Pharmacy tech, husband nailed for stolen pills
ERIE — A supermarket pharmacy technician and her husband have been sentenced in federal court for selling 80,000 painkilling pills she stole from her workplace in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Thirty-year-old Nicole Velez stole the pills while working at a Giant Eagle pharmacy in Millcreek Township, near Erie, from January 2009 and February 2010. She has been sentenced to three years' probation while her husband, 33-year-old Richard Velez, will do 46 months in prison for his role in the scheme.
The Erie Times-News says the primary reason for the different sentences was that Richard Velez has a criminal record while his wife does not.
Federal agents say the pills were sold for $3 to $5 each by Richard Velez at a tattoo parlor where he worked and out of the couple's former residence in Erie.
State DEP issues permit for gas-fired power plant
HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has issued a permit for a new electric power plant that will be supplied at least partly with locally produced natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.
The agency says in a release Wednesday that Moxie Liberty LLC of Vienna, Va. plans to build the plant in Bradford County, about 60 miles west of Scranton.
The proposed plant could be completed in two or three years and will generate 468 megawatts of electricity.
A boom in natural gas production in Pennsylvania has led many utilities to consider shifting away from using coal as the primary fuel.
WPXI's Todd McDermott leaving for Fla. anchor job
PITTSBURGH — Todd McDermott, a morning news co-anchor on the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh, is leaving to take a job with a station in West Palm Beach, Fla.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting Wednesday that McDermott's last day as the morning anchor on WPXI-TV will be Friday.
McDermott is leaving to anchor the evening broadcasts at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. for WPBF-TV in Florida, which is owned by Hearst Television.
WPXI will replace McDermott with Joe Arena, starting Oct. 22.
Arena will join McDermott's co-anchor, Jennifer Abney. Arena has worked as an anchor and reporter for the last five years at WIVB, the CBS affiliate in Buffalo, N.Y.