Friday, October 20, 2006

State News-Friday, Oct. 20th

LA PLUME, Pa. (AP) - President Bush is campaigning -- carefully -- for a pair of G-O-P lawmakers in tough re-election battles. At a fundraiser yesterday at Keystone College in Lackawanna County, he praised Congressman Don Sherwood as the "right man" to represent his heavily Republican district. Sherwood's admitted to a lengthy affair with a much younger woman -- who also accused him of choking her. Bush's only mention of the issue was to praise a letter from Sherwood's wife Carol to constituents. It denounced the Democratic candidate as "cruel" for raising the issue. On Iraq, Bush accused Democrats of being "all over the place" and said withdrawal would fulfill "Osama bin-Laden's highest aspirations."

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The state House of Representatives says the public and the press will no longer get copies of roll call votes during voting sessions. A chief clerk's office memo says the public can get copies of roll calls after each daily session ends, but only lawmakers and staff on the House floor will get roll calls during sessions. The president of the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents' Association -- John Micek -- says the clerk's office tends to close not long after the session ends, when most reporters are on deadline. Steve Miskin, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Sam Smith, says lobbyists demanding roll calls were interfering with pages' duty to assist lawmakers during the session. Miskin says the House is arranging to have roll calls faxed to the Capitol pressroom after the session, but Micek says he's working on a better solution.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A suspect questioned about an armed robbery was shot when he started running and threatened Philadelphia police with a gun, the second robbery suspect killed by city police this week. Officials say the latest shooting happened yesterday (Thursday) in Southwest Philadelphia when officers investigating an armed robbery approached a man fitting the description of the suspect. Authorities say the suspect handed a driver's license to police and then ran, pulling out a handgun and pointing it at the officers. Police say the man was shot in the chest and died a few hours later. Authorities aren't releasing the name of the suspect or officers. On Tuesday, a bank robbery suspect was shot after police say he
opened fire on officers who spotted him hiding in a car in South Philadelphia.

NEWPORT, Pa. (AP) - State police say a Perry County man accused of trading money, liquor and drugs for sex with teenage boys apparently fled when found out charges were in the works. Authorities say 56-year-old Clair J. Smith, of Miller Township, has not been seen since Sunday. That's when a state trooper told him he would be charged the next day with more than 260 counts. State police say four boys, ages 14 and 15, say Smith repeatedly lured them to his mobile home with offers of money, cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana and then had sex with them. An arrest warrant for Smith included charges of aggravated indecent assault, statutory sexual assault, corruption of minors and related counts. Perry County District Attorney Chad Chenot says authorities have issued an alert through a national F-B-I crime database.



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