EAST LAMPETER TOWNSHIP – One person died in a crash in Lancaster County. Two pickup trucks collided shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday along Route 23 and Sherreem Road in East Lampeter Township. Another person was injured and taken to an area hospital. No identities have been released. East Lampeter Township Police are investigating.
MAIDENCREEK TOWNSHIP – Authorities released the names of two people killed when a tractor-trailer slammed into a line of stopped cars on a Berks County highway. Officials allege that the tractor-trailer driver fell asleep at the wheel Wednesday and couldn’t react in time to avoid the 6:30 a.m. crash on Route 222 in Maidencreek Township. The victims were identified as 23-year-old Jeremy Augustine of Emmaus and 32-year-old Jane Harakal of Topton, who were drivers in separate vehicles. Nine other people were injured, but Assistant Chief Deputy Coroner Jonn Hollenbach said none of the injuries were life-threatening. The 50-year-old truck driver, who authorities did not identify, will face two counts of vehicular homicide and numerous other charges in the crash.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Tens of thousands of registered voters may soon be asked to verify that Pennsylvania is their residence or risk being purged from its voter rolls. State election officials are in the process of sending lists to county election officials of nearly 43,000 Pennsylvania voters who apparently have registered more recently in other states. The county officials will notify individual voters to verify their state of residence. Those who do not respond and do not vote in the next four years could be removed from Pennsylvania’s rolls. Pennsylvania is one of 28 states participating in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck program, in which voters lists are compared to ensure accuracy and reduce duplicate registrations.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Sixteen PA congressmen are demanding the NCAA release all documents related to a 2012 consent decree that required Penn State to pay $60 million and impose a football bowl ban and other penalties over the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The House members released a letter saying the NCAA “sought to insert itself into a purely criminal matter that fell outside the scope of the NCAA’s jurisdiction.” They’re urging the NCAA to remove all remaining sanctions. The letter argues a full release of all documents would “provide all possible clarity to the public.” The NCAA announced in September it was ending the bowl ban and restoring football scholarships earlier than called for in the consent decree.
VERONA – Former presidential candidate, former U.S. Senator, and Chairman of Patriot Voices Rick Santorum launched the second annual “Made in the USA” Christmas Challenge urging shoppers to buy goods and gifts made in the United States this holiday season and to shop at local small businesses across the country. The 2nd annual Patriot Voices “Made in the USA” Christmas Challenge will bring attention to the need to buy American-made goods and shop at local small businesses this holiday season. Senator Santorum will encourage Patriot Voices members and Americans around the country to sign a pledge to shop locally and buy American made goods this Christmas. To learn more about Patriot Voices’ “Made in the USA” Christmas Challenge, please visit: www.patriotvoices.com/usachristmas.
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) announced today that the state’s natural gas distribution companies are preparing for the winter season and also reminded consumers to do the same. Each of the companies provided a winter readiness overview to the Commission. They can be viewed on the PUC website. As the temperatures begin to drop, our natural gas companies are busy prepping for the winter season, says PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson. Now is the perfect time for consumers to also prepare for the higher energy costs associated with the colder temperatures. Take steps around the house now to conserve and also check your energy supplier contracts to lock in the lowest possible price for the season. Conservation tips for consumers are available on the “Prepare Now” page on the PUC website. Consumers are encouraged to visit www.PAPowerSwitch.com and www.PAGasSwitch.com for additional information on how to shop for a supplier and how to read the fine print in their contracts.
HARRISBURG – Department of Health reminds smokers that there are resources available to help them quit and urges all smokers to use the 39th Great American Smokeout as the day they choose to quit smoking and take an important step towards a healthier life. The Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society on the third Thursday in November each year, encourages smokers to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking – even for one day. Secretary of Health Michael Wolf says The department offers services that can help smokers quit for good, and are encouraging Pennsylvanians to take the first step toward living a longer, healthier life. Pennsylvania residents have access to a free “Quitline” at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) where trained staff help callers develop and carry out a plan to quit smoking.
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania is doing more to keep students and teachers safe in their learning environments. Throughout the Commonwealth, 114 schools and municipalities will receive grants totaling nearly $4 million to increase school safety through the School Resource Officer/School Police Officer Competitive Grant Program. The program provides funding for schools to enhance security and was created through legislation sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati. Schools and municipalities could receive up to $60,000 for a School Resource Officer and up to $40,000 for a School Police Officer for the first year. For the second year, they are eligible to receive a second grant for 50% of their first year’s grant award.
WASHINGTON, DC – Area Congressman Charles Dent was chosen to lead the U.S. House Ethics Committee. The committee enforces the standards of official conduct for U.S. House members and has jurisdiction to administer travel, gift, financial disclosure, outside income, and other regulations; advise members and staff; issue advisory opinions and investigate potential ethics violations. Dent serves the 15th Congressional District, which is composed of all Lehigh County and parts of Berks, Lebanon, Dauphin, and Northampton Counties.
DOVER, DE (AP) – Delaware transportation officials say final repairs to the Interstate 495 bridge over the Christina River should be completed by late this year or early next year. Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt says the final cost probably will be a little less than $40 million, with the federal government picking up almost all the tab. He said officials are still pursuing their legal options. Several bridge columns tilted after a large mound of dirt was dumped next to them.