EASTON- A jury has returned a mixed verdict for a man charged in connection with the shooting death of a Berks County sheriff’s deputy. The Northampton County jury today found 28-year-old Jared Engelman of Kutztown guilty of conspiracy but not guilty of illegally transferring a rifle to the man who used it to kill Deputy Kyle Pagerly. Prosecutors said the weapon was later transferred to 25-year-old Matthew Connor, who shot and killed Pagerly in Albany Township on June 29, 2011. Connor was also killed. Sentencing for Engelman has not yet been set.
ANNAPOLIS – The Maryland House of Delegates has approved phasing in an increase in the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2017. The House voted 89-46 for the measure today. The bill would increase the minimum wage to $8.20 in January. It would rise to $9.15 in January 2016 and $10.10 in January 2017. The measure as amended by the House does not include an indexing for inflation that Gov. Martin O’Malley had supported for future years after 2017.
LANCASTER – This is the weekend to “spring ahead.” Before going to bed tomorrow night, you will want to turn your all clocks ahead one hour as Daylight Saving Time officially begins at 2 a.m. this Sunday. Folks are also encouraged to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and alarms.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped in January to its lowest rate since 2008, although hiring remained flat. The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday the rate fell four-tenths of a percentage point to 6.4% in January. The national rate was 6.7% in January. Pennsylvania’s labor force or the number of people working or searching for work shrank in December by 8,000, while the number of employed people rose by 15,000, and the number of unemployed fell by 23,000.
LANCASTER – Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight looks at gambling expansion in Pennsylvania. Bars and taverns can now hold small games of chance and efforts to allow Keno and online gambling are being considered. Dianne Berlin with Casino Free PA says by allowing online gambling, a potential casino can be located right under your own roof on your computer or smartphone. She talks about PA taverns that can now offer small games of chance and how Massachusetts is seeking to repeal casino gambling. She also discusses the dangers of gambling and how the societal aspects of gambling is having a negative impact on communities. Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight airs at 12:30 p.m. on WDAC and at 2 p.m. on WBYN-FM 107.5. You can listen to the program online right now by CLICKING HERE.
HARRISBURG – The PA Senate approved a resolution declaring March as “Problem Gambling Awareness Month.” The resolution is to ensure that Pennsylvanians are informed about the issue of problem gambling and the programs available to help those who have been adversely affected. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, 2% to 3% of the U.S. population will have a gambling problem in any given year. The resolution urges the PA Gaming Control Board to continue its outreach efforts and to work with the gaming industry to develop and implement problem gambling programs at licensed facilities and further promote community-based programs in the Commonwealth.
HARRISBURG – Tonight at 9 p.m., PennDOT will close eastbound Route 283 in Lower Swatara Township, Dauphin County, east of the interchange with Interstate 283 and the Harrisburg East toll plaza for the PA Turnpike. The closure is necessary so that construction crews can address a sinkhole that is undermining the concrete pavement of both eastbound lanes. That portion of eastbound Route 283 carries nearly 26,000 vehicles daily. Motorists will be detoured through the interchange between I-283 and Route 283 and directed onto northbound Eisenhower Boulevard to Fulling Mill Road, then eastbound on Fulling Mill Road to Union Street, and then south on Union Street to eastbound Route 283. Crews hope to restore eastbound Route 283 to traffic by early Monday morning, in time for the morning commuter rush. It is possible the work may finish sooner. PennDOT will issue an announcement when eastbound Route 283 has been restored to two lanes of traffic.
HARRISBURG – Efforts to reduce the size of Pennsylvania’s vehicle fleet are resulting in taxpayer savings. As lawmakers are negotiating a tough budget for the next fiscal year, the pressure is on state cabinet secretaries to save money wherever they can. At a recent Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing, Schuylkill County Sen. David Argall received good news from Department of General Services Secretary Sherry Phillips about reductions in the state’s vehicle fleet. She said there’s been a 20% decrease in state vehicles saving the state $51 million and employees are now required to consult a General Services website to find the most economic means of travel. She added the Commonwealth has saved money by purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles.
EASTON (AP) – A jury must decide whether a man transferred an assault rifle to a man who used it to kill a Berks County sheriff’s deputy. Closing arguments were delivered in Northampton County Court in the case of 28-year-old Jared Engleman of Kutztown. He is charged with having transferred the AK-47-style weapon to 25-year-old Matthew Connor, a convicted felon with mental health issues. Connor later killed 28-year-old deputy sheriff Kyle Pagerly and was killed himself in a 2011 gun battle with authorities. Engleman testified that he sold the rifle to Connor’s father, Maurice, who pleaded no contest to illegally providing a handgun to his son. Maurice Connor took the stand and denied having met Engleman, but declined to answer further questions.
LANCASTER – Police arrested a J.P. McCaskey High School senior after officials received information that the student brought a gun to school. 18-year-old Darnell Greene of Lancaster Township was found to be in possession of a .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun. The handgun was not loaded and Greene did not possess any ammunition for the weapon. Greene was also found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana. Greene is being charged with possession of a weapon on school property, carrying a firearm without a license, and possession of marijuana.