly frivolous, seems to have been given the treatment.

Thus, we had Bonusgate in the state capital.

And now, we have Porngate.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/opinion/ci_26649625/porngate-pa-good-old-boys-club-strikes-again

Enrollment Drops In State System Schools, Including Millersville University

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Millersville University’s enrollment slipped 2.8 percent from last year to this year — a decline that’s slightly higher than the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s anticipated drop of 1.5 percent.

But the trend at MU is expected to start moving in the opposite direction, as Millersville — one of PASSHE’s 14 member institutions —announced an ambitious plan last month to boost enrollment to 10,000 students by 2020.

The university’s undergraduate and graduate enrollment is 8,047 this fall, down from 8,279 students in fall 2013.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/enrollment-drops-in-state-system-schools-including-mu/article_965c8ae2-4a47-11e4-a41d-001a4bcf6878.html

Suburban Life: County Farm Markets, Stands Offer Variety Of Gourds For Carving, Baking

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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

Fall is here, and that means its time to begin thinking about the season’s fruits, vegetables and decorations.

Fresh-picked apples are available from mid-August through mid-November. And while pears and watermelons should be around through the first part of October, you probably won’t find corn, beans and tomatoes after the middle of September.

Pumpkins and gourds are now out in full force, along with other fall decorations including Indian corn, hay bales, corn stalks and mums.

York County has a wealth of locally owned markets and stands where you can find fall fruits, vegetables and family activities.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/community/ci_26583752/suburban-life-pumpkins-gourds

Range Resources To Pay $4.15M Fine, Close Old Gas Drilling Impoundments

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Washington County

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

Range Resources Corp. will pay the largest state fine levied against a Pennsylvania shale gas driller and close five drilling wastewater impoundments in Washington County because of leaks into soil and groundwater, officials said on Thursday.

The Fort Worth-based company signed an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Protection that requires paying a $4.15 million fine, closing the troubled facilities and rebuilding two impoundments using what regulators call “next generation” technology.

“There are two messages we are sending today. One is we take these kinds of situations very seriously and there are going to be consequences even when a company is a good corporate neighbor,” department Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo told the Tribune-Review. “And to the citizens, the message is we’re going to handle these matters.”

Davitt Woodwell, president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council said, “I commend Range for coming forward. And it appears DEP has taken this as an opportunity to leverage better standards.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/6819985-74/range-impoundments-department#ixzz3DmCmQVOQ
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Manhunt Intestifies; Frein Now Considered A Federal Fugitive

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Pike County

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

BLOOMING GROVE TWP. — Eric Matthew Frein is now a federal fugitive.

U.S. Magisterial Judge Thomas M. Blewitt issued the warrant Tuesday for the 31-year-old Canadensis man, wanted by state police for murdering a state trooper, on the charge of flight to avoid prosecution.

The warrant was public but the affidavit supporting it was sealed.

Mr. Frein, 308 Seneca Lane, is accused of ambushing Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II, 38, and Trooper Alex T. Douglass, 31, during a shift change Friday night at the state police at Blooming Grove barracks.

Cpl. Dickson, of Dunmore, was shot twice and died at the scene; Trooper Douglass, of Olyphant, is recovering at Geisinger Community Medical Center from a gunshot wound to his pelvis.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/manhunt-intestifies-frein-now-considered-a-federal-fugitive-1.1754779

E-68 Respiratory Virus Identified In Pennsylvania

Three cases of a respiratory illness called enterovirus 68 have been identified in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania health authorities reported Tuesday.

The cases of the virus, known as E-68, were identified from specimens collected at a hospital in Philadelphia, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which is not identifying the facility.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6808446-74/identified-virus-cases#ixzz3DXZlW2Qm
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Diversity Lacking In Scranton, Wilkes-Barre Police

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One.

That’s the number of racial minorities on the 143-officer Scranton police force.

Meanwhile, Scranton has morphed into a fairly diverse city in recent years.

The 2010 census reported the city was more than 5 percent black and 3 percent Asian. More than 80 percent is white. About 10 percent of the population is Latino.

With the mostly white police force in Ferguson, Missouri, making headlines while trying to quell protests from the mostly black town residents after a white officer shot a black teenager last month, the lack of diversity in police departments, and the problems that come with it, have been pulled back into the public eye.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/diversity-lacking-in-scranton-w-b-police-1.1748937

Shell Touts Utica Gas Wells In Northern Pa.

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Tioga County

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

Energy companies might have another sweet spot for gas drilling in Pennsylvania.

Royal Dutch Shell on Wednesday said two wells it drilled in the Utica shale below Tioga County are producing at levels comparable to the most successful wells in Southeastern Ohio.

“This opens a new potential for other drillers to follow Shell’s act,” said Tom Gellrich, founder of TopLine Analytics, a manufacturing consultant specializing in shale gas plays.

The energy giant drilled the wells in one of the top-producing Marcellus shale counties, north of Williamsport. But Shell’s Gee and Neal wells are tapping a formation several thousand feet below the better-known Marcellus and were drilled about 100 miles northeast of the closest producing Utica well.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/6727554-74/wells-shell-producing#ixzz3CMn9NtUh
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

MCCC Offers Workshop To Help Adults Transition Into College‏

Sept. 3, 2014, Blue Bell, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will continue to offer its popular Career Transition Workshop for adults who may be thinking about returning to college.

The next workshop will be held on Thursday, Sept. 18 from 10 a.m.-noon. in the Advanced Technology Center, room 101, at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The workshop is open to all adults and is free of charge, although pre-registration is requested. For more information or to RSVP, contact Denise Collins at 215-619-7313 or dcollins@mc3.edu.

During the workshop, prospective students will get an overview of the resources available to help them transition into college. Topics include using MCCC’s website and online registration tools, financial aid, assessment of credits for prior learning, stackable credentials, career pathways and job search tools.

After the initial session, MCCC advisors will follow up with participants one-on-one to help them identify programs and pathways that are right for them.

“Our goal is help adult learners be comfortable and successful at the College. We want this to be a place where they can get back on track with their education and transition into new careers,” said Denise Collins, who manages the U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant at MCCC.

The grant is helping MCCC to develop a robust Prior Learning Assessment model and stackable credentials for adult students as part of the JobTrakPA framework—a joint initiative of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges to train and place underemployed and unemployed residents of the Commonwealth in high demand jobs.

The workshop also connects to MCCC’s participation in the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, which looks to train 10,000 baby boomers for high-demand jobs through 2015.

Unemployment In Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metro Area Down, Lowest Since October 2008

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The unemployment rate in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area edged down by one-tenth of 1 percent in July to 6.8 percent, the lowest since October 2008, according to figures released today by the state Department of Labor & Industry.

A year earlier, the rate was 9 percent.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/50204988/Unemployment-in-the-region-down-lowest-since-October-2008#.U_z2hvRDsxI