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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Rep Hogan Urges More Pet Protection Legislation

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Kate - Rep Joe Hogan's Family Member

State Representative Joe Hogan (R-Bucks) is introducing legislation for more protection of our furry friends.

Three bills are on the table. House Bill (HB) 529, HB 530 and HB 1057. Hogan is one of many co-sponsors of the bills. He is a life-long owner of dogs.

Speaking of mainly dogs, Hogan said he grew up with dogs and feels pets are important to children as they are a child’s friend, part of the family. Pets create stability in young people’s life. As an adult, pets are dependent on you for everything. It teaches greater responsibility since the adult is the one to take care of the pet.

HB529 is the safe transportation legislation. This bill is an amendment that provides for the offense of transporting dogs in an external section of vehicle. Hogan said this is a safety issue.

Photo Credit: Rep. Joe Hogan’s Video

According to the initial Bill Memo, the American Humane Society estimates that 100,000 dogs die every year as the result of being transported in the bed of a pickup truck by either falling out of the vehicle or being hit with debris. Extreme heat and cold, the impact of precipitation at high speeds are also a cause of injury to dogs travelling in an external part of a vehicle.  Serious traffic accidents can occur if a dog falls or is thrown from a vehicle, putting people’s safety in jeopardy.

The Bill Memo also stated that it will  not impact farmers’ or hunters’ ability to safely transport dogs on private farmland or hunting grounds.  Do not leash your pet inside of a truck bed even when parked to avoid strangulation hazards and because open truck beds do not provide any protection from the weather.

“…….Don’t worry, your friend can still stick their head out the window,” Hogan said warmly. 

HB 530 is the prohibition on certain individuals from owning certain animals.

The Animal Cruelty Act: Restrictions on Ownership (HB459) memorandum states that between August 27, 2017, and December 31, 2021, there were a little over 25,000 animal abuse offenses (54 percent due to neglect) filed in Pennsylvania. This tragedy continues to unfold due to lax laws that allow convicted animal abusers to find more victims as soon as they finish serving their sentence.

Photo Credit: Rep. Joe Hogan’s Video

The primary sponsor, Rep. Jeanne McNeill (D-Lehigh Valley) said in the memo this legislation would close this loophole and protect animals by requiring all convicted abusers to be prohibited from owning, possessing, controlling, or working with animals for at least two years.  Abusers would be required to participate in violence prevention counseling and, in the case of failure to attend counseling or trying to have an animal, the prohibition would be extended and further counseling would be required.

HB 1057 is the shelter tax credit. An Act amending the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known as the Tax Reform Code of 1971, providing for shelter animal adoption tax credit.

This bill proposes amendments to the Tax Reform Code of 1971 in Pennsylvania to establish a tax credit program for residents who adopt shelter animals. The Shelter Animal Adoption Tax Credit Program aims to encourage adoption of such animals by offering a tax credit of $100 per adopted shelter animal, up to a maximum of three animals in a tax year.

Over 6 million dogs and cats are currently in shelters around the United States awaiting to be adopted into their forever homes. It is estimated that more than one million of those adoptable pets are euthanized in the United States each year. Individuals who adopt shelter pets instead of buying them help to dramatically reduce the number of euthanized animals, shown in the Shelter Animal Adoption Tax Credit (Formerly HB674).

Photo Credit: Rep. Joe Hogan’s Video

Hogan serves as state representative for Pennsylvania’s 142nd Legislative District. He is a member of the Animal Protection and Bi-Partisan caucuses along with other caucuses.

Click here  to view an important video from Hogan on the pet protection bill package

Ms. Joanne Ames is a Falls Twp resident who handles financial transactions, and for feature and important stories copy edits content when she's not working her other job as retail manager at a local cigarette/vape outlet. Ames' free time is dedicated to hanging out with her "Mom" ensuring she is cared for, comfortable, and loved at all times. Ames is also a crazed Eagles fan and who spends much of her Sunday's reminding LBS Publisher/Editor Jeff Bohen "The Giants Suck.." Ames recently has gotten the reporting bug and is in the midst of preparing for her first big story.

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

New LBTQ+ Advocacy Group Fairness Pennsylvania Launches

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Fairness Pennsylvania (FPA), the first full-time statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights program in several years kicked off on Monday, June 3 with Pennsylvania organizers, advocates, and legislators  at the state Capitol.

“We are ready to hit the ground running,” said Sarah Hammond, Fairness PA’s State Director, in a press release. “There are so many engaged activists and strong voices working right now in communities across the state. Our first priority is to identify ways that a new, statewide organization can assist these dedicated activists to move the needle here in Harrisburg and around the state.”

Hammond said. “…FPA is dedicated to promoting equality and fostering nondiscrimination principles in PA so that our LGBTQ+ community can be open, honest, and safe at home, at work, and in our communities across the state.”

In a statement, Governor Josh Shapiro said, “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was founded on the ideals of tolerance and understanding and I’m proud to stand alongside Fairness PA as they work to promote those values and build a better, stronger Commonwealth for all.”

Credit: Submitted

“No matter what you look like, where you come from, who you love, or who you pray to, you deserve equal protection under the law in Pennsylvania….” said Shapiro. “It’s long past time we put partisanship aside and pass a nondiscrimination law that protects LGBTQ Pennsylvanians,” continued the press release.

Hammond said that an immediate priority for Fairness PA would be passage of the Fairness Act, which would ban discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations in the state, according to the press release. The Fairness Act passed in the state House in April 2023 but has yet to be considered in the state Senate. Shapiro earlier this year called on on the General Assembly to finally come together and pass the Fairness Act.

Fairness Pennsylvania can be found online at fairnesspenn.org or @FairnessPA on social media.

For more information, please visit Fairness PA or contact Pete Shelly at pshelly@clearpointpa.com.

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Man Charged for Possessing Kiddie Porn

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A Bensalem man stands accused of uploading and saving pornographic images involving children to his Google account.

Michael Dunbar, 55, was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Michael W. Gallagher Thursday morning on one felony count of child pornography and one count of criminal use of communication facility with his bail set at 10 percent of $300,000.00.

According to Bensalem Police,  on Thursday, April 25, 2024, a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was received.  The tip referenced a particular Google account that had uploaded and saved numerous videos depicting child pornography, including prepubescent boys and girls engaging in sexual acts with each other. Detectives began an investigation and were able to determine that the owner/user of the Google account was Dunbar.

On Thursday, June 20, 2024, Bensalem Detectives served a search warrant on Dunbar’s residence.  The suspect was interviewed, and he allegedly admitted to intentionally uploading child pornography into his Google account after finding the videos on the Dark Web.

Bensalem authorities did not comment about the results of the  executed search warrant.

Dunbar was unable to post bail as of early Friday morning and was remanded to Bucks County Correctional Facility. He is currently scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 2 and has no attorney of record presently, according to court records.

 

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Health - Bensalem Township

THE Giant Co. & Customers Raise More Than $400,000 For Healing Our Planet Initiatives

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Through its Healing Our Planet initiative, The GIANT Company today announced it raised $403,360 in partnership with its customers to support Planet Bee Foundation™ and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful™. During the month of May, customers at GIANT, MARTIN’S and GIANT Heirloom Market stores were invited to round up their grocery purchases to the nearest dollar to support each organization.

“Action inspires action and small changes such as tree plantings and pollinator awareness can make a big difference when it comes to helping our planet, so thank you to our customers who rounded up at the register to support these green initiatives,” said Courtney Hopcraft, manager of charitable giving and community relations, The GIANT Company. “Over the four years of our Healing the Planet campaign, more than $6 million has been raised to grow health and sustainability initiatives centric to creating healthier communities and a more sustainable future.”

Announced earlier this month, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful in partnership with The GIANT Company announced it will award Healing the Planet grants later this summer to local community organizations for tree plantings across Pennsylvania. Additional funding from The GIANT Company will support Pick Up Pennsylvania and local clean up, recycling and greening events.

“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is grateful to The GIANT Company for their support of native tree planting in their operating areas in Pennsylvania. Funding will also support our Pick Up Pennsylvania program, so we can continue to meet the needs of families, friends, neighbors, civic groups, nonprofits and municipalities working towards a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania,” said Shannon Reiter, president, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “Cleaning and beautifying communities tends to reduce littering and other illegal behaviors, making it a better place for all residents and providing a foundation for community and economic development.”

Credit: Submitted

Planet Bee Foundation drives awareness for pollinators and the importance of bees as a pathway to STEM, conservation, and innovations in agriculture. Funding raised by The GIANT Company will support local beekeepers, research programs, and school and community programs.

“On behalf of Planet Bee Foundation, I wish to extend our deepest gratitude to The GIANT Company for their donation, which has educated and impacted over 109,000 youth. Their generosity has sponsored STEM and Agriculture Education programs in schools, provided supplies to teachers, offered grants to local beekeepers, provided education at public events, and maintained beehives in community gardens, exemplifying their commitment to local communities,” said Debra Tomaszewski, founder and executive director, Planet Bee Foundation. “We are humbled and inspired by The GIANT Company’s commitment to sustainability, the health of our planet, and the well-being of the families they serve.”

For more information on The GIANT Company’s Healing Our Planet initiative, click here please.

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