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LOCAL NEWS FOR FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

  DEFENDING PENNSYLVANIA'S LAW EFFECTIVELY BANNING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AGAINST A LEGAL CHALLENGE IN FEDERAL COURT WILL FALL TO GOV. TOM CORBETT.  PENNSYLVANIA'S ATTORNEY GENERAL, KATHLEEN KANE, SAYS SHE WON'T DEFEND THE LAW.  "I CANNOT ETHICALLY DEFEND THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF PENNSYLVANIA'S VERSION OF THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT WHERE I BELIEVE IT TO BE WHOLLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL," KANE SAYS.  KANE IS A SUPPORTER OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.  CORBETT IS AN OPPONENT.  STATE LAW SAYS IT'S THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S DUTY TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF STATE LAWS.  BUT KANE ARGUES THAT THE LAW ALSO ALLOWS HER TO AUTHORIZE THE GOVERNOR'S LAWYERS TO DEFEND A LAWSUIT IF IT'S IN THE STATE'S BEST INTERESTS.  SHE ALSO SAYS PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT RULES MAKE IT AN ETHICAL OBLIGATION TO WITHDRAW FROM A CASE IN WHICH A LAWYER HAS A FUNDAMENTAL DISAGREEMENT WITH THE CLIENT.

  THE BETHLEHEM PLANNING COMMISSION HAS GIVEN ITS UNANIMOUS APPROVAL FOR A $26 MILLION LEHIGH VALLEY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS.  THE 87,000-SQUARE-FOOT SCHOOL IS TO BE BUILT ON EAST THIRD STREET ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF BETHLEHEM.  IF ALL GOES ACCORDING TO PLAN, THE SCHOOL WILL OPEN IN TIME FOR THE 2014-2015 SCHOOL YEAR. 

  ALL THREE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN A SHOUTING MATCH THAT ENDED IN A STABBING WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON ARE NOW CHARGED.  ALLENTOWN POLICE SAY WILBERT WILLIAMS WAS STABBED AT THE LANTA BUS TERMINAL ON SEVENTH STREET DURING AN ARGUMENT WITH TWO WOMEN WITH BABY STROLLERS.  POLICE SAY TASHUARA WASHINGTON STABBED WILLIAMS AFTER HE AND HER SISTER, LATICE HAMILTON, GOT INTO ARGUMENT.  WILLIAMS SUFFERED ONLY MINOR INJURIES.  HE AND HAMILTON ARE CHARGED WITH DISORDERLY CONDUCT.  WASHINGTON IS CHARGED WITH SIMPLE ASSAULT.

  35-YEAR-OLD JOHN FRAN WILL BE SENTENCED AUGUST 2 AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO A SERIES OF BREAK-INS IN WILSON BOROUGH.  FRAN STOLE MONEY, TOOL KITS AND LAPTOPS FROM FIVE BOROUGH STORES ON BUTLER STREET AND FREEMANSBURG AVENUE WITHIN AN HOUR ON JANUARY 30, 2012.  FRAN COULD GET NINE TO 16 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR BURGLARY AND SIX TO 16 MONTHS FOR TRESPASSING.

  PENN STATE'S FORMER PRESIDENT GRAHAM SPANIER IS INITIATING A LIBEL AND DEFAMATION CASE AGAINST LOUIS FREEH, THE FORMER FBI DIRECTOR WHOSE UNIVERSITY-FUNDED REPORT BLAMED SPANIER AND OTHER HIGH-RANKING SCHOOL OFFICIALS FOR FAILING TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM CONVICTED CHILD MOLESTER JERRY SANDUSKY.  SPANIER'S LAWYER FILED PAPERWORK THURSDAY IN CENTRE COUNTY THAT DESCRIBES THE CASE AS "SLANDER/LIBEL/DEFAMATION."  THE FILING COMES ONE DAY BEFORE THE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF FREEH'S REPORT, WHICH CONCLUDED THAT SPANIER, LATE FOOTBALL COACH JOE PATERNO AND OTHERS FAILED TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM PATERNO'S LONGTIME ASSISTANT.  UNDER PENNSYLVANIA LAW, THOSE WHO BELIEVE THEY HAVE BEEN LIBELED OR DEFAMED HAVE A YEAR TO INITIATE A CIVIL LAWSUIT. 
 

  STUDENTS FROM PENNSYLVANIA WHO ATTEND PENN STATE'S MAIN CAMPUS MAY BE IN FOR A 3.4 PERCENT TUITION INCREASE.  THE UNIVERSITY SAID THURSDAY THE COST WOULD BE ABOUT $264 PER SEMESTER FOR FRESHMEN AND SOPHOMORES.  THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES IS EXPECTED TO VOTE ON THE PROPOSED RATES TODAY.  SCHOOL OFFICIALS SAY HIGHER TUITION IS NEEDED TO PAY THE COST OF ACADEMIC PROGRAMS.  PROPOSED TUITION INCREASES FOR BRANCH CAMPUSES ARE LOWER.
 

  RUTGERS UNIVERSITY'S BOARD OF GOVERNORS HAS APPROVED A TUITION INCREASE FOR THE UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR.  THE BOARD APPROVED A BUDGET PROPOSAL THURSDAY THAT CONTAINS INCREASES IN TUITION, FEES, AND ROOM AND BOARD. TUITION ALONE WILL INCREASE 3.5 PERCENT AND ROOM AND BOARD INCREASES BY 1.5 PERCENT.  BUDGET OFFICIALS SAY IT'S NECESSARY TO FUND MANDATORY SALARY INCREASES AND AS SEED MONEY FOR PROJECTS.  STUDENTS TESTIFIED THAT COLLEGE TUITION IS ALREADY TOO HIGH AND MANY TOLD STORIES OF HAVING TO DROP OUT BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T AFFORD CLASSES.

  OPPONENTS OF PENNSYLVANIA'S VOTER ID LAW ARE HOPING A TRIAL THAT'S ABOUT TO BEGIN WILL SPELL THE END FOR THE CONTROVERSIAL LEGISLATION.  THE STATE NAACP, UNIONS AND OTHER GROUPS RALLIED AGAINST THE LAW THURSDAY, FOUR DAYS BEFORE THE START OF A COMMONWEALTH COURT TRIAL ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES INVOLVED.  THE LAW'S BEING CHALLENGED BY THE STATE ACLU AND OTHER GROUPS THAT WANT THE COURT TO PREVENT ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAW WHILE LITIGATION AND APPEALS ARE PENDING.  THE REPUBLICAN-PUSHED LAW REQUIRES VOTERS TO PROVIDE CERTAIN TYPES OF PHOTO ID BEFORE THEY CAN CAST A BALLOT.  THE COURT PREVENTED THE LAW FROM TAKING EFFECT LAST YEAR.

 

 

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