Weekly Update: Protecting Students, Creating Jobs, and Expanding Broadband Access to All Pennsylvanians Thanks to two court decisions today, Pennsylvania now has a fair congressional map. This is great news for our democracy — we can now move forward from the days of partisan gerrymandering and ensure that Pennsylvania voters are heard at the polls. pic.twitter.com/83fOryUX1j— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) March 19, 2018 March 26, 2018 Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twitter The Blog, Weekly Update Expanding BroadbandLast week, Governor Wolf announced a new initiative that will expand broadband access to businesses and households in Pennsylvania, ensuring that every Pennsylvanian has access to high-speed internet by 2022.“High-Speed Internet access is essential to growing our economy, expanding educational opportunities for our children, increasing access to modern healthcare, and improving the safety of our communities,” said Governor Wolf. “For Pennsylvania to succeed we must close the digital divide ensuring every citizen and business has the access it needs to connect to the ever-expanding digital world in which we live and work.”The governor announced the Pennsylvania Broadband Incentive Program which will offer up to $35 million in financial incentives to private providers bidding on service areas within Pennsylvania in the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming Connect America Fund Phase II Auction.Fighting the Opioid CrisisOn Thursday, Governor Wolf announced that synthetic fentanyl-related substances are now classified as Schedule I drugs, making them illegal substances. This move is one of many made by the Wolf Administration to combat the opioid epidemic. Earlier in the week the governor unveiled the PA Overdose Information Network, which is a centralized location where police, public safety, and healthcare professionals can track overdoses, naloxone administration, and investigative drug information. This network allows individuals on the front lines of this epidemic to better track and share all types of information related to opioid abuse in their communities.Jobs that PayLast week the governor announced that Haven Behavioral Hospital of Eastern Pennsylvania will create 38 new jobs by expanding its operation in Reading, Berks County. He also announced on Friday that SUPERVALU selected Harrisburg for its new facility, creating 350 new jobs.“Any time a large employer like SUPERVALU chooses to expand in Pennsylvania, not only is it fantastic news for our workers, but it’s more evidence that Pennsylvania has the workforce and business climate that makes companies want to grow here,” Governor Wolf said. “My administration is looking forward to building on our efforts to support our business climate in the years ahead so companies like SUPERVALU can continue to thrive. I applaud SUPERVALU for choosing to expand in the commonwealth.”Gun SafetyOn Friday, the governor sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation praising recent gun safety measures in the federal omnibus bill and pushing for further action, including banning military-style weapons like the one used in the Parkland shooting tragedy.The letter states, “Law enforcement officials throughout the commonwealth support these bans. They know that ending the sale of these weapons will make our communities safer. Had Congress not allowed a ban on these weapons to expire in 2004, the deaths that have occurred in Orlando, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook or Parkland may have never happened. These tragedies are becoming far too common. You must act to prevent another town being added to this list.“I know that these measures will not prevent all tragedies. However, we cannot use that as an excuse to not act to protect our constituents.”The governor also proclaimed Saturday, March 24, “March for Our Lives Day” in Pennsylvania with many local events planned in the commonwealth in support of the Washington D.C. march. March for Our Lives supporters are primarily young people asking their representatives to make their safety a priority and address gun violence in our schools and communities.Earlier this month, Governor Wolf and Auditor General DePasquale launched the school safety task force, bringing together community members to talk about improving school safety and security.Governor Wolf’s Week, March 18, 2018 – March 24, 2018Monday, 3/19/18• Governor Wolf Announces New Initiative to Expand Broadband Access• Wolf Administration Unveils PA Overdose Information Network• Pennsylvania Governor Wolf Statement on New Congressional Map Staying in PlaceTuesday, 3/20/18• Governor Wolf Announces Funding Increase for Municipal Road Projects• Governor Wolf Applauds PA Senate Action on Domestic Violence Legislative Package• Governor Wolf Announces New Jobs in Berks County Through Expansion of Haven Behavioral Hospital of Eastern Pennsylvania• Wolf Administration Monitoring Potential Impacts from Snowstorm Forecast for Parts of Pennsylvania• Governor Wolf’s Statement on the Confirmation of Health, Human Services and Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretaries, Insurance Commissioner• Governor Wolf Announces PEMA to Activate Commonwealth Response Coordination Center in Response to Ongoing Winter StormWednesday, 3/21/18• Governor Wolf Provides Storm Update on Visit to Philadelphia PennDOT Maintenance Facility• Governor Wolf: Attempt to Impeach Judges is Undemocratic• Governor Wolf Announces Extension of Tri-State Shale Coalition Agreement to Maximize Benefits of Natural Gas Resources• Governor Wolf and PEMA Provide Storm UpdateThursday, 3/22/18• Wolf Administration Takes Step to Help Law Enforcement Combat Synthetic Fentanyl• Governor Wolf Announces Approval of 11 Projects to Assist Local Governments with Municipal Planning and Shared Services• Wolf Administration Previews 2018 North Central Region Construction Season, Highlights Projects• Governor Wolf Appoints Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick Acting State Police CommissionerFriday, 3/23/18• Governor Wolf Orders the Commonwealth Flag at Half-Staff to Honor Fallen Firefighters Ivan Flanscha and Zachary Anthony• Governor Wolf Pushes Congress on Gun Safety, Proclaims “March for Our Lives Day” in Pennsylvania• Governor Wolf Announces New SUPERVALU Facility in Dauphin County, Creating Approximately 350 Jobs• Wolf Administration Hosts Cabinet in Your Community EventHighlights from the Blog:• Governor Wolf Announces Initiative to Expand Broadband Access (Round-up)• March for our Lives Day, 2018Highlights from Twitter:For PA to succeed, we must close the digital divide and ensure every citizen and business has the high-speed internet access they need to connect to the digital world in which we live and work. https://t.co/2cfbasH67r— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) March 19, 2018
Serena Williams has another shot at winning a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title after demolishing Elina Svitolina to reach the US Open final.Serena Williams has another shot at winning a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title after demolishing Elina Svitolina to reach the US Open final.The American, 37, overpowered the Ukrainian fifth seed to win 6-3 6-1.Williams, seeded eighth, is aiming for her first Grand Slam win since giving birth in September 2017.The six-time champion will face Swiss Belinda Bencic or Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu in Saturday’s final.Bencic, 22, and 19-year-old Andreescu, both competing in their first major semi-final, meet for the right to face Williams later in Thursday’s night session in New York. Williams underlines why she is favourite for victoryWilliams is already considered by many as the greatest female player ever, yet will not be satisfied herself until she has levelled – and then overtaken – Australian Margaret Court’s total of all-time Grand Slam singles titles.Following the difficult birth of daughter Olympia two years ago which almost cost Williams her life, she has reached consecutive Wimbledon finals – plus last year’s controversial US Open showpiece against Naomi Osaka – without capping what has already been a remarkable comeback with another major win.For Williams to not go on and win a seventh US Open title – an Open era record in the women’s singles – would be a major shock on the evidence of her performances over the past two weeks.Free of the knee injury which bothered her earlier this year, she is looking as sharp, powerful and clinical as she has in a long time.That was illustrated by the ease with which she swatted aside Svitolina, the highest ranked player to reach the last eight at Flushing Meadows and competing in her second successive Grand Slam semi-final. The 24-year-old Ukrainian has one of the most impenetrable returning games on the WTA Tour, yet even she could not keep Williams at bay.After a slow start where Svitolina could conceivably have led 2-0, it was the American who broke at the first attempt and from that point it was all one-way traffic.Williams found her range quickly and dominated with her powerful, precise hitting which resulted in 33 winners in a match which lasted only one hour and 10 minutes.“The first two games were long games and I know how she can play – she is a good player,” Williams said.“I wanted to not get off to a slow start and I wanted to hang in there.” Svitolina was expected to provide a tougher test for Williams after clinically dispatching British number one Johanna Konta in their quarter-final on Wednesday.With her fleet of foot and ability to return, she would have been hoping to withstand everything fired by Williams and then outlast her older opponent.But even she could not cope with the pummelling produced by the American.Svitolina’s inability to take any of six break points in the early part of the first set proved terminal to her hopes.Helped by three unforced errors from Williams in the opening game, Svitolina created three break points which she could not convert and then saw her illustrious opponent fight back from a 0-40 deficit to break for a 2-0 lead after a hard-fought 15 minutes. Another 0-40 lead disappeared as Williams held for a 4-1 lead and from that point Svitolina’s confidence sapped, along with her ability to push her opponent.“I just wish I could have taken those opportunities,” said Svitolina, who won the season-ending WTA Tour Finals last year.“It could be maybe a 2-2 or 3-3 instead of 0-3, which allows you to push to play more freely.”In the second set she was not able to touch Williams’s serve, winning just three receiving points.“She has unbelievable strength. She gives lots of power,” Svitolina said. “There’s lots of power behind her shots all the time. That’s what makes her an unbelievable, legendary tennis player.”
Lewis Hamilton sealed his sixth world drivers’ title with second place in the United States Grand Prix.The result means Hamilton becomes the second most successful F1 driver of all time – moving him to within one championship of all-time record-holder Michael Schumacher, whose tally of seven is now within his reach.Hamilton failed in a valiant attempt to win the race by trying a different strategy to Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas but that did not matter such was his points advantage.Hamilton held off Max Verstappen for second as Bottas stroked to victory.Hamilton had said before the race that he was not thinking of sealing the championship in Austin, Texas, only of winning the race, and he drove with the fierce competitive instinct that has defined his season and career.His decision to run long, do a single pit stop and try to hold off his rivals at the end did not quite work out – Bottas passed him with three laps to go – but it was a drive befitting the towering achievement he was to secure at the end of the race. Hamilton’s sixth title has also moved him clear of the legendary Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio.“It’s just overwhelming,” he said. “It was such a tough race. Yesterday was a tough day. I really just wanted recover and deliver the one-two. I didn’t think the one-stop was going to be possible. I am filled with so much emotion. It is an honour to be up there with those greats.“My dad told me when I was six or seven years old to never give up. I was hopeful I might be able to win but I didn’t have it in the tyres.”Asked what he could go on to achieve in his career, Hamilton said: “I don’t know about championships but as an athlete I feel fresh as can be. We won’t let up, we’ll keep pushing.”Hamilton has secured the championship with 10 victories out of the 19 races held so far this season, with two remaining in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.