WASHINGTON (AP) — Even before the world got a glimpse at the redacted version of the special counsel’s report, President Donald Trump was trying once more to frame the moment as a political victory. The report does include an account of how the president attempted to seize control of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and force out Robert Mueller. But Trump’s taking a public victory lap, saying he’s having “a good day.”
PARIS (AP) — A French judicial police official said investigators think an electrical short-circuit most likely caused Notre Dame Cathedral fire. The official, who spoke anonymously about the ongoing investigation, said investigators still don’t have the green light to work in the cathedral and search in the rubble for safety reasons.
MCKEES ROCK, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a man sleeping in a dumpster was tossed into the back of a garbage truck as the trash was being emptied, causing him to lose his prosthetic leg. WPXI-TV reports the incident occurred early Thursday in McKees Rocks. The truck driver heard the man yelling and called 911. While he was in the back of the truck the man realized his prosthetic lower leg was missing. He searched for it for about 30 minutes before police ordered him to stop. The man didn’t appear to be injured.
THE ALIQUIPPA FOOTBALL TEAM HAS RECEIVED ITS 2018 PIAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS. BEAVER COUNTY RADIO NEWS CORRESPONDENT SANDY GIORDANO HAS MORE. Click on ‘play’ to hear Sandy’s report…
Pennsylvania’s Environmental Quality Board voted this week to accept the Clean Air Council’s Carbon cap-and-trade rulemaking petition for further study. Andrea Sears reports…
THE ALIQUIPPA SCHOOL BOARD MET LAST NIGHT AND RECEIVED UPDATES ON THE STEM PROGRAMS. BEAVER COUNTY RADIO NEWS CORRESPONDENT SANDY GIORDANO WAS THERE. Click on ‘play’ to hear Sandy’s report…
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The state House is passing a bill allowing the PA Fish and Boat Commission to set its own license fees. The measure would allow the commission to raise fees to keep up with costs, while lawmakers would retain the ability to reject the increases. The cost of a fishing license hasn’t gone up since 2005. The state Senate is now considering the measure.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is approving a bill saying people can’t be held liable for damage to a car if they force themselves in to save a child. The measure does require people use no more force than necessary and believe the child is in imminent danger and cannot exit the vehicle on their own. The good Samaritan must still make a reasonable effort to find the driver and call police.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is moving to toughen penalties for people who do not report suspicions about repeated child sexual abuse and make it explicit that nondisclosure terms in contracts cannot prevent people from talking to police in child molestation investigations. Both proposals are based on recommendations in a landmark grand jury report last year into the sexual abuse of children by about 300 Roman Catholic clergy in the state. The House approved the proposals Wednesday.
The Office of State Inspector General has agreed to look into whether the Department of Human Services acted properly in its handling of the Grace Packer case.
“It is obvious to anyone inside or outside government that she was failed by the system,” said state Rep. Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “She was horrifically abused and then failed by the system every time something was brought to light. And we have got to get some answers.”
Grace endured years of sexual, physical and emotional abuse before her death in a sweltering attic outside Philadelphia. An internal DHS probe has already found that county child welfare agencies had ample cause to remove her from the home but failed to do so.
The teenager’s adoptive mother, Sara Packer, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced last month to life without parole for plotting her brutal death. A jury gave the death penalty to Sara Packer’s boyfriend, Jacob Sullivan, who raped and strangled Grace while her mother watched. He had also pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges. Sullivan and Sara Packer kept Grace’s remains in cat litter for several months before dismembering the body and dumping it in a wooded area.
Kauffman and state Rep. Karen Boback, R-Luzerne, chairwoman of the Children and Youth Committee, noted in a letter to Inspector General Bruce Beemer that DHS has oversight responsiblity for county child welfare agencies. DHS is also supposed to investigate abuse allegations itself when the suspected perpetrator works for a county agency. Sara Packer was a former adoptions supervisor with Northampton County’s children and youth agency.
“It’s a matter of high public concern and urgency,” said Clarke Madden, Beemer’s spokesman. “We’re going to put a lot of resources into it.”
Beemer said in a response to Kauffman and Boback that the review could help the human services department “improve their operations.”
DHS spokeswoman Ali Fogarty said the agency welcomes the investigation.
“Nothing is more integral to our mission than protecting children. We work closely with the inspector general and we welcome any effort to build upon the recommendations included in the state’s report,” she said.
Legislation introduced separately in the House last week would create a 17-member commission tasked with improving the state’s child welfare system.