FOI action generates Monessen School District response

The Monessen School District has responded to an appeal filed by The Valley Independent under the state's Right-to-Know Law. In its response, the district gave reasons why it believes the request by the newspaper to get the name of a fired Monessen teacher should not be heard. Read More...

Opinion: No legal notice required for reconvened meeting

Q: A school board meeting ran long and as a result, the board recessed the meeting for one week. Does the Sunshine Act require the school board to place a legal notice in our paper stating the date, time and place of the reconvened meeting? Read More...

Exeter offers no public apology over meeting

Exeter borough residents hoping for an apology for being locked out of a council meeting April 6 will have to wait at least a little longer. None was given at Tuesday’s meeting of the borough council. Read More...

Opinion: Secrecy in age of information

Most public officials in 2010 would blush at acknowledging that staff members do not know how to use e-mail or electronically transfer data. But not Wyoming County Recorder of Deeds Dennis Montross. He thinks his staff's alleged technological ignorance is a valid excuse to maintain the secrecy of public records. Read More...

Yankees lose appeal in open records case brought by Times Tribune

A state appeals court has ruled against the SWB Yankees LLC - the management group for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and PNC Field - in its attempt to block The Times-Tribune from obtaining the paperwork concerning how bids were awarded at the Lackawanna County Multi-Purpose Stadium in Moosic.
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Expert: Riverside vote violated open-meetings law

A vote by the Riverside School Board to change the logo displayed on football helmets violated the Pennsylvania open-meeting law, a media-law expert said Thursday. The 5-4 decision, reached after a district employee polled school board members by phone, changed the helmet decals for Riverside Junior-Senior High School football players from a wing to a Viking horn. Read More...

Opinion: Sunshine Act penalties infrequently imposed

Q: Our newspaper would like to pursue legal action against a local agency for Sunshine Act violations. Are there civil or criminal penalties for violating the act? Read More...

University lodges appeal to keep foundation records private

A Pennsylvania state university and its nonprofit fundraising foundation have asked the state’s high court to hear an appeal in a case over whether the foundation, which is staffed by public employees, is subject to state public records laws. Read More...

Pa. State Police ordered to release work records

Pennsylvania's Office of Open Records has ordered the release of documents detailing the moonlighting done by state troopers to the Tribune-Review and the Associated Press. Read More...

Pa. state police ordered to disclose moonlighting

HARRISBURG (AP) — The Pennsylvania State Police must release most of its records about work that its employees perform while they are off-duty, the state Office of Open Records has ruled. The office concluded in Wednesday's decision that the state police erred in withholding information about employee moonlighting in response to a right-to-know request filed in April by The Associated Press. Read More...

ESU appeals court's open-records ruling

East Stroudsburg University and its foundation have asked the state's highest court to reverse an appellate court ruling that would force the foundation to turn over records to the Pocono Record. In the latest turn in an ongoing legal battle, ESU and the private ESU Foundation, which raises money for the university, filed an appeal in the Middle District of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, arguing that a unanimous decision of a full panel of judges of the Commonwealth Court in May should not be allowed to stand because it is overbroad and intrusive. Read More...

Opinion: Taxpayers have a right to know

This newspaper applauded state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-9, of Chester, when he advanced the cause of open government by sponsoring the Open Records Act of 2009, but the struggle for public access continues. Commonwealth Court issued decisions this month interpreting the amended Right to Know Law.
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Opinion: Win or lose in court, you cannot erase the news

Sometimes the meaning of the 45 words of the First Amendment seems to escape even those trained in the law. In Pennsylvania last week, two judges in Centre County - home to Penn State University - signed off on what generally are standard instructions to police and other agencies to expunge certain official records of five people involved in criminal investigations. But the orders, thanks to the defense attorney for the five, also required that two area newspapers erase archived news reports about the defendants, who faced charges ranging from assault to drug possession.
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