LANCASTER – Lancaster Mennonite School Superintendent J. Richard Thomas has announced that he will retire in December 2016, after over 33 years of service, concluding his tenure as the school’s seventh superintendent. Thomas said, “I was privileged to build on our founders’ vision that Lancaster Mennonite would be a school of educational excellence centered in Jesus Christ.” He added, “I am grateful for a board, staff and other stakeholders that trusted me, empowered me, forgave my mistakes and held me accountable to our vision to serve students.” A search committee for the school’s next superintendent is being finalized.
HARRISBURG – The state Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing next week on legislation related to the legalization of fireworks in the Commonwealth. The panel will hear testimony on Senate Bill 1055, which would further legalize the sale and use of consumer fireworks for Pennsylvanians. Committee Chairman, Sen. Elder Vogel of Beaver County, is a co-sponsor of the bill. Under the bill, revenues raised from an excise tax on consumer and novelty fireworks would be used to directly fund EMS providers and fire company programs. The hearing is next Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Room 8E-B of the state Capitol.
LANCASTER – Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight features Lauren Bechtel with Young Evangelicals For Climate Action discussing being good stewards of God’s Earth & climate change. How much change in our environment caused by man-made versus natural sources? Questions are addressed as to whether there is evidence showing that there is global warming and what is the definition of climate change. Hear more on Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight at 12:30 on WDAC and at 2 p.m. on WBYN 1075Alive. You can listen to the program online right now at wdac.com under “WDAC Podcasts.”
LANCASTER – The suspect in Wednesday morning’s robbery at the Wells Fargo Bank at 926 Manor Street in Lancaster has been caught. An arrest warrant was issued for 29-year-old Cory Giberson of New Providence after police released surveillance photos of the suspect. Giberson was arrested without incident around 10 p.m. Thursday by State Police.
UPPER ALLEN TOWNSHIP – There’s a happy ending in the case of a missing elderly Cumberland County man. Upper Allen Township Police report that 82-year-old William Hersh has been located safe and sound. They appreciate all who were trying to locate him. Police say Hersh has now been reunited with his family after he was last seen Wednesday night.
Lauren Bechtel With Young Evangelicals For Climate Action Discusses Being Good Stewards Of God’s Earth & Climate Change
HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf is seeking a $60 million boost to state-subsidized pre-kindergarten programs next year. The figure will be part of the budget proposal he delivers to the Legislature next week. It would increase the state’s current pre-kindergarten subsidy by one-third. Wolf initially sought a $120 million increase for pre-K programs last year, but signed a $30 million increase in December after the Republican-controlled Legislature passed a budget measure he opposed. Wolf is fighting for another $30 million for pre-K programs in this year’s budget after a bipartisan deal collapsed amid House GOP resistance to the accompanying tax increase Wolf wanted.
HARRISBURG – PA House Majority Leader, Rep. Dave Reed of Indiana County gave a budget update. Gov. Tom Wolf still believes he’s under a some kind of a budget framework for 2015-16 that he needs to build off of when he presents a new budget proposal for 2016-17. Reed says the original budget framework has been dead for months. The lawmaker said there is always a possibility of finishing a budget for the current fiscal year before Gov. Wolf presents his budget proposal for the next fiscal year next Tuesday before a joint meeting of the General Assembly in Harrisburg.
YORK (AP) – A York County woman told police she had no clue she was pregnant before she gave birth at home, put her unresponsive newborn into a shoebox, and stored it in an upstairs closet. 21-year-old Kelsey Martin of Springettsbury Township was charged with concealing the death of a child. Her lawyer called the incident a “horrible, but explainable tragedy.” Police say Martin went to a hospital in April with abdominal pains and was told she had a urinary tract infection and given antibiotics. She was later taken to a hospital where doctors discovered she’d given birth. She told police the baby wasn’t breathing so she placed it in the shoebox. An autopsy failed to reveal if the child was born alive. It was not clear why the charges came eight months after the birth.
ANNAPOLIS, MD (AP) – The Maryland Elections Board has voted to scrap touch-screen voting machines in favor of paper ballots for early voting before the April primaries. The board voted 5-0 for the change. The board decided not to use the touch screens, because they can’t display all names on the same screen for races with a lot of candidates. The format can create a disadvantage for candidates with last names further down the alphabet. It also can be confusing and time-consuming for voters to navigate between multiple pages of candidates. Maryland’s primary is April 26 with early voting beginning on April 14.