PA Senate Veteran’s Committee Chair Remembers Memorial Day

HARRISBURG – Allegheny County Sen. Randy Vulakovich, Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, addressed the PA Senate on the topic of Memorial Day. Calling it America’s most solemn national holiday, Vulakovich said Memorial Day is a time to honor the service and commemorate the sacrifice of those who defended our freedom. It is a time to pay tribute to those who have died in all wars and conflicts so that others might be able to live under better conditions and better governments. The lawmaker added that Memorial Day is not about battles fought; it is about ordinary people making extraordinary sacrifices and the people and families they left behind. And above all, it is about the enormous debt we owe them. Patriotism, duty, freedom, love of country, support of democracy – the truth is that millions of Americans fought and died for these ideals. Let us remember their sacrifices not just on May 29, but all year round. He closed by saying, “God bless all those men and women who serve us so we can have better tomorrows.”

SEN. RANDY VULAKOVICH

To Many Americans, Memorial Day Has Lost Its Meaning

ANNVILLE (AP) – While millions of Americans celebrate Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer, some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members wish the holiday would command more respect. Veterans groups say a growing military-civilian disconnect contributes to a feeling that Memorial Day has been overshadowed. More than 12% of the U.S. population served in the armed forces during World War II. That’s down to less than one-half of a percent today, guaranteeing more Americans aren’t personally acquainted with a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine. Allison Jaslow is a former Army captain and Iraq War veteran. She says the country’s “lost sight of what the day’s supposed to mean.” Her group, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, is encouraging Americans to pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. today.

Volunteers Needed For Lancaster County’s GAiN Quilt Camp

MOUNT JOY – If you enjoy quilting, you can volunteer for Quilt Camp held June 5-9 at the Global Aid Network’s Logistics Center in Mount Joy, Lancaster County. With over 42 million people worldwide displaced as a result of conflict, persecution, and natural disasters, the need for quilts is great. Volunteers can join Quilt Camp for any amount of time Monday through Thursday, June 5-8 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Fri, June 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Volunteers can stay the entire day and bring a sack lunch while others come for whatever time they have. There will be a variety of projects available for most skill levels. There is also a need for fabric donations. Each volunteer is asked to bring two yards of new 100% cotton quilting fabric with them. Preregistration and closed toed shoes are required for Quilt Camp. For more information and to preregister, contact Rosalie Welsh at 717-285-4220 or email Rosalie.Welsh @gainusa.org.

Man Charged With Attempted Stabbing Of Police Officer

EPHRATA – A Lancaster County man faces charges after attempting to stab a police officer. An off duty Ephrata Police officer saw 23-year-old Todd Racine, Jr. of Ephrata, enter a residence in the first block of North Charles Street in the borough. Both Ephrata Police and Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department held warrants for Racine’s arrest. As Racine left the residence, the officer attempted to detain Racine until other officers arrived. Racine resisted arrest by wrestling with the officer, attempting to stab the officer multiple times with a knife, and biting the officer. The officer was able to avoid getting stabbed during the fight. After a brief chase, Racine was apprehended by assisting officers. Racine, who admitted to being under the influence of methamphetamine, had to be subdued with the use of a taser. Racine is charged with attempted homicide and aggravated assault. He is currently in Lancaster County Prison. The police officer was treated for a bite to the arm and released.

TODD RACINE, JR

Child Drowns In The Susquehanna River

HARRISBURG – A 8-year-old child has drowned in the Susquehanna River. On Sunday around 7:30 p.m., Harrisburg Police responded to the north side of City island for a juvenile that went under the water and did not come back up. Officers were advised that the boy, who was not a swimmer, went into the water near the mini-golf area. He went under the water and did not come back up. Officers from Harrisburg Police, Harrisburg Fire, Capital Police, and Lifeteam EMS searched the waters for 30-35 minutes and ultimately found him unresponsive. CPR and rescue breathing was performed until EMS was on scene. The child was taken to Harrisburg Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Court Rules Against Harrisburg Abortion Ordinance

HARRISBURG – The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of two women in their lawsuit against a Harrisburg ordinance which created unconstitutional buffer zones that silence pro-life speech on public sidewalks around abortion clinics. The federal Court held that the lower court erred when it denied Liberty Counsel’s request to immediately prohibit further enforcement of the ordinance. Liberty Counsel represented Becky Biter and Colleen Reilly, who regularly engaged in peaceful counseling on public sidewalks around Harrisburg’s two abortion clinics. They have been harassed and intimated by clinic staff and the local police since the City enacted the ordinance, which was drafted and pushed by Planned Parenthood. The ordinance purports to expel pro-life speakers from public property and pushes pro-life counselors sometimes to more than 70 feet away from the women they are attempting to help. The Third Circuit’s ruling clears the way for the ordinance to be re-examined and hopefully invalidated in the lower court. Horatio Mihet of Liberty Counsel said, “We will continue to challenge this ordinance until the Constitution is vindicated and restored on the streets of Harrisburg.

Wolf Signs Real ID Legislation

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf will sign Real ID legislation into law this afternoon. Senate Bill 133 establishes a two-tiered system under which residents would be able to choose between a traditional driver’s license or non-driver ID, or a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or non-driver ID. Residents who choose a Real ID-compliant card would pay an additional charge. It will allow Pennsylvania residents, commuters, and businesses to avoid disruptions related to noncompliance. Once the bill becomes law, PennDOT can begin working with the federal government to update its systems to complete compliance.

GOV. TOM WOLF

Second Amendment Rally Spotlighted

LANCASTER – Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight features some of the speakers at the Second Amendment rally held Monday at the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg. Butler County Rep. Daryl Metcalfe hosted the rally along with Reps. Jason Ortitay, Mark Keller, and Rick Saccone. Other speakers include Dr. John Lott, nationally recognized economist, gun rights expert and president of Crime Prevention Research Center; Joshua Prince, Chief Counsel with the Firearms Industry Consulting Group; and Shaneen Allen, Philadelphia mother and national concealed carry advocate. Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight airs at 12:30 on WDAC and 2 p.m. on WBYN 107.5. You can listen to program online right now at wdac.com under “WDAC Podcasts.”

Ambulance Company Reimbursement Bill Advances

HARRISBURG – Ambulance companies would be reimbursed for providing medical treatment, even if the patient is not transported to a hospital, under a bill approved by the PA House. Currently, EMS agencies can only be reimbursed by insurance companies if they transport the patient, even though time is spent, supplies are used, and services are provided regardless of whether a transport takes place. It’s a significant contributor to the financial challenges facing ambulance companies. House Bill 1013 would require reimbursement when transport to a facility does not take place as long as the Basic Life Support or Advanced Life Support unit is dispatched by a county 911 center and the EMS provider must have rendered emergency services even though the transport was declined. The bill now advances to the state Senate for consideration.

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