Woman’s body found in Pennsylvania woods was homicide victim
READING, PA. » A Pennsylvania woman whose body was found dumped in some woods of a secluded road is a homicide victim, though authorities aren’t saying precisely how she died.
The body of 23-year-old Madison Walb was found Sunday.
The Berks County coroner ruled her death a homicide Monday, but didn’t release a cause of death because some toxicology tests are pending. Authorities released her name Tuesday.
Berks County detectives were continuing to investigate Wednesday.
Governor: Pennsylvania’s top election official has resigned
HARRISBURG, PA. » The governor’s office reports Pennsylvania’s chief election official has stepped down.
The Wolf administration said in a statement Wednesday that Secretary of State Pedro Cortes has submitted his resignation, but gave no other information.
Cortes joined the administration in 2015. He had also served as secretary of state for over seven years under former Gov. Ed Rendell, also a Democrat.
He’s being replaced by the agency’s top deputy, Robert Torres.
A message left at Cortes’ home seeking his comment was not immediately returned.
Township commissioner arrested on child porn charges
WAYNE, PA. » The president of a suburban Philadelphia township’s board of commissioners has been arrested on child porn charges after graphic sexual abuse images involving babies and toddlers were found on his computers.
Philip Ahr surrendered to police Wednesday on charges including possessing and disseminating child pornography and sexual abuse of children.
The Delaware County District Attorney’s office says the 66-year-old Bryn Mawr man received and distributed images of children being sexually abused by adults.
Prosecutors say they began investigating him in August after getting a tip a Yahoo Messenger account subscribed to Ahr was sharing child pornography.
A search of his computers found the images.
A call to his lawyer seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.
Ahr is a marketing director at a business publication and has been a Radnor commissioner since 2016.
Pennsylvania enacts ‘right to try’ law for terminally ill
HARRISBURG, PA. » Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is making Pennsylvania the 38th state to enact a “right to try” law that gives the terminally ill an avenue to try experimental treatments that aren’t fully approved by the federal government.
The law, signed Wednesday, allows a manufacturer of an investigational drug, biological product or medical device to provide it to a patient who has a recommendation from a treating physician and has been unable to participate in a clinical trial.
The law doesn’t require a manufacturer to provide the treatment to a patient, or grant legal immunity to the manufacturer. It also doesn’t require an insurer to cover the treatment or require a manufacturer to provide it for free.
It takes effect in 60 days.
The libertarian Arizonabased Goldwater Institute advocates for “right to try” laws.
Man who spent year in church to avoid deportation walks free
PHILADELPHIA » A man who’d been living in a Philadelphia church for nearly a year to avoid deportation to Mexico has walked free.
Javier Flores Garcia left the Arch Street Methodist Church on Wednesday, surrounded by his family.
Garcia crossed into the U.S. without proper paperwork in 1997 and had been caught and returned to Mexico multiple times.
In 2004, Garcia was stabbed and worked with the government to capture the men responsible. His actions made him eligible for a special type of visa for people who help police.
Garcia’s attorney says his client has been granted deferred action, which allows him to live and work in the country.
Garcia took sanctuary in the church last November, when he was to report for deportation. He says he plans to stay in Philadelphia.