Hotels, Money, David Cohen Helped Philly Snag 2016 Democratic National Convention

WASHINGTON – Hotels, money, Comcast executive David L. Cohen, and maybe some special treatment at the Liberty Bell all helped Philadelphia get over the top to win the right to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, city and party leaders said Thursday afternoon.

“The role of Philadelphia in shaping our nation’s history is unmatched,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), chair of the Democratic National Committee. “But what’s also unmatched is the comprehensive proposal” the city put together.

The three finalists to host the convention — Philadelphia, New York and Columbus, Ohio — were judged on logistics, security and resources to host the gathering that Democrats hope will serve as an energizing springboard to the 2016 presidential race, Wasserman Schultz said on an afternoon conference call with reporters.

Philadelphia presented the best combination of all three – though the proximity of thousands of hotel rooms to the Wells Fargo Center and sports complex were among its biggest draws, she said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/capitolinq/Hotels-money-David-Cohen-boosted-Philly-convention-bid.html#BvsKUxkxJvvgDLfi.99

PennDOT To Study Creating Northeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority

Northeastern Pennsylvania public transit riders may eventually take buses directly between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, rather than having to transfer to a different bus in Pittston to make the trip.

Lackawanna and Luzerne County officials envision new travel options — like a direct bus link between the cities — among many benefits of merging several mass transit agencies in both counties into a single Lackawanna-Luzerne Regional Transportation Authority.

The state Department of Transportation hired consultant HNTB Corp. to study the move, which would create the state’s third largest transportation authority. The cost of the study was not available Monday.

If it happens, Lackawanna and Luzerne county officials foresee having more clout to attract state and federal grant money to improve Northeastern Pennsylvania’s transportation network for buses, the region’s growing rail industry and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/penndot-to-study-creating-northeast-pennsylvania-transit-authority-1.1819613

Top 15 Reasons To Visit Philadelphia In 2015

With 2015 comes plenty of reasons for visitors to plan a trip to Philadelphia. In fact, only-in-Philly projects, exhibitions, anniversaries and celebrations will give first-time visitors incentives to make that return trip and return visitors reasons to come back yet again.

So what’s on the calendar? The Tall Ships Challenge Philadelphia Camden 2015, showing off a dozen historic ships on the Delaware River Waterfront; Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, featuring more than 80 works by a who’s who of painters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and a special exhibition at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland.

Of course, all eyes will be on Philadelphia when thousands of Catholic families from around the globe — and Pope Francis — gather for the eighth World Meeting of Families.

Here are some of the major happenings taking place throughout Philadelphia in 2015:

Read more: http://www.visitphilly.com/articles/philadelphia/top-15-reasons-to-visit-philadelphia-in-2015/?utm_campaign=WinterSummer2015&utm_source=Philly.com

Pennsylvania Turnpike Considers Plans To Replace Allegheny Tunnels In Somerset County

The Pennsylvania Turnpike has revived plans to replace the Allegheny Tunnels in Somerset County, a project that has been talked about for nearly two decades.

The turnpike commission is considering six options for abandoning the 6,070-foot-long tunnels, longest on the turnpike mainline. Three would involve building new tunnels and three would carve an open highway through the mountain either to the north or south of the existing tunnels.

Preliminary cost estimates for the “cut” options range from $242 million to $345 million, while estimates for the tunnel options range from $537 million to $694 million, according to turnpike consultant L.R. Kimball. Annual maintenance costs for a tunnel would exceed $3 million, several times what an open highway segment would cost.

Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said the cost differential was just one of several factors the commission will consider in choosing a preferred option, possibly in the spring.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2014/12/24/Pennsylvania-Turnpike-considers-plans-to-replace-tunnels-in-Somerset-County/stories/201412230034

New Airports Chief Wants To Bring More Nonstop Flights To Pittsburgh

Christina Cassotis doesn’t see Pittsburgh International Airport becoming a hub again, but she does think there are opportunities to add more flights.

Ms. Cassotis, 50, most recently managing officer of the air services practice for ICF SH&E, a Boston-based aviation consultant, was introduced today as the new chief executive officer of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

In her new job, she will be overseeing operations at Pittsburgh International in Findlay and the Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin.

But her main focus will be to bring more nonstop flights to Pittsburgh, a city that lost hundreds of flights and dozens of destinations when US Airways dropped its airport hub in 2004.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2014/12/16/New-Pittsburgh-airport-director-sees-opportunities-for-more-flights/stories/201412160190

Winter Storm Puts Northeast Pa. In Crosshairs

There will be snow and rain and everything in between.

The big unknown is how much of each.

Northeast Pennsylvania is under a winter storm warning through Thursday morning as a system developing along the mid-Atlantic coast pushes inland today with the potential for significant snow, sleet and freezing rain.

The National Weather Service said total snow accumulations could hit eight to 12 inches, with the higher amounts in the higher terrain and less in the valleys.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/winter-storm-puts-northeast-pa-in-crosshairs-1.1799879

United Will Drop Service To And From Atlantic City On Dec. 3

An early photo of the Atlantic City Airport Te...

An early photo of the Atlantic City Airport Terminal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In another blow to Atlantic City, United Airlines will end flights in and out of Atlantic City International Airport on Dec. 3, saying the service to Chicago and Houston did not meet expectations.

United, based in Chicago, arrived to great fanfare eight months ago – celebratory balloons, beach umbrellas, and praise from officials including Gov. Christie – when it launched daily nonstop service April 1 to Chicago’s O’Hare and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airports.

United was the first major carrier to begin new passenger service in several years at the airport in Egg Harbor Township.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20141108_United_will_drop_service_to_and_from_Atlantic_City_on_Dec__3.html#7XdUM0B2JiQ01vhZ.99

Spirit Adds Direct Flights To Las Vegas From Arnold Palmer Regional Airport

250

250 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spirit Airlines will begin nonstop flights to Las Vegas from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport near Latrobe starting April 16.

Tickets are now available online for the five-hour, nonstop flights, which will depart daily at 7 a.m.

“We’re excited about Vegas. It’s going to be a great addition,” said Gabe Monzo, executive director of the Westmoreland County Airport Authority, which operates the Unity airport.

The daily flights will begin just as seasonal flights to Fort Myers and Tampa, Fla., are ending for the season, airline officials said Monday in their announcement.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7085178-74/flights-airport-spirit#ixzz3I3igX9La
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Evaporating Cap On Pa. Gasoline Taxes To Offset Drops At Pump

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If gasoline prices continue to hover where they are, Ron Stover might get rid of his Dodge Durango.

These days, the dark silver sport utility vehicle with its V8 engine costs $85 to fill.

“I haven’t filled it up in I don’t know how long,” said Stover, 39, of the North Side.

Pennsylvania drivers pay less for a gallon of gas than they did a year ago, but planned changes to a state tax could increase the cost down the road, even as experts predict prices nationwide might continue to drop.

Read more: http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/6977771-74/tax-taxes-gallon#ixzz3HpbJFanD
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Roadwork Planned On Routes 100, 422

Drivers relying on Route 100 or 422 to get around next week should plan some extra time for their commute.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Route 100 North will be reduced to one lane between Worthington Road and Route 113 in Uwchlan from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 13-17. The lane closure is due to road widening in the area and is part of a $17.4 million project to add a lane to the highway in each direction.

PennDOT said slowdowns will occur when traffic is restricted to one lane during construction. The contractor’s schedule is weather dependent.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141010/roadwork-planned-on-route-100-422

Frontier Airlines To Return To Philadelphia

English: Frontier Airlines N929FR at FLL.

English: Frontier Airlines N929FR at FLL. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frontier Airlines – with new owners, a new management team, and a new logo on its planes – is coming to Philadelphia with flights to seven cities.

Denver’s hometown airline will announce Tuesday nonstop flights from Philadelphia International Airport to Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, Fla., and Cancun, Mexico, in December, and to Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., and Chicago next spring.

“These are underserved markets with very high fares,” Frontier chief executive officer David Siegel said. “We’re going to expand the market, stimulating it with low fares and dropping in a little bit of capacity.”

Frontier hasn’t flown scheduled service from Philadelphia since January 2013, soon after it began flights from Trenton-Mercer Airport.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140930_JETTING_BACK_IN.html#sifzAxdbfOBcouvv.99

Montgomery County Commissioners Happy With Progress Of Norristown’s Lafayette Street Extension

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — The Montgomery County commissioners took a tour Thursday to see the progress of what county officials are calling “the largest local infrastructure project in Pennsylvania” and found they were pleased with it.

Leading the tour was Leo Bagely, a transportation planner at the Montgomery County Planning Commission, who has helped to oversee the first phase of the construction project.

“We’ve been at this for a long time,” said Bagely. “What this is going to look like, with the landscaping we’re doing, is we’re going to change the look of how people come out of Norristown.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140731/montgomery-county-commissioners-happy-with-progress-of-norristowns-lafayette-street-extension

Ursinus College Graduate Wins Fellowship For 12-Month Global Travel

POTTSTOWN, PA — Codey Young has been awarded a fellowship award that comes with a 12-month trip around the world.

Young, 22, graduated this spring from Ursinus College, and was recently accepted into the master’s program at Harvard Divinity School.

Young is now a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, one of only 43 students from selected colleges across the country.

Sponsored by the Watson Foundation, those students chosen are given $28,000 to travel the world for 12 months in pursuit of their thesis.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/social-affairs/20140725/ursinus-college-graduate-wins-fellowship-for-12-month-global-travel

Speed Limit To Rise To 70 Mph On Stretch Of I-380

English: Interstate 380 northbound at the Inte...

English: Interstate 380 northbound at the Interstate 84 split south of Scranton. Picture taken by Chris Wilson on February 18th, 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG — A stretch of Interstate 380 becomes an experiment next month when state transportation officials boost the maximum speed limit to 70 mph.

Another pilot will raise the speed limit to 70 mph on a 100-mile stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in southcentral Pennsylvania. If all goes well, the rest of the 550-mile toll road system, including the Northeast Extension, could follow suit next spring, said Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton at a press conference on Wednesday.

On I-380, a 21-mile section selected for the pilot program will extend from the Interstate 84 junction in Lackawanna County to Exit 3 (Pocono Pines/Mount Pocono) in Monroe County.

“It’s about time,” said Elwood “Butch” Perry, a 60-year-old independent trucker who lives in Dupont. “They built the interstate system so you can run, not so you can crawl. … We live in a fast-paced society now. Everything has to be there yesterday.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/speed-limit-to-rise-to-70-mph-on-stretch-of-i-380-1.1723951

Make Pittsburgh Your 2014 Summer Destination

Make Pittsburgh Your 2014 Summer Destination.  Great promotional video from VisitPittsburgh.

Transportation Plan Calls For $4.7 Billion For Southwestern Pennsylvania

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A draft plan for improvements to the region’s transportation system envisions $4.7 billion in spending in the 10 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania in the next four years, a 52 percent increase from the current four-year plan.

The plan for fiscal years 2015 through 2018 signals a reversal of years of diminished spending on infrastructure and public transit, bolstered by the funding bill that the Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett enacted last fall. The draft Transportation Improvement Plan was released last week by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, a regional planning agency.

“From my perspective, we were able to add significant projects that were simply unaffordable in the last TIP update,” said Dan Cessna, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s district executive for Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties.

Among them is a $79 million rehabilitation of the Liberty Bridge in Downtown Pittsburgh, which at present is weight-restricted and rated structurally deficient, meaning its components are deteriorated but not yet unsafe. Numerous smaller bridge and paving projects were added as well, he said.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/frontpage/2014/06/23/Plan-calls-for-boost-for-southwestern-Pa-transportation/stories/201406230085#ixzz35UedvrMx

Cross-State Cost On Pennsylvania Turnpike In 2015: $46.05

Pennsylvania Turnpike Ticket from the Warrenda...

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

Tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will increase 5 percent in 2015, effective Jan. 4.

The decision by the Turnpike Commission Tuesday to hike tolls for the seventh year in a row means the cash toll to drive from the Ohio border to the New Jersey border will be $46.05 for passenger cars, up from the current $43.85

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140618_Cross-state_cost_on_Pa__Turnpike_in_2015___46_05.html#oMutHh3mv0r47KXy.99