Northeast News: January 20, 2016

Grant aids driver pro­gram

The Dolfinger-McMa­hon Found­a­tion has awar­ded a $2,500 grant to Com­munity Care Cen­ter of the North­east, 2417 Welsh Road, for its Wheels for In­de­pend­ence trans­port­a­tion ser­vice.

Grant fund­ing will in­clude re­cruit­ment of ad­di­tion­al vo­lun­teers for its roster of Wheels drivers and com­puter track­ing of the num­ber of rides to med­ic­al ap­point­ments and oth­er loc­al des­tin­a­tions.

Dur­ing the last two years, Wheels has ex­per­i­enced a 200-per­cent growth in cli­ent num­bers.

Vo­lun­teer Wheels drivers are se­lec­ted with back­ground checks, and trained and su­per­vised by the pro­gram co­ordin­at­or. Wheels drivers use their own cars to give per­son­al one-to-one ser­vice, bring­ing cli­ents to med­ic­al ap­point­ments, gro­cery stores and oth­er des­tin­a­tions safely and on time. Cli­ents re­ceiv­ing the ser­vice are able to walk in­de­pend­ently or with the as­sist­ance of a cane or walk­er. A dona­tion of $10 per ride is offered by the pas­sen­ger to the driver.

In­di­vidu­als in­ter­ested in be­com­ing Wheels for In­de­pend­ence drivers are in­vited to con­tact Cathy at 215-335-3816 or ccc.ca­thym@ya­hoo.com ••

Sabat­ina wants to close gun loop­hole

State Sen. John Sabat­ina Jr. (D-5th dist.) will seek state ac­tion to close a loop­hole that he said has al­lowed thou­sands of ter­ror sus­pects to pur­chase weapons.

“It makes no sense to main­tain a list of sus­pec­ted ter­ror­ists only to al­low those on the list to walk out the door with an un­lim­ited sup­ply of arms,” Sabat­ina said. “Any­one too dan­ger­ous to board a plane is too dan­ger­ous to own an ar­sen­al. This is a loop­hole that must be closed.”

Sabat­ina noted that a ter­ror sus­pect ar­res­ted in Har­ris­burg last year was ad­vert­ising on ji­hadist so­cial me­dia that Pennsylvania’s “very light gun laws” make it “very easy to arm your­self.”

“Pennsylvania can­not al­low it­self to be­come known among ter­ror groups for weak su­per­vi­sion of arms sales,” he said. “The safety of our cit­izens hangs in the bal­ance. ••

White wants ac­tion on Kane

State Rep. Mar­tina White (R-170th dist.) is ur­ging the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives to form a bi­par­tis­an sub­com­mit­tee of the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee to in­vest­ig­ate the con­duct of At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Kath­leen Kane and wheth­er it rises to the level of im­peach­ment.

“With the at­tor­ney gen­er­al re­fus­ing to step down fol­low­ing the re­voc­a­tion of her law li­cense, we must be­gin the pro­cess of im­peach­ment,” said White, a mem­ber of the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee.

White has en­dorsed a res­ol­u­tion cir­cu­lat­ing in the House to al­low the sub­com­mit­tee to con­duct an in­vest­ig­a­tion of Kane’s con­duct in of­fice and de­cide if there are grounds to be­gin the im­peach­ment pro­cess.

Kane’s law li­cense has been sus­pen­ded, and she is fa­cing crim­in­al charges re­lated to an al­leged leak of secret grand jury doc­u­ments.

A Sen­ate pan­el is weigh­ing wheth­er Kane can ful­fill her du­ties without that li­cense and should be re­moved from of­fice. Kane has ar­gued that the Sen­ate doesn’t have the con­sti­tu­tion­al au­thor­ity to re­move her.

“The only sure way to prop­erly re­move someone like Kane who has brought such dis­grace to her of­fice is im­peach­ment,” White said. “So I urge my col­leagues to move for­ward and bring re­spect and dig­nity back to the at­tor­ney gen­er­al’s of­fice.” ••

Free dent­al for Holo­caust sur­viv­ors

Area Holo­caust sur­viv­ors may be eli­gible to re­ceive free dent­al care through the new Temple Uni­versity dent­al clin­ic loc­ated at KleinK­life, 10100 Jam­is­on Ave.

“These ser­vices are avail­able to Holo­caust sur­viv­ors who are not covered by private in­sur­ance or who are not eli­gible for med­ic­al as­sist­ance (Medi­caid) or do not have the per­son­al re­sources to pay for the cost of the re­quired dent­al care,” said An­dre Krug, pres­id­ent and CEO of Klein­LIfe.

Qual­i­fied Holo­caust sur­viv­ors will be eli­gible for full dent­al ex­am­in­a­tions, sur­gic­al care, pre­vent­ive care, res­tor­a­tion of teeth, non-sur­gic­al peri­od­ont­al care, some sur­gic­al peri­od­ont­al care and re­mov­able pros­thes­is with labor­at­ory sup­port.

Holo­caust sur­viv­ors may call 215-464-1704 for ad­di­tion­al in­form­a­tion about qual­i­fy­ing for the com­pli­ment­ary dent­al ser­vices. ••

BVM stu­dent earns schol­ar­ship

Ma­ter­nity BVM eighth-grader Colin Mc­Nich­olas earned an aca­dem­ic mer­it schol­ar­ship from Fath­er Judge High School.

Colin will re­ceive $4,000 per year for four years at Judge.

“We are very proud of Colin. This is a tre­mend­ous achieve­ment,” said Mary Za­w­isza, Ma­ter­nity BVM prin­cip­al. “Colin is car­ry­ing on Ma­ter­nity BVM’s tra­di­tion of high aca­dem­ics.”

Colin, who has at­ten­ded BVM since first grade, qual­i­fied for the grant by tak­ing a test at Judge.

“The test was hard but I stud­ied for weeks and it really helped,” Colin said. “I am happy to re­ceive this schol­ar­ship be­cause Fath­er Judge is the school I al­ways wanted to go to.” ••

Tax help avail­able

Vo­lun­teers from RS­VP Phil­adelphia are of­fer­ing to help people in the area to pre­pare simple tax re­turns and oth­er doc­u­ments free of charge at Klein­Life, loc­ated at 10100 Jam­is­on Ave.

People who are in­ter­ested in re­ceiv­ing free help in pre­par­ing their 2015 tax re­turns are re­quired to have in­comes be­low $65,000 for a single fil­ing or less than $95,000 for a joint fil­ing. They also must bring their W-2s, 1099s and oth­er in­vest­ment in­come and  forms and make an ap­point­ment pri­or to com­ing to Klein­Life for help.

Re­ser­va­tions can be made by call­ing 267-345-7787 or email­ing sais­trop@klein­life.org

All of the vo­lun­teer tax pre­parers are qual­i­fied and have un­der­gone ex­tens­ive train­ing. ••

Flu pre­ven­tion tips

Dr. Le­onard M. Mal­amud, dir­ect­or of Aria Health’s Di­vi­sion of Fam­ily Prac­tice, of­fers the fol­low­ing pre­vent­at­ive tips to help avoid the flu:

• Get the flu vac­cine: While wash­ing your hands fre­quently and keep­ing warm can help you avoid sick­ness, the best way to pre­vent the flu is to re­ceive the vac­cine.

• Eat healthy foods: Nat­ur­al anti-vir­al fruits and ve­get­ables can pre­vent the on­slaught of any sick­ness. Fresh fruits and ve­get­ables con­tain a mul­ti­tude of vit­am­ins, an­ti­ox­id­ants and min­er­als that boost your im­mune sys­tem and provide healthy nu­tri­ent con­tent. The all-time fan fa­vor­ite, chick­en soup, also helps with the com­mon cold by open­ing up con­ges­ted noses and throats while provid­ing flu­id.

• Wash your hands (of­ten): The flu is of­ten trans­mit­ted through the mu­cous mem­brane, so it’s im­port­ant to keep your hands clean and to avoid touch­ing your face, es­pe­cially your nose, eyes and mouth, when in pub­lic spaces where germs are eas­ily spread. Also, avoid close con­tact with people who are sick. If you feel a cold com­ing on, it’s best to stay home and rest.

• Stay hy­drated: It’s im­port­ant to en­sure you are drink­ing plenty of flu­ids. Pre­vent­ing de­hyd­ra­tion is crit­ic­al, as de­hyd­ra­tion will make you more prone to in­fec­tions. Aim to take in at least six glasses of wa­ter a day to bet­ter boost your im­mune sys­tem in re­sponse to vir­uses.

• Get plenty of sleep: Lack of sleep can lower your im­mune sys­tem, in­creas­ing your vul­ner­ab­il­ity to colds and in­fec­tions. Make sure to get plenty of rest – at least for eight hours – to give your body ample time to rest and re­boot. ••

Bill would al­low out-of-state booze buys

Le­gis­la­tion sponsored by state Rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.) to de­crim­in­al­ize the pur­chase of out-of-state wine and li­quor has passed the Pennsylvania House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives.

“For dec­ades, people have driv­en in­to New Jer­sey and Delaware to pur­chase wines and spir­its not avail­able in Pennsylvania, which is il­leg­al, though rarely en­forced. When it is en­forced, the con­sequences can be great and of­ten un­fair,” Taylor said.

House Bill 757 de­crim­in­al­izes this activ­ity as long as the per­son mak­ing the pur­chase pays the Pennsylvania taxes owed on the product.

“My bill will spe­cific­ally al­low res­id­ents of Pennsylvania to pur­chase wines, spir­its and beer out­side of the com­mon­wealth and bring those pur­chases home with them without fear of crim­in­al pro­sec­u­tion,” Taylor said.

Fur­ther­more, Taylor’s le­gis­la­tion would al­low a Pennsylvania res­id­ent to be re­im­bursed by a friend or fam­ily mem­ber for al­co­hol pur­chased out­side of Pennsylvania.

“It’s time to re­form this sys­tem,” Taylor said.

The bill now moves to the Sen­ate. ••

Wo­man leaves big dona­tion to Holy Re­deem­er

Mar­ie Frank, who died re­cently at age 93, left Holy Re­deem­er Health Sys­tem with a $600,000 dona­tion in her will.

Frank lived alone, nev­er mar­ried, nev­er had chil­dren and had no fam­ily at the time of her death.

“She was a real be­liev­er of the health sys­tem and the Sis­ters of the Holy Re­deem­er,” said Bob Berken­stock, a long­time next-door neigh­bor and friend of Frank.

“We are in­cred­ibly grate­ful to re­ceive this gen­er­ous leg­acy gift,” said Cass Egan, chief ad­min­is­trat­ive of­ficer and ex­ec­ut­ive vice pres­id­ent for Holy Re­deem­er Health Sys­tem. “We are ded­ic­ated to hon­or­ing Mar­ie’s un­as­sum­ing spir­it by provid­ing the highest qual­ity of caring com­fort­ing and heal­ing.”

Frank worked at the old Fi­del­ity Bank and vo­lun­teered at the Hunt­ing­don Val­ley Lib­rary. She came to Holy Re­deem­er Hos­pit­al after she broke her hip. When it came time for her to be re­leased, she chose to be­come a res­id­ent at Holy Re­deem­er La­fay­ette, 8580 Ver­ree Road.

“I be­lieve that Holy Re­deem­er did an awe­some job for her and I’m glad that she lived at Holy Re­deem­er La­fay­ette for the last sev­en years of her life,” Berken­stock said. ••

Long­time doc­tor honored

The Naz­areth Hos­pit­al ad­min­is­tra­tion and med­ic­al staff re­cently honored Dr. An­gelo Di­Bello for 60 years on the job.

Di­Bello’s ser­vice was cel­eb­rated at a din­ner dance at Uni­on League at Tor­res­dale.

Nancy Cher­one, ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of the hos­pit­al, presen­ted Di­Bello with a plaque.

“Naz­areth Hos­pit­al has giv­en me the op­por­tun­ity to de­vel­op as a med­ic­al pro­fes­sion­al, and I couldn’t ima­gine a bet­ter in­sti­tu­tion to prac­tice do­ing what I love,” Di­Bello said.

Di­Bello gradu­ated from Hahne­mann Med­ic­al Col­lege in 1954. He was an in­tern at Naz­areth for a year, then joined the med­ic­al staff.

“Dr. Di­Bello has de­voted 60 years of ser­vice to Naz­areth Hos­pit­al, and we ap­plaud his ded­ic­a­tion and ap­pre­ci­ate his loy­alty not just to the hos­pit­al, but to the pa­tients we serve,” Cher­one said.

Di­Bello, 89, still main­tains a private prac­tice and re­mains on the Naz­areth med­ic­al staff. ••

Big dona­tion by CTCA

Can­cer Treat­ment Cen­ters of Amer­ica re­cently presen­ted a check for $100,000 to sup­port the Amer­ic­an Lung As­so­ci­ation’s Lung Force Giv­ing Day.

“CTCA is honored to have sup­por­ted the Amer­ic­an Lung As­so­ci­ation to help in­crease aware­ness and much-needed re­search dol­lars to find a cure for lung can­cer,” said John McNeil, pres­id­ent and CEO of CTCA in Phil­adelphia. “We are proud to be able to con­trib­ute to this im­port­ant ef­fort to help lung can­cer pa­tients here at CTCA and around the coun­try.” ••

White bill would aid non­pub­lic schools

State Rep. Mar­tina White (R-170th dist.) has co-sponsored le­gis­la­tion to en­sure that, in the event of a delay in the en­act­ment of the state’s budget, stu­dents in non­pub­lic schools are not denied ac­cess to edu­ca­tion­al work­books.

White’s le­gis­la­tion would re­quire the Pennsylvania De­part­ment of Edu­ca­tion, in the event that a budget is not en­acted by Ju­ly 15, to use any un­spent funds pre­vi­ously ap­pro­pri­ated for non­pub­lic school text­books, ma­ter­i­als and equip­ment for pur­chase of stu­dent work­books.

In the event that these funds are less than $2 mil­lion, the De­part­ment of Edu­ca­tion would be re­quired to use un­spent funds from gen­er­al gov­ern­ment op­er­a­tions. Any amount al­loc­ated from these funds would be de­duc­ted from the total al­loc­a­tion ap­pro­pri­ated for non­pub­lic school text­books, ma­ter­i­als and equip­ment once a budget has been en­acted.

“Be­cause the en­tire pro­cess of or­der­ing and de­liv­er­ing work­books can take sev­er­al weeks, it’s crit­ic­al that we make sure these funds are avail­able for the pur­chase of ma­ter­i­als be­fore the start of the school year,” White said. “We can­not delay the learn­ing pro­cess for these stu­dents. It is un­fair for stu­dents in non­pub­lic schools to be dis­ad­vant­aged by the lack of edu­ca­tion­al ma­ter­i­als be­cause the state budget has not been en­acted in a timely man­ner.” ••

Tips on movie mem­or­ab­il­ia

Ilena Di Toro, a Bustleton res­id­ent and own­er of Just Movie Posters.com, is ad­vising people not to pur­chase movie mem­or­ab­il­ia for in­vest­ment pur­poses.

“If you are go­ing to get a movie mem­or­ab­il­ia item,” she said, “get it be­cause you like the movie, the stars, the genre or even the design it­self. Don’t buy it with the ex­pect­a­tion that you can sell it for a mil­lion dol­lars in ten years and re­tire to Flor­ida.”

Di Toro has these tips when buy­ing a mem­or­ab­il­ia item either via the In­ter­net or dir­ectly from a deal­er:

• Re­search the item so that you will know what you are buy­ing.

• Ask ques­tions of the seller.

• When a movie prop, cos­tume or movie poster sells for five fig­ures or more, it most likely didn’t start out at a gar­age sale for $2. The item in ques­tion either came from the stu­dio or a col­lect­or, and it was ori­gin­ally bought for a hefty price.

• If something seems too good to be true, it prob­ably is. If something doesn’t seem right about the item, don’t buy it.

“It can be cool to own Prin­cess Leia Slave Girl cos­tume or a BB-8 Droid,” Di Toro said. “Just don’t pin all your fin­an­cial dreams on these items.” ••

Naz­areth ac­cred­ited for heart care

Naz­areth Hos­pit­al has re­ceived full Chest Pain Cen­ter with PCI Ac­cred­it­a­tion from the So­ci­ety of Car­di­ovas­cu­lar Pa­tient Care.

Ac­cred­it­a­tion ex­pires in Septem­ber 2018.

“We at Naz­areth Hos­pit­al are proud to have earned Chest Pain with PCI Ac­cred­it­a­tion, which re­cog­nizes the qual­ity and timeli­ness of our emer­gency heart care ser­vices,” said Naz­areth Hos­pit­al Ex­ec­ut­ive Dir­ect­or Nancy Cher­one.

Heart at­tacks are the lead­ing cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dy­ing an­nu­ally of heart dis­ease. More than 5 mil­lion Amer­ic­ans vis­it hos­pit­als each year with chest pain.

By achiev­ing SCPC’s Chest Pain Cen­ter with PCI Ac­cred­it­a­tion status, Naz­areth Hos­pit­al demon­strated ex­pert­ise in the fol­low­ing areas:

• In­teg­rat­ing the emer­gency de­part­ment with the loc­al emer­gency med­ic­al sys­tem

• As­sess­ing, dia­gnos­ing, and treat­ing pa­tients quickly

• Ef­fect­ively treat­ing pa­tients with low risk for acute coron­ary syn­drome and no as­signable cause for their symp­toms

• Con­tinu­ally seek­ing to im­prove pro­cesses and pro­ced­ures

• En­sur­ing the com­pet­ence and train­ing of Ac­cred­ited Chest Pain Cen­ter per­son­nel

• Main­tain­ing or­gan­iz­a­tion­al struc­ture and com­mit­ment

• Hav­ing a func­tion­al design that pro­motes op­tim­al pa­tient care

• Sup­port­ing com­munity out­reach pro­grams that edu­cate the pub­lic to promptly seek med­ic­al care if they dis­play symp­toms of a pos­sible heart at­tack. ••

Murt wants ac­tion on bill

State Rep. Tom Murt (R-152nd dist.) re­cently held a news con­fer­ence to urge ac­tion on a bill he’s in­tro­duced to es­tab­lish the of­fense of fe­male mu­til­a­tion.

House Bill 135 would spe­cific­ally make it a crime for a par­ent to cut or al­low someone to cir­cum­cise or ex­cise the gen­it­als of a fe­male minor.

The prac­tice in­volves cut­ting of the fe­male gen­italia and is of­ten a com­ing-of-age ritu­al in vari­ous parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Ac­cord­ing to the Afric­an Wo­men’s Health Cen­ter at Brigham and Wo­men’s Hos­pit­al, it is es­tim­ated that 228,000 wo­men in the United States have been cut be­cause they come from an eth­nic com­munity.

“The United States De­part­ment of State con­siders fe­male mu­til­a­tion not only a pub­lic health con­cern, but a hu­man rights is­sue, as the prac­tice vi­ol­ates the right to a wo­man’s bod­ily in­teg­rity,” Murt said. “I agree with the De­part­ment of State.”

Wo­men who are im­mig­rants are at con­tin­ued risk of the prac­tice, as these cul­tur­al be­liefs fol­low the wo­men to the United States, where the prac­tice has moved un­der­ground.  Pennsylvania is among the states with the highest num­ber of wo­men who have been vic­tim­ized.

Murt’s bill would make the prac­tice a first-de­gree felony. ••

 

Aria hires breast sur­geon

Aria Health has hired board-cer­ti­fied breast sur­geon Dr. Ron­it Sug­ar.

Sug­ar brings new clin­ic­al and sur­gic­al breast health ser­vices to Aria Health’s Tor­res­dale and Bucks County cam­puses.

Sug­ar has spent nearly 20 years as a private prac­tice phys­i­cian with a fo­cus on breast sur­gery.

Sug­ar re­ceived her bach­el­or’s de­gree from Muh­len­berg Col­lege and her med­ic­al de­gree from Hahne­mann Uni­versity. She com­pleted her in­tern­ship and res­id­ency at Al­bert Ein­stein Med­ic­al Cen­ter. ••

Fam­ily doc ad­ded to Holy Re­deem­er cen­ter

Dr. Guillermo A. In­fante has joined Holy Re­deem­er Fam­ily Health Cen­ter at Cardone, part of Holy Re­deem­er Phys­i­cian & Am­bu­lat­ory Ser­vices.

In­fante prac­tices fam­ily medi­cine at the health cen­ter, which serves em­ploy­ees of Cardone In­dus­tries, as well as the sur­round­ing com­munity.

In­fante re­ceived his doc­tor­ate in Medi­cine and Sur­gery from the Uni­ver­sid­ad Libre de Cali, Cali, Colom­bia. In ad­di­tion, he earned a Mas­ter of Pub­lic Health de­gree from the Drexel Uni­versity Col­lege of Medi­cine/Hahne­mann Uni­versity.

He also com­pleted a nine-month course on Struc­tur­al Acu­punc­ture for Phys­i­cians from the Har­vard Med­ic­al School De­part­ment of Con­tinu­ing Edu­ca­tion.

Pri­or to join­ing Holy Re­deem­er, In­fante served for eight years with phys­i­cian prac­tices in New Jer­sey and the south­west­ern United States. He is flu­ent in Span­ish and Eng­lish.

Holy Re­deem­er Fam­ily Health Cen­ter at Cardone is loc­ated at 5600 Tabor Road. ••

Loc­al man lands fac­ulty po­s­i­tion

Penn State Le­high Val­ley has ap­poin­ted North­east res­id­ent Nick­olas Dom­in­ello to its fac­ulty.

Dom­in­ello is a full-time in­struct­or in psy­cho­logy. He re­ceived his Doc­tor of Psy­cho­logy de­gree from Capella Uni­versity. He pre­vi­ously was an ad­junct in­struct­or at Penn State Abing­ton and Holy Fam­ily Uni­versity. He still oc­ca­sion­ally fa­cil­it­ates on­line courses for South­ern New Hamp­shire Uni­versity, Thomas Edis­on State Col­lege and Ash­ford Uni­versity.

Penn State Le­high Val­ley is loc­ated in Cen­ter Val­ley, and gives stu­dents ac­cess to the nearly 160 aca­dem­ic pro­grams offered by Penn State.

For more in­form­a­tion, vis­it www.lv.psu.edu ••

Sabat­ina wants min­im­um wage hike

State Sen. John Sabat­ina (D-5th dist.) joined a group of law­makers in sup­port­ing a par­lia­ment­ary man­euver to force a Sen­ate vote on a min­im­um wage hike in Pennsylvania.

“A strong ma­jor­ity of Pennsylvani­ans sup­ports a reas­on­able min­im­um wage and, I be­lieve, a strong ma­jor­ity of law­makers do as well,” Sabat­ina said. “Un­for­tu­nately, the bill is locked away in a Sen­ate com­mit­tee as polit­ic­al lever­age on oth­er is­sues and that’s an af­front to thou­sands of work­ing Pennsylvani­ans.”

Sabat­ina said he would sup­port a move by the bill’s sup­port­ers to move the bill out of com­mit­tee with a “dis­charge res­ol­u­tion.”

“For­tu­nately, there are ways to re­store demo­cracy to the pro­cess and I sup­port the strategy to fight for a full Sen­ate vote on a fair min­im­um wage,” he said.

A dis­charge res­ol­u­tion could force a full Sen­ate vote on wheth­er to move Sen. Christine M. Tartagli­one’s Sen­ate Bill 195 out of the Labor and In­dustry Com­mit­tee, where it has sat dormant for nearly a year.

The bill would gradu­ally raise Pennsylvania’s min­im­um wage to $10.10 per hour and in­dex fu­ture ad­just­ments to in­fla­tion.

“The buy­ing power of low-in­come work­ers shouldn’t be sub­ject to polit­ic­al games­man­ship in Har­ris­burg,” Sabat­ina said. “Both em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees would be­ne­fit from a ra­tion­al, pre­dict­able sys­tem for ad­just­ments.”

Pennsylvania re­mains the only North­east state to fail to in­crease its min­im­um wage above the fed­er­al min­im­um of $7.25 per hour. Mary­land’s min­im­um wage is $8.25 and is set to in­crease in stages to $10.10 by Ju­ly 2018. New Jer­sey’s min­im­um wage is $8.38 but it is now in­dexed to the Con­sumer Price In­dex. New York’s base hourly rate is $8.75 and is go­ing to $9 at the end of this year.

In total, 29 states and Wash­ing­ton, D.C. pay more than the Pennsylvania/fed­er­al min­im­um of $7.25. ••

Boyle wants tough hate-crime law

State Rep. Kev­in Boyle (D-172nd dist.) wants pro­sec­utors in Pennsylvania to be able to charge at­tacks based on sexu­al ori­ent­a­tion as hate crimes.

“While Kath­ryn Knott was found guilty of as­sault and reck­less en­dan­ger­ment, this at­tack was clearly a hate crime against a gay couple and it should have been treated as such,” Boyle said.

Knott was part of a group of friends who en­countered a same-sex couple in Cen­ter City on Sept. 11, 2014. The group of friends al­legedly asked the men if they were “boy­friends,” taunted them, and then phys­ic­ally at­tacked them. One of the vic­tims was hos­pit­al­ized with fa­cial in­jur­ies that in­cluded a broken jaw.

Two of the oth­er at­tack­ers, Philip Wil­li­ams and Kev­in Har­rigan, pled guilty and ac­cep­ted a plea deal while Knott de­cided to go to tri­al.

Boyle in­tro­duced H.B. 218, which would amend the state’s hate crimes law to in­clude sexu­al ori­ent­a­tion. A crime mo­tiv­ated by hatred to­ward these pro­tec­ted classes would be graded one de­gree high­er than already spe­cified in law.

“Many be­lieve, and I agree, that the hor­rible at­tack per­pet­rated by Knott and her friends was a hate crime,” Boyle said. “Un­for­tu­nately, the cur­rent law did not give Phil­adelphia’s dis­trict at­tor­ney the op­por­tun­ity to charge these at­tack­ers with a hate crime. We need to rec­ti­fy Pennsylvania’s hate crimes law now be­fore an­oth­er hor­rif­ic hate crime goes un­pun­ished.” ••

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