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Cancer Patients, Survivors Urge PA Lawmakers to Act

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By: Andrea Sears

HARRISBURG, Pa. – State lawmakers were urged on Tuesday to end exemptions to Pennsylvania’s Clean Indoor Air Act.

Almost 81,000 Pennsylvanians will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and close to 30,000 will die of cancer-related causes. Cancer patients, survivors and caregivers spent the day asking their representatives to protect more workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke by extending the law to ban smoking in all workplaces in the state.

Diane Phillips, director of governmental relations for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, said those exemptions put many in the Keystone State at risk.

“Casinos employ thousands of workers across Pennsylvania,” she said. “Some bars and restaurants, private clubs, some types of truck stops and 25 percent of hotel rooms are allowed to permit smoking.”

Phillips said they also want electronic cigarettes included in the state Clean Indoor Air Act, and for lawmakers to maintain funding for efforts to help people quit or discourage them from starting to smoke. She added that lawmakers are set to divert money administered by the Pennsylvania Health Department.

“The General Assembly has decided to borrow against Pennsylvania’s Tobacco Settlement,” she said, “and in fiscal year 2019-20, we’re concerned about funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs.”

The current state budget includes $362 million from the Tobacco Settlement Fund.

Phillips noted that tobacco use among young people has been cut in half, to less than 13 percent, but e-cigarette use is skyrocketing. Almost one in four high school students in Pennsylvania now uses them and, like tobacco, e-cigarettes contain nicotine.

“What that means is, young people are becoming addicted to nicotine,” she said. “That in and of itself is a health hazard. And then we also worry that once you become addicted to nicotine, you might want to try other tobacco products.”

This year is the 10th anniversary of the Clean Indoor Air Act. Phillips said the law has worked well, but it needs to be strengthened.

More information is online at

Report Calls for Big Boost in Minimum Wage

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By: Andrea Sears

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A new report calls for raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour to reduce poverty and promote pay equity.

The minimum wage in 21 states, including Pennsylvania, is still $7.25 an hour. Since the current federal minimum wage went into effect nine years ago, it has lost 13 percent of its value – and the minimum wage for workers who earn tips has stayed at $2.13 an hour since 1991.

Emily Chatterjee, senior counsel at the Leadership Conference Education Fund, said raising the wage would do more than help lift people out of poverty.

“It would address the gender pay gap, because women are over-represented in this workforce,” Chatterjee said. “It would also help address the racial wealth gap, because people of color are also over-represented here.”

The report – entitled “Bare Minimum: Why We Need to Raise Wages for America’s Lowest-Paid Families” – includes firsthand accounts of low-wage workers struggling to make ends meet.

Chatterjee pointed out that people working for tips are twice as likely to live in poverty, and two-thirds of them are women. And she added that poverty isn’t the only result.

“Tipped workers’ livelihood shouldn’t depend on whether a customer feels like being generous that day. There’s a power imbalance there,” she said. “In fact, a lot of tipped workers face increased levels of sexual harassment as a result of that.”

Chatterjee said the report makes a case for raising the federal minimum wage to $15 as one of four steps to effectively fight poverty and wage inequality.

“We want to index it to inflation, so that the value of the minimum wage doesn’t erode over time,” Chatterjee said. “We also want to eliminate the tip minimum wage, and we want to eliminate the sub-minimum wage that some people with disabilities are paid.”

Across the country, 58 million workers are paid less than $15 an hour. That’s more than half the American workforce.

La Guardia (LGA) to Dallas Love Field (DAL) flight has diverted to Philadelphia

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Southwest Statement:

We are aware that Southwest flight #1380 from New York La Guardia (LGA) to Dallas Love Field (DAL) has diverted to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). We are in the process of transporting Customers and Crew into the terminal. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-700, has 143 Customers and five Crewmembers onboard. We are in the process of gathering more information. Safety is always our top priority at Southwest Airlines, and we are working diligently to support our Customers and Crews at this time.”




Public’s assistance requested with identifying a suspect from robbery at Coventry Mall

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The North Coventry Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance with identifying a suspect from a robbery at the Boscovs located at the Coventry Mall. On 04/14/2018 officers responded to the Boscovs for a retail theft where the suspect fled the area after pepper spraying a loss prevention officer. The suspect was last seen fleeing in a white sedan, possibly displaying a New York license plate. Anyone with information regarding the suspect’s identity is asked to contact the North Coventry Police Department. 610-323-8360.


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On Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 11:46 AM the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department responded to the intersection of West Chester Pike and Waterview Road for an automobile accident.

Police arrived on location and found two passenger vehicles with heavy damage and occupants trapped in both vehicles. Members of the Goshen Fire Company and Ambulance responded to extricate the occupants and render medical care.

The driver of a blue 2011 Ford Edge, a 75 year old female from West Goshen Township, was extricated and transported to Paoli Hospital.

The driver of a red 2011 Hyundai Accent, an 18 year old male from West Goshen Township, was out of his vehicle and an 86 year old female passenger was trapped in the passenger seat of this vehicle. Goshen Fire Company extricated the passenger and she was also transported to Paoli Hospital in critical condition.

Preliminary information from the investigation determined that the driver of the Ford Edge was stopped at Waterview Road, intending to turn left on West Chester Pike to travel east. A Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) bus was stopped in the westbound right lane of West Chester Pike just before the intersection of Waterview Road to drop a passenger off as the Ford Edge began to cross West Chester Pike. The driver of the Hyundai Accent was traveling westbound on West Chester Pike in the left lane and struck the driver’s side of the Ford Edge.

The SEPTA bus was not struck and no occupants of the bus were injured. Just prior to the collision, the SEPTA bus driver sounded his horn in an attempt to stop the driver of the Ford Edge from crossing the roadway.

The 86 year old passenger from the 2011 Hyundai remains in critical condition at Paoli Hospital.

This accident remains under investigation. Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to call the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department at 610-692-9600.

Lancaster City Bureau of Police Ask For Help; 4/15/18 SHOOTING INVESTIGATION – 200 BLOCK OF E. LIBERTY STREET

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On April 15, 2018, at approximately 11:01 PM, officers from the Lancaster City Bureau of Police were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of E. Liberty Street for a reported shooting.   When the officers arrived, the located a 38 year-old female victim inside the residence, who was suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.   The victim was treated at the scene and then immediately transported by ambulance to a local hospital.   The victim is currently in critical condition.    One of the 911 callers was a 25 year-old male neighbor, who reported that he accidentally fired his gun inside his home and that it went through the wall, striking the female victim next door.

Officers immediately secured the scene and detectives were contacted.   Investigators responded to the scene and conducted several interviews.   Investigators are also processing the scene for evidence.   Preliminarily, investigators have learned that the victim was laying in bed inside her residence when the shot was fired through the wall, striking her one time in the head.   The victim’s family discovered that she had been shot and then summoned help.   The neighbor who reported firing the shot met with investigators and is cooperating with the investigation.   No charges have been filed at this time.   The investigation is on-going and continuing.

Anyone with information related to this incident is urged to call the Lancaster City Police at (717)735-3300 or Lancaster City-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322-1913.   You can also click the Submit a Tip button on our website,, or Text a Tip to Crime Stoppers by texting LANCS plus your message to 847411.   Tipsters can remain anonymous and do not have to give their names.

Friday the 13th in Lancaster City; WEAPONS & DRUG ARRESTS 1ST BLK. S. MARY ST.

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On Friday 13 April 2018 at approximately 1917 hrs. Off. Thomas and Off. Kophamel responded to the 1st blk. S. Mary St. in relation to a complaint of a group of males smoking marijuana and gambling outside of a home.

The Officers were on foot and approached a group that was outside of a home on S. Mary St. The Officers were able to detect an odor of burnt marijuana. A male, later identified Kieron Gant, walked away from Officers to the front of a parked vehicle. Gant bent over and Off. Thomas heard the sound of a metal object strike the macadam.  Off. Thomas looked under the vehicle and saw a .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun under the vehicle where K. Gant had been standing. K. Gant was detained while Officers investigated the sudden appearance of the discarded firearm.

Another male, later identified as Taireeque Gant attempted to walk behind the residence. He was stopped by Off. Kophamel. A pat down of T. Gant was conducted. T. Gant was found to be in possession of a 9mm semi-automatic handgun that had been concealed in the waistband of his pants.

Neither Taireeque or Kieron are of age to carry a firearm in concealed fashion as they are not 21 years of age.

Search incident to arrest, T. Gant was found to be in possession of a quantity of marijuana and oxycodone pills. A discarded backpack contained additional quantities of marijuana as well as .22 cailber ammunition that matched the firearm that had been discarded by K. Gant.

A juvenile male (16 years of age) was found to possess a quantity of marijuana in a backpack.

All 3 males were placed under arrest and transported to the Police station. The guns, drugs and paraphernalia were seized as evidence.

Arrested and charged were:

Taireeque Gant M/18 200 blk. Stonemill Rd. Manor Twp. PA

Charged with

Charged with Persons Not To Possess (etc.) Firearms (F2), Firearms Not To Be Carried Without a License (F3), Possession With Intent to Deliver (PWID) Mariujauna (F), Criminal Conspiracy PWID (F), PWID Oxycodone (F), Possession Drug Paraphernalia (M)

Later arraigned and committed to LCP in lieu of $200,000 bail

Kieron Gant M/20  200 blk. Stonemill Rd. Manor Twp. PA

Charged with Persons Not To Possess (etc.) Firearms (F2), Firearms Not To Be Carried Without a License (F3), Possession With Intent to Deliver (PWID) Mariujauna (F), Criminal Conspiracy PWID (F), Possession Drug Paraphernalia (M)

Later arraigned and committed to LCP in lieu of $200,000 bail

Juvenile male 16 years of age 400 blk. E. Strawberry St. Lancaster, PA

Allegation filed before Juvenile Probation for Possession With Intent to Deliver (marijuana)

Committed to the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center (YIC)

All persons accused of a crime are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court or adjudicated delinquent.


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At 8:46 a.m., Monday, April 16, 2018, officers from the Manheim Township Police Department were dispatched to 51 Michelle Drive in Lancaster Township for a report of a suspicious package.  While performing his duties, a maintenance worker from the Villages of Lancaster Green apartment complex located a device alongside Michelle Drive.  The device was described as a clock, mounted to a metal can, which appeared to be consistent with an explosive device.  Manheim Township Police officers located the device and confirmed the initial findings of the maintenance worker.

Officers, with the help of the Lancaster Township Fire Department, cordoned off the area and restricted vehicular and pedestrian traffic around the device.  Emergency personnel also made contact with area residents and instructed them to shelter in place.  A bomb-trained K9 from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department and specialists from the Pennsylvania State Police Hazardous Device and Explosives unit responded to assist.

The initial findings of the state police investigators determined that the device contained materials that warranted its destruction.  The device was then destroyed using a projected water disruptor and rendered the scene safe to approach.  Detectives from the Manheim Township Police Department seized the remaining pieces of the device and are actively analyzing the contents.

“Following the ‘see something, say something’ motto, this incident is an excellent example of a citizen seeing something suspicious and immediately reporting it to police,” said Chief Thomas Rudzinksi.  He went on to say, “the safety of our citizens is our utmost priority.  All calls of this nature will be treated as real explosive devices until proven otherwise.”


Quarryville man was charged with Possession of Firearm Prohibited and Strangulation

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Paul RapantOn 04-15-2018 at approx. 1:53 PM the Columbia Borough Police were called to the 600 blk. of Manor St. for a trespassing complaint. Information reported to police stated that a Paul Rapant was on scene, refusing to leave and had a handgun in his waistband. Rapant fled the area and was taken into custody in the 600 blk. of Ave. W. The victim stated that Rapant came to her house to retrieve a handgun that he had hidden at her house. When the victim attempted to call 911, Rapant charged at the victim and grabbed her around her neck and pushed her to the ground. Rapant was advised multiple times on 04-15-18 to not be at the address on Manor St.

Paul Rampant (25) of Quarryville was charged with Possession of Firearm Prohibited and Strangulation. Rampant was taken to Central Booking and Committed to Lancaster County Prison after failing to post $50,000.00 cash bail.