Archive

GOP state committeewoman fined for notarizing own petitions

January 26, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A former Republican state committeeman from Allegheny County wants the party to remove a committeewoman after she notarized her own nomination petitions, saying the offense cuts at the integrity of the ballot … Read the rest

PA boy school CEO: ‘Shocking’ how often teacher sex abuse occurs

January 25, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — The CEO of a facility for troubled boys in western Pennsylvania is disturbed both by the recent allegations of sexual abuse at his facility, as well as how often it seems to occur generally.

Watchdog 

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Week in review: Wolf shakes up Harrisburg during first week as governor

January 23, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Gov. Tom Wolf took office on Tuesday and immediately got to work.

The new governor quickly banned gifts for the executive branch and waded into his first public battle with Republican lawmakers when he recalled former … Read the rest

New website opens school finances for public review

January 19, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman / Watchdog.org

It’s one small click for man and one giant leap for government transparency.

Pennsylvania Rep. Jim Christiana (R-Beaver) introduced a new online tool Wednesday that gives the public greater access to school finances, how the … Read the rest

Former PA township official hit with 500 criminal charges

January 16, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — The former secretary/treasurer of one Pennsylvania township is charged with exactly 500 counts related to the theft of nearly $800,000.

MONEY PROBLEMS: One township’s former secretary/treasurer has now been hit with 500 theft-related criminal charges.

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Week in Review: Public input, teachers union, labor-backed PAC under scrutiny

January 16, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Could a prominent organization really ignore a state law for more than four decades?

That’s the charge being made in one of PA Independent’s top stories from this week, when a dispute between the state teachers … Read the rest

Union-funded nonprofit that attacked Corbett faces IRS fine

January 14, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Pennsylvanians for Accountability, a labor union-funded political action committee that spent more than $1 million attacking Gov. Tom Corbett during the past two years, is in trouble with the IRS.

The group failed to … Read the rest

Western PA judges stay in headlines for alleged shenanigans

January 13, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — One county in western Pennsylvania is proving that Philadelphia doesn’t have a monopoly on judicial imprudence. The sentencing of two former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges to federal prison made statewide headlines last month. Meanwhile, … Read the rest

Week in Review: New year, old problem for Pennsylvania’s pension funds

January 9, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

It might be a new year, with a new crop of state lawmakers in Harrisburg and a new governor on the way, but at least one thing hasn’t changed: Pennsylvania is still deep in public pension … Read the rest

Another Philadelphia principal accused of altering test scores

January 9, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

Another Philadelphia school principal was busted this week for cheating on standardized tests.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Lolamarie Davis-O’Rourke, formerly principal at Alain Locke Elementary School from 2009-12, was arrested Wednesday for allegedly directing … Read the rest

Paycheck protection advocate dislikes new name

December 22, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Simon Campbell, president of Pennsylvanians for Union Reform, likes the concept behind paycheck protection legislation. He just has a problem with what Republican lawmakers have named it.

That would be Mary’s Law, … Read the rest

Week in Review: Kane under more scrutiny as DA charges two lawmakers

December 19, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Attorney General Kathleen Kane still can’t break free of the scrutiny.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams this week cast doubt on Kane’s assertion a sting operation that ensnared Democratic politicians was flawed beyond … Read the rest

Wolf wants to hand Philadelphia schools back to city

December 19, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

When governor-elect Tom Wolf takes office next month, Philadelphia schools might get released from state control.

In 2001, the School District of Philadelphia was taken over by the five-member School Reform Commission — three appointed … Read the rest

Philadelphia drops civil asset forfeiture case against family

December 19, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The city of Philadelphia has dropped its attempt to seize two homes using civil asset forfeiture laws.

HOME SWEET HOME: Chris Sourovelis and his family will be allowed to return to their home after

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Lawmaker: General Assembly shouldn’t spend time naming roads and bridges

December 18, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – State lawmakers didn’t get pension reform or liquor privatization finished in the past legislative session, but the General Assembly sure did ceremonially name a lot of roads and bridges — 73 of … Read the rest

Two Philly Dems charged in once-abandoned bribery sting

December 17, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

Two more Philadelphia lawmakers were charged Tuesday in connection to a sting operation that caught them accepting bribes in return for votes.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced charges against state representatives Vanessa Lowery Brown … Read the rest

Week in Review: State lawmakers raise familiar issues in new session

December 12, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Welcome to the new legislative session, same as the old legislative session.

State lawmakers started their latest two-year session Dec. 1, but the major issues already sound familiar. There’s a renewed push for … Read the rest

Artist James Dupree fends off eminent domain effort by Philadelphia City Hall

December 12, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority still wants to build a grocery store in the city’s Mantua neighborhood, but it won’t be taking James Dupree’s art studio to do it.

The PRA on Thursday relented on … Read the rest

Report finds teachers woefully unprepared for classroom challenges

December 12, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

Teachers are not ready to teach.

That was the bold message delivered by the National Council on Teacher Quality this week in a scathing national report on educators.

Pennsylvania got particularly poor marks on retaining … Read the rest

Why 2015 could be the year for medical marijuana legalization in Pennsylvania

December 10, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Medical marijuana legislation will get a second chance in 2015.

The bipartisan pair of state senators who pushed for legalization during 2014 announced this week they will re-introduce the same text of a bill … Read the rest