Reduced MPHs

    In case you needed added incentive to slow down this morning:

    PennDOT has temporarily reduced speed limits on six highways due to last night’s winter storm.

    The speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph on I-78 in Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties; on I-80 in Monroe and Carbon counties; on I-81 in Schuylkill County; on I-380 in Monroe County; on US 22 in Lehigh and Northampton counties; and on PA 33 in Monroe and Northampton counties.

    The normal speed limits on those highways ranges from 50 to 65 mph.

    So keep it slow and easy on the roadways this morning, folks.

    AP-PA–Right Now,1694Latest Pennsylvania news, sports, business and entertainment:WINTER WEATHER-PA   PennDOT reduces speed limits in east-central Pa.   PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has temporarily reduced speed limits on six highways in east-central Pennsylvania due to the winter storm.   PennDOT says the speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph on I-78 in Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties; on I-80 in Monroe and Carbon counties; on I-81 in Schuylkill County; on I-380 in Monroe County; on US 22 in Lehigh and Northampton counties; and on PA 33 in Monroe and Northampton counties.   The normal speed limits on those highways ranges from 50 to 65 mph.   Transportation officials are urging residents to avoid travel unless it is absolutely necessary.WINTER WEATHER-PA   Pennsylvania braces for another round of snow   PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The city of Philadelphia has declared a snow emergency as of 9 p.m. Tuesday as another winter storm descends on the city.   The National Weather Service says the latest round of winter comes as two storms converge, one from the south and another from the west. Snow started falling in much of the state early Tuesday afternoon and is expected to continue through around 8 a.m. Wednesday.   The Philadelphia area is expected to get 4 to 8 inches.   Mayor Michael Nutter says 450 trucks will be plowing and pouring 31,000 tons of salt to try to keep the roads clear. He urged residents to get their cars off snow emergency routes in compliance with the emergency declaration.   Allentown and other parts of the Lehigh Valley could see 5 inches, and parts of western Pennsylvania could see 6 inches.PHILADELPHIA STABBINGS   Philly stabbings that killed 1 called random   PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police in Philadelphia say a man who stabbed one man to death and critically injured another a few blocks away apparently chose his victims at random.   Police said a 56-year-old man was pronounced dead just before 6 p.m. Monday after he was stabbed once in the chest in the Northern Liberties area. A 31-year-old Temple University law student who was stabbed in the neck nearby was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.   Police spokesman Lt. Raymond Evers told the Philadelphia Daily News that the man did not try to rob or threaten the victims and didn’t even say anything to them. The suspect remains at large.PHILADELPHIA FIRE   Crews fight 4-alarm fire in vacant Philly building   PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia firefighters have brought under control the second multi-alarm blaze in as many days.   Fire officials said the three-story building in the West Kensington section of the city was vacant and no injuries were reported.   Fire dispatchers say the flames were reported at 5:08 p.m. Tuesday at 2nd and Somerset streets, and the response had reached four alarms within an hour. The blaze was reported under control at 6:45 p.m.   On Monday, a fire in a massive apartment complex in West Philadelphia burned out of control for almost five hours, forcing evacuation of scores of people from the 90 units. A passer-by had to be treated for smoke inhalation, but no other injuries were reported. Two nearby schools closed for the day Tuesday but officials said they would reopen Wednesday,TODDLER’S DEATH   Prosecution rests in NE Pa. child’s death   WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — Prosecutors have rested their case in the northeastern Pennsylvania trial of a man accused of causing the death of his girlfriend’s 1-year-old daughter last year.   Thirty-seven-year-old Lamont Cherry of Wilkes-Barre could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in the May 2009 death of Zalayia McCloe. Prosecutors allege that Cherry fractured the child’s skull, resulting in her death two days later, while her mother and aunt were out applying for jobs.   Forensic pathologist Samuel Land testified Tuesday that his autopsy concluded that the child’s injuries could not have been caused by an accident. An expert witness for the defense, however, testified that an infant could have similar skull fractures from a fall of less than three feet.   Cherry is expected to testify on his own behalf Wednesday. He told reporters Monday that he was innocent and was not a “monster.”GAS WELL EXPLOSION   2 companies to be fined in Pa. gas well explosion   PITTSBURGH (AP) — Federal officials want to fine two western Pennsylvania companies for workplace safety violations for an oil storage tank explosion that killed a pair of welders.   The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Northeast Energy Management Inc. and Huntley & Huntley Inc. should pay penalties of $159,390 and $70,000, respectively, for the July 23 blast at a well site in Cheswick.   OSHA said Tuesday that Northeast, of Indiana, Pa., failed to provide flame-retardant clothing or to ensure the tank being welded was clear of flammable material. Huntley, in Monroeville, was cited for not ensuring Northeast had suitably trained the welders and supervisors.   The companies have 15 business days to contest the citations.   Northeast says it plans to seek a meeting with OSHA. Huntley says it doesn’t agree with the proposed fines.CORBETT-NOMINATIONS   Corbett taps Krancer for DEP, Alexander for DPW   HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Governor-elect Tom Corbett is nominating Michael Krancer, a judge on Pennsylvania’s Environmental Hearing Board, to be the next secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection.   Corbett also said Tuesday he plans nominate Gary Alexander, a Rhode Island official, as the new secretary of the Department of Public Welfare.   Krancer, who ran unsuccessfully for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2007, has served on the state board that hears environmental cases since 1999. Corbett says the 53-year-old Krancer has a reputation for being fair, speedy and practical, and that his experience in dealing with the Legislature will make him an asset to the new administration.   Corbett says the 42-year-old Alexander most recently served as Rhode Island’s secretary of health and human services.   Both nominations require Senate confirmation.NJ CORRUPTION-APPEAL   Pa. fed appeals court hears NJ corruption claims   PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Federal appeals judges in Philadelphia have grilled attorneys on the interpretation of a law that could throw out charges against several defendants in a large-scale New Jersey corruption sting.   The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals is considering whether an act aimed at public officials who accept cash in exchange for influence can also apply to candidates for public office. More than half a dozen defendants in New Jersey could be affected by the court’s ruling, which isn’t expected for months.   In the case before the court, two brothers were arrested in a money laundering and public corruption sting that snared more than 40 people in New Jersey and New York. Last spring, a judge dismissed extortion conspiracy counts after the brothers argued the law applies to public officials and neither of them was in office.COPPER PLANT-INJURIES   2 of 3 workers hurt by steam OK at W.Pa. plant   LEETSDALE, Pa. (AP) — A spokesman for a western Pennsylvania copper plant says two workers hurt in a steam explosion have been “released back to work” and the third was in a Pittsburgh hospital for burns the spokesman says aren’t life-threatening.   Jim Clayton manages human resources for Hussey Copper Ltd. in Leetsdale, where the workers were burned while casting copper ingots Tuesday.   Police say the workers were hurt when water used to cool the ingots caused a blast of steam and flames. Clayton says he can’t comment on that description and company officials have yet to release the workers’ names.   The incident was reported about 9:40 a.m. The plant was not evacuated and continued to operate normally.   Leetsdale is in Allegheny County, about 10 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.RENDELL-TRANSITION   Rendell, in closing days, focuses on transition   HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Governor Ed Rendell says his administration plans a few announcements in his final week in office but the main focus is on getting state government ready for his successor.   Rendell said at a news conference Tuesday that he’s hoping people keep an open mind about Republican Gov.-elect Tom Corbett and urging people to make the country’s political dialogue more civil.   The Democrat says reaction to the shooting of a congresswoman and others in Arizona shows too many people are eager to demonize their political opponents these days.   Rendell says Corbett’s most difficult campaign promise to keep will be no tax increases, and that as an ex-governor he doesn’t plan to speak up about state government matters unless he hears his own record get distorted.FLIGHT 93-PARK SUPERINTENDENT   New head for W.Pa. parks, including Flight 93 site   SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — The National Park Service has named a new superintendent for western Pennsylvania, including the Flight 93 National Memorial.   Keith Newlin has been the region’s deputy superintendent since 2007. He will take the job for a year beginning Feb. 1. He’ll replace Joanne Hanley, who has worked with Flight 93 family members and others to build a national memorial where the hijacked United Airlines flight crashed in Somerset County during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.   Hanley is leaving to head the Gettysburg Foundation, which funds and operates Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and other projects, in partnership with the National Park Service.   Newlin will oversee the Johnstown Flood National Museum, the Fort Necessity National Battlefield and other sites as part of his job.TASTY BAKING-FINANCES   Pa. offers $1M loan to troubled Tastykake maker   HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Governor Ed Rendell says the state is prepared to offer the financially troubled manufacturer of snack foods line Tastykakes a $1 million loan.   Rendell said at a news conference Tuesday that Philadelphia-based Tasty Baking Co. hasn’t yet taken him up on the offer because it’s a portion of what they will need.   The company announced last week that several factors led it to consider its options, including a potential merger or sale.   Its statement said the company “is currently experiencing extremely tight liquidity.”   (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)   APNP 01-12-11 0158EST

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