State briefs

Hundreds get layoff notices in

jobless centers funding fight

HARRISBURG (AP) — Layoff notices are going out to more than 500 Pennsylvania state employees because of a dispute over additional state funding for unemployment compensation services.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said roughly 520 employees will have received the notices by Tuesday.

The employees’ last day on the job will be Dec. 19, when the Wolf administration plans to close unemployment compensation service centers in Allentown, Altoona and Lancaster.

Labor and Industry Department spokeswoman Sara Goulet says the administration has no other source of money to keep the centers open. Goulet says people will encounter longer waits when they call the remaining centers and potentially slower claims processing.

The Republican-controlled House approved $57.5 million in funding from workers’ unemployment compensation taxes. The GOP-controlled Senate adjourned until January without voting on it.

Officials: Mayor charged

with DUI after fleeing crash

CHESTER (AP) — Officials say a Pennsylvania mayor has been charged with driving under the influence after he allegedly hit a vehicle and fled the scene of the crash.

Charges were filed against Upland Mayor Michael Ciach after police say he rear-ended a car that then struck two other vehicles on Friday in the city of Chester, just outside of Philadelphia.

Upland is a neighboring borough.

Officials say Ciach was arrested by responding officers while wandering the streets of Chester. He has been released on his own recognizance.

Ciach hasn’t responded to requests for comment.

Officials: 4-year-old likely set fire in home for attention

LEBANON (AP) — Fire officials say they believe a 4-year-old boy started a fire in his central Pennsylvania home in an attempt to get attention.

The Lebanon Daily News reports ( ) the blaze broke out in a second-floor bedroom of a Lebanon home on Sunday morning. A cat died in the fire, which displaced two adults and four children.

Fire Commissioner Duane Trautman says the fire began in a child’s bed. He says he doesn’t know how the fire started, but said the boy may have had access to some matches or a lighter.

The child was taken to a hospital with injuries. His condition wasn’t immediately known.

Trautman says narrow streets and high winds posed challenges to firefighters. He estimates damage to the building at about $50,000.