House bill deals with pay for care of seized animals Faculty union to demonstrate Hate crime, murder alleged
HARRISBURG -- The state House of Representatives has approved a bill to allow judges to decide who should pay for the care of animals seized in cases involving alleged criminal cruelty.
The bill was approved Wednesday on a vote of 163-to-34, and sent to the Senate.
The proposal applies to animals seized in cruelty cases that result in criminal charges. It allows the organization that seizes the animals to file a petition in district court for "reasonable costs" of $15 a day.
Rep. John Maher, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, says the bill is designed to ensure shelters can promptly seek payment and defendants can contest the seizure of an animal.
HARRISBURG -- The union representing faculty at Pennsylvania's 14 public universities plans to demonstrate to protest what the union says are stalled contract talks.
Patrick Burkhart, president of Slippery Rock University's union chapter, tells the Butler Eagle the demonstration will happen during Thursday's board of governor's meeting for the State System of Higher Education.
Union members have been working without a contract since June 2011. They have authorized their leadership to call a strike if necessary, while state system officials have pledged to rein in rising educational costs.
PHILADELPHIA -- A paroled killer targeted mentally disabled adults in a scheme to steal their Social Security benefits, confining them like "zoo animals," forcing some into prostitution and causing the deaths of two victims through abuse and neglect, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
Linda Weston, 52, of Philadelphia, was indicted on charges including hate crimes, kidnapping, murder in aid of racketeering and forced human labor. It's the first time the federal hate crimes statute has been used to protect the disabled, authorities said.
The case came to light in October 2011 after a landlord discovered four malnourished victims locked in the basement of a Philadelphia apartment building, one of them chained to a boiler. In all, authorities allege six disabled adults and four children were held captive in "subhuman" conditions.
From our wire services.