HARRISBURG – Legislation would allow Pennsylvania’s municipal police departments to use radar as a means of speed enforcement. Sen. Randy Vulakovich of Allegheny & Butler Counties, who is a former municipal police officer, introduced Senate Bill 1340. Every state, but Pennsylvania, permits local police to use radar for monitoring traffic speed.Only the PA State Police are allowed to use radar. The bill is before the Senate Transportation Committee and has garnered support from the PA Chiefs of Police Association, the PA Municipal League, and the PA State Association of Boroughs.
SEN. RANDY VULAKOVICH
READING (AP) – A Berks County policeman has been charged with stealing thousands of dollars from the police department’s evidence room to fund his gambling habit. 47-year-old Jodi Royer surrendered to detectives Wednesday to face charges including theft and evidence tampering. Investigators said an audit of the Reading Police Department’s evidence and property room determined that nearly $15,000 from four cases was stolen. The alleged thefts occurred between April 2011 and March of this year. Royer is a 24-year-veteran of the force and is on medical leave. Reading Police Chief William Heim said Royer is being placed on suspension with the intent to dismiss.
STATE COLLEGE – Fans of the late Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno are planning to commission a new bronze statue of him, and place it across from the school. Organizers say the statue will feature Paterno sitting on a bench reading. It’s expected to cost about $300,000 and would hopefully be done in 2015 by Philadelphia sculptor Zenos Frudakis. Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers says the school isn’t involved in the plan.
YORK- More Senior citizens are now eligible for PACE/PACENET. Rep Seth Grove and Pa Dept of Aging representatives are hosting a PACE/PACENET informational session Thurs April 24, 9am to 3pm at Grove’s district office in York. Seniors who attend can find out if they qualify, ask questions about benefits, and understand how PACE/PACENET programs can help cover their prescription medication costs. Grove said he authored changes to the law that mean nearly 40,000 more seniors qualify for benefits than last year. This is the final session Grove is hosting this spring. To RSVP, please call Grove’s district office at 717-767-3947.
HARRISBURG – April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. Senate Resolution 328 won unanimous approval by the state Senate. Dauphin County Sen. Rob Teplitz, who was a co-sponsor of the resolution, said the campaign will focus on encouraging age appropriate behavior and suitable relationships between adolescents and adults, as well as promoting youth participation in sexual violence prevention programs. Sexual assault impacts women, men, and children of all racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 91% of victims are female and 9% are male. Further one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before reaching eighteen years of age. Teplitz added that sexual assault can be devastating for the survivor, as well as the survivor’s family and friends.
SEN. ROB TEPLITZ
HARRISBURG – Two Lancaster County men were arrested as part of ongoing efforts by the state Attorney General’s Office to target online sharing, downloading, and distributing child pornography. 44-year-old Hector Colon-Plaza of Lancaster was taken into custody after a five month investigation. He is also a Megan’s Law offender. Colon-Plaza is being held on $75,000 bail. 60-year-old Joseph Fortunato of Lancaster was also charged after investigators found child porn on a computer and external hard drive. Fortunato was a teacher at Devon Preparatory School in Chester County. He resigned his position there on Monday. Fortunato is to turn himself in to authorities today. Suspected Internet predators can be reported to the state Attorney General’s Child Predator Section by calling the Child Predator Hotline at 1-800-385-1044.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Gov. Tom Corbett is now asking a federal judge to decide a constitutional challenge to Pennsylvania‘s Defense of Marriage Act without a trial. The Corbett Administration, which is defending the law’s constitutionality, made the filingsin federal court about 10 hours after plaintiffs’ lawyers requested a decision without a trial. Lawyers say a trial is no longer necessary because the state’s lawyers haven’t refuted their clients’ claims about their relationships and their inability to get the same legal protection and tax benefits afforded to married couples. Judge John Jones III had set a June 9 trial date. A decision isn’t expected before May 12.
WASHINGTON, DC – Family Research Council and American Values released results of a commissioned national survey showing that 82% of Republican and Republican-leaning independents believe marriage “should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman.” The same survey found that voters want their elected leaders to promote this view in public policy: 75% of Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters disagree that “politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.” FRC President Tony Perkins says the vast majority of the GOP base continues to believe that marriage is a non-negotiable plank of the national platform and want to see their elected officials uphold natural marriage as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage and promote in law. American Values President Gary Bauer said public policy makers are doing a great disservice to themselves and future generations by continuing to misread the convictions of the American people, who overwhelmingly support the institution of marriage as a unique union of one man and one woman. To view the results of the survey, CLICK HERE.
HARRISBURG – Groundbreaking was held for a major construction projecton the PA Turnpike that will result in a new, wider crossing over the Swatara Creek and Swatara Creek Road near Middletown. The bridge replacement is part of an improvement project that will result in the reconstruction of one and a half miles of Turnpike mainline between the Harrisburg East Exit and the Lebanon-Lancaster Exit. PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch says taxpayers will see their money is well spent on this project and all projects improving transportation in the state. The existing bridge, which opened in Nov. 1950, will stay open throughout construction. It will be demolished after completion of the new bridges in 2016. Another Turnpike improvement project will widen the toll road from four to six lanes between the Harrisburg West interchange and the Susquehanna River Bridge.
BETHEL TOWNSHIP – State Police are searching for a man who was seen with a Schuylkill County woman whose body was found in Berks County. The body of 24-year-old Alishia Eller of Pine Grove was discovered Saturday between Musselman and Beagle Roads in Bethel Township. Investigators are waiting further test results from an autopsy to determine the cause of death. State Police say a man, who was believed to have been with Eller on Friday, was seen in surveillance videos. Police also released a photo of a vehicle. Anyone with information is asked to contact PSP Hamburg at 484-660-1011.