The state Senate is set to vote on a package of bills to reform the statute of limitations for survivors of child sex abuse. Lawmakers say the bills eliminate the criminal statute of limitations, create a two-year civil window for survivors to file lawsuits, ban non-disclosure agreements and clarify penalties for failing to report abuse. Republican leaders support the new package and expect it to reach Gov. Tom Wolf's desk.
Pennsylvania's Democrat Party is losing a senator from Luzerne County. John Yudichak says he's changing his party registration to independent and will caucus with the majority Republicans in Harrisburg. In a statement, the 49-year-old senator, who won his third term last year, says his old party has become more about purist ideas and not regional issues. This lowers the Democrat caucus to 21, while Republicans currently hold 27 seats, with one vacant.
A pair of 10-year-old boys are charged with threatening to shoot two classmates at Saucon Valley Middle School. Hellertown police say while the boys made the threats there was no indications that any students were in imminent danger. The boys are being charged in juvenile court with terroristic threats and harassment.
Donations continue pouring in for victims of a massive fire that destroyed 10 Allentown row homes last month. More than $113,000 has been donated to those who lost their Fountain Street homes on October 20th. There is a benefit concert planned for November 30th at the Main Gate on North 17th Street, after which the fund will be closed. Investigators have still not released a cause of the fire.
Federal safety regulators are issuing a series of recommendations in the wake of a deadly accident that happened over Berks County. The NTSB says Boeing should redesign the engine covers in its next-generation 737s. Officials say a cracked fan blade broke while Southwest Airlines flight 1380 was flying over Bernville in April of last year. The shrapnel broke a window and killed a passenger.
College enrollment numbers are at a near-record low at Pennsylvania's state-run universities. Enrollment is down at East Stroudsburg by 16-percent, Bloomsburg by 14-percent, by 42-percent at Lock Haven and by 51-percent at Mansfield, with other state colleges feeling the same enrollment pinch. Experts say tuition costs and alternatives like trade school are reasons for recent drops in enrollment numbers. The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is looking into how it can improve student retention, which they call a major issue right now.
Work to disperse crows from the state Capitol Complex are underway in Harrisburg. Capitol Police will use exploding shells and whistling devices to scare the birds away to keep waste off the sidewalks, which they say can become slippery during wet weather. The effort will happen daily starting at 5pm until the crows are gone.
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Felipe Vazquez is facing a host of new charges in connection with his sexual assault case. Vazquez was slapped Tuesday with 21 counts related to child pornography and unlawful contact. Westmoreland County prosecutors say they found nude images of an underage girl on Vazquez's cell phone after he was charged with assaulting a teen in 2017.
Police in State College say they're investigating several threats made on quarterback Sean Clifford's life following Penn State's loss at Minnesota November 10th. Penn State coach James Franklin is sickened by the incident. "You hate to see it, but the sad thing is it's part of our reality in our society. You see that in a lot of areas. I don't want to get into things other than football, but we see a lot of behaviors in our society right now that we accept, that I don't know why we're accepting," Franklin says. Clifford says he briefly deleted his social media accounts after the threats.