Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

STATE/EAST/CITY/ALLEGHENY COUNTY [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

STATE/EAST/CITY/ALLEGHENY COUNTY [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

STATE

Poll finds Corbett job approval rating down

Gov. Tom Corbett's job approval rating is down significantly as voters question how he is handling the state budget, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday.

Pennsylvania voters are split on how the governor is doing, with 41 percent saying they approve and 41 percent saying they disapprove. In December, university pollsters found 47 percent of voters approved of the governor's job performance and 34 percent disapproved.

The drop is driven mainly by Democrats and more by men than women.

State voters disapprove 49-36 of how Mr. Corbett is handling the state budget. They feel more strongly about how he is handling funding for the state's public universities, with 53 percent disapproving and 27 percent approving. Sixty-five percent of voters oppose cutting funding for public universities, while 28 percent support it.

"After a honeymoon as one of the country's more popular new Republican governors, Tom Corbett takes a big hit in his job approval," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a statement. "A call for cuts in state funding to its universities may have hit a nerve with parents fearful tuitions could rise."

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,256 registered voters from March 7 to March 12. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

EAST

Medical cause, cell use ruled out in fatal crash

State police continue to investigate what caused a Pepsi truck driver passing through Somerset County to veer into oncoming traffic Wednesday, striking a school bus in an accident that killed him and sent nearly two dozen people to the hospital.

An autopsy conducted by the county coroner's office determined that Robert B. Dodson Jr., 31, of Duncansville in Blair County, did not suffer a traumatic medical event in the moments before the accident on Route 281 south of Route 653. The results of toxicology tests, which are normally requested in fatal accidents, were pending Thursday night.

State police said they ruled out the possibility that Mr. Dodson was distracted by a cell phone because they found his phone in a backpack. The investigation also showed no indication that he swerved to avoid something, police said.

Two adults -- the school bus driver and an aide -- and two students remained hospitalized from their injuries midday Thursday. All are expected to recover.

The school bus was transporting 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders from the Somerset County Technology Center to the Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District for their afternoon dismissal when Mr. Dodson struck the bus at about 2:40 p.m.

CITY

City police stepping up DUI enforcement for weekend

With a big weekend of basketball and green beer ahead, Pittsburgh police will be on the lookout for those who overindulge. …

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