PA Lottery rakes
in record profits
The Pennsylvania Lottery achieved records in sales and profits, even as Gov. Tom Corbett fought to hand its management over to a private British firm.
The lottery Thursday reported sales of $3.7 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That’s up $219 million, or 6 percent. Profits were relatively flat at just above $1 billion, rising $6.5 million, or less than 1 percent.
Profit margin shrank from above 30 percent to below 28 percent, as the cost of sales rose by nearly $200 million, or about 8 percent.
Corbett wants to hire Camelot Global Services to run the lottery, saying it promises higher and more stable profits. His administration is trying to rewrite the contract after Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected it in February as illegal.
Death warrant signed
for toddler killer
Gov. Tom Corbett has signed a death warrant for the man who brutally beat a 2-year-old to death in April 2008.
In a trial that drove veteran police officers close to tears, a York County jury convicted Harve Johnson, the boyfriend of Darisabel’s mother, of first-degree murder and sentenced him to death in November 2009.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed his conviction and sentence in April 2012.
This is Johnson’s first death warrant. He does have avenues of appeal remaining before his scheduled Sept. 10 execution at Rockview State Prison.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is ordering a halt to a plan by Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration to close nearly half of Pennsylvania’s 60 community health centers, including the one in Wilkes-Barre, until it can hear a lawsuit challenging it.
The high court’s order reverses a lower court decision on the request for an injunction and asks for a speedy hearing of the case.
A state employees’ union, Department of Health nurses and several Democratic state lawmakers sued on April 1, saying the plan violates a 1996 law that requires legislative approval before closing any centers.
Department of Health officials say they can do a better job treating public health problems by making community health nurses more mobile. Agency employees warn that it’d slow the detection of communicable diseases outbreaks, particularly in rural areas.
Group wants to end
Sunday hunting ban
A hunters’ group has asked a federal judge to throw out Pennsylvania’s long-standing ban on Sunday hunting.
Hunters United for Sunday Hunting filed suit against the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the agency that enforces the state’s game code.
The Lancaster County-based group says the state’s ban on most types of hunting on Sunday is unconstitutional. The group contends the ban costs hunters an “irreparable loss” of time in the field.
Legislation that would have permitted hunting on Sundays died two years ago amid opposition from the state Farm Bureau. The farm bureau has said many people support preserving one day a week when people can be outside without running into hunters or hearing gunfire.