Scranton Commuter Tax Struck Down By Judge

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scranton commuters will not have to pay a commuter tax.

Senior Judge John Braxton of Philadelphia issued an order today striking down Scranton’s commuter tax.

The judge dismissed two procedural objections made by petitioners opposing the commuter tax, but agreed that Act 205 doesn’t give the city power to exclusively levy a tax on commuters. The wage tax had to be levied on both nonresidents and residents.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/commuter-tax-struck-down-by-judge-1.1762802

Authorities Seize More Than 1,500 Bricks Of Heroin In Mt. Washington

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Law enforcement officers seized more than 1,500 bricks of heroin in a drug bust in Mt. Washington on Sunday, court records show.

Agents with the state Office of Attorney General charged James Perrin, 35, no address given, and Price Montgomery, 33, of Mt. Washington with drug possession with intent to deliver, corrupt organization, illegally possessing a firearm and other crimes.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6253651-74/perrin-heroin-police#ixzz34AIb6bqP
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U.S. Postal Service Pays Employee To Drive Letter Carrier Who Lost License Due To DUI

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What happens if you lose your license due to a drunk driving arrest, and you have to drive a truck for your job?

If you are a U.S. Postal Service employee, your boss just pays somebody else to drive you around for a while.

That’s what has happened in Lititz, where James E. Avers, 34, of Mount Joy, has been getting a paid chauffeur to drive him until he gets his license back, after pleading guilty to four counts of drunken driving.

The 2011 DUI arrest in East Hempfield Township was Avers’ second  for drunk driving, according to court records.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/u-s-postal-service-pays-employee-to-drive-letter-carrier/article_3da9ddc8-efed-11e3-899b-0017a43b2370.html

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Police: Man Arrested After Stealing From Same Store 3 Times In 5 Days

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 20-year-old county man was arrested after stealing from the same Manheim Township store three times in five days, police said.

Skyler J. Daugherty, who has addresses on East Main Street in Lititz and in the 700 block of Pearl Avenue in Manheim, also now faces additional charges from other police departments in the county.

On May 16, Daugherty took a watch and speakers valued at $242 from the Walmart at 2030 Fruitville Pike, Manheim Township police Sgt. Tom Rudzinski reported.

On Monday, he took $209 worth of gaming items from the same store.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/police-man-arrested-after-stealing-from-same-store-times-in/article_62ad8c2c-e1d4-11e3-b5d2-001a4bcf6878.html

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Pennsylvania Gay Marriage Ban Overturned

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III called the plaintiffs — a widow, 11 couples and one of the couples’ two teenage daughters — courageous.

“We now join the 12 federal district courts across the country which, when confronted with these inequities in their own states, have concluded that all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil,” Jones wrote.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1409543/Pennsylvania-gay-marriage-ban-overturned

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Contractor Gets $1.6M, Apology From Montgomery County DA’s Office

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office has agreed to pay $1.65 million to settle claims that District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman brought unfounded theft charges against a Radnor building contractor at the behest of a church that counts prominent county officials among its members.

As part of the agreement, confirmed by the contractor’s lawyers Tuesday, Ferman apologized to Walter Logan, a man whose alleged crimes she once described as “particularly despicable” and “really very low.”

Those words, delivered to a TV news crew, came hours after her office charged Logan in 2009 with bilking hundreds of thousands of dollars from Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown after a contract dispute.

In a statement to Logan as part of their agreement, and released Tuesday by his attorneys, Ferman struck a different tone.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20140426_Contractor_gets__1_6M__apology_from_Montco_DA_s_office.html#QRERrQv5H04R55Bk.99

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Investigation Shows Heroin-Related Deaths Are Not Accurately Counted

English: Modified IM/IV syringe used for "...

English: Modified IM/IV syringe used for “plugging” heroin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elected officials, law enforcement officers and others proclaim there’s a heroin “epidemic” sweeping the country, and it’s taking hold in rural and suburban communities once considered unlikely places to find illicit drugs.

But nobody knows how many people have died.

Nobody knows how many have overdosed and survived.

Nobody even knows for certain where the problem is most severe.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140511/investigation-shows-heroin-related-deaths-are-not-accurately-counted/1

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Police Cracking Down On Aggressive Drivers Across Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MONTGOMERY TWP, PA — Along Route 309 in Montgomery Township on Monday afternoon, lights from police cruisers flashed next to an orange “Aggressive Driving Enforcement” sign as every few minutes, a vehicle was directed to pull over by a contingent of township cops who were doling out citations for speeding, tailgating or other traffic infractions spotted moments earlier by officers stationed a half-mile up the road. It was part of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s ramped-up efforts — which began on Monday and lasts until May 4 — to crack down on a spectrum of illegal and dangerous driving habits in a big way across the state.

Boyertown police announced their aggressive driving details will continue through Sept. 14.

“We’re here today to raise awareness about the dangers of aggressive driving, and to target those drivers who are causing far too many crashes on the roadways,” said PennDOT spokesman Lou Belmonte at a Monday morning press conference inside the Montgomery Township Building, where he was joined by law enforcement officers and members of the Montgomery County Health Department and Buckle Up PA to announce the first wave of the PennDOT-funded 2014 Pennsylvania Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project).

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140325/police-cracking-down-on-aggressive-drivers-across-pa

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Texting Citations In Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Area Drop

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Texting while driving citations for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area dropped 29 percent in one year, but the region still ranks 8th-worst in the state, according to data from compiled by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, the Philadelphia police and the U.S. Census Bureau.

There were 37 citations in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties from March 2013 through February – one citation fewer than the Lancaster metro area, though Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area has 36,806 more residents, There were 52 citations from March 2012 to Feb. 2013, making the metro area the 6th-worst in the state in 2013. The Philadelphia and Pittsburgh metro areas maintained the one and two spots respectively, though their populations are far greater.

No one reason can be attributed for the year’s decline in citations, area law enforcement officials said. An optimist might attribute part of it to increased awareness in the dangers of texting while driving, Lackawanna County Deputy District Attorney Robert Klein said. One reason may be a reduction of crashes caused by texting. Another reason could be as simple as fewer drivers getting caught.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/texting-citations-in-w-b-scranton-area-drop-1.1655025

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Heroin Addict Admits To Chester County Bank Robbery

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WEST CHESTER, PA – A 23-year-old man addicted to heroin told a Common Pleas Court judge he wants to make a change in his life when the time comes for him to walk out of prison.

Instead of robbing banks to fund his addiction, as Michael Brown pleaded guilty to before Judge Anne Marie Wheatcraft on Tuesday, he would rather find a job that allows him to speak to people dealing with the same problem.

Brown, a high school dropout who had been addicted to heroin for three years, told the judge he would appreciate the chance to tell others just starting on the road to drug addiction about how he had made the same mistake, only to see his life ruined by having to feed his habit, court observers said.

Wheatcraft appeared impressed with Brown’s determination, and in a recommendation to the state Department of Corrections, suggested that he be allowed to serve his prison sentence at SCI Chester, which has an advanced drug rehabilitation program for inmates.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20140318/heroin-addict-admits-to-bank-robbery

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Deportation Battle Ignites Rally In Erie

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Erie County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Erie County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friends say Alfredo Ramos-Gallegos lived a spotless life for two decades, raising and supporting two children through hard labor, ambition and kindness.

But even his loved ones acknowledge a big complication: Ramos-Gallegos, 40, of Painesville, Ohio, was in America illegally. Deported to Mexico once, after a factory raid, he sneaked back into the country to be with his pregnant wife about 15 years ago.

Busted again and facing possible jail time, Ramos-Gallegos is at the center of an anti-deportation movement arguing that federal prosecutors are too tough on illegal immigrants who commit no other crimes. Advocates for the law insist that undocumented migrants often swipe jobs from American citizens, use taxpayer-backed social services and undermine lawful immigrants.

“It’s really not fair to all the people who are sponsoring family members or employees using our legal immigration system,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the nonprofit Center for Immigration Studies in Washington. “I don’t think it’s wrong for the government to undertake prosecution. I wish they didn’t have to do it so many times.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/5762263-74/gallegos-ramos-immigration#ixzz2wM3eIren
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Mount Joy Hires New Police Chief, Lifts Restriction On Police Overtime

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mount Joy Borough officials lifted restrictions on police overtime and approved the hiring of a new police chief on Monday, March 3, after hearing discussions on recent staffing issues within the department.

Council members agreed to hire Kevin Girling, a Lieutenant with the York City Police Department, as chief of the Mount Joy Borough Police Department at a salary of $85,000 following a mid-meeting executive session to discuss the matter.

Girling, who is still working in York, will need to sign an employment agreement before officially joining the Mount Joy department , no later than April 1.

“Thank you to everybody who helped with the process,” council member William Hall said. “We put a lot of hours in, a lot of meetings, a lot of feedback from the public, and I’m very confident that this is going to work out.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/mount-joy-hires-new-police-chief-lifts-restriction-on-police/article_7d374eac-a872-11e3-839d-001a4bcf6878.html

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Poll: More In NJ Want Pot Than Online Gambling

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – A new poll finds more New Jersey residents want to smoke pot than gamble over the Internet.

A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll finds 41 percent of respondents would support smoking marijuana recreationally if it became legal. That compares with only 32 percent who support gambling over the Internet, which is legal in New Jersey now.

The poll finds support for online gambling has fallen, even as it enters its third full month and more than 150,000 online gambling accounts have been set up in the state.

“The public’s attitude was, for several years, warming up to online gambling,” said poll director Krista Jenkins. “But there has been a clear change in direction now that the practice has actually been legalized. Part of the public has always shown deep reluctance to make gambling so accessible in their own homes. Now that it is in fact legal, they may be more concerned than ever.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20140203_ap_ea57de2926384e6087d93750dc244999.html#uC9fqrd0erf0e8Y4.99

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Reefer Madness Arrives In Colorado As Sales Begin

DENVER, CO — At 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day, in an industrial area a few miles from downtown Denver, a former Marine named Sean Azzariti walked into a giant store and bought a bag of weed. Legally. To smoke just for fun, if he’s so inclined.

Mr. Azzariti’s transaction Wednesday — 3.5 grams of Bubba Kush for $40 and 50 mg of Truffles for an additional $9.28 — was the first in the state’s grand experiment in legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

The first-in-the-nation law was greeted with long lines at retailers and a lot of “Rocky Mountain High” jokes. But beyond the buzz, the measure represented the institution of a major new public policy in America — one opponents fear will turn the state into a dangerous land of debauchery and that backers hope sets a nationwide precedent.

If Colorado is able to successfully legalize marijuana without causing a social backlash, the tourism, tax and other considerations are likely to compel several other states to quickly follow suit.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/world/2014/01/02/Reefer-madness-arrives-in-Colorado-as-sales-begin/stories/201401020165#ixzz2pGsOK9DV

7 Ways To Protect Yourself Against Credit Card Fraud

NEW YORKMainStreet) — You shopped at Target this holiday season. Bad news: your credit card is now one of the 40 million that may have been subject to a data breach that could cost consumers $4 billion.

What now?

There’s no panacea. “If you’re going to use a card there’s always this risk that the system could be compromised,” said Robert Heath, a consumer protection attorney in Pensacola, Fla.

But there are ways to mitigate your risk. Here are seven things you can do to protect yourself against fraud.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/philly/story/7-ways-protect-yourself-against-credit-card-fraud/1

Son Charged With Stabbing Mom In Pottstown Home

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — A 23-year-old man allegedly stabbed his mother multiple times with a butcher knife Wednesday evening on the 100 block of Third Street, apparently for no discernible reason, according to Pottstown police.

Jason James Payne, 23, was arrested shortly after he allegedly stabbed Pamela Hadrick and was taken to the Pottstown Police Department where he waived his rights to counsel and admitted to the crime, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by police.

The affidavit said that Payne was at home Wednesday night with his mother and younger brother and sister, both juveniles. He told police at some point before 7:45 p.m., he “got up and walked into the kitchen, grabbed a butcher knife and stabbed her.”

He said the knife was a foot long and “there was no problem between (him) and his mother that precipitated the stabbing,” according to the affidavit.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131219/son-charged-with-stabbing-mom-in-pottstown-home

Arrest In Forty Fort Homicide

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FORTY FORT, PA — A Plains Township man was arraigned overnight on charges he fatally shot another man Tuesday night.

Brian Leonard Pavia, 39, was charged with criminal homicide in the deadly shooting of John Dulsky outside 1217 Wyoming Ave. just before 7 p.m.

According to police, Officer Brian Casella responded to the address and encountered Pavia standing in front of a Ford pickup truck in a driveway. Pavia pointed to a man lying face down on the ground in snow.

Pavia allegedly told police Dulsky punched him in the face and “could not believe this was all over a snow blower,” police said.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1064015/Arrest-in-Forty-Fort-homicide

Charges Pending In Accidental Sherman Hills Shooting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charges are pending against a Sherman Hills resident who accidentally fired a pistol early Wednesday and nearly shot a sleeping child, according to Wilkes-Barre police.

Terrance Jones, of Building 320, is facing reckless endangerment charges after the shot was fired in Building 308 about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Officers were called to the scene for a report of a gunshot coming through the floor of apartment 423, according to police.

The victim, Travis Trammell, who lives below apartment 423, told police a bullet came through his ceiling nearly hitting his sleeping daughter, police said. No injuries were reported.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/charges-pending-in-accidental-sherman-hills-shooting-1.1596825

Pottstown Police Identify Woman Found Dead In Front Of Home

POTTSTOWN, PA — Police have released the identity of a woman found dead on the front steps of her house Monday morning.

Police said Georgina Sanders, 45, was found in front of the house by a neighbor.

Sanders, who lived alone in a one-story home in the 1000 block of Terrace Lane, had known medical issues, police said.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20131125/pottstown-police-identify-woman-found-dead-in-front-of-home

84 Arrested In Philly Narcotics Sweep

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia police arrested 84 people and seized more than $100,000 worth of drugs in a citywide sweep earlier this week, the department announced Friday.

The sweep also yielded 18 firearms, including a .40 caliber assault rifle, police said.

The operation is the third of its kind that police have conducted this year, said Capt. Tom Davidson, the commanding officer of the Narcotics Field Unit. But Monday’s sweep was the first that focused on districts across the city, he said, instead of targeting a particular neighborhood.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20131123_84_arrested_in_citywide_narcotics_sweep.html#GZOxcCyDCulfUZsF.99