BETHESDA, MD (AP) – Vice President Mike Pence has paid an early Thanksgiving visit to injured service members. Pence and his wife, Karen, met privately today with five patients undergoing treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. They later met with recovering patients, relatives and doctors and other caregivers at a USO facility on campus. Among those the Vice President met with included a woman with a prosthetic right leg wrapped in pink gauze tape, a single amputee and a double amputee. Pence wished all a Happy Thanksgiving before departing to prepare for his own holiday travels. He is spending Thanksgiving with his son, who is a Marine.
HARRISBURG – With unanimous support, the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved legislation by Rep. Kate Klunk of Hanover to speed up the legal process and reduce the financial and emotional toll placed upon those involved in some court proceedings. Klunk said, “Court proceedings, such as divorce, can be very traumatizing for everyone involved, especially children. Collaborative law particularly benefits children as divorce proceedings are expedited and handled in a manor respectful of the two parties and children,” Klunk’s legislation, House Bill 1644, would codify the collaborative law process, which is already used by hundreds of attorneys in the state. Collaborative law is a voluntary alternative dispute resolution process for parties that seek to have their legal matters resolved outside the courtroom. Parties enter into collaborative law agreements voluntarily and it cannot be court ordered. The legislation now goes to the full House for consideration.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court says it’s not enough for governors to put out news releases when they are vetoing bills during a legislative adjournment, they also have to issue formal public notices. The justices today sided with three top state Senate leaders of both parties in ruling that partial vetoes of appropriations and fiscal code amendment bills by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014 weren’t valid. The court says they failed because Corbett didn’t specify that he’d filed the bills and his objections in the secretary of state’s office. They didn’t decide whether Corbett’s use of the line-item veto for the fiscal code amendments was within his authority. It’s unclear how the decision will affect the millions in spending Corbett cancelled, including legislative funds.
LANCASTER (AP) – A county commissioner from Lancaster County is the latest Democrat getting into the race for lieutenant governor. Craig Lehman of Lancaster County announced his candidacy Monday. That makes him the fourth Democrat willing to challenge the party’s sitting lieutenant governor, Mike Stack. The 54-year-old Navy veteran has been in office since 2008. Also running are Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, school nutrition activist Aryanna Berringer and Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. Stack is a former Philadelphia state senator and is seeking a second term. He has little relationship with Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who stripped Stack of police protection after receiving complaints about Stack’s treatment of state employees. March 6 is the deadline for major party candidates to file voter signatures to get on the May 15 primary election ballot.
ZION GROVE (AP) – Patrons wrestled a man to the ground after police say he shot a woman sitting at the bar inside a fish and game club in Pennsylvania. The shooting occurred around 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Shenandoah Fish & Game Protective Association Club in Schuylkill County. Authorities have charged 62-year-old Steven Brobst, of Sugarloaf, with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and firearms violations. He’s held on $500,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing. The 51-year-old woman was flown to a hospital. Her condition is not known.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Pennsylvanians are hitting the roads, rails and airports for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Pennsylvania Turnpike says more than 3.5 million cars and trucks will use the toll road during the six-day holiday period. Today, is among the busiest days, especially between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Thanksgiving is the least traveled day on the turnpike. Amtrak says all Keystone and Pennsylvanian passengers will need to make reservations throughout the holiday period. It has increased capacity on those trains. Philadelphia International Airport is projecting 392,000 passengers will depart from the airport throughout the week. Pittsburgh International estimates it’s handling more than 100,000 passengers during the first three days of the week. Harrisburg International Airport is projecting 24,000 passengers throughout the holiday.
YORK (AP) – Three teen boys have been charged with raping a 14-year-old girl at gunpoint near a Pennsylvania fair. Court documents show the boys followed the victim around the York Fair Sept. 22 and convinced her to leave the area with them. The victim told police she noticed one of the teens was carrying a gun. According to court records, the teens led the victim to a secluded area where they forced her to perform sexual acts with a gun at her head. The girl told investigators she was taken to another unidentified location where the boys raped her. The suspects, all 16, were arraigned Tuesday. They have been charged with rape, unlawful restraint and terroristic threats.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Legislation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to impose a long-sought tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production is up in the air until December. The Republican-controlled House adjourned until Dec. 4, after spending parts of Monday and Tuesday debating proposed amendments by Republicans who oppose a tax in the nation’s No. 2 gas state. Dozens of proposed amendments are still lined up, and House Republican leadership opposes the bill. Supporters of a tax include most Democrats and Republicans from southeastern Pennsylvania, but some say industry-friendly amendments to the bill may change their minds. The Republican-penned proposal raises less money than the 6.5 percent tax proposed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. The bill’s volume tax rises with the price of natural gas and would raise about $100 million in a full year, using 2016 production and current prices.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Officials have recovered the remains of two people from what is left of a Pennsylvania senior living community following last week’s fire. The fire broke out Thursday night at Barclay Friends Senior Living Community in West Chester, west of Philadelphia. More than two dozen people were injured and 133 residents displaced. Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said Monday four residents were still unaccounted for, including a husband and wife. Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives located the remains Tuesday. They were transported from the scene by the Chester County coroner. The search will continue today for the two remaining missing residents. None of the missing residents have been identified. The origin and cause of the fire is still under investigation.
BELLEFONTE (AP) – The man just elected to be Centre County’s next district attorney wants state prosecutors to take over the case of former Penn State fraternity members accused of crimes related to the death of a pledge after a night of drinking and hazing. Bernie Cantorna announced Tuesday he has a conflict of interest and will ask the attorney general’s office to assume prosecution of the case surrounding now-closed Beta Theta Pi. Twenty-six people currently face charges that range from involuntary manslaughter to liquor-law violations. Prosecutors say 19-year-old Tim Piazza of Lebanon, New Jersey, consumed dangerous amounts of alcohol and fell several times during the night of a bid acceptance party at the fraternity house in February. A spokesman for Attorney General Josh Shapiro says the agency will review Cantorna’s request.