ALLENTOWN - Due to a PUC-approved change in transmission charges, PPL Electric Utilities is adjusting its price to compare for this quarter for customers who rely on the utility to purchase electric supply on their behalf. Effective Oct. 1, the new price to compare for residential customers will be 8.956 cents per kilowatt-hour. The current price is 8.814 cents per kWh. The price to compare for small business customers will be 8.596 cents per kilowatt-hour (currently 8.785 cents per kWh). The new adjusted price to compare will be in effect until Dec. 1. Information about shopping for your electric supply can be found on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s website at www.PAPowerSwitch.com or at www.pplelectric.com/choice.
MOUNT JOY – Global Aid Network will be holding their Mission Packing Project October 13-18 at their Distribution Center at 1506 Quarry Road in Mount Joy, Lancaster County. A wide variety of items such as food, Gospel bracelets, blankets, and other needed supplies will be packed for needy people around the world. Distribution Center Director Phil Liller tells us they have a particular need for flannel and terry cloth towels that will be used for their new washable feminine pad project. Donations of the flannel or terry cloth towels can be made now or during the week-long packing project. Hours for the Mission Packing Project are daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and that Wednesday evening from 6-8 p.m. You can register online to volunteer to help at www.gainusa.org or call 717-285-4220.
HARRISBURG – Supporters of raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour staged a “Raise the Wage” day of action. Berks County Sen. Judy Schwank spoke at the Capitol Rotunda at one of a dozen rallies held statewide. Schwank said she supports Senate Bill 1300 that would incrementally increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 and tie future increases to inflation. Similar events were held in nine other Pennsylvania communities: Reading, Allentown, Altoona, Erie, Media, Morrisville, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and York. Ten states and Washington D.C. have raised their minimum wage rates this year to something higher than Pennsylvania’s $7.25 an hour. To date, 23 states and D.C. pay their front-line workers more than the federal minimum.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald Castille is warning of additional fallout if it’s true that judges were among those who exchanged pornographic material by email with members of the attorney general’s office. The Commonwealth’s top judge says exchanging such material with government lawyers who appeared before them could represent a conflict of interest, in addition to being an ethics violation. The state attorney general reports that at least three dozen current and former employees sent or received pornographic material in office emails from 2008 to 2012. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the emails circulated among some top jurists. If judges were involved, Castille has asked the attorney general for their names.
EPHRATA – A Lancaster County man died after a crash yesterday in Ephrata Township. Police say around 11:40 a.m., 55-year-old Kevin Gress of Denver was southbound in the passing lane on Route 222, north of the Route 322 exit, when his SUV went out control and hit the Route 322 exit sign. The vehicle then rolled onto its side, skidded across the exit ramp, and flipped several times before coming to rest on an embankment. Gress was extricated from the vehicle and taken to Lancaster General Hospital where he died. The investigation into the crash continues.
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough today urged the state Senate to act quickly to pass legislation that would allow Wildlife Conservation Officers working for the Game Commission and Waterways Conservation Officers working for the state Fish and Boat Commission to wear body cameras in performance of their official duties. The state House overwhelmingly has supported House Bill 2178. Hough urged the Senate to follow suit. He also said the fall hunting seasons are almost here, and officers already have begun ramping up patrols to stop poaching activity and other illegal practices. Mobile video-recording devices have been shown to make the jobs of law-enforcement officers safer, and a timely vote by Senators to allow Wildlife Conservation Officers to wear the cameras now, as they enter their busiest time of year, would have an immediate impact with measurable results.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania’s chief Supreme Court justice says county courts are adopting civil case management processes to help them wrap up cases within two years. He blames certain court rules that made it difficult for inactive cases to be purged. In other cases, he says, counties didn’t have case management systems or they had a culture that allowed lawyers to dictate the pace of litigation. Now, he says, each county has a case management plan and president judges know that cases shouldn’t go beyond two years.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Two defendants in the Pennsylvania Turnpike corruption case could see the charges against them dropped if a judge allows them to enter a diversion program. Dauphin County Judge Richard Lewis has slated a Tuesday hearing to consider whether Dennis Miller and Jeffrey Suzenski should enter the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. Lawyers for Miller, a former executive for a turnpike vendor, and Suzenski, a consultant to another vendor, say prosecutors are expected to recommend the move. The attorney general’s office declined to comment. Under the program, the charges would be dropped if they complete two years of probation without problems. Defendants awaiting trial in the alleged “pay-to-play” case include former state Sen. Robert Mellow, who’s in federal prison on an unrelated corruption conviction, and Joseph Brimmeier, the turnpike commission’s ex-CEO.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court chief justice is asking the state attorney general’s office for the names of any judges involved in email exchanges containing pornography. However, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Kathleen Kane said that the emails weren’t collected in a way that allows the office to readily identify those who might have been involved by job description. Kane’s office says hundreds of inter-office pornographic emails sent or received between 2008 and 2012 were discovered during its review of the Jerry Sandusky prosecution. Her office says the exchanges involved current and former employees of the attorney general’s office, including two current members of Gov. Tom Corbett’s cabinet. Chief Justice Ronald Castille’s spokesman, Jim Koval, says he doesn’t know why Castille believes judges were involved.
HARRISBURG – The PA General Assembly passed legislation that will help in the fight against heroin after a report examined the growing numbers of heroin and opioid-related deaths across the state. Senate Bill 1164 will prevent an individual from being charged or prosecuted in the event they obtain help for someone experiencing a drug overdose. In addition, the bill would provide emergency responders with access to naloxone, a life-saving treatment that can be administered to someone in the midst of a heroin overdose. The legislation, along with Senate Bill 1180 calling for a prescription drug database, are priorities for the York County Heroin Task Force. Sen. Jack Wagner joined the recently formed task force and said Baltimore is the heroin capitol of the world. He says the I-83 corridor from Baltimore to York County is a source of the county’s problem. The York County Heroin Task Force will hold a meeting tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the York County School of Technology. Wagner said we need to see senate Bill 1180 gets to the Governor’s desk as well.