HARRISBURG – A bill increasing tobacco taxes to generate revenue for Pennsylvania is being proposed. House Bill 1213 would increase the cigarette tax by $1 per pack and impose a 40% tax on the wholesale price of other tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipes, “roll-your-own” tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. Bill sponsor, Allegheny County Rep. Dan Frankel says Pennsylvania is the only state in the country that does not impose some type of tax on smokeless tobacco and one of two states that does not tax cigars. Imposing these taxes could help deter young people from using cigarettes and other tobacco products. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a quarter of a million young people who had never smoked a cigarette used e-cigarettes in 2013.
LANCASTER (AP) – Inmates at Lancaster County Prison who were heard shouting “We’re hungry!” through windows were apparently upset because they were served sandwiches without cheese. WGAL reported that residents heard the inmates yelling through open windows at the prison on Sunday. Reporters contacted the prison – where officials declined comment – though County Commissioner Scott Martin later said that the inmates’ concerns were “gravely exaggerated.” Martin also serves as chairman of the county’s prison board. Martin says the inmates were apparently upset because their sandwiches only had one slice of meat instead of two, and no cheese. Martin says the inmates were trying to “stir the pot.” A prisoners’ rights group plans to look into the incident.
READING (AP) – Police in Reading say officers in a neighboring township found a homicide suspect walking along a highway. 23-year-old Tristan Cannon of Reading is in prison on criminal homicide and related charges. Police say Cannon fatally shot 18-year-old Savon Branford as he sat in a car Sunday evening, and also wounded Branford’s sister who came out of a nearby house. Cumru Township Police saw Cannon walking along Route 222 shortly after midnight Monday morning. Police originally stopped Cannon for his own safety, because pedestrians are not supposed to be on the highway. But police found a gun on Cannon after learning he was wanted for the shootings.
NEW HOLLAND – Police in Lancaster County have made an arrest in a hit and run accident that left a 15-year-old boy riding a skateboard in the 600 block of E. Main Street in New Holland on May 20th seriously injured. Several charges were filed against 20-year-old Joshua Padilla-Gonzalez of New Holland after the investigation into the incident involved numerous surveillance footage being provided by area businesses and residents. Padilla-Gonzalez admitted to driving the vehicle that was involved in the accident, driving the car while under suspension, and leaving the scene. He was arraigned and committed to Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $40,000 bail. 15-year-old Ryan Sherman remains in critical condition at Hershey Medical Center. A GoFundMe account has been set up for donations from the public to help pay for Ryan’s medical expenses and care. You can make a donation by CLICKING HERE.
WASHINGTON, DC – Memorial Day celebrations, parades, and events to honor fallen soldiers were held around the region. Flags and wreaths were placed at the graves of soldiers who paid the ultimate price for freedom at home and abroad. Area Congressman Scott Perry called for citizens to reflect on the sacrifice of the soldiers and their families. Congressman Perry flew 44 combat missions in Iraq. In 2011, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel, and recently completed command of the Fort Indiantown Gap National Training Site. He presently serves as the Assistant Division Commander (Support) for the 28th Infantry Division.
HARRISBURG – Through the work of attorneys with the Harrisburg-based Independence Law Center, a human life was saved. Attorneys Randall Wenger and Jeremy Samek were in court last Friday on behalf of a pregnant 14-year-old, seeking a judge’s order to stop an abortion that the girl’s mom was pressuring her to get. With the prayers of God’s people, they were successful and received the order they sought. The order protects the right of the 14-year-old pregnant mother to choose to keep her baby, despite her mom’s demand that she get an abortion. The girl, who had been taken to an abortion clinic by her mom for the mandatory pre-abortion counseling, had connected with a pregnancy care center and then the Independence Law Center to receive the help she wanted and needed.
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced a major improvement project on Interstate 76 between the Susquehanna River Bridge and the Harrisburg West Interchange to completely rebuild and widen the roadway from four lanes to six lanes with a 26-foot center median, according to Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. The $94 million project will result in a totally new, wider roadway. Construction will get under way after the Memorial Day holiday. The “Orange Improvement Zone” campaign is a new approach to inform the public about the progress of the project. The campaign will use social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
RICHMOND TOWNSHIP – Police in Berks County say a collision between a motorcycle and an SUV killed a husband and wife riding on their motorcycle. Authorities said the Harley Davidson was heading east on Park Road in Richmond Township when the westbound SUV crossed the center line at about 3 p.m. Sunday. Fleetwood Police said 56-year-old Michael McCulley and 57-year-old Luann McCulley of Fleetwood were pronounced dead at the scene. Police say Michael McCulley was driving the motorcycle at the time of the accident. The SUV driver, 56-year-old Sandra Stump of Fleetwood was taken to Reading Hospital, where her condition wasn’t immediately available. Officers said the cause of the crash remains under investigation.
SILVER SPRING TOWNSHIP – Authorities in Cumberland County arrested a woman accused of having tied a man to a bed, doused him with a flammable substance, and set him on fire before fleeing in his van. 27-year-old Christina Leach of Harrisburg is charged with aggravated assault, arson, and theft. Police in Silver Spring Township say the man told them that Lynch bound him and set him afire at his home. Investigators say he managed to free himself and jump out of a second-story window. He was flown to Lehigh Valley Burn Center, where his condition wasn’t immediately known.
LANCASTER – Today is the Memorial Day holiday. The region will hold numerous events to remember the lives of our Armed Services personnel who died for our freedom. Because of the holiday, federal, state, and local government offices are closed, schools and banks have the day off, and there will be no home mail delivery today.