FILE - man vaping, vape, Juul, e-cigarette

Failure to account for charter schools puts school district deep in the red, auditor says

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale called out the Pottsville Area School District this week, saying that administrators there had allowed their general fund balance to plummet to negative $1.2 million.

The district in Schuylkill County agreed with the findings of their audit, a news release from DePasquale’s office said, and is working to rectify five findings and implement 17 recommendations from the audit.

“Auditors found the school board did not plan for a multi-year budget or factor the costs associated with retirements, healthcare costs, and charter schools,” the news release said. “For example, the district failed to plan for charter school costs, which increased from $1.7 million in 2013 to $2.4 million in 2017. The board also approved budgets that counted on revenue that the district did not receive.”

National, local cases of vaping-related illnesses lead Department of Health to issue warning

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is monitoring developments with a series of hundreds of illnesses related to e-cigarettes and vaping across the country and is warning residents to avoid using “unregulated products purchased illegally.”

According to a news release, the state has seen 17 suspected cases and has another 30 or so currently under investigation of vaping-related lung injuries. Nationally, the number of cases has reached several hundred, including several deaths.

The department’s news release noted that none of the cases in Pennsylvania have been tied to the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries.

State hands out check to county to help pay for new voting machines

Pennsylvania acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar traveled to Lehigh County this week to present county commissioners with a check to help pay for the cost of new voting machines.

Counties across Pennsylvania are working to replace voting machines to comply with a directive from Gov. Tom Wolf ahead of the 2020 federal elections. The check that Lehigh County received was for $380,868.

The governor this year vetoed a bill that would have provided funding for all of the state’s counties to pay for the new voting machines, but in a news release from the Department of State it was noted that the governor is looking to issue a $90 million bond that would cover 60 percent of the costs for counties.