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No dangerous pollution found near drilling site

DIMOCK, Pa. (AP) -- Federal environmental regulators say testing at 20 homes in a northeastern Pennsylvania village where a gas driller was accused of polluting the aquifer showed no dangerous levels of water contamination.

The report released Friday by the Environmental Protection Agency shows the presence of substances including barium, methane and sodium in several of the wells in Dimock that were tested, but nothing requiring the EPA to take immediate action.

Earlier testing showed the presence of sodium, methane, chromium or bacteria in six other wells.

One of the wells for which results were released Friday shows barium levels well above the EPA's maximum contaminant level, but a treatment system was successfully removing it.

The village in Susquehanna County has been at the center of a debate over the environmental and health effects of Marcellus Shale drilling.


Baseball ticket prices flat

CHICAGO (AP) -- Major League Baseball ticket prices are flat for the first time in two decades.

The average is $26.92 this year, up 1 cent from last season and the smallest increase in the survey's 21-year history, the Team Marketing Report said Friday.

The average was $77.36 in the NFL last year, and $57.10 in the NHL and $48.48 in the NBA in their current seasons.

Boston has the highest average for a nonpremium ticket at $53.38, followed by the New York Yankees at $51.55.

San Diego has the lowest average at $15.67, just beneath Arizona's $15.74.


Worker crushed by pipe

TIONESTA, Pa. (AP) - Investigators say a 24-year-old drilling worker has been fatally crushed by a large piece of pipe at a natural gas well site operated by National Fuel Gas Co. in rural northwestern Pennsylvania.

Forest County Coroner Norman Wimer says Brandon Pennywell, of Harrisburg, was killed instantly when the pipe slipped, crushing him between it and a large beam. A team of workers was placing the pipe together with another piece when the accident occurred at about 8:20 a.m. Thursday in Tionesta Township.

Pennywell was employed by Patterson-UTI drilling, a subcontractor hired by Seneca Resources, which is National Fuel's oil and gas exploration business.


Flockhart leaving HSBC

Alexander Andrew "Sandy" Flockhart, one of the most senior executives at HSBC Holdings Plc and a former head of commercial banking in Buffalo for nearly three years, is retiring from the bank after 37 years and service in eight countries.

Flockhart, a group executive director and global chairman of commercial banking, will step down at the end of the month, and will become a non-executive director on the company's board of directors, subject to re-election each year. He will be paid $102,800 a year.

He was senior executive vice president of commercial banking at HSBC Bank USA in Buffalo from December 1999 to July 2002.


Court reporting firm sold

One downtown court reporting firm has acquired another.

Jack W. Hunt & Associates, which has offices in the Liberty Building on Main Street, has acquired Denall Vitrano & Associates, which has offices on Court Street. Terms were not disclosed.

Former principal Bill Denall retired in 2010, while owner Santo Vitrano will retire once the sale is complete April 16.

"We are currently interviewing and making offers to their court reporters," said Timothy M. Hunt, vice president at Jack W. Hunt & Associates.

Denall Vitrano had one employee and five court reporters who were listed with the company as independent contractors. Jack W. Hunt & Associates has 29 employees.