The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 14, 2012

Midday News Brief | Scranton sends out decade's worth of trash bills




School district makes bat donation to build school

FORD CITY, Pa. (AP) — A southwestern Pennsylvania school district is donating $61,800 to the Indiana Bat Conservation Fund so it can go forward with plans to build a new high school.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports Wednesday that the Armstrong School District made the mandatory donation after officials there learned the school in Manor Township would encroach on the bat's forested habitat.

School board president Joe Close says the money will go to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which will use it to buy other properties that will be preserved as a habitat for the endangered species of bat.

Had the district not paid the money, the district could have had to provide new acreage for the bats or construction on the school would have been halted by the government.

The district is about 35 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.


Auditor general calls for Penn State changes

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania's auditor general is releasing a detailed report that expands on his call for Penn State to change how it's run in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

Auditor General Jack Wagner said he believes the most important change would be to remove the university president as a voting member of the board of trustees.

He also says the 32-member board is too large, and that the governor shouldn't be a voting trustee.

The study elaborates on recommendations Wagner made in July. It adds sections on board term limits, emeritus status and "insiders" moving between university jobs and the board.

Wagner is also calling for the school and three other state-related universities to be covered by the state's open records law. They are Pitt, Lincoln and Temple.


Bon Jovi gives boost to Philly low-income housing

PHILADELPHIA — Rock star Jon Bon Jovi helped break ground on a low-income housing development in Philadelphia that will bear his initials.

The 55-unit JBJ Soul Homes is expected to open in the Francisville neighborhood in about a year.

Bon Jovi's Soul Foundation provided the lead gift for the $16 million project, which is a collaboration among several private and public agencies.

The four-story building will include retail and office space. Forty units are being set aside to house the homeless.

At the groundbreaking Tuesday, Bon Jovi said public-private partnerships are important at a time when the country is so polarized.

He says he hopes future residents of the development will "pay it forward" by helping others.


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