Tag Archives | Pennsylvania
Under a new law, doctors in Pennsylvania can access information about chemicals used in natural gas extraction -- but they won't be able to share it with their patients. A provision buried in a law passed last month is drawing scrutiny from the public health and environmental community, who argue that it will "gag" doctors who want to raise concerns related to oil and gas extraction with the people they treat and the general public. Pennsylvania is at the forefront in the debate over "fracking," the process by which a high-pressure mixture of chemicals, sand, and water are blasted into rock to tap into the gas. Recent discoveries of great reserves in the Marcellus Shale region of the state prompted a rush to development, as have advancements in fracking technologies. But with those changes have come a number of concerns from citizens about potential environmental and health impacts from natural gas drilling...
CCTV footage shows a police officer pushing a 14-year-old girl against a parked car and firing a taser at her groin. Shortly before the taser was fired the teenager is seen raising her hands in surrender. She received hospital treatment after the incident in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania's state capital Harrisburg has declared bankruptcy, according to a court filing seen on Wednesday, raising the specter of a string of local defaults across the United States. The city — whose finances have been ravaged by the costs of upgrading a once-mothballed trash incinerator — filed late Tuesday to seek protection from creditors. The city reportedly owes around $310 million. According to the Bankruptcy Court filing, Harrisburg has between one and 49 creditors. It also reported a roughly equal amount of assets and liabilities, in the range of $100-500 million. The state of Pennsylvania had tried to force Harrisburg to sell off those assets in order to pay bondholders, but the city council reportedly voted by a margin of four to three on Tuesday to opt for bankruptcy. The result is a rare, but not unexpected, US municipal bankruptcy amid a faltering economy.
UPPER DARBY, Pa. - A pizzeria owner with mice problems he blamed on competitors tried to sabotage two rival shops by dumping mice in them Monday, authorities in suburban Philadelphia said...
A Pennsylvanian boy, age 11, was arrested for shooting his father’s pregnant fianceé in her sleep. He is now this youngest person to face a life sentence without parole. The judge has been criticized for his decision to try the boy as an adult because he refused to plead guilty. Defense attorneys and human rights campaigners have argued that the judge’s decision violates the boy’s right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. The Raw Story reports:
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Boy’s claim of innocence prompted judge to try him as adult
A Pennsylvania boy who was 11 years old when he allegedly shot and killed his father’s pregnant fiancee could find himself being the youngest person ever sentenced to life without parole.
Human rights campaigners have said the case shows the US’ justice system to be unusually harsh towards juvenile offenders, and argue that a life sentence for the boy could violate international law.
For those who like to pepper their speech with profanity (and don’t we all from time to time?), you might want to steer clear of Pennsylvania until the ACLU makes it safe for you: they are suing the police in Pennsylvania for issuing tickets, which carry a jail sentence, to people for swearing. Story via Reuters:
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which filed the lawsuits earlier, argues that the right to use profanity is protected by the U.S. Constitution.
“Unfortunately, many police departments in the commonwealth do not seem to be getting the message that swearing is not a crime,” said Marieke Tuthill of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “The courts have repeatedly found that profanity, unlike obscenity, is protected speech.”
Obscenity, under the Supreme Court’s definition, refers to speech that mainly appeals to the “prurient interest” in sex, according to the ACLU.
One lawsuit involves an unidentified woman in Luzerne County in northeast Pennsylvania who was given a citation which carries a maximum penalty of $300 and 90 days in jail after she yelled an offensive word at a motorcyclist who swerved close to her in October 2008.