LANCASTER – Lancaster County’s 24 hours of online giving called The ExtraOrdinary Give was a huge record-breaking success with over 31,000 gifts totaling over $4.4 million. More than 300 county nonprofits were part of the day of donation. You can see the totals received by the organizations by CLICKING HERE.
YORK – Efforts are underway to keep needy people in the York area warm during the winter. York Rescue Mission and a coalition of organizations, churches, and individuals are teaming up to distribute 6,000 donated, Christmas gift-wrapped blankets to low-income and impoverished families and individuals. The massive blanket give-away begins December 6 and continues throughout the month. This is the 13th year for the drive. For more information on donating blankets toward the campaign or distribution locations, contact York Rescue Mission at 812-1692.
HARRISBURG – Keeping the upcoming holiday season free of tragic vehicle crashes is the aim of “Operation Safe Holiday,” a joint campaign by PA State Police, PennDOT, and local law enforcement. The holiday enforcement will focus on nighttime seat belt use and impaired driving, according to PSP Public Information Officer, Trooper Adam Reed. Operation Safe Holiday will run through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. According to PennDOT, the holiday season continues to be the leading time period for traffic crashes. The Thanksgiving holiday period, including the weekends before and after the holiday as well as the day itself, experienced the highest number of crashes and fatalities of any major holiday season last year. A total of 4,683 crashes and 48 fatalities occurred statewide during the Thanksgiving travel period. The Christmas and New Year’s travel periods, including the weekend before Christmas, Christmas day, New Years Day and the weekend after, saw 3,222 crashes and 30 fatalities.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania’s public welfare secretary is about to unveil the agency’s new name and logo. Secretary Bev Mackereth will preside over an event today that enacts a new state law changing the name of the Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services. Supporters say they hope the new name will help reduce a stigma sometimes associated with welfare and public assistance. Proponents say it also more accurately describes the massive agency’s mission. Mackereth is expected to be joined by lawmakers and people associated with the agency during the event at the Health and Welfare Building adjacent to the state Capitol.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania’s jobless rate dropped to a six-year low in October. The state Department of Labor and Industry said today the seasonally adjusted rate last month was 5.4 percent. That’s down three-tenths of a percentage point from September. It was also below the national rate of 5.8 percent. One year ago, the state’s unemployment rate was 7.1 percent.
LANCASTER – Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight features Lancaster County Rep. Gordon Denlinger as he reflects on his years of office in the PA House, what’s next in the private sector, and his continuing efforts to repeal Common Core educational standards in Pennsylvania. Hear more from Lancaster County Rep. Gordon Denlinger on Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight at 12:30 on WDAC and 2 p.m. on 1075Alive.fm. You can listen to the program online right now at wdac.com under our blog.
REP. GORDON DENLINGER
HARRISBURG (AP) – A prosecution of “pay-to-play” allegations within the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is ending with two former high-ranking officials pleading guilty and getting probation. Former chief executive Joe Brimmeier and former chief operating officer George Hatalowich pleaded guilty to a single count of conflict of interest. Both were sentenced to five years of probation. The state attorney general’s office says both pleas involved accepting hospitality from engineering firms. In Brimmeier’s case, he solicited campaign donations for former Governor Ed Rendell. Hatalowich admitted he influenced how turnpike contracts were awarded to help a firm. Former turnpike chairman Mitch Rubin pleaded guilty to commercial bribery last week and received a similar sentence.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Wolf hopes to have his cabinet picked before his Jan. 20 inauguration. The Democrat said his transition team is still in its formative stages, but that two months should be enough time to choose his top advisers. Wolf says he hasn’t ruled out keeping some of Gov. Tom Corbett’s cabinet members and that the party affiliation doesn’t matter as much as their competence and integrity. Wolf says the transition team’s budget task force is analyzing the fiscal challenges he’ll face once he’s sworn in as governor. The state’s Independent Fiscal Office projects a nearly $2 billion deficit. Wolf says he wants to have some good answers by inauguration day.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Salaries of Pennsylvania’s elected and appointed officials will increase due to their annual cost-of-living adjustment. The 1.6% increase will boost the governor’s salary by more than $3,000 a year to nearly $191,000. The state attorney general, treasurer, and auditor general will see their salaries increase by $2,500 to nearly $159,000. State Supreme Court justices will see a hike of more than $3,000. Legislators’ base pay will rise by $1,300 to more than $85,000. The increases take effect in December for the Legislature and in January for the executive and judicial branches.
HARRISBURG (AP) – The PA Supreme Court is siding with the nurses’ union and stopping plans by the Corbett Administration to close more than a third of the county-based state health centers. The court ordered the administration to stop eliminating the centers, reopen those that have already been closed, and restore the level of public health services to 1995 levels. The ruling says officials can’t ignore a 1996 state law that requires the state to maintain the 60 health centers it operated as of July 1995. The Corbett Administration sought to close 26 centers and reorganize public health services as a cost-saving budget change last year.