The Associated Press

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, said Monday the furry rodent has forecast six more weeks of winter.

Members of the top hat-wearing Inner Circle announced the "prediction" Monday morning.

A German legend has it that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last another six weeks. If not, spring comes early.

The forecast was also announced on Twitter, as was referenced in the official proclamation read by Bill Deeley, president of the Inner Circle.

Five buildings burned as part of an early Friday apartment fire that spread to neighboring structures in the business district of a poorer suburb of Pittsburgh.

There were no immediate reports of injuries. Two residents rescued from a second-story window of the apartment building in Homestead were taken to a hospital for evaluation, but it wasn't clear if they were injured, said Alvin Henderson, chief of emergency services for Allegheny County.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Court documents released Wednesday show a grand jury has concluded there are reasonable grounds to charge the state's top prosecutor with perjury, false swearing, official oppression and obstruction after an investigation into leaks of secret investigative materials.

The records made public by the state Supreme Court say the grand jury's Dec. 18 presentment regarding Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been sent by the supervising judge to the district attorney in Montgomery County to decide whether to file charges.

The Allegheny County Health Department says 15 people have now died from the flu in the Pittsburgh area, but that this season's outbreak seems to be slowing down.

All of the victims were at least 55 and most had other health problems. Fifteen people died last flu season, and more deaths are possible this season.

Still, officials say this is one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory with nearly 4,000 cases reported.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Saying that Pittsburgh and several other cities in the state have “openly defied” state law in passing gun ordinances that are more restrictive than state laws, the National Rifle Association has sued Pittsburgh. 

The move comes one day after Houston-based U.S. Law Shield sued Harrisburg for its firearm laws.

The Second Amendment groups are taking action a week after a new state law went into effect giving such organizations standing to file such suits.

The Obama administration laid out designs Wednesday to issue the first regulations to cut down on methane emissions from new natural gas wells, aiming to curb the discharge of a potent greenhouse gas by roughly half.

The White House set a new target for the U.S. to cut methane emissions by 40 percent to 45 percent by 2025, compared to 2012 levels. To meet that goal, the Environmental Protection Agency will issue a proposal affecting oil and gas production, while the Interior Department will also update its standards for drilling to reduce leakage from wells on public lands.

A top leader of Yemen's al-Qaida branch has claimed responsibility for last week's attack on a Paris newspaper, when two masked gunmen killed 12 people, including much of the weekly's editorial staff and two police officers.

Nasr al-Ansi, a top commander of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP as the branch is known, appeared in an 11-minute Internet video posted Wednesday, saying that the massacre at Charlie Hebdo was in "vengeance for the prophet." The paper had published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which is considered an insult in Islam.

Pittsburgh's new police chief is being praised by the mayor but criticized by a police union president for being photographed on New Year's Eve holding a sign that says: "I resolve to challenge racism @ work."

The sign also has a Twitter hash tag that says "# end white silence." Chief Cameron McLay was photographed holding up the sign that someone had brought to the city's annual First Night celebration.

Mayor Bill Peduto said he saw the picture on social media and liked it so much he re-posted it on his own Facebook page.

AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek

Crowds protesting the deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers marched in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia on Wednesday.

In Philadelphia, a group rallied at the train station and marched through downtown before disrupting a tree lighting ceremony at City Hall. The group's chants of "No justice, no Christmas!" and other phrases drowned out several performances at the City Hall celebration, but the tree was lit as scheduled.

Six people have been wounded in an early morning shooting in Clairton.

An emergency dispatch commander says the gunfire erupted around 3:30 a.m. Friday in the river town about 15 miles up the Monongahela River from Pittsburgh.

The police commander says one victim was airlifted and two victims were taken by ambulance to a trauma center. Three others reportedly went on their own to a local emergency room.

The commander says all were reported to be awake and breathing.

Code enforcement officials have condemned a building housing several row apartments near Pittsburgh, after cold weather contributed to ceiling collapses that are leaving 20 people homeless.

Eight of those forced Tuesday to seek other shelter in Penn Hills are children.

Penn Hills officials say nobody was hurt by the crumbling ceilings, but officials have determined the buildings are unsafe.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has fired the director of the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System a month after the department says internal investigators determine she committed unspecified "conduct unbecoming a senior executive."

AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

The polls have opened in Pennsylvania's history-making race for governor.

Voters are deciding between Democrat Tom Wolf and Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in an election that will settle who will govern the state for the next four years after a campaign that smashed the state's spending record.

Chris Squier / 90.5 WESA

The bank holding the delinquent mortgage on the debt-ridden August Wilson Center for African American Culture is now in control of the property following a sheriff's sale.

Dollar Bank, which has a $7.96 million mortgage judgment on the center, paid a little over $1,900 in taxes and costs associated with Monday's sale in Pittsburgh.

A consortium of charities was unable to complete an $8.85 million acquisition of the center by a Friday deadline due to an appeal filed by a security firm owed money by the center.

AP Photo / Keith Srakocic

Former President Bill Clinton came to Pittsburgh on Monday to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf.

Clinton addressed several hundred Wolf supporters at a South Side union hall as the first-time candidate tries to knock off Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. Those in attendance also heard from other politicians including U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) , U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA-14) and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Clinton lauded Wolf, saying he finds it unbelievable that there isn’t a severance tax on natural gas in Pennsylvania. 

Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Pittsburgh to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf.

The Wolf campaign said Clinton will lead a mid-day rally Monday at an electrical workers' union hall on Pittsburgh's South Side. Wolf is challenging Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's re-election bid.

Clinton is the third political celebrity to campaign for Wolf in as many weeks, following separate appearances in Philadelphia by his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and first lady Michelle Obama.

Members of the community have held a candlelight vigil to remember six people killed in a suburban Pittsburgh house fire and to pray for critically injured sole survivor.

About 250 people raised lit candles into the air and sang "Amazing Grace" Sunday night outside the McKeesport house where a woman, her four young children and her disabled father-in-law died early Saturday.

Pittsburgh has "won" Gawker.com's ugliest accent tournament, besting the other finalist — Scranton — in a reader's poll with more than 54 percent of the vote.

The gossipy news site set up a tournament bracket pitting what it deemed the 16 ugliest city accents in the United States against one another.

Pittsburgh advanced to the finals by winning readers' votes over Atlanta, Philadelphia and Boston.

A Pennsylvania county prosecutor is resigning in the wake of a pornographic email scandal that the state attorney general's office says involved him while he was a high-ranking supervisor there.

Rick Sheetz, who led the criminal division until Attorney General Kathleen Kane took office early last year, resigned Monday from a part-time job as assistant district attorney in Lancaster County.

District Attorney Craig Stedman says the email scandal prompted Sheetz's departure, first reported Tuesday by Lancaster Newspapers.

A couple of former part-time professors have left $15 million to Point Park University in Pittsburgh, the largest gift in the school's history.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the gift is nearly half of the school's $31 million endowment.

It was left to the school by the estate of George and Kathleen White, who never attended the school before both of them taught there as part-time professors after moving to the Pittsburgh area in their 50s.

Officials say a fire has burned three administrative buildings at the Flight 93 National Memorial in western Pennsylvania.

National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst says no injuries were reported Friday afternoon. He did not know the cause or extent of the damage.

He says the affected buildings serve as the park's headquarters and include the superintendent's office.

Litterst says the flames did not affect the memorial itself or construction of the visitors center.

Chris Abruzzo has turned in his resignation as head of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, one week after the attorney general’s office named him among state employees who swapped sexually explicit e-mails on state computers years ago while working for then-attorney general Tom Corbett.

In a letter to the governor, Abruzzo says assertions made by the attorney general’s office have become a “distraction” from the governor’s administration.

AP Photo/The Philadelphia Inquirer, Tom Gralish, Pool

A lively second debate between Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf became tense Wednesday as Wolf sought to assign blame to Corbett for budget deficits and struggling schools while Corbett tried to frame Wolf as the candidate who will favor labor unions over taxpayers.

Corbett and Wolf met during the one-hour "Breakfast with the Candidates" event at KYW-TV and KYW-AM in Philadelphia.

A judge has approved moving a 16-year-old boy charged in a stabbing rampage at his high school to a Pittsburgh-area psychiatric hospital indefinitely.

Sixteen-year-old Alex Hribal, of Murrysville, has been held at a juvenile detention center in Westmoreland County since the April 9 attack. Prosecutors say he stabbed 20 fellow students and a security guard with kitchen knives at Franklin Regional High School.

Hribal's attorney contends the boy's mental condition is deteriorating.

A Pennsylvania state lawmaker made it public that he's gay while at a news conference with other Democrats to urge passage of legislation that adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's hate crime law.

Tuesday's announcement by Allegheny County Sen. Jim Ferlo makes him the first sitting Pennsylvania state senator who is openly gay, and the third state lawmaker.

Ferlo isn't running again, and he'll leave the Senate on Nov. 30 after 12 years. Ferlo also notes that he's never denied being gay.

Authorities don't have the alleged gunman who is accused of a deadly ambush at a police barracks, but they say they've found the AK-47-style assault rifle that he was carrying.

Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said Sunday that police believe their massive manhunt is hot on the trail of 31-year-old Eric Frein as he travels on foot through northeastern Pennsylvania's heavy forests where he grew up.

The Associated Press

Twenty-one people, many of whom are doing work that touches on race relations, same-sex marriage, climate change and other issues that are dominating the news, have each been awarded "genius grants" from the MacArthur Foundation.

The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation this morning has announced this year's recipients of the grants that have been awarded since 1981. Recipients can spend the $625,000 any way they like.

College sports' governing body says it is willing to let Pennsylvania control the $60 million fine Penn State is paying over its handling of the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal.

The NCAA on Friday asked Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Sen. Jake Corman and Treasurer Rob McCord.

The NCAA says that if Covey agrees, it also will move to end a federal lawsuit against McCord, Gov. Tom Corbett and others that challenges a 2013 state law requiring the money to remain within Pennsylvania.

Sophie Masloff, who rose from a tax clerk to become Pittsburgh's first female mayor, died Sunday. She was 96.

She died at an area nursing home, said Joseph Mistick, Masloff's longtime friend and former top aide.

Masloff took office in May 1988 after the death of Richard S. Caliguiri, and she served until January 1994.

She good-naturedly described herself as an "old Jewish grandmother" and promised when she took office to be at work by 8 a.m. every day except Tuesdays when, she said, "I get my hair done."

Pennsylvania's jobless rate is up slightly but remains better than the national figure. The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday the seasonally adjusted rate last month was 5.7 percent, up one tenth of a percentage point from June.

“There’s nothing to be alarmed about,” said Sara Goulet, a department spokeswoman. “It’s a very, very small uptick and we do see those periodically. It’s the natural ebb and flow of the employment situation.”

The U.S. rate is currently 6.2 percent.

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