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NEWS
February 27, 2015 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
  HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf and Senate Republicans on Wednesday resolved a dispute over a slate of last-minute nominees by outgoing Gov. Tom Corbett. The Senate confirmed 12 of Corbett's original 28 nominees, including former Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley as a Temple University trustee and Corbett's revenue secretary, Dan Meuser, to the State System of Higher Education's board of governors. Four others - including two Bucks County judges - are scheduled for confirmation at a later date.
NEWS
February 26, 2015 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday narrowly approved Gov. Christie's nomination of Robert Barr to serve on the Pinelands Commission. Barr, secretary of the Cape May County Democratic Committee, has been opposed by most state conservation and environmental organizations, which see him as a likely yes vote if South Jersey Gas seeks another waiver to build a controversial pipeline through the protected Pinelands. Jaclyn Rhoades, assistant director of the advocacy group Pinelands Preservation Alliance, said it appeared the vote on Barr's nomination was scheduled for Tuesday because Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D., Union)
NEWS
February 25, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A Centre County judge tapped by Gov. Wolf to fill a state Supreme Court vacancy is withdrawing his nomination after coming under fire last week for an e-mail that some claimed was racially insensitive. Judge Thomas K. Kistler, the president judge in Centre County since 2012, confirmed Monday he is removing his name from consideration. In a statement, Kistler made no mention of the e-mail or the furor surrounding it. Instead, he said that "several circumstances have developed here, at home, in Centre County, which have dramatically altered the legal system and require my full attention.
NEWS
February 23, 2015 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
All the potential candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination are on record favoring the traditional definition of marriage: one man, one woman. So far, though, most are not talking much about it. Same-sex marriage has become a much more complicated issue for Republicans since 2004, when master strategist Karl Rove helped put gay-marriage bans on the ballot in key states to boost the party's base turnout and help reelect President George W. Bush. Voters, including many Republicans, have become more open to allowing gay men and lesbians to wed, and the right is now recognized in 36 states.
NEWS
February 22, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Craig R. McCoy, and Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writers
The fate of a Centre County Court judge whom Gov. Wolf nominated for Pennsylvania's highest court was unsettled Friday as legislators and others questioned whether an e-mail he sent was racially insensitive. Wolf told The Inquirer that he had not seen the e-mail forwarded by Judge Thomas K. Kistler. "We're looking into it, and I'll be making a decision once I'm confident that I know all the facts," Wolf said in Washington, where he was attending a governors' conference. At the same time, questions also emerged about a harassment complaint once filed against Wolf's other nominee for the high court, Ken Gormley, a dean at the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh.
NEWS
February 6, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - When he started working on defense issues, Ashton Carter said Wednesday, there was just one big worry: the Cold War and its threat of nuclear disaster. "Those were the good old days," said Sen. James M. Inhofe (R., Okla.). Now, as Carter stands poised to become the civilian head of the U.S. military, the Abington High School graduate faces a much more complex tangle. "We are in a time where the number and severity of risks is not something I've seen before in my life," Carter said during the first hearing on his nomination to become secretary of defense.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 5, 2015 | BY CHUCK DARROW, Daily News Staff Writer darrowc@phillynews.com, 215-313-3134
SO, A COUPLE of Academy Award nominees are teaming up to do Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard. " Big deal, right? You can't swing a rolled-up Playbill in New York's theater district without hitting some big-time movie or TV star taking a huge pay cut to hit the boards. (Paging Bradley "Elephant Man" Cooper!) But when David Strathairn (nominated for "Good Night, and Good Luck") and Mary McDonnell ("Dances With Wolves," "Passion Fish") hit the stage Feb. 11, they will be, according to Mapquest, exactly 114.72 miles southwest of Times Square, at People's Light & Theatre Company, in Malvern.
NEWS
January 28, 2015 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee put off a planned vote Monday on Gov. Christie's nomination of Robert Barr to the Pinelands Commission, a decision hailed by opponents of a controversial gas pipeline proposal. State Sen. Kip Bateman (R., Somerset), a committee member, said afterward it appeared the vote was not held because there was not enough support for Barr to win approval. He said he thinks the governor is trying to stack the commission to enable the pipeline. In a related development, the chairman of the Pinelands Commission said he would seek to tighten its regulations to make it difficult for utilities to win waivers for nonconforming projects such as a pipeline.
NEWS
December 13, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - Gov. Christie's pick to head the state Education Department won unanimous approval Thursday from a Senate panel, even as one conservative lawmaker and members of the public expressed unease with his embrace of the divisive Common Core State Standards. David C. Hespe, who was education commissioner under Gov. Christie Whitman, has served as acting head of the department since March, following the resignation of Chris Cerf. He was chief of staff in the department during Christie's first term and returned to the administration after a stint as president of Burlington County College.
NEWS
December 7, 2014 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - He walked into a room named for Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, just behind President Obama and Vice President Biden, as members of the president's inner circle and national defense elites stood and applauded. Ashton Carter, born in Philadelphia and raised in Abington, had a bright moment in the spotlight Friday morning as he was nominated to become secretary of defense, which would put him in charge of the world's most powerful military and a host of vexing challenges.
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