Harrisburg – Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board today safeguarded 2,778 additional acres on 28 farms in 13 counties through the state’s nationally renowned farmland preservation program. The board preserved farms in Bedford, Bucks, Center, Chester, Cumberland, Erie, Lancaster, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, Susquehanna and Wayne counties. Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1.2 billion to preserve 489,409 acres on 4,586 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production. Agriculture Secretary George Greig says the best agriculture land is often the best land for development, but our farmland preservation program ensures prime soils stay in farming.
MANHEIM TOWNSHIP – A police pursuit in Lancaster County had an officer get hit by a vehicle and a woman arrested. It happened at 12:22 p.m. yesterday when a Manheim Township Police officer was stopped at the light at N. Queen and Liberty Streets. The officer observed a vehicle run a red light on Queen nearly striking the police vehicle. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but it continued on, turning into the parking lot of Lancaster Mitsubishi trying to elude the officer. The vehicle entered a row with a dead end and then attempted to back out. As the officer was trying to take the driver into custody, he was struck by the vehicle. The driver, 44-year-old Susan Drescher of Manheim, refused to exit the vehicle and locked the doors. She was taken into custody after officers broke a window to remove her. The officer was not injured. Drescher was charged with aggravated assault, fleeing or attempting to elude police, DUI, resisting arrest, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was committed to Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail.
YORK – Human remains found in a wooded area in West Manchester Township, York County were those of a homicide victim. The remains were found by tree trimmers last November near Loucks and Haviland Roads. York County Coroner Pam Gay says the remains could have been there for three to ten years. Forensic experts say the male victim was between 30 – 50 years old, between five four and five ten, and not of African American descent. The remains are being examined for DNA at the University of Texas.
HARRISBURG – PennDOT is inviting the public to share their feedback on transportation priorities and investments through a survey at www.PAOnTrack.com as part of efforts to update the state’s Long Range Transportation Plan and develop the state’s first-ever Comprehensive Freight Movement plan. The plans will provide a vision for investing in transportation assets to meet current and future demands. The plan’s goals, objectives, and recommendations will help guide the state’s future 12-Year Programs and regional long-range transportation plans. The survey, available until May 30, asks the public to identify their top transportation priorities among all assets, from freight connections to bike and pedestrian facilities. Participants can also identify project needs that address traffic congestion, bridges, transit, and more. The plans will be finalized in fall 2014.
HARRISBURG – PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane has joined the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement officials in support of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Kane said the program, scheduled for the last Saturday in April, is an effort to collect potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for proper disposal and destruction. The service is free and anonymous. The last National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day was held Nov. 2, 2013. On that day, law enforcement agencies in all 50 states collected more than 324 tons of prescription medications. A common misconception with prescription drug disposal is that it is safe to flush unwanted medicine down the toilet or simply throw them away. However, these options pose potential health and safety hazards. Collection will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 26th. A complete list of collection sites is available at www.dea.gov.
BUTLER (AP) – The commissioners of a western Pennsylvania county have voted 2-1 to display the national motto, “In God We Trust” on a wall of their meeting room. Republican Butler County Commissioners William McCarrier and Dale Pinkerton supported the display while Democrat Jim Eckstein didn’t. Pinkerton pushed the idea at the urging of a national group called In God We Trust – America Inc., which hopes cities and counties across the country will display the national motto adopted in 1956, which also appears on U.S. currency. Eckstein says he’s concerned about a court challenge by the ACLU or some other group. But ACLU attorney Sara Rose says a challenge is unlikely because courts have ruled the motto does not promote one religious group over another.
HARRISBURG (AP) – A Republican Party-backed effort to disqualify the lone primary challenger to Gov. Tom Corbett is headed to the PA Supreme Court. Lawyers filed the appeal to a lower court decision that ruled that suburban Philadelphia businessman Bob Guzzardi can stay on the May 20 primary ballot. The Guzzardi campaign says it’ll vigorously defend the lower court decision. Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt ruled Tuesday that Guzzardi had met the requirement for petition signatures, accurately represented his occupation on his nomination petition, and wasn’t to blame for failing to file certain paperwork by the March 11 deadline. Corbett is endorsed by the state GOP and is running for a second four-year term. Guzzardi is an outspoken Corbett critic who’s said he’s running to give party conservatives an alternative.
YORK – As farmers across Pennsylvania return to the fields to plant crops this spring, representatives from the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture, State Police, and Transportation joined together to promote safe driving on rural roads at a York County farm as part of Rural Roads Safety Week, which runs now through April 19. The purpose of Rural Roads Safety Week is to alert drivers that large, slow-moving farm vehicles and equipment are once again traveling on rural roads across the state. According to PennDOT’s crash data reports, there were 87 crashes and two fatalities involving farm equipment and other vehicles in Pennsylvania in 2013. Farmers are legally allowed to operate farm equipment on Pennsylvania roads and they must display the Slow Moving Vehicle Emblem, which is an orange colored triangle with a red border, on the rear of all vehicles or equipment that consistently travel at speeds of 25 mph or less.
PARADISE TOWNSHIP – State Police are investigating a road rage incident in Lancaster County. It happened around 4 p.m. Wednesday in Paradise Township when a 44-year-old man from Paradise got into a dispute with two men in a red sedan. The two parties stopped with the stabbing occurring at Route 741 and Belmont Road. The unidentified victim was taken to Lancaster General. His condition is not known. State Police are searching for the two white males between age 20 – 30 who were driving the red sedan with Texas registration.
LANCASTER – An autopsy on a body found in the Susquehanna River near the Holtwood Dam has determined the victim was a missing York County man. Dental records found the body was that of 42-year-old Cody Wilkenson of Hellam Township. His death was ruled accidental from freshwater drowning. Wilkenson and his girlfriend, 55-year-old Elizabeth Dorsaneo of Thorndale, Chester County, were last seen March 20 and reported missing. Their empty boat was found in the river. Dorsaneo is still missing.