Thursday, February 22, 2007

State News-Thursday, Feb. 22nd

WASHINGTON (AP) - Advocacy groups say the U-S government is keeping immigrant families in jail-like conditions at detention centers in Pennsylvania and Texas. The Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services released a report on the centers today.
The Pennsylvania center is called the Berks County Shelter Care Facility -- a former nursing home in Leesport. The report says it's part of a larger juvenile facility housing U-S citizens charged with or convicted of crimes and detained juveniles. The Homeland Security Department defends the centers as a workable solution to the problem of illegal immigrants being released, only to disappear while awaiting hearings.

YORK, Pa. (AP) - The union representing workers at Harley-Davidson's largest manufacturing plant in York will be voting today on a tentative labor agreement that could end a walkout. Workers suspended picketing late last week after the union and the company announced a tentative settlement. The nearly 28-hundred
hourly workers had been on strike for two weeks. The terms of the deal haven't been disclosed, and there's no
word yet on when the York factory's motorcycle production will resume. The union went on strike February Second, two days after members rejected a contract proposal from the company that provided four
percent annual raises but reduced pay for new hires and lowered health-insurance and pension benefits.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - State lawmakers will open two days of hearings today into the slow response to last week's storm. Major highways were closed due to the snow and ice and many motorists were left stranded.
Four top Rendell administration officials are scheduled to testify today at a Senate hearing. They include State Transportation Secretary Allen Biehler and State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller. The House will be looking into the storm response tomorrow. Meanwhile, two of Governor Ed Rendell's top aides issued a
report yesterday saying that state officials didn't work well at the beginning and didn't escalate the response when things got worse.

ROGERSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A woman who died in a Greene County house fire that killed seven people was remembered at her funeral as a loving mother. Rebecca Lynn Eddy was also called a hero who tried in vain to
save the children's lives. A single casket held the remains of the 26-year-old woman and three of her children. Three other children also died in the blaze. Their funeral is planned today.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A ten-year-old boy is suing a suburban Philadelphia school district, saying he wasn't allowed to dress as Jesus during his school's Halloween activities. The lawsuit says other children at Willow Hill Elementary School in Glenside were allowed to dress up as witches and devils. It alleges that the Abington School District was discriminating against Christians. A lawyer for the school district says the family never approached school officals to try to resolve things before suing. The suit was filed on behalf of the boy and his mother by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The boy isn't identified in court papers because of his age. He no longer attends Willow Hill.


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