AP PA Headlines: Gov. signs gambling expansion, calms critics

AP PA Headlines

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor says gambling expansion legislation he just signed won’t cannibalize existing tax collections from the industry.  Gov. Tom Wolf also said Monday that the state needed revenue to help prop up its operating budget and that there was pressure to expand gambling.  The bill makes Pennsylvania the fourth state to allow online gambling while letting the struggling state lottery take its games online.


It also lets Pennsylvania’s 10 largest casinos bid on licenses to operate new, smaller casinos.  he gambling proposal passed last week in the Republican-controlled Legislature. It aims to produce about $200 million annually from casino license fees and taxes on higher gambling losses.  Pennsylvania casinos rake in more gross revenues than any other state except Nevada. Pennsylvania is the No. 1 state in tax revenue from the casino industry, netting $1.4 billion in the most recent fiscal year.


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Penn State says it’s no longer recognizing two fraternities that have “several violations of university rules.”  University officials said Saturday that Delta Upsilon has lost its recognition until the end of the spring semester, and Pi Lambda Phi won’t be recognized until the end of 2019. The action means the fraternities cannot participate in Greek life events, such as homecoming or the university’s dance marathon.


Penn State says the fraternities made alcohol available during social events that included underage students.  Delta Upsilon International’s executive director says he’s “extremely disappointed,” and sanctions are needed if chapters hold events endangering health and safety.  Pi Lambda Phi’s governing body says it has suspended the chapter and begun closure procedures because members “chose not to follow” expectations that were “very clear.”


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WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal court in Washington is barring President Donald Trump from changing the government’s policy on military service by transgender people.  Trump announced in an August memo that he intended to reverse course on a 2016 policy that allowed troops to serve openly as transgender individuals. He said he would order a return to the policy prior to June 2016, under which service members could be discharged for being transgender.  U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote Monday that transgender members of the military who had sued over the change were likely to win their lawsuit and barred the Trump administration from reversing course.


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office says “substantially inaccurate historical statements” don’t belong on display in the state Capitol amid debate over a Confederate marker that rejects slavery as an underlying cause of the Civil War.  The statement Monday follows conflicting accounts of a meeting between Abbott and a black Texas lawmaker over a 1959 plaque titled “Children of the Confederacy Creed.”


Democratic state Rep. Eric Johnson says he left Friday’s meeting under the impression the governor supports removing the plaque. Abbott has denied that characterization.  But Abbott spokeswoman Ciara Matthews says the governor expressed that inaccurate statements “are not appropriate” for permanent display. She says that’s why they’ve asked the State Preservation Board to now study the plaque.  It’s one of about a dozen Confederate markers around the Texas Capitol.


NEW YORK (AP) — MTV is reviving its “Jersey Shore” franchise, this time down South.  The network said Monday it will debut “MTV Floribama Shore” later this month, following a cast of eight young adults who spent a summer together in Florida’s Panama City Beach with the expected personal dramas. It’s being made by the same production company as “Jersey Shore,” which aired from 2009 to 2012.

“Jersey Shore” was the network’s highest-rated original series, making stars of characters like Snooki and The Situation, and spawning worldwide spinoffs like “Warsaw Shore” in Poland.  MTV is becoming the reboot channel, recently reviving “Total Request Live” and “Unplugged.” Its new “Siesta Key” is inspired by “Laguna Beach.”  “Floribama Shore” debuts Nov. 27, the Monday after Thanksgiving.


NEW YORK (AP) — Even in death, Michael Jackson is raking in the cash. Forbes estimates Jackson’s estate earned $75 million in the past year. That puts Jackson on top of the Forbes list of top-earning dead celebrities for a fifth year in a row. Jackson’s earnings come from a new greatest hits album, a Cirque du Soleil (sirk doo soh-LAY’) show in Las Vegas and a stake in the EMI music publishing catalog. In second place is golfer Arnold Palmer, with $40 million. His earnings come from big sales of his clothing line in Asia and from Arizona Beverages selling his lemonade-and-ice tea blend. Charles Shultz is third with $38 million. Elvis Presley is number four with $35 million, and Bob Marley is fifth with $23 million.


WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — A judge on the Hawaiian island of Maui has handed down an unorthodox sentence to a man who pleaded no contest to violating a protection order preventing him from contacting his ex-girlfriend. Judge Rhonda Loo ordered Daren Young to write 144 compliments about his ex-girlfriend. The judge says that’s part of his punishment for the 144 “nasty” text messages and calls that he is accused of sending her.


RENO, Nev. (AP) — Police at the University of Nevada, Reno are apologizing for an officer who dressed up as Colin Kaepernick for Halloween and mocked the former 49ers quarterback’s refusal to stand for the national anthem last season to protest police mistreatment of minorities. The apology comes after a photo circulated on social media showing a university police officer dressed in a wig, painted on beard, false nose, a mocked-up jersey and a sign that says, “Will stand for food.” The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that the officer wasn’t named, but that the chief said the costume was insensitive and disrespectful. A university spokeswoman says no action will be taken against the officer because there’s no disciplinary policy that addresses that kind of a situation.


CHICAGO (AP) — Former president Barack Obama has been called for jury duty in Chicago Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans told county commissioners during a budget hearing that Obama, who owns homes in Washington DC and Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood, will serve in November. He is registered to vote in Chicago. Evans said Obama’s safety will be “uppermost in our minds” when he serves. Those called can be put in the pool for criminal cases or civil hearings, and can be called to any of the county’s Chicago or suburban courthouses. Jurors in Cook County are paid $17.20 dollars for each day of service..


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


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