News from the Associated Press - April 11, 2014

Associated Press
April 11, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State health chief Dr. Nirav Shah plans to step down this June to take an executive position in California with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. Shaw's interim replacement as health commissioner will be Dr. Howard Zucker, who has been the department's first deputy commissioner since last September.

 

DEP issues violations for Chevron well fire

DILLINER, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has cited Chevron Inc. for nine violations at a natural gas well that exploded in February, killing one worker.

DEP spokesman John Poister says Thursday that Chevron improperly restricted state access to the well site for the first two days. Poister says the situation later improved but that Chevron's initial stance was in violation of oil and gas rules that say regulators should have free and unrestricted access.

A Chevron spokesman says in an email that the company's first priority was to prevent additional injuries, and they're evaluating DEP's allegations of violations.

The explosion killed a 27-year-old worker for Houston-based Cameron International, and the cause has yet to be determined. The site is about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh.

 

US education secretary supports NY commissioner

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation's top educator says his embattled New York counterpart is an "amazing leader."

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan also said Thursday that the state has emerged as a pacesetter in early education and higher standards.

Duncan's endorsement came days after the state's largest teachers union targeted Commissioner John B. King Jr. with a "no confidence" vote.

Duncan and King appeared together at New York University's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.

King announced several initiatives.

They include a $16 million grant program to evaluate and streamline local testing. He says a pool of top teachers will shape new Common Core curriculum.

 

Amazon.com to hire 300 more for NE Pa. center

HAZLETON, Pa. (AP) — One of the largest employers in a northeastern Pennsylvania city says it is adding several hundred more jobs.

Amazon.com spokeswoman Rebecca Passo Mikulski says the company will hire another 300 people for its distribution center in Hazleton's Humboldt Industrial Park.

She cited growing customer demand for the decision to hire new workers to pick, pack and ship orders.

The company currently employs about 1,500 people at the center, which opened in 2008.

Mikulski told The (Hazleton) Standard Speaker (http://bit.ly/1k8qOZa) that the full-time jobs include benefits such as health insurance, a 401(k) plan and tuition assistance for some courses.

Associated Press 2014. All Rights Reserved.