Dauphin County Mom Accused Of Smothering Baby While High

MIDDLETOWN (AP) – Authorities say a Dauphin County woman under the influence of alcohol and marijuana rolled over on her 2-month-old son and passed out, smothering him to death. Arissa Ward of Middletown faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child in the Dec. 30 death of her son. Court documents show the 23-year-old told police that she’d been drinking alcohol and smoking pot before lying on the couch with her baby. Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico says the baby had marijuana in his system. Marsico says co-sleeping is dangerous and deaths are on the rise. He says the county is forming a task force to look at the matter.

Busy Weekend On PA’s Toll Road

HARRISBURG – Officials anticipate more than 2 million vehicles will use the PA Turnpike during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. They say the busiest time for travel will be Friday afternoon and Monday evening. The turnpike will suspend maintenance work and have all lanes open between 5 a.m. Friday and 11 p.m. Tuesday. Officials say State Police on the turnpike investigated 69 crashes which resulted in seven injuries during Memorial Day weekend last year.

PennDOT Faces Performance Audit

HARRISBURG – PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced the start of a wide-ranging performance audit of PennDOT procurement and contracting procedures, funding mechanisms, and the department’s sharing of drivers’ personal information. The audit will cover Jan. 2014, through June 2017. The audit will evaluate the extent to which PennDOT properly manages and monitors the distribution and sharing of personal information it collects and determine whether the department’s procurement procedures are in accordance with policies.The audit will also determine whether or not PennDOT implemented recommendations in a prior January 2013 audit, which found significant deficiencies in PennDOT’s oversight of private “issuing agents” that provide driver licensing and motor vehicle registration services. The audit is expected to be completed in 2018.

EUGENE DEPASQUALE

Tougher Penalty For Threatening Law Enforcement Personnel

HARRISBURG – The PA Senate approved legislation that would help us protect members of law enforcement by adding a penalty for threatening law enforcement officers, sheriffs or members of their family. Under Senate Bill 510, a person who threatens death or serious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer, a sheriff or deputy sheriff, or a member of their family or household would commit a felony of the third degree. A second or subsequent offense would constitute a second degree felony. The bill now goes to the state House for consideration.

Bill Provides Greater Transparency In Hiring School Officials

HARRISBURG – The PA Senate Appropriations Committee passed and sent to the full Senate legislation that would provide for greater transparency in the process of hiring of school officials and ensure that taxpayers have access to employment contract information. Senate Bill 592 would require school boards to publicly disclose employment information before hiring a district superintendent, assistant district superintendent or principal. Under the bill, when a school board extends an offer of employment, it must first post the terms of employment on the school district’s public website at least two weeks prior to it being approved. The posting must provide the details of the final offer, including salary and the length of the employment contract.

Important Public Comment Deadline This Friday

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, a group of nine un-elected officials appointed by the governor, is proposing a dangerous end-run around the legislature that seriously threatens personal privacy and religious liberty. For nearly 50 years, the PA Human Relations Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of “sex,” which has always been defined in law and practice to mean “male” and “female.” Now, the Commission, is looking to redefine the word “sex” to mean “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” – phrases that are not in the law. Attorney Randall Wenger with the Harrisburg-based Independence Law Center says the Commission is accepting public comment until this Friday, May 26, 2017 on their proposed change. Wenger expects they will vote on it sometime in June. PA Family Institute has a form that citizens can fill out that will be sent to the Commission expressing opposition to their proposed change. You can click on the banner below to express your concerns to the PHRC.

Driver Charged In Hit & Run School Bus Crash

LANCASTER – Lancaster County authorities identified the driver involved in a hit-and-run crash last week in East Lampeter Township that injured a school bus full of Lancaster Mennonite students. The white Chevy Malibu driven at the time of the May 17 crash on Lincoln Highway East is in police custody. The driver is 46-year-old James Irvin III of Norristown. He was driving on a suspended license at the time of the crash. He was charged Wednesday with 35 total counts after surrendering with an attorney. Irvin has a Norristown address, but was staying at his parents’ Lancaster Township home for the past several months. At this point in the ongoing investigation, the evidence indicates Irvin caused the crash by attempting to pass a pair of wide-load tractor-trailers and their escort vehicles while headed east on Lincoln Highway East, near Route 896. Investigators credit the public and media coverage which prompted approximately 100 tips.

JAMES IRVIN III

 

PA Real ID Bill Goes To Governor’s Desk

HARRISBURG – A bill designed to comply with federal Real ID standards for people who want to fly or enter federal facilities has passed the PA House. Senate Bill 133 gives residents the option to obtain a driver’s license or other ID that meet rules of a 2005 federal law enacted in response to the Sept. 11 terror attacks. There’s also an option for a noncompliant, traditional driver’s license or ID. The bill overturns a 2012 state law that’s kept the state from complying based on concerns about cost, constitutionality, and government intrusiveness. There’s a June 6 deadline to become compliant for entry into federal facilities. The standard to board commercial airlines take effect next year. Gov. Tom Wolf says he will sign the measure. Once the bill becomes law, PennDOT can begin working with the federal government to update its systems to complete compliance.

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