LANCASTER – A police chase through Lancaster County this morning led to an arrest of a Delaware man in Harford County, Maryland. Around 3:19 a.m., Lancaster Police responded to a home on the first block of Filbert Street after a woman reported that her ex-boyfriend, 47-year-old Brian Caldwell had been at her home and threw a piece of wood through a window striking the woman in the head. Caldwell also had a warrant for his arrest in Delaware. Police chased Caldwell in a pickup truck with their lights and sirens activated. The chase headed south on Route 272. During the pursuit, Caldwell drove in excess of 75 mph and repeatedly drove in the wrong lane into opposing traffic. The pursuit continued into Maryland where Maryland State Police were able to set up spike strips. Caldwell’s vehicle hit them and stopped a short time later on Route 1 near Route 136. Police found that the truck Caldwell was driving had been stolen. He was charged with simple assault, criminal mischief, stalking, fleeing and eluding police, and receiving stolen property. He is currently being held for arraignment.
HARRISBURG – Members of the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education or ABATE rallied in Harrisburg in support of House Bill 853, commonly referred to as Daniel’s Law. The bill, designed to toughen penalties for distracted driving accidents, was introduced in honor of Daniel Gallatin, a father, military veteran, and 40-year fireman who was killed on May 7, 2013 while riding his motorcycle when a driver texting while driving struck him from behind. Bill sponsor, Rep. Jaret Gibbons said that the tougher penalties will result in an end to texting while driving. The legislation would bring the penalty for distracted driving accidents in line with drunk driving offenses, such as homicide by vehicle and aggravated assault while under the influence, as well as involuntary manslaughter. The bill is awaiting action in the House Judiciary Committee.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Gov. Tom Wolf’s now-resigned environmental protection secretary, John Quigley lashed environmental advocates in an email for a lack of “pushback” against certain bills. A copy of Quigley’s email was obtained Monday by The Associated Press. Quigley resigned Friday after Wolf’s office disclosed that it was looking into the email Quigley had sent from a private email address on April 13. In the email, Quigley says he “can no longer hold back” and warned that Wolf would not veto legislation without support. Quigley didn’t mention specific bills. But lawmakers were moving to alter tougher oil and gas drilling regulations sought by Quigley and to extend the Legislature’s power over any state plan to curtail greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
HARRISBURG – The PA Senate has adopted Senate Resolution 325 which calls on the Wolf Administration to implement a solution for Pennsylvania’s ineffective Statewide Radio System. The radio system known as STARNet had its inception in 1996 with the hope that first responders would be able to communicate anywhere in the state during emergencies. But the system has never lived up to expectations, costing the Commonwealth nearly $700 million. Montgomery County Sen. Bob Mensch, the sponsor of the resolution, says the problem needs to be solved. Mensch’s resolution calls on the administration to put forth an effective solution, the cost of the solution, and a timetable for achieving it.
LANCASTER – Lancaster Police are investigating a stabbing. Authorities responded around 9:30 a.m. Monday to S. Prince and W. Mifflin Streets. Officers found a 37-year-old male victim with an abdominal wound. His identity has not yet been released. The victim was transported to the hospital. There’s no word on his condition. Police have no suspect information or a motive for the stabbing. Anyone with information can contact Lancaster Police at 717-735-3300.
EPHRATA – Police are investigating an assault that allegedly occurred around 1:30 a.m. today on the first block of N. State Street in Ephrata. A male victim was transported to Lancaster General Hospital with serious, but non-life threatening lacerations. Anyone with information is asked to contact Ephrata Police at 717-733-8611.
LANCASTER – A Lancaster County man will serve at least 15 years in prison and 50 years under supervision for video-taping females in fitting rooms in Lancaster and three surrounding counties. 36-year-old Matthew Hummel of Ephrata was on probation for past convictions of similar crimes when he was caught last year filming a woman in a fitting room at Old Navy at 1700 Fruitville Pike. Hummel pleaded guilty in Lancaster County Court to 24 charges regarding similar acts last year in Lancaster, Berks, Cumberland, and York Counties. Aside from secretly filming females in fitting rooms, Hummel would record “upskirt” videos of females – all on an iPod police recovered during the investigation.
PHILADELPHIA – The Pennsylvania Pastors Network is alerting citizens about two disturbing “bathroom bills” in the Keystone State: House Bill 1510 in the House and its sister bill, Senate Bill 974, in the Senate. According to the Pennsylvania Family Institute, the bills are among Gov. Tom Wolf’s top priorities, and the proposals would “force all facilities open to the public to allow persons, regardless of biological sex, access to all bathrooms, showers, and changing areas.” Pastor Jamie Mitchell of Harvest Bible Chapel in Lancaster has been working with PPN to educate churches and families about the bills. He says this has nothing to do with homophobia, bigotry or hating any group of people,” Mitchell says its all about common sense, protecting modesty, dignity, privacy and safety. But most importantly, this is an attack on Christian values and beliefs. Mitchell added that pastors and church leaders especially must unite to stop the bills in the state, and that residents must contact their legislators to let them know that the proposed laws are not in the best interest of Pennsylvania families. Those wishing to learn more about the bills can visit the Pennsylvania Family Institute page dedicated to the issue, titled DefendMyPrivacy.org.
HARRISBURG – The PA Senate approved legislation to help increase organ and tissue donation in the Commonwealth. Senate Bill 180, known as the Donate Life PA Act, was sponsored by Montgomery County Sen. Stewart Greenleaf. The bill would improve communication between county coroners or medical examiners and organ procurement organizations. It would also protect every donor’s wishes by allowing someone with power of attorney to authorize donation. If the intent of the dying person is not clear, the bill sets forth the procedure to contact family and caregivers to learn the person’s intent with regard to organ donation. Today, over 8,000 people in our state are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. The bill now goes to the state House.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate shot up in April for the biggest one-month increase since 2009. Payrolls also showed the biggest one-month drop since 2009. The state Department of Labor and Industry said the jobless rate rose to 5.3% in April, up from 4.9% in March. The national rate was 5% in April. Meanwhile, a survey of employers found that seasonally adjusted non-farm payrolls dropped by about 16,900 jobs in April, after nearly hitting 5.9 million. The figures are preliminary and could change. The leisure and hospitality services sector recorded the biggest drop, at nearly 6,000. The education and health services sector rose by nearly 6,000.