Wilkinsburg High School Suffering Teacher Shortage

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Students enrolled in chemistry class at Wilkinsburg High School are being taught by a certified art teacher.

In high school French classes, a certified health and physical education teacher is providing instruction.

Those revelations, which came in the wake of the Dec. 17 school board meeting, astonished new board President Edward J. Donovan.

“I know the way things ought to be. What I don’t know entirely is how much out of whack things are in the way we are now,” said Mr. Donovan, who is a faculty member and program director of the Chatham University‘s department of education.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2013/12/26/Wilkinsburg-High-students-learning-chemistry-from-art-teacher-using-Web-Wilkinsburg-High-suffers-teacher-shortage/stories/201312260158#ixzz2obYT2brX

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Multiple Traffic Accidents During Morning Commute Throughout Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

The westbound turnpike has been shutdown between the Reading and Morgantown exchanges due to multiple vehicle accidents, according to Lancaster County Emergency Management director, Randy Gockley.

The detour route to avoid the area is as follows: Rt. 10 to Rt. 23 to Rt. 322 to Rt. 222.

Dozens of accidents were reported on the roadways this morning as snow was quickly laying on the roads.

Use caution and expect delays around the county.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/936223_Multiple-traffic-accidents-during-morning-commute-throughout-Lancaster-County.html#ixzz2obTpGD7l

Wilkes-Barre Resident Jailed After Shooting At Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

A Wilkes-Barre man spent Christmas in jail after allegedly shooting his cousin in the leg during a fight at the troubled Sherman Hills housing complex.

Tyrone Scott, 34, faces charges including aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, illegally possessing a weapon – police said he was not allowed to own a gun because he is a convicted felon – unlawful restraint and simple assault.

The incident occurred around 12:15 p.m. Wednesday in building 312 of Sherman Hills.

Scott apparently got into a fight with his cousin, Nathan Scott, on Christmas Eve.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/w-b-resident-jailed-after-shooting-at-sherman-hills-1.1607055

Tinseltown: First Night Scranton Returns With Hollywood Theme

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

Scranton will roll out the red carpet to welcome the new year.

First Night Scranton will once again keep the city’s downtown abuzz on New Year’s Eve with live music, family-friendly activities and fireworks, and this time it will do so with Hollywood-style flair.

“It’s our 15th anniversary, so I thought, well, you know what? We’ve got to do something big,” said Paige Balitski, one of the event organizers. “What’s bigger than Hollywood? It’s fun. You can play off of movie stars and films.”

The different activities taking place throughout the night will touch on the Hollywood theme, with musicians set to perform movie themes and love songs and other activities drawing inspiration from films. Costumed characters from popular movies will greet guests, for instance, Ms. Baltiski said.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/lifestyles/tinseltown-first-night-scranton-returns-with-hollywood-theme-1.1606227

Snowden, In First TV Talk, Says Spying Worse Than Orwellian

LONDONNational Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden invoked George Orwell and warned of the dangers of unchecked government surveillance Wednesday in a televised Christmas message to the British people that reflected his growing willingness to take a public role in the debate he ignited.

Speaking directly into the camera from Moscow, where he took refuge after leaking vast troves of information on NSA spying, Snowden said government surveillance methods far surpassed those described in Orwell’s novel 1984.

“The types of collection in the book – microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us – are nothing compared to what we have available today,” he said. “We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go. Think about what this means for the privacy of the average person.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/20131226_Snowden__in_first_TV_talk__says_spying_worse_than_Orwellian.html#3gVbhdh5Q74aqKM3.99

New Rental Policy To Take Effect In Conshohocken

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA – Under a new residential rental policy that takes effect Jan. 1, 2014, landlords will have to live within 12 miles of the borough or designate a person to make decisions for them in case of an emergency.

The borough council in June unanimously passed the ordinance, rewriting what officials said had been a patchwork rental code.

Under the new ordinance, each rental property requires an annual permit, and code inspections will be conducted every other year.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20131226_New_rental_policy_to_take_effect_in_Conshohocken.html#7kE6SRFgk012F7W6.99

Franklin Mills Reinvents Itself As A More Conventional Mall

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

A sky-high crane dangles over a corner of Franklin Mills Mall these days, but it is more than a towering construction tool: It is a symbol of how necessity is the mother of reinvention at this once-legendary shopping mall.

A Walmart Supercenter is taking shape at the once-pioneering complex, which opened nearly 25 years ago with theme-park anticipation as among the first outlet malls, and the outright largest, ever built. The splashy development, unveiled in 1989, was a gamble befitting its locale, a onetime Northeast Philadelphia racetrack. And early on, its unmatched offerings paid off with packed corridors.

The mall flaunted a 1.2-mile-long, zigzag-shaped concourse, and more than 200 stores hawking discount designer goods, at a time when such wares were available only at out-of-the-way old-factory outlets. Its 1.7 million square feet of bargain buys, right off I-95, was a tourist draw and local sensation.

But the megamall’s early monopoly on outlet shopping has come to an end, forcing Franklin Mills to alter its once-irresistible identity. The Walmart is one of many tenants that now make the monolith, well, a bit more ordinary. And this is by design.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131226_Franklin_Malls_reinvents_itself_as_a_more_conventional_mall.html#B6GQUXeWYThVsWmy.99

Pope’s Christmas Wish: Hope For A Better World

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis offered a Christmas wish Wednesday for a better world, praying for protection for Christians under attack, battered women and trafficked children, peace in the Middle East and Africa, and dignity for refugees fleeing misery and conflict around the globe.

Francis delivered the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (Latin for “to the city and to the world”) speech from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to 70,000 cheering tourists, pilgrims and Romans in the square below. He said he was joining all those hoping “for a better world.”

In his first Christmas message since being elected pontiff in March, he asked for all to share in the song of Christmas angels, “for every man or woman … who hopes for a better world, who cares for others,” humbly.

Among places ravaged by conflict, Francis singled out Syria, which saw its third Christmas during civil war; South Sudan; the Central African Republic; Nigeria; and Iraq.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20131225/popes-christmas-wish-hope-for-a-better-world

First-Class Stamps To Cost 49 Cents As Of January 26, 2014

USPS service delivery truck in a residential a...

USPS service delivery truck in a residential area of San Francisco, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON — Mailing a letter is about to get a little more expensive.

Regulators on Tuesday approved a temporary price hike of 3 cents for a first-class stamp, bringing the charge to 49 cents a letter in an effort to help the Postal Service recover from severe mail decreases brought on by the 2008 economic downturn.

Many consumers won’t feel the price increase immediately. Forever stamps, good for first-class postage whatever the future rate, can be purchased at the lower price until the new rate is effective Jan. 26.

The higher rate will last no more than two years, allowing the Postal Service to recoup $2.8 billion in losses. By a 2-1 vote, the independent Postal Regulatory Commission rejected a request to make the price hike permanent, though inflation over the next 24 months may make it so.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131225/first-class-stamps-to-cost-49-cents-as-of-jan-26

Up To An Inch Of Snow Expected

PITTSBURGH, PA — A snow storm moving eastward across Pennsylvania could leave up to an inch on the ground in Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties. The snow is causing icy road conditions in some areas and drivers are advised to be cautious if traveling today. Numerous incidents were reported on the Pennsylvania Turnpike between Denver and Route 476 before 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131226/up-to-an-inch-of-snow-expected