MOUNT JOY – A retired school teacher from Ephrata will be completing his 1,500 mile bike ride today and counting the number of meals for starving children that he can buy with funds raised on the way. 67-year-old Tony Fritz is a volunteer with Global Aid Network and has been shipping and delivering humanitarian aid to several countries that need it most. As an avid cyclist, Fritz decided to bike from GAIN’s headquarters in Dallas, TX to the GAIN Distribution Center in Mount Joy to raise money and awareness of the need for food in disaster and refugee situations around the world. Fritz departed Dallas on June 30 and has been describing his travels on a blog called “Tour De Meals.” Fritz will be arriving this afternoon at the Distribution Center at 1506 Quarry Road in Mount Joy. You can find out more and even make a financial contribution to his efforts at tourdemeals.org.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Ten of Pennsylvania’s liberal arts colleges are teaming up – with the help of an $800,000 grant – to cut costs and improve their academic offerings. Pennlive.com reported today that the Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts has been working together with the help of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The effort brings together Bryn Mawr, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Haverford, Juniata, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, Ursinis and Washington and Jefferson colleges. The project includes faculty development, study abroad, library resources, administrative services, compliance and risk management, and institutional climates for diversity.
HARRISBURG – The Basic Education Funding Commission has concluded its inaugural and organizational meeting at the state Capitol. The 15-member Basic Education Funding Commission is tasked with developing and recommending to the General Assembly a new formula for distributing state funding for basic education to Pennsylvania school districts. The new formula will take into account relative wealth, local tax effort, geographic price differences, enrollment levels, local support as well as other factors. Lehigh County Sen. Pat Browne was elected to co-chair the commission. He said that he expected to listen to many hours of wide ranging testimony over the next several months. The hearings will begin August 20th in Harrisburg.
LEMOYNE – West Shore Regional Police have received numerous calls regarding a wild animal. The animal has been seen numerous times in the area of Indiana Avenue in the borough of Lemoyne. Residents are warned to keep an eye out when letting their domestic animals outside or letting small children outside to play. A picture of the animal can be seen below. West Shore Regional Police cannot destroy an animal unless it is visibly injured or ill, but there are several Wildlife Nuisance companies that may be able to assist.
EAST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP – Area Congressman Scott Perry announced legislation to legalize medical marijuana oil to help people with seizure disorders. The Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014 would give children and adults with epilepsy and other seizure disorders access to cannabidiol or CBD oil and therapeutic hemp for treatment. There is evidence that CBD oil has been shown to reduce the amount and duration of seizures. The marijuana plant and its derivatives and extracts are currently banned for medical and recreational use at the federal level and in most states, including Pennsylvania. The bill doesn’t legalize all forms of marijuana for medical use. The measure is being supported by the Epilepsy Foundation. The legislation now moves to the House Energy and Commerce and Judiciary Committees. If voted out of committee, it then moves to the full House for consideration.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Five Pennsylvania congressmen are asking the NCAA to cancel penalties against Penn State imposed as a result of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The group is four Republicans – Charlie Dent, Glenn Thompson, Jim Gerlach and Mike Kelly – plus Democrat Mike Doyle. Dent, Doyle, and Thompson are Penn State alumni. The five released a letter sent to NCAA President Mark Emmert. They’re citing an April state court ruling that was critical of the consent decree, which includes a temporary ban on post-season play, a temporary reduction in scholarships, the cancellation of 112 wins, and a $60 million fine. There’s been no comment from the NCAA.
HARRISBURG – Legislation providing for more flexibility on the Keystone Exams could come before the PA Senate for a vote this fall. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, Pennsylvania public school students will need to pass the Keystone Exams in order to graduate. The measure introduced by Lebanon County Sen. Mike Folmer, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, would allow schools to determine the role Keystone Exams will play in graduation requirements. Under the measure, the Keystone Exams would still be taken. Folmer believes his measure is a good compromise. Senate Bill 1450 was approved last month by the state Senate Education Committee. It awaits full consideration by the state Senate.
HARRISBURG – Public pension reform will be a hot topic when lawmakers return to Harrisburg, according to Lancaster County Rep. Gordon Denlinger. The lawmaker said he was hoping that all new public employees would be placed under a 401(k) type plan under immediate hire, but is supportive of a split approach proposed in House Bill 1352, where the first $50,000 of compensation would be matched under a defined benefit plan and anything above $50,000 would be matched under a 401(k) type plan. Denlinger added that he would support the split approach as it begins in part to move public employees into a defined contribution plan. The state House will return to session August 4th.
MANHEIM TOWNSHIP – Police are investigating a three vehicle crash which occurred Monday morning on Route 222 southbound between Hunsecker and Eden Roads in Manheim Township, Lancaster County. A tractor trailer operated by 36-year-old Michael Hasselhan of Reading was approaching traffic that was slowed and struck the rear of a vehicle operated by 51-year-old James Armstrong III of Mohnton. The tractor trailer then rolled onto its side and slid into another tractor trailer operated by 58-year-old Jeffrey Clark of Vermont. Clark and Armstrong were uninjured. Hasselhan and a passenger in his truck were trapped and had to be extricated. They both sustained serious and life-threatening injuries. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact the Manheim Township Police at 717-569-6401.
DOVER, DE (AP) – Delaware officials are warning residents that postcards about unclaimed property are not from the state and should be ignored. State escheator David Gregor said that the postcards stamped “Unclaimed Property Notification” have been distributed in several states and one was reported in Delaware on Monday. He says the postcards tell recipients to call a toll-free number and provide personal information. Gregor, whose office is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the state’s abandoned property statute, says the postcards were not sent by any Delaware agency.