Marshal killed in Harrisburg/New Mayor of York

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On the Friday January 19th, 2017 edition of WITF’s Smart Talk:

Arrest warrants are served everyday — usually without incident.  But that’s not what happened Thursday morning when U.S. Marshals and local police attempted to serve a warrant in Harrisburg — only to be met with gunfire from an upstairs window.  In the shootout, 45-year-old U.S. Deputy Marshal Christopher Hill was killed and York City police officer Kyle Pitts — a member of a fugitive from justice task force — was wounded.


Deputy US Marshal Christopher Hill / First responders salute Marshal Hill (photos: PennLive)

The investigation is continuing but what we do know is the shooter was shot and killed by police.  He was not named on the arrest warrant.  That was for a woman living in the house, who was taken into custody.

Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo is on Friday’s Smart Talk to provide details on the incident.

Also, Republican State Senator Mike Regan of York County worked as a U.S. Marshal before running for elective office.  He was a colleague of Deputy Hill and joins us.

York residents turned showed up at City Hall in sub-freezing temperatures early this month to watch Michael Helfrich sworn in as the 25th mayor of the city.  Helfrich defeated incumbent mayor Kim Bracey in November, after losing to her in the May primary but just over 300 votes.

Helfrich previously served on the York City Council as president; he started his public service career addressing environmental needs in York County.  He became an advocate for clean waters in the 1980’s and protested industrial polluting in area creeks.  This led to a successful council run in 2011.  A 1991 drug conviction has led to multiple challenges to his eligibility for a seat on the council and more recently for the mayor’s office; Helfrich faced down those challenges.

As he begins his term, Helfrich will need to deal with several issues confronting the City of York; an ongoing opioid crisis, an aging population with increasing healthcare needs, an economy that ranks York the 10th poorest city in PA in a PennLive survey and an unemployment rate nearly twice the national average.

Mayor Helfrich joins us on Friday’s Smart Talk to discuss both the challenges facing him as York’s mayor and some of the successes in the community he is looking to build on.

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York Mayor Michael Helfrich