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Gunman Opens Fire on GOP Baseball Practice; Philly Bev Tax Appeal Upheld; Man Killed in CC Car Crash
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 06/14/17 2:40 pm | updated: 06/14/17 2:40 pm
 
A gunman opened fire early this morning around 7 a.m. at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, during a congressional baseball practice. The suspect has been identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. He shot with a semi-automatic long rifle on the congressional Republican team as they were hitting in the batting cages. Republican majority whip Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana was shot in the hip. He is the third ranking of the member of the House Republicans. Scalise's Capitol Police security detail returned fire and shot and killed Hodgkinson after a lengthy fire fight. Two Capitol Police officers were also injured as well as lobbyist Matt Mika and legislative correspondent Zack Barth. The GOP congressional baseball team was practicing for an annual charity game against the Democratic team that is scheduled for Thursday night at Nationals Park. The game has been played since 1909. It is going to be played as scheduled.

UPDATE: Rep. Steve Scalise remains in critical condition after surgery.

The exact motive for the shooting is still under investigation, but on social media Hodgkinson was extremely critical of President Trump and belonged to several anti-Republican Facebook groups. He was a supporter of Bernie Sanders and volunteered for his campaign. Sanders has denounced the actions say, "I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms." President Trump said "We may have our differences but we do well in times like these that everyone who serves in our nation's capital is here because above all they love our country. We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace and that we are strongest when we are unified."

A seven-judge panel in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has upheld a December 2016 Philadelphia Common Pleas Court ruling on the legality of Philadelphia's 1.5 cents/ounce Beverage Tax. The court's decision was 5-2. Back in April, Attorney Chip Baker argued against the tax saying it is in violation of the 1932 Sterling Act that gave Philadelphia its own tax authority but also prohibits it from taxing anything already taxed by the state. Since beverages are already subject to a 6% sales tax they can't be taxed again according to Baker. Attorney Mark Aronchick, arguing for the city, says that the beverage tax is not on the beverages themselves but on the distribution to the retail outlets. The tax is also paid by the distribution centers. Baker argued that placing the tax on distributors is subterfuge. He says the state's sales tax statute prohibits "tax pyramiding" or having different jurisdictions tax the same product at different points along the supply chain. However, five of the seven judges found that the tax did not duplicate the sales tax and it was legal. In the dissent, the two judges wrote that it does duplicate the tax because it can only be imposed "in relation to the retail sale of sugar-sweetened beverages." The beverage industry is expected to take the case to the state Supreme Court.

One man was killed and another injured when a minivan jumped the curb in Center City on Tuesday morning. It happened before noon on the northwest corner of 16th Street and JFK Blvd. Two vehicles were involved in a crash at the intersections sending the minivan off the road. It crashed through a newsstand and into the BB&T bank branch. 76-year-old Peter Javsicas of West Mount Airy was struck. He was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital where he died Tuesday night. A 38-year-old man was also hit and injured. He is in stable condition. The newsstand attendant suffered minor injuries.

Weather
This afternoon, Mostly Cloudy, temperatures in the lower 80's in Center City


 
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