April 21, 2016 |
Three Democrats and two Republicans claim they have the right skills and experience to clean up the high-profile, dysfunctional mess that is the office of Pennsylvania attorney general. The current attorney general, Democrat Kathleen G. Kane, is not seeking a second term as she prepares for a criminal trial in August, accused of leaking secret grand-jury materials and lying to a grand jury about it. The Democrats, who appear to have the more competitive race on Tuesday's primary ballot, have stepped carefully around Kane's legal woes while casting them as the reason to elect them to the office, where they would oversee 763 employees and an annual budget of more than $95 million.
April 19, 2016
With so much of America demonstrably fed up with the way politics is practiced these days, it was disappointing to watch how the brother of retiring U.S. Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick became the front-runner in the Republican primary to replace the congressman. Brian Fitzpatrick retired from his supervisory special agent job with the FBI in California late last year and, within weeks of buying a house in Bucks County, became the favorite of the county Republican Party. State Rep. Scott Petri, who had raised nearly $300,000 for the Eighth District race, decided it was best to drop out. The district, which includes Bucks and part of Montgomery County, has survived gerrymandering elsewhere to remain the most competitive district in the commonwealth.
April 17, 2016 |
The April evening began with a trip to the Phillies game. But the fun night out for a group of 21-year-olds from Lansdale ended with a gruesome accident that split a car in half. One passenger was left dead on the side of the road as the driver fled the scene. Emotion generated by the tragedy remained fresh three years later, as a Montgomery County judge Friday sentenced Sean Sperl, now 24, to three to six years in a state prison for the 2013 accident that killed Ryan Petrille. "This is a really, really sad day for two families who are in such pain on so many levels," said Judge Gary S. Silow.
April 13, 2016 |
Abington School District administrators say they have been dealing with an unexpectedly large number of pertussis cases this school year. Most unusual, according to health officials, is that the district had not experienced an outbreak before. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, tends to run in cycles, and this year's incidence is not unusual at the national, state, and county levels. The 56 cases in Montgomery County since Jan. 1 are "pretty routine," said Frank X. Custer, a spokesman for the county.
April 12, 2016
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane won election resoundingly four years ago, as well as the Inquirer's endorsement, promising to be a "prosecutor, not a politician. " She proved to be not much of either, botching a series of high-profile corruption cases and the ensuing political controversies. Having narrowly survived a justified effort to remove her from office, Kane is ending her term on the wrong end of a criminal prosecution, charged with violating grand jury secrecy to smear a rival.
March 31, 2016
By Matthew T. Mangino The purported deal between former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor and Bill Cosby has had an immediate impact on Cosby's prosecution. No, it hasn't resulted in the case being thrown out - yet - but it has resulted in the prosecution being delayed and derailed. Defense attorneys contend that the charges against Cosby violated an agreement struck in 2005 with Castor. Cosby's lawyers say Castor promised not to prosecute the comedian if he agreed to testify in a civil lawsuit filed by his accuser, Andrea Constand.
March 26, 2016
One man was killed and another was critically injured when they were ejected from their vehicle in a single-car crash in Montgomery County. Cheltenham Township police said the accident happened shortly after 4:30 a.m. Thursday. A Jeep Cherokee driving north on New 2nd Street near Church Road in Elkins Park lost control, hit an embankment, became airborne, hit a tree and rolled over several times before coming to a stop, police said. Police said the vehicle's two occupants were both ejected, but they did not disclose whether the men were wearing seat belts.
March 26, 2016 |
Pennsylvania and New Jersey stand to receive more than $85 million in federal disaster money to pay for costs associated with the January blizzard. President Obama signed a "major disaster" declaration Wednesday that made Federal Emergency Management Agency funds available to 22 of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania. He signed a similar declaration last week for 17 of New Jersey's 22 counties. Locally, Bucks, Burlington, Camden, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties qualified for the assistance under the complicated federal requirements for damage thresholds.
March 17, 2016 |
Montgomery County Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro holds a healthy fund-raising lead in the race to become Pennsylvania's next attorney general. That led to a bit of sniping Tuesday between Shapiro's campaign and that of a rival Democrat, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. Shapiro, who was sworn in for his second term as a county commissioner in January, has raised $2 million this year and had $1.8 million in the bank as of last week, according to a campaign finance report filed Tuesday.