The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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March 7, 2013

Midday briefing: Allegheny County health board seeks 24-hour drilling notice

PITTSBURGH — The Allegheny County Board of Health wants natural gas companies to provide 24-hour advance notice before drilling starts.

The board passed the recommendation unanimously Wednesday night. Authorities say they want the advance notice so air pollution can be monitored at drill sites. Pittsburgh is in Allegheny County.

The requirement covers shale gas extraction, including well drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The county recently approved a long-term contract for gas drilling on thousands of acres of land around the Pittsburgh International Airport.

The plan must still be approved by the Allegheny County Council and county executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Pittsburgh teacher accused of abusing teen girl

PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher has been charged with sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl.

Prosecutors allege that 30-year-old Michael White of Pittsburgh made the Perry Traditional Academy student perform lap dances for male students, that he kissed her in the classroom, and that they had sex outside the school.

White has been on paid leave since another student alleged that she was assaulted, too.

Blaine Jones, one of White's defense attorneys, says he's innocent of the charges.

Pittsburgh Public Schools officials referred the first abuse allegations to police after an internal investigation.

White is charged with institutional assault of a minor, indecent assault, corruption of minors, and other charges.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 15.

$1M gift to establish professorship at Penn State

STATE COLLEGE — A California couple has donated $1 million to Penn State's department of industrial engineering.

The Centre Daily Times reports the donors are alumnus Tom Lucas, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1976, and his wife, Nicki. They're from of Trabuco Canyon, Calif.

The money will create an endowed professorship. Department head Paul Griffin says it will help add a top-notch faculty member and also provide resources for current and future students.

Lucas retired last year after a career in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry.

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  • Crime board took aim at house

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