(daily caller) – Megyn Kelly, Coulter Torch Obama For Calling Sandra Fluke And Not Kate Steinle’s Family

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly and author Ann Coulter blasted President Barack Obama Wednesday for not reaching out to the family of Kate Steinle over the past two weeks after she was murdered by an illegal immigrant who was deported five times previously.

The main point of contention from the pair, especially Kelly, was over the people Obama has reached out to during his six and a half years in the White House, with the host pointing specifically to Sandra Fluke.

“Now they come out tonight and say that they really couldn’t do it. They didn’t have time and, you know, the president doesn’t reach out to everybody,” Kelly said. “And we are looking back over the list of people that the president has contacted. It includes this woman, who he felt was wrongly attacked.”

Kelly then played video of Fluke talking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell after Obama called her while she was in the green room at the “Lean Forward” network. Fluke got the call after she was attacked by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh after she caused a stir with lawmakers in 2012 over her stance that insurance plans should cover birth control.

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(Homeland Security) – Statement by Secretary Jeh C. Johnson on Chattanooga

Release Date: July 16, 2015
For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
Contact: 202-282-8010

The Department of Homeland Security is closely monitoring the tragic shooting in Chattanooga, and we are supporting the FBI-led investigation. We caution that, at this time, there are many unconfirmed and possibly false reports about events. Department officials are actively supporting the local response to this incident. The Department is also enhancing the security posture at certain federal facilities, out of an abundance of caution. We express our condolences to the families of those members of the United States Marine Corps who were killed.

(Israel News, Ynetnews) – ISIS claims to destroy Egyptian warship with rocket

Smoke on the Water Sequence depicting the rocket approaching and hitting the ship  Moment the ship was struck  Smoke billows from the Egyptian ship (Photos: AFP) 

Sequence depicting the rocket approaching and hitting the ship


Photo shows moments of attack, which terror group claims killed troops – which Egypt denies. Roi Kais Published:  07.16.15, 19:05 / Israel News

The Islamic State terror group on Thursday claimed responsibility for firing an apparently guided rocket at an Egyptian warship in the Mediterranean Sea, north of Rafah.  The group claimed that the ship was destroyed and troops killed, but there was no official confirmation. Sequence depicting the rocket approaching and hitting the ship  Photos showing the incident could be found on social media sites after the attack. Palestinian sources said earlier Thursday that an Egyptian ship was on fire after an explosion whose cause was unclear.  An Egyptian military spokesperson issued a statement reporting exchanges of fire between naval forces and terrorists. According to an Egyptian military statement, navy vessels guarding Egypt’s shores noticed suspicious terrorist activity along the coast, chased after them, and exchanged fire. The military said this caused the ship to catch fire, but added that no one had been killed. 

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(ourmidland.com) – Mud, rain, debris, hamper search for Kentucky flood victims

FLAT GAP, Ky. (AP) — As the Johnson family dug through the wreckage where their trailers once stood, they found a mud-soaked box of family photos, cherished heirlooms and a tiny porcelain statue of Jesus, but not what they were looking for.

Scott Johnson, 34, was swept away two days ago, trying to save his grandmother as a flash flood Monday ravaged this rural eastern Kentucky community.

He is still missing. Three others are confirmed dead, and the fate of four more remains uncertain. Families reported them missing, but they could be stranded in their homes, without power or phone service.

Rescue teams are slogging through knee-deep mud, door-to-door, across the rugged Appalachian terrain, painting orange “X”s on each structure they search. Desperate families roam the banks of the swollen creek, looking for their lost loved ones.

Kevin Johnson last saw his son Scott wading through rushing floodwater with his 74-year-old grandmother on his back.

Scott Johnson had already guided his father, uncle and sister from the raging flood that inundated their cluster of trailers. He turned back one last time to save his grandmother, called Nana, and a 13-year-old family friend.

“We told him, ‘You can’t make it,'” his father recalled. “He said, ‘I’m going to get her out of that trailer.”

Standing in a cemetery on a hill overlooking the creek that had swallowed his son, Kevin Johnson was so overcome with grief he sometimes struggled to speak. He had watched his son push the boy to safety in the branches of a catalpa tree and hoist his Nana onto his back, only to be swept away.

“Scott wouldn’t turn her loose, that’s why he died,” said Veronica Marcum, Scott Johnson’s sister.

The grandmother, Willa Mae Pennington, was found dead Tuesday among debris from the family’s shattered mobile homes, Johnson County Coroner J.R. Frisby confirmed.

Frisby identified the second known casualty as Herman Eddie May Sr., 65. May was driving alone in a sport-utility vehicle when floodwaters from Patterson Creek started to sweep him away. He drowned after he got out and was swallowed by the rising water, Frisby said.

The body of Richard Blair, 22, of the Flat Gap area, was found Wednesday afternoon, on a creek bank in a pile of tree debris and downstream from the rubble of a broken mobile home, the coroner said.

Rescue crews battled swarming mosquitoes, oppressive humidity and mud so thick it sucked off shoes. Utility crews lined the roads, trying to restore power to thousands still without it. A convoy of National Guard vehicles and heavy equipment rolled through the hardest-hit areas.

Randall Mulkey, chief of Allen Volunteer Fire Department in nearby Floyd County, came to help with the search. He said he’s seen homes splintered into rubble, others split in half and cars strewn in places he never could have imagined. Tromping through the mud is exhausting he said, and it’s devastating to see people’s belongings — clothes, toys, photographs — scattered everywhere, some piled 10 feet high.

As the water receded, a crew found a car upside down and partially submerged in the creek. They called for the jaws of life to tear it open and see if anyone had perished inside. But the car’s owner arrived just in time, and told the crew it had floated there, unoccupied, from her home a mile away.

“Thanks for not being in it,” said Flatwoods Police Officer Justin Stevens. “We really didn’t want to see that.”

Seven cadaver dogs are aiding in the search, which stretches more than 8 miles from the town of Flat Gap south to Staffordsville — an area with 500 homes and 1,200 residents about 120 miles east of Lexington, police said at a news conference. Authorities estimate more than 150 homes were destroyed.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear declared a state of emergency, giving local officials immediate access to state resources to assist in recovery efforts. Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen toured the destruction Wednesday and called it “gut wrenching.”

“I think all of us who are here and who have seen this in person recognize this as a truly devastating natural disaster,” Luallen said. “People have lost everything.”

Families returned to the ruins of their homes to try to save what little they could. Church groups and others passed out sandwiches and water, neighbors banded together to clear heavy debris and police said they hoped there still might be some happy endings.

Johnson County Deputy Sheriff Terry Tussey spotted a Chihuahua, alone and trembling, pacing a pile of debris on the other side of a creek.

“She was dancing like she wanted to come across the creek but couldn’t do it,” he recalled. He trudged through the muck to find a safe crossing. Then he coaxed the little dog to him and cradled it back to his car. He drove around the afternoon with the tan dog in his lap, looking for its owner.

A shelter was opened at the Paintsville recreation center, though many displaced residents turned to families and friends. Many who lost everything said they felt lucky to be alive.

Robin Cisco sifted through the remnants of her daughter’s trailer, digging her grandson’s clothes and toys from the mud and rubble. The family barely got away: Her daughter ran from the trailer with her 18-month-old son as the storm hit and water started rising.

“They got out and they’re OK, that’s all we were worried about,” Cisco said. “All this other stuff can be replaced.”

____

Associated Press writers Claire Galofaro and Rebecca Reynolds Yonker in Louisville, Kentucky, contributed to this report.
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(TribLIVE) – Man hospitalized in Greensburg after fall from third-story window 

(Trib Live) –  A man was hospitalized Friday night after falling out of a third-story window in Greensburg.Police Capt. Chad Zucco said officers responded to an apartment on Alwine Avenue at 10 p.m. for a reported domestic dispute. James Hanna, 24, was under the influence of “magic mushrooms” and was destroying items in the apartment, his girlfriend told police.Officers went inside but initially couldn’t find Hanna, Zucco said.“They heard somebody running through an upstairs attic,” the captain said.Hanna then ran through a closed third-story attic window and crashed to the ground next to a police car, Zucco said. Hanna was unresponsive and was taken to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg. Zucco didn’t know whether Hanna remains at the hospital or was transferred to another facility. A condition report could not be obtained.
Source: Man hospitalized in Greensburg after fall from third-story window | TribLIVE

(chron.com) – Obama unveils high-speed Internet help for low-income homes

resident Barack Obama speaks in the Choctaw Nation on economic opportunities for underprivileged communities across the nation, on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Durant, Okla.

DURANT, Okla. (AP) — Calling the Internet a 21st century necessity, President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled a program to bring faster Internet connections to more low-income households, particularly to help students living in public and assisted housing stay ahead in school.

Under ConnectHome, the public, private and nonprofit sectors have pledged to work together to provide high-speed connections and digital devices to more families at lower cost.

More than 90 percent of households headed by a college graduate have Internet access, Obama said. But fewer than half of low-income households have similar access.

In this day and age, Obama said the “digital divide” puts these individuals at a disadvantage by limiting their educational and economic opportunities because the Internet is increasingly needed to find a job, finish homework or keep in touch with family and friends.

“In this digital age, when you can apply for a job, take a course, pay your bills … with a tap of your phone, the Internet is not a luxury. It’s a necessity,” Obama said in Durant, Oklahoma, on the first day of a two-day visit to the state.

“You cannot connect with today’s economy without having access to the Internet,” he said.

ConnectHome is similar to ConnectEd, a federal program that Obama said is on track to wire 99 percent of K-12 classrooms and libraries with high-speed Internet by the end of 2017.

ConnectHome will begin in 27 cities and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, which is headquartered in Durant. With about 200,000 members spread across much of southeastern Oklahoma, the Choctaw Nation is the nation’s third-largest Native American tribe.

The Choctaw Nation was also among the administration’s first “Promise Zones,” a designation that makes it eligible for tax incentives and grants to help fight poverty.

The only federal money expected to be spent on ConnectHome is a $50,000 Agriculture Department grant to the Choctaw Nation, officials said.

The 27 cities the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development selected for ConnectHome are: Albany, Georgia; Atlanta; Baltimore; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Boston; Camden, New Jersey; Cleveland; Denver; Durham, North Carolina; Fresno, California; Kansas City, Missouri; Little Rock, Arkansas; Los Angeles; Macon, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; Meriden, Connecticut; Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans; New York; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia; Rockford, Illinois; San Antonio; Seattle; Springfield, Massachusetts; Tampa, Florida; and the District of Columbia.

Obama was spending the night in Oklahoma and on Thursday continuing a weeklong focus on making the criminal justice system fairer.

He planned to meet Thursday with law enforcement officials and inmates during a historic tour of the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution, a medium-security facility west of Oklahoma City that holds about 1,300 male offenders. “I will be the first sitting president to visit a federal prison,” Obama said in a speech Tuesday to the NAACP meeting in Philadelphia.

___

Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

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(Pittsburgh City Paper) – Pittsburgh City Guide 2015

Photo by Heather Mull Photo Assistants: Mark Perrott and Will Owen / Models: Lea DiMarchi and Ebony Cunningham / Location: Row House Cinema, Lawrenceville
Photo by Heather Mull
Photo Assistants: Mark Perrott and Will Owen / Models: Lea DiMarchi and Ebony Cunningham / Location: Row House Cinema, Lawrenceville

City Guide 2015 Bringing you lots of hot spots and cool events to keep you thrilled, no matter the season
By Charlie Deitch

There’s an old joke that goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Pittsburgh, wait five minutes and it’ll change.” Spend five minutes in our fair city and you’ll quickly realize that it’s not a joke at all.As we prepared this guide in June, high temperatures for one weekend ranged from 85 on Friday to 58 on Sunday. We’ve seen it snow in late May and we’ve seen it reach 90 degrees on Christmas. Our weather is crazy, there’s no doubt about it. You have to be prepared to leave the house in the morning dressed for winter and adjust for summer on your evening commute. You can see that confusion in the outfits of our City Guide cover models, Ebony Cunningham and Lea DiMarchi.But regardless of the weather, this city is packed with fun things to do, great food to eat and lots of great neighborhoods to explore. And that’s the theme for this issue: Fun for All Seasons.On the following pages, you’ll find a calendar of seasonal activities. These are special local events and activities that are unique to the four seasons, and if you find yourself here on a visit during that time, you owe it to yourself to check them out.The second part of the magazine highlights some of our favorite spots throughout several city neighborhoods. We’ll even start you out with a few can’t-miss locations, a few highlights which are ideal for the short-term visitor. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we encourage exploring on your own. But this guide will get you started, with suggestions of places and events to keep you busy and optimize your time in Pittsburgh.And if you set out on your adventure and it’s too cold or too rainy … just wait five minutes and you’ll probably be A-OK.
Read More: Pittsburgh City Guide 2015 | Pittsburgh City Paper

(Post Gazette) – When Hurricane Agnes slammed soggy Pittsburgh | Old Pittsburgh photos and stories | The Digs

Damage and death toll were the highest in Pennsylvania, with more than $2 billion in losses and 50 fatalities.

When a storm named Agnes arrived in Pittsburgh in June 1972, she was the first tropical storm of the season and drenched this region with more than eight inches of rain.

Forty three years ago this summer, mountaineers in West Virginia lost their shacks and affluent people in New York’s affluent Westchester County experienced damage to their fancy homes because of the wettest tropical cyclone on record in Pennsylvania’s history.

On June 24, 1972, President Richard Nixon declared five states disaster areas: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, Virginia and New York.

Two weeks before Agnes blew into town, a series of rains swept across New York and Pennsylvania, completely saturating the ground so that it was unable to absorb additional water.

In Pennsylvania, the storm left 220,000 people homeless. Damage and death toll were the highest in Pennsylvania, with more than $2 billion in losses and 50 fatalities.

Harrisburg was inundated; 8,500 people there had to leave their homes.

In Wilkes-Barre, 45,000 people went to emergency shelters; the community’s water supply was contaminated and it lost phone service due to the raging Susquehanna River.

The Ohio River swamped the city of Wheeling, W.Va.

But for the construction of 10 flood control dams that ring Pittsburgh, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimated, the waters that inundated the Golden Triangle would have been two feet higher than that of the famous March 1936 flood on St. Patrick’s Day.

Hurricane Agnes inflicted $45 million in damage on Pittsburgh. If the flood control dams had not been built, the Corps of Engineers, estimated, damage would have soared past the $1 billion mark. Erie was the only Pennsylvania county to be spared.

Pennsylvania’s climate, location and terrain all played a role. A wet weather state subject to sudden and violent storms, Pennsylvania typically receives 40 thunderstorm days each year. The state also lies in a hurricane pathway and its steep valleys channel runoff from storms.

Taking into account damage in all five states, Hurricane Agnes killed 122 people, destroyed 5,000 homes and damaged 100,000 more, and left 400,000 people homeless, according to Gen. Richard H. Groves, a corps engineer for the North Atlantic Division who testified before Congress.

Half of Pennsylvania’s National Guard was mobilized to do relief work and used helicopters and boats to rescue people.

Gov. Milton Shapp knew all about the flood because the Georgian mansion he occupied, which is set on land overlooking the Susquehanna River, had two feet of water in it, covering the home’s first floor.

*A note on the images: The Pittsburgh Press librarians were known to fold oversized prints in half to fit them into standard-sized archival envelopes. Thus, many of the paper’s beautiful large photo prints are permanently creased, including many from Hurricane Agnes.

Read More: When Hurricane Agnes slammed soggy Pittsburgh | Old Pittsburgh photos and stories | The Digs

(CBS Pittsburgh) (Trib live) – Report: Pa. Making Millions By Selling Drivers’ Personal Info

 Local Report: Pa. Making Millions By Selling Drivers’ Personal Info July 15, 2015 1:26 PM Share on email View Comments (Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Tim Lawson) (Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Tim Lawson)

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Report: Pa. Making Millions By Selling Drivers’ Personal Info
July 15, 2015 1:26 PM
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(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Tim Lawson)
(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Tim Lawson)

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pennsylvania is selling drivers’ personal information to insurance companies, credit businesses, and employers at $9 per driver.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the sold information includes gender, license class, expiration date, and up to 10 years of traffic violations.

The practice grossed $41 million for the Commonwealth in June, hitting a five-year high.

“In general, people don’t like it when companies, or in this case, government agencies, sell their data… Why should you be able to make money off of my data?” Carnegie Mellon University Professor Lorrie Cranor, who runs the school’s privacy engineering program, told the Trib.

While the Commonwealth’s practice raises privacy concerns, David Thaw, University of Pittsburgh School of Law information security expert said, “I would not place this on the high-risk end of the spectrum… providing the department and the insurance companies are following the rules.”

According to PennDOT spokesman Michael Moser, around two dozen other states also monetize drivers’ personal information.

By Melissa Daniels
Tuesday, July 14, 2015, 10:54 p.m.
Updated 15 hours ago

Pennsylvania is making tens of millions of dollars a year selling drivers’ personal information, raising concerns among some motorists and privacy experts who said they weren’t aware of the practice.

The records include gender, license class, expiration date and up to 10 years of traffic violations, all of which is available to insurance companies, credit businesses and employers at a price of $9 per driver.

Stephen Chesney, 41, an attorney from Brighton Heights, said he had no clue. “It’s definitely concerning,” he said. “No one likes their information being sold.”

Annual collections from the practice hit a five-year high of $41 million in June, according to the most recent figures, up from $30 million the year before. The increase is mostly because of a fee hike to $8 from $5 in April 2014 to raise money for state transportation projects; the fee increases to $9 this summer.

“For the state, it’s a revenue stream, but for the drivers, it’s a privacy concern,” said Mark Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Pennsylvania has about 8.9 million drivers. Insurance companies can use their histories to validate what customers are reporting on their policies. Jonathan Greer, vice president for the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania, said the federal Driver Privacy Protection act governs what kinds of records can be requested, and companies aren’t permitted to sell them to third parties.

Raising concern

Paying for the information does not concern the industry, Greer said. Neither did the fee increase.

“It’s the cost of doing business,” he said.

Lorrie Cranor, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who runs its privacy engineering program, said it’s the state’s profit that’s bothersome.

“In general, people don’t like it when companies, or in this case, government agencies, sell their data,” Cranor said. “It’s, ‘Why should you be able to make money off of my data?’ ”

The profit factor shocked Mary Lechok, 58, of Ross. “People don’t know that,” Lechok said. “They make money off everything.”

PennDOT maintains contracts with wholesale companies to purchase driver information in bulk, defined as at least 5,000 transactions per month. Those include LexisNexis, Acxiom, American Driving Records, Explore, Hireright, Insurance Services Office and TML Information Services. Drivers or their attorneys can request their information.

David Thaw, an information security expert at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, said the kinds of records that can be obtained don’t necessarily pose a threat of identify theft.

“I would not place this on the high-risk end of the spectrum,” he said, “providing the department and the insurance companies are following the rules.”

A proposal from state Sen. Don White, R-Indiana County, that passed 46-3 in June would allow companies to acquire driver records for all residents in a household without having all the drivers’ names to determine who isn’t paying correct premiums.

Privacy issue

Gov. Tom Wolf opposes the proposal, citing privacy concerns, said PennDOT spokesman Michael Moser. But White said the practice is used in two dozen other states.

“This is routine information that PennDOT already has,” White said. “This will help with a small segment of the uninsured drivers in a household that aren’t added to a policy when they should be.”

Moser said the agency requires applicants to supply names, addresses and license numbers for drivers whose records they are requesting. They must declare they will use the information for one of several lawful purposes and sign an affidavit under penalty of two years in prison or a $5,000 fine.

Frank Zuber, 43, of West View, said he accepts that private companies sell consumer information for millions of dollars.

“That’s quite a scam,” Zuber said. “I expect it from a lot of things, but from the government, I don’t know.”

Then he paused and chuckled.

“Well,” he said. “I guess that’s sort of a stupid statement.”

Melissa Daniels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8511 or mdaniels@tribweb.com.

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(The Guardian) – Greek crisis: Protests in Athens turn violent as Tsipras urges MPs to back him

Riot police have clashed with anarchist groups in Athens tonight, as Greece’s PM Tsipras faces rebellion over the country’s bailout plan
Read More: Greek crisis: Protests in Athens turn violent as Tsipras urges MPs to back him – live updates | Business | The Guardian

 

 

 

A column of anti-austerity protesters are currently marching in a loop through central Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, and its seafront.

The mood is calm, and not everyone is in the streets – the marchers just passed a pirate-themed ship full of revellers.

“Maybe there’s about a thousand here – with VAT,” jokes one protester, in a reference to the huge VAT hikes that the new bail-out will precipitate, inflating the cost of daily living.

There is a sense of anger, but also of disorientation – and uncertainty about what to do, and who to blame.

“I feel very confused about the situation,” says Giorgos, a middle-aged pharmacist who lost his job two weeks ago.

“I feel very angry about the memorandum, but also I have no problem for the moment with Tsipras. He was under a lot of pressure, and this is a coup.”

Giorgos is resentful of the EU, whose leaders have shown no compassion to a family like his – a family whose two breadwinners have lost their jobs. But equally he doesn’t want to leave the euro, not yet anyway.The feeling shared by other marchers.

“It’s more complicated than that,” says Varvara Kyrillidou, an Italian teacher and Syriza member protesting against her party leader’s decision.

“To leave Europe behind, we need a plan – without a plan it’s very risky for our people. And at the moment we haven’t got one.”

Greece ideally needs to sit down and have a rethink, says Kyrillidou – but she knows there isn’t time.

“We’re between two walls that are closing in on us.”

(reuters) – Bank of America hires sales staff in latest effort to boost revenue

 (Photo by Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Bank of America Corp Chief Executive Brian Moynihan has been hiring more sales staff, in areas ranging from commercial lending to wealth management, in his latest effort to boost revenue that has barely budged for years.

The hiring push is part of a shift in how the bank is trying to sell more products to existing customers. Previously, Bank of America tried training individual employees to sell multiple products, but now it is focusing more on hiring specialized sales staff that can refer business to one another.

So instead of a bank teller trying to sell a branch customer a credit card and a mortgage, the teller might refer the client to a home loan specialist.

The bank has added some 1,000 financial advisors since the second quarter of 2014, and increased the number of sales specialists for products like mortgages and credit cards by 3.5 percent to 6,963.

On a call with analysts, Moynihan said that while the bank is still encouraging individual employees to sell different products, having enough sales staff is important as well.

“It is really just having more of them,” he said.

The bank’s chief financial officer, Bruce Thompson told reporters on a conference call, “Ultimately revenues are driven by the number of client-facing personnel that you have and how well they do relative to their peers.”

So far, these new hires have had a limited impact on results. The bank posted a tepid 1.7 percent increase in revenue in the second quarter from the same period a year ago. Quarterly revenue at the bank has hovered around $22 billion since 2011.

With weak revenue growth, the bank has been trying to boost profit by cutting costs. Overall, the bank is laying off staff. It had fewer than 66,000 full time employees at the end of the second quarter, nearly 10 percent less than the same quarter last year. Bank of America has a regular cost-cutting program in place it calls “Simplify and Improve.”

Spokesman Jerry Dubrowski said Bank of America has been steadily increasing its sales force for some time.

But that growth has not been uniform across all products. While the number of consumer sales specialists for products such as credit cards and auto loans has steadily increased, the number of financial advisors dipped from 2013 to 2014, then rose over the past year. Bank of America doesn’t disclose the size of its sales force for loans to businesses. (Reporting by Dan Freed; Editing by Dan Wilchins and Nick Zieminski)

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(delcotimes.com) – Mercy Fitzgerald shooter Richard Plotts pleads guilty but mentally ill to murder charge

MEDIA COURTHOUSE >> Richard S. Plotts entered an open plea of guilty but mentally ill on Tuesday to charges of murder in the first degree, attempted murder and illegally possessing a firearm in the July 24, 2014, shooting at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital.

Killed during the shooting inside the Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center on Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital’s Yeadon campus was Plotts’ mental health caseworker, Theresa Hunt.

Plotts, 50, of Upper Darby, also admitted to shooting at psychiatrist Dr. Lee Silverman after killing Hunt. Silverman returned fire with a firearm he keeps in his desk drawer, critically wounding Plotts and allowing for his capture.

As a convicted felon for a prior robbery conviction with a history of weapons charges going back to 1990, Plotts was not allowed to own or possess a firearm.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Mattson offered a post-mortem report Tuesday indicating Hunt had died from two gunshot wounds to the head, as well as transcripts of statements given by Silverman to law enforcement and an affidavit of probable cause as the basis for the plea.

Plotts is currently housed at the State Correctional Institution in Graterford, where he said he has weekly access to a psychiatrist. He was well groomed with beard stubble and dressed in a blue, button-down Department of Corrections shirt at Tuesday’s hearing.

Mattson and defense attorney Chuck Williams also stipulated to a psychiatric evaluation by psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Mechanick.

District Attorney Jack Whelan said following his arrest that Plotts had more than 30 additional rounds of ammunition in his pockets and investigators believe he was prepared to kill more people.

Plotts appeared lucid and aware Tuesday as he answered questions from his attorney and indicated he wanted to enter the plea.
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