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January 10, 2022

Treasure Hunters Sue for Records on FBI’s Civil War Gold Dig

Two treasure hunters who claim they found a huge cache of Civil War-era gold filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the FBI’s excavation records.

Finders Keepers, a Pennsylvania-based lost treasure locate and recovery service, seeks to obtain records of the FBI’s dig for the gold in 2018.

Dennis and Kem Parada, the owners of Finders Keepers, spent years looking for a supposed 1863 shipment of Union gold that went missing en route to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. According to local legend, both the loot and the troops escorting it went missing. Previous accounts of the shipment estimate 26 to 52 gold bars, each weighing 50 pounds, with a value of $50 million.

The Paradas claim they found a large mass of metal in a particular area and contacted the FBI for assistance. The agency sent a contractor to the site to investigate.

In an affidavit unsealed in June 2021, Jacob Archer of the FBI’s art crime team wrote: “I have probable cause to believe that a significant cache of gold is secreted in the underground cave” in Dent’s Run, holding “one or more tons.”

The pair accompanied the FBI to the site in 2018 but were told to stay in the vehicle. The FBI later claimed the dig came up empty.

With their lawsuit, the Paradas hope that the unsealing of relevant documents will enable them to receive a portion of the fabled treasure.

“With its request, Plaintiff seeks to confirm the FBI’s recovery of Civil War-era gold buried in the mountains of Pennsylvania, based in significant part on scientific evidence of the gold’s existence that Plaintiff provided the FBI,” the lawsuit reads.


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Treasure hunters demand answers from FBI about search for civil war-era gold

January 6, 2022

At Least 13 Killed in Philadelphia Fire

A fire at a duplex in Philadelphia killed 13 people, including seven children. Fire officials said 26 people had been staying in the home.

Officials said the building’s four smoke alarms weren’t working, and the cause of the fire hasn’t been determined.

“It was terrible. I’ve been around for 35 years now and this is probably one of the worst fires I have ever been to,” said Craig Murphy, first deputy fire commissioner.

Murphy said that while 26 people is a large number to be occupying a duplex, but a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections said there isn’t a cap on the number of family members who can stay in a single unit. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny said people should withhold judgement.

“You don’t know the circumstances of each and every family, and maybe there were relatives and family that needed to be sheltered,” Kenney said. “Obviously the tragedy happened, and we all mourn for it. But we can’t make judgment on the number of people living in the house because sometimes people just need to be indoors.”

“Losing so many kids is just devastating,” Kenney said. “Keep these babies in your prayers.”


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Philadelphia fire kills at least 13, including 7 children

January 5, 2022

More Planes Full of Illegal Immigrants Land in US

At least five flights carrying illegal immigrants have recently landed in Pennsylvania, with a gubernatorial candidate alleging that the most recent “ghost flight” was flown in secret.

Former congressman Lou Barletta (R) says the Biden administration sent a World Atlantic Airlines flight with undocumented migrants aboard to the Lehigh Valley International Airport (LVIA) last week in “the hope that no one would notice.”

The Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor released a press statement, saying that other “secret charter flights” carrying illegal immigrants had previously landed in Scranton in the past few weeks.

“The incredible secrecy and disregard for Pennsylvanians continues,” Barletta said. “First, we had to discover for ourselves that illegal immigrants were being shipped into Northeast Pennsylvania on at least four flights. But then when people demanded information, the flights were shifted to the Lehigh Valley and they just hoped no one would notice. While the Biden administration is playing games with the safety of Pennsylvanians, Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro are just throwing up their hands and saying it’s not their problem.”

However, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) denied the flights were conducted in secret, saying that the US Department of Health and Human Services had authorized them. According to the local outlet WFMZ, Cartwright said the flights carried unaccompanied migrant children, who were then bussed to their parents or approved sponsors.

The LVIA confirmed that it had received charter flights from the DHS and could see additional flights in the future.

“Under grant assurances with the Federal Aviation Administration and as a federally-obligated public use airport, the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority does not have the ability to discriminate against any aeronautical activity by refusing or denying aircraft from arriving or departing Lehigh Valley International Airport,” the LVIA said in a statement.

Still, Barletta says it’s impossible to determine the age of everyone on the flights. He cited a recent incident in Florida, wherein a refugee who claimed to be 17-years-old turned out to be a 24-year-old homicide suspect.


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Republican candidate for Pa. governor alleges airline carrying illegal immigrants was secretly flown into LVIA

January 3, 2022

Court: Marijuana Odor Not Enough to Justify Warrantless Search

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the smell of marijuana alone isn’t enough to justify police executing a warrantless search.

“The odor of marijuana alone does not amount to probable cause to conduct a non-warranted search of the vehicle but, rather, may be considered as a factor in examining the totality of the circumstances,” Chief Justice Max Baer wrote.

In 2018, officers searched a vehicle solely because they smelled pot. Officers had the vehicle pull over because the driver failed to stop at a solid white line prior to an overpass. After smelling marijuana at the window, officers searched the vehicle, finding a loaded handgun and less than one gram of the substance.

The defendant, Timothy Barr II, and his wife, the driver, presented their medical marijuana cards. The trial court initially dismissed the possession charge, saying the evidence was inadmissible because the search was unconstitutional.

The district attorney’s office argued that the drug remains illegal for most people in the state. But the Supreme Court sided with the trial court’s decision, reinstating the order to suppress the evidence.


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Pot Smell Alone Can’t Justify Warrantless Search, Pa. High Court Rules

January 1, 2022

Congresswoman Carjacked at Gunpoint

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) was carjacked at gunpoint in broad daylight in Philadelphia.

According to her spokesperson Lauren Cox, Scanlon wasn’t harmed in the incident.

“Congresswoman Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint in FDR Park following a meeting at that location. The Congresswoman was physically unharmed,” Cox said in a statement.

“She thanks the Philadelphia Police Department for their swift response, and appreciates the efforts of both the Sergeant at Arms in D.C. and her local police department for coordinating with Philly PD to ensure her continued safety,” the statement said.

Delaware State Police said five suspects were apprehended in Newark, Delaware, after finding them inside Scanlon’s Acura MDX in a parking lot. The names of the suspects were not made public.

“I’m appalled to learn of this violent crime that was perpetrated against my friend and colleague, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon,” Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement.

“Everyone deserves to feel safe in our city, and sadly, as we know, that hasn’t always been the case this year. It’s disheartening, and quite frankly infuriating, that criminals feel emboldened to commit such a reckless crime in the middle of the day in what should be a place of tranquility and peace—one of Philadelphia’s beautiful parks,” he continued.

The incident comes amid a notable spike in Philadelphia crime, with police citing at least an 80% uptick in carjackings in 2021.


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Congresswoman carjacked at gunpoint, 5 in custody

October 31, 2021

Victory for Satanist in battle over school district dress code

In Pennsylvania, the leader of a local Satanist group convinced a school district to change its dress code policy on the grounds that it was discriminatory.

Joseph Rose, the founder of Satanic Delco, emailed and called Rose Tree Media School District after parents alerted him to the policy, which banned attire that is “satanic in nature.”

“The idea that a public school would allow religious expression in school, but choose to single out and prohibit the expression of one specific religion obviously seemed like a problem for us,” Rose said.

The school district eventually sent out a statement, saying that even though it had “no complaints or concerns brought forward by any student, parent, or resident we will remove this language from our current dress code information in the student handbook.”

On its website, Satanic Delco said it doesn’t “promote a belief in a personal Satan.” Instead, it embraces the name to “embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions.”

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Satanist wins in battle to change school district dress code

September 1, 2021

DA asks public for help in the fatal shooting of an 8-year-old girl at a football game

Delaware County, Penn. District Attorney, Jack Stollsteimer, requested the public’s help in finding the person who opened fire at a high school football game Friday night, killing an 8-year-old girl and injuring her 12-year-old sister.

“On Friday night, a terrible tragedy occurred — the senseless death of eight-year-old Fanta Bility,” Stollsteimer said in a statement. “There is an active and ongoing investigation into the circumstances of her death, led by the detectives of Delaware County’s Criminal Investigative Division.”

Mohamed Bility, Fanta’s uncle, pondered the violence that took her young life.

“When is the shooting going to stop? When are they going to get control over the guns on the streets?” he said. “Because actually, children cannot go nowhere. When they go to school, they are not safe. When they go to a program on a football field they are not safe, either.”

Any individual with information about the shooting is asked to call Delaware County Detective Timothy Deery at 610-891-8030.

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Delco’s district attorney asks the public for help in the fatal shooting of an 8-year-old girl at a football game

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