LANCASTER – As the month of September comes to an end, so too does National Disaster Preparedness Month. The Humane League of Lancaster County knows that in spite of good intentions to prepare for an emergency, unfortunate events can occur to anyone at any time which may prevent a responsible and loving pet owner from being able to temporarily care for their pet. As such, the Humane League of Lancaster County announces the launch of its Supporting Animals & Families in Emergencies, or SAFE Haven program, which allows the pet owner a respite from caring for their pet after an emergency, free of charge for up to thirty days, in an effort to assist them in getting back on their feet. SAFE Haven provides temporary housing either at Humane Pennsylvania’s animal shelter network, the largest in Pennsylvania, or by a network of dedicated pet foster homes. In addition to shelter, pets receive food, pet supplies, and basic vaccinations and medical care all at no cost to the pet’s owner. For more information, call 717-393-6551.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Dauphin County Judge Richard Lewis granted state prosecutors’ motion in the PA Turnpike Commission Corruption case, to allow 53-year-old Dennis Miller and 64-year-old Jeffrey Suzenski to enter a diversion program designed for first-time offenders. If they stay out of trouble during two years in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, all charges will be dropped. Miller of Harrisburg and Suzenski of Pottstown are charged with restricted activities. Miller also is charged with bid-rigging and conspiracy. Miller is a former executive for a turnpike vendor and Suzenski was a business consultant to another vendor.
BLOOMING GROVE (AP) – State police searching for a man accused of killing a state trooper say they found two pipe bombs in the Pennsylvania woods during their manhunt. Lt. Col. George Bivens said Tuesday the pipe bombs were fully functional and could have been set off by either a trip wire or fuse, but appear to be among items that were hastily discarded. Thirty-one-year-old Eric Frein has been on the run since Sept. 12, accused of killing one state trooper and wounding a second outside their police barracks in Blooming Grove.
HARRISBURG – A Harrisburg couple have been charged with homicide in the death of their 9-year-old son, whose body was found in their Harrisburg home in August. Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said that Jarrod Tutko Jr. was in “horrible condition” at the time of his death. An autopsy found that the child, who had a genetic disorder with autism-like symptoms, weighed less than 17 pounds and died of malnutrition and neglect. 39-year-old Kimberly Tutko was arrested Monday and charged with criminal homicide and child endangerment. 38-year-old Jarrod Tutko Sr., charged earlier with child endangerment and abuse of a corpse, is now also charged with homicide. Authorities allege that they failed to provide “even the most basic needs” of the child.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The fate of 27 homosexual couples who married before a judge struck down Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act could be resolved through a legal settlement. Their marriages would be recognized under the proposed deal. But their legal anniversary would move to May 20, 2014, the day Pennsylvania’s DOMA was overturned. The couples married with licenses given out by Montgomery County official Bruce Hanes. The plan only involves the couples filing suit. Dozens of other marriages performed before the state law changed may still be in dispute. A judge must still approve of the plan. Hanes is meanwhile appealing a state court decision that said he lacked the power to issue the marriage licenses. He considers Pennsylvania’s DOMA, which recognized marriages as only between one man and one woman, unconstitutional.
ALLENTOWN - Due to a PUC-approved change in transmission charges, PPL Electric Utilities is adjusting its price to compare for this quarter for customers who rely on the utility to purchase electric supply on their behalf. Effective Oct. 1, the new price to compare for residential customers will be 8.956 cents per kilowatt-hour. The current price is 8.814 cents per kWh. The price to compare for small business customers will be 8.596 cents per kilowatt-hour (currently 8.785 cents per kWh). The new adjusted price to compare will be in effect until Dec. 1. Information about shopping for your electric supply can be found on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s website at www.PAPowerSwitch.com or at www.pplelectric.com/choice.
MOUNT JOY – Global Aid Network will be holding their Mission Packing Project October 13-18 at their Distribution Center at 1506 Quarry Road in Mount Joy, Lancaster County. A wide variety of items such as food, Gospel bracelets, blankets, and other needed supplies will be packed for needy people around the world. Distribution Center Director Phil Liller tells us they have a particular need for flannel and terry cloth towels that will be used for their new washable feminine pad project. Donations of the flannel or terry cloth towels can be made now or during the week-long packing project. Hours for the Mission Packing Project are daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and that Wednesday evening from 6-8 p.m. You can register online to volunteer to help at www.gainusa.org or call 717-285-4220.
HARRISBURG – Supporters of raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour staged a “Raise the Wage” day of action. Berks County Sen. Judy Schwank spoke at the Capitol Rotunda at one of a dozen rallies held statewide. Schwank said she supports Senate Bill 1300 that would incrementally increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 and tie future increases to inflation. Similar events were held in nine other Pennsylvania communities: Reading, Allentown, Altoona, Erie, Media, Morrisville, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and York. Ten states and Washington D.C. have raised their minimum wage rates this year to something higher than Pennsylvania’s $7.25 an hour. To date, 23 states and D.C. pay their front-line workers more than the federal minimum.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald Castille is warning of additional fallout if it’s true that judges were among those who exchanged pornographic material by email with members of the attorney general’s office. The Commonwealth’s top judge says exchanging such material with government lawyers who appeared before them could represent a conflict of interest, in addition to being an ethics violation. The state attorney general reports that at least three dozen current and former employees sent or received pornographic material in office emails from 2008 to 2012. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the emails circulated among some top jurists. If judges were involved, Castille has asked the attorney general for their names.
EPHRATA – A Lancaster County man died after a crash yesterday in Ephrata Township. Police say around 11:40 a.m., 55-year-old Kevin Gress of Denver was southbound in the passing lane on Route 222, north of the Route 322 exit, when his SUV went out control and hit the Route 322 exit sign. The vehicle then rolled onto its side, skidded across the exit ramp, and flipped several times before coming to rest on an embankment. Gress was extricated from the vehicle and taken to Lancaster General Hospital where he died. The investigation into the crash continues.