Here is the latest from Newsradio 1070 WKOK
   

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

                                        St. Pius considers new pre-school
 
SELINSGROVE – The Selinsgrove area is about to get a new church based pre-school. A new pre-school may be coming to St. Pius X of Selinsgrove, thanks to some help from St. Monica's School in Sunbury. The idea is to have a pre-school located at the Catholic church in Selinsgrove.

Various St. Pius leaders tell us the pre-school would be located in the lower level of the church utilizing two classrooms. Teachers for the pre-school students and the curriculum would be provided by St. Monica's in Sunbury.
 
There are still several details to be worked out at this point such as approval from the Diocese and the Department of Education, but the goal is to have the pre-school open by the fall. St. Pius opened their new church in May of 2008, with classroom space left open for education and recreational opportunities. (Ali Stevens)

GHP working to extend health coverage

DANVILLE – The Obama health care initiatives are coming to a ‘health care plan’ near you. Geisinger Health Plan officials say they are working to extend health coverage to dependents up to age 26.  Many details need to be worked out, but the early work is underway.

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services told the insurance industry, the new law will require companies to extend coverage to dependent adult children up to age 26. Currently, few, if any, insurance companies, offer family coverage to adult children of their insured’s families.

This would cover adult children who previously lost eligibility on their family’s policy (because they are over 19-years-old--not in college, or over 23--even if in college). Among the issues to be resolved, answering the question—what is a dependent, and who will pay. 

GHP officials tell us, says they will follow suit with other insurance companies such as Capital Blue Cross and Aetna, who are extending dependant coverage to bridge this gap. 

Geisinger says they are in the beginning stages of implementing health-care reform and will work with employer groups to determine how their employees can benefit from the coverage extension.  (Ali Stevens)
 
                             Annual fundraiser for Friends of Shikellamy State Park
 
SUNBURY – Friends of the Shikellamy State Park will hold their annual fundraiser this week. It's the Purple Tie dinner, and co-chair of the Friends group, Julia Marano, says all are invited. In addition to
dinner, music and dancing there will be a silent auction.
 
All proceeds will benefit Friends of Shikellamy State Park, a non-profit organization that works to create an appreciative awareness of the park and the Susquehanna River. The dinner is Friday night at the Front Street Station in Northumberland. Tickets are available online at www.friendsofshikellamystatepark.org.


Julia Marano is a guest on our Leaders & Lawmakers program this week, talking about Friends of the Shikellamy State Park. She is joined by President and CEO of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce Charlie Ross. You can hear Leaders & Lawmakers Thursday at 3:00p.m. on WKOK. (Sara Bartlett)
 
                                                         Race for Education
 
SUNBURY – Children in uniform, circling Cameron Park? Must be the annual Race for Education in Sunbury. The ‘race’ is a fundraising event for the St. Monica's School. The students gather sponsors for the event and then do as many laps as they can in Cameron Park.
 
St. Monica's is celebrating their 60th anniversary this year and the proceeds from today's event helps pay for programs and materials at the private parochial school. Principal Susan Bickhart says they are very proud of their students, teachers and staff and this is a great fundraiser that showcases all they do. (Ali Stevens)
 
                                             Sex offender behind bars in NorCo
 
COAL TOWNSHIP - A Mechanicsburg man charged as a sex offender in Arkansas is now behind bars in Northumberland County. Police say he failed to register his new address in Coal Township. Troopers say 28-year-old Brian Murdorf had been living at 1031 E. Webster Street in Coal Township for about six weeks without registering the address with state police.

Murdorf was arrested and charged with two felony counts of Megan's Law registration offenses. He was arraigned before District Judge John Gembic and sent to the county prison on $10,000 cash bail. (Ali Stevens)
 
                                     Public invited to next crime watch meeting
 
NORTHUMBERLAND -- The next Northumberland crime watch meeting will be held next week. The crime watch group has been meeting for a little over a year now. It is aimed to get the community involved in watching for crime or any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods, and then contact local law
enforcement. All are invited to the next meeting 7:00p.m. Monday at the 2nd Street School in Northumberland.
 
                                           Prison employee sentenced for DUIs
 
SUNBURY -- A Northumberland County Prison employee charged with two DUIs was sentenced Monday in Northumberland County Court. 48-year-old Michael Faust of Coal Township will serve two months of house arrest. He will also take part in a substance abuse treatment program, and have to pay hundreds of dollars in fines.

Faust was charged with DUI in February 2009 and November 2008. Faust, a lieutenant at the prison, has been suspended without pay from his job. The Northumberland County Prison Board will now make the decision whether or not to terminate Faust.
 
                                               I-80 traffic pattern change
 
BLOOMSBURG - There will be some changes to traffic patterns on Interstate 80 in Columbia County starting Wednesday. All traffic currently in the driving lane will be shifted to the passing lane on the westbound side of the Interstate at the Lime Ridge exit, with traffic down to one lane in the construction zone. This is the second phase of work along a stretch of the interstate.
 
The westbound on-ramp from Route 11 southbound will be closed. All southbound traffic on Route 11 will have to take a detour to the Mifflinville exit if they want to get onto Interstate 80. The detour should be lifted around June 9th. Delays are expected in the area while the work is underway. (Ali Stevens)

Norry Sewer Number 1: Sewer customers not billed 

NORTHUMBERLAND – The months ahead will be busy times for the Northumberland Borough Sewer Authority.  Not only are there still matters to sort out following allegations that former clerk Cynthia Lark wrote checks to herself totaling nearly $300,000 of the board’s money, but other irregularities are emerging.   

They include residential and commercial customers who have not been billed, in some cases since 2003. A church is among them, as well as the office complex of the Shikellamy School District on the island between Sunbury and Northumberland Borough. 

Other clients have been not been billed enough, including owners of rental properties where apartments have been added without notifying officials.  Authority Chairman Jack Fasold says a property to property investigation may be needed, and what they find out may be turned over to the board solicitor.  The exact number of clients was not immediately available.  (Matt Farrand)  

Norry Sewer Number 2: Alert Borough employee hired as Sewer Authority clerk

NORTHUMBERLAND – A Northumberland Borough employee who discovered irregularities in the accounts of the Northumberland Borough Sewer Authority is now working as its clerk.  Anne August was formally hired by the sewer board Monday night, after uncovering the theft of nearly $300,000 over five years by former clerk Cynthia Lark. 

Authority Chairman Jack Fasold expects August to be a big help, while continuing to work for the borough part time.  August will be paid $15 per hour, and be required to present copies of the authority’s bank statements at board meetings. 

Dawn Williams was her immediate successor as clerk, but resigned after one day on the job after it was revealed she was ordered by a court to make good for a $5,000 bad check written in Dauphin County. (Matt Farrand) 

 Norry Sewer Number 3: Authority appointments are legal

NORTHUMBERLAND – A one-time Northumberland Borough Council candidate has a list of questions for the Northumberland Sewer Authority, and asked them at their Monday meeting.  Adam Klock of Northumberland says he wonders how appointments are made, whether there are any formal qualifications, and whether there are more efficient ways to notify the public of openings. 

Solicitor Gene Brosius conceded there are few formal requirements for service on the board, advertising for positions is not required, and appointment practices followed by Northumberland Borough Council are outlined in a state law called the Pennsylvania Municipality Authorities Act.  (Matt Farrand)

Norry Sewer Number 4: Priestley Chapel group seeks approval of sewer hookup

NORTHUMBERLAND – The president of a group that takes care of a historic Northumberland Borough chapel is anticipating that it will soon see more use.  However, Sam Geise of Priestley Chapel Associates says the 1834 building on Front Street will need bathrooms installed and a sewer system hookup. 

Geise asked the Northumberland Sewer Authority to approve an agreement with a neighbor to hook into their sewer line.  He says the arrangement will prove to be less expensive and disruptive to traffic than having to rip up the street and build a new hookup. 

Solicitor Gene Brosius requested a copy of a written agreement with the neighbor, and the board reserved judgment of the plan prior to review.  Money for the improvement was left to the Priestley Chapel Associates in someone’s will. The chapel and memorial garden built by the descendants of Joseph Priestley is a popular wedding site in Northumberland Borough.  (Matt Farrand)

Riverbank stabilization to proceed, Phase II bid accepted

SUNBURY – A bid for the second phase of the Sunbury Riverfront Project was accepted Monday night by Sunbury City Council.  Mayor David Persing says Phase II will include riverbank stabilization, and help to secure other funding, such as money from the state Fish and Boat Commission. 

The $3.6 million dollar bid is being awarded to HRI Construction of State College, following a two delay so an environmental review could be completed.  (Matt Farrand) 

Deal progresses for use of city hall floor

SUNBURY – The third floor of Sunbury’s City Hall may soon be put to use by Northumberland County.   Sunbury City Councilman Jim Eister says he met with County Commissioner Frank Sawicki about the plan that’s been talked of for several months. 

Eister and Councilman Kevin Troup will apparently look into it further and return to council with details, including a price that both sides can agree to.  The exact use of the space by the county has not been revealed.  (Matt Farrand) 

Governor proposes five state revenue boosters

LEWISBURG -- Desperate times call for desperate measures...and Ed Rendell says, he's about to call for some increases in 'desperation' revenue. During Governor Ed Rendell's visit to Union County last week, he spoke to business leaders and local officials about this year's state budget.  Rendell says it is important to prepare now for deficits in the future, especially when the federal stimulus money disappears. 

Rendell says he has proposed that five different and distinct revenues be raised and stay unused until July 2011.  He says, first, Pennsylvania must benefit from the Marcellus Shale, and that includes having a severance tax.  In addition, Rendell says the 'vendor's sales tax discount' should be eliminated.  He says retail businesses get a discount for collecting the sales tax that consumers pay. 

He says the people of Pennsylvania don't get discounts for paying the state income tax on time, so businesses shouldn't either.  According to Rendell, other ways to generate revenue include taxing cigars and smokeless tobacco and cutting the sales tax from 6% to 4%, getting rid of 69 of 74 tax exemptions. 

Lastly, Rendell says closing the Delaware loop hole will generate revenue.  The loop hole allows some Pennsylvania businesses, that also do business in other states and set up an office in Delaware, to not pay their corporate net income tax because Delaware has no business tax.  Rendell says these five revenue boosters would ensure that the state is better prepared for deficits in future budgets. (Sara Bartlett) 

 Local hospital offers new hip replacement procedure

SUNBURY -- It's a new way to do an old surgical procedure.  Dr. Brian Batman of SUN Orthopedic Group, says Sunbury Community Hospital now offers patients a new hip replacement procedure.  It's called the anterior approach, which is done through the front part of the leg.  Batman says it a quicker operation with less tissue damage.  In addition, there are little post operation precautions for patients. 

He says patients that have this procedure no longer will have to sleep with a pillow between their knees, or worry how they sit or cross their legs.  Dr. Batman says the procedure could be done in the past, but required some special equipment, including an orthopedic table, which Sunbury Community Hospital has.  

Dr. Batman and Sunbury Community Hospital will hold three presentations to talk about the new procedure.  The public is invited.  The first will be Wednesday in the hospital's ground floor conference room at 6:00p.m. Future discussions will take place May 6th and 12th.  (Sara Bartlett)

Changes are coming to deer season in the fall and winter

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners have given final approval to a number of changes in the 2010-2011 hunting seasons.  Jerry Feaser of the Pennsylvania Game Commission says the first five days of hunting season will be for antlered deer hunting only from November 29th through December 3rd.  The next seven days will be concurrent seasons of antlered and antlerless deer hunting. 

The game commission had offered two weeks of concurrent seasons for several years, however Feaser says change was needed.  He says the two weeks of concurrent seasons were put in place to control the deer population and now they are just looking to maintain the current levels of deer in the state. 

You can learn more about the specifics of the changes to deer hunting in Pennsylvania and the drop in the deer population on Tuesday’s On The Mark Program on WKOK.  Our guest will be Thomas Boop, a game commissioner.  On The Mark is weekdays from 8:30 to 10 a.m.   You can send your questions or comments to onthemark@wkok.com or call 1-800-795-WKOK.  (Ali Stevens)

A grueling ride to raise money for a local Relay for Life event

BEAVERTOWN – A former Beavertown resident will bike across the country to raise money for the Midd West Relay for Life.  David Garancosky, who now lives in Washington, Pennsylvania, still wants to contribute to the Midd West Relay for Life.  That’s why he has decided to bike across the United States.  He says he will follow the Trans-America trail on his dirt-bike. 

The trail starts in Yorktowne, Virginia and takes him all the way to Astoria, Oregon.  The total mileage for the bike ride is 4,665 miles.  Garancosky has been biking everyday and hopes to ride for at least 50 miles a day, which will take him three months to complete the ride.  Garancosky also says he will not be spending money on hotel bills. 

He will be living in a tent, fishing and surviving on food he catches and packs.  He will be hauling all of his supplies while riding.  Garancosky hopes to raise $10,000 when the ride is complete.  He will be blogging his progress at the Midd West Relay for Life website, which is www.relayforlife.org/pamiddwest. (Ali Stevens)

Latest Pennsylvania news, sports, business and entertainment

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Ed Rendell wants a special legislative session on Pennsylvania's transportation funding problems to begin next week.  Rendell's office says the governor is expected to address a joint session of the House and Senate on Tuesday after each chamber approves a resolution. Rendell's call for the session is being prompted by the federal government's recent rejection of Pennsylvania's application to turn Interstate 80 into a toll highway.  The rejection eliminated a key source of money to help address a backlog of highway, bridge and mass transit projects across the state.  The Department of Transportation says the $472 million expected from the tolls next year would have been part of $2.9 billion in highway and bridge improvements and $1.6 billion in state and federal support for mass transit.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns will serve as this year's commencement speaker for Penn State University's College of Communications.  Burns, who is known for high-profile public television documentaries such as "The Civil War," "Baseball," and "Jazz," will also receive an honorary doctoral degree during the May 15 ceremony at the Jordan Center. Burns' most   recent work looked at the history of national parks.  Burns will address 887 graduating students, which Penn State says is the largest class in the history of its College of Communications.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A retired jeweler sorting through items donated to a central Pennsylvania charity spotted one fabulous find last week: a 2.6-carat diamond and platinum ring.  Officials from Goodwill Industries say the ring has been appraised at $17,600, making it the most expensive item ever donated to Goodwill Industries Keystone Area.  The ring was discovered by retired jewelry Barry Landis, who has sorted through donated jewelry in Goodwill's Harrisburg distribution center for the last two years. Most of it is costume jewelry, but the donated diamond shone through.  The ring has a two-carat European-cut diamond, surrounded 14 smaller diamonds.  Goodwill officials aren't sure why the ring ended up being donated. No one has come forward to claim it.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden will speak at a University of Pennsylvania commencement ceremony where his daughter will get her master's degree.  The Ivy League school announced Tuesday that Biden will address graduates of the School of Social Policy and Practice.  Ashley Biden will receive a master's in social work at the ceremony in Philadelphia on May 17.  Penn's main commencement ceremony earlier that day will feature speaker Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to China. Huntsman, a Penn alumnus, is also the former governor of Utah.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Patriot-News of Harrisburg has changed the titles for two of its top editors to better reflect their roles at the newspaper.  David Newhouse has been named editor of the paper and Cate Barron has been named executive editor. The title changes were announced earlier this month by publisher John Kirkpatrick.  Day-to-day operations are unaffected by the title changes.  Newhouse previously served as executive editor and Barron was a managing editor.

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Bob Casey wants federal environmental regulators to investigate reports of groundwater contamination and other potential consequences of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. Casey has requested a meeting with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to discuss greater federal oversight of drilling operations. He said Monday he's concerned about a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, in which large volumes of water, along with sand and chemicals, are injected deep underground. Casey was joined at a news conference in Scranton by residents of Dimock Township, in Susquehanna County. They say a Texas-based driller polluted their water wells with methane gas.

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - A northeastern Pennsylvania native has been ordained as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton. Monsignor Joseph Bambera was installed yesterday afternoon in a ceremony at St. Peter's Cathedral. Bambera had been running the day-to-day operations of the 11-county diocese since the retirement of Bishop Joseph Martino last August. More than 20 bishops - including Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia - as well as the Vatican ambassador to the United States attended Bambera's ordination. Bambera was born in Carbondale and grew up in the diocese.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Ed Rendell is nominating a veteran of the state Education Department to be next state education secretary. Rendell announced the nomination of 52-year-old Thomas Gluck yesterday. Gluck has served as the No. 2 administrator in the department for the past five years. He will succeed his boss, Gerald Zahorchak, who is taking a new job as superintendent of the Allentown School District. Gluck worked at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, the State System of Higher Education and the state Senate before joining the Education Department. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association praised the nomination, which must be confirmed by the Senate.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Kate's eight are free to appear on their mom's upcoming reality show. A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry says producers have obtained child-labor permits for Kate Gosselin's twins and sextuplets to appear with their mother on a series of TLC specials, "Kate Plus 8." Troy Thompson said Monday that the permits are good for six months, then must be renewed. Pennsylvania regulators concluded last month that permits should have been obtained for Gosselin's old show, "Jon & Kate Plus 8." The series ended last year when Kate split with her husband, Jon. No legal action was taken, but the producers agreed to submit paperwork for any future taping.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - For the next 54 days, businesses and people who owe back taxes in Pennsylvania will be allowed to pay up with only a fraction of the usual penalties and interest Gov. Ed Rendell was holding news conference in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia on Monday to kick off Pennsylvania's first tax-amnesty program in 14 years. It allows tax dodgers who owe the state more than $2 billion to pay their taxes without any penalty and only half the usual interest. It's expected to generate $190 million for the financially strained state treasury. A $3 million multimedia campaign includes a TV ad that shows a camera honing in on a satellite image of a supposed tax dodger's home as the narrator warns viewers that "we do know who you are."

    (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Updates on the latest in business

Dow: 10,991.99, down -213.04

S&P 500: 1,183.71, down -28.34

NASDAQ: 2,471.47, down -51.48 

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks have recovered some of their earlier losses, but fell sharply after Standard & Poor's downgraded the debt of Portugal and Greece. The rating agency's move intensified investors' fears that Europe's debt problems are spreading. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 150 points. All the major market indexes were down more than 1 percent.

ATHENS (AP) - Europe's government debt crisis has worsened ominously. Greece's credit rating was downgraded to junk status and Portugal's debt was lowered on fears the trouble could spread. The Portuguese downgrade was a sign the European Union's fears of that the debt crisis would spread beyond Greece, and further undermine the euro currency, might be coming true.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Top Goldman Sachs officials have defended their conduct in the financial crisis, flatly disputing the government's fraud allegations against the giant financial house.  But they faced bipartisan wrath from a Senate panel investigating Goldman's role in the financial crisis and the Securities and Exchange Commission fraud suit against it and one of its traders.

ATLANTA (AP) - Improving global economies helped shipping giant UPS boost its first-quarter profit and its prospects for the rest of the year. UPS says health care companies are sending more medical devices and   prescription drugs, high-tech firms are shipping more products and equipment and there's evidence of modest restocking of inventories among companies in general.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal government has announced a $520 million settlement with pharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca. Attorney General Eric Holder says it stems from the drug company promoting its antipsychotic drug Seroquel for unapproved uses.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

    

Pennsylvania Lottery Numbers

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - These Pennsylvania lotteries were drawn Tuesday:

 Mega Millions

     Estimated jackpot: $191 million

 Midday Big 4

     3-8-0-3

Midday Number

     7-6-0

Midday Quinto

     5-7-7-8-3

Powerball

     Estimated jackpot: $30 million

 Treasure Hunt

     01-12-15-17-21 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - These Pennsylvania lotteries were drawn Monday:

 Big 4

     4-0-2-7

 Cash 5

     11-22-23-30-39

 Daily Number

     6-2-4

 Evening Quinto

     8-7-3-1-8

Midday Big 4

     5-5-7-6

 Midday Number

     7-4-0

 Midday Quinto

     0-5-4-9-8

 Mix and Match

     14-12-17-18-19

Treasure Hunt

     07-08-09-15-24

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

NBC plans special on prince's environmentalism

NEW YORK (AP) - Britain's Prince Charles will be featured on NBC later this year in a film about his environmental work.  The network said Tuesday it will show "Harmony," a movie about the prince and his view that people have lost the understanding of how to live in harmony with the natural world. It features business and environmental leaders working for a better balance.  Paul Telegdy, head of alternative programming at NBC, says Charles was mocked as the "tree-hugging prince" when he first started talking about many of these issues. Telegdy knows - he's a Brit who worked for the BBC.  The special will air in November, part of a week NBC Universal is spotlighting with programs across its networks promoting green and healthy lifestyles.

Peanuts gang sold to owner of Joe Boxer for $175M

CINCINNATI (AP) - You've got a new owner, Charlie Brown.  E.W. Scripps Co. is selling the unit that owns the rights to Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang for $175 million to Iconix Brand Group Inc.  The sale of United Media Licensing also means Iconix has a new partnership with the family of the late Peanuts creator, Charles Schulz. They'll receive 20 percent ownership and pay that percentage of the sale price.  Scripps said Tuesday the cash deal will close by the end of the second quarter.  The newspaper publisher and TV station owner had been exploring a sale since February.  The Peanuts brand has annual sales of more than $2 billion.  Iconix owns and licenses brands such as Joe Boxer, London Fog, Starter and Mudd.

Table tennis trouble

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) - It's ping-pong versus pool at a Tennessee senior center. The Johnson City Press has received an open letter signed by 29 seniors protesting plans to put in table tennis at the new local senior center. The billiards players don't want anything to do with a ping-pong table. They say it would be like putting a volleyball court on the fairway of a golf course.  City officials promise to study the pool versus ping-pong issue before making a final decision.    

Muslim Frenchman is center of polygamy controversy as burqa ban is proposed

PARIS (AP) - A Muslim Frenchman is at the center of controversy after his wife was fined for driving with a veil covering her face. The 31-year-old woman drew nationwide attention last week to a driving fine she received for apparel hindering her vision. Now it appears that her husband may have four wives, although it's

doubtful the marriages were made official under French law. The situation could be a boon to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is trying to rush through legislation forbidding burqa-style Islamic veils. It was announced Monday that the text of the bill to ban full Muslim veils is to be presented at a Cabinet  meeting May 19. France's interior minister wants to revoke the French citizenship of the driver's Algerian-born husband if he is found to be practicing polygamy.

TEXTING IN CLASS

ATLANTA (AP) - Texting in class won't get these students in trouble. Georgia State University prof David McDonald wants his students to text during his lectures. The business professor is using new software that projects questions sent via text message in what looks like a news ticker. McDonald says he got the idea during an Atlanta Thrashers hockey game. Fans are able to send text message shout-outs that are posted on the scoreboard. He contacted Atlanta-based FanDriveMedia to adapt their technology to the classroom.

VINYL REVIVAL

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - What are those big, round black things? Well, kids they're called records. Shane Jensen says his 16-year-old daughter and her friends didn't know what his records were. The Hutchinson, Kansas, man says the old-school recordings came back into his life when his brother bought him a turntable a

couple of years ago. Vinyl fans find their LP's at garage sales and secondhand stores. But there's also new music on those big ol' discs. The Hutchinson News reports Lady Gaga and 50 Cent are among the contemporary artists releasing tunes on vinyl.

NON CHAIN GANGS

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - They're chain gangs -- minus the chains. A Washington suburb is putting jail inmates to work. Prisoners in Fairfax County, Virginia, can volunteer for outdoor labor. The inmates do things like mowing grass, removing snow and painting over graffiti. There are no chains, or prison stripes, either. The inmates look like ordinary landscapers in their gray and orange uniforms. But a clue to their status is an armed deputy nearby. The prisoners get five days off their sentences for every 30 days of work.

Bad Habits-Survival

CHICAGO (AP) - New research suggests that having four common bad habits can age you by 12 years.  The four bad habits are smoking, drinking too much, not getting enough physical activity and a poor diet.      The findings highlight yet another reason to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The study tracked nearly 5,000 British adults for 20 years. Of those with all four bad habits, 29 percent died. That compares to 8 percent of the healthier people who didn't have those unhealthy behaviors. The study appears in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine.

Brazil-More Sex

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Brazil's health minister has a remedy for the nation's high-blood- pressure problem: More sex. Minister Jose Temporao says adults should be exercising more to help keep their blood pressure down - and he says a good cardiovascular workout includes sex, "always with protection, obviously."

Temporao also recommends dancing, a healthy diet and regular blood-pressure checks. The minister made the comments Monday while launching a national campaign against high blood pressure in the Brazilian capital of

Brasilia. The Health Ministry says 21.5 percent of Brazilians had high blood pressure in 2006. That jumped to 24.4 percent in 2009.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)