Archives for April 2019

PA Does Better Than Expected in Internet Sales Tax Revenue

Pennsylvania is getting an unexpected windfall as internet sales tax revenues are coming in at a rate of nearly four times what had been projected for the current fiscal year. The state estimated about $50 million from the tax on online transactions, but it’s now looking more like $200 million will actually be collected, according to Pennsylvania’s Department of Revenue.

Biden Kicks Off Campaign in the Commonwealth

Joe Biden has used his first public rally as a presidential candidate to accuse Donald Trump of abusing the power of the presidency. The former vice president said Monday that Trump only represents his political base while ignoring the rest of the nation. He told hundreds of cheering supporters and union activists in Pittsburgh that the U.S. can thrive through increased economic unity. Biden offered relatively few new themes, instead touching on many of the same promises he made while campaigning for other Democrats around the country in recent months.

Biden’s First Campaign Speech in PA

By picking Pennsylvania for his first campaign speech of the presidential race, Joe Biden is signaling he hopes to own what may be the 2020 election’s toughest battleground. Planting a flag in Pennsylvania could make sense for the longtime former senator from Delaware: He was born in Pennsylvania, has numerous ties to it and is using his deep inroads with influential state party figures to his advantage in the primary. For Democrats it’s a late primary state that may have little value in the nomination. But Donald Trump’s campaign is already mapping out a strategy to win Pennsylvania a second time, and the Republican won’t easily cede a state that forms the core of his likeliest path back to 270 electoral votes.

PA Synagogue Holds Vigil for San Diego Families

The Pittsburgh synagogue that six months ago was the site of the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history held a vigil and offered its sympathy after another deadly shooting Saturday at a synagogue near San Diego, saying such violence “must end.”… A spokesman said”We know first-hand the fear, anguish, and healing process such an atrocity causes, and our hearts are with the afflicted San Diego families

PA High Court Says Yes to Death Sentence for Sniper

Pennsylvania’s highest court upheld the death sentence and conviction today of a sniper who killed a state trooper and wounded another in a nighttime ambush outside their barracks in a heavily wooded area. The state Supreme Court’s decision upholds lower court decisions in the case of Eric Frein, who was convicted in the 2014 murder of Cpl. Bryon Dickson II outside the Blooming Grove barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania. Another trooper, Alex Douglass, was badly wounded.

Sen. Casey Endorses Biden

Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is endorsing Joe Biden for president, just minutes after the former vice president entered the crowded 2020 race. In a statement earlier today, Casey touted Biden as a fighter for the middle class who can beat President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania if Biden becomes the Democratic nominee. Casey’s father, the late former Gov. Robert P. Casey, knew Biden and Casey himself spent two years in the Senate with Biden before the Delaware senator went on to become vice president under President Barack Obama.

Spanier Wants Conviction Overturned

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier is asking a federal magistrate judge to overturn his conviction, less than a week before he is scheduled to start serving two months in jail. Spanier was in a Scranton, Pennsylvania, courthouse today as his lawyers argued it violated the U.S. Constitution to convict him under a 2007 law for mishandling a complaint about former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy in 2001. The attorney general’s office wants U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick to do what state courts have done and uphold Spanier’s misdemeanor conviction for child endangerment.

New PA Law in Effect to Renew Suspended Driver’s License

A new Pennsylvania state law is now in effect, ending the practice of suspending driver’s licenses for those convicted of certain non-highway safety violations, including drug offenses. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the legislation in October and it took effect Monday. Wolf says the change removes a roadblock for someone who needs a valid driver’s license to find and keep a job, especially where public transportation isn’t readily accessible.

A 7th PA Diocese Opens Victims Compensation Fund

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown has become Pennsylvania’s seventh diocese to open a victims’ compensation fund since a landmark grand jury report accusing senior church officials of systematically covering up the sexual abuse of children. The diocese’s program began Tuesday and is open for applications through Sept. 30. It opens as state lawmakers renew a long-running debate over whether now-adult victims who long ago passed Pennsylvania’s age limit to sue should get another chance to take dioceses and perpetrators to court. Pennsylvania’s bishops oppose it and say dioceses have long since changed.
Victims’ advocates say compensation funds don’t offer a court’s power to force dioceses to divulge what church officials knew about an abuser and whether they covered it up.

State Police in Huntingdon Arrest Man

State Police in Huntingdon have arrested a man who was wanted for robbery and attempted homicide in Armstrong County. Officials were investigating an incident on Extract Road in Shirley Township when they discovered the man, Willie Lunsford of Mount Union, was wanted for violent felonies. Lunsford initially gave investigators a false name, according to Huntingdon County District Attorney, Dave Smith. Lunsford will return to Armstrong County for further court proceedings.