HARRISBURG – The PA Game Commission honored Adams County Rep. Dan Moul for his work in passage of a new law to help protect Wildlife Conservation Officers and Waterways Conservation Officers (WCOs) while on the job. Act 202 of 2014, sponsored by Moul and signed into law last fall, classifies WCOs as law enforcement officers. The reclassification enables WCOs to use body cameras in the performance of their duties, provided they complete required training, sanctioned by the Pennsylvania State Police, on the legal and technical aspects of wiretapping and electronic surveillance. Like other law enforcement officers, WCOs routinely encounter potentially dangerous situations on the job. Moul’s legislation was prompted by the shooting death of Wildlife Conservation Officer David Grove of Fairfield, Adams County, in 2010. Moul, who serves on the House Game and Fisheries Committee, said the presence of body cameras puts would-be perpetrators on notice that their actions may be recorded. Cameras have been proven to deter crime while also holding law enforcement to the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.
LANCASTER – WDAC and WJTL continues the campaign to get sponsorships for needy children through Compassion International. Your tax-deductible contribution of just $38 a month provides medical care, nutritious food, educational assistance, and most important, your sponsored child will hear about Jesus Christ and be encouraged to develop a lifelong relationship to God. When you sponsor a child, you’ll receive your child’s photo, personal story, and a child sponsorship packet by mail in about 10 days. Go to wdac.com and click on the Compassion banner to select and sponsor your child. You can also CLICK HERE to sponsor a child or call toll free 1-888-222-0809. Thank you for your sponsorship.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Footage from stun gun cameras is increasingly finding its way into civil and criminal cases, and prosecutors say it was the strongest evidence used to charge a Cumberland County police officer this week in a man’s shooting death. Prosecutors say Hummelstown police Officer Lisa Mearkle’s stun gun captured images that showed she shot an unarmed motorist in the back as he lay facedown after a traffic stop. Taser International says it’s already sold about 80,000 stun guns with cameras, about 10% of all stun guns it’s manufactured. Mearkle’s lawyer says she kept her stun gun pointed at the man to document what was happening, not thinking it would be used against her.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Gov. Tom Wolf wants to undo a state takeover of the York City School District. Wolf’s administration asked a state appellate court to begin the process to take the financially struggling district out of receivership. The governor wants to appoint a chief recovery officer under a 2012 law to co-chair a committee with Mayor Kim Bracey to get community input on a plan to right the district’s finances. Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration appointed a receiver who had planned to bring in a Florida company, Charter Schools USA, to operate the district’s eight schools. But the courts had not decided challenges to the receivership before Wolf took office and the receiver has since resigned.
HARRISBURG – Legislation restoring subpoena power to all standing committees and subcommittees in the PA House has been introduced. Currently under House Rule 45, only the House Appropriations and Judiciary Committees have subpoena power. House Resolution 191 amends the House rules to allow all standing committees and sub-committees to issue subpoenas for testifiers in order to investigate potential waste, fraud, and abuse within public bodies or public contracts. The measure would also enable House committees to place testifiers under oath to ensure both the appearance of witnesses and to hold them fully accountable for their testimony. The provisions also protect anyone subpoenaed to testify before a state House committee under PA’s Whistleblower Act and other applicable civil service protections.
ANNAPOLIS, MD (AP) – Maryland’s Senate Education Committee is mulling amendments to Gov. Larry Hogan’s charter school expansion plan. Changes to the bill include the creation of a charter school pilot program, holding charter school teachers to the same certification requirements as their public school peers, and eliminating the option for a charter school to request a state waiver to free it from many laws that govern public schools. Hogan introduced his plan in February. The governor’s special adviser, Keiffer Mitchell said the administration was concerned some of the amendments could limit flexibility, which is necessary for charter schools to flourish. The committee is scheduled to vote on the amended bill on Friday.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Penn State’s president says he’ll support a freeze on tuition next year if lawmakers approve a nearly $50 million increase proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf. Eric Barron made the offer to the Senate Appropriations Committee at a hearing yesterday. The governor is proposing significant spending increases for higher education, including the 14 state-owned universities and the state-related schools. In exchange, Wolf wants the state universities to freeze tuition and the other schools to try to keep rates low. Barron says he’ll recommend no tuition increases next year if Wolf’s request is approved. Penn State trustees approved a 3.9 percent boost in room and board charges last week, citing inflationary increases. The board will vote on the university’s budget in July.
HANOVER (AP) – A York County nest watched by thousands of people on live-streaming video has a second hatched eaglet. The hatchling came a day after the first eaglet arrived in a nest in York County’s Codorus State Park. A PA Game Commission biologist says the sibling eagles will compete fiercely for food and could end up harming each other. Statistics show only about half of hatched eagles ever leave the nest. The eaglets won’t be ready to fly on their own until late June or early July. The game commission installed a live-streaming “eagle cam” focused on the nest in December. More than 640,000 people have watched the live stream with many checking in daily. The live-streaming camera feed can be found on the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.state.pa.us.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Authorities are investigating a racist letter delivered to the home of Gov. Tom Wolf’s nominee for state police commissioner. State Police say the handwritten, unsigned letter containing a racial epithet arrived in Col. Marcus Brown’s Cumberland County mailbox Monday night. It’s the latest development in the fight over Brown’s nomination. Retired troopers have criticized the ex-Maryland state police superintendent for wearing a PA state police uniform despite not attending the State Police Academy. A state troopers union and top Republican senators have asked Wolf to withdraw Brown’s nomination after he was caught last week removing roadside signs critical of him.
ANNAPOLIS, MD (AP) – The Maryland Senate is to consider changes to the state’s $40.4 billion budget plan. Two budget bills that are working in tandem to balance the state’s books for the next fiscal year will be before the Senate today. The House approved the measures last week. They restored money for education that Gov. Larry Hogan had scaled back to help balance the state’s books. The House also restored money for a 2% cost-of-living adjustment for state employees. The House and Senate will need to work out differences before the scheduled adjournment of the Legislature on April 13.