State briefs

Pennsylvania sues over new Trump birth-control rules

HARRISBURG (AP) — Pennsylvania is suing President Donald Trump over his decision to let more employers claiming religious or moral objections opt-out of providing no-cost birth control to women.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the lawsuit Wednesday, saying the new rules are breaking the law and undermining women’s health.

Trump’s policy is designed to roll back parts of former President Barack Obama’s health care law, which required that most companies cover birth control as preventive care for women, at no additional cost.

Other Democratic-leaning states, including Washington, Massachusetts and California, have already sued, as has the American Civil Liberties Union.

Shapiro says the rules violate the Fifth Amendment because they pertain to women and not men and the First Amendment, by putting employers’ religious beliefs over the constitutional rights of women.

State gets Real ID

extension through Jan. 22

HARRISBURG (AP) — Pennsylvania is getting yet another extension to comply with a federal law that requires driver’s licenses meet anti-terrorism standards.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said Tuesday that the state received another deferment from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

That means state residents can continue to access federal facilities such as prisons through Jan. 22, when a new restriction on commercial air travel will take effect.

Only about half the states are compliant, and Pennsylvania will require more extensions to avoid residents being affected.

Under legislation approved in May, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is working to produce a driver’s license that complies with the 2005 Real ID law enacted following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

It expects those cards will be available starting in March 2019.

Division III school cuts player for kneeling during anthem

READING (AP) — A backup quarterback for Division III Albright College in Pennsylvania has been cut for kneeling during the national anthem.

Sophomore Gyree Durante took a knee before Saturday’s game. He says he was “taught you fight for what you believe in and you don’t bow to anyone.”

Professional and college football players and athletes in other sports have been kneeling or protesting during the anthem. The movement was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season over his view of police mistreatment of black males.

The school says Durante was cut because he violated a team decision to show unity by kneeling during the coin toss, but standing during the anthem.

The school says the players understood there could be consequences for anyone that didn’t support the team’s decision.

Father charged after boy

fatally shoots himself in the face

SAYLORSBURG (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after his 4-year-old son got ahold of a gun and fatally shot himself in the face.

Police had responded to a Saylorsburg home June 18 to find Bentley Thomas Koch suffering from a gunshot wound. The boy was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The county chief deputy coroner ruled his death as accidental.

Authorities have charged the boy’s 21-year-old father Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter, as well as endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment.

The man has a preliminary hearing set for Oct. 20.

Penn State to delay registration for non-vaccinated students

STATE COLLEGE (AP) — Penn State says students who don’t have up-to-date vaccinations won’t be able to register for spring classes.

The Centre Daily Times reports the school announced Tuesday that it will place registration holds on students who aren’t vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella. Students living in dorms must also be vaccinated against meningitis.

The vaccination requirements apply to all campuses except Penn State Great Valley, which is for graduate professional students and its online World Campus.

The school had a mumps outbreak that sickened at least 77 students in the spring 2017 semester.