Penn­syl­va­nia gets 2nd trea­sury loan to make pay­ments on time

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - OBITUARIES -

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.

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