ALLENTOWN –PPL posted its quarterly price to compare for customers. Effective Dec. 1, the new price to compare for residential customers will be 9.318 cents per kilowatt-hour which is currently 8.956. The price to compare for small business customers will be 9.325 cents, currently 8.596. Information about shopping for electric supply can be found on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s website, www.PAPowerSwitch.com, or at www.pplelectric.com/choice. PPL Electric Utilities encourages customers to seek opportunities to save on power supply costs by shopping for deals with competitive electric suppliers.
HARRISBURG – A task force created by PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane to infuse resources into communities that are overrun with violent, drug-related crime has again punched a hole in drug trafficking and criminal activity, this time in Harrisburg. The Mobile Street Crimes Unit’s deployment to Harrisburg yielded 239 arrests including drug dealers, and violent and repeat offenders; $300,000 worth of heroin that is now off the streets; and the identification of seven gangs and seven drug trafficking organizations operating in the region. In the last two weeks a dozen local law enforcement agencies dispatched 150 agents and officers for a week-long sweep to serve arrest warrants mostly in Harrisburg for a variety of crimes, with the Mobile Street Crimes Unit capturing more than half of the total arrests. Kane thanked Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico, Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse, and Harrisburg Chief of Police Thomas Carter for their support, as well as a bipartisan group of legislators.
HARRISBURG (AP) – No one at the state Capitol has advocated pay raises for hundreds of PA’s top elected and appointed officials since the last attempt in 2005, but their compensation continues to grow year after year. A 1995 law provides automatic cost-of-living increases for the state’s judges, members of the Legislature, and many top executive branch officials, including the governor and his major appointees. The adjustments are relatively small – just 1.6% for 2015 – but they add up. Since 2005, the annual increases have boosted the salaries for the governor and rank-and-file legislators by more than 22%. In the judiciary, salaries for appellate judges have increased by more than 30%. The 2015 salary for the chief justice will be $209,000, compared with $154,000 a decade ago.
HARRISBURG – The PA Department of Education has taken steps to establish the state’s first Rural Regional Community College. The newly created institution is being established with the goal of offering two year associate degrees as well as training and certificate programs to underserved areas of the Commonwealth. Curriculum will be determined by the Board of Trustees based upon the future workforce needs of the designated regions of Cameron, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, McKean, Potter, Venango, and Warren Counties. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, who sponsored legislation on the issue, applauded the department’s action. A Board of Trustees was formed earlier this month and their first meeting has been scheduled for December 2nd. The time and location will be announced by the state Education Department. The meeting will be open to the public.
READING (AP) – A Christmas tree is getting kicked to the curb a little early after residents of a Berks County town complained it was too ugly. Reading’s spindly 50-foot spruce drew the ire of residents who said it was ruining their holiday spirit. Now a group led by the city council president is raising money to buy and decorate a more impressive replacement. The current tree is topped with a lighted pretzel, a nod to the area’s many bakeries. The puny pine was a last-minute stand-in taken from a city park. The city had planned to get its tree from a farm, but the owner wouldn’t let the crews drive on the wet ground when they went to pick it up. Officials are hoping to have a do-over tree lighting ceremony next weekend.
HAGERSTOWN, MD (AP) – Twenty-one states are asking a federal appeals court to overturn provisions of Maryland’s gun-control law that ban 45 assault weapons and a limit gun magazines to 10 rounds. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led the coalition in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the Fourth U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. The brief says the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep firearms in homes for self-protection. The other states are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, and Kentucky. A U.S. District Court judge in Baltimore upheld the provisions in August. The state of Maryland has until Dec. 31 to respond to the filing.
LANCASTER – Today is the final day to drop off shoeboxes as part of Operation Christmas Child. The outreach from Samaritan’s Purse has shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, non-liquid hygiene items, and accessories to be distributed to children around the world. They hope to receive 40,000 shoeboxes from the Lancaster, York, and Lebanon region. Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to over 113 million children in more than 100 countries. Shoeboxes can be dropped off at any of the 19 locations around our region. You can see the area drop off locations by CLICKING HERE. For more information about what goes into a shoebox, go to www.samaritanspurse.org or call 1-800-353-5949.
LANCASTER -The Lancaster Salvation Army will be offering an additional day for individuals and families who are in need of assistance this Christmas. Captain Lisa Sheehan says they have received an overwhelming number of calls since conducting their Christmas assistance intake earlier this month. With the number of requests that have come in, they have decided to make today an additional opportunity for people to come and complete applications for Christmas assistance. Those interested need to register at The Lancaster Salvation Army at 131 S. Queen Street. Registration will take place Monday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registrants will need to bring a photo ID of the person applying for assistance; ID with date of birth for everyone of all ages in your household; proof of address in your name; and proof of all household income, financial help, and benefits. For more information, call 717-397-7565.
LANCASTER – Lancaster County’s 24 hours of online giving called The ExtraOrdinary Give was a huge record-breaking success with over 31,000 gifts totaling over $4.4 million. More than 300 county nonprofits were part of the day of donation. You can see the totals received by the organizations by CLICKING HERE.
YORK – Efforts are underway to keep needy people in the York area warm during the winter. York Rescue Mission and a coalition of organizations, churches, and individuals are teaming up to distribute 6,000 donated, Christmas gift-wrapped blankets to low-income and impoverished families and individuals. The massive blanket give-away begins December 6 and continues throughout the month. This is the 13th year for the drive. For more information on donating blankets toward the campaign or distribution locations, contact York Rescue Mission at 812-1692.