Drugs Found At Scene Of Monessen Slaying

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

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

Seven packets of heroin were found outside, just feet from where masked assailants fired at least four shots through a back door, striking and killing Chris “Snaxx” Fincik at his Monessen home.

Westmoreland County Detective Ray Dupilka testified on Thursday during the third day of the second- and third-degree murder trial of Chalsee Hughes that even more drugs were found on a kitchen table.

Prosecutors contend Fincik, 36, was gunned down during a robbery on Dec. 3, 2012, at his Maple Avenue home. His attackers left behind more than $3,200 and 390 packets of heroin, Dupilka said.

Hughes, 21, of Duquesne is charged as an accomplice in the slaying. Police said she used her identification to purchase a $16 box of ammunition that was used in the shooting.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/5842700-74/hughes-dupilka-pinkney#ixzz2xHRIyf3W
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Pennsylvania Turnpike To Raise Tolls In 2015

Pennsylvania Turnpike Ticket from the Warrenda...

Pennsylvania Turnpike Ticket from the Warrendale (30) Toll Stop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvania Turnpike drivers can expect another toll increase of at least 3 percent next January, and continuing annual increases for years to come, turnpike CEO Mark Compton said Thursday.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the Airport Corridor Transportation Association, Mr. Compton said the state’s new transportation funding law has shortened, but not eliminated, the turnpike’s requirement to pay $450 million a year to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Instead of continuing to 2057, the required payments will end after 2022, he said. Toll increases are needed to underwrite the debt incurred by the turnpike in making those payments.

In the past, PennDOT has directed $200 million from each payment to non-turnpike highway projects and $250 million to mass transit. The new law directs all of the $450 million to transit.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2014/03/28/Pennsylvania-Turnpike-to-raise-tolls-in-2015/stories/201403280114#ixzz2xHOq34iN

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Wilkes-Barre City Council Adopts New Rules On Public Input

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Against limited but vocal opposition, City Council on Thursday night imposed new limits on how people can address the body of elected officials during public meetings.

By a 4-0 vote, council amended ordinances on its rules and procedures, moving public speakers farther away and behind the rail separating council from the audience and requiring them to sign in before the start of the meeting.

Before the vote, several speakers who regularly attend the meetings urged council to reconsider. They suggested pushing back the start time so more people could attend and warned council about the consequences of approving the changes.

The new rules go into effect in 10 days. But had they been in place Betsy Sumers said she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to speak. She arrived after the 6 p.m. start and beyond the new signup deadline because her sales job required that she be in the Allentown/Bethlehem area.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1287433/W-B-council-adopts-new-rules-on-public-input

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ArtsQuest Plans Yearlong Effort Of Events To Support Bethlehem South Side

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

ArtsQuest is organizing a yearlong effort to bring multiple art events to Bethlehem’s South Side business district.

The effort, called Artists Among Us, would include an Urban Arts Festival on the South Bethlehem Greenway, artists-in-residence working with city youth and a cast-iron block installation on the greenway highlighting the neighborhood’s many ethnic groups.

ArtsQuest is hoping to get a $300,000 grant from ArtPlace America, a nationwide arts foundation, to help fund the $500,000 initiative, ArtsQuest President Jeff Parks said today. ArtsQuest is one of 97 finalists for $20 million in available funding, Parks said.

ArtsPlace America officials encouraged ArtsQuest to publicize its grant application and will visit the city next week, so local officials are hopeful that they’ll receive money from the organization, said Patrick Brogan, ArtsQuest’s senior vice president of programming. ArtsQuest would still put on the Artists Among Us effort without the grant but it would include far fewer events, he said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/03/artsquest_planning_yearlong_ef.html#incart_river

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Developers Hope To Attract Grocery Store To Former Bethlehem Steel Site

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

Developers are seeking to attract a grocery store to the former Bethlehem Steel Corp. site on Bethlehem’s South Side.

Former Mayor John Callahan, now director of development for one of the site landowners, said Thursday that they’re looking to get a grocery store into the former Steel General Office building, or in a new building planned across East Third Street from the former Steel headquarters.

“I certainly have heard about the idea of putting a grocery store in part of the SGO project and I also believe that potential use would be a good fit for across the street,” said Callahan, who now works for attorney Michael Perrucci, part owner of Steel site co-owner BethWorks Now. “I think there’s only a need for one and it’s just a matter of trying to figure out where best to put it.”

At an unrelated news conference Thursday, ArtsQuest officials displayed a map that showed a future grocery store planned along with apartments and parking at the 13-story Steel General Office building. ArtsQuest President Jeff Parks said he got approval from Sands BethWorks officials to include the plans on the map.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/03/developers_seeking_to_attract.html

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Philly Schools Facing $320 Million Deficit

English: South Philadelphia High School, taken...

English: South Philadelphia High School, taken from Broad Street, with snow in the foreground (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FOR THE SECOND straight year, the Philadelphia School District is staring at a more than $300 million shortfall for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

That’s according to a lump-sum budget adopted last night by the School Reform Commission, which lays out broad projections of revenue and expenses. The forecast anticipates $2.8 billion in expenses, with $2.5 billion in revenues, leaving a deficit of $320 million.

“Based on our current financial picture, we are still left without adequate funding to provide even the most basic services for our students,” SRC chairman Bill Green said. “We are again in a position to ask for additional funding.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140328_Philly_schools_facing__320_million_deficit.html#P7Hcx2qtfSuo52VT.99

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McDonald’s Offers Free Coffee For Breakfasters

Logo of McCafé (McDonald's).

Logo of McCafé (McDonald’s). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORK (AP) – McDonald’s is offering free coffee to its customers for a limited time as competition for the breakfast crowd intensifies.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain announced Friday that participating U.S. locations will offer small cups of McCafe coffee at no charge during breakfast hours from March 31 through April 13.

McDonald’s said that this is the first time it’s ever had a free coffee event nationwide. Its McCafe product line, which also includes iced coffees and other drinks, debuted in the U.S. in 2009.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140328_ap_1b9a662a7c944ed3b68c30a4a37c9644.html#zKZw22x0Fl9EoVrC.99

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Changing Skyline: Parking Garages Threaten To Wall Off Schuylkill’s East Bank

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich http://www.flickr.com/photos/10396190@N04 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia spent the last decade working out a single, knotty planning problem: How should the old industrial spaces on the Delaware waterfront evolve? The consensus was that vacant land would be developed to resemble the rest of the city, with walkable streets, a mix of uses, and lively ground floors. No one was naive enough to think such projects could be realized without parking garages, but the expectation was that the structures would not dominate the river.

It’s a shame the conversation was never extended to the city’s other riverfront, the Schuylkill, which has come alive since a trail park pushed into Center City.

Like the Delaware, the Schuylkill is dotted with tracts of empty land crying out for housing, offices, and retail. But while little new has been built on the city’s big river – save for the suburban-style SugarHouse Casino – the Schuylkill is now sizzling with likely projects.

Predictably, each of the three proposals would front the river with a large, unsightly garage. They range from One Riverside’s modest, one-story garage at Locust Street to NP International’s multilevel, mega-development at Cherry Street. If built as designed, they would turn the bustling Schuylkill waterfront into Philadelphia’s own Great Wall of Parking.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/home/20140328_Changing_Skyline__Parking_garages_threaten_to_wall_off_Schuylkill_s_east_bank.html#FYw7GIe2AssxRvpe.99

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