HARRISBURG – This afternoon, Americans for Prosperity – Pennsylvania, the Keystone State’s leading grassroots advocate for lowering taxes and cutting spending, will host the Tax Freedom Day Rally with several state lawmakers and over 150 concerned citizens. The rally, which will be held at 12:30 p.m. in the State Capitol, is an opportunity to remind lawmakers that Pennsylvanians work from January until late April to pay off their burden of federal, state, and local taxes.
HARRISBURG – Legislation that would provide a five-year trial period for PennDOT to place speed cameras in active work zones on limited access highways is before the state Senate. Under the bill, PennDOT would provide motorists with ample notification of where the speed cameras are in use. PennDOT would also compile a report on the effectiveness of the program and present it to the General Assembly. Sen. John Rafferty of Berks, Chester, & Montgomery Counties is Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and co-sponsor of Senate Bill 172. In 2015, there 1,935 crashes in work zones, including 23 deaths in Pennsylvania. Rafferty said over a two and a half year period, the state of Maryland realized a reduction from 7% to 1% in the amount of drivers exceeding the speed limit in work zones once they instituted the automated speed enforcement system. Currently, the PA State Police spend millions in overtime pay to patrol the work zones. Under the bill, a $100 fine would be attached to the vehicle and would not include points on the driver’s record.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania highway officials say traffic deaths in the state dropped slightly last year to reach their lowest level since records began to be kept in 1928. PennDOT announced there were 1,188 traffic deaths in the state last year, down 12 from 2015. Fatalities dropped from crashes where vehicles ran off the road or hit objects, as well as for incidents involving drunken drivers. Pedestrian deaths from crashes jumped, however, from 153 in 2015 to 172 in 2016.
HARRISBURG – Veterans and their families would have broader access to information regarding VA burial benefits under legislation that has been introduced. Senate Bill 616 would require funeral directors and cemetery companies to provide information regarding the availability of burial benefits for veterans. The information would cover a number of benefits available to those who served in the military, including burial allowances, burial in national cemeteries, presidential memorial certificates, military funeral honors, flags to be draped over caskets, and headstones and markers. The information would be made available whenever a veteran or anyone working on their behalf purchases funeral merchandise or a burial plot.
BOILING SPRINGS (AP) – The PA Fish and Boat Commission wants to spend $1.8 million to fix a leaky lake that has caused a sinkhole nearby. Children’s Lake is in South Middleton Township, Cumberland County. Township officials at first thought they simply had to fill the hole on Bucher Hill Road. But now that the lake has been linked to it, they’re concerned about other sinkholes developing. The commission’s plan could take up to two years to design, and will require draining the lake. Then it will take another two years to do the construction work that should fix the leak. The commission wants to get the project listed in the state’s capital budget bill. They also plan to seek funding from local governments and community organizations.
LANCASTER – A South Carolina man will spend up to 44 years in prison for opening fire on a Lancaster city street at his brother’s funeral. Lovelle Weaver was convicted for shooting at a fleeing male outside Jared Weaver’s funeral at Bethel AME Church on East Strawberry Street on Oct. 7, 2015. In Lancaster County Court, Judge Margaret Miller said, “People don’t bring guns to funerals. People bring tears to funerals.” Judge Miller said while ordering sentence, “A lot of people were put in danger that day.” A video recording of the incident showed Weaver fired five shots. A woman and her young children ducked for cover as Weaver fired the shots. In all, Weaver was convicted of felony aggravated assault, illegal firearm possession, possessing a firearm without a license, and misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment and discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure.
NEW CUMBERLAND (AP) – York County Coroner Pam Gay is working to identify the body of a man found in the Susquehanna River by a man who was fishing. The coroner says she’s not able to determine the race or age of the body found Saturday morning in Fairview Township, near New Cumberland. The body was found in the river about 700 yards away from a Pennsylvania Turnpike overpass. She is hoping an autopsy today will help identify the man, as well as pinpointing how he died. She says it appears the man had been dead for weeks.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Today is the final day for voters in Pennsylvania to register if they want to participate in the May 16 primary. Voters have to be registered in one of the major parties to be able to help pick the nominees. Pennsylvania primary elections next month feature a number of contests for school boards and county and municipal government, as well as a handful of appeals court races. Public interest may not be what it was last year, when Pennsylvania was a major presidential battleground. The state also had one of the highest-profile U.S. Senate races in the nation, along with congressional and legislative races. You can register to vote or get more information at www.VotesPA.com.
LANCASTER – Lancaster Police have arrested a homeless man after he assaulted several Lancaster Police officers in Farnum Park at 260 W. Strawberry Street. Shortly after noon yesterday, 25-year-old Brian Sanchez-Padilla became belligerent and combative after some officers found him sleeping in the park at a make-shift camp he had made. Several officers were taken to the hospital for treatment of their injuries and released. Sanchez-Padilla is charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and violation of an ordinance. Investigators learned that there were several witnesses who observed the officers being assaulted and may have recorded portions of the incident on their cell phones. Police would like to speak with those individuals and would like to review any video of the incident. Anyone with information is urged to call Lancaster Police at 717-735-3300 or Lancaster City-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322-1913.
EPHRATA TOWNSHIP – A Lancaster County man died as a result of injuries he received in a vehicle accident which occurred in Ephrata Township on April 10th. Ephrata Police responded to a roll over vehicle crash in the 300 block of Meadow Valley Road in Ephrata Township. 58-year-old Edward Falk of Lititz lost control of a green Chevrolet Tracker and struck an embankment and a utility pole guide wire. Falk was ejected from the vehicle and transported to Lancaster General Hospital for treatment where he died. Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to contact Officer Albaugh at 717-738-9200, ext. 263.