LEBANON – Police say a man and woman have been found dead inside a Lebanon city residence. Authorities say that just after midnight today, a passer-by heard a heated argument and glass breaking inside a home in the 300 block of N. 9th Street and called 911. Arriving officers got no response at the door, but forced their way inside after looking through a window and seeing a man lying on the living room floor. Police said a man and woman were found dead with gunshot wounds. Their identities have not been released pending autopsies to determine the cause and manner of death. Lebanon Police Chief Daniel Wright said bullet casings were found, but couldn’t say whether a weapon was recovered. Anyone with information is asked to contact Lebanon Police at 717-272-6611.
MANHEIM TOWNSHIP – Police in Lancaster County are searching for two men after a Lancaster woman reported that her bank card information was used to make a purchase at Giant at 1605 Lititz Pike on October 11. She did not authorize the purchase, which was for $276 worth of soft drinks. Two black males in their late 20’s to early 30’s made the purchase. Within a short period of time, an attempt was made to use the same bank card information at Kmart at 1890 Fruitville Pike, but the attempt was declined. The suspects can be seen below. Anyone knowing their identity is asked to contact the Manheim Township Police at 717-569-6401, ext 0. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call the Manheim Township Police Anonymous Crime Tipline at 717-569-2816.
NAZARETH – A Philadelphia area school district revised its policy restricting student religious expression in the wake of a federal lawsuit Alliance Defending Freedom filed on behalf of a 1st grade student and his parents. In a settlement agreement approved by a federal district court and resulting in a voluntary dismissal filed Wednesday, the Nazareth Area School District acknowledged that it had changed its policy and would recognize that the First Amendment protects student religious expression. ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp said “Public schools ought to encourage, not suppress, the free exchange of ideas. That includes respecting a student’s freedom to include a Bible verse and a reference to God in a Valentine’s Day card.” Sharp commend Nazareth Area School District for revising its speech policy so that it respects student religious expression. In February, Floyd R. Shafer Elementary School prohibited a student from distributing St. Valentine’s Day cards to classmates because the cards contained a note that mentioned God and included the Bible verse John 3:16 after a sentence about the history of St. Valentine’s Day. Principal William Mudlock ordered the cards removed because of their religious nature and because they contained a Bible verse, telling the student’s parents that they could be “offensive” to others.
ANNAPOLIS, MD (AP) – Registered voters can cast ballots in person before election day in Maryland during eight days of early voting. Early voting began today and runs every day through next Thursday, Oct. 30. Voters can go to special sites in the county where they live. The State Board of Elections says there are 59 such centers statewide, with most counties having one. Poll hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
WASHINGTON, DC (AP) – The Secret Service says a 23-year-old Bel Air, Maryland man who climbed over the White House fence Wednesday night has been charged with felonies for assaulting a police dog and making threats. Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary says Dominic Adesanya is in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for previous outstanding warrants. He has also been charged with four misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and unlawful entry. Adesanya was swiftly apprehended on the North Lawn by uniformed Secret Service agents and their dogs. He was unarmed when he was arrested. President Obama was at the White House at the time of Wednesday’s incident.
PORTLAND, ME (AP) – A York County man who sent a shipment of fake OtterBox cellphone cases to a reseller in Maine has pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods. 25-year-old Michael Kurnik of York entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Portland and faces up to 10 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for Feb. 2. Prosecutors say Kurnik purchased fake OtterBox cases from China and resold them in the United States to dealers like the one in Maine, knowing they were counterfeit and being distributed in violation of federal patent and trademark laws. Kurnik continued to distribute the fakes even after OtterBox told the Maine reseller in May 2013 that they planned to sue. Authorities seized about 6,700 counterfeit cases from a Pennsylvania warehouse.
LANCASTER – Many area folks are packing shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items for a child affected by war, disease, poverty or natural disasters. Such a shoebox may be the only gift that child receives. Through Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse distributes millions of shoebox gifts to needy children in Jesus’ name. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to over 113 million children in more than 100 countries. In 2014, they hope to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 10 million children with 40,000 of those boxes coming from the Lancaster, York, and Lebanon areas. Shoeboxes will be collected during National Collection Week, Nov. 17-24, when shoeboxes can be dropped off at one of 19 locations in our region. A link to the area drop off locations can be found by CLICKING HERE. For more information about Operation Christmas Child and what goes into a shoebox, visit www.samaritanspurse.org or call 1-800-353-5949.
MEMPHIS – A former Lebanon County United Methodist pastor who was disciplined for officiating at his son’s same-sex wedding will soon find out whether he can remain an ordained minister. Rev. Frank Schaefer was suspended and then defrocked last year after refusing to promise to refrain from conducting same-sex marriages. The action against Schaefer was taken after a church trial in southeastern Pennsylvania. An appeals panel restored Schaefer’s pastoral credentials in June, but that decision is being challenged. The United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council, the denomination’s highest judicial body, heard arguments in the case Wednesday and could issue its ruling next week. Its decisions are final. The United Methodist Church rejects the practice of homosexuality as “incompatible with Christian teaching.” The United Methodist Book of Discipline bans clergy from performing same-sex marriages.
HARRISBURG – This is School Bus Safety Week. PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch joined other school bus safety advocates to honor twelve students for communicating important school bus safety messages and six school bus drivers for their superior driving skills during a ceremony at the Governor’s residence. The students, in kindergarten through eighth grade, were recognized for their winning entries in the 2014 School Bus Safety Poster Contest. The theme for this year’s contest, “Be Smart – Be Seen, I wait in a safe place!” stressed the need for students to wait in a safe area for the bus to arrive. State Police also presented certificates and Governor’s citations to six school bus drivers for winning the 2014 Pennsylvania School Bus Driver Safety Competition.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Pennsylvania is developing protocols to monitor travelers who’ve recently been to Ebola-stricken West Africa. A health department spokeswoman says they’ll have a plan in place within days after the Centers for Disease Control said that the Commonwealth and five other states will begin monitoring next week. Pennsylvania was chosen because it’s close to international airports where checks are underway. Beginning Monday, travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and New Guinea will be given information cards and a thermometer to measure their body temperatures twice a day for three weeks. The state says it’s determining how travelers report results each day. The CDC says that could be in person, by phone or video chat or through employers. New York, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and Georgia will also be monitoring.