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Pennsylvania man arrested in connection with fiery I-79 crash – WV MetroNews

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Pennsylvania man arrested in connection with fiery I-79 crash – WV MetroNews


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Monongalia County Sheriff Perry Palmer reports a Pennsylvania man has been charged in connection with a fiery crash in I-79 just north of the I-68 split that killed two people on Jan 3.

Thomas H. Homer III, 39, has been charged with two counts of negligent homicide and one count of reckless driving with injury and has been arraigned in Monongalia County Magistrate Court.

No other details about evidence related to the arrest have been released.

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The crash occurred around 7:20 a.m. and caused an intense fire making it difficult to positively identify the victims.

Police later released information that Zaquan George, 21, and Margaret Erdie, 19, died in the crash.

Both directions of I-79 were closed for about five hours during the clean-up and investigation.

Homer has been released on a personal recognizance bond.



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Pennsylvania

Pa. primary election 2024: Redesigned mail-in ballot envelopes cause confusion

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Pa. primary election 2024: Redesigned mail-in ballot envelopes cause confusion


The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, which represents several voter groups in the federal litigation, has said more than 10,000 ballots in the state were disqualified in 2022 based on what opponents of the mandate consider to be a meaningless paperwork error. Older voters are disproportionately more likely to send in ballot envelopes with incorrect or missing dates. Democrats use mail-in voting far more than Republicans in Pennsylvania.

Votebeat Pennsylvania reported Monday that a top state election administrator told counties in an email last week they should count ballots “if the date written on the ballot can reasonably be interpreted to be ‘the day upon which (the voter) completed the declaration.’”

Lycoming County is not following that advice, and county Elections Director Forrest Lehman said his experience during the primary suggests the changes have not helped get more votes counted.

“I’m sure there may be some counties out there that are choosing to count these, but there are also a lot that aren’t,” Lehman said. “And there’s simply no denying that the design of these envelopes has created a new way to record a date that instantly became a huge percentage of all the incorrect dates.”

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During the 2022 primary, Lycoming County set aside 49 mail ballots. This month, Lycoming set aside 48, among them 22 with incorrect dates. Half of those were invalidated because the voter did not write the last two digits of the year.

“Whatever they thought this would accomplish in terms of changing voter behavior, it didn’t change a thing,” he said, except that counties had to buy new envelopes.



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Pennsylvania's high-stakes U.S. Senate contest will pit Casey against McCormick

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Pennsylvania's high-stakes U.S. Senate contest will pit Casey against McCormick


LIVE RESULTS: Pennsylvania primary 2024

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and Republican challenger David McCormick will face each other in Pennsylvania’s high-stakes U.S. Senate contest this fall, as Tuesday’s primary election put the men on track for a race that is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars and help decide control of the Senate next year.

Casey and McCormick won their respective party primary contests after they were uncontested and now enter what is likely to be a grueling, expensive and hard-fought 2024 general election campaign that culminates in the Nov. 5 vote.

Casey, seeking his fourth term, is perhaps Pennsylvania’s best-known politician and a stalwart of the presidential swing state’s Democratic Party — the son of a former two-term governor and Pennsylvania’s longest-ever serving Democrat in the Senate.

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McCormick is a two-time Senate challenger, a former hedge fund CEO and a Pennsylvania native who spent $14 million of his own money only to lose narrowly to celebrity heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz in 2022’s seven-way GOP primary. Oz then lost to Democratic Sen. John Fetterman in a pivotal Senate contest.

This time around, McCormick has consolidated the party around his candidacy and is backed by a super PAC that’s already reported raising more than $20 million, much of it from securities-trading billionaires.

McCormick’s candidacy is shaping up as the strongest challenge to Casey in his three reelection bids. McCormick has worked to shore up support in the GOP base, and on Tuesday night hammered his message at his election night gathering in Pittsburgh that Casey is a do-nothing senator.

“We’re now turning to the general election and here’s the truth: Pennsylvania deserves better than Bob Casey, You deserve better,” McCormick said. “Bob Casey’s defining achievement in his political life, 30 years in political office, has been to be the son of Bob Casey Sr. That is what defines his political career.”

Casey, in Washington on Tuesday to cast votes in favor of $95 billion in war aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, said on social media that “there are 196 days until the general election, and we’re going to win.” Meanwhile, the state Democratic Party unveiled a minute-long digital ad slamming McCormick as a “millionaire hedge fund executive who is lying to Pennsylvanians.”

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The Senate candidates will share a ticket with candidates for president in a state that is critical to whether Democrats can maintain control of the White House and the Senate.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump won their party nominations easily after all major rivals dropped out. Both men made campaign trips to swing-state Pennsylvania in recent days, and voters can expect to see plenty of them, their TV ads and their surrogates campaigning over the next six months in a state that swung from Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020.

Of note, however, could be the number of “ uncommitted ” write-in votes cast in the Democratic primary to protest Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war.

In the Senate contest, Democrats have attacked McCormick’s opposition to abortion rights, his frequent trips to Connecticut’s ritzy “Gold Coast ” where he keeps a family home, and the focus on investing in China during his dozen years as an executive at the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, including as CEO.

Casey has been a key player for Democrats trying to reframe the election-year narrative about the economy by attacking “greedflation” — a blunt term for corporations that jack up prices and rip off shoppers to maximize profits — as fast-rising prices over the past three years have opened a big soft spot in 2024 for Democrats. Indications that the U.S. economy avoided a recession amid efforts to manage inflation have yet to translate into voter enthusiasm for Biden.

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McCormick, meanwhile, has accused Casey of rubber-stamping harmful immigration, economic, energy and national security policies of Biden, and made a bid for Jewish voters by traveling to the Israel-Gaza border and arguing that Biden hasn’t backed Israel strongly enough in the Israel-Hamas war.

Casey is one of Biden’s strongest allies in Congress. McCormick and Trump have endorsed each other, but are an awkward duo atop the GOP’s ticket after Trump savaged McCormick in 2022’s primary in a successful bid to lift Oz to his primary win.

Democrats currently hold a Senate majority by the narrowest of margins, but face a difficult 2024 Senate map that requires them to defend incumbents in the red states of Montana and Ohio and fight for open seats with new candidates in Michigan and West Virginia.

A Casey loss could guarantee Republican control of the Senate.

Elsewhere on the ballot Tuesday, Pennsylvanians decided nominees for an open attorney general’s office and two other statewide offices — treasurer and auditor general — plus all 17 of the state’s U.S. House seats.

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For attorney general, Republicans nominated Dave Sunday, York County’s district attorney, in a two-way race while Democrats nominated former state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale of Pittsburgh in a five-person primary field.

Democrats also nominated Erin McClelland, a two-time congressional candidate in suburban Pittsburgh who has helped run various human services organizations, to challenge Republican state Treasurer Stacy Garrity, and they nominated state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta of Philadelphia to challenge Republican state Auditor General Tim DeFoor. McClelland prevailed despite being heavily outspent by her party-endorsed rival.

For Congress, 44 candidates were on ballots, including all 17 incumbents. All three incumbents facing primary challengers — Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in suburban Philadelphia and Democratic Reps. Dwight Evans in Philadelphia and Summer Lee in a Pittsburgh-based district — won their races.

Lee’s primary against challenger Bhavini Patel has shaped up as an early test of whether Israel’s war with Gaza poses political threats to progressive Democrats in Congress who have criticized how it has been handled.

Republicans nominated state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie in a three-way race to challenge Democratic Rep. Susan Wild, whose Allentown-based district is closely politically divided, while Democrats nominated former TV news personality Janelle Stelson from among six candidates to challenge Republican Rep. Scott Perry in a Republican-leaning district in southern Pennsylvania.

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Perry has become a national figure for heading up the ultra-right House Freedom Caucus during a speakership battle and his efforts to help Trump stay in power after losing the 2020 presidential election.



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Donald Trump suffers huge vote against him in Pennsylvania primary

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Donald Trump suffers huge vote against him in Pennsylvania primary


Donald Trump suffered a blow in the Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday, as tens of thousands of Republicans refused to vote for him despite being the presumptive GOP nominee.

The former president won the primary race in the key swing state with 83.5 percent of the vote, amounting to more than 786,000 votes.

However, Nikki Haley, who ended her campaign for the White House after Super Tuesday in March, still received 16.5 percent of the vote, equating to more than 155,000 ballots.

Republican presidential candidate, former President Donald Trump arrives for a rally outside Schnecksville Fire Hall on April 13, 2024 in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania. Trump won the Pennsylvania GOP primary on Tuesday, but more than 155,000 people…


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The Context

Trump has dominated the Republican primary, and won enough delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination in March after victories in Georgia, Mississippi and Washington state.

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However, there have been signs that Trump is still struggling to garner support from more moderate and independent voters who could be key in the general election against President Joe Biden, especially in the swing state of Pennsylvania.

What We Know

Trump continued his dominance in the GOP primary with a resounding victory in Pennsylvania, one of the states which could ultimately decide who wins the 2024 election.

While Trump still won more than 83 percent of the vote, Haley, seen as a more moderate Republican candidate who was also to sweep up the so-called “Never Trump” brigade, appears to still be causing problems for the former president’s campaign despite no longer officially being in the race.

Haley, who was Trump’s last remaining serious challenger in the GOP primary, had previously received more than 2 million votes on Super Tuesday, including winning the strong blue state of Vermont.

Haley also received more than 26 percent and 18 percent of the GOP primary vote in the key swing states of Michigan and Arizona respectively, amounting to hundreds of thousands of votes.

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Several polls have indicated that many Haley supporters will not go on to vote for Trump in the 2024 election.

Trump lost Pennsylvania to Biden in the 2020 election by just over one percent (80,555 votes).

Trump’s office has been contacted for comment via email.

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Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s former White House communications director, said: “Nikki Haley dropped out of the race over a month ago, yet she is polling nicely in PA.

“Trump has no shot to win the presidency. Write it down and study it. And if you are with him: CRY.”

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J.J. Abbott, who previously worked in former Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s office, said: “Nikki Haley did not campaign in Pennsylvania. She dropped out in early March.

“The entire PA GOP establishment including Dave McCormick endorsed Trump. Haley is on track to get nearly 150,000 votes.”

What’s Next

The Indiana GOP primary will be held on May 7.

The Republican National Convention, where Trump will be confirmed as the 2024 nominee, will take place in Milwaukee in July.

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.



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