Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP – A Pocono Mountain Regional Police officer conducting routine patrol of a township park early this morning discovered two men who had apparently been shot to death, authorities said.
The 2:30 a.m. discovery has prompted a full-scale investigation into the grisly scene at Coolbaugh Twp. Park, where investigators from the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department and the state police are working to collect evidence, said Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen.
Mr. Allen said one of the two men was found inside a car in the park’s parking lot and another just outside the car. Both are believed to be from Monroe County and to have died from gunshot wounds, he said.
In a first in several years, Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty on Thursday attended a city council meeting that was a public hearing on their joint revised recovery plan.
The mayor – who usually bears the brunt of a barrage of negative comments and criticism from council and some regular attendees at weekly council meetings – had not attended a council session in about six years, council President Janet Evans said.
However, the city’s financial crisis has finally made for some strange bedfellows between the mayor and council majority, who usually are mortal political enemies. After months of a bitter mayor/council stalemate over revising the city’s Act 47 recovery plan that would be acceptable to banks and the city’s recovery coordinator, Pennsylvania Economy League, the mayor and Mrs. Evans reached an accord July 27. As a result, she said she asked the mayor to attend the hearing, and he agreed.
“It was a milestone,” Mrs. Evans said of the mayor’s appearance. “We’re very pleased to be working with him.”
PITTSBURGH (AP) — In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.
Many of the world’s leading climate scientists didn’t see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.
Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, said the shift away from coal is reason for “cautious optimism” about potential ways to deal with climate change. He said it demonstrates that “ultimately people follow their wallets” on global warming.
“There’s a very clear lesson here. What it shows is that if you make a cleaner energy source cheaper, you will displace dirtier sources,” said Roger Pielke Jr., a climate expert at the University of Colorado.
The defense conglomerate, which is based near Washington, D.C., reported it will reduce its workforce from 245 to 185 in three increments between October and December. The 60 layoffs will take place as work is completed on two contracts for production of 120mm mortar shell bodies, said Laurie Van Brocklin, a General Dynamics spokeswoman.
“We regret the impact that the action has on employees,” Ms. Van Brocklin said. “We are hopeful, with successful bids on mortar bodies contracts, that we will be able to rectify that.”
The layoffs will leave the 500,000-square-foot plant with fewer than half the employees it had when General Dynamics acquired it six years ago.
Editor’s note: By comparison, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate for July 2012 was 7.9%.
New Jersey’s unemployment rate rose in July for the fourth month in a row to 9.8 percent, a record high since 1977, according to data released by the state Department of Labor on Thursday.
July’s jobless rate in the Garden State was up from 9.6 percent in June and from 9.4 percent in July 2011, the preliminary numbers showed.
Democrats seized on the data to blast Republican Governor Chris Christie‘s self-proclaimed “comeback” for New Jersey.
“There is no way to interpret this other than bad,” said New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, in a statement. “What I want to see is this administration admit it is failing in terms of getting people back to work.”
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Editor’s note: Congrats to the City of Lancaster for being proactive with problem properties!
Owners of the property housing the Hotel Brunswick and an unused annex that the city has condemned have four months to let Lancaster city officials know what they plan to do.
The owners are considering either demolishing the annex, making repairs or making repairs and gutting it for another use, the owners’ attorney, Paula Leicht, said Thursday.
The annex was last used about three years ago to house the Rumba Club. In condemning it July 16, the city said a leaking roof, toilets and other fixtures had led to mold growth and made it unfit for human occupancy.
Leicht told the Housing Code Board of Appeals the owners needed more time to get job bids and decide which option to pursue.
“Brunner Island remains an important part of PPL’s future. The company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in environmental improvements at the plant to keep it viable for the long term,” said George Lewis, PPL’s director of corporate communications.
Brunner Island produces enough power to drive 1 million homes. But keeping it chugging along will buck a national trend and require even more investments in pollution equipment.
From a $10,000 gift to Reading police to clearing a trash-clogged storm drain, the city’s three-month effort to get more local nonprofit groups to voluntarily pay either cash or services in lieu of taxes is paying off.
The city has received $27,000 in new payments it didn’t get last year from more than a dozen churches and several other groups.
It’s also gotten more than 9,000 new volunteer work hours in more than 30 new service projects including more than two dozen cleanups – worth $65,000 at minimum wage – from local groups.
“We have received an overwhelming response,” Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer said.