AP PA Headlines 6/19/20
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 24-year-old Philadelphia man has been charged with using explosives to blow up a cash machine as demonstrations rocked the city this month. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says it will oppose bail for David Elmakayes at a hearing Friday. Elmakayes is charged with using an explosive device to damage property and illegally possessing a firearm. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer. Court records show Elmakayes has been in custody since city police arrested him on June 4. Philadelphia police have said 50 cash machines were hit by explosives that week, amid the unrest that struck the nation after George Floyd died in Minneapolis after a police officer pressed his knee into his neck as he pleaded for air.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission is rejecting an attempt to end its three-month-old moratorium preventing utilities from terminating service to non-paying customers while the state fights the spread of the coronavirus. Thursday’s 2-2 vote means the motion failed. Commissioner John Coleman sought to allow electric, water, sewer and telephone utilities to restart termination processes in July. Coleman says courts could end Wolf’s emergency disaster order at any time, and electric utilities are warning that customers are piling up large unpaid bills that will require “aggressive” collection efforts beginning in early August. The commission’s order halts terminations, but not collection activities.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has struck down a county’s policy that forbade people on probation and other forms of supervision from using cannabis if they are registered in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program. The justices said Thursday that probationers holding a valid medical marijuana card are immune from punishment under the state’s medical marijuana law. Lebanon County’s court system had sought to prohibit medical marijuana use by people on probation and parole. The policy was challenged by three medical marijuana patients.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A federal agent was shot and wounded while taking part in a raid in a Pittsburgh neighborhood. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed one of its agents was shot around 6 a.m. and he was treated at the scene by ATF medics. But the agent’s name and further information about his condition were not disclosed. A suspect was taken into custody at the scene. But further details about that person and the charges they may face were not released. Authorities said the wounded agent was taking part in a raid that involved several law enforcement agencies. But further information about the operation were not disclosed.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A newspaper can get a copy of a school bus surveillance video but identifying images of the students must be reacted. The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Easton Area School District didn’t prove it would lose federal funding if it provided the recording of a bus altercation to a reporter from The Express-Times of Easton. The opinion said reporter Rudy Miller sought the surveillance video in reporting about a 2017 incident inside a bus during which an elementary school teacher may have roughly disciplined a child.
DIMOCK, Pa. (AP) — A gas driller is pushing back against a grand jury’s claim that it acted with “long-term indifference” toward a Pennsylvania community where high levels of methane leaked into residential groundwater supplies. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. was charged this week with breaking state environmental laws. A grand jury investigation found the Houston-based driller failed to fix faulty gas wells that are leaking methane into aquifers in Dimock and surrounding communities. In a written statement, Cabot says its “history and involvement in the community shows a very different reality than what was painted” by the grand jury. The company faces a preliminary hearing next month on 15 charges. It has not yet entered a plea.
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Family and friends gathering Friday to honor a federal law enforcement officer fatally shot while guarding a U.S. courthouse in Oakland will be joined by the acting chief of Homeland Security. The official’s office says he traveled from Washington to honor “a fallen hero.” A memorial service for David Patrick Underwood is scheduled for Friday at the high school he attended in a suburb of Oakland. Underwood was killed on May 29 while guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland as a large demonstration was underway nearby over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Authorities say an man with ties to the so-called boogaloo right-wing extremist movement has been charged in the killing.
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police officers have called out sick to protest the filing of murder charges against an officer who shot a man in the back. The interim chief told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that members of the force feel abandoned amid protests demanding massive changes to policing. Rodney Bryant said the department has sufficient staff to protect the city. It’s not clear how many officers have called out, but a union representative said just one officer showed up for work Thursday morning in one zone. Prosecutors brought felony murder and other charges against the white officer who shot Rayshard Brooks, who was black.
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Rick Frazier drove more than 750 miles from Ohio to Tulsa, Oklahoma to be one of the first campers in line for President Donald Trump’s first rally in months, undeterred by a days-long wait in searing heat, the growing risk of the coronavirus or a lukewarm reception from local officials. The 64-year-old is among scores of supporters who have brought their vans, tents, campers and Trump flags to the parking lots and sidewalks outside the 19,000-seat BOK Center, and who say what matters most is being there to see the president take the stage tomorrow — and to be sure he knows they have his back.
“The big thing is to go in and support the president,” said Frazier, who arrived Tuesday for what will be his 21st Trump rally. Frazier said he feels safe, noting he and other campers are using hand sanitizer to prevent spread of COVID-19. Trump rallies are known for being big events with a sometimes festival-like atmosphere and have drawn die-hard fans who sleep outside for days to secure a spot and pass time at a kind of political tailgate party. The groups gathering in Tulsa are taking that loyalty to a new level, though some called the coronavirus threat “an exaggeration.” Temperatures in Tulsa have reached the 90s, and the Trump faithful are camped in an area with hardly a spot of shade.
UNDATED (AP) – In just about any other year, Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the day in 1865 that all enslaved black people learned they had been freed from bondage, would be marked by African American families across the nation with a cookout, a parade or a community festival. But Juneteenth 2020 will be a day of protest Friday in many places. Celebrations held from coast to coast will include marches and demonstrations of civil disobedience. And like the nationwide protests that followed the recent police involved deaths of black men and women in Minnesota, Kentucky and Georgia, Juneteenth celebrations are likely to be remarkably more multiracial this year.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has dealt President Donald Trump his second big legal setback in a week, rejecting his effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants. For now, those immigrants retain their protection from deportation and their authorization to work in the United States. Earlier this week, the court ruled that it’s illegal to fire people because they’re gay or transgender, turning away Trump administration arguments. Trump criticized what he called the “horrible and politically charged decisions,” and the immigration issue is sure to be a main feature in his reelection campaign.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s campaign is requesting a fourth debate with his presumptive Democratic rival, citing an expected surge in mail and absentee voting this fall because of the coronavirus. Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani made the request Thursday in a call with Frank Fahrenkopf, the co-chair of the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates. The request was described by a person familiar with the conversation who was not authorized to discuss it publicly. It marked a dramatic reversal from the Trump campaign’s position in December, when Trump and Parscale were threatening that the president could participate in fewer or even zero debates.
NEW YORK – First it was Aunt Jemima, then it was Uncle Ben, next up to get a facelift could be the black chef on the Cream of Wheat box. The cereal maker says they’re doing an immediate review in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. The chef design goes back over a hundred years and its history isn’t great. It’s a caricature from minstrel shows and the chef was a former slave named Rastus.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook has pulled a campaign ad by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for violating its “policy against organized hate.” The ad featured an upside-down red triangle, used by Nazis to tag political prisoners, communists and others in concentration camps. The Trump campaign spent more than $17,000 on the ads for Trump and Pence. In a statement, a Trump campaign official says the inverted red triangle was used by Antifa; the campaign has also claimed the symbol is an emoji.
TORONTO (AP) — Canada is promising that privacy will be the hallmark of a new contact tracing smartphone app the government has rolled out. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the app will be voluntary — and if someone tests positive, app users will be alerted to possible exposure. Trudeau says, “at no time will personal information be collected or shared, and no location services will be used.” It’s the latest effort by a national government to use smartphone technology to stave off coronavirus flare-ups. But technical problems and privacy concerns have dogged the use of virus tracing apps.
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