LANCASTER – Many party-goers did not drive intoxicated on Thanksgiving Eve, according to local officials who coordinated sobriety checkpoints in Lancaster City and other enforcement operations over the holiday. Police encountered numerous Uber and designated drivers during two Nov. 23 checkpoints at separate locations in Lancaster. However, seven people were charged with DUI. The DUI Task Force and State Police directed the checkpoints, along with roving patrols and other enforcement details over Thanksgiving break, the highest-volume travel holiday of the year and deadliest for motorists. Local law-enforcement officials were encouraged by the large number of Uber and designated drivers that passed through the checkpoint.
HARRISBURG (AP) – A former executive with Utz Quality Foods in Hanover will spend time in federal prison for defrauding the company. 38-year-old Kevin Myers was sentenced to 51 months in prison after acknowledging that he received $651,000 in kickbacks while purchasing director at the York County company. Prosecutors say Myers received the kickbacks from 45-year-old Jonathan Haas, who owned Haas Packaging and Design when the thefts occurred between January 2010 and August 2014. Haas pleaded guilty to submitting bogus invoices for $1.4 million in shelving and packaging products that were never delivered to Utz, and kicking back some money to Myers. Haas will be sentenced Jan. 12.
LANCASTER – Last year, Lancaster’s Water Street Mission served over 140,000 meals for the hungry and homeless with food provided through donations. Their annual Mission Food Drive continues now through December 18. You can simply fill a shopping bag with non-perishable food items, no glass containers, please, and drop them off at the mission at 210 S. Prince Street in Lancaster. Their food dock hours are Mon.-Fri. from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sat. from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. You can also drop off donated food items at any Lancaster County M&T Bank branch, Lancaster County Turkey Hill or the Sharp Shopper in Ephrata and Leola. You can get more information about their food drive at www.rescuemissionfooddrive.com.
NEW YORK – President-Elect Donald Trump met with area Congressman Lou Barletta in New York Tuesday to discuss the presidential transition. Barletta, who represents parts of Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties, is a member of the Presidential Transition Team. Following the meeting, Barletta told reporters “we talked about many issues concerning the country and talked about the President-Elect’s ideas moving forward.” When asked about a possible role in the Trump Administration, Barletta said they talked about Secretary of Labor and it’s something he is going to consider.
HARRISBURG (AP) – A hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 5th on a Green Party-backed request for a court-ordered recount of Pennsylvania’s Nov. 8 presidential election, won by Republican Donald Trump. The order came a day after the campaign of failed Green Party candidate Jill Stein filed the request. Stein has spearheaded a recount effort in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, states where Trump won over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Stein trailed them significantly. Stein cites concerns cyber attacks mounted by foreign governments could have altered results tabulated on Pennsylvania’s electronic voting machines.
HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf announced that 36 post-secondary institutions in Pennsylvania were awarded nearly $1 million in grants to address campus sexual assault. As part of his Administration’s “It’s On Us PA” campaign, the grants of up to $30,000 each were awarded. The goals of the campaign are to improve awareness, prevention, reporting, and response systems regarding sexual violence on campuses; remove barriers that prevent survivors of sexual violence from reporting and/or accessing vital resources; and to challenge college and university leaders – as well as students, teachers, faculty, staff, families, and communities to pledge to improve their institutions’ climate. Some area institutions receiving the grants include Millersville, Kutztown, and Lincoln Universities along with Franklin & Marshall, York, and Gettysburg Colleges.
DOVER, DE (AP) – A state panel is considering whether to recommend pay raises for Delaware lawmakers and high-ranking government officials. The Delaware Compensation Commission meets every four years to review salaries for lawmakers, judges, and other top officials. Under state law, the panel’s recommendations take effect automatically unless lawmakers vote them down in their entirety. Commission members were told the state faces a challenging budget situation, with a current estimated shortfall for next year of at least $167 million. Panel members did indicated that pay raises might be appropriate for some cabinet posts, including economic development.
HARRISBURG – Hunters during the final day of Pennsylvania’s statewide bear season Nov. 23 brought in 271 bears, raising the 2016 statewide season harvest to 2,579 – a decrease compared to the 2,693 bears taken during the four days of the statewide season in 2015. A final tally of the total bear harvest, which will include all bears harvested during the 2016 archery bear season and the extended bear seasons, will be released at a later date, after all bear seasons for the 2016-17 license year are completed. Last year, more than 1,000 bears were harvested outside of the four-day statewide bear season. Bears were harvested in 53 counties during the statewide season in 2016. The top 10 bears processed at check stations through the close of the statewide season all were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 621 pounds or more. The largest of the state’s heaviest bears – a male estimated at 700 pounds – was taken in Monroe County on Nov. 19, the season’s opening day.
HARRISBURG (AP) – The group representing Pennsylvania prosecutors is setting guidelines about how to investigate shootings by police officers. Among the recommendations issued today by the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association was that departments should not investigate their own and that the shooters’ names should not be released unless they are charged. The guidelines call for the district attorneys themselves to direct the investigation and use county detectives or a neighboring police department to carry it out. The recommendations apply whenever an officer shoots at someone, whether the target is hit or not. The document describes how the shooting scene should be secured, firearms should not be moved, and evidence should be collected and kept secure. If there’s a dead body, it should be shielded from public view before being taken away.
HARRISBURG – The discovery of the spotted lanternfly in 25 additional municipalities across southeastern Pennsylvania is cause for vigilance, according to PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, who emphasized the importance of citizen engagement in the ongoing effort to contain and eradicate the invasive species. The newly quarantined municipalities in Berks County include: Centre, Maiden Creek, Richmond, Robeson, Ruscombmanor, and Union Townships, and the Boroughs of Birdsboro, Centreport, and Fleetwood. Chester County includes: East Vincent, East Coventry and North Coventry Townships and Spring City Borough. A number of communities in Bucks, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Northampton Counties were also added to the quarantine area. The Spotted Lanternfly is an inch-long black, red, and white spotted pest that has attacked 25 plant species that grow in Pennsylvania. The pest had not been found in the U.S. prior to its initial detection in Berks County in 2014. Redding stressed that residents inside the quarantine zone should simply destroy any specimens they find. There is no need to report the insect.