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NEWS
July 15, 2012 | By Mike Macagnone, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
March 4, 2012 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
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.
NEWS
October 18, 2012 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writer
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)
NEWS
April 17, 2012 | By Bill Reed, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 23, 2012 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
September 18, 2016 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
August 22, 2016 | By Chris Mondics, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
September 22, 2016 | By Maria Panaritis, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
August 5, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 22, 2016
A story Wednesday about a lawsuit filed by two Philadelphia police officers against former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy incorrectly listed as a defendant Curtis Brinkley, a former NFL player with the San Diego Chargers and Chicago Bears. A story Wednesday on an event at the Museum of the American Revolution gave an incorrect address for the museum building, which is at Third and Chestnut Streets. A story Wednesday about efforts to change Pennsylvania law regarding civil suits related to child sexual abuse incorrectly described an element of a Senate bill.
NEWS
September 22, 2016 | By Maria Panaritis, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
September 18, 2016 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
August 22, 2016 | By Chris Mondics, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
August 12, 2016
Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders tapped a strong current of dissatisfaction with the two-party system that has long dominated American politics. While making surprisingly strong showings in primaries and caucuses, they made legitimate complaints about the convoluted process used to pick presidential nominees. The process is mystifying thanks to arcane rules that favor more traditional party candidates. In many states, primaries give voters some degree of say in the process. But many primaries, including Pennsylvania's, are closed to independents, even though their tax dollars help subsidize the two major parties' way of choosing candidates.
NEWS
August 5, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 20, 2016 | By Maria Panaritis, Staff Writer
Standing with others who had been abused by Catholic clergy, State Rep. Mark Rozzi hurled stacks of grand jury reports onto the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul on Monday, and loudly vowed to continue trying to change Pennsylvania law so victims like himself can file suit in decades-old cases. Stoking a legislative fight over the civil statute of limitations, the Berks County Democrat pledged to rewrite a pending House bill to include a two-year window in which any adult of any age could sue private institutions and individuals for abuse that occurred when they were children.
NEWS
June 1, 2016
ISSUE | ID THEFT PennDot within law For decades, Pennsylvania law has permitted access to drivers' records by certain entities strictly for lawful purposes, such as vehicle insurance, credit, jobs, and safety checks of drivers who operate school buses and heavy trucks ("ID theft taken too lightly," May 24). Applicants for insurance, jobs, and credit authorize access to their records. Similar programs are in place in many other states. When a state Budget Office audit found problems with one data aggregator with authorized access, the state Department of Transportation cut off its access.
NEWS
May 12, 2016
By Milad Emam For the past six years, Elizabeth Young has been living an American nightmare. Philadelphia police officers showed up at her house and tried to seize her home and car because her son sold $90 worth of marijuana outside her home. Young was never charged with a crime, yet she was soon caught up in Philadelphia's civil-forfeiture machine. With the deck stacked against her, Young went to Philadelphia's criminal justice center and fought to get her property back, arguing that she was an innocent owner because she did not know her son was dealing drugs, having been hospitalized during that time.
NEWS
May 2, 2016 | By Sam Wood, Staff Writer
When the 1849 Gold Rush hit, it wasn't the miners who got rich. The businessmen who sold blue jeans and pickaxes amassed the real fortunes. When Gov. Wolf signed a medical marijuana bill into law on April 17, Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize medical cannabis. In Old City on Saturday, about 300 entrepreneurs and venture capitalists gathered at the Chemical Heritage Foundation for what was billed as the "Innovation in the Cannabis Industry" conference. There were heady predictions - euphoric estimates of how large the marijuana industry could grow and the many opportunities for profits it might bring.
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