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LOCAL NEWS FOR THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2013

  THE PARTIAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN IS OVER.  REPUBLICAN SENATOR PAT TOOMEY VOTED AGAINST THE DEAL SAYING "I CAN'T SUPPORT PILING HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF DEBT ON CURRENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS WITHOUT EVEN A SLIVER OF REFORM TO START PUTTING OUR FISCAL HOUSE IN ORDER."  DEMOCRATIC SENATOR BOB CASEY VOTED FOR THE DEAL SAYING "IT'S TIME TO END THIS ERA OF MANUFACTURED CRISES AND WORK ON CREATING JOBS."  REPUBLICAN LEHIGH VALLEY CONGRESSMAN CHARLIE DENT VOTED TO END THE SHUTDOWN SAYING "I VOTED TO REOPEN THE GOVERNMENT AND PREVENT A DEVESTATING ROILING OF OUR MARKETS.  I'M PLEASED COOLER HEADS HAVE FINALLY PREVAILED."  DEMOCRATIC LEHIGH VALLEY CONGRESSMAN MATT CARTWRIGHT ALSO VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE DEAL SAYING "AFTER MORE THAN TWO WEEKS SPENT FACING OFF ACROSS A PARTISAN DIVIDE, DIFFERENCES WERE SET ASIDE TO PREVENT DISASTER." 

  A WOMAN IS IN THE HOSPITAL AFTER BEING STABBED THIS MORNING IN EASTON.  POLICE SAY ANA HERNANDEZ STABBED THE UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN ONCE IN THE BACK INSIDE THE HOTEL LAFAYETTE, WHICH IS WHERE HERNANDEZ LIVES.  HERNANDEZ HAS BEEN ARRESTED AND WILL BE CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND OTHER CHARGES.  THE VICTIM IS EXPECTED TO RECOVER.

  A 3-YEAR-OLD GIRL IS IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER BEING HIT BY A CAR WEDNESDAY EVENING IN ALLENTOWN.  POLICE SAY THE CHILD WAS HIT AROUND 6:30 LAST NIGHT IN THE 700 BLOCK OF ST. JOHN STREET AND SUFFERED A HEAD INJURY AND WAS TAKEN TO LEHIGH VALLEY HOSPITAL-CEDAR CREST.  THE DRIVER FLED THE SCENE WITHOUT STOPPING.

  A WATER MAIN BREAK AT LEHIGH VALLEY HOSPITAL-CEDAR CREST IS CAUSING SOME INCONVENIENCES.  THE HOSPITAL HAD TO SHUT DOWN AN ACCESS ROAD USED BY AMBULANCES THAT LEADS TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM, BUT THE MAIN HOSPITAL ENTRANCE IS OPEN AND OPERATIONS HAVEN'T BEEN AFFECTED.  BOTTLED WATER IS BEING PROVIDED TO PATIENTS AND STAFF UNTIL REPAIRS ARE MADE.

  THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE HAS HEARD FROM THE STATE'S INDEPENDENT FISCAL OFFICE ABOUT SENATE AND HOUSE BILLS THAT WOULD REPLACE PROPERTY TAXES AS THE SOURCE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION FUNDING WITH HIGHER SALES AND INCOME TAXES.  DEMOCRATIC STATE SENATOR JOHN BLAKE SAYS HE DIDN'T LIKE WHAT HE HEARD.  "WE COME UP SHORT HERE IN TERMS OF THIS NEW SOURCE OF REVENUE MEETING THE COSTS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION," BLAKE SAYS IT'S SHORT BY ABOUT $2.5 BILLION ACCORDING.  HE SAYS WHILE PROPERTY TAXES ARE BOTH OBSOLETE AND ONEROUS, THEY ARE A PREDICTABLE SOURCE OF REVENUE, SOMETHING THAT'S NEEDED TO PREVENT A COLLAPSE IF THE ECONOMY GOES IN THE TANK.

  GOV. TOM CORBETT HAS SIGNED A BILL TO EXTEND THE PROGRAM THAT PROVIDES HEALTH INSURANCE FOR CHILDREN AND ELIMINATE A SIX-MONTH WAITING PERIOD BEFORE SOME CHILDREN CAN JOIN.  CORBETT SAYS THE STATE SHOULD BE PROUD OF THE CHIP PROGRAM.  "THIS BILL ALSO REAUTHORIZES THE ENTIRE CHIP PROGRAM AND SENDS A VERY CLEAR AND VERY UNMISTAKABLE MESSAGE:  IN PENNSYLVANIA, WE TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN AND WE HAVE THE BEST CHIP PROGRAM IN THE NATION," THE GOVERNOR SAYS.  THE WAITING PERIOD APPLIES TO CHILDREN WHO QUALIFY FOR THE LOW-COST AND AT-COST CHIP PROGRAMS, BUT NOT TO THE FREE CHIP PROGRAM.  THE WAITING PERIOD WAS A WAY TO DISCOURAGE PARENTS OR EMPLOYERS FROM DROPPING PRIVATE INSURANCE TO ENROLL CHILDREN IN CHIP.

  DRIVERS ARE NAVIGATING INTO THE PEAK SEASON FOR DEER-VEHICLE CRASHES, A CATEGORY IN WHICH PENNSYLVANIA LEADS THE NATION.  A STUDY BY STATE FARM PUT THE STATE'S TOTAL AT ABOUT 120,000 FOR THE 12 MONTHS THAT ENDED IN JUNE 2012.  THE STUDY SAYS THE AVERAGE CLAIM WAS ABOUT $3,400.  STATE FARM SAYS MICHIGAN HAS THE SECOND-MOST SUCH CRASHES, AT 87,000.  DRIVERS IN WEST VIRGINIA ARE MOST LIKELY TO HIT A DEER, A 1 IN 38 CHANCE.  THE ODDS IN PENNSYLVANIA ARE 1 IN 73.  THE PEAK SEASON RUNS FROM NOW INTO MID-DECEMBER.  DRIVERS ARE ADVISED TO SLOW DOWN, USE HIGH BEAMS WHEN POSSIBLE AND BE CAREFUL AROUND DAWN AND DUSK.

  PENNSYLVANIA CASINOS ARE REPORTING A DROP-OFF OF ABOUT 3.6 PERCENT IN REVENUE FROM TABLE GAMES IN SEPTEMBER COMPARED TO A YEAR AGO.  THE PENNSYLVANIA GAMING CONTROL BOARD SAYS THE 12 CASINOS BROUGHT IN $57.1 MILLION FROM THE GAMES LAST MONTH.  SLOTS REVENUES, RELEASED EARLIER, ALSO ARE ON THE DECLINE.  TOGETHER THE TWO TYPES OF GAMBLING BROUGHT IN 5.7 PERCENT LESS REVENUE FOR THE CASINOS COMPARED TO SEPTEMBER 2012.  TOTAL REVENUES WERE $245 MILLION, DOWN FROM $260 MILLION LAST YEAR.

  CORY BOOKER WON A SPECIAL ELECTION TO REPRESENT NEW JERSEY IN THE U.S. SENATE THROUGH NEXT YEAR, BUT THE DEMOCRAT WILL BE BACK ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL SOON TO RUN FOR A FULL SIX-YEAR TERM.  THE 44-YEAR-OLD WILL FILL THE REMAINING 15 MONTHS OF SEN. FRANK LAUTENBERG'S TERM.  LAUTENBERG DIED IN OFFICE IN JUNE.  THAT MEANS BOOKER WILL HAVE TO RUN FOR THE SEAT AGAIN NEXT YEAR.  IN WEDNESDAY'S VICTORY SPEECH, BOOKER PROMISED TO "MAKE THE SENATE MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL OF US."
 

  REPUBLICAN STEVE LONEGAN SAYS HE'LL RETURN TO THE BUSINESS SECTOR AFTER HAVING LOST THE RACE FOR U.S. SENATE TO NEWARK MAYOR CORY BOOKER.  THE FORMER MAYOR OF BOGOTA AND ONE-TIME GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE SAYS HE HAS NO PLANS TO CHALLENGE BOOKER NEXT YEAR OR SEEK ANY ELECTED OFFICE AGAIN.

  THE GOLDEN NUGGET ATLANTIC CITY HAS RECEIVED NEW JERSEY'S SECOND INTERNET GAMBLING PERMIT.  THE STATE DIVISION OF GAMING ENFORCEMENT SAYS THE APPROVAL IS THE SECOND ONE AFTER THE BORGATA HOTEL CASINO & SPA GOT PERMISSION TO START INTERNET GAMBLING ONCE IT LAUNCHES IN NEW JERSEY NEXT MONTH.  ONLINE GAMBLING WILL BEGIN WITH AN INVITATION-ONLY TRIAL PERIOD ON NOVEMBER 21.  ASSUMING ALL GOES WELL, FULL-FLEDGED INTERNET GAMBLING WILL START NOVEMBER 26.  NEW JERSEY IS THE THIRD STATE IN THE NATION TO OFFER ONLINE GAMBLING, ALONG WITH NEVADA AND DELAWARE.
 

 

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