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State/County - Bristol Borough

Shapiro Wins PA Gov Race by 13 Pts

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Updated 7:30 am Wednesday November 9

In a race that did not get as much national play Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro trounced Republican Doug Mastriano to become the state’s first Jewish Governor with a dominating win Tuesday night. .

The race was called just before 11 pm Tuesday night, with about 62 percent of the vote counted.

The final unofficial results have Shapiro leading statewide, 55.5 to 44.6. over the Army Veteran

Shapiro the current Attorney General of the Commonwealth, had the support of many republicans who called Mastriano’s ideas and policies “too extreme” for Pennsylvania. 

Shapiro, who was elected as attorney general in 2016, focused his campaign on protecting abortion rights, raising the state minimum wage to $15 an hour, expanding green energy and union rights, and investing in public schools and law enforcement, among other things.

 

 

 

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State/County - Bristol Borough

Health and Welfare Building Renamed Blending 2 Departments

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Today, the Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh and Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Dr. Debra Bogen together celebrated the renaming of their shared building as the. The new name removes the outdated language of the former “Health and Welfare” building and replaces it with the Department of Human Services’ current title to create a cohesive branding for both Departments.

“This name change to the Health and Human Services Building is part of a much larger goal for the Department of Human Services as we aim to serve all Pennsylvanians with dignity and respect and at the same time discontinue use of outdated and stigmatizing language. This is more than just a name change, it is another step toward modernizing our work and centering our efforts around the people we serve,” said DHS Secretary Arkoosh. “I am excited to have our building better reflect our Department and the work accomplished inside to better serve all Pennsylvanians.”

“The new building name reflects the Shapiro Administration’s commitment to strong collaboration between the Departments of Health and Human Services to ensure all Pennsylvanians are well served by both agencies,” said DOH Secretary Bogen. “The new name speaks to the broad range of services provided by the dedicated health and human services professionals working within the departments to meet the needs of Pennsylvanians.”

The building was rededicated with the new name in January 2024, and it recently became official with the installation of new signage throughout the building. This name change aligns the building with the Department’s title change in 2014 from the Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services. The update also includes changes to the location’s mailing address and online presence to reflect the change.

Built in 1955 as part of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex, the building houses key offices for both DOH and DHS and serves as a centralized workspace for hundreds of Commonwealth employees. In addition to the Health and Human Services Building in Harrisburg, DHS supports local County Assistance Offices throughout Pennsylvania for people who need in-person services.

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State/County - Bensalem Township

Increases in Crashes, DUI Related Deaths on State Roadways, During Holiday Enforcement Effort State Police Say

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The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) on Tuesday released the results of its annual Independence Day weekend enforcement detail, which aimed to strengthen roadway safety across the Commonwealth.

The PSP investigated 774 vehicle crashes resulting in 11 fatalities and 244 injuries July 3-7. Intoxicated driving was a factor in 64 crashes, including four fatal crashes.

During the five days, troopers arrested 556 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and issued 28,429 citations, including:

  •  7,975 for speeding;
  • 876 for failing to wear a seat belt;
  • 225 for not securing children in safety seats.

Table 1: Independence Day Weekend Crash Statistics

Year Total Crashes Fatal Crashes People Killed People Injured DUI Crashes DUI-Related Fatal Crashes
2024 (5 days) 774 11 11 244 64 4
2023 (5 days) 668 3 3 194 59 0

Table 2: Independence Day Weekend Enforcement Statistics

Year DUI Arrests Speeding Citations Child Seat Citations Seat Belt Citations Other Citations
2024 (5 days) 556 7,975 225 876 19,353
2023 (5 days) 505 7,929 210 845 14,754

These statistics cover only those incidents investigated by the state police and do not include incidents to which other law enforcement agencies responded.

For more statistical information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit psp.pa.gov.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Con Artist who Caregiver Who Faked Cancer Diagnosis Stole from Patients and Families Sentenced

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A 48-year-old woman was sentenced on Wednesday for stealing thousands of dollars in money and heirloom jewelry from the families of two elderly women she cared for and then submitting fake medical documents claiming to have stage 4 esophageal cancer so that she could delay her trial.

Shannon Lynn  Eberhartof Bensalem, also pleaded guilty today to the charges of unlawful use of a computer and two counts of identity theft related to the submission of fraudulent documentation. In March, she pleaded guilty to two counts of financial exploitation of an older adult or care dependent person, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property, and one count each of identity theft and access device fraud.

Common Pleas Judge Gary B. Gilman sentenced Eberhart to one year minus a day to two years minus a day in the Bucks County Correctional Facility, followed by a consecutive sentence of 11 years of probation. He called her actions “despicable and unfathomable,” and an unending betrayal to those who trusted her.

“You are nothing but a con artist who deceived the people who cared for you,” he said. “You betrayed every cancer patient, you betrayed the court system, you betrayed your attorney,” said Gilman, who questioned whether Eberhart’s courtroom tears were real, or just another of her deceptions.

In addition to her jail and probation rerquire4ment6s , Gilman ordered Eberhart to pay $32,835 in restitution to three victims, undergo mental health and drug and alcohol treatment and never again work as a caregiver.

Eberhart was initially charged in late February 2023 following an investigation by the Newtown Township Police Department that revealed that she stole jewelry and cash from two women she worked for as a caretaker. Additionally, the investigation found that Eberhart made unauthorized withdrawals from one of the victim’s bank accounts.

Deputy District Attorney Marc J. Furber said shortly after being employed, Eberhart started stealing from right under their noses.

“It was not about the monetary value,” he said. “These were pieces of heirloom jewelry handed down from generation to generation, now gone.”

Eberhart waived her preliminary hearing and formal arraignment, and the case was scheduled for pre-trial conference on three different occasions. A month before a scheduled court hearing in December 2023, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office received a medical document from Eberhart’s public defender, who had received it from Eberhart to support her continuance request.

The letter, which appeared to have come from a Montgomery County hospital, claimed Eberhart had stage 4 esophageal cancer and needed further treatment.

Bucks County detectives contacted the two doctors named in the letter and both said they never authored the letter and never treated Eberhart. Representatives of the hospital also confirmed that the letter was fake and contained several inaccuracies, including the official name of the hospital and its logo. The two doctors named in the letter also never worked at their hospital.

The investigation by Bucks County Detectives found that the letter was clearly written using a computer, as it contained a digitally created logo and headers, footers, and margins. Additionally, the investigation found that Eberhart emailed the fake letter to her attorney, who in turn submitted the letter to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.

The families of the victims gave impact statements about how Eberhart’s deceitfulness affected them, not just financially, but emotionally. Both families knew and trusted Eberhart before she was hired to work as a caregiver for their elderly mothers. During their brief time working for the families, they grew to care for her.

One of the families said they grieved with Eberhart and gave her flowers and condolences when she told them her mother passed away, but that was another of her shameful lies. Eberhart’s mother was in court on Wednesday.

“Shannon’s actions here are unforgivable,” one of the victims said. “These pieces of jewelry tell stories of my family, past and present, and can never be replaced.”

Deputy District Attorney Marc Furber called the “theft from the elderly, especially by people entrusted to care for them,” a major problem.

“The Defendant compounded her crimes against the elderly by attempting to continue her manipulation in the Court system. She failed, but not for lack of trying,” he said. “This case should be a lesson to those who are in positions of trust for elderly or disabled individuals.  That trust should be upheld at all costs.  If you make the decision to violate that trust, you will be caught, you will go to jail and further attempts to manipulate the legal system will fail.”

“The effects of elder financial abuse are incredibly tragic and long lasting for the victims and their families,” Furber said. “But if there was one bright spot to the Defendant’s actions, it is that those actions demonstrated the strength of our legal system in Bucks County. We are ready to combat falsity, dishonesty and misinformation with the shining light of truth and justice.”

These cases were investigated by Detectives with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, Newtown Township Police Department and Warminster Township Police Department. They were prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Marc J. Furber, Chief of Insurance Fraud and Economic Crimes.

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