LanChesterLocal Weather Alerts
There are currently no active weather alerts.

Act 5 Requirement for School Districts Regarding 403(b) Plans

Published by:

​Act 5 of 2017 inserted Section 8411.1 into the Public School Employees’ Retirement Code that requires school districts, beginning July 1, 2019, to have a minimum of four separate “financial institutions or pension management organizations” for each 403(b) plan sponsored. The term “financial institutions or pension management organization” is intended to include providers of an annuity contract or custodial account (collectively referred to as “vendors”).

 

The Retirement Code also requires PSERS to select three “providers of investment options” for the School Employees’ Defined Contribution Plan (“DC Plan”), effective July 1, 2019.   If one or more of the providers selected by PSERS for the DC Plan is also a vendor that has a contract with a school district for the school district’s 403(b) plan, then the school district is required to seek additional vendors to ensure that the school district has four vendors plus the vendor that was selected to be a provider for the DC Plan.  In other words, the school district must maintain four vendors that are not also a provider for the DC Plan.

 

For example,

 

PSERS DC PLAN selects providers A, B and C for the DC Plan.

 

  • Employer 101 contracts with vendors A, B, E, F and G for its 403(b) plan.
    • Employer 101 must select one additional vendor, other than A, B or C, for a total of 4 vendors in addition to providers A and B of the DC Plan.

 

  • Employer 102 contracts with vendors H, I J, L, N and Q for its 403(b) plan.
    • Employer 102 does not need to select any additional vendors.

 

  • Employer 103 contracts with vendor C for its 403(b) plan.
    • Employer 103 must select four additional vendors, other than A, B or C, for a total of 4 vendors in addition to provider C of the DC Plan.

 

PSERS is in the process of selecting its providers for the DC Plan and anticipates that the remaining providers will be selected during the Board’s regularly scheduled meetings beginning in October 2018. Once the contracts with the providers are finalized, the information will be posted on PSERS’ website.  If you have a question regarding the number of vendors you may have or need to contract with, you can contact your third party administrator of your 403(b) plan.

HIT-RUN DRIVER WHO CAUSED CRASH WITH SCHOOL BUS-FULL OF STUDENTS JAILED UP TO 20 YEARS

Published by:

A Lancaster man who caused a multi-vehicle crash last year that tipped a school bus carrying 14 students will serve up to 20 years in prison.

Lancaster County Judge Howard Knisely sentenced James P. Irvin III, 48, to 5 to 20 years in prison regarding his conviction on 68 charges from the May 17, 2017, crash on Route 30 in East Lampeter Township.

Judge Knisely said Irvin showed “no regard” for anyone on the road when he drove 71 mph, while accelerating, during an illegal pass which caused the chain-reaction crash that led to a bus with Lancaster Mennonite School students tipping onto its side.

Judge Knisely pointed to Irvin’s poor driving record since 1988 and scolded Irvin for driving without a license since 2006 – driving 400 miles a week in recent years.

As part of sentence, Irvin is prohibited from driving during the period of supervision.

All students and the bus driver received medical treatment. Irvin fled in a white Chevy Malibu; he was arrested six days later.

Parents of the two children most seriously injured expressed forgiveness for Irvin at Friday’s hearing – one father offered to visit Irvin in prison to discuss the grace of God.

Irvin “must seek forgiveness to get it,” Don Cairns said, after describing the fractured vertebrae and other injuries his son sustained.

Sheri Weaver, mother of the 6-year-old boy most seriously hurt in the crash, said her son has taken steps in recovery, but she must apply lotion daily to the boy’s many scars.

When people see the boy’s apparent scar on his face, “the bubbly extrovert” becomes shy, Sheri Weaver said.

“We don’t hate him,” Sheri Weaver said of Irvin. “We will pray for him.”

The parents thanked the first-responders who rushed to the scene and a truck driver who quickly acted in using his jack to pry the bus off the 6-year-old boy, who was pinned underneath.

Irvin was convicted in May at a non-jury trial before Judge Knisely of 68 charges, including counts of aggravated assault and hit-and-run. Assistant District Attorneys Travis S. Anderson and Trista Boyd presented testimony, including from East Lampeter Township police Sgt. Bryan Kondras, lead investigator.

Irvin offered an apology Friday, saying, “I wasn’t raised to end up here.”

“I know I made a lot of mistakes,” he added. “I really don’t have any excuse.”

Irvin’s father also spoke, and started discussing his son’s lack of malice in the crash – before Judge Knisely intervened.

“There is malice,” the judge said sternly. “Malice has been established, as a result of trial.”

Later in the hearing, Judge Knisely peered at Irvin’s family while discussing Irvin’s lack of a license yet continuance to drive with a car registered to and insured by the parents.

Before Judge Knisely ordered sentence, Assistant District Attorney Boyd pointed to Irvin’s “repeated selfish and reckless actions” which caused the crash.

Boyd said Irvin has shown no remorse, which the judge agreed with.

Boyd asked for a sentence that serves as a deterrent not only to Irvin, but to all reckless drivers.

In an eloquent statement from a parent who had three daughters on the bus that day, Assistant District Attorney Anderson read: “This is not an event you want your child to experience, and now become a piece of their history.”

MAN JAILED UP TO 12 YEARS FOR FIRING GUN DURING STREET ROBBERY IN LANCASTER

Published by:

A Lancaster man will serve up to 12 years in prison for firing a gun while robbing a man last year on a city street.

Elias R. Brown, 21, pleaded guilty in May to felony counts of robbery, aggravated assault and possessing a firearm without a license regarding the Sept. 14, 2017, incident in the 100 block of South Christian Street.

On Monday, Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker sentenced Brown to 6 to 12 years in prison.

Brown and two juveniles, also charged, robbed the victim, taking Timberland boots, cash, and a jean jacket, according to Assistant District Attorney Travis S. Anderson, lead prosecutor.

During the robbery, Brown fired five rounds from a .40-caliber Glock pistol. No one was struck.

President Judge Reinaker, while ordering sentence, said it was Brown who held the gun and presented the biggest threat to the victim’s safety.

Lancaster city police Detective Robert Whiteford filed charges.

 

AG, Health Advocates Oppose Fuel-Efficiency Rollback

Published by:

By: Andrea Sears

HARRISBURG, Pa. – State leaders and health advocates say the EPA’s plan to freeze the fuel efficiency standard is bad for public health, the environment and consumers.

After months of wrangling, the EPA Thursday released its plan to freeze the fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks for six years. It was set to increase to an average of 54 mpg by 2025 but will remain at about 35, the standard set for 2020.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says the state will be joining 19 other states in suing to stop the plan.

“Our state Constitution says that we have a right to clean air and pure water, and that is something that I fight to protect each and every day,” he says. “We strongly oppose the Trump Administration’s plan to roll back these clean-car standards.”

The administration claims freezing the fuel standard will cut more than $2,000 off the price of new cars and result in fewer highway deaths, but opponents contest those findings.

Although more fuel-efficient cars may cost more, consumers make it up through savings on gas by 2030.

According to Doctor Walter Tsou, the executive director of Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility, increasing the fuel-efficiency standard also cuts back on auto emissions, which are major contributors to smog and air pollution.

“If we roll that back, we’re going to continue to burn gasoline in our cars and we’re encouraging these gas guzzlers, and all that air pollution is going to exacerbate asthma and other respiratory illnesses,” he warns.

Tsou believes moving away from vehicles that rely on fossil fuel entirely would stimulate significant job growth in every state, including Pennsylvania.

“The world is moving toward electric vehicles,” he adds. “We should be investing in electric charging infrastructure for this state so that more and more people are ready for the future.”

The EPA plan also eliminates California’s right to set higher mileage requirements than those of the EPA. Pennsylvania and about a dozen other states now use the higher California standard.

Help Available for At-Risk Early Learners

Published by:

Andrea Sears

PHILADELPHIA – Pennsylvania children at risk of falling behind their peers in preschool and kindergarten can get help to prepare them for school.

Early childhood education can give children a huge boost, educators say, but those with physical or developmental disabilities, who are homeless or have parents struggling with addiction, can be at a serious disadvantage.

In Pennsylvania, children are entitled to receive Early Intervention Services, such as speech therapy and specialized instruction, to help them prepare for their first day of school.

And Sean McGrath, an attorney at the Education Law Center, says that can make a big difference.

“There’s a study that has shown that children who receive early intervention, 40 percent of the cohort was actually caught up and did not need special education services once they entered school, compared to a control group,” he states.

Services are available for newborns and children up to age five. Parents who are concerned their children may need help can call 800-692-7288 to get connected to Early Intervention Services.

Any parent can ask for help, but McGrath points out that for younger children, referrals often come from county hospitals that note low birth weight and other possible indicators of the need for help.

“For older children there are fliers, advertisements in public places saying what Early Intervention is and providing the contact information for parents to share,” he explains.

School districts are also required to determine if more services will be needed when a child enters kindergarten and have those services in place on the first day of school.

McGrath adds many parents of eligible children simply don’t know that help is available.

“It’s important for parents to know that this is an entitlement, that they have particular rights in the Early Intervention system,” he stresses.

McGrath says early intervention has been shown to be one of the most effective tools to help children overcome developmental delays and disabilities.

PARKESBURG BOROUGH WITHOUT WATER; MAIN STREET WATER MAIN BURST

Published by:

Photos: KVFD/facebook
Image may contain: car and outdoor
Image may contain: tree and outdoor
Image may contain: one or more people, sky, car and outdoor
Image may contain: tree, sky, outdoor, nature and waterImage may contain: tree and outdoor
Pennsylvania American Water has confirmed to WLRI that a water main break along 100 block of First Avenue. No estimated restoration time was available at 9:22 AM ET. According to our neighbors, the incident took place around 7:30 AM (+/-) this morning, to be confirmed. There is no known reason for the water main break at this time. Stay with Gap Lancaster Coatesville Quarryville for the latest developments throughout the incident, as we plan to follow-up with out sources until service is restored.
-Water service has been restored to all affected customers from the 1st St main break. We appreciate everyone’s patience while crews made these difficult repairs on 24-inch pipe. Parkesburg Office of Emergency Management
7:16 AM (8/6)
————–
-Incident Summary:
2000 – American Water ran into challenges in the repair of the water line. ETR is now 2200. Normal pressure was established today for all but 19 customers. Repair for the main line is still in progress.
9:11 PM
– Crews have isolated the water main break along 1st Street that occurred this morning and disrupted local water service. Water pressure will start to return to normal for most customers, but it will take several hours to refill the system. You might also experience discolored water due to the increased flows from the break. If you experience discolored water, run your cold water taps a few minutes until the water runs clear. We expect repairs will take until 9 pm to restore service for about 20 customers near the main break location. To ease the inconvenience, water tanker is located in parking lot behind Borough Hall. Please bring your own containers. Thanks again for your patience. Parkesburg Office of Emergency Management
1:12 PM
-PA American Water has provided a water tanker at the Borough Hall/Police Station. Bring your own containers.
11:40 AM
-Residents on the North side of the Borough should have water just low pressure.
10:13 AM
-PA American Water will have a water tanker available after 10 a.m. at the ACME parking lot. Please bring your own containers to fill.
-Officials in Parkesburg Borough are reporting that municipal water services are out of service. The company responsible to provide water to Parkesburg, American Water, is attempting to locate a break in the water main. Fire officials are being advised.
 
-Due to the water main break affecting the residents of Parkesburg Borough, a source of drinking water has been made available at the Parkesburg Borough Police Department, 315 W First Avenue.

THE UNITED STATES EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — JULY 2018

Published by:

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- JULY 2018


Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 157,000 in July, and the unemployment rate edged down 
to 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in 
professional and business services, in manufacturing, and in health care and social assistance. 

Household Survey Data

In July, the unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 3.9 percent, following an 
increase in June. The number of unemployed persons declined by 284,000 to 6.3 million in July. 
Both measures were down over the year, by 0.4 percentage point and 676,000, respectively. 
(See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent) and Whites 
(3.4 percent) declined in July. The jobless rates for adult women (3.7 percent), teenagers 
(13.1 percent), Blacks (6.6 percent), Asians (3.1 percent), and Hispanics (4.5 percent) showed 
little or no change over the month. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of reentrants to the labor force decreased by 287,000 in July 
to 1.8 million, following an increase in June. (Reentrants are persons who previously worked 
but were not in the labor force prior to beginning their job search.) (See table A-11.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially 
unchanged at 1.4 million in July and accounted for 22.7 percent of the unemployed. (See table 
A-12.)

The labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent in July, was unchanged over the month and 
over the year. The employment-population ratio, at 60.5 percent, was little changed in July but 
has increased by 0.3 percentage point over the year. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as 
involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in July, at 4.6 million, but was down by 
669,000 over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were 
working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time 
jobs. (See table A-8.)

In July, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little different from 
a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor 
force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 
months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 
weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 512,000 discouraged workers in July, little changed 
from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because 
they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.0 million persons marginally 
attached to the labor force in July had not searched for work for reasons such as school 
attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in July, compared with an average monthly 
gain of 203,000 over the prior 12 months. In July, job gains occurred in professional and 
business services, in manufacturing, and in health care and social assistance. (See table B-1.)

Employment in professional and business services increased by 51,000 in July and has risen by
518,000 over the year. Over the month, employment edged up in temporary help services (+28,000) 
and in computer systems design and related services (+8,000).

Manufacturing added 37,000 jobs in July, with most of the gain in the durable goods component. 
Employment rose in transportation equipment (+13,000), machinery (+6,000), and electronic 
instruments (+2,000). Over the past 12 months, manufacturing has added 327,000 jobs.

In July, employment in health care and social assistance rose by 34,000. Health care employment 
continued to trend up over the month (+17,000) and has increased by 286,000 over the year. 
Hospitals added 7,000 jobs over the month. Within social assistance, individual and family 
services added 16,000 jobs in July and 77,000 jobs over the year.

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up over the month (+26,000). 
Over the year, the industry has added 203,000 jobs. 

Construction employment continued to trend up in July (+19,000) and has increased by 308,000 
over the year.

In July, employment in retail trade changed little (+7,000). Job gains occurred in general 
merchandise stores (+14,000), clothing and clothing accessories stores (+10,000), and food and 
beverage stores (+8,000). These employment gains were offset by a decline of 32,000 in sporting 
goods, hobby, book, and music stores, reflecting job losses in hobby, toy, and game stores. 

Employment showed little or no change over the month in other major industries, including 
mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, 
and government.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 
34.5 hours in July, following an increase of 0.1 hour in June. In manufacturing, both the 
workweek and overtime were unchanged in July, at 40.9 hours and 3.5 hours, respectively. The 
average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls 
remained at 33.8 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents 
to $27.05. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 71 cents, or 2.7 percent. 
Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 
3 cents to $22.65 in July. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised up from +244,000 to
+268,000, and the change for June was revised up from +213,000 to +248,000. With these 
revisions, employment gains in May and June combined were 59,000 more than previously 
reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and 
government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of 
seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 224,000 per month over the 
last 3 months.

_____________
The Employment Situation for August is scheduled to be released on Friday, September 7, 2018, 
at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

DEP Reaches Agreement with Environmental Groups Over Mariner East 2 Permits

Published by:

Harrisburg, PA – In a significant validation of pipeline permits issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Clean Air Council (CAC), Mountain Watershed Association (MWA), and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) settled their appeal of 20 permits issued to Sunoco Pipeline, LLP (Sunoco) for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project. Since the permits were issued, DEP has continued to develop new standards, protocols, and best practices designed to protect the environment during the construction and installation of pipelines.

“DEP is pleased that we were able to reach an amicable agreement with the appellants, resolving all claims related to the issuance of these permits while incorporating new processes to ensure that future pipeline projects learn from the mistakes made by Sunoco in implementing this project,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “To be clear, DEP will continue to conduct vigorous oversight to ensure compliance with the conditions of the permits and will issue enforcement actions as necessary.”
The settlement does not alter any of the 20 permits in the appeal. Each permit was lawfully issued after a thorough environmental review involving approximately 35 DEP and County Conservation District staff over the course of nearly two years.
In the settlement, DEP has committed to continue to develop and implement further enhanced procedures for environmental protection associated with the construction of natural gas pipelines in Pennsylvania in collaboration with the appellants.
DEP has responded to the increased natural gas pipeline activity in Pennsylvania over the last five years with a number of initiatives:
• Establishment of a Regional Permit Coordination Office, which includes dedicated staff of engineers and other technical staff to specifically oversee environmental regulation and permitting of natural gas pipeline development in Pennsylvania.
• Developing Best Practices for Design and Operation of Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) including best practices for identification and protection of water supplies.
• Developing a draft model for Preparedness, Prevention and Contingency (PPC) Plans for inadvertent returns resulting from HDD activities.
• Development of numerous special conditions for DEP permits to ensure environmental protection for pipeline projects.
• Establishment of Chp. 78a Unconventional Oil and Gas Regulations in 2016 which included specific criteria (78a.68a) to ensure better management and oversight of HDD for Oil and Gas Pipelines.

DRUG TASK FORCE ARREST: MANHEIM TWP. MAN HAD BULK METH, HUNDREDS OF DOSES OF ‘DATE RAPE DRUG’

Published by:

On July 19, 2018, the Lancaster County Drug Task Force, following a surveillance operation, raided a home in the 2100 block of Fruitville Pike in Manheim Township.  The Task Force charged 35-year-old Gardie Wright with felony drug-dealing and related misdemeanors.

A Manheim Township man is charged with felony drug-dealing regarding recent seizures of bulk methamphetamine and a “date rape drug.”

The Lancaster County Drug Task Force, following a surveillance operation, raided a home in the 2100 block of Fruitville Pike on July 19.

The Task Force charged 35-year-old Gardie Wright with felony drug-dealing and related misdemeanors. He is at Lancaster County Prison on $150,000 bail.

Detectives found at the home 125 grams (about 4½ ounces) of methamphetamine, valued at an estimated $7,500.

Detectives also found 13 ounces of Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB), known to law-enforcement as a “date-rape drug” with sedative effects.

It is believed to be the Drug Task Force’s largest seizure of such a substance in recent history.

‘This bust did not involve an ordinary dealer,” Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said Wednesday. “Specifically regarding the GHB, we quantify that seizure not merely in weight, but in the number of potential sexual assaults avoided.

“This is a despicable Schedule One substance with no purpose but to incapacitate a potential victim.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration denotes GHB is abused for its euphoric and sedative effects, often mixed with other liquids.

“The user is not usually aware of the dose they are drinking,” the DEA states in an advisory on the substance.

At Wright’s home, detectives found 13 ounces distributed in several vials. Numerous empty vials, assumed for distribution purposes, were also found.

As little as a gram can have impact, according to the DEA, meaning Wright possessed hundreds of potential doses.

Detectives also found $758 cash.

Drug Task Force K-9 Bear was at the scene and assisted in the search operation.

Detectives also charged 22-year-old Eric A. Simons with misdemeanor possession and resisting arrest. He was at the Fruitville Pike home during the raid. He is at Lancaster County Prison on $20,000 bail.

Wright and Simons are presumed innocent.

Manheim Township police and Lancaster city police’s Selective Enforcement Unit assisted in the case.

 

LANCASTER COUNTY STUDENTS TO SHARE THEIR STORIES AT AUG. 14 PUBLIC EVENT

Published by:

Several local students will share their stories of growing up in Lancaster County at a free public event Aug. 14 at Triode Media Group in Lancaster city.

The eight students were at Triode on July 18 for a full day of training on multimedia storytelling techniques.

The students listened to workshops from Triode staff and Sarah Fritz, community outreach coordinator for the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

The students then recorded interviews to be included in their videos, which will be shown at the Aug. 14 event. At the event, the students will also engage in a question-and-answer forum with the audience.

The Youth Leadership Training and event is a project of the Lancaster County Crime Prevention Task Force, a partnership of area offices and agencies.

The public event, to be held Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at 631 South Water Street, is open for registration: REGISTER HERE

A huge thanks to Triode Media Group for hosting the training and public event, and sharing their invaluable expertise with the students.