WILMINGTON, DE (AP) – Delaware Gov. Jack Markell is heading to Chile this week to meet with the country’s president and other leaders. Chile will be the governor’s first foreign trade trip since he visited Germany a little more than a year ago. He’s scheduled to arrive in Santiago on Friday and will be in Chile through Wednesday Oct. 5. Markell’s office says he will also meet fruit exporters and shippers. Others expected to join Markell include Delaware Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Lee and Port of Wilmington Executive Director Gene Bailey. Fruit from Chile is a big source of business for Wilmington’s port. Markell’s office says the trip should cost less than $30,000.
HARRISBURG (AP) – The union representing faculty and coaches at 14 state universities in Pennsylvania has set a strike date. The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties says its members will strike on Oct. 19 if a new contract settlement is not reached. The State System of Higher Education during negotiations this week proposed raising faculty pay by 12% while seeking other contract changes. The union’s president says they remain at odds on a number of proposals, including faculty workloads. The union represents about 5,500 faculty and coaches. State System spokesman Kenn Marshall says a “strike by faculty runs counter to everything that higher education stands for.” The two sides say they’ll return to the bargaining table.
LANCASTER – Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight features Lt. Col. (Retired) Allen West as he spoke at the 2016 Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC. West, who is currently the Executive Directer and Chairman of the Board for the National Center for Policy Analysis and a Fox News contributor, says our nation is putting its faith in man, not God. He calls for our nation to return to its Judeo-Christian roots. Hear more from Lt. Col. (Retired) Allen West on Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight at 12:30 on WDAC and at 2 p.m. on WBYN-FM 107.5. You can listen to the program online right now at wdac.com under “WDAC Podcasts.”
LANCASTER (AP) – Investigators are looking to new technology to help them identify the parents of an infant who was found dead in a Lancaster dumpster nine years ago. Police are hopeful that advances in DNA testing will yield new clues in the case. The baby girl’s body was placed in a tote bag and was discovered in a dumpster in September 2007. The baby’s death was ruled a homicide due to complications of asphyxia. Police say investigators have exhausted many leads over the years, but are revisiting some angles to get a fresh perspective.
HALIFAX – Members of the military, local officials, and loved ones of Staff Sgt. Brian Mowery gathered at Deppen Park in Halifax, Dauphin County this week to honor Mowery’s life and service and unveil a memorial bridge sign in his name. Dauphin County Sen. Rob Teplitz authored Senate Bill 1040 to name the bridge over Armstrong Creek the “Staff Sgt. Brian K. Mowery Memorial Bridge.” Mowery served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1979 through 1985 and later enlisted in the PA National Guard as an infantry team leader and a motor transport operator. He also served in the Kosovo Peacekeeping Mission from 2003 through 2004, and aided in disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Mowery was stationed in Afghanistan, where he was killed in the line of duty on July 18, 2011 when his convoy was attacked while transporting necessary supplies. In honor of his service and sacrifice, Mowery was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
YORK (AP) – Authorities are investigating a fatal police pursuit of a hit-and-run suspect who allegedly fled when police tried to stop him. A man was spotted driving a pickup truck wanted in a hit-and-run Thursday night in York. Police spotted and stopped the vehicle shortly after midnight, but investigators say the driver sped away as the York officers got out of their car. Those police gave chase, and the truck crashed in the area of McKenzie Street and Pleasant Way, ejecting the driver from the vehicle. The York County coroner identified the dead man as 51-year-old Carl Snellings of York. An autopsy will be performed Saturday. State Police are investigating the crash because York Police were involved in the chase.
MECHANICSBURG (AP) – A former volunteer firefighter in Cumberland County admitted setting four fires last year. Collin Miller pleaded guilty to arson and recklessly endangering another person. Several other charges against the 23-year-old were dismissed. He’s to be sentenced in November. Investigators say shoe prints linked Miller to an August 2015 fire at a vacant home in Silver Spring Township. He was reportedly seen in the area by firefighters. Court documents show Miller admitted he broke into that home and set it ablaze. He later admitted to starting fires at his own Mechanicsburg home and another vacant home, as well as one between two businesses. Miller had been a volunteer with the Washington Fire Company.
HARRISBURG – PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says the largest online charter school in the state paid millions of taxpayer dollars to entities tied to the school’s founder. A performance audit of the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School found the charter school’s board provided little oversight over business transactions involving Nick Trombetta, the founder and CEO. Trombetta will be sentenced in November after pleading guilty to a federal tax conspiracy charge. DePasquale said the state’s charter school law needs to be changed. Pennsylvania Cyber disputed many of the findings in its response to the audit. The online school enrolls nearly 10,000 students statewide. In the 2013-14 school year, it got more than $118 million from 484 school districts.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Commonwealth Court is ending a program established by Gov. Tom Wolf that judges said improperly granted union rights to home care workers who look after the elderly and disabled. The Court ruled 4-to-1 Thursday in favor of plaintiffs who challenged an executive order Wolf issued in February 2015. The court majority says Wolf’s order is a form of legislation it called an “invalid exercise of executive authority” that “invades the relationship” between direct care workers and the people who employ them in their homes. A lawyer for the plaintiffs says the ruling is what they hoped for. The plaintiffs include the Pennsylvania Homecare Association and United Cerebral Palsy of Pennsylvania. Wolf’s office says he’s disappointed and is “considering options for the best path forward.”
HARRISBURG – The PA House approved a bill that streamlines and improves the PA Veterans Trust Fund. The Veterans Trust Fund provides grants to statewide charitable organizations that assist veterans, veteran’s service organizations, and county directors of veteran’s affairs to support efforts to assist veterans in need of shelter and other necessities of life. Senate Bill 1226 would align the Trust Fund with the Veterans Emergency Assistance Program and allow the Trust Fund to take donations of any kind. The bill also clarifies that any charitable organization with the primary mission that serves veterans is eligible for grants. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs would administer the funds. The bill now goes to Gov. Wolf.