Top Stories for Berks and Lancaster 02/07

>>The Latest

(Undated) -- Here's the latest news: A hearing scheduled Monday for a state senate committee will begin to vet the possibility of legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. Pennsylvania State Police are trying to determine how a double set of tires from a semi came off the truck and hit a nearby car. Leaders at the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank are expressing their growing worry about what they say is a critical shortage of blood.

>>Lawmakers Set to Take Step to Legalize Recreational Marijuana in Pennsylvania

(Harrisburg, PA) -- A hearing scheduled Monday in the Senate Law & Justice Committee will be the first time a legislative committee in the General Assembly has vetted the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. Committee Chairman Mike Regan, R-Cumberland/York counties, has invited representatives from law enforcement and the criminal justice arena to speak at this first in a series of hearings. The committee expects to hold at least two more hearings to hear from regulators and operators from some of the 18 states that have legalized recreational cannabis as well as advocacy groups on either side of the issue.  

>>Man Sentenced To Prison For His Role In Lancaster County Shooting

(Ephrata, PA) -- An Ephrata man will serve up to seven years in prison for his role in a Lancaster County shooting. Investigators say Mark Ivie Senior handed his son a gun during a fist fight with a group of unarmed people on July 4th two years ago. They say his son, Mark Ivie Junior then got into an argument with someone over Snapchat and invited that person and others to meet him at his home for a physical fight. The group showed up and during the fight, the senior Ivie handed an AR-15 rifle to his son. Mark Ivie Junior then fired 14 rounds at the men. Four were shot and two bullets went into nearby homes. Mark Ivie Junior was convicted and sentence to at least 24 years in prison in December.

>>Lancaster County Housing Authority Offers Help Paying Rent, Utilities

(Lancaster, PA) -- Officials with the Lancaster County Housing Authority says a new rental relief program is proving wildly popular. Executive director Justin Eby says nine months into the program they're busier than ever. The authority is already helping about seven thousand households with emergency rental assistance. There's still funding available to anyone who experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic.

>>Car Hit By Set Of Tractor-Trailer Wheels On Interstate

(Berks County, PA) -- Pennsylvania State Police are trying to determine how a double set of tires from a semi came off the truck and hit a nearby car. The incident happened Friday morning as man was traveling west on Interstate 78 through Bethel Township. The wheel and tire set hit the front hood of the car, as well as smashed through its window. The car driver's girlfriend tells WGAL-TV that he has a few stitches on his ear and some other cuts and bruises, but otherwise he's doing alright. Firefighters estimate the wheels and tire set weigh around 750-pounds. It's not known whether or not the truck driver was cited for anything.

>>Pennsylvania Department of Health Says Blood Shortage is Critical

(Hummelstown, PA) -- Leaders at the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank are expressing their growing worry about what they say is a critical shortage of blood. They're especially concerned about the dramatically decreasing number of volunteers who regularly donate blood. Blood bank CEO Patrick Bradley says COVID-19 has prevented some donors from giving blood and that's impacting the scheduling of blood drives. He also says all blood types are needed to make sure there is a reliable supply for patients. People can donate blood regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status as long as they meet donation eligibility requirements. Bradley adds that there's no waiting period to donate blood after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine or flu vaccine.

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