LANCASTER – Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight features a panel discussion featured at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC last month. It’s called “Jihad in America: The Existential Threat.” The panel consists of Dr. Sebastian Gorka, an expert in national security; Philip Haney, a whistleblower at the Department of Homeland Security; and Dr. Zudhi Jasser, Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight airs at 12:30 on WDAC and at 2 p.m. on WBYN-FM 107.5. You can listen to the program right now online at wdac.com under “WDAC Podcasts.”
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.7% in September. The state Labor and Industry Department said that total nonfarm jobs declined 5,300 for the month. The agency says jobs were down in seven of 11 categories. The education and health services sector, and the government sector, each lost 6,400. But state officials say two sectors reached record high employment levels – professional and business services with a gain of 6,700 jobs, and leisure and hospitality with 4,800.
HARRISBURG – Legislation to provide career and technical education students with alternative pathways to fulfill graduation requirements was approved by the PA House. House Bill 2381 would allow career and technical education students, in addition to exhibiting subject area mastery, to show career readiness through other industry-related factors, such as industry-based competency certifications including the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute or the National Institute for Metalworking Skills. The substitution option would only be available during school years in which demonstrated proficiency on a Keystone Exam is a requisite condition for high school graduation. Act 1 of 2016 delayed implementation of the Keystone Exams as a high school graduation requirement until the 2018-19 school year. The bill now goes to the state Senate.
HARRISBURG – PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said that a recent audit of the Department of Corrections shows that while the agency is properly recording reported inmate violence, with more than 4,000 incidents recorded in a 15-month period, the agency must assess staffing and other resources to prevent assaults and fights. During the audit period of January 2015 to March 2016, the Corrections Department reported a total of 4,198 assaults and fights in the SCI system, an average of 65 assaults on staff and 136 inmate fights per month. The audit is available available online at www.PaAuditor.gov.
HARRISBURG – Families of police, fire, and other first responders who’ve died in the line of duty would get relief from the state’s realty transfer tax under legislation passed by the PA House. House Bill 932 would exclude a surviving spouse or minor children of a first responder who receive benefits under the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefit Act from paying the realty transfer tax, if their family home is sold within five years of the first responder’s death. Supporters say offering their families this bit of relief is the least we can do to help repay their sacrifice. The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration.
“Jihad In America: The Existential Threat”: A Panel Discussion With Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Philip Haney, & Dr. Zudhi Jasser
MOUNT JOY – The Cuban government is allowing shipments of humanitarian aid to enter from Lancaster County. Two 40-foot containers of aid are being shipped from the Global Aid Network’s Logistics Center in Mount Joy for immediate relief from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew. Eastern Cuba was the hardest hit by the storm with homes leveled, crops destroyed, and water sources polluted. GAiN CEO, Al Goff says their partners are already on the ground helping with shelter, food distribution, and finding clean water sources. Shipments of rice and beans and rice and lentils are headed to the region from the Logistics Center at 1506 Quarry Road, as volunteers are participating in a special aid packing project now through Saturday.
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s top elections official says the state’s election results cannot be hacked because voting machines and tabulating systems are not connected to the Internet. Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes also said claims of voter fraud are without merit. Cortes said every voting machine prints out an audit of votes cast on it during the day, and copies are given to the judge of elections and elected minority and majority inspectors. Cortes’ comments came in response to suggestions that Pennsylvania’s election results could be rigged, hacked or bent by voter fraud, such as people casting ballots in the name of dead people still on voter rolls.
HARRISBURG – Professors are expected to strike for a third day today at 14 Pennsylvania state universities. The State System of Higher Education says it did not formally negotiate with its faculty union on Thursday, but is working to move toward a fair contract. The system says it’s attempting to debunk untrue claims about negotiations. The State System has offered pay increases for all regular and temporary faculty and the healthcare package would be identical to that provided by other State System employees. The union says the strike will continue until a deal is reached. Each university is providing specific instructions to the system’s more than 100,000 students.
HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation into law that reduces the waiting time to obtain a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania. Act 102 shortens the length of the separation period required for a no-fault divorce from two years to one year, making Pennsylvania’s law similar to other neighboring states. Luzerne County Rep. Tarah Toohil, the prime sponsor of measure, said the change will allow families with children to finalize their new living situations in a more efficient and less turbulent manner. The new law, which goes into effect in 60 days, was supported by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.