HARRISBURG (AP) – The state Department of Labor and Industry reported that the jobless rate in PA remained at 5.6% in July, after a five-month streak that saw it rise from 4.6% in January. The national rate was 4.9% in July. Meanwhile, a survey of employers found that seasonally adjusted non-farm payrolls crept up by about 8,000 jobs in July, closer to 5.9 million, just below March’s record high. The civilian labor force shrank by 15,000 after hitting a record high of over 6.54 million in May. Employment dropped by 18,000 while unemployment grew by 3,000. Today’s figures are preliminary and could change.
HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all state flags at Commonwealth facilities in Adams County and on the Capital Complex in Harrisburg to fly at half-staff. It’s to honor 38-year-old Bryan Westfall, a PennDOT employee who died Thursday morning while on duty along Route 94 in Adams County. He died from an apparent heart attack. Flags will remain lowered until sunset on Tuesday.
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP – One person died after a collision between a car and tractor trailer in York County. It happened around 5:52 this morning on Route 15 at Hickory Road in Franklin Township. Northern York County Regional Police say the car pulled into the path of the rig from a stop sign. The female driver of the car died. Her name was not yet released. The vehicle also caught fire. Route 15 was closed for several hours as police conducted their investigation.
HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf is nominating Kathleen Kane’s former top deputy to step in as attorney general for the remaining months of her term. Wolf has chosen Bruce Beemer for the job. The governor said he spoke with Republican and Democrat leaders in the state Senate, and they agreed that Beemer is the right fit for the post this time. He must still get the approval of two-thirds of the Senate. Wolf hired Beemer last month as inspector general. Beemer would return to the attorney general’s office until a successor is picked by voters in November and sworn in Jan. 17. Kane was convicted of leaking secret grand jury information to smear a rival and lying under oath to cover it up. Beemer openly clashed with Kane after the state Supreme Court suspended her law license last fall. He also gave unflattering testimony about Kane at her trial last week.
HARRISBURG – The PA Department of Health, in partnership with the Departments of Education and Insurance, hosted an immunization clinic as part of their “Don’t Wait, Vaccinate” campaign. State Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy is encouraging parents to add immunization updates to the list of things children need before their first day of school. Murphy urged parents to contact your health care provider to make sure you and your family stay on track for immunizations. For eligible residents, vaccinations are available year-round at state health centers and county/municipal health departments. CLICK HERE for information on your nearest state health center.
HARRISBURG – PA Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy provided an update on the implementation of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program. Citizens can visit their website and provide feedback to help create a high quality medical marijuana program for residents with serious medical conditions. The department has finished drafting the temporary regulations for growers and processors and will have them available for review and feedback until August 28. The department approved 53 Safe Harbor Letters to date. The letters enable parents, legal guardians, caregivers, and spouses of minors under the age of 18 who have been certified as having serious medical conditions to possess medical marijuana in approved form to administer to their minor within the Commonwealth. The program is expected to be implemented by early 2018.
HARRISBURG – The House State Government Committee held a meeting on legislation to change the way that legislative and congressional district boundaries are drawn. Rep. David Parker of Monroe County, prime sponsor of House Bill 1835, said that he and a bipartisan group of supporters are working together to ensure openness in the redistricting process. The bill would have an independent citizens commission handle the task in an open and impartial fashion that would respect political subdivisions and make districts as equal in population as possible. Currently, the state constitution grants redistricting authority to a Legislative Reapportionment Commission comprising the House and Senate majority and minority leaders and an appointed fifth member who is often a legal expert.
EAST BERLIN (AP) – Authorities say two people have died following a multi-vehicle crash in York County. The four-vehicle crash occurred around 6:45 p.m. Thursday in Washington Township at the intersection of Baltimore Pike and Bermudian Church Road. The York County Coroner’s Office says one victim died at the scene and the other died at a hospital. The victims have not yet been identified. State troopers are investigating the crash.
LANCASTER (AP) – Lancaster County’s district attorney has gotten a local animal cruelty agency to no longer enforce animal abuse cases after the prosecutor contended the agency’s head mishandled a case involving a severely malnourished puppy. Susan Martin, the Executive Director of the Lancaster County SPCA, says she agrees with the move. She says it costs the agency too much money to prosecute abuse cases, because the victimized animals must be cared for and stored. District Attorney Craig Stedman says Martin enforced animal cruelty laws in a “substandard” fashion, and erred by not prosecuting the breeder of a malnourished Boston terrier puppy rescued last month. State Police have since charged the breeder, after Martin said she didn’t have enough evidence to do so. Stedman is creating a new program to train humane society officers.
CAMP HILL – Cumberland County authorities are investigating the theft of two ATVs from Christ Community Church on Old Slate Hill Road in Camp Hill. One was a yellow 2006 Polaris Sportsman with a damaged front wheel. The other is a white 2015 Polaris Ace with roll bar. Both were stolen, along with an open trailer, between 9:15 p.m. this past Tuesday and 7 a.m. Wednesday. Police released photos of similar ATVs. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Lower Allen Township Police at 717-238-9676.