UNTITLED– Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is encouraging educators in Pennsylvania to register their school to participate in the national Recycle-Bowl competition by midnight on Tuesday, October 13th. Recycle-Bowl is a program designed to invigorate student participation in recycling through a national K-12 recycling competition. The objectives of the competition include: new recycling programs established within schools, the increase of recycling rates in schools that currently recycle and the provision of teacher/student educational opportunities about recycling and waste reduction. Recycle-Bowl competition begins Monday, October 19 and runs through Sunday, November 15, 2015. Schools in each state that collect the most recyclable material per capita will be awarded their respective state title. To register go to www.recycle-bowl.org.
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s budget impasse continues after the state House voted down a tax hike proposal from Gov. Tom Wolf last week. Nine Democrats voted with all the Republicans who defeated a 16% increase in the personal income tax and a severance tax on natural gas drilling. House Majority Whip, Rep. Bryan Cutler of Lancaster County commented that the GOP is ready to work with the governor to get a responsible budget approved. He said GOP lawmakers continue to reach out to their Democrat colleagues to see how they prefer to resolve the situation while they plan to meet with the governor since his budget address in March. Cutler said lawmakers should make sure they are getting the most efficient use of every tax dollar collected long before we go to taxpayers who are paying the bill and ask them to pay more. He added that taxpayers wants us to make do with what funds are currently available.
HARRISBURG (AP) – The PA attorney general’s office says judicial misconduct investigators might not have seen every email exchange in last year’s review of a state Supreme Court justice’s contacts with prosecutors and agents. Spokesman Chuck Ardo said the attorney general’s office believes it hadn’t transferred all of Justice Michael Eakin’s emails from its servers into an “electronic vault” before misconduct investigators ended their review. On Friday, the Judicial Conduct Board said it had opened another investigation into Eakin’s role in the exchange of allegedly explicit or otherwise inappropriate emails. It says it didn’t have “all of the information” about Eakin when it cleared him last year. Ardo says the attorney general’s office believes a court-appointed lawyer saw all the emails in a separate review. That lawyer reported seeing nothing inappropriate.
HARRISBURG – Legislation that would improve Pennsylvania’s business climate by authorizing the creation of specialized commerce courts in the Superior Court and Court of Common Pleas across the Commonwealth passed the state House. House Bill 323 authorizes the creation of commerce court programs; commerce court judges would be dedicated to hearing and deciding complex business-related cases, including: acquisitions, mergers, dissolutions, and liquidations, among other items. Commerce courts are already used in the Philadelphia and Allegheny County Courts of Common Pleas. Bill sponsor, York County Rep. Seth Grove says “Businesses lawsuits are often extremely complex. Having dedicated judges to handle these cases will provide an efficient and transparent process.” He added that his bill will attract businesses to Pennsylvania and lead to more jobs, citing the example of Delaware, as their courts have been a key component of why so many companies do business there. The legislation will now be considered by the state Senate.
ALLENTOWN (AP) – A high-ranking state lawmaker is facing his formal arraignment on drunken driving charges stemming from his motorcycle crash earlier this year. Lehigh County Sen. Pat Browne is due in court today. Allentown Police say the 51-year-old legislator was drunk when he crashed his motorcycle about 4:30 p.m. May 2 while taking an exit ramp off Interstate 78. The Republican faces two counts of drunken driving and a citation for driving at an unsafe speed. Police say his blood-alcohol content was double the state’s legal limit. Browne waived a preliminary hearing in July, which is why the case is now in Lehigh Valley Common Pleas Court. Browne is expected to plead not guilty to the charges.
READING (AP) – An Albright College football player has been suspended from school and jailed on attempted homicide and other charges for allegedly stabbing a teammate with a corkscrew during a fight at a dormitory. 18-year-old Marquis Stewart of Bethlehem was arrested after the incident about 2 a.m. Sunday in Crowell Hall. The victim, another freshman football player, 18-year-old Dhameer Madison of New Castle, Delaware, was taken to Reading Hospital in stable condition. Police say the men fought after an earlier altercation that investigators didn’t describe. At some point, Madison allegedly punched Stewart, who then grabbed a multi-tool device and used the corkscrew portion to stab Madison three times.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are considering the state’s third expansion of gambling in six years as a source of cash before they raise taxes to balance a deep budget deficit. Supporters estimate that an expansion could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in license fees plus collections from taxing a new stream of gambling profits. A spokesman says Gov. Tom Wolf is open to a gambling expansion, if it’s part of a comprehensive package that resolves what his administration projects to be a multi-billion dollar long-term deficit. Top Democrat lawmakers have yet to voice support. One idea is Internet gambling, which is legal only in Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada. There’s also allowing casinos to station slot machines at off-track horse-racing betting parlors and Pennsylvania’s six international airports.
HARRISBURG (AP) – The Pennsylvania Legislature has spent more than $2.8 million in public funds since 2011 on private defense lawyers for state legislators and staff. Most of that total went toward cases that have sent lawmakers to jail, forced resignations at the highest levels of government, and prompted plea deals and immunity agreements for staff. The Associated Press found in a review of legal bills that the spending stretched across some of the state’s most high-profile scandals. Some lawmakers and legal experts defend the practice because the fees often went toward legal help for people who were witnesses only and not suspected of committing crimes themselves. In both the PA House and Senate, payments end if the member or staffer is charged with a crime.
MOUNT JOY – Global Aid Network is holding a mission packing project this week, October 12-17, at their Logistics Center in Mount Joy, Lancaster County. Now through Saturday, volunteers of all ages will help pack clothing, blankets, food, make gospel bead bracelets, and much more that will be distributed to needy people around the world. They are seeking donations of new or gently used blankets and cotton quilting fabric to help with the needs in Syria. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Wednesday evening from 6-8. You can find out more about the project by CLICKING HERE or you can call 717-285-4220.
LANCASTER – An effort is underway to find concerns that impact both Christians and Jews and how the two groups can effectively work together. In July, Christians and Jews gathered together at Lancaster’s Clipper Stadium in support for Israel and in opposition to the Iranian nuclear agreement. Then, Christians and Jews were part of a conference call to an associate of Sen. Bob Casey in an effort to urge him to oppose the Iranian agreement. Don Feldman, a Jewish leader from Congregation Degel Israel in Lancaster who helped to organize those events, said the two groups can work together. Christians and Jews are invited to come together in support of Israel, America, and religious freedom this evening, Monday, 10/12, at Lancaster Bible College at 7 p.m. Feldman will be joined by LBC President Dr. Peter Teague and Constitutional attorney Randall Wenger. There will also be a question and answer session. For more information, you can call 717-405-1012.