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Pennsylvania State Police give inside look at helicopter that helped capture Cavalcante

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Pennsylvania State Police give inside look at helicopter that helped capture Cavalcante


State police were glad they could assist in Cavalcante’s capture, and say they’re in a better position for the next mission.

Friday, September 29, 2023 3:47AM

Pennsylvania State Police give inside look at helicopter that helped capture Cavalcante

READING, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — Pennsylvania State Police gave an inside look at one of the helicopters that helped find convicted killer Danelo Cavalcante.

Cavalcante spent two weeks on the run in Chester County after escaping from prison on August 31.

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“My unit was the first one to get called to the Chester County manhunt search. When we got the call, we were there within 25 minutes,” said Sgt. Brian Kunes, a state police helicopter pilot.

Launching from the Reading Regional Airport, technology on the helicopter gave investigators the tools they needed to help track Cavalcante.

The helicopter is loaded with gear, like Forward Looking Infrared cameras.

The helicopter also includes a spotlight and a speaker. Police used the speaker to broadcast a message from Cavalcante’s mother in Portuguese for him to turn himself in.

“It’s one of our higher-end searches, only because it involves a lot of flying, a lot of manpower at the time, and a lot of maintenance. So, we are prepared to handle just about anything that comes in,” said Kunes.

Cavalcante was eventually captured with the help of an aircraft provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which picked up a heat signal using thermal technology.

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State police were glad they could assist in Cavalcante’s capture, and say they’re in a better position for the next mission.

“We gather the good and the bad, and then we meet afterward to ultimately say what was good and what was bad and where can we improve,” said Kunes.

The Chester County Commissioners will hold another in-person town hall meeting on Monday for residents impacted by the escape.

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.



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Pennsylvania

Lt. Gov. Davis, local leaders spotlight new Pa. budget in Pittsburgh

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Lt. Gov. Davis, local leaders spotlight new Pa. budget in Pittsburgh


“We’ve had a significant conversation here in western Pennsylvania about how we rehabilitate buildings that need new uses, how we reinvent and reimagine Downtown. These dollars are going to go a long way to the efforts,” Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor says.



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J.D. Vance sweet-talks rural Pennsylvania voters at the RNC

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J.D. Vance sweet-talks rural Pennsylvania voters at the RNC


JL: OK, so it appears polling will be freshened up soon in this campaign season. Can we count on intel from that to help us understand how much of an impact Vance’s selection may have?

CR: You’re right, I’m sure we’ll get some new indicators coming out soon. In the meantime, I talked to a couple of experts in the area, two political consultants, who both mostly work on Republican campaigns but who gave me different answers to these questions. Ray Zaborney, of Red Mavericks Media, told me that most people vote for the president, not the vice president, but he added that Vance is a good choice overall for this purpose. I’m quoting him now:

Ray Zaborney, Red Mavericks Media

“White working-class voters can relate and in the suburbs he’s a guy who can talk about his conversion on Trump — something many of them are potentially doing themselves.”

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CR: But Sam Chen of the Liddel group sees Vance as being more of a reliable MAGA Republican a populist and he doesn’t think Vance really helps Trump in the state.

Sam Chen of The Liddel Group: 

“I don’t know that the Republicans that have won in the areas like the Lehigh Valley and the collar counties are these populist republicans; and then in Central Pennsylvania, that’s just going to be a conservative area. Republicans are going to win those seats regardless of what brand of the party they’re in.”

JL: So it sounds like we’ll have to wait and see, but Trump is white, Vance is white. What appeals do they need to make to engage people of color in Pennsylvania?

CR: That’s a good question. Trump has talked a big game about trying to attract Black voters here in Pennsylvania, but then he picks someone a lot like himself. Again, we don’t have polling on what voters in Pennsylvania think of Vance yet, but I can’t imagine there’s going to be much of an appeal there maybe his talk about trying to bring jobs back to these states like Pennsylvania and so forth. However Black unemployment in our state is actually at one of its lowest right now. According to the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, the Black unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is about 5.7% compared to when Biden took office, when it was around 16.5%.

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JL: Now that we are into our fourth and final day of the convention, it would seem surprising to me that no one has made a reference to Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who was convicted of bribery this week. Has anyone mentioned him?

CR:  Actually, last night Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz made a joke about it. Here’s what he told the audience:

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida:

“Under Biden-Harris, inflation has gotten so bad, you can no longer bribe Democrat senators with cash alone. You have to use gold bars just so the bribes hold value.” 

Follow WHYY News for the latest updates from the RNC and the 2024 election.

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Hundreds attend vigil for man killed at Trump rally in Pennsylvania before visitation Thursday

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Hundreds attend vigil for man killed at Trump rally in Pennsylvania before visitation Thursday


SARVER, Pa. (AP) — Hundreds of people who gathered to remember the former fire chief fatally shot at a weekend rally for former President Donald Trump were urged to find “unity” as the area in rural Pennsylvania sought to recover from the assassination attempt.

Wednesday’s public event was the first of two organized to memorialize and celebrate Corey Comperatore’s life. The second, a visitation for friends, was planned for Thursday at Laube Hall in Freeport.

Outside Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, where the vigil was held for Comperatore, a sign read: “Rest in Peace Corey, Thank You For Your Service,” with the logo of his fire company.

On the rural road to the auto racing track — lined with cornfields, churches and industrial plants — a sign outside a local credit union read: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Comperatore family.”

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Comperatore, 50, had worked as a project and tooling engineer, was an Army reservist and spent many years as a volunteer firefighter after serving as chief, according to his obituary.

He died Saturday during the attempt on Trump’s life at the rally in Butler.

Comperatore spent the final moments of his life shielding his wife and daughter from gunfire, officials said.

Vigil organizer Kelly McCollough told the crowd Wednesday that the event was not political in nature, adding that there was no room for hate or personal opinions other than an outpouring of support for the Comperatore family.

“Tonight is about unity,” McCollough said. “We need each other. We need to feel love. We need to feel safe. We need clarity in this chaos. We need strength. We need healing.”

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Dan Ritter, who gave a eulogy, said he bought Comperatore’s childhood home in 1993 — sparking a friendship that grew with their shared values of family, Christian faith and politics.

“Corey loved his family and was always spending time with them,” Ritter said. “This past Saturday was supposed to be one of those days for him. He did what a good father would do. He protected those he loved. He’s a true hero for us all.”

Jeff Lowers of the Freeport Fire Department trained with Comperatore and said at the vigil that he always had a smile on his face.

Afterward, Heidi Powell, a family friend, read remarks from Comperatore’s high school economics teacher, who could not attend the vigil.

“What made Corey truly extraordinary was his indomitable spirit, unyielding courage, his unflappable optimism,” the teacher, Mark Wyant, wrote.

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Comperatore’s pastor, Jonathan Fehl of Cabot Methodist Church in Cabot, said the family “has been humbled by the way this community has rallied around them,” and by the support they have received from people around the world.

The vigil concluded with people in the crowd lighting candles and raising cellphones, glow sticks and lighters as Comperatore’s favorite song — “I Can Only Imagine,” by Christian rock band MercyMe — played while pictures of him and his family were shown on a screen.

Two other people were injured at the rally: David Dutch, 57, of New Kensington, and James Copenhaver, 74, of Moon Township. As of Wednesday night, both had been upgraded to serious but stable condition, according to a spokesperson with Allegheny Health Network.

In a statement, Dutch’s family thanked the “greater western Pennsylvania community and countless others across the country and world” for the incredible outpouring of prayers and well wishes.

Trump suffered an ear injury but was not seriously hurt and has been participating this week in the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

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___

AP reporters Heather Hollingsworth in Mission, Kansas, and Lisa Baumann in Bellingham, Washington, contributed.



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