Pennsylvania gets 2nd treasury loan to make payments on time
HARRISBURG, PA. » The Pennsylvania Treasury is extending a five-day, $700 million credit line to tide over the state government’s deficit-ridden finances.
Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella said in a statement Thursday that the credit line is to be paid back no later than Oct. 20. He says the cash is necessary for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration to make payments on time to Medicaid providers.
It is the second such short-term loan Torsella, also a Democrat, has extended to the state this year. Torsella had refused to extend a loan last month, noting the Legislature hadn’t approved a revenue package to fully fund a $32 billion budget bill lawmakers approved June 30.
However, Torsella notes that Wolf is taking unilateral action to balance the budget. That includes looking to borrow nearly $1.5 billion.
Pennsylvania must do better cybersecurity job, watchdog says
Pennsylvania’s auditor general says a survey of nearly 1,000 school districts and municipalities finds that most do not employ a cyber security professional or consult with one.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Thursday that the state must do a better job helping its school districts and municipalities protect their data. He says sensitive data includes Social Security numbers, health records, student records and more and that the threaty of cyber theft isn’t going away.
He says more than twothirds of the school districts and municipalities that responded don’t employ or consult a cyber security professional. The survey says most also feel they need more resources to boost cybersecurity, including additional funding, a resources center to answer questions and a statewide agency to turn to in emergencies.
County appealing atheist victory over cross on county seal
EASTON, PA. » A Pennsylvania county is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that the image of a large Christian cross on the county’s flag and seal is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.
Lehigh County Commissioners voted Wednesday to appeal the ruling last month stemming from lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and four local members. They objected to the cross’s inclusion on the flag and seal and sought its removal.
The judge who ruled wrote that he doesn’t personally believe the cross violates the Constitution, but said he was bound by a 1971 decision to side with the Wisconsin-based atheist group.
The judge cited a county record showing the cross was added in 1944 to signify that “Christianity” and “God-fearing people” are the “foundation and backbone” of the county.
Pennsylvania man, 19, fatally shot after ‘fender bender’
ALLENTOWN, PA. » Witnesses say a 19-year-old man fatally shot in Pennsylvania’s third-largest city was gunned down after a fender bender.
Allentown police on Thursday were still seeking the suspect who shot Carlos Pascual Richiez.
Police say the victim was shot about 9:50 p.m. Tuesday and died less than 30 minutes later at a hospital.
The homicide is one of seven in the eastern Pennsylvania city in the last two months.
Witnesses say a man in the other vehicle got out after the minor accident at an intersection and shot Pascual Richiez before fleeing.
Threatening messages prompt school closure
BETHEL PARK, PA. » A Pennsylvania school district is closing Thursday after new threats emerged against schools on social media.
Bethel Park had instituted a strict security policy allowing only necessary bags in schools after threatening messages were found last week that mentioned Oct. 12.
District officials say while the Bethel Park Police Department does not believe the latest threats to be credible, they felt it was in the best interest of students and staff to cancel school on that date.
The missed day will be made up on Feb. 19.
Officials are asking anyone with information on the threats to contact the Bethel Park Police Department.
Philadelphia police investigate after store owner shoots man
PHILADELPHIA » Philadelphia police say a store owner shot a man in what may have been an attempted armed robbery, but investigators are still trying to piece together the incident.
Police say the victim was found with a leg wound sometime about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Police eventually determined the man was shot inside a nearby store. The owner reportedly told police the same man came into the store earlier in the day threatening to kill him and his family. Police say the store owner told them he shot the man when he returned Wednesday night and appeared to be reaching toward his waist.
Police say the wounded man was in stable condition at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.
Man jailed in death after remains found at construction site
PHILADELPHIA » A Philadelphia man has been jailed in the 2014 killing of his girlfriend whose remains were found in June at a construction site.
Forty-three-year-old Jermele Hudson was arrested Wednesday on murder and abuse of a corpse charges in the death of 40-year-old Pamela Lewis.
Her family reported her missing in August 2014 and investigators determined she had been involved in a physical fight with Hudson shortly before she was last seen.
Contractors digging at a construction site in June found what they thought were animal bones, before they also found a human jawbone wrapped in pink cloth, a hip bone, rib bones and pelvic bone days later.
Online court records show Hudson has applied for a public defender, though one has yet to be assigned.