July 15, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - They are the little dramas that accompany big rains. Last September, first responders pulled drivers out of rising floodwaters more than three dozen times in Upper Dublin Township alone. Paul Leonard, the township's manager and a firefighter himself, said his department frequently has to go into the water to retrieve drivers who ignore signs for flooded roads. Responders risk needing to be saved themselves, as happened to a boatload of rescuers in Upper Moreland after flooding caused by Hurricane Irene last September.
March 4, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - OMG. No more texting while driving in Pennsylvania? Indeed. Under a new law that takes effect Thursday, drivers will risk fines if they send text messages from behind the wheel. No reading or sending of e-mails and no Web surfing either. But drivers will still be permitted to talk on their handheld phones, which police say will make enforcement tougher. "The Pennsylvania State Police anticipate the law will educate law-abiding citizens on the dangers of texting and driving and will hopefully create voluntary compliance by the majority of motorists," said Maria Finn, a State Police spokeswoman.
October 18, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - The state legislature has put the kibosh on round-the-clock work schedules for child stars of reality shows. Call it the Jon & Kate Plus 8 law. Under a bill approved Tuesday and expected to soon be signed by Gov. Corbett, production companies must extend the same protections to child actors who appear in reality shows as those given on the sets of movies and other television programs. "This is a major victory for the state's children," said the bill's lead sponsor, Rep. Thomas Murt (R., Montgomery)
April 17, 2012 |
Natural gas drilling near homes, wastewater pits near schools, and pipelines running through parks are all allowed under the controversial Marcellus Shale drilling law that took effect Monday. Communities will have little control over such operations, opponents say, because the Pennsylvania law trumps local ordinances that limit where they can be put. Proponents say Act 13 ensures that drillers get equal treatment; opponents say it provides them with special treatment. The provision of the law that supersedes local zoning laws "is an assault on an important democratic principal - the right to self governing," says Karl Schwartz, director of the Gallows Run Watershed Association.
July 23, 2012 |
When her daughter Kelly joined the field hockey team at New Hope-Solebury High School in 2006, Chris Flynn noticed the field. The surface was dirt and dead grass. No restrooms, no scoreboard, no place to sit. A few hundred yards away stood the boys' gleaming stadium field, with lighting, bleachers, restrooms, even a concession stand. Flynn did not understand why girls' teams couldn't use that field, especially when there were no scheduling conflicts and it sat empty. That started her on a six-year struggle to level the playing field for girl athletes.
September 18, 2016 |
Jurors in Bill Cosby's sexual-assault trial in Montgomery County will be allowed to hear a secretly taped 2005 phone call between the entertainer and his accuser's mother that took place nearly a year after the alleged attack. In a ruling Friday, Judge Steven T. O'Neill sidestepped defense arguments that the recording should be kept out of court because Andrea Constand's mother violated Pennsylvania's wiretap laws by taping their conversation without Cosby's consent. The judge noted that as Cosby was in California when he placed the call to the Constands' home in Ontario, Pennsylvania law had no bearing on whether it was legally recorded.
August 22, 2016 |
There was the vacation trip to the Florida beach home of defense lawyer Richard Hoy, the complimentary tickets to the Phillies, the $45,000 roof, window, and insulation job from South Jersey developer Lynmar Builders. For Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, 2013 was a banner gift year, more than $75,000 in all. But the giving could have been even more lavish and still entirely legal. That's because under Pennsylvania law and the city ethics code, the sky is the limit.
September 22, 2016 |
With the fate of a child sex-abuse bill on the line in Harrisburg, clergy sex-abuse victims and their relatives told their stories Tuesday as part of a renewed push to change Pennsylvania law so victims can sue for decades-old attacks. A bill that passed the House in April would have, among other things, expanded the statute of limitations so victims age 50 and under could sue the men or women who abused them decades ago, as well as the institutions that supervised them. Citing concerns about its constitutionality and after critics, notably the Catholic Church, warned the measure could unfairly cripple some parishes, the Senate removed that provision.
August 5, 2016 |
Bill Cosby says jurors at his coming sex-assault trial in Montgomery County should not be allowed to hear a recording of a phone call he made to his accuser's mother after the alleged attack. In a suppression motion filed Wednesday, Cosby's lawyers contend that Andrea Constand's mother illegally recorded the 2005 phone call because the entertainer did not know it was being taped. His lawyers say he placed the call from his home in Cheltenham. Pennsylvania law requires consent of both parties to record a conversation.
February 25, 2016
After a long illness, Harry Jay Katz died peacefully early Tuesday. He was 75. This is a remembrance. He was generous to a fault, sometimes to the wrong people, capable of the grand gesture and the petty feud. Harry Jay Katz stood above the crowd, sometimes to look down on them, sometimes to lend a helping hand, usually in the form of cash. He was dashing, durable, and diplomatic, and for a half-century he lived in the limelight and spun stories like a spider. In the old days, they would have called him a raconteur.