AP: Unemployment spikes, Governor Wolf defends his actions

Photo provided by Gov. Wolf

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Under fire from business groups and Republican lawmakers and facing lawsuits over a broad shutdown order designed to slow the spreading coronavirus, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration defended its actions as critical to preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed. But Wolf also made a series of concessions Friday with enforcement expected to soon begin. Late Thursday, Wolf directed all “non-life-sustaining” businesses to close their physical locations. Even before Thursday’s order, unemployment compensation filings in Pennsylvania this week smashed the state record. Pennsylvania has reported one death and more than 260 people sickened from the coronavirus so far.

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a shooting at a motel in central Pennsylvania that left a man dead and another wounded occurred after a drug deal. East Lampeter Township police say Tyler Elian Gonzalez-Inthiphan and Joshua Joaquin Luciano, both of Lancaster, face numerous charges, including criminal homicide, conspiracy and aggravated assault. It wasn’t known Friday if either man has retained an attorney. The shooting at the motel on Old Philadelphia Pike outside Lancaster occurred shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday. A 22-year-old Lancaster man died from his wounds, while a 25-year-old man who was shot in the abdomen remained hospitalized Friday. Their names have not been released.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Some states are continuing to report large spikes in unemployment benefit claims after a week of widespread businesses closures due to coronavirus precautions. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday had reported a 25% increase in new unemployment claims during the week that ended last Saturday. The agency discouraged states from releasing their own more up-to-date figures. But some states have continued to do so. For example, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania all are reporting tens of thousands of new claims for jobless benefits this week.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Hundreds of law enforcement vehicles lined up Friday to honor a Philadelphia police officer shot and killed while serving a homicide warrant last week. The funeral for Cpl. James O’Çonnor IV was to be held Friday at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul in Philadelphia but was postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak. CBS Philly reports that instead, officers from around the area drove slowly in a procession by O’Connor’s house, where his family was gathered. Officials say the 46-year-old was shot in the shoulder above his bulletproof vest when officers entered a home in the Frankford section. Several people were arrested following the shooting, including the subject of the warrant.


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