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Pennsylvania

November 23, 2022

Pennsylvania House Impeaches Democratic District Attorney

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
2018: U.S. Federal Climate report finds climate change will reduce economy by 10% by 2100 with $141 billion cost from heat-related deaths, $118 billion from sea level rise.

Pennsylvania’s Republican-led House has voted to impeach Philadelphia’s Democratic prosecutor, citing his progressive policies amid rising crime in the city.

House lawmakers voted 107-85 to impeach District Attorney Larry Krasner, who now faces the state’s first Senate impeachment trial in nearly 30 years. The GOP holds a 29-21 majority in the Pennsylvania Senate. A two-third vote would be needed to convict and remove Krasner from office.

State House Republicans cited Krasner’s crime policies, including lenient sentences for criminal offenders, and failure to prosecute low-level offenses like drug possession and prostitution.

Krasner, who was re-elected last year, responded to the impeachment in a statement.

“In the hundreds of years the Commonwealth has existed, this is the only time the House has used the drastic remedy of impeachment of an elected official because they do not like their ideas,” Krasner said.

Krasner said House lawmakers “impeached me without presenting a single shred of evidence connecting our policies to any uptick in crime.”

“History will harshly judge this anti-democratic authoritarian effort to erase Philly’s votes – votes by Black, brown, and broke people in Philadelphia. And voters will have the last word,” he added.

Ahead of the vote, GOP State Representative Martina White said Krasner “has denied that there is even a crisis of crime happening on our streets.”

Lawmakers also alleged that Krasner had obstructed the House’s investigation of his office.


Sources: ABC News | CBS News

November 10, 2022

Pennsylvania Voters Reelect Lawmaker Who Died in October

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1918: Western Union Cable Office in North Sydney, Nova Scotia receives a top-secret coded message from Europe stating on November 11, 1918 all fighting would cease on land, sea and in the air.

Pennsylvania state Rep. Tony DeLuca (D) won re-election in the Keystone State’s 32nd District — a remarkable feat considering he died last month.

DeLuca, 85, passed away on Oct. 9 from lymphoma. He was the longest-serving member is the state House of Representatives, with a tenure of 39 years.

That did not stop Pennsylvanians from voting for him, however. In fact, the late lawmaker dominated his Green Party challenger, Queonia “Zarah” Livingston, by more than 70 percentage points. DeLuca won 86% of the vote to Livingston’s 14%.

Despite DeLuca’s passing, it was too late to change the ballots or select a different candidate to run for the seat.

Pennsylvania Democrats celebrated the victory as a tribute to DeLuca’s legacy.

“While we’re incredibly saddened by the loss of Representative Tony DeLuca, we are proud to see the voters to continue to show their confidence in him and his commitment to Democratic values by re-electing him posthumously,” the Pennsylvania House Democrats said in a statement.

While it is certainly possible that some voters did not realize that DeLuca had passed away, it is also likely that many decided to vote for him over the far-left Livingston, knowing that his posthumous victory would trigger a special election to fill the seat.

DeLuca’s “seat will be filled by a special election, likely in early spring,” Pennsylvania House Democrats press secretary Nicole Reigelman told WTAE.


Sources: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | WTAE | New York Times

October 18, 2022

First Lady Jill Biden Booed at NFL Game

First lady Jill Biden did not experience brotherly love at the Philadelphia Eagles game on Sunday night.

Biden, who grew up in a Philadelphia suburb, was met with boos when she stepped onto Lincoln Financial Field ahead of the matchup between the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys.

The first lady was an honorary captain for the Eagles and was also there to promote the Biden administration’s Cancer Moonshot initiative. She was joined on the field by cancer patients and their families.

Biden also led a rendition of “Fly Eagles Fly,” which was partially aired on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” though no booing could be heard on the broadcast.

President Joe Biden and the first lady are both noted Eagles fans.

“Philadelphia fans are the most informed and most obnoxious fans in the world,” the president said in May of last year.


Source: Fox News

October 12, 2022

25 Children Injured at Day Care Center

Pennsylvania authorities say that more than two dozen children were sent to the hospital due to an apparent carbon monoxide leak at a day care center.

Emergency responders got a report of an unconscious child at the Happy Smiles Learning Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. After they arrived on the scene, the firefighters’ air quality detectors were triggered, causing the building to be evacuated.

Authorities confirmed that the 25 children were under evaluation at a local hospital. None of the injuries were considered to be serious, and all of the children were listed as stable.

Eight staff members had also been present in the building.

Authorities are currently investigating the cause of the carbon monoxide leak.


Source: NPR

September 19, 2022

Woman Accused of Stealing Pelosi’s Laptop Granted Release to Attend Renaissance Faire — Again

The Pennsylvania woman accused of stealing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) laptop during the January 6 Capitol riot has been granted temporary release from her house arrest to attend a Renaissance Faire — for the second time.

When Riley Williams was released from jail last year, the judge ordered that she would only be able to leave home for work, court appearances, and a few other approved outings. Apparently, that includes the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.

The judge granted the 25-year-old’s request to attend the faire last week, marking the second time Williams has gone to the event while serving home confinement. She was also allowed to go late last month.

“She is confined to her home 24/7 with exceptions. Every once in a while, if there is an activity that interests her, we ask if she can attend,” Lori Ulrich, Williams’ lawyer, told the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette.

Prosecutors say Williams bragged about stealing Pelosi’s laptop on the social media site Discord.

“I took Nancy Polesis [sic] hard drives. I don’t care. Kill me,” she allegedly wrote.


Sources: CBS News | NPR | Pittsburgh-Post Gazette

September 5, 2022

One-time Checks Sent to Thousands of Pennsylvania Residents

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
2017: Hurricane Irma becomes the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin region, with winds of 185mph.

Thousands of Pennsylvania residents are in for a pleasant surprise.

Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced that older and disabled Pennsylvanians who received a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2021 are also set to get a one-time bonus rebate.

“I am proud that bonus rebates are starting to roll out to Pennsylvanians in need this week,” Wolf said on Aug. 24.

“I proposed these bonus rebates back in February to help low-income Pennsylvanians deal with inflation and higher costs. For older adults in particular – many of whom are on a fixed income – a bonus Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program rebate this year will be a gamechanger. These bonus rebates will help older adults and Pennsylvanians with disabilities stay in their homes.”

Qualified recipients will receive a one-time payment equal to 70% of their original rebate, up to $1,657.50. The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has already processed 361,042 claimants.

Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said that while the one-time bonus rebates are being sent out ahead of schedule, they ask certain claimants to be patient.

“At the same time, we are asking claimants who are expecting a paper check in the mail to be patient,” Hassell said.

“It will take several weeks to mail all of the checks for the one-time bonus rebates, whereas those who elected direct deposit on their application forms should see their bonus rebates sooner. I would also like to thank the staff at the Pennsylvania Treasury for working with us to ensure that bonus rebates are distributed as quickly as possible.”


Sources: Washington Examiner | Pennsylvania Government

February 17, 2022

Poll: Dr. Oz Leads By Landslide

Dr. Mehmet Oz leads the Pennsylvania Republican Senate primary by a wide margin, according to a new poll.

The Trafalgar Group’s poll shows Oz with 27.4% of the vote — nearly 14 points ahead of the other GOP candidates.

Oz has noted that his celebrity helps boost his popularity across the political spectrum.

“People know who I am,” Oz said. “I’ve been in your living room every day for 13 years.”

When asked who they would vote for if the 2022 Senate Republican primary were held tomorrow, the second most popular choice among participants was “undecided/wouldn’t vote,” with 21.6%.

The poll included 1,070 participants between Feb. 1-4. Results indicated a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points.


Source:

Dr. Oz takes strong lead in tough Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary: Poll

January 30, 2022

Pennsylvania Mail-In Voting Law Unconstitutional, Court Rules

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1815: Burned US Library of Congress re-established with Thomas Jefferson’s 6,500 volumes

A Pennsylvania court ruled that the state’s mail-in voting law is unconstitutional, saying that the state’s Constitution requires voters to cast ballots in person unless they meet specific requirements.

Three Republican judges sided with the challengers, while two Democrats on the panel dissented.

“No-excuse mail-in voting makes the exercise of the franchise more convenient and has been used four times in the history of Pennsylvania,” Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt wrote.

“Approximately 1.38 million voters have expressed their interest in voting by mail permanently. If presented to the people, a constitutional amendment … is likely to be adopted. But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people” before such legislation can take effect.

The state quickly appealed the ruling, triggering an automatic stay on Act 77, which will remain in place while the Pennsylvania Supreme Court hears the case.

“This opinion is based on twisted logic and faulty reasoning, and is wrong on the law,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro tweeted.

“The issue will now go before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and we are confident that Act 77 will ultimately be upheld as constitutional.”

The Pennsylvania state legislature passed a law in 2019 with bipartisan support to allow no-excuse mail voting for all voters.

Before the law was enacted, the mail-in voting option was available for individuals unable to vote in person for specific reasons.


Source:

A Pennsylvania court overturned the state’s mail voting law, but an appeal means it’s still in place

January 29, 2022

Pittsburgh Bridge Collapses Hours Before Biden Infrastructure Visit

A snow-covered bridge in Pittsburgh collapsed just hours before President Joe Biden was scheduled to visit the city for an infrastructure event.

The Pittsburgh Public Safety Department said police, firefighters, and other emergency services responded to the bridge that fell near South Braddock and Forbes avenues.

“Five vehicles and one Port Authority bus were on the bridge. Three people were transported to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries,” the department said in a statement.

Officials said the collapse ruptured gas lines that ran along the bridge, causing a large gas leak. Crews shut off the gas within a half-hour, and the several families that were evacuated from their nearby homes have since been cleared for re-entry.


Source:

Bridge collapses in Pittsburgh just hours before Biden infrastructure visit

January 10, 2022

Treasure Hunters Sue for Records on FBI’s Civil War Gold Dig

Two treasure hunters who claim they found a huge cache of Civil War-era gold filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the FBI’s excavation records.

Finders Keepers, a Pennsylvania-based lost treasure locate and recovery service, seeks to obtain records of the FBI’s dig for the gold in 2018.

Dennis and Kem Parada, the owners of Finders Keepers, spent years looking for a supposed 1863 shipment of Union gold that went missing en route to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. According to local legend, both the loot and the troops escorting it went missing. Previous accounts of the shipment estimate 26 to 52 gold bars, each weighing 50 pounds, with a value of $50 million.

The Paradas claim they found a large mass of metal in a particular area and contacted the FBI for assistance. The agency sent a contractor to the site to investigate.

In an affidavit unsealed in June 2021, Jacob Archer of the FBI’s art crime team wrote: “I have probable cause to believe that a significant cache of gold is secreted in the underground cave” in Dent’s Run, holding “one or more tons.”

The pair accompanied the FBI to the site in 2018 but were told to stay in the vehicle. The FBI later claimed the dig came up empty.

With their lawsuit, the Paradas hope that the unsealing of relevant documents will enable them to receive a portion of the fabled treasure.

“With its request, Plaintiff seeks to confirm the FBI’s recovery of Civil War-era gold buried in the mountains of Pennsylvania, based in significant part on scientific evidence of the gold’s existence that Plaintiff provided the FBI,” the lawsuit reads.


Source:

Treasure hunters demand answers from FBI about search for civil war-era gold

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