HARRISBURG (AP) – Three Democrats are preparing to be sworn in to high-ranking jobs in state government known as “row offices.” Josh Shapiro will be the state Attorney General, becoming the fourth person to hold the position since August. That’s when former Attorney General Kathleen Kane resigned shortly after being convicted of leaking secret grand jury material and lying about it. Shapiro is a former state representative who more recently had been a Montgomery County Commissioner. Joe Torsella will become the state’s next treasurer. He’s a former deputy mayor in Philadelphia and former chief executive of the National Constitution Center. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is returning for a second term in office. He’s a former state representative from York County.
HARRISBURG (AP) – The big question at the state Capitol in Harrisburg is: How will Gov. Tom Wolf balance his budget proposal without a major tax increase? He’s due to release his spending plan on Feb. 7 and most details are still under wraps. The Democrat says he won’t propose a broad-based tax increase, but analysts are projecting a $2 billion-plus hole in the state’s finances. Wolf’s conservative approach comes as the Legislature returns in 2017 with bigger anti-tax Republican majorities. Wolf says he’s trying to budget responsibly and that he won’t rely on the sort of one-time maneuvers that Republicans have preferred to tax increases. The promise of a lean budget has some alarmed. That includes county governments, which say they’ve been squeezed by the state for years into footing a larger share of the cost of social services.
EAST LAMPETER TOWNSHIP – Police released surveillance photos of a man stealing items from a Lancaster County store. On Sunday, a man entered Kohl’s at 2350 Lincoln Highway East in East Lampeter Township. He concealed clothing in a shopping bag and ran out of the store without paying for the merchandise. Photos of the suspect can be seen below. The suspect is described as a white male, 20-30 years old with very short brown hair, wearing a light brown coat, and blue jeans. Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect is asked to contact East Lampeter Township Police at 717-291-4676.
LANCASTER COUNTY – Crews battled two fires in Lancaster County yesterday. One started in a chicken house along Bossler Road near Garber Road in West Donegal Township. Investigators say a malfunctioning heater was the cause. 3,600 chickens perished. A second fire happened in a garage and barn along Auction Road in Penn Township. A cause is under investigation. No one was hurt in either blaze.
BELLEFONTE (AP) – A judge has ordered former Penn State president Graham Spanier to pare down his defamation lawsuit against former FBI director Louis Freeh. Spanier is suing Freeh over the 2012 report he issued on Penn State’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky sex assault case. But Judge Robert Eby threw out the lawsuit and told Spanier’s lawyers to refile it within 60 days. They vowed to do so. Neither Spanier nor Freeh attended the Centre County hearing. Spanier says the report harmed his reputation and income, and he is seeking damages. He and Penn State are countersuing each other. Spanier is also trying to have criminal charges stemming from the Sandusky investigation dismissed.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Looser regulations on Pennsylvania beer retailers are going into effect. A state law that becomes official tomorrow will let beer distributors sell any quantity, including individual 32-ounce bottles, six-packs, and growlers. The state’s 1,200 distributors were once largely limited to selling cases and kegs. That’s one reason Pennsylvania’s alcohol rules were widely considered among the nation’s most restrictive. That changed a couple years ago, when retailers were allowed to sell 12-packs. The new law also lets bars start selling booze at 9 a.m. on Sundays, without a requirement they also serve food.
LANCASTER – A Lancaster man is recuperating after being shot early Sunday morning. Around 3:30 a.m., officers responded to the 200 block of E. Clay Street and found a 37-year-old man with a grazing gun shot wound to the side of his head. The victim said he confronted an unknown man that appeared to be in the process of breaking into a parked vehicle. A struggle ensued between him and the perpetrator. During the confrontation, a second unknown man appeared and fired at least one shot from a gun, striking the victim. The victim fled to a location in order to contact police. The suspects escaped. The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening injury. The suspects are described as two Hispanic males, both with medium builds and one was described as wearing dark colored clothing. Detectives are trying to locate video footage from the area and any witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to contact Lancaster Police at 717-735-3300 or Lancaster City/County Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-322-1913
EPHRATA – Authorities in Lancaster County are searching for a man in regards to a robbery warrant stemming from an incident late Thursday afternoon. Police say 32-year-old Joshua DelRossi was charged with robbery, stalking, unlawful restraint, and witness intimidation following an incident in the first block of N. Church Avenue in Ephrata. DelRossi fled the area before the victim was able to call the police. DelRossi’s last known address was in Ephrata Borough and he has yet to be located following the search of several locations in Lancaster County. DelRossi is alleged to have restrained, assaulted, and taken items from the victim to include a cellphone in an attempt to keep the victim from calling for help. Anyone who may have information on DelRossi’s location is asked to contact the Ephrata Police at 717-733-8611.
LANCASTER – Many individuals and families from the region are planning to attend the 2017 March For Life in Washington, DC on Friday, January 27th. This year’s theme is “The Power of One.” WDAC and Bob Neff Tours will be providing bus transportation to and from the event. If you’d like to register, call 717-397-0000. There are other buses leaving for the March from across Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Family Institute has a listing of buses available. CLICK THIS LINK to go to their list or you can call PFI at 1-800-FAMILY-1 to find a bus from your area. If you have a bus going to D.C. for the March, contact them so you can get your bus on that list.
HARRISBURG – Today is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr holiday. A new state lawmaker in Harrisburg, Sen. Sharif Street of Philadelphia presented a resolution on the floor of the state Senate commemorating Dr. King’s birthday. In his remarks, Sen. Street said Dr. King fought for a better life for the average working man and woman.- the same ideas he says might have motivated people to vote for Donald Trump, who are looking to find a decent job, a decent wage and a better standard of life. Street asked all Pennsylvanians to consider and think about what we can all do to make ordinary peoples lives better. Today, federal, state, and local government offices will be closed for the holiday. Most schools are closed and there will be no home mail delivery today.