Heads Up: Morning headlines for March 13



The Disability Rights Network has filed a federal lawsuit against the state's prison system, alleging that the Department of Corrections has tossed some 800 prisoners with mental-health problems into solitary confinement, thereby "exacerbat[ing]their mental illness. Making things worse, the suit alleges, when prisoners act out as a result of their deepening illness, prison authorities interpret those symptoms as further evidence of rule-breaking. Some tough reading here.

Here's your daily round-up of headlines about the Pittsburgh police bureau: The Post-Gazette reports -- surprise! -- that some money in a drug-asset forfeiture account may have been misspent. And acting police chief Regina McDonald may share some of the blame! McDonald, meanwhile, was grilled by council yesterday, concerning the reassignment of officers in a controversial unit that reported to previous chief Nate Harper. And DA Steve Zappala is making recommendations to improve oversight of off-duty police security work.

How much are the state's corporate tax breaks costing the rest of us? Nearly $3.2 billion a year, according to the left-leaning Pennsylvania Budget and Police Center.

And how much does fracking cost our environment? Hard to be sure, but there are worrisome signs of damage to state rivers and streams.

As you've probably heard by now, a left-leaning polling outfit finds Gov. Tom Corbett polling behind just about any Democrat you can think of, frequently by double digits. Only one-third of voters approve of his job performance, and a plurality of Republicans would prefer someone else to be the party's nominee. It's the latest in a long series of bad polls for Corbett, though another poll finding shows that large numbers of voters have no idea who the potential Democrats are.


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