JOIN FOR $1

It’s coyote-killing season in Pennsylvania. Are the hunts barbaric or necessary population control?

PHILADELPHIA — A dead Eastern coyote hung upside down above a bucket of dried blood in a rural Pennsylvania fire hall, its lips locked in a perpetual snarl. Some men crouched beside it, while other adults twirled spaghetti with a fork, looking on from aluminum chairs. Children held canned sodas and stared. “Thirty-eight pounds even,” the men said when the needle on the scale settled. On this sunny February afternoon last year, 38 pounds wouldn’t take the crown at the 17th annual Sullivan County Coyote Hunt in LaPorte. The weekend-long contest saw 27 coyotes killed, the prize winner coming in a...

Undocumented immigrants who help police can be at risk for deportation. A Pennsylvania lawyer is trying to stop that

PHILADELPHIA — When Josia's husband began beating her, the U.S. government stood ready to help, even though she was in the country illegally. If she would assist the police investigation, she could get what's called a U visa, which provides undocumented victims of serious crimes with work authorization, protection from deportation, and a path to citizenship. Congress' idea in establishing the program in 2000 was to get criminals off the streets, that having a safer society outweighs the enforcement of certain immigration violations. Josia was granted a visa after about eight months. That was i...

COVID-19 virus variants are evolving ‘escape’ mutations -- and immune-compromised patients provide a breeding ground

For more than two months, a 73-year-old cancer patient fought COVID-19 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. His doctors did genomic sequencing on blood and respiratory samples collected as he got better and then, suddenly, worse. They chronicled the emergence of a slew of coronavirus mutations — including an ominous one that is part of strains from the United Kingdom and South Africa now sweeping around the globe, threatening the effectiveness of new vaccines. New cases in Montgomery County and at Penn show the coronavirus variant is spreading across the Philly region The thing is, ...

Nation’s oldest juvenile lifer, Joe Ligon, leaves Pa. prison after 68 years

PHILADELPHIA — Leaving the State Correctional Institution Phoenix in Montgomery County on Thursday morning, his white hair peeking out below a prison-issue hat, Joe Ligon was accompanied by a dozen large file boxes. That’s about 10 more boxes than regulations normally permit. “I’m a special guy,” Ligon explained. It’s a privilege earned over 68 years, as the oldest and longest-serving juvenile lifer in the country. He’s been imprisoned since 1953, when he was just 15 years old. “I guess you accumulate a lot of stuff in 68 years,” said Bradley Bridge, a lawyer with the Defender Association of P...

ICE 'Deep State' is blocking Biden's quest for justice for refugees

It was the kind of horror story that Americans had grown painfully used to reading during the four years of Donald Trump's presidency: More than 100 U.S. asylum seekers from strife-torn Haiti, suddenly deported across the U.S. border into the dangerous crime-ridden Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez including mothers who had no diapers for their babies and kids with no shoes on their feet. "Nobody was at the bridge to receive them," said Tania Guerrero, an immigration attorney from El Paso, Texas, who witnessed the midwinter dumping and described it to The Miami Herald. "They were just dropped there." Bu...

Read More

Gun violence survivors are begging for resources -- Would this bill help them?

PHILADELPHIA — Every day, with the inevitability of a sunrise, more than 300 Americans are shot. Many of those lucky enough to survive will face uncertain recoveries, and can be saddled with lifelong disabilities. Like sailors lost at sea, squinting for a hint of land, they search desperately for tools that can help them eke out an existence. Functional wheelchairs. Safe, accessible housing. Some way of sorting through the scattered federal, state, and local government programs that might offer assistance, if only their rules were easy to decipher. The ranks of survivors who are forced to solv...

Pennsylvania Republicans stumped by Trump’s pick of Bruce Castor for his impeachment defense

PHILADELPHIA — In introducing his new lawyer, Bruce L. Castor Jr., former President Donald Trump hailed his pick as a “highly respected trial lawyer” who brought a national profile to the team that will defend him at his Senate impeachment trial next week. But in Castor’s home state of Pennsylvania on Monday, the choice left Trump’s closest allies, GOP officials, longtime colleagues — and even some of Castor’s closest friends — scratching their heads in confusion and surprise. Few said they had any idea that Castor — Montgomery County’s former limelight loving, hard-charging district attorney,...

Animal shelters saw a boom in dog and cat adoptions when the pandemic struck

PHILADELPHIA — Gianna Masini spent the first several months of the pandemic feeling isolated in her Philadelphia apartment. She and her boyfriend had talked about getting a dog for a while, but it never seemed to be the right time — until the coronavirus upended everyone's lives and Masini found out she would be working from home for the indefinite future. In August, Masini, 24, drove out on a whim to the Brandywine Valley SPCA in West Chester and fell in love with Maui, a German shepherd-mix puppy. "He's great for the loneliness," she said, "and he's been really a good deterrent" against stre...

FBI didn’t recover Pelosi’s laptop from the woman charged with stealing it, her lawyer says

PHILADELPHIA — FBI agents did not recover House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop from the Harrisburg woman charged with playing a role in its theft during the Capitol riot, the woman’s lawyer said Tuesday. The fate of the computer has remained an unresolved mystery since Riley Williams, 22, surrendered to authorities last week, two days after they first accused her of stealing it in an attempt to sell it to the Russian security services. That plan failed, agents said at the time. But seeking to deflate the case against his client, her public defender, A.J. Kramer, said Tuesday that investigators ...

Joe Biden could curb right-wing extremism with one weird trick

Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt survived stints in Iraq and Afghanistan, where she helped guard military bases at the peak of America's wars in those regions in the mid-to-late 2000s. Instead, she lost her life fighting her own government in the corridors of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — gunned down by a Capitol Police officer at the front of a crowd trying to smash toward the nearby House chamber and prevent the counting of 2020 Electoral College votes that would make Joe Biden president. Seconds before the fatal shot, a video captured her compatriots smashing a window and shouting, "We don't ...

Trump rioter accused of stealing Pelosi’s laptop blames ex-boyfriend for ‘overstated’ accusations

A lawyer for the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, woman accused of stealing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's laptop during the Capitol riot told a judge Thursday her client was not fleeing from authorities when she left her home, changed her phone number and shut down her social media accounts after being identified by the FBI. Instead, Riley Williams was seeking to escape what her attorney Lori J. Ulrich described as an abusive relationship with the ex-boyfriend who had focused investigators attention in her direction. “His accusations are overstated," Ulrich told U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson...

Read More

Feds seeking Trump rioter who allegedly wants to sell Nancy Pelosi's laptop to Russians

Federal authorities have obtained an arrest warrant for a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, woman they suspect may have stolen House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's laptop during the Jan. 6 Capitol siege with the intent of selling the device to Russia's foreign intelligence services. In an affidavit filed late Sunday evening, agents said they were contacted by the former romantic partner of Riley June Williams, 22, who recognized her in footage shot during the insurrectionist attack by the British network ITV. Williams' ex also reported having seen other video showing Williams pocketing the computer from Pelos...

Pennsylvania election probe that Trump falsely touted as a sign of vote-rigging ended without charges

PHILADELPHIA — Federal prosecutors in Harrisburg announced Friday they had found “insufficient evidence” of a crime in an election investigation that President Donald Trump and his allies had repeatedly touted as a sign of vote-rigging in Pennsylvania. The case, involving nine military ballots found discarded in a Luzerne County trash bin, was unusual from the start. Breaking with traditional Justice Department norms that prohibit discussing most ongoing investigations — especially ones that could influence elections — then-U.S. Attorney David J. Freed sent out a news release confirming the pr...

Supreme Court denies fast-track hearings for remaining GOP challenges to Pennsylvania election results

PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. Supreme Court declined to fast-track remaining legal challenges to Pennsylvania's election results on Monday, underscoring the justices' reluctance to wade into widely discredited Republican arguments for reversing the outcome of the 2020 vote. The decision did not dismiss the election challenges outright and kept them alive for the justices to potentially take up in the future. But Monday's orders — along with denials for expedited consideration in several other election-related cases arising from states such as Wisconsin and Georgia — pushed those considerations until...

Does Twitter’s ban violate Trump’s free speech rights? Likely not, but it raises questions about social media platforms, experts say

PHILADELPHIA — President Donald Trump lost his favorite online megaphone Friday, when Twitter permanently suspended his account over concerns his messages would incite further violence following Wednesday’s siege on the U.S. Capitol. While Trump and his allies quickly accused the social media platform of silencing free speech, First Amendment lawyers said the action didn’t violate the president’s rights: The Constitution protects against government action censoring a citizen’s speech. Twitter, meanwhile, is a private company. First Amendment protections against government censorship do not app...

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy Raw Story this year? Join us! We're offering RawStory ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.