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 Rose said she’s not aware of any towns that have repealed or changed them since then-Gov.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.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Washington County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Range Resources Corp. will pay the largest state fine levied against a Pennsylvania shale gas driller and close five drilling wastewater impoundments in Washington County because of leaks into soil and groundwater, officials said on Thursday.
The Fort Worth-based company signed an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Protection that requires paying a $4.15 million fine, closing the troubled facilities and rebuilding two impoundments using what regulators call “next generation” technology.
“There are two messages we are sending today. One is we take these kinds of situations very seriously and there are going to be consequences even when a company is a good corporate neighbor,” department Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo told the Tribune-Review. “And to the citizens, the message is we’re going to handle these matters.”
Davitt Woodwell, president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council said, “I commend Range for coming forward. And it appears DEP has taken this as an opportunity to leverage better standards.”
The state Insurance commissioner cast doubt Friday on a plan by President Obama to stop insurers from dumping more than 250,000 Pennsylvanians whose medical coverage did not meet the minimum requirements of the new health care law.
Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine questioned whether Obama had the legal authority to allow insurers to reinstate or extend those policies. He also said the state has limited power to force insurers to comply with a scheme that he said “heightens confusion” surrounding the law’s implementation.
“I think there are very fair questions being raised about the legal authority for the president to say we’re going to ignore what’s in the” Affordable Care Act, Consedine told the Tribune-Review.
The president acted to quell a firestorm over the chaotic rollout of the law known as Obamacare in proposing the administrative fix for consumers whose policies were being canceled. Many accused him of reneging on a pledge that no one would lose medical coverage if they liked it.
Map of Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, PA (AP) – A community just north of Philadelphia could become the first suburb in the state to install red-light cameras under a new law allowing the devices to be used outside Pennsylvania’s largest city.
Township commissioners in Abington voted 14-1 last week to install the devices at three busy intersections, according to the Bucks County Courier Times (http://bit.ly/1aLzeDO). The plan still requires a final green light from the state Department of Transportation.
For the past eight years, Philadelphia has been the only place in Pennsylvania where surveillance cameras can snap pictures of cars that fail to stop at red lights. Scofflaws are fined $100.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
WILKES-BARRE — A day after council took the first step to approve an amendment toughening the city’s rental ordinance, the code enforcement office listed more than 5o citations to property owners over a four-month period.
More than half of the 51 properties have out-of-town owners, a point stressed by Mayor Tom Leighton when he proposed the amendment to crack down on problem properties contributing to the rise in violent crime.
City spokeswoman Liza Prokop said the timing of the release of the list was unrelated to the pending amendment.
In an e-mail Wednesday she said, “It is standard practice for the city to release information on code violations.”
With Hazleton police responding to at least three noise-related calls per shift, Chief Frank DeAndrea said he welcomes council’s efforts to assist his department in stamping out disturbances that create “a huge quality of life concern” for the community.
An updated noise ordinance city council ratified earlier this week will give the police department a means to deal with problems that accompany noise-related issues that stem from a changing society, DeAndrea said.
Council approved final readings of an updated noise ordinance that was written by Councilman Kevin Schadder. The eight-page law establishes fines of between $100 and $1,000 for people who are found guilty before a district justice of violating any one of a number of noise- or sound-violations that range from barking dogs and “unnecessary horn blowing” to loud music and construction equipment.
“Sometimes it seems like things need to be tweaked as society changes to be better able to enforce what maybe five years ago wasn’t an issue,” DeAndrea said. “If the changes, or tweaks, in this ordinance give the police department a little bit different angle to approach noise with, I’m all for it.”
Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty, R-Montgomery, released a transportation funding plan on Tuesday. Here are some details of how approximately $2.5 billion would be raised from tax, fee and fine increases and spent once the plan is fully phased in:
— Imposes $50.50 licensing fee for six years, instead of a $29.50 fee for four years
— Imposes $104 registration fee for two years, instead of a $36 fee annually
A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With less than two weeks left to go, the city’s amnesty program for overdue rental housing fees and quality-of-life fines has reached $351,000, or about 70 percent of its goal, codes manager Ron Natale said Monday.
The offer that began in mid-December ends Feb. 15, and property owners who don’t contact the city by then will be turned over to its new collection firm, Harrisburg-based National Recovery Agency, Natale told City Council.
The city has about $2.8 million in delinquent quality-of-life fines and rental housing fees from 22,000 unpaid bills. Officials had hoped to collect about $500,000 of that with the amnesty program, which waives penalties and late fees if the property owners pay the original amounts.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission charged Paul A. Zook, 28, of the 100 block of Geist Road with two misdemeanors of the state Game and Wildlife Code.
One count is for killing an endangered or threatened species and one count is for unlawful taking and possession of protected birds.
Zook, an Amish farmer, could face up to two years in jail and fines up to $5,000 if found guilty and depending on the feelings of the judge. In addition, a judge could require Zook to pay up to $5,000 to “replace” the eagle.
One day after losing their jobs for fighting in the West Reading police chief’s office, the chief and his adversary squared off again Thursday, only this time in a courtroom.
Edward C. Fabriziani, who had been chief for 16 years, and Ronald E. Ladd, an 18-year veteran of the borough force, gave their versions of the Aug. 31 scuffle that sent Fabriziani to Reading Hospital by ambulance.
After hearing the testimony of both men and a county detective who investigated the incident, Senior District Judge Paul J. Hadzick sided with Fabriziani’s version.
After a one-hour trial, Hadzick found Ladd guilty of a summary count of harassment and ordered Ladd to pay a $300 fine and court costs.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With a constable waiting to take her to jail, bookstore owner Melody Williams wiped tears and called a friend.
Williams told her to pay the shop’s electric bill and rent. She also said she might have to pack up her apartment.
Struggling for composure, Williams, 36, explained that Senior District Judge Jene Willwerth was sending her to jail for overdue parking fines.
“It was a short and sweet hearing,” recalled constable Karl Salisbury, who took Williams into custody at her store on May 31. “The judge said, ‘You owe $2,300 collateral. You’re being committed to Lancaster County Prison.’ ”
Editor’s note: Nobody will stop watching if you give her the heave-ho…it might actually increase viewership!
Christina Aguilera has reportedly faced consistent fines while fulfilling her duties as a coach and judge on hit TV show “The Voice.” Aguilera allegedly has repeatedly been late on set, and it has not been unusual for her to turn up two hours after her scheduled start time.
Some are now suggesting that Aguilera was simply ignoring the fines being handed out to her and that they in no way helped to correct her tardiness. It is now being reported that show bosses are thinking to increase the fine levels for persistent lateness from their stars in an effort to not allow the behavior to continue in future series.
At Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer’s request, City Council on Monday awarded data processing giant ADP a $214,100 contract to take over the city’s payroll operations.
The move will get rid of an error-prone, in-house system for which the IRS has fined the city more than $100,000.
“We’re not payroll experts; we’re getting out of the business,” said Christopher Zale, acting director of administrative services.
The IRS fines – $50,400 each for tax years 2007 and 2008 because the city’s W-2 forms weren’t compatible with IRS computers, and weren’t re-filed properly until months after the deadline – were levied in 2010.
Joey Castro thinks he can safely text while driving.
The 19-year-old from Tobyhanna said he waits until there are no cars in front of him to quickly respond to messages from his mom and girlfriend while he drives to class at Northampton Community College.
Castro knows texting can be dangerous, but thinks he might forget to respond until after class and his mom might worry about him. He knows the keyboard so well, he said, that his eyes don’t stray from the road for long.
But starting Thursday, Castro said he will put his phone away until he’s parked. And that’s exactly what law enforcement officers want to see.
So let’s fine people who can’t afford health insurance and can’t get it through their work $3800.00 a year. WTF is up with that stupid idea! Basically that amounts to $300+ dollars a month! If people can’t afford $300 a month for health insurance already, how could they afford the fine??
Maybe we can increase the homeless population with ideas like this!