Saidel aide: No recount yet
Secretary of State Pedro Cortes said the recount will start next week in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor unless former City Controller Jonathan Saidel waves it off.
The latest figures from last week's primary show Saidel trailing Centre County state Rep. Scott Conklin by fewer than 3,862 votes, which triggers an automatic recount unless Saidel doesn't want it. Cortes said a recount could cost taxpayers more than $500,000.
"There are still 4,000 absentee ballots to be counted," said Saidel campaign manager Marty Marks. "It's too early to call for a recount when the first count isn't complete."
Robber's bomb: Rock in a bag
A man who held up the United Savings Bank on Packer Avenue near 15th Street in South Philadelphia yesterday left behind a suspicious paper bag that brought in the police bomb squad to investigate. The bag turned out to contain an alarm clock, a stone and duct tape, but no explosives.
The man, described as a balding white man in his 30s, presented a demand note to a teller and told her if she called police he would detonate a bag in the bank. He fled with an undisclosed sum of cash.
Tipsters should call the FBI at 215-418-4000, or 9-1-1.
5 arrests in revelry
Police reported five arrests Monday night stemming from revelry after the Flyers beat the Montreal Canadiens to advance to the Stanley Cup finals.
Four people were arrested at Frankford and Cottman avenues in the Northeast, three for disorderly conduct and one for aggravated assault on police. A fifth person was arrested at Broad and Shunk streets, South Philadelphia, for aggravated assault on police, cops said.
Program for tourism
Pennsylvania has become the first state to join a new mobile social-networking community allowing tourists and tourism-related businesses to share experiences and find the hottest attractions in the commonwealth, Deputy Secretary of Tourism Mickey Rowley has announced.
The state signed with the Foursquare community under the tourism ID, "visitPA."
Users can share their location, earn points toward special business discounts and offer insider tips to popular restaurants, lodging and attractions, Rowley said.
Board OKs table games
The state Gaming Control Board has licensed eight slot-machine casinos to offer table games, and regulators gave the go-ahead yesterday to two more casinos, SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia and Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Nine of the 10 casinos should be ready to debut their games a little after July 4, said board chairman Greg Fajt. SugarHouse is scheduled to open in September.
Change in 'castle doctrine'
The state House Judiciary Committee voted yesterday 22-4 for a bill that would no longer require people to retreat or find a safe place from danger before they resort to deadly force outside their own home, in a business or in a vehicle.
The proposal would expand existing law known as the "castle doctrine," and offer wider protections for self-defense shooters in civil lawsuits.
Troopers kill truck thief
State Police shot and killed a man yesterday after he stole several vehicles and rammed a police cruiser with a pickup truck, and ignored repeated orders to stop, authorities said. Witnesses said Scott Mackelvey, 41, of Tuscarora, stole the cab of a tractor-trailer belonging to Koch's Farm Service and drove it into the Wildcat Mountain housing development in Walker Township, Schuylkill County, where police said he drove through several yards and struck a tree.
Man admits slaying
Keenan Vera, 41, of Camden, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated manslaughter before Superior Court Judge Michele Fox in the fatal shooting in May 2008 of Ronald Curtis, 32. Vera admitted he shot Custis during an argument. He then dumped the body in a Camden park, where park employees found it on May 29, 2008.