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Pennsylvanians Encouraged to Make Fire Safety Plans: “Look, Listen and Learn

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Harrisburg, PA – Acting State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego wants Pennsylvanians to “Look, Listen, and Learn.” This is not just the new theme of Fire Prevention Week Oct. 7 – 13, it could save the lives of those reacting to a fire in their homes.

Trego said today’s homes are filled with synthetic materials that burn hotter and faster than ever. In a typical fire, you may have as little as two minutes to safely exit the structure from the time you first hear a smoke alarm. Knowing how to use that time wisely is critical, and it takes both planning and practice.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere™,” seeks to educate the public about three basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.

·         Look for places fire could start.

·         Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.

·         Learn two ways out of every room.

“How an individual reacts to a possible fire in the first few minutes is critically important,” Trego said. “All too often, these decisions result in a loss of life. We need to do a better job of teaching people about escape planning and encourage them to practice their plans with their families.

A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place that’s a safe distance from the home.

Some additional tips for developing and practicing a home escape plan:

  • Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case adults are not able to help them.
  • Make sure your house number is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Never go back inside a burning building. Once outside, stay outside.

For additional information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.firepreventionweek.org

​Inaugural LGBTQ Aging Summit Registration Open Until Friday, October 5

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Summit agenda now available online 

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Aging announced today that registration for the commonwealth’s Inaugural LGBTQ Aging Summit is open until October 5 and the agenda is now available. The summit will be held on October 9-10 in Harrisburg, PA, and is occurring as a result of grassroots efforts made by numerous LGBTQ and senior advocacy groups. There are currently more than 220 participants registered for the summit.

“As our inaugural LGBTQ summit quickly approaches, we encourage all who are interested in attending to register now,” said Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne. “It’s so important to have the community of aging and LGBTQ advocates represented at the summit so that, together, we can work to better serve the needs of LGBTQ older Pennsylvanians.”

To plan for the summit, the department partnered with numerous LGTBQ and aging stakeholders including, LGBT Elder InitiativeSAGEthe PA Association of Area Agencies on Agingthe PA Department of HealthAARP PennsylvaniaPERSAD CenterTrans Central PAPA Homecare AssociationAction WellnessAlzheimer’s AssociationHospice of Central PAWilliam Way LGBT Community CenterLGBT Center of Central PASEIU Healthcare PACARIE, and more.

In addition to coordinating the first statewide LGBTQ aging summit, the Department of Aging is represented on Governor Wolf’s LGBT Workgroup, has held training sessions to improve cultural competency inside aging services for LGBTQ older adults, and participated in roundtable discussions to hear directly from the LGBTQ community on how to better meet their needs.

“The Wolf Administration’s inaugural LGBTQ Aging Summit will raise awareness and mobilize efforts toward supporting our LGBTQ elders and minimizing the unique barriers they encounter regarding access to health care, housing, long-term care, and many other necessary services,” said Todd Snovel, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs.

To view the summit’s agenda or to register, visit www.ltltrainingpa.org/save-the-date-lgbtq-aging-summit.

Scam Warning: Fraudulent Notices Threaten Pennsylvanians with Prosecution due to Unpaid Taxes

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Harrisburg, Pa. — The Department of Revenue today warned the public of a recently reported mail scam in which con artists have tried to defraud Pennsylvanians by threatening them with legal action or criminal prosecution if they don’t pay an illegitimate tax debt immediately.

“Con artists are always working to develop new and elaborate schemes to swindle money from hard-working people,” Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said. “They use high-pressure tactics and threats to pressure their victims and make them fearful of the potential consequences if they don’t act immediately. We want everyone to be aware of scams like these so they can recognize the warning signs and protect themselves.”

Understanding the scam

According to Dauphin County officials, a number of residents have recently reported receiving notifications through the mail from the “Tax Processing Center.” The notices say the recipient owes “The State of Pennsylvania” unpaid taxes and a “warranted lien” has been issued in their name.

The notices pressure recipients to immediately call the phone number provided to avoid criminal penalty, property seizure and civil proceedings. The notices say the phone number provided will connect callers with a “Levy and Warrant Officer.”

Tips to avoid tax scams and con artists

The Department of Revenue is encouraging Pennsylvanians to keep the following tips in mind to safeguard against this scam and others:

  • Look for imposters: Many times con artists will pose as a government entity or an official business. If you are targeted by a con artist through the mail, phone or email, do not provide personal information or money until you are sure you are speaking to a legitimate representative.
  • Examine the notice: Con artists often design vague communications to cast a wide net to lure in as many victims as possible. Examine the notice for identifying information that can be verified. Look for blatant factual errors and other inconsistencies, such as a fake return address. If the notice is unexpected and states ‘This Is Your Final Notice,’ take a moment and verify its legitimacy. The Department of Revenue will send multiple letters to taxpayers if there is a legitimate liability owed.
  • Unusual payment methods: Avoid scenarios where you are asked to pay your debt with reloadable debit cards, gift cards or money wiring services. The Department of Revenue and other government agencies will never ask you to satisfy an outstanding liability using these payment methods.
  • Confide in someone you trust: Con artists will use aggressive tactics to rush a person to make an immediate payment to avoid legal action or prosecution. If you have any questions at all about the legitimacy of a notice you receive, slow down and talk to someone you trust.
  • Conduct research online: Using information included in a potentially fraudulent notice, such as company name, address or telephone number, conduct a search online to see if a scam has been reported by other people or government agencies.

Steps to follow if you are a victim of a scam

If you believe you are a victim of this scam or have been targeted by a con artist, contact your local law enforcement agency. You can also call the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555. Also, if you receive a mailing you believe is mail fraud, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service here.

If you have questions about your local property taxes, contact your local taxing authority. If your question pertains to your state personal income tax return or a potential state tax liability, call the Department of Revenue’s Taxpayer Services and Information Center at 717-787-8201.

Haywood: New Law Prompts Testing for Lead in Drinking Water in Schools

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On July 18, 2018 Sen. Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) said that provisions in the recently enacted School Code will prompt school districts to test for lead in drinking water in Pennsylvania schools.

“A 2014 study by the state Department of Health found that 18 communities across Pennsylvania have children who have tested positive for increased levels of lead,” Haywood said. “We must do what we can to reduce exposure to lead and ensure that school facilities do not have lead in drinking water.”

Haywood’s legislation, Senate Bill 647, was used as the framework for language inserted in the School Code. School districts will now be required to test for lead in every facility within their district or conduct a hearing that discusses lead within their school facilities. The testing must be completed by the beginning of the upcoming school year and testing will be required in subsequent years.

“This is a step forward for school districts to be sure they are providing a healthy environment for teachers and students to focus on education,” Haywood said.

Under the new law, if testing reveals that lead levels are above the federal maximum standards, the school must develop a remediation plan and have alternative safe drinking water available.

Lead exposure came to national attention through the crisis in Flint, Michigan, where high levels of lead contamination were found in the city’s water source. Since then, state Senate Democrats have examined ways to further ensure that children are not being exposed to dangerous lead levels in their daily lives.

Haywood said that testing for lead in schools is an important step in eliminating possible exposure risks for children. Several Senate Democrats have introduced lead remediation bills.

“Ensuring the safety and education of Pennsylvania students is a priority for the Senate Democrats,” Haywood said. “We look forward to working with the superintendents and their school districts across Pennsylvania to keep students healthy and safe.”

Haywood said the state Department of Education will forward additional information to school districts about the lead testing protocol over the summer.

PA DIOCESE VICTIMS REPORT via PA Attorney General’s Office.

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This is a duplicate of the official website and materials, found at https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/report/
For nonprofit, non-commercial, educational purposes only.

READ THE ENTIRE GRAND JURY REPORT HERE – PDF FILE

 


THIS SITE SERVES AS THE HOLDING GROUND FOR THE RESULTS OF A TWO-YEAR GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION INTO WIDESPREAD SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN WITHIN SIX DIOCESES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN PENNSYLVANIA AND THE SYSTEMIC COVER UP BY SENIOR CHURCH OFFICIALS IN PENNSYLVANIA AND AT THE VATICAN.

RESOURCES

Right-click, Save Link As (for download) any of the following files:

Download The Grand Jury Report

We will pursue any information or leads concerning child sexual abuse within these Dioceses, wherever it comes from.

Our clergy abuse hotline is: 888-538-8541.


Disclaimer: Content above is verbatim from from the PA Attorney General’s website.

MAN CHARGED WITH HOMICIDE IN BEATING OF TEEN AT ELIZABETHTOWN BOROUGH PARK

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A man was charged Friday with homicide regarding the death of a 16-year-old boy who was beaten at Elizabethtown Borough Park on Aug. 6.

Elizabethtown police charged 24-year-old David M. Skalla for punching Blake Shearer several times after Skalla confronted the boy about loud music being played at the East Washington Street park.

Skalla, of Elizabethtown, is in custody regarding a parole/probation matter. He will be arraigned at a later date on counts of homicide and aggravated assault. He is presumed innocent.

Multiple witnesses to the incident reported Skalla being the only one to throw punches, escalating the verbal altercation to a physical attack.

Shearer was struck four times in the face and head and eventually fell to the ground.

Shearer was being treated this week at Hershey Medical Center for head and brain injuries. He died there Friday about 2:20 p.m.

After the assault, Skalla left the park with his family in a vehicle which was photographed by a witness. That photograph led police to the vehicle, owned by Skalla’s girlfriend. Police contacted her and Skalla.

According to information gathered by police, Skalla told his girlfriend that he “blacked out” during the incident.

Elizabethtown police Detective Dustin Ryan filed charges, which were approved by Assistant District Attorney Andrew LeFever.

Lancaster County DA: PRISON SENTENCE FOR HEROIN-MARIJUANA DEALER FOUND WITH A LOADED PISTOL

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A Columbia man will serve up to 12 years in prison for having heroin, marijuana and a loaded pistol with a scratched-out serial number earlier this year in Manor Township.

Lancaster County Judge Donald Totaro recently sentenced 28-year-old Nehemiah Kemp to 6 to 12 years in prison.

Kemp pleaded guilty to four felonies and a misdemeanor in exchange for the sentence, in accordance with an agreement arranged by Assistant District Attorney Barry Goldman.

On Jan. 10, Manor Township police pulled over Kemp’s vehicle on Seitz Road.

During a search, police found a loaded Smith and Wesson .45-caliber pistol in a center console. The serial number on the gun was scratched out.

Police also found nearly 5 grams of heroin and nearly 3 ounces of marijuana, along with drug-packaging supplies and $790 cash.

While ordering sentence, Judge Totaro told Kemp he has three kids and another on the way, yet was engaged in criminal behavior.

Manor Township police Officer Colleen Tatara filed charges.

ELIZABETHTOWN WOMAN CHARGED WITH HOMICIDE FOR SUFFOCATING HER INFANT DAUGHTER

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An Elizabethtown woman is charged with killing her infant daughter, who was found unresponsive last month at her home.

Elizabethtown police on Monday charged 23-year-old Candace Parrow with homicide, aggravated assault and strangulation regarding the July 16 death of the 4-month-old girl.

Parrow was arrested at her home Monday afternoon. She was arraigned by District Judge Robert Herman.

Anyone charged with homicide in Pennsylvania is not eligible for bail. Parrow is presumed innocent.

Following autopsy, the child’s death was ruled a homicide caused by strangulation and suffocation.

Police determined Parrow had sole custody of the child at her East Orange Street apartment on the evening of July 16. The child appeared healthy earlier in the evening.

Here is a narrative of the incident and events before and after:

Police responded to the apartment just after 10 p.m. and found the child unresponsive, discolored and beyond help.

The child was transported to Hershey Medical Center where she was pronounced dead about an hour later.

At the apartment, Parrow was very distraught and made statements about being “blamed again for this.” Police determined Parrow had a previous child who died out of state.

A neighbor was also at the apartment when police arrived. Parrow summoned her to come over after telling her the child was dead.

The child’s father, Parrow’s paramour, was at work from 2:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., when he left work after being notified of the incident. The paramour’s supervisor, and his time card, confirmed he was at work in that timespan, meaning Parrow was home alone with the child.

The paramour told police he had a FaceTime conversation with Parrow, about 8:30 p.m., and the child appeared healthy, as she did before he left for work.

Parrow told police that she put the child down to sleep, went to another room to do dishes and returned, about 10 minutes later, to find the child unresponsive.

An investigation revealed Parrow did not wash dishes – there were few dishes at the home and those found were dirty.

Also, Parrow’s version of what took place changed during separate interviews.

The paramour mentioned Parrow had previous issues with the child crying and Parrow would become very upset.

Elizabethtown police Detective Dustin Ryan filed charges, which were approved by Assistant District Attorney Karen Mansfield.