New Fee Could Be Added To PPL Bills

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This spring, PPL electricity customers’ bills will get more complicated – and more expensive.

A new rate will be levied on PPL electric bills called the distribution system improvement charge, or DSIC.  The impact on the average bill may be modest at first, just a few cents, but it will rise as PPL seeks to raise $705 million from ratepayers to fund ambitious replacement and improvement of the electrical distribution system.

If approved, the new rate will be levied as early as May 1, could be subject to change before then and then every three months thereafter.

The rate is starting out small, just a fraction of a percent of PPL’s components of the bill: the customer charge and distribution rate.  The impact on the average bill will be minimal at first – just 7 cents.  But PPL has the ability to change that rate every quarter, up to 5 percent.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/new-fee-could-be-added-to-ppl-bills-1.1430666

AAA Survey: Pennsylvania Residents Want Better Roads — At No Cost

HARRISBURG — An overwhelming percentage of Pennsylvania residents are likely to support an upcoming proposal from Gov. Tom Corbett to invest in the state’s roads and bridges.

According to a pair of surveys completed by AAA Mid-Atlantic last year, 88 percent of Pennsylvanians believe the state’s highways need work.  After months of behind-the-scenes planning, Corbett is preparing to announce a $2 billion transportation funding package aimed at doing exactly that, according to an Associated Press report Wednesday.

But the AAA survey reveals something about government services:  Everyone wants things to be better; no one wants to pay for it.

Less than half of those surveyed by AAA – 44 percent – said they would be willing to pay an extra $2.50 per week to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130117/NEWS03/130119467/aaa-survey-pa-residents-want-better-roads–at-no-cost#full_story

‘Dear Abby’ Advice Columnist Dies At Age 94

English: Dear Abby star on the Hollywood Walk ...

English: Dear Abby star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MINNEAPOLIS – Pauline Friedman Phillips, who as Dear Abby dispensed snappy, sometimes saucy advice on love, marriage and meddling mothers-in-law to millions of newspaper readers around the world and opened the way for the likes of Dr. Ruth, Dr. Phil and Oprah, has died.  She was 94.

Phillips died Wednesday in Minneapolis after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, said Gene Willis, a publicist for the Universal Uclick syndicate.

“My mother leaves very big high heels to fill with a legacy of compassion, commitment and positive social change,” her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, who now writes the column, said in a statement.

Private funeral services were held Thursday, Willis said.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/living/20130117_ap_dearabbyadvicecolumnistdiesatage94.html

Wawa’s New Boss Pledges A Bread Oven In Every Store: Update

UPDATE:  After readers asked about changes to Wawa’s cold-cuts prep, spokeswoman Lori Bruce says: “We have been phasing out slicers for a few years now; we currently have them in about 100 stores. ” Most stores now use pre-sliced meats and cheeses “received fresh… on a daily basis” through Wawa’s South Jersey-based supplpy chain (there’s a different chain for Florida stores) from Berks, Giordano’s, and other cold-cut houses; Dietz and Watson has not been a supplier.

EARLIER:  Chris Gheysens, who’s been Wawa’s CEO since New Year’s Day, lives in South Jersey and works at company HQ in Delaware County when he’s not running around 600 -plus Wawa stores from North Jersey to Orlando.

So he doesn’t get downtown much, Gheysens admitted to the Irish American Business Chamber & Network (corrected) at its Pyramid Club luncheon today.  “You know how it is.  I’ve got four kids.  So not a dollar on me” when he had to feed a meter this morning, he said.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/Wawas-new-boss-pledges-a-bakery-in-every-store.html#ixzz2IIF8yFhO
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Kelly Experiences Overflow Introductory Press Conference As Eagles’ Coach

PHILADELPHIA— Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie opened Thursday’s introductory press conference for new head coach Chip Kelly by saying “This is a very, very exciting day for the Philadelphia Eagles, an exciting day for the city and I think an exciting day for Eagles fans across the country.”

Kelly then explained how he was struck right away by the passion of the franchise and knew almost immediately that “this was the place for me.  I was just trying to figure out how to do it the right way.”

The priority, Kelly said, was making sure his players at the University of Oregon wouldn’t find out he was leaving from any source except him.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/sports/football/eagles/mc-eagles-coach-kelly-press-conference-cn-0117-20130117,0,6898808.story

‘American Idol’ Ratings Plummet In Season 12 Premiere

The Mariah Carey-Nicki Minaj feud might not be enough to rescue “American Idol”s” ratings.

Fox‘s singing competition entered its 12th season Wednesday with three new judges and sharply lower viewership.  An average of 17.8 million total viewers tuned in to the two-hour premiere, slumping 19% compared with last season, according to Nielsen.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/la-et-st-american-idol-ratings-plummet-20130117,0,4166712.story

Sands Casino In Bethlehem Is For Sale

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is on the selling block, a source familiar with company thinking told The Morning Call.

Las Vegas Sands, the world’s largest casino company, is asking as much as $1 billion for the Bethlehem casino.  But the source cautioned it’s part of company policy to gauge outside interest on every company property in the United States.

In other words, while Las Vegas Sands’ highly lucrative Macau properties are off-limits, every Sands casino in the U.S.— even the Venetian — theoretically could be had, for the right price.

Some analysts theorize that with Sands Bethlehem revenues riding high, and potential gambling competition brewing in New York state, the time is right for Las Vegas Sands to sell Bethlehem — its only U.S. casino outside Las Vegas.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/local/bethlehem/mc-bethlehem-sands-sale-20130117,0,5249878.story

Corbett Expected To Seek Tax Hike For Transporation

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett is preparing to unveil a transportation plan funded primarily by nearly $2 billion a year in new taxes on gas stations, sources familiar with the plan told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The Republican governor, who pledged not to raise taxes when he ran for office, will announce the fine points of the long-awaited initiative next week, the sources told the AP on the condition they not be identified.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/Article.aspx?id=444192