Articles by Michael Rubinkam

False Alarms Shake Confidence in Public Alert System

Weather junkie John Grosso knew it was highly unlikely a monster wave was barreling toward the Connecticut coast. Still, when a tsunami warning appeared out of the blue on his phone Tuesday, he felt a twinge of fear. His co-workers, …

Tour Operator in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country Gets in Tiff Over His Tuk-Tuk

Pennsylvania utility regulators are making a big to-do over Timm Wenger’s tuk-tuk. The 48-year-old entrepreneur wants to use his three-wheeled, open-sided electric shuttle to offer sightseeing tours of Lancaster the urban core of a region best known for its undulating …

Pennsylvania Families Win $4.24M Verdict Against Gas Driller

Two couples were awarded nearly $4.25 million on Thursday after a federal jury found one of the largest natural gas producers in Pennsylvania was responsible for the contamination of their well water, capping a six-year odyssey that turned their sleepy …

Unmanned Work Zone Trucks Promise Road Safety, Savings

Roving construction crews — the kind you see blacktopping a road, painting lines, inspecting a bridge or installing a traffic signal — are often protected from oncoming traffic by a specialized truck outfitted with a crash barrier. The crash trucks, …

Judge: Flawed Science Led to Murder-by-Arson Conviction in Pennsylvania Case

The arsonist who killed Ji Yun Lee was especially cruel and calculating, dousing her small cabin in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains with more than 60 gallons (230 liters) of gasoline and heating fuel and setting at least eight fires, ending at …

Ice Storm Knocks Out Power for Hundreds of Thousands in Northeast

Utility crews were working feverishly to restore power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the eastern U.S. that were still in the dark and cold on Thursday after an ice storm knocked out electricity to more than …

Lawsuit: Gas Drilling Fluid Ruined Pennsylvania Water Wells

Thirteen families in the heart of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale say their water wells have been contaminated by poisonous fluids blasted deep underground by a drilling company using a technique at the center of a fierce nationwide debate. A faulty …

N.Y. to Lower Reservoirs to Reduce Flood Risk for Delaware River Towns

At the request of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, New York City has agreed to release more water from its reservoirs in the Catskills in an effort to reduce the danger of flooding in communities downstream along the Delaware River. Flood-battered …

N.Y. City to Lower Catskills Reservoirs to Reduce Flood Risk to Pa.

At the request of Gov. Ed Rendell, New York City has agreed to release more water from its reservoirs in the Catskills in an effort to reduce the danger of flooding in communities downstream along the Delaware River. Flood-battered residents, …

1908 Pa. Opera House Tragedy Ushered in Fire Safety Rules

Panic spread through the audience as quickly as the flames devouring the highly flammable stage curtains. Nearly 400 people had packed the Boyertown, Pa. opera house to watch or perform in a play called “The Scottish Reformation.” Now all of …