Pennsylvania

GOP’s Fred Keller Wins Pennsylvania 12th District Special Election

Pennsylvania State Rep. Fred Keller won the Pennsylvania House 12th district special election, according to the New York Times. Keller defeated Democrat and professor at Penn State University Marc Friedenberg in a special election Tuesday. The congressional seat became vacant after former Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), who easily beat Friedenberg in the 2018 midterm elections, resigned less than one month into this term. The Pennsylvania Republican’s victory serves President Donald Trump as well. Trump held a rally in Pennsylvania on Monday. Ahead of the election, Trump said he endorsed Keller and contended that the election would serve as a referendum on his presidential administration. “Go get em, Fred,” Trump told Keller on Monday. “It’s a little bit of a referendum.” President Trump then said that if Keller wins the special election, the media will not widely report the story; however, if Keller loses the election, Trump said that they will play it up as one of the biggest political events in recent memory. Keller’s victory could also serve as a referendum on Trump’s vs former Vice President Joe Biden’s popularity in Pennsylvania. During the rally on Monday, Trump reminded Pennsylvanians that Biden abandoned them to become a senator in Delaware. “Don’t forget, Biden deserted you, he’s not from Pennsylvania, I guess he was born here, but he left you, folks, he left you for another state,” Trump said. “He left you for another state, and he didn’t take care of you because he didn’t take care of your jobs,” Trump added. “He let other countries come in and rip off America.”

Congrats to Congressman Elect Fred Keller (R-PA)!

PA Teachers Union Sues to Ensure Educators Cannot Be Armed for Self-Defense

Pennsylvania’s Tamaqua Area Education Association is suing to prevent teachers from being armed to defend themselves and their students. The Morning Call reports that the suit comes after Tamaqua Area School District became “the first district in the state to allow armed school staff as a way to defend schools against shooters.” Tamaqua Area Education Association president President Frank Wenzel issued statement in which he defended the union’s fight to keep teachers unarmed: “As teachers, counselors and other education professionals, we are trained to provide a high-quality education to our students, not to carry or use firearms in dangerous situations. This is a bad policy for a lot of reasons, but we are challenging it in court because we believe it is illegal.” But Tamaqua Area School District board member Nicholas Boyle disagrees with Wenzel. Boyle pushed the measure to allow teachers to be armed and The Inquirer quotes him saying, “There’s no law that says you can do it, and there’s no law that says you can’t do it, so I think we’re good.” A group of Tamaqua residents launched the “Tamaqua Citizens for Safe Schools” in response to the board’s decision to arm teachers. And on November 23 Tamaqua Citizens for Safe Schools urged people to sign a Sandy Hook Promise petition to prevent teachers from being armed nationwide: Teachers were not armed when Sandy Hook Elementary School was attacked December 14, 2012, and attacker spent over nine minutes harming defenseless people without any armed response.

Donations Pour in for Rifle Team After School District Rejects NRA’s ‘Dirty Money’

A Pennsylvania high school rifle team is being flooded with donations from local businesses and residents after its school district voted to reject a National Rifle Association grant. The Stroudsburg Area School District’s board voted 6-2 Monday to reject the $4,730 grant, the Allentown Morning Call reported, with one board member calling it “dirty money.” The president of a local contracting company, upset by the decision, spearheaded a fundraiser in which several businesses bundled more than $6,000 to replace the grant money. Brian Winot’s group of local business donors put out a press release criticizing what they called the politicization of the situation. “[The business owners] are all members of the NRA and strongly disagree with the school board’s decision and further attempt to politicize guns in this country, on the backs of our kids,” the business owners stated. On top of that, a Democratic state lawmaker set up a GoFundMe campaign so that the rifle team would be funded without help from the NRA. “We have students organizing marches in Washington [and] all around this nation crying out for their lives. God forbid anything happens in this school, how are we going to feel about taking that money?” said State Rep. Maureen Madden (D-Tobyhanna). The funding call brought in more than $5,000 in the past few days. According to an AP analysis, about 500 U.S. schools received more than $7.3 million from the NRA from 2010 through 2016 to promote the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp, rifle teams and hunting safety courses.

Of course the dominantly liberal mainstream media doesn’t want you to know that.

Pennsylvania family ordered to take down Jesus Christmas display after neighbor said it was ‘offensive’

A Pennsylvania family was ordered by their homeowner’s association to take down their Jesus Christmas display after one of the neighbors reported it as offensive. Mark and Lynn Wivell of Adams County, a Gettysburg subdivision, said they put up their Jesus display last Saturday, FOX43 reported. “As part of our Christmas decoration, we would display the name Jesus to point out to everyone that we in this family believe that the reason for the season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus,” said Mark Wivell told FOX43. But the homeowner’s association wasn’t having it. On Sunday, the association told the family to take down the sign after a neighbor complained it was offensive. The homeowner’s association also claimed the display was a sign, not a decoration – which is a violation of the rules, USA Today reported. “After taking a look at it, it isn’t in accordance with normal Christmas decorations,” Bud Vance, the Courtyards president, wrote in a statement to the Gettysburg Times. The Wivells insist they are following the rules. “We have ordinances with regard to Christmas decorations, and my Christmas decorations comply with the HOA ordinances on Christmas decorations,” Wivell said. The Wivells also said many others supported their right to display the sign. “When this happened, we were really shocked,” Lynn Wivell said. “We have gotten tremendous support from our neighbors here at the Links and that just makes us feel so good.” The family said they have no plans to take down the sign until January 15, when the association requires all displays to be taken down. Family members said they are unsure which neighbor was offended. “People get offended by different things, but just because something offends you, doesn’t mean the whole world has to change to accommodate you, so I would say please be more tolerant,” Mark Wivell said. Board members told FOX43 in a statement that it was “unfortunate” they were being portrayed as Scrooge. “It is, indeed, unfortunate that our attention has been unnecessarily redirected in this manner with a suggestion that Scrooge is alive and well in our community,” the statement read. “Many of our families will be in church on Monday with their spirit diminished by this attack.”

Well, then you shouldn’t have told the Wivells to take their “Jesus” sign down.  These spineless borad members are idiots.  And, this is the sorta thing that gives HOAs a bad name.  Having spent some time serving on the Board of Directors (BOD) of my HOA, I’ve seen both sides of such things.  And, I can empathize with those who complain when some neighbors do things that may diminish the value of the homes in the community, and/or do things that can be offensive to the majority of homeowners.  But, you need to use a little common sense.  Christmas is a federal holiday.  No, it’s NOT “Winter Solstice” day, or “Winter Holiday..day.”  It’s Christmas.  Period.  And, Jesus IS “the reason for the season.”  Those who have a problem with it need to get the heck over it…or move to another country.  We’re so very grateful to see President Trump supporting the phrase “Merry Christmas” which the White House is now putting on it’s Christmas Cards.  The last 8 years, Obama’s cards said, “Happy Holidays.”  Glad that politically correct crap is behind us..

GOP governor hopeful refuses to apologize for saying George Soros has ‘Hatred for America’

A Republican state senator from Pennsylvania refused to apologize for calling billionaire Democratic megadonor George Soros “a Hungarian Jew” with “a hatred for America” following the accusations of anti-Semitism. Sen. Scott Wagner, who’s seeking next year’s Republican nomination for governor, spoke with The York Daily Record on Monday and suggested people are overreacting over his comments. “Everybody’s getting their knickers around their ankles over this and there’s no reason for that,” he said. The senator’s comments were recorded by someone from an opposition tracker during a tomato festival in Pittston, Pennsylvania last week. The Democratic Party in the state denounced Wagner and his comments, saying they were anti-Semitic. Wagner, however, insisted that if Soros had been Catholic he would have called him a Hungarian Catholic – meaning no offense. He added that his comments should not be interpreted as racist, also noting his long history of donating to the local Jewish Community Center.

I think we’ll all agree that Sen. Wagner’s comments were ill-considered for a politician.  That said..  He is 100% technically correct in calling George Soros a “Hungarian Jew.”  To recognize that FACT is NOT “anti-Semitic.”  If he were to say, “I hate Jews, or something similar, then that would be an anti-Semitic comment.  As for saying that Soros has “hatred for America.”…   Well, Mr. Soros is a socialist who hates America’s capitalistic heritage, and has used his funding of Moveon.org and other extreme liberal organizations to undermine that heritage.  He, like Obama, would like to see America become another failed socialist European country like Greece, etc.  So, on that level, I think that charge is pretty accurate.  Hopefully the good people of Pennsylvania will see through this nonsense and wave the bs flag at their state Dem party for making much ado about nothing.

First New Coal Mine of Trump Era Opens in Pennsylvania

President Trump lauded the opening of the nation’s first new coal mine in recent memory. Corsa Coal Company will operate the mine in Somerset County, Pa. – outside of Pittsburgh. Corsa CEO George Dethlefsen said the mine will be a boon to the struggling local economy. He praised Trump’s easing of regulations and encouragement for fossil fuel exploration. Dethlefsen told Leland Vittert that for the 70 positions available in the mine, 400 people applied. “It’s a hard day’s work every day, but it’s worth it,” one miner said. Vittert said the news contrasts with Hillary Clinton’s message that she would “put a lot of coal miners out of work.” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who endorsed Clinton, joined the mine company in watching a video message from Trump commemorating the occasion. R.J. Harris, a longtime host on Harrisburg’s 580-WHP, said the mine opening is a “shot in the arm” for the Keystone economy. Pennsylvania was once home to the world’s largest coal breaker, the St. Nicholas Breaker in Mahanoy City. In its heyday, the breaker could process 12,000 tons of anthracite coal each day, according to the Allentown Morning Call. Demolition began on the Schuylkill County behemoth in 2015 – a sign of the times in the coal region. Though, Harris said he is optimistic that Corsa’s mine opening is evidence that Trump can help turn the region’s economy around. The mine will reportedly be producing metallurgical or bituminous coal – which is used in steel-making – while anthracite is the type often used in energy production.

Great news for Somerset County, PA!!  Another one of Trump’s promises kept.  Excellent!!   🙂

Cops put parking lot crack cocaine in ‘lost and found’

Police in northeastern Pennsylvania say they’ve put about $1,600 worth of crack cocaine in their “lost and found box” in hopes of reuniting the drug with its rightful owner. The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens’ Voice reports the drug was found in the parking lot of a shopping center outside Wilkes-Barre. Wilkes-Barre Township police posted about the find on the department’s Facebook page. In a post headlined “FOUND ITEM,” police quipped the drug had been placed in the department’s “lost and found box” and invited the owner to come retrieve it. The post requested a picture of the crack’s owner holding the drug, along with ID and a “written statement containing your claim to the crack.”

No, you are NOT reading The Onion..  Let’s see if the “owner(s)” come forward to claim their “lost and found” item.  We’ll keep ya’ posted.

Starnes: SCROOGE! PA grade school cancels performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’

The fifth graders at Centerville Elementary School in Lancaster County, Pa., have been performing “A Christmas Carol” for decades. But this year that tradition came to an abrupt end. Parents told local reporters the play was canceled because two parents complained about a line in the Charles Dickens holiday classic. The unnamed parents took offense at the words uttered by Tiny Tim, “God bless us, every one,” television station WHTM reported. “I was very surprised because it’s going on for decades and it’s a tradition at the school that everyone looks forward to,” resident Jane Burkhart told the television station. Like many in this deeply religious community, she was saddened by the cancellation. “One little line shouldn’t ruin it for every kid,” Burkhart said. “Charles Dickens is a class author, not a religious author.” Principal Tom Kramer addressed the controversy in a message posted on the elementary school’s website. “We understand that some parents are upset that the play was cancelled, but we have heard from families on both ends of the spectrum, including those who expressed appreciation that the play, as it had traditionally been prepared and delivered, was cancelled,” he wrote. Kramer went on to reject reports that their decision was based on one or two families. “That’s just not true,” he said. He did not specifically address the parents’ allegations that the play was cancelled because of the line, “God bless us, every one.” But he did seem to hint at some sort of issue. “Our decision is rooted in the desire to be respectful of the many cultural and religious backgrounds represented by the students attending Centerville Elementary,” he wrote. That’s a mighty big clue, folks. In order to be tolerant and diverse, public schools have to eradicate any mention of God. But to be fair – the school administration says their decision was mostly because of the amount of time it took to produce the show (about 20 hours). “Given the changes in state standards in recent years, we could not defend the commitment of this kind of instructional time to something not part of the fifth-grade curriculum,” he wrote. Heaven forbid the teachers try to introduce the children to the world of the performing arts. The principal also pointed out that “producing and performing a play is not part of the written curriculum for fifth grade.” So, after more than 40 years of Christmas productions featuring Tiny Tim and Ebenezer Scrooge, he’s just now figuring that out?

I know, right? Just more anti-Christmas political correctness gone insane. Thanks to culture warrior Todd Starnes for bringing this tragic story to our attention.

Teen’s flag-stomp stunt at Pennsylvania HS spurs investigation

A Pennsylvania high school has launched an investigation after a photograph surfaced of a student desecrating an American flag inside a classroom at Richland High School. The repulsive photograph, reportedly posted online over the Valentine’s Day weekend, shows a young man standing on Old Glory as a female student stands nearby with her middle finger raised. Seething outrage would be a good way to describe the reaction in Richland Township – a country town that prides itself on patriotism. “What a shameful display of ignorance, contempt and utter disregard for the country, flag and veterans’ sacrifice,” one resident wrote online. “What a disgrace,” wrote another. “Maybe they should be put on the front lines, so they can get a taste of reality.” “This behavior is repulsive,” wrote the mother of an RHS graduate currently serving in the Armed Forces. “To make matters worse, Richland Township is home to many of the Armed Forces units that also defend that flag.” As detestable as the desecration may have been – the response from the Richland School District has been admirable – and downright remarkable. “This photo is not representative of the feelings of the 1,600 students in our district,” Superintendent Arnold Nadonley told the Tribune-Democrat newspaper. “Out of respect for our veterans – both those who have defended our flag and those still serving in our military – nobody wants to see something like this.” The district solicitor posted a message online promising a “timely and thorough review of this incident and will implement appropriate legal discipline.” They called the photo “unfortunate and unpatriotic.” The students involved in the desecration have not been identified. However, the mother of the young man reached out to television station WJAC to apologize. “My son did a stupid and impulsive thing,” she said in a statement. “He apologized immediately and regrets what he did. We appreciate the people reaching out with understanding and forgiveness. Our family has the highest respect for our country and military and we would like to issue a sincere apology on behalf of our entire family.” Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania doesn’t seem to think there’s a problem with desecrating Old Glory. “As long as they were trying to send a message of protest, it sounds like they are protected to me,” legal director Witold Walczak told the Tribune Democrat. The ACLU enjoys nothing better than an old-fashioned American flag burning. Superintendent Nadonley told the local newspaper he understands that students’ rights don’t end at the schoolhouse gates. “But we’ll pursue this matter in whatever legal way we can, with due process and with respect to the flag, our Constitution and our country,” he said. My goodness! I never thought I’d hear a public school administrator stand up to the ACLU and defend American patriotism! We still don’t know why the troubled teenagers did what they did — but the school district is definitely going to use the incident as a teaching tool. Consider these words from Principal Brandon Bailey. “We need to remember that great adversity often leads to great opportunity,” he wrote online. “We need to unify and use this opportunity to show to the world that the Richland School District has some of the finest students, faculty and staff in our great nation.” Well said, Principal Bailey. Instead of parking the offenders in a holding cell — maybe they could be dispatched to work at a nearby VA hospital. Perhaps they could do yard work for widows of local war veterans? Or maybe the school could host an assembly featuring graduates currently defending our freedom? Instead of parking the offenders in a holding cell — maybe they could be dispatched to work at a nearby VA hospital. Perhaps they could do yard work for widows of local war veterans? Or maybe the school could host an assembly featuring graduates currently defending our freedom? Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.

Starnes: Holy Cow! Pastor offers free prayers at coffee houses

Coffee is not exactly Thomas Rusert’s cup of tea. Nevertheless, every Thursday morning Pastor Thomas indulges himself in a steaming cup of java at local coffee houses. “I’m a tea drinker all the other days of the week,” said Thomas, the associate pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. “I’m a weirdly patterned person.” It does seem a bit unusual – akin to a vegetarian ordering tofu at a barbecue joint. But it turns the pastor’s weekly coffee klatch is all about prayer. Yes, prayer. Every Thursday morning, Pastor Thomas puts on a clergy collar and sets up shop in a local coffee house. He sets out a little sign that reads, “Free Prayer,” and then waits to see who God sends his way. “I’m humbled all the time by the way that the Spirit works,” the pastor told me. “God is working to give people the courage to say, ‘All right – I’m going to take this pastor up on this offer.’” And they have – by the hundreds. The “Free Prayer” program started quietly last summer – inspired by a word of advice Pastor Thomas had received from another member of the clergy — a pastor is doing the job well when at least half of his or her time is spent outside the office. That advice was something of an epiphany for the young Lutheran preacher. He wrote about his experiences next in a column titled, “Why I Offer ‘Free Prayer’ In A Coffee Shop.” “Sometimes we have to move beyond the shadows of a steeple to take care of our people,” he wrote. “And in so doing, we may just find that God takes care of us, too. The preacher admitted to being a little more than nervous when he set up shop for the first time in the local outpost of Panera Bread. “I went in with fear and trembling,” he recounted. “I put the sign up, put my nose into a book – I was afraid to make eye contact.” But eventually, Pastor Thomas grew courageous – and soon the Lord was sending many customers to his table – wayfaring strangers looking for a place to cast their cares. There was the owner of a Dunkin Donuts and the manager of Starbucks. There was someone whose nephew had an ailment and a schizophrenic who said she saw witches. “Sometimes it’s a 45-minute conversation about someone who is searching for answers, saw the open chair and that invitation for prayer,” he said. A stranger happened upon that empty chair last October. He had business at a nearby courthouse and had stopped by to get a cup of coffee. When he saw the pastor’s sign – tears filled his eyes. He left his coffee and the court documents on the table and walked outside. The pastor followed. “As we strolled together over the next hour, I heard all the unuttered prayers and pains he had held inside for two years,” Pastor Thomas wrote of the encounter. “His wife had experienced an identity crisis and left him. A dear friend had died from a blood clot. An aunt had died from medical malpractice. Another friend had died from an overdose. Finally, death had taken his sister. Death had hollowed out [his] spirit, and he had spoken about it to no one.” And so it was that on a brisk autumn day the spiritually wounded stranger had stumbled upon Pastor Thomas. “It seemed that God had enacted a little apocalypse, an awakening in [his]) soul,” he wrote. ‘And all I had to do at first was sit there.” Imagine what could happen if more of us followed the path of Pastor Thomas and stepped out of the church house and into the coffee house. It doesn’t matter if you might be anxious. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t drink coffee. “Trust that God is already sitting with you – encouraging you and giving you the confidence to put yourself out there for the sake of your community,” Pastor Thomas told me. So if you happen to be going through a rough patch in life — consider making your way to a coffee house in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Who knows – you just might discover a divine appointment of the caffeinated kind. Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.

Fun!  Thanks for sharing that with us, Todd!!   🙂