HARRISBURG (AP) – PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane says her office may not fight open-records requests to release more details about pornographic emails discovered on state computers. Kane’s statement comes as she maintains that releasing the information will aid her defense against criminal charges she leaked investigative information and lied about it. The Commonwealth Court has scheduled a Sept. 16 hearing on Kane’s challenge to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Right-to-Know Law request for the emails. Also, Kane will not suspend a senior aide who is charged with illegally trying to monitor a criminal investigation into her. A spokesman says Patrick Reese will remain on the job, despite an internal policy that requires suspension after an employee has been charged with criminal conduct related to their employment with the state.
HARRISBURG (AP) – The PA Game Commission is seeking the first increase in hunting license fees in 16 years. The plan would boost the cost of an adult resident hunting license by $20 over five years. The current $19 fee would initially increase by $10 in the first year and then by $5 in years three and five under the plan, which requires legislative approval. The price of a non-resident adult license would double over the same period to $200. Junior and senior license fees for residents wouldn’t change. Commission officials say they rely on fee revenue for nearly 40% of their operating budget. They say personnel costs have more than doubled since the last fee increase.
LANCASTER (AP) – A defense attorney says a man accused of having beaten and strangled his college freshman girlfriend in her Millersville University dormitory may present a “diminished capacity” defense. 20-year-old Gregorio Orrostieta is charged in the Feb. 8 slaying of 18-year-old Karlie Hall of Chadds Ford. Public defender John Churchville asked a judge Tuesday for a 60-day delay so he can consult with a forensic specialist, psychiatrist or psychologist about the possible defense. Officials say the two had been dating since high school. Police say told them that Hall fell and hit her head after he shoved and struck her. Authorities say he was found trying to administer CPR, but they allege she had been dead for several hours.
WEST CHESTER (AP) – A man arrested for jumping a wall at the White House earlier this year has been fatally shot after authorities say he attacked a deputy sheriff at the Chester County Courthouse. 34-year-old Curtis Smith was arrested at the White House in March. Smith pulled a knife and slashed a deputy sheriff at the Chester County Courthouse around 11 a.m. Tuesday. Another deputy shot Smith. The Coatesville man was pronounced dead at a hospital. The slashed deputy was hospitalized in stable condition. No one else was hurt. Smith was charged with unlawful entry at the White House on March 1. He agreed to stay away from the property for six months so the charge could be dismissed.
HARRISBURG – A resolution has been introduced urging the U.S. Congress and the Defense Department to immediately address security concerns to better protect our military personnel within the borders of the United States while in the performance of their duties. Rep. Martina White of Philadelphia crafted the resolution following the July 16 killing of four Marines and one sailor in two shootings in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Police shot and killed shooter Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, a 27-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Kuwait. Since 1992, the Department of Defense limits the presence of weapons in public settings. House Resolution 437, which has bipartisan support, asks the Defense Department to review current domestic force protection policies, including giving military personnel the authority to carry the weapons they have been trained to use and to protect one another should there be a threat of violence. The resolution is now before the state House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.
HARRISBURG – A Lehigh County lawmaker plans to introduce legislation to require children under the age of one to be secured in a rear-facing car seat while traveling in a vehicle. Current state law requires all children under the age of four to be properly secured in an approved car seat. However, the law does not specify how the car seat should be facing despite numerous studies showing rear-facing car seats do a better job at protecting an infant’s head, neck, and spine. Rep. Mike Schlossberg said as a father of two, he is proud to introduce this proposal that better helps parents and children across the state get to their destination safely. The American Academy of Pediatrics found that rear-facing car seats offer better protection to infants because it allows the force of a collision to be distributed over the entire body rather than in one location like the neck or spine. Eleven states currently require rear-facing car seats for children under the age of one.
HARRISBURG (AP) – A new poll shows more than half of Pennsylvania voters disapprove of Kathleen Kane’s handling of her job as state attorney general and nearly as many think she should resign. The survey released today by Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University is based on telephone interviews with 1,085 voters from Aug. 7 through Aug. 18. Kane faces criminal charges that she leaked confidential grand jury information and then lied about it under oath, but she plans to run for re-election next year. 54% of the respondents disapproved of Kane’s performance and 20% approved, the poll found. 49% said Kane should resign. 27% said she should not. About one-quarter of the respondents had no opinion on either question. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.
HARRISBURG – Legislation regarding the assessment of Department of Education contracts is being introduced in Harrisburg. The measure which has yet to be officially introduced would require the Department of Education to critically assess their contracts with intermediate units. Lebanon County Sen. Mike Folmer said while he’s not questioning the competency of any I.U. or the value of their services, he wants their selection by the department to be open and accountable to taxpayers. The legislation is modeled after evaluations used to rate the Commonwealth’s international trade contractors. Folmer wants to apply similar assessments to the Department of Education I.U. contracts and that they be posted on the department’s website.
MARIETTA – Units battled a four alarm fire this morning in Marietta, Lancaster County. Dispatchers sent crews to the former Nissley Hardwood Flooring at 421 W. Market Street around 4:30 a.m. after a caller reported seeing fire. Fire companies from Lancaster, York, Dauphin, and Lebanon Counties responded to the scene. No injuries were reported. Red Cross volunteers provided canteen services to the first responders. A State Police Fire Marshal is looking into the cause.
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP – The robber of a Dauphin County bank has been captured by police. Metro Bank at 4700 Jonestown Road in Lower Paxton Township was robbed Sunday morning. Authorities were searching for 25-year-old Jesse Shoemaker of New Bloomfield as the suspect after surveillance photos led to tips on his whereabouts. Shoemaker was arrested last night by Northern York Regional Police after the Lower Paxton Township Police received information that he was staying at the Motel 6 at 323 Arsenal Road in York. Shoemaker is being held in the York County Prison on heroin possession charges and will be arraigned today on the robbery warrant.