WNWR The Word 1540 AM Philadelphia -Wilkins Radio 1-13-2024

Deborah Goodrich Royce Discusses “Reef Road”

Deborah Goodrich Royce photo credit: Lydia MaclearOur first guest is Deborah Goodrich Royce, the “Queen of Plot Twists,” who brings us another thrilling page-turner in “Reef Road,” Reef Road by Deborah Goodrich Roycenow in paperback. Deborah will give us a bird’s-eye view of her new novel. Deborah is a widely author and praised for her psychological thrillers such as Ruby Falls (2021) and Finding Mrs. Ford (2019). Goodrich Royce is a former film and television actress best remembered by soap opera fans for her role as Silver Kane, sister of the legendary Erica Kane, on ABC-TV’s All My Children.

In “Reef Road,” she explores a decades-old unsolved murder of a young girl. Inspired by a real-life crime, the novel follows a winding path that begins with an unspeakable murder in 1948 Pittsburgh and culminates with a man’s severed hand washed up on the shore of Palm Beach in 2020—in the heat of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Later, she worked as a story editor for Miramax Films and was instrumental in developing such films as Emma and A Wrinkle in Time. With her husband, Chuck, she restored the Avon Theatre in Stamford, CT, which now operates as a not-for-profit dedicated to independent, classic, foreign, and documentary films and hosts lectures from film luminaries including Mira Nair, Richard Gere, and Chloe Sevigny.  Learn more about Deborah, visit her website, deborahgoodrichroyce.com.


Mark P. Compton, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission CEO Discusses Tolls Increase

Mark P. Compton, CEO of the Pennsylvania Turnpike CommissionOur next guest is Mark P. Compton, CEO for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.  Today he will discuss why the Pennsylvania Turnpike Toll Rates increase annually, and how they stack up nationally, and what customers can expect in the future. The most recent a 5% increase was  to the toll rate which took effect across the turnpike’s highway system on January 7, 2024.  The Commission had approved the increase for E-ZPass and Toll by Plate customers back in July. Due to the mandates of Act 44 of 2007, the Turnpike was obligated until 2022 to pay PennDOT $450 million per year to fund non-Turnpike transportation needs around Pennsylvania.

While the obligation has been reduced to $50 million and no new debt is being accrued, the Turnpike must continue to raise tolls to pay the 30-year debt service on the previous debt required to meet the funding obligation, the Commission’s plan, required to honor debt service and continue positive credit ratings calls for future toll increases of 5% through 2025, 4% in 2026, 3.5% in 2027 and 3% annually from 2028 to 2051. Despite the significant financial management challenge, the Commission credit ratings have returned to pre-Act 44 levels and the roadway’s per-mile toll rates are lower than national averages which remain in the mid-range among the toll roads in the U.S. The Commission’s annual toll increases directly support the debt service the organization has had to manage due to the mandates of Act 44 of 2007. For more information please visit www.paturnpike.com


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