PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP – Crews responded to a dwelling fire in Lancaster County. It happened around 11 a.m. Wednesday in the 300 block of Snyder Hollow Road in Providence Township. A caller reported that a house was on fire. No one was hurt. The Red Cross is assisting two people who were displaced. A cause is under investigation.
HARRISBURG – As the Memorial Day holiday weekend approaches, Dauphin County Sen. Rob Teplitz has reintroduced legislation to return certified lifeguards to all Pennsylvania state parks with public beaches. Teplitz said it is essential that a trained safety professional is on hand to ensure that families are safe in and near the water. In 2008, the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources eliminated using lifeguards on lake beaches at all state parks except Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie and Fuller Lake in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, located in Adams County. Senate Bill 516 is currently in the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission anticipates an increase in traffic over the four-day Memorial Day holiday as compared to last year. About 2.2 million vehicles are expected on the Turnpike over the holiday weekend. The heaviest traffic is expected on Friday with 700,000 vehicles predicted to hit the Turnpike. To make driving easier for holiday travelers, the Turnpike plans to suspend maintenance work and have all lanes in each direction available for traffic beginning at 3 p.m. today and ending at 6 a.m. on May 27. In the event of emergency, the Turnpike will activate its Variable Message Signs and Highway Advisory System at 1640 on the AM radio dial to inform motorists of conditions. Motorists should obey posted speed limits and move over for stopped emergency vehicles.
HARRISBURG – A nationwide “Click It Or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign is now underway through June 7. PennDOT, state, and local police are participating along with 15 other states and Ontario, Canada to make sure motorists are properly buckled up. Ashley Schoch with PennDOT says having seat belts fastened is the law and saves lives.Throughout the mobilization, enforcement will focus largely on nighttime operations using traffic enforcement zones and roving patrols on roadways identified as having higher unbelted crash rates. According to PennDOT, unrestrained fatalities dropped from 425 in 2013 to 383 in 2014. The statewide number of crashes in which people were not wearing seat belts also decreased. The campaign runs now through June 7. Pennsylvania’s primary seat belt law requires drivers and passengers under 18 to buckle up with children under the age 4 to be properly restrained in an approved child safety seat. Children ages 4-8 must be restrained in an appropriate booster seat with children ages 8-18 must be in a seat belt while riding anywhere in the vehicle.
COLUMBIA – A power outage that affected over 2,400 people and forced a Lancaster County elementary school to close was caused by a squirrel. Park Elementary School in Columbia had to close Tuesday morning after the critter came into contact with a primary wire, starting a fire and causing the wires to fall. Officials say no one was injured in the incident. PPL crews managed to restore electricity to all but 252 people within a few hours. PPL Electric Utilities spokeswoman Jessica Long said the squirrel also caused a circuit breaker to trip and caused fuses in a transformer to malfunction. PPL has been adding animal guard insulators at the end of transformers to prevent these types of incidents.
SHREWSBURY – Police in York County are investigating the shooting death of a dog. On Monday around 5:30 p.m., police responded to Culpepper Drive in Shrewsbury Borough. A 15-year-old family member left two dogs outside and not long afterward heard a gunshot. Both dogs were found at the back door with the one, a 10-month-old Husky/German Shepherd mix, discovered with blood coming from it. A neighbor was summoned and the dog was taken to a local veterinary office where the dog later died from the wound. Anyone with information is asked to contact Southern Regional Police at 717-235-3944.
LANCASTER – A Lancaster Police officer was shot by a suspect, who was then shot and killed by another officer. Officers had gone to a home in the 300 block of E. Chestnut Street shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday to try to serve a warrant on a man, but an exchange of gunfire followed. District Attorney Craig Stedman said the suspect refused to comply with verbal commands to surrender, so the first officer used a stun gun on him, but was shot twice by the suspect. Stedman said another officer then entered and “responded appropriately” by shooting the suspect, who was killed. The suspect has been identified as 29-year-old Anthony Gomez of Harrisburg. Police Chief Keith Sadler said the officer was shot in the hand and shoulder and was in “pretty good condition.”
HARRISBURG (AP) – A judge is barring the release of a video that shows a Hummelstown police officer fatally shooting an unarmed man in the back earlier this year. Dauphin County Judge Deborah Curcillo ruled that releasing the video captured by the officer’s stun gun would jeopardize Lisa Mearkle’s right to a fair trial. The video shows the slaying of David Kassick after a vehicle chase in February by Mearkle, who is charged with criminal homicide in the case. Her lawyer says Mearkle shot in self-defense and asked Curcillo to block the video’s release. Curcillo ordered the hearing last month after Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico sought to provide the video to news organizations.
LANCASTER – Voters in some Lancaster County communities responded to some ballot questions. Martic and Conestoga Township voters said “no” to home rule. Voters in East Drumore Township decided to keep alcohol sales out of their community while Strasburg Township voters have approved small games of chance.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Party-endorsed candidates dominated the field of a dozen candidates vying for a nomination to run for an unprecedented three open seats on the PA Supreme Court. Republicans in Tuesday’s primary election chose Judy Olson, Anne Covey, and Mike George as their candidates. Democrats selected Kevin Dougherty, David Wecht, and Christine Donohue. Democrats nominated Alice Beck Dubow to run for the state Superior Court and Michael Wojcik to run for a Commonwealth Court seat. The Republican candidates for both seats were unopposed for the nominations. The general election is Nov. 3.