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Pa. map battle lands in Supreme Court

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A request by Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania Legislature to stop a new congressional map from being implemented is now in the hands of the nation’s highest court.

The filing made late Wednesday asked Justice Samuel Alito to intervene, saying the state Supreme Court overstepped its authority in imposing a new map.

More litigation may follow, as Republicans are considering a separate legal challenge in federal court in Harrisburg this week.

The state Supreme Court last month threw out a Republican crafted map that was considered among the nation’s most gerrymandered, saying the 2011 plan violated the state constitution’s guarantee of free and equal elections.

The new map the state justices announced Monday is widely viewed as giving Democrats an edge as they seek to recapture enough U.S. House seats to reclaim the majority.

House Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said the state’s highest court made an unprecedented decision.

“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court conspicuously seized the redistricting process and prevented any meaningful ability for the Legislature to enact a remedial map to ensure a court drawn map,” they wrote in a filing made electronically after business hours.

The challenge adds uncertainty as candidates are preparing to circulate nominating petitions to get their names on the May primary ballot.

A spokesman for Democratic

Gov. Tom Wolf, responding to the lawmakers’ filing, said Wolf was “focused on making sure the Department of State is fully complying with the court’s order by updating their systems and assisting candidates, county election officials and voters preparing for the primary election.”

It is the third time in four months that Turzai and Scarnati have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put a halt to litigation over the 2011 map they took leading roles in creating.

Alito handles emergency applications from Pennsylvania and the other states covered by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Justices have the authority to deal with these applications on their own, or they can refer the matter to the entire court.

In November, Alito turned down a request for a stay of a federal lawsuit.

On Feb. 5, Alito rejected a request from Turzai and Scarnati to halt a Jan. 22 order from the state Supreme Court that gave the Republican leaders two weeks to propose a map that would be supported by Wolf and until last week to suggest a new map to the court.

Turzai and Scarnati argued that the state’s high court gave them scant time to propose their own map after throwing out the 2011 version.

As a sign of the litigation’s potential impact on national politics, President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged Republicans to press their challenge of the map to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The five Democrats on the state Supreme Court sided with Democratic voters who challenged the map, although one of the Democratic justices, Max Baer, has opposed the compressed timetable.

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Halvorson Pledges to Shake Up Congress 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Joe Sterns (717) 497-0806

Jan. 2, 2018
Halvorson Pledges to Shake Up Congress 
Manns Choice, PA — Art Halvorson, who came within a percentage point of defeating powerful incumbent Congressman Bill Shuster in the 2016 primary, today announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania’s 9th district. Halvorson is committed to the conservative-reform revolution that swept President Donald Trump into the White House last year. He says the need is urgent to support Trump’s efforts to clean up Washington D.C., and break the cartel of lobbyists and career politicians that still controls Congress.
“I intend to complete my mission to bring conservative principles back into the heart of American governance,” Halvorson said. “America has a golden opportunity to reclaim its greatness, but President Trump urgently needs other outsiders like him to enter Congress and help him.”
Halvorson received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, and was recommended by the pro-life group LIFEPAC. His “Rescue America” platform includes: term limits on Congress, defunding and repealing Obama Care, securing the borders, defunding Planned Parenthood, the Balanced Budget Amendment, and restructuring ‘free-trade’ deals to include fair-trade protections for America’s steel, coal, auto, rail, timber and manufacturing sectors. Halvorson is well positioned to complete his mission. Polling shows he has high, favorable name identification to go along with proven fundraising ability and a legion of hardworking grassroots volunteers known as “Art’s Army.”
If given the enormous honor of representing the 9th District, Halvorson will serve under a self-imposed term limit of six years, and he will refuse the lucrative congressional pension.
“I will serve as a citizen-legislator so that I can fight fearlessly for the conservative principles

America was built on,” Halvorson said.
Art Halvorson is a highly decorated Coast Guard veteran, businessman, and conservative champion of traditional values. Halvorson joined the Coast Guard at age 17 to help protect the

country he loves and keep it free. During his 29 years of distinguished service, he was a search-and-rescue pilot and base commanding officer. Mr. Halvorson earned the prestigious Legion of Merit award for leadership after he helped re-organize the Coast Guard in the aftermath of the 9-11 Terror Attack.

While in the military, Halvorson earned a master’s degree in strategic studies at the U.S. Air War College, as well as an MBA from The College of William and Mary. After retiring from the

military, Mr. Halvorson built a real estate company into a very successful enterprise. Halvorson has been deeply committed to philanthropic projects. He is a member of the Gideon’s

International, the National Rifle Association, and Crossroads Bible Church. He has also served as president of Officers’ Christian Fellowship. He and his wife of 39 years, Paula, have six children and twelve grandchildren. The Halvorson’s

have also been foster parents and provided shelter to distressed single mothers. They live on their farm homestead in Manns Choice, Pennsylvania.

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Uniontown Mayor resigns effective immediately 

SOURCES HAVE CONFIRMED ONLINE THAT ED FIKE IS NOW THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF UNIONTOWN.  BERNIE KASIEVICH WHO HAD SERVED AS UNIONTOWN MAYOR SINCE THE START OF 2016 TENDERED HIS RESIGNATION TODAY, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. IN A RESIGNATION LETTER OBTAINED ONLINE KASIEVICH CITED PERSONAL AND BUSINESS CONCERNS FOR HIS REASONS OF RESIGNATION. EARLIER TODAY FIKE AND MARTY GATTI WERE SWORN IN AS MEMBERS OF UNIONTOWN CITY COUNCIL, WITH FIKE NAMED AS DIRECTOR OF FINANCE. PER CITY CODE, THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE IS APPOINTED MAYOR IF THE CURRENT MAYOR RESIGNS.

election results, Municipal Elections, Uncategorized

Upper Tyrone Township

Supervisor 6 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. D / Peter A. Fratto / 174 / 67.16%
  2. R / William A. Edwards / 85 / 32.82%

Tax Collector 4 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. Laurie Hanchar / 232 / 99.15%
  2. Robert Lewandowski / 1 / 0.43%

Auditor 6 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. Don Kiefer / 4 / 57.15%
  2. Richard Firestone / 1 / 12.50%

Judge of Election 4 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. D / Jackie L. Beranek / 162 / 98.18%
  2. David Tullio / 1 / 0.61%

Inspector of Election 4 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. Tammy Marchewka / 5 / 33.34%

Voter Turnout – Township of Upper Tyrone

Ballots Cast – 262
Registered Voters – 991
Voter Turnout – 26.44%

 

election results, Municipal Elections, Uncategorized

Bullskin Township

Supervisor 6 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. R / Chris R. Ohler / 853 / 63.94%
  2. D / Scott Keefer / 472/  35.38%
  3. */Carl Butler / 3 / 0.22%

Tax Collector 4 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. Leslie Wiltrout / 1,144 / 97.78%
  2. Louis E. Bell / 10 / 0.85%
  3. Lisa Argiro / 9 / 0.77%

Auditor 6 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. D / Christopher J. Lacey / 807 / 96.90%

Voter Turnout Township Wide

Ballots Cast: 1,360
Registered : 4,484
Voter Turnout: 30.33%

District #1

bullskin-1

Judge of Election 4 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. Edwin Zylka – 3 / 12.00%
  2. Carol Swink – 2 / 8.00%
  3. Scott Keefer – 2 / 8.00%
  4. Mark Bell/1/ 4%
  5. Scott Bennington /1/ 4%
  6. Claire Brocker /1/ 4%
  7. PJ CARTE / /1/ 4%
  8. Amy Hann /1/ 4%
  9. James R. Higgins /1/ 4%
  10. Christopher Lee /1/ 4%
  11. Beverly Quinn /1/ 4%
  12. Mary Smith /1/ 4%
  13. Treanna Smith /1/ 4%

Inspector of Election 4 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. Edwin Zylka / 4 / 17.39%
  2. Jody Oswald / 2 / 8.70%
  3. Treanna Smith / 2 / 8.70%
  4. Chris R. Ohler / 1 / 4.35%
  5. Mark Bell / 1 / 4.35%
  6. Claire Brougher  / 1 / 4.35%
  7. Beverly Brown  / 1 / 4.35%
  8. Amy Hann  / 1 / 4.35%
  9. James R. Huggins  / 1 / 4.35%
  10. Christine Lee  / 1 / 4.35%

Voter Turnout – District #1

Ballots Cast – 787
Registered Voters – 2,623
Voter Turnout – First District – 30.0%

District #2

bullskin-2

Judge of Election 4 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. Linda Lewandoski / 14 / 53.65%

Inspector of Election 4 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. Joyce Guthrie / 2 / 18.18%

Voter Turnout – District 2

Ballots Cast: 304
Registered Voters: 950
Voter Turnout – 32%

District #3

bullskin-3

Judge of Election 4 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. D/Julie E. Weeks / 202 / 99.02%
  2. Terry Cavicchio / 1/ 0.49%

District 3 Inspector of Election 4 Year Term, Vote For 1

  1. R/Mark Allen Fiano / 158 / 60.54%
  2. D/Laurie B. McGinnis / 103 / 39.46%

Voter Turnout – District 3

Ballots Cast – 269
Registered Voters – 911
Voter Turnout – 29.53%

election results, Uncategorized

Judge of the Superior Court

Vote for Four

  1.   Maria McLaughlin – Votes: 1,068,972
  2. Deborah Anne Kunselman – Votes: 1,032,822
  3. Carolyn H. Nichols – Votes: 969,578
  4. Mary P. Murray –  Votes: 911,375
  5. Geoffrey Moulton –    Votes: 884,258
  6. Emil Giordiono –  Votes: 878,714
  7. Wade Allen Kagerise – Votes: 828,828

Judge of the Superior Court (Retention)

Jacqueline Shogan – Votes: Yes: 1,064,020 No: 471,209

election results, Municipal Elections, Uncategorized

Stewart Township

Pamela Kessler will attain a seat as a township  supervisor running uncontested, Renee Shaefer will retain her seat as tax collector for the township. Stephanie Plume will retain her spot a an auditor for a six year term.

A Write in contest will decide the fate of Judge of Election and Inspector of Election in Stewart Township.