May 16, 2014 |
The judge who sentenced former District Judge Rita Arnold for hiding a citation against her son wanted to make an example of someone who abused judicial powers, Arnold's attorney argued in a Superior Court appeal filed this week. Judge John Braxton - who ordered Arnold to serve 16 to 32 months in state prison on two misdemeanors - ignored the Chester County woman's previously crime-free life, remorse, and ongoing treatment for cancer, her attorney said. Braxton, "focusing entirely on the fact that these crimes were committed in her capacity as a magisterial district judge [and for her son]
March 23, 2014 |
A glitch in the Obamacare window-shopping tool that incorrectly responded "not eligible" to queries about financial help from households just above the poverty line was fixed hours after the administration learned of the issue, officials said Friday. For 35 days, Healthcare.gov used the wrong year's federal poverty-level guidelines for informal assessments of eligibility. And, while that website has been the only one empowered to make final decisions in most states, similar mistakes uncovered at independent sites raise the possibility that wrong information is still being disseminated less than 10 days before open enrollment ends for the year.
March 6, 2014 |
When the hospice nurse called police in the assisted-suicide case of Barbara Mancini, David Casarett knew he had work to do. He feared that the actions of one hospice nurse could discourage Americans from using that model of palliative care for the terminally ill, or inhibit dying people in pain from taking morphine. So Casarett, a University of Pennsylvania physician and chief medical officer of Penn-Wissahickon Hospice, teamed with law professor Thaddeus Pope, formerly of Widener University and an expert in end-of-life law, to develop ethical guidelines for hospice workers nationwide on when to report suspicions of assisted suicide.
December 6, 2013 |
HARRISBURG Philadelphia developer Nolen Properties has plowed millions of dollars into restoring two historic but long-neglected properties in Mount Airy. Today the firm is almost done converting one, the historic Nugent Home, built for retired Baptist ministers, into affordable housing for senior citizens - a project budgeted at $17 million. The company had hoped to take advantage of a new state historic preservation tax credit to get a small measure of financial relief, maybe as much as $500,000.
December 2, 2013 |
TRENTON One woman testified that her husband, dying of brain cancer, couldn't persuade a court to let him stop paying alimony to an ex-wife who had a job. Another said her husband went to jail because he was out of work and couldn't afford to pay his alimony. Alimony payers and spouses, claiming an unfair system had forced them into financial distress - and given former spouses incentive not to support themselves - told story after story last week before a panel of Assembly lawmakers at the Statehouse.
November 17, 2013 |
Medical guidelines are meant to unify doctors and standardize care for patients around treatments supported by the best available science. But the latest guidelines on the use of statins, a class of drugs used to reduce cholesterol, are already generating significant pushback from doctors. The controversy is likely to confuse patients. The new rules released this week by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology would expand the number of people getting statins to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, or stroke while eliminating specific numeric goals for LDL, or bad cholesterol.
May 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In early 2010, an Internal Revenue Service team in Cincinnati began noticing a stream of applications from groups with political-sounding names, setting in motion a dragnet aimed at separating legitimate tax-exempt groups from those working to get candidates elected. The IRS officials decided to single out one type of political group for particular scrutiny. "These cases involve various local organizations in the tea party movement," read one internal IRS e-mail sent at the time.
April 28, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The federal government wants automakers to put limits on the electronic devices they install in new cars and is recommending that most Internet-linked applications and video equipment be disabled unless a vehicle is standing still. "These guidelines recognize that today's drivers appreciate technology, while providing automakers with a way to balance the innovation consumers want with the safety we all need," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Combined with good laws, good enforcement, and good education, these guidelines can save lives.
March 8, 2013 |
BOISE, Idaho - Idaho has become the first state to have its so-called fetal-pain law banning abortions after 20 weeks struck down by the federal courts. The decision from U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill was handed down Wednesday as part of a ruling that also overturns other abortion restrictions in Idaho. Also on Wednesday, Arkansas adopted a law banning abortion at 12 weeks of pregnancy, around the time that a fetal heartbeat can be detected by abdominal ultrasound. The Idaho ruling is binding not only in that state but could have a persuasive effect in lawsuits challenging similar bans in other states - such as Arizona, where a suit is pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
February 27, 2013 |
More than other witnesses, it was the mother-in-law's impassioned testimony that sealed the verdict. There were reams of testimony from experts on the technical causes of the downed utility wire that killed Carrie Goretzka, a young mother of two girls, on June 2, 2009, at her home in Irwin, Pa., 30 miles east of Pittsburgh. But it was the account of JoAnn Goretzka, who spoke of seeing her daughter-in-law engulfed in smoke and flames the day the line came down, that had the most power.