Keeping Watch On PA Roads

HARRISBURG – Police will be targeting 74 roadways throughout Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York Counties from now to May 3rd as part of a statewide effort involving more than 330 municipal agencies and state police on 474 roadways across PA. All of the targeted roadways were chosen based on crash data supplied by the PennDOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each roadway was identified as having a high incidence of aggressive driving related crashes, injuries, and/or fatalities. In most cases, it is only a segment along the target roadway, while in other cases it could involve the entire length of roadway. Police will focus on distracted driving, work zones safety violations, and speeding. Motorists exhibiting other unsafe behaviors such as driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, or other aggressive actions will also be cited. The goal is to reduce the number of aggressive driving related crashes. Any aggressive driver stopped by police will receive a ticket. Municipal police agencies that participated in last year’s campaign wrote 53,587 aggressive-driving related citations, including 31,150 for speeding. Traffic Control Signal Signs was the second most-common offense, resulting in 5,011 citations. Additionally, the enforcement accounted for 51 felony arrests, 145 DUI arrests and 179 drug-related arrests.

Keeping PA Medical Students Here

HARRISBURG – A measure is being reintroduced to encourage medical students who attend a PA medical school to remain in the Commonwealth after graduation. The legislation would provide for loan forgiveness for up to $150,000 for each medical student who attends and graduates from a PA school, works as a doctor in the state for up to ten years, and volunteers at least 100 hours per year in the health care field. Sen. John Rafferty of Berks, Chester & Montgomery Counties discussed his proposal at a recent Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing. Rafferty has introduced the measure in prior legislative sessions, but has been unable to get the bill to the governor’s desk.

SEN. JOHN RAFFERTY

SEN. JOHN RAFFERTY

PA Game Commission Eagle Cam Has Eaglet

HARRISBURG – The PA Game Commission’s bald eagle cam already has attracted nearly 643,000 viewers, many of whom faithfully have followed the daily happenings at the nest near Codorus State Park in Hanover, York County. An eaglet has hatched from one of the eggs. It’s been an eventful couple of months for the eagle pair featured on the camera. On Valentine’s Day, the first egg was laid. A second egg followed on Feb. 17. The birds became a nationwide sensation – particularly during a snowstorm when one of adults allowed itself to be buried in falling snow so that the eggs could remain warm and dry. While such behavior is typical, it’s seldom something that can be viewed. The eagle cam is a joint project of the Game Commission, HDOnTap and Comcast Business. Viewers from more than 140 countries have accessed the live stream so far.

Maryland Fracking Moratorium Bill Heads To Vote

ANNAPOLIS, MD (AP) – A bill to place a three-year moratorium on fracking in Maryland survived eight amendments and is headed to a vote in the House of Delegates. On Monday, the Protect Our Health and Communities Act dodged attempts by House Republicans to change the legislation and make it easier for fracking to start in western Maryland. Currently there is no fracking in Maryland. The measure originally proposed an eight-year halt, but last week was reduced to three years in an amendment approved by the House Environment and Transportation Committee. The General Assembly is considering several fracking bills. In the Senate, members are gearing up to vote on a bill that would hold drilling companies strictly liable for injuries to residents or their property.

Website Promotes Maryland Fishing & Hunting

BALTIMORE (AP) – State government is joining private businesses in launching a website promoting Maryland fishing and hunting opportunities. The Maryland Office of Tourism announced the website – www.fishandhuntmaryland.com. Cecil County Tourism Coordinator Sandy Maruchi-Turner says the website was created by a public-private coalition, the Sportsmen & Women’s Marketing Initiative, after a survey last year indicated many people elsewhere were unfamiliar with Maryland hunting and fishing opportunities. She says people who know about the wide variety of outdoor activities in Maryland are more likely to travel to the state to pursue them.

PA Pension Officials Defend Use Of Hired Money Managers

HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania’s major public pension funds are defending the use of highly paid money managers to guide their investments, a practice Gov. Tom Wolf has criticized. Executives from the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and the State Employees’ Retirement System testified before the House Appropriations Committee. The officials say the two systems paid more than $650 million last year to managers who oversaw high-risk investments. Jim Grossman, chief investment officer for the $52 billion school employees’ fund, says its managers not only met his board’s expectations, but exceeded them by $1.2 billion. The fund invests about 20% of its portfolio in index funds managed in-house rather than by outside managers. Wolf has called hiring outside managers a waste of money.

Troopers’ Union Wants Wolf To Recall Commissioner Nominee

HARRISBURG (AP) – The union that represents Pennsylvania State Police troopers is joining top Republican senators in asking Gov. Tom Wolf to withdraw the nomination of his pick for police commissioner. The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association asked Wolf in a letter Monday, breaking its silence after Col. Marcus Brown was caught last week removing two roadside signs critical of him. Association president Joseph Kovel writes that Brown’s actions are an embarrassment to Wolf’s office, the state police department, and troopers. Police were investigating the signs’ removal, and Wolf has maintained that Brown did the right thing by apologizing. Brown is a former Maryland state police superintendent. The signs echoed weeks of criticism of Brown by numerous retired troopers for wearing a state police uniform, even though he didn’t attend the State Police Academy.

PA Counties Seek To Keep Impact Fee From Shale Wells

HARRISBURG (AP) – Gov. Tom Wolf says he’s willing to sign legislation that raises fees on telephone users to help pay for county emergency management systems, the top priority of an organization of Pennsylvania’s county commissioners. However, the answer Wolf gave Monday to a question about fees from Marcellus Shale natural gas wells at the organization’s spring conference in Harrisburg doesn’t line up with their priorities. Wolf wants to replace the three-year-old impact fee with a $225 million annual payment that goes to the same recipients, primarily governments where wells are hosted. It would no longer rise and fall with the number of wells drilled and the price of natural gas. However, Doug Hill of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania says the organization wants the fee to continue to float.

Be Safe In The Work Zone

HARRISBURG – Now through this Friday is National Work Zone Awareness Week. PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards called on motorists to drive safely in work zones and be mindful of the people behind the cones. Twenty-four people were killed in work-zone crashes in 2014. Since 1970, 85 PennDOT employees have died in the line of duty. There were 1,841 crashes in work zones last year. Over the five-year period, there were 10,586 work-zone crashes and 128 fatalities in those crashes. State law requires drivers to increase their visibility and obey work-zone speed limits. Drivers who don’t turn on their headlights in posted work zones face a $25 fine. Also, motorists caught driving 11 mph or more above the posted speed limit in active work zones automatically will lose their license for 15 days.

Remembering A WDAC Salesman

LANCASTER – The WDAC Radio family lost one of our own. Ray Kauffman died on Sunday. He began full-time as a salesman in September 1963. Ray shared that it was hard to sell airtime for FM radio back in the 60’s as AM was more popular. But over time, the tide shifted to FM and WDAC became a predominant station in the region. Ray was good at what he did. Most of all was his love for the Lord and concern for his clients, friends, and family. We are comforted to know that Ray rests with the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember his wife, Mary Ellen and their family in your prayers during this time.