A proposal in the state senate would allow Independent registered voters to cast their ballots during a primary election. The bi-partisan plan would affect people who don’t identify as being either Republican or Democrat. Senator Lisa Boscola says more than a million voters in Pennsylvania identify as “independent” and are not registered to either of the two largest political parties. Pennsylvania is one of nine states that bar independent voters from participating in primaries.
A Beaver County welfare check on Thursday has led to the removal of more than 20 animals and a 5-year-old boy from a Harmony Township home. Humane Society officers, acting on a tip, reportedly observed unsafe conditions including piles of garbage and large amounts of feces and urine throughout the residence. A woman and her adult daughter were taken into custody on charges including child endangerment.
The Pennsylvania Legislature has passed a bill which will eliminate costs for certain women’s cancer tests. It also forbids out-of-pocket costs for genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, specifically the BRCA-1 and 2 genes. It additionally does away with out-of-pocket costs for supplemental breast screenings for women who are at high risk for breast cancer. The measure passed unanimously in the House Wednesday morning. The Senate passed it last month, also with no one voting against it. Governor Shapiro says he’ll sign the measure into law.
A new state internship program is looking to place more mental health specialists in schools across Pennsylvania. Managers for the program, which is administered through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, say it’s designed to build a pipeline to bring those professionals into schools. Educators say they’re needed because of a huge increase in the number of students who struggle with anxiety and other issues. The program is funded through a five-million-dollar grant from the state. To receive a stipend, applicants must commit to working in PA schools for a minimum of three years following an internship.
PennDOT is reporting a decrease in traffic fatalities across the commonwealth. The new reports comparing 2021 statistics to 2022 says that one-thousand-230 individuals died as a result of crashes on Pennsylvania roadways in 2021 compared to one-thousand-179 in the year that followed. Certain categories of crashes did see an uptick in that timeframe including those involving a distracted driver.
The Pennsylvania state House has unanimously approved a bill that would ban pelvic and rectal exams on patients who are unconscious. The measure approved Wednesday would apply to patients who are under anesthesia and haven’t been told in advance or consented to such an exam. Currently, medical students are allowed to give such exams for learning purposes, even if there’s no medical need for the exam. House Bill 507 awaits action in the state Senate and then would need to be signed into law by Governor Shapiro.
A Westmoreland County resident has been sentenced in federal court to 24 months in prison and three years’ supervised release on his conviction of being a felon in possession of multiple firearms. Acting U.S. Attorney Tony Rivetti announced, 75 year old Dale Kuhn was also ordered to forfeit multiple firearms and ammunition to the United States. Rivetti said in February of 2021, Kuhn, previously convicted of a felony, did knowingly possess 32 firearms. Federal law prohibits an individual who has been convicted of a felony from possessing a firearm or ammunition. The ATF and Pennsylvania State Police assisted in the investigation.
The state Senate has voted to approve a new head of the Pennsylvania Department of Veterans and Military Affairs. Adjutant General Mark Schindler’s nomination received a 49-to-one vote to approve him for the position. Schindler is responsible for the command and control of over 18-thousand Army and Air National Guard members. The Pennsylvania contingent is the third largest in the country.
Beaver County farmers markets will start up fresh for the season this weekend. Weekly events will be held on Saturdays starting tomorrow in the parking lot of the Beaver County Court House in Beaver. Additional weekly markets will follow in Beaver Falls on Mondays, New Brighton on Tuesdays and Ambridge on Fridays. Chippewa Township farmers markets will take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.