5 things to know for Thursday in Pennsylvania
A daily look at late-breaking news, coming events and stories that will be talked about in Pennsylvania on Thursday:
METHODIST PASTOR WHO MARRIED GAY SON TO MEET WITH CHURCH OFFICIALS, COULD BE DEFROCKED
A United Methodist pastor from central Pennsylvania is about to find out whether he'll be defrocked or allowed to continue his ministry after officiating at his son's same-sex wedding. The Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon has already been suspended. He's scheduled to meet with church officials Thursday morning in Norristown, a Philadelphia suburb. Schaefer was told to resign from the clergy by Thursday if he could not follow the denomination's Book of Discipline. Schaefer says the book discriminates against gay people. He says he won't voluntarily surrender his credentials and hopes the church has a change of heart.
GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, FORMER DEP SECRETARY CALLS OUT AGENCY OVER HANDLING OF PA. GAS-DRILLING CASE
Democrat John Hanger, who led the Department of Environmental Protection under former Gov. Ed Rendell, is taking his former agency to task, saying it failed to conduct a thorough investigation into claims that a gas driller polluted residential water wells in Franklin Forks, a village in northeastern Pennsylvania. Hanger is holding a news conference Thursday in front of DEP regional headquarters in Wilkes-Barre. His interest in the case has a decided political dimension: He is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, on whose watch DEP conducted the probe.
AFTER NEARLY A WEEK, JURY STILL DELIBERATING FATE OF CHARTER SCHOOL FOUNDER CHARGED WITH FRAUD
The federal jury in Philadelphia has yet to reach a verdict in the case and will resume deliberations on Thursday. Charter school founder Dorothy June Brown is charged with leading a conspiracy that misused $6.7 million in public school funds. Federal prosecutors say Brown paid herself multiple salaries from her four schools, plus management fees, taking in $4 million in a two-year period alone. Two of her school executives are also on trial, while two others pleaded guilty before trial. Jurors appear to be struggling with some of the approximately 60 counts.
PA. FAITH GROUP ENDS DISASTER RECOVERY MISSION TO NORTH DAKOTA
Pennsylvania-based Mennonite Disaster Service, which helped the Souris River Valley recover from historic flooding in 2011, is ending its mission. The group helped nearly 125 homes with cleanup and reconstruction and helped rebuild a church. More than 1,500 volunteers came to the northern North Dakota region for a week or more, spokesman Ken Graber told KXMC-TV. The June 2011 flood caused by heavy spring snowmelt and rains damaged or destroyed more than 4,000 homes, businesses and other structures in Minot, and caused nearly $700 million in damage.
PITTSBURGH SCHOOLS: TEACH FOR (THE REST OF) AMERICA, NOT HERE
New members of the Pittsburgh public school board have scrapped a plan to bring in teachers under the federal Teach for America program for hard-to-fill positions at city schools. The board voted 6-2 with one abstention to rescind a $750,000 contract to hire up to 30 recruits a year for three years. Nonprofit Teach For America trains college graduates and professionals to take hard-to-fill positions at urban and rural schools. New board member Sylvia Wilson, a former teacher and Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers official, said she didn't see the need for the program.