CATONSVILLE, MD (AP) – The former bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg from 1983-1989, has died. Cardinal William Keeler was 86. Keeler died early Thursday at St. Martin’s Home for the Aged in Catonsville, Maryland. No cause of death was released. Keeler, who was raised in Lebanon, retired in 2007 as the head of the archdiocese of Baltimore. He devoted much of his clerical life to improving ties with other denominations, especially Jews. Keeler urged religious leaders to tackle the world’s problems together.
DOVER, DE (AP) – Officials say more than 200,000 Delaware residents have been put at risk of identity theft following a breach of a state Labor Department job-seeker database earlier this month. The attack occurred after a hacker created a job-seeker account in the Delaware JobLink database and then exploited a vulnerability in the system. The database connects job seekers with employers and contains information from about 253,000 people in the state. The vulnerability has since been fixed, but officials believe personal information from about 200,000 accounts was potentially stolen.
LANCASTER – The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office intends to seek the death penalty against two Lancaster men charged with killing two brothers last month in their city home. Notices of intent were filed to seek death sentences against Joshua Proper and Juan Cristo-Munoz, both 18. Proper and Cristo-Munoz are charged with numerous counts, including two counts of homicide and robbery, for the Feb. 19 killings of brothers, Leroy Kinsey and Richard Walton, at their Poplar Street home. Proper and Cristo-Munoz are at Lancaster County Prison without bail and recently waived preliminary hearings.
PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP – State Police are investigating the death of a man in a Lancaster County home. Authorities found the body of 35-year-old Hugo Hernandez Garcia around 2:45 a.m. Wednesday in a home at 124 Pennsy Road in Providence Township. Hernandez Garcia was from Guatemala. State Police are working on multiple leads in the case. Lancaster Online reports that the death is being investigated as a homicide. Details on how Hernandez Garcia died have not been released.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Reaction to Republican health care legislation is mixed among Pennsylvania’s 18-member U.S. House delegation. In a letter Wolf’s office released publicly, the Democratic governor says the GOP health care bill would blow a $2.5-billion to $3-billion hole in the state government’s deficit-riddled finances. Today’s letter comes a day before the Republican-controlled U.S. House could vote. Wolf says the bill will drive up rates for older insurance customers and strip treatment coverage from many mentally ill and drug addicts. He also says it’ll shift costs to states and hospitals to treat people who can’t afford insurance, potentially driving some hospitals to close. Several of Pennsylvania’s 13 House Republicans are opposed, while some aren’t saying how they’ll vote. All five Democrats oppose it.
HARRISBURG – Legislation known as Libre’s Law has passed the PA Senate Judiciary Committee. Senate Bill 298 would make it easier to prosecute a person who knowingly mistreats, abuses or neglects an animal. It also adds a new classification for offenders who cause the death or serious bodily injury of an animal. Violators could be found guilty of a third-degree felony. Sen. Rich Alloway of Adams, Cumberland, & York Counties sponsored the measure. The legislation was inspired by the story of Libre, a 4-month-old Boston terrier who was rescued in July from a Lancaster County farm after suffering from weeks of severe neglect. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
UNIVERSITY PARK – Experts in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences are urging commercial poultry producers and small-flock owners in Pennsylvania to ramp up their biosecurity in the wake of recent outbreaks of avian influenza in other states. In early March, a commercial flock of chickens in Tennessee tested positive for avian flu. Since then, another case was found at a second Tennessee farm, and Alabama ag officials announced an outbreak affecting three premises in that state. With the spring northward migration underway, the poultry industries in Pennsylvania and neighboring states are at heightened risk. The PA Department of Agriculture recommends that any poultry flocks kept outdoors be brought under cover during waterfowl migration periods. State and federal agriculture officials also strongly urge producers to develop an avian flu plan and augment it with a comprehensive biosecurity plan. Poultry production in the Keystone State has a farm-gate value of $1.4 billion.
HARRISBURG – The PA House Gaming Oversight Committee approved legislation to streamline PA’s problem gambling assistance telephone number and put into law current practice involving education, awareness, and training for problem gamblers. Under House Bill 271, the state Health Department would be required to establish and maintain one toll-free problem gambling assistance number, which all in-state casinos would then be required to make available to patrons. Currently, several numbers are being publicized at casinos throughout the state. For more information about problem gambling, and for tips on how to help a friend or loved one overcome a gambling problem, visit PAProblemGambling.com. House Bill 271 now goes to the full House for consideration.
PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP – State Police are investigating the death of a man in a Lancaster County home. Authorities found the man’s body around 2:45 a.m. today in a home at 124 Pennsy Road in Providence Township. The unidentified man was described as a Hispanic male in his 30’s. Police were waiting for a warrant to search the home. They did not comment on the cause or manner of death.
LEBANON (AP) – A 19-year-old Lancaster County man has pleaded guilty after threatening two nurses at gunpoint to spring his girlfriend from a Lebanon County mental health care hospital. Elliott Ravert of Narvon pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors to burglary, aggravated assault, and other charges over the Aug. 9 incident. Two counts of robbery were dismissed. He’ll be sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in Lebanon County Prison. Police say Ravert demanded nurses unlock the housing unit where his girlfriend Alicia Buzzard, then 21, was a patient at Philhaven in West Cornwall Township and threatened to shoot them if they didn’t comply. The two were found days later in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, after they were arrested for shoplifting. Buzzard’s mother has said her daughter has the maturity of a 12-year-old and suffers from several mental disorders.