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Trial set for township man charged with assault

A Lower Swatara Twp. man charged by police with the alleged aggravated assault of a 6-month-old boy is scheduled to stand trial on March 20.

Stephen M. Lehman Jr., 27, allegedly threw the infant into a playpen on July 20, township police charged. The child was under the care of Lehman and the baby’s older sister, who was Lehman’s girlfriend, while the mother was at work, police said.

The infant sustained injuries including a fractured skull, authorities said. The child was released from the hospital on July 23.

Besides felony aggravated assault; Lehman is also charged with simple assault, and endangering the welfare of children, both misdemeanors. Lehman remains in Dauphin County Prison.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 15:32

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Sunoco seeks PUC ruling on stations along pipeline


Sunoco Logistics has not provided plans of the exact location and nature of the above-ground buildings and equipment needed in Lower Swatara Twp. for its Mariner 1 and Mariner 2 pipeline projects, said Bob Greene, planning and zoning coordinator.

Based on Sunoco’s filings with the state Public Utilities Commission, the company wants to avoid presenting local plans for pumping stations and valve control stations along the route, at least as it retrofits its old line. To accomplish this, Sunoco wants the commission to rule that the two types of stations are “reasonably necessary for the convenience and welfare of the public,” because such a ruling would eliminate the need to present its plans for approval in 31 municipalities.

Members of the public will be able to share their views about the attempt to skip local approvals if PUC hearings are scheduled. Residents with concerns about the Sunoco pipeline projects or any utility – from taxi service to sewage treatment - may contact PUC at 1-800-692-7380.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 15:27

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WEATHER WATCH FRIDAY, FEB. 20: Extreme cold causes delays

Extreme cold temperatures have caused the following delays and postponements for Friday, Feb. 20:

Middletown Area School District has delayed the start of classes at its schools by two hours.


Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2015 17:56

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In 10 minutes, thief takes items from her parked car

She was quickly dropping off her child at a Lower Swatara Twp. daycare center - but in those few minutes someone grabbed her laptop computer and cell phone from her parked car and ran off.

The theft occurred between 8 and 8:10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 13, in the parking lot of the Discovery Kids Childcare Center in the 1000 block of Oberlin Road, according to Lower Swatara police.

The victim, a township resident, told police she spent no more than 10 minutes in the center.

Taken were a Dell laptop valued at $900 and a Samsung S4 phone valued at $600, police said.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call police at 717-939-0463.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 16:01

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Wolf declares moratorium on death penalty

wholaverphoto2 18 15Press and Journal File Photo -- Ernest Wholaver on death row


Gov. Tom Wolf declared a moratorium on Pennsylvania’s death penalty on Friday, Feb. 13 until he receives a forthcoming report by a state task force on capital punishment.


Wolf said he imposed the moratorium “after significant consideration and reflection,’’ but will wait until the bipartisan Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Committee on Capital Punishment, created by a state Senate resolution in 2011, completes its report.


The moratorium “is in no way an expression of sympathy for the guilty on death row,’’ but is needed while the task force studies whether the death penalty is applied fairly in Pennsylvania so that “we eliminate the risk of executing an innocent,’’ Wolf said.


In a joint statement, the state Legislature’s two highest-ranking Republicans, Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) and Senate Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana County), called Wolf’s moratorium “a political statement without public discourse or input. Or, apparently, without any consideration for those the victims left behind.’’


“Should Pennsylvania have a death penalty discussion? Yes, and our Judiciary Committee will be doing just that – through our open and transparent legislative process,’’ the legislators said in their statement.


Pennsylvania has the fifth largest death row in the nation, with 186 inmates, including Ernest Wholaver, who shot his wife Jean and two daughters –Victoria, 20, and Elizabeth, 14 – to death in their Middletown home on Christmas Eve Day in 2002.


Wholaver, who received three death penalties in 2004, has appealed the sentences in a Post-Conviction Relief Act petition he filed in 2012.


Dauphin County Judge John Cherry threw out 21 of 25 claims Wholaver made in his petition in 2013, and two additional claims in May. But two remaining claims – a claim of juror misconduct and another that the prosecution violated Wholaver’s rights by allegedly failing to disclose exculpatory and impeachment evidence – are still to be decided by the county court.

Jim Lewis: 717-944-4628, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 15:33

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