Battle for future leadership in state house: AP PA headlines, features, scores & skeds

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Changes are coming to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, due in large part to the pending departure of one of the most powerful elected officials in Harrisburg.  The decision by House Republican Leader Dave Reed to not seek re-election after a brief flirtation with running for Congress sets the stage for a fight over leadership later this year.  “The day that a leader announces that they’re not going to be the leader anymore, a certain amount of ‘Game of Thrones’ begins,” said rank-and-file Rep. Jesse Topper, R-Bedford.

 

Reed narrowly won the top job four years ago. Not among the House Republicans’ more conservative members, Reed presided over the caucus as it continued a yearslong rightward drift. Now the question is: who comes next?  “Might we get a little more conservative?” said Rep. Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin. “Dave’s certainly been a moderating force. Yes, it’s likely with Dave’s departing that the majority may get more conservative.”

The chamber’s presiding officer, Speaker Mike Turzai, generally has aligned with the conservatives, and he is expected to seek another term in the top job. Neither Reed nor Turzai would comment for this story.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Changes are coming to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, thanks largely to the sudden departure of the second-ranking member.  Majority Leader Dave Reed’s decision not to seek re-election after flirting with a run for Congress sets the stage for a fight over leadership later this year.

 

Republicans, who have a 121-to-82 majority in the House, also are bracing for the retirement of several long-serving committee chairmen, creating several high-profile openings.  In the state Senate, where Republicans also hold a comfortable majority, retirements are opening up at the head of the Judiciary, Education, Law and Justice and Local Government committees.

 

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby’s chief accuser is back on the witness stand as the comedian’s lawyers look to raise doubts about her allegations that he drugged and molested her in 2004.  Andrea Constand faces more defense questions on Monday, and Cosby lawyer Tom Mesereau is scouring a binder full of her police statements and prior testimony for inconsistencies.  During cross examination Friday, the trial lawyer had Constand flustered with questions about whether she’d ever said she was affectionate toward Cosby.

 

Another line of attack centered on her involvement in a Ponzi scheme.  Mesereau opened the sex assault retrial last week with a blistering attack on Constand, telling jurors the evidence will show she’s nothing more than a con artist.  The Associated Press doesn’t typically identify people who say they’re victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

 

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The mayor of Philadelphia has ordered a city commission to review policies at Starbucks after the arrest of two black men prompted social media users to accuse the company of racial discrimination.  Videos posted online show officers handcuffing the men in the downtown Philadelphia establishment on Thursday.  Mayor Jim Kenney said Saturday he was “heartbroken” to see the city in the headlines for an incident that appears at this point “to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018.”

 

Kenney says he’s asked the Commission on Human Relations to examine the company’s policies and procedures “including the extent of, or need for, implicit bias training for its employees.”  The city’s police commissioner defended the arrests, saying employees said the men wanted to use the restroom but were denied because they hadn’t bought anything. He says they repeatedly refused to leave.

 

DOUGLASSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — State police say a woman who was reportedly dancing on a rock ledge at an eastern Pennsylvania quarry died after falling more than 300 feet from the cliff.  Police in Berks County say they were called to Dyers Quarry in Union Township shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday.  Although police were initially told that the victim had fallen 50 feet, they found that 27-year-old Elizabeth McKibbin of Elverson fell more than 300 feet.

 

Investigators said she had been at the quarry with five other adults and two young children.  They said interviews indicated that she had been “dancing on the rock ledge” when she slipped and fell down the cliff into the quarry, which is filled with water.  Emergency responders recovered her body and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pennsylvania transit police officer and his family will be reunited with the police dog they say helped them heal after the death of a son.  The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority had planned to pair the dog with another handler after transferring Officer Richard Galanti out of the K-9 division.

 

Galanti’s wife started an online petition to keep the dog, which had lived with them in Wenonah, New Jersey, for five years. She said the dog, named Abal, had been a comfort to the family after the death of a 14-year-old son.  More than 160,000 people signed the petition.  The agency said last week that Abal would be retired due to health issues and made available for adoption by the Galanti family.

 

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

 

Features

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former FBI Director James Comey says he thinks it’s possible the Russians have compromising information on President Donald Trump, that there is “some evidence of obstruction of justice” in the president’s actions and that Trump is “morally unfit” for office.  Comey’s comments in an ABC News interview that aired Sunday were almost certain to escalate his war of words with the president and further erode a relationship marked by open hostility and name-calling. Hours before the interview aired, the president, who fired Comey last year, unleashed a Twitter outburst that labeled Comey “slippery,” suggested he should be put in jail and branded him “the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!”

 

Comey’s televised remarks, coupled with the release of his forthcoming book, offer his version of events surrounding his firing and the investigations into Russian election meddling and Hillary Clinton’s email practices. Several of the episodes he describes in detail, including a private conversation about former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, are central to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and his recollections are presumably valuable for prosecutors examining whether the president’s actions constitute obstruction of justice.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to unload on James Comey over his forthcoming memoir, calling him “slippery,” suggesting he should be in jail and labeling him “the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!”  Trump fired off a series of tweets ahead of Comey’s first interview on the book, which offers his version of the events surrounding his firing as FBI director by Trump and the investigations into Russian election meddling and Hillary Clinton’s email practices.

 

In an excerpt shown Saturday, Comey said his belief that Clinton would beat Trump in the 2016 presidential election was a factor in his decision to disclose the investigation into her emails. Trump seized on that, saying Comey “was making decisions based on the fact that he thought she was going to win, and he wanted a job. Slimeball!”  Comey’s disclosure shortly before the election that the FBI had reopened its investigation into her email use enraged Democrats. After Clinton’s loss, many Democrats blamed Comey, and Clinton herself has said it hurt her election prospects.

 

On Sunday, before the ABC interview aired, Comey tweeted that his book draws on stories from his life and from lessons he has learned from others.  “3 presidents are in my book: 2 help illustrate the values at the heart of ethical leadership; 1 serves as a counterpoint,” he wrote. “I hope folks read the whole thing and find it useful.”

 

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — African warthogs, not surprisingly, are not native to Florida so state wildlife officials are investigating how one wound up loose in a suburban neighborhood.  Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officials told TCPalm.com that it captured the tusky animal last month after a five-day search about 50 miles north of West Palm Beach.

 

That included failed attempts to capture it with traps and a rope snare before a wildlife officer spotted it and tackled it. The newspaper reports the officer got some cuts on his legs in the process.  Under state law, owning a warthog requires a permit but no one in that area had one. Officials said the beast is tame and is friendly when offered food.

 

DALLAS (AP) — The electric guitar that blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan used in his first studio recording and early performances has fetched $250,000 at auction in his hometown of Dallas.  Heritage Auction spokesman Eric Bradley says the winning bidder for the 1951 Fender at Sunday’s auction doesn’t wish to be identified immediately.

 

Vaughan biographer Craig Hopkins said last week that Vaughan’s first professional-grade guitar has “considerable historical significance,” noting the bluesman “pretty much learned his craft on” it.  It was a gift from his brother Jimmie Vaughan in the late 1960s. “Jimbo” is carved on the back.  Hopkins says Stevie Ray Vaughan, who traded the guitar away in 1971, mentioned in a 1989 interview how much he’d like to have it back.  Vaughan died in a 1990 helicopter crash. He was 35..

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — After a wobbly start, Dwayne Johnson muscled his way to a No. 1 opening for “Rampage” — but just barely. Close on its heels was the word-of-mouth sensation “A Quiet Place” in its second week in theaters, and not too far behind that was the Blumhouse horror “Truth or Dare” in a competitive weekend at the box office.

 

Warner Bros. said Sunday that “Rampage” earned an estimated $34.5 million in its first weekend in North American theaters, and dominated internationally too with $114.1 million from 61 territories.

Based on the classic arcade game, “Rampage” carried a sizable budget of at least $115 million. Although “Rampage” pulled in mixed reviews (it’s at 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), audiences were more enthusiastic, giving it an A- CinemaScore.

 

CLEVELAND (AP) — Bon Jovi reunited onstage with former members for a powerful performance celebrating its admission into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the late icon Nina Simone was welcomed to the prestigious music club with show-stopping performances from Lauryn Hill and Andra Day.  Bon Jovi’s portion of the four-hour-plus event ran an hour-long Saturday night, with Jon Boni Jovi giving a lengthy 20-minute speech onstage. He said he had been writing the speech for years.

 

“Some days I write the ‘Thank you’ speech, sometimes I write the ‘(Expletive) you’ speech,” he said. “In the end, it’s all about time. It took a lot of people to get us here tonight.”  Richie Sambora, who left the New Jersey band in 2013, and Alec John Such, who left in 1994, embraced their former bandmates with a hug after each one spoke onstage to accept the honor. They performed together, too, singing crowd favorites like “Livin’ on a Prayer,” ”You Give Love a Bad Name” and “It’s My Life.”

 

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Keith Jackson was remembered as “the Walter Cronkite of sports broadcasting” and a loving husband, father and grandfather away from the broadcast booth in a memorial service at the Rose Bowl.  Nearly 400 family and friends gathered Sunday on the field at the historic stadium where Jackson, the folksy voice of college football for decades on ABC, called a record 15 New Year’s Day games — the last in 2006.

 

A smattering of the public looked on from seats in the south end zone. The stadium’s radio and TV booths are named in his honor.  “This was Keith Jackson’s cathedral,” said Tim Brandt, who served as master of ceremonies and was one of several former broadcast partners who spoke during the 2-hour, 15-minute memorial.  Jackson came up with the Rose Bowl nickname, “The Granddaddy of Them All.”

 

CYBERSPACE (AP) — Have you filed your taxes yet? If you haven’t and are working yourself into a frenzy because you think you’re late, take heart. While the filing deadline usually is April 15, taxpayers catch a break this year. Filers have until tomorrow to get square with Uncle Sam without facing a penalty. Why is that? April 15 is a Sunday this year and today is Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington D.C., meaning the official deadline is tomorrow.

 

UNDATED (AP) —Sir Ian McKellen has said he has already planned his funeral and wants his memorial service to be held in a theatre. The reported The Sunday Times reports that the 78-year-old Lord Of The Rings actor admitted he thinks about death “every day” and spent an evening coming up with a “wish list” for the funeral and a service to commemorate his life. According to upcoming documentary McKellen said after making his plan he thought ‘Ooh, I’d love to go to that funeral’, adding: “So I hope I might arrange a dress rehearsal before I go.”

 

ELLSWORTH, Kan. (AP) — Under a new Kansas Department of Transportation program, “Lost to DUI” memorial signs will be placed along state and federal highways for victims of drunken driving accidents. The Salina Journal reports that the first memorial sign was recently unveiled by parents of 20-year-old Kylie Jobe and 22-year-old Kyle Thornburg, who died in 2011. Barby Jobe says her daughter and Thornburg were returning from a skiing trip when they were struck by an impaired driver who also was killed in the crash. Former Republican Rep. Mark Hutton sponsored the Kyle Thornburg and Kylie Jobe Believe Act, which authorized the DUI memorial signage program. He says the legislation aimed to humanize the problem with drunk driving. The memorial signs with finger print designs will be placed near the victims’ crash site.

 

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — School and police officials in northwest Wisconsin are using a mock teenage bedroom to demonstrate to parents how their children might be hiding methamphetamine and other illegal substances. The Leader-Telegram reports that the display was used during recent parent-teacher conferences at North High School in Eau Claire. The room featured a twin bed, soda cans, writing utensils, hygiene products and stuffed animals. The district attorney’s office and police departments demonstrated ways that kids can hide their drug use, such as in a beanie or a fake canister of shaving cream. Authorities say teenagers typically use marijuana and pills, but meth is also a growing concern.

 

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

 

Sports, Scores & Skeds

 

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists and Matt Murray stopped 25 shots to help the Pittsburgh Penguins silence a raucous Philadelphia crowd and beat the Flyers 5-1 to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series. Crosby scored his fourth goal of the series in the first period, and Derick Brassard, Evgeni Malkin and Brian Dumoulin scored in the second.

 

  1. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Aaron Altherr hit a three-run homer, Scott Kingery had a three-run double and the Philadelphia Phillies won their sixth in a row, topping the Tampa Bay Rays 10-4. Kingery’s two-out drive off the center field wall capped a four-run burst in the third inning that put Philadelphia ahead 4-2. The rookie has 12 RBIs over his last eight games. This game was, and all of the Phillies games are, on 1070AM WKOK. When the Phillies are being broadcast on the air, our normal programming continues at WKOK.com.

 

MIAMI (AP) — Starling Marte hiked his average 64 points, punctuating a 5-for-5 afternoon with a ninth-inning homer to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Miami Marlins 7-3. Marte’s five hits were a career high, and his average rose from .241 to .305. He scored three times and hit his third homer off Junichi Tazawa.

 

Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:

———

INTERLEAGUE

Final    Philadelphia    10        Tampa Bay      4

———

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Final    Boston 3          Baltimore        1

Final    Oakland          2          Seattle 1

Final    Texas   3          Houston          1, 10 Innings

N-Y Yankees  at         Detroit 1:10 p.m., postponed

Toronto           at         Cleveland        1:10 p.m., postponed

Chi White Sox            at         Minnesota       2:10 p.m., postponed

L-A Angels     at         Kansas City     2:15 p.m., postponed

N-Y Yankees  at         Detroit 7:10 p.m., postponed

———

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Final    Pittsburgh        7          Miami  3

Final    St. Louis          3          Cincinnati        2

Final    N-Y Mets        3          Milwaukee      2

Final    Colorado         6          Washington     5

Final    San Diego       10        San Francisco  1

Final    L-A Dodgers   7          Arizona           2

Atlanta            at         Chi Cubs         2:20 p.m., postponed

———

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Final OT          Boston 113      Milwaukee      107

Final    Indiana            98        Cleveland        80

Final    Oklahoma City            116      Utah    108

Final    Houston          104      Minnesota       101

———

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Final    Pittsburgh        5          Philadelphia    1

Final    Minnesota       6          Winnipeg         2

Final OT          Columbus        5          Washington     4

Final    Vegas  3          L.A. Kings      2

TODAY’S SPORTS SCHEDULE

———

INTERLEAGUE

Miami  at         N-Y Yankees  6:35 p.m.

———

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Kansas City     at         Toronto           7:07 p.m.

Texas   at         Tampa Bay      7:10 p.m.

Chi White Sox            at         Oakland          10:05 p.m.

Houston          at         Seattle 10:10 p.m.

Baltimore        at         Boston 11:05 a.m., postponed

———

NATIONAL LEAGUE

St. Louis          at         Chi Cubs         7:05 p.m.

Colorado         at         Pittsburgh        7:05 p.m.

Washington     at         N-Y Mets        7:10 p.m.

Philadelphia    at         Atlanta            7:35 p.m.

Cincinnati        at         Milwaukee      7:40 p.m.

L-A Dodgers   at         San Diego       10:10 p.m.

———

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Miami  at         Philadelphia    8:00 p.m.

San Antonio    at         Golden State   10:30 p.m.

———

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Boston at         Toronto           7:00 p.m.

Tampa Bay      at         New Jersey      7:30 p.m.

Nashville         at         Colorado         10:00 p.m.

Anaheim          at         San Jose          10:30 p.m.

 

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

 

About The Author