Pittsburgh air base to remain open Ex-Philly judge admits ticket fixing Water pumped into burning mine
PITTSBURGH -- Two Pennsylvania members of Congress say the Air Force has decided to keep a Pittsburgh-area base open through at least the 2014 fiscal year.
U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, a Republican, and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, both said they've been told the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township will remain operational. The Air Force last year announced plans to close the facility by September as part of a nationwide cost-cutting effort, saying that closing the base could save $354 million. The Air Force had argued that the C-130 refueling planes based in Pittsburgh are among the oldest in the fleet, and the closure was part of efforts to cut nearly $500 billion in spending over 10 years.
The base uses space at Pittsburgh International Airport. The unit includes eight C-130 refueling planes and about 2,000 personnel.
PHILADELPHIA -- A former president judge of Philadelphia's traffic court has pleaded guilty to fixing tickets for a strip club owner and others in exchange for favors.
Fortunato Perri Sr. is one of nine judges named in January in a widespread ticket-fixing scheme alleged by the FBI.
Perri was charged separately from the others and had been expected to plead guilty. Two other retired judges also have pleaded guilty.
He faces up to six months in prison after Wednesday's fraud and conspiracy plea. Defense lawyer Brian McMonagle will seek probation for his 77-year-old client.
Court documents allege that Perri fixed tickets in 2010 in exchange for car repairs and other favors. Perri joined the court in 1997.
PINE BANK -- Consol Energy crews began pumping water into a large underground coal mine that straddles the West Virginia-Pennsylvania border Wednesday to douse a fire that forced an evacuation and shut down production.
Smoke began pouring from a shaft at the Blacksville No. 2 mine in Wayne Township, Greene County, on Tuesday afternoon. More than 120 day-shift workers got out safely, and none will return to work until the mine is considered safe, said spokeswoman Lynn Seay.
Consol crews pumped about 125,000 gallons of water into the mine through a borehole Wednesday morning and later began drilling the first of several other bore holes that will be used for water.
Methane and carbon monoxide levels are also being monitored.
From our wire services