PENNSYLVANIA – Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has announced the results of the 2014 Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Great American Cleanup of PA. This annual event is held with support from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, PennDOT, Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association and the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association. Additional sponsors include Waste Management, Republic Services, Steel Recycling Institute, and the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority. As in years past, all 67 counties participated in this annual community improvement event. In total, there were 5,300 events with almost 137,000 volunteers. Volunteers collected 318,000 bags, which is about 6,400,000 pounds of trash. Additionally, volunteers planted 31,000 trees, bulbs, and plants in an effort to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.
SALISBURY TOWNSHIP – A crash in Lancaster County has killed three people and critically injured two others. State Police said the accident happened along Route 340 and Churchtown Road in Salisbury Township shortly before 8:30 a.m. today. Authorities say a tractor-trailer was heading west when a pickup truck pulled into its path and was hit. The tractor-trailer then struck a house and a fire erupted, but only the exterior of the home was damaged. Two people inside the home were unhurt. Firefighters and emergency medical crews responded to the scene. The identities of the victims have not been released. The investigation into the crash continues.
LANCASTER – Lebanon County Sen. Mike Folmer’s bill to allow for medicinal marijuana to be prescribed by physicians to help with treatment of a variety of medical disorders is expected for a vote next week. The lawmaker expects a committee vote Monday with a Senate floor vote Wednesday on his Senate Bill 1182. He talks more about the medicinal marijuana legislation as well as his bill to eliminate property taxes and protect from overspending taxpayer dollars on Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight at 12:30 on WDAC and at 2 p.m. on 1075Alive.fm. You can listen to Sen. Folmer’s Spotlight interview right now at wdac.com under our blog.
HARRISBURG – The state Senate adopted a resolution designating September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. Childhood cancer is the second leading cause of death in children under age 15 with the American Cancer Society estimating over 10,000 children will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Centre County Sen. Jake Corman, who sponsored the measure, said that many know of families impacted by childhood cancer. Pennsylvania is a leader in the fight with six children’s oncology group hospitals. He added, however, that childhood cancer lags behind other types of cancer research.
HARRISBURG – The PA House passed a bill to help minimize the economic harm to crime victims. The bill was part of a legislative package to improve the restitution process at the state and local levels. House Bill 2385 requires that, once the defendant is found guilty, any money posted as bail can be applied to the payment of any outstanding restitution, fees, fines or costs owed by the defendant in any criminal or delinquency case at the judge’s discretion. The remaining bills in the package aim to enhance the collection of restitution by establishing a minimum threshold for deductions from inmate personal accounts, making wage attachment a higher priority than it currently is in law, intercepting outstanding restitution from any state income tax refunds, and enhancing county collection efforts. House Bill 2385 now moves to the Senate for consideration.
RONKS – The 4th annual Family Fun Day sponsored by WDAC will be held tomorrow at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm at 150 Cherry Hill Road in Ronks, Lancaster County. It’s a day designed for families to have fun and celebrate a number of area ministries such as Black Rock Retreat, Christ’s Home for Children, Cornerstone Pregnancy Center, along with others. There will a variety of entertainment featuring Ryan and Friends, illusionist Brett Myers, Chee Chee the Clown, Jesse Rothacker and Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary, Veggie Tales, and more. It runs from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. There is a cost and for more information, CLICK HERE.
LANCASTER – Over 26,000 churches, some locally, nationwide, and internationally, are preparing to welcome several million people to services this weekend as part of Back to Church Sunday. The campaign empowers churches and their members with the tools to welcome neighbors, friends, and loved ones back to church, while providing an easy way for people in a community to find a welcoming church. Participating churches reported an average 31% increase in their attendance on Back to Church Sunday. In addition, 84% of responding churches said that having a special day motivated their members to invite family and friends. Back to Church Sunday began in 2009 in response to survey research that indicated 82% of people said they would attend church if someone they knew invited them, but only 2% of church members were inviting people to come with them to church. To find participating churches, go to www.backtochurch.com.
Sen. Mike Folmer Discusses His Legislation On Medicinal Cannabis, Property Tax Elimination, & Taxpayer Protection
HARRISBURG – Two area public school teachers have filed a lawsuit against the state’s largest teachers union, PSEA, to protect their rights as religious objectors. Lancaster County teacher Chris Meier wants the freedom to donate to the charity he wishes. He and Chester County teacher Jane Ladley are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. As religious objectors, in lieu of paying union dues, the law allows them to contribute to an IRS approved charity of their choice; however, their money is being held in escrow by PSEA rather than being forwarded to the charities they selected. The only restriction the law specifies is that it must be a non-religious charity. Both teachers have selected non-religious charities, but PSEA has refused to release the funds and have suggested their own charities. The two are represented by the Fairness Center, a non-profit, public interest law firm that helps those facing unjust treatment from public employee unions. You can read a backgrounder on the case by CLICKING HERE.
HARRISBURG – American Family Association of Pennsylvania has contacted state Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office expressing outrage over her efforts in pushing the legalization of same sex marriage. Kane has joined other attorneys general in signing an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. A 2012 Gallup Poll shows 2.7% of Pennsylvanians identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). AFA says that percentage places Pennsylvania among the ten states with the least number who identifies as LGBT and that is the group to which Kane is catering. AFA of PA President Diane Gramley is requesting Kane remove her name from the brief stating this does not represent the majority of Pennsylvanians.