Chief’s Letter To Larksville Home Raises Issues

LARKSVILLE, PA — A police chief’s “welcome” letter targeting a suspected drug den and prostitution house on Murray Street has apparently accomplished its goal.

The tenant, a younger woman, hasn’t been seen since, neighbors say. The constant vehicle traffic from a stream of visitors immediately ceased, they say. And the landlord quickly issued an eviction notice.

Larksville police Chief John Edwards last week delivered the strongly-worded letter to the 10 homes on Murray Street, but most on the small block knew who it was meant for: the tenant of 39 Murray St. and all her visitors.

Edwards vowed to zero in on the people suspected of illegal activity until they “are arrested and imprisoned, or leave Larksville Borough.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/chief-s-letter-to-larksville-home-raises-issues-1.1862664

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Some Pennsylvania Towns Evict Tenants Based On 911 Calls

Despite a state law signed last year to avoid such circumstances, some communities are still applying parts of local ordinances that allow them to have “disruptive” tenants evicted if more than a few calls to 911 have been made from a residence — even when those calls result from domestic abuse.

The American Civil Liberties Union is involved in a current case in Verona and worked with a woman in Mount Oliver who faced a similar situation last summer. In 2013, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit against Norristown, Pa., after the organization said officials there pushed for the eviction of a woman who was a victim of domestic violence.

Sara Rose, an attorney at the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said it’s hard to tell how often these types of ordinances —  intended to prevent disruptive behavior — are being used as punishment when tenants call 911. Several municipalities in the state have such ordinances, but Ms. Rose said she’s not aware of any towns that have repealed or changed them since then-Gov. Tom Corbett signed the new law in November.

“Just having it creates a chilling effect on tenants who might be afraid to call the police,” she said.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/2015/04/04/Some-Pennsylvania-towns-evicting-tenants-based-on-911-calls/stories/201504040090

Wilkes-Barre Shuts Down Unit In Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE — The city has shut down an apartment in the troubled Sherman Hills apartment complex where police said they found drugs while investigating a shooting.

The apartment in Building 308 cannot be rented for six months under the city’s “one-strike” ordinance that’s been enforced a number of times since it took effect on Sept. 1. in an attempt to deal with problem properties where gun and drug crimes are committed.

The woman, who lived in the apartment with a small child, and a man drove to a New Jersey hospital on Dec. 27 for treatment of gunshot wounds they said they suffered in an accidental shooting, according to police.

Catherine Thomas, 23, and Lashawn Burgman, 31, of Wyoming, told police they were afraid and fled out-of-town to avoid a police investigation.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1096899/City-shuts-down-unit-in-Sherman-Hills

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