Briefs

Will paper personal mail return to prisons? Corrections secretary says ‘no’

BY: - February 25, 2019

Since September, people incarcerated in Pennsylvania’s prison have not received original copies of their personal mail. Will that change? For the moment, the state’s Corrections secretary says “no.” Under a policy designed to keep drugs out of prisons, letters and photos are sent to Smart Communications, a Florida company with a three-year, $15.8 million contract […]

State Inspector General charges three Harrisburg residents in food stamps fraud scheme

BY: - February 25, 2019

The state Office of Inspector General says it has charged three Harrisburg residents in a $25,000 food stamps trafficking scheme whose proceeds were used to buy inventory for their mini-market. In a statement, Inspector General Bruce R. Beemer’s office said two people, Milciades Mendoza-Jiminez and Marylenny Acosta, allegedly “conspired to buy electronic benefits cards at a […]

A $15 minimum wage in Pennsylvania? That’s a non-starter, says top Pa. Senate Republican

BY: - February 25, 2019

A proposal to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage may be getting more traction this year, but a top Republican state senator said Monday it will suffer a predictable fate if Gov. Tom Wolf doesn’t accept a lower number. Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, roundly praised Wolf’s 2019-20 budget proposal at a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon […]

Morning Call newsroom employees unionize

BY: - February 25, 2019

Following a nationwide newsroom trend, staff of the Allentown, Pa. newspaper The Morning Call announced on Monday their intent to form a union. Reporters, photographers and editors on the Morning Call’s award winning staff have asked the Chicago-based executives at the Tribune Publishing Co., which owns their paper, to voluntarily recognize their effort. Tribune Co. […]

ACLU asks Pa. Supreme Court to declare the death penalty unconstitutional

BY: - February 22, 2019

The Pennsylvania branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has asked the state’s highest court to declare the Keystone State’s death penalty statute unconstitutional, arguing that it violates equal protection provisions because of “the vast disparities across the commonwealth in the quality of representation for capital case defendants who are unable to pay.” Right now, […]

Pa. elections officials accepted gifts, travel from voting machine companies, report

BY: - February 22, 2019

Democratic Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Friday that accepting the gifts is wrong, even if officials took no action in return

State civil rights commission will host meeting in Carlisle after KKK fliers found

BY: - February 22, 2019

The commission in charge of investigating civil rights violations in Pennsylvania will host at least one meeting in Carlisle after police found fliers seemingly distributed by the Ku Klux Klan. Carlisle Police said in a Feb. 2 tweet they “were made aware of malicious /unsolicited flyers being passed out.” A photo of the flier, shared by […]

COMMENTARY

Another sign that it’s tax season | Editorial Cartoon

BY: - February 22, 2019

Another year, another stab at tax reform.

Victims’ rights amendment Marsy’s Law moves out of House committee

BY: - February 21, 2019

A bill aimed at protecting the rights of crime victims advanced out of state House committee 19-4 Thursday, with Democrats and Republicans on both sides of the tally. Marsy’s Law, introduced by Rep. Sheryl Delozier, R-Cumberland, would not create any new rights. Instead, it would amend Pennsylvania’s Constitution to enshrine existing laws that inform victims […]

As U.S. hate group activity hits a new high, the Southern Poverty Law Center tracked 36 hate groups in Pa. in 2018

BY: - February 21, 2019

Pennsylvania-based hate groups ranging from Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis to white nationalists and the Ku Klux Klan all popped up on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s radar last year, providing a fuller picture of hate group activity in the Keystone State. You can view the full list of hate groups active in Pennsylvania here. You […]

Wolf to talk criminal justice reform at National Governors Association meeting in D.C. on Saturday

BY: - February 21, 2019

Pennsylvania has been hailed as a national model on criminal justice reform.

Activists were allegedly attacked, threatened during protest at Philly councilwoman’s campaign event, report

BY: - February 21, 2019

The events were captured on video by supporters of Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, according to a published report.