The Associated Press


10:50 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Boy, 15, Dies in ATV Drag Racing Crash in Western PA

Grief counselors and local ministers were at a western Pennsylvania high school after a popular student was killed while drag racing an all-terrain vehicle at a nearby dirt track.

State police say Northern Bedford High School sophomore Kaleb Rightenour, of Martinsburg, was killed Saturday night when his ATV hit a tire barrier on a 500-foot dirt drag strip, causing the vehicle and the boy to hit a light pole.

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Legionnaire's Disease
2:46 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Legionnaire's Bacteria Found at Pittsburgh-Area VA Clinic

A Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs clinic in a suburban mall has been closed so crews can superheat its tap water to kill bacteria that cause Legionnaire's disease.

Officials don't believe anyone has become ill from water at the clinic in the Washington Crown Center mall in North Franklin Township, about 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh in Washington County.

That's according to Brandon Blatt, a vice president of Sterling Medical Corp. of Cincinnati, which leases and runs the clinic under a contract with the VA.

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11:04 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Police: Western PA woman Overdosed with Kids in Car

A southwestern Pennsylvania woman has been charged with endangering her two young daughters who, police say, were in a van with the woman when she overdosed on heroin.

Online court records don't list an attorney for 33-year-old Clara Bass, of Uledi.

Emergency crews in Uniontown thought they were responding to a woman in cardiac arrest after Bass' friend called 911 to report finding her passed out in a van in a shopping center lot on Wednesday night. But police say they instead found a syringe in the arm of Bass who had turned blue.

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3:41 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Corbett to Tap New Education Secretary

Gov. Tom Corbett says he'll name a central Pennsylvania public school superintendent as his new education secretary, with outgoing Ron Tomalis becoming an adviser on higher education issues.

Corbett said in a statement Wednesday that he'll nominate Cumberland Valley School District Superintendent William Harner as education secretary.

Corbett's statement didn't explain the reason for the change.

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11:22 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Ravenstahl Gives Home Docs to Fed Grand Jury

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has turned over a $12,000 check and a contract he has for home improvements to a federal grand jury.

The grand jury is believed to be investigating whether the mayor is involved in funding irregularities as his bodyguards have recently been subpoenaed to testify about city-issued credit cards and now the mayor and a contractor doing work on his home have acknowledged turning over the new records.

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4:48 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Ex-Justice Melvin Owes $128K in Fines, Restitution

Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin's campaign corruption conviction will cost her not only three years on house arrest but also nearly $128,000 in fines, restitution and court costs.

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11:30 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Sestak Says No Gov Run, Mulls Senate

Former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he won't run for governor next year but is strongly considering a rematch against Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in 2016.

The Democrat told the AP in an interview that the U.S. Senate is racked by a lack of trust and "careening from crisis to crisis." The retired Navy vice admiral said he believes his skills would be more useful in the Senate instead of the governor's office.

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10:20 am
Mon May 13, 2013

4 Children, 2 Adults Die in Eastern PA House Fire

A dispatcher says four children and two adults have died in a house fire in eastern Pennsylvania.

Schuylkill County emergency dispatch supervisor Bill Lindenmuth says the fire broke out around 11:55 p.m. Sunday at a home in Pottsville and that firefighters later found the bodies inside. The blaze was declared under control shortly before 1 a.m.

Names and ages of the victims haven't been released.

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Public Safety
2:13 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Pittsburgh Bomb Squad Busy with Anti-Theft Devices

Pittsburgh's bomb squad has been busy overnight responding to three reports of suspicious devices found along city streets that turned out to be loss-prevention devices, perhaps discarded as shoplifters drove away.

The first call came in just after 11 p.m. Thursday, and two more were reported Friday morning.

The plastic devices, which are equipped to beep and which hang from retail products by a small wire, were found wrapped in foil — which, at first, made them appear more suspicious.

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George M. Leader, 1918-2013
1:56 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Former PA Gov. George Leader Dies at 95

Former Pennsylvania Gov. George M. Leader, who rose from his parents' chicken farm to become governor in 1955, has died. He was 95.

Hoover Funeral Homes and Crematory said Leader died Thursday.

The Democrat led a staff bent on ridding government of patronage jobs and improving social services. His administration overhauled the state's mental health system and made special education a requirement in Pennsylvania schools.

He was the first governor to appoint a black cabinet officer. Leader worked in later life as a private citizen on prison reform.

Mayoral Election
12:24 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Mayor Ravenstahl Behind Ads Attacking Candidate Peduto

Pittsburgh's lame-duck mayor is behind ads attacking one of the candidates running to replace him, City Councilman Bill Peduto.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is listed as chairman of the Committee for a Better Pittsburgh, according to Federal Communications Commission disclosure documents filed by KDKA-TV, which was paid to run the ads which began Monday.

The ads accuse Peduto of voting for things that benefit the neighborhoods he represent at the expense of poorer city neighborhoods.

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9:58 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Western PA Man to Prison for Facebook Surfer Sex Scam

A married father from western Pennsylvania will spend 14 to 28 years in prison for using phony Facebook profiles to pose as two different Florida surfers to solicit sexually graphic messages and photos from seven teenage girls.

Fifty-four-year-old William Ainsworth, of Mars, was sentenced Monday by a Butler County judge. The state attorney general's office charged that the elaborate ruse also resulted in two of the girls eventually agreeing to meet for sex with the surfers' middle-aged "friend" — which was Ainsworth, albeit using yet another phony persona.

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9:37 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Customers, Owner Tackle Robbery Suspects During PA Eatery Heist

Police have identified two robbery suspects arrested after investigators say they were tackled by customers and the owner of a western Pennsylvania Chinese restaurant.

Online court records don't list attorneys for 22-year-old Jeremia Fromme, of Ernest, and 26-year-old Adam Wilson, of Indiana, Pa. They remained in the Indiana County Jail on Monday.

Police say the men tried to rob King Buffet in White Township shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday by handing a cashier a note demanding money.

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9:43 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Train Hits Transit Bus in Evans City; 1 Killed, 10 Hurt

Authorities say an elderly woman was killed and 10 other people injured when a freight train struck a rural transit bus carrying senior citizens and people with developmental disabilities.

Evans City police Chief Joseph McCombs says it appears the small bus entered the crossing and stopped on the tracks shortly after 8 a.m. Friday. The engineer sounded a horn and tried to stop the train, but couldn't.

The bus came to rest about 20 feet away but did not overturn. It was carrying passengers ranging in age from the mid-20s to 92.

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2:27 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

PA Triple-Murder Trial Opening with Jury Trip

The defense attorney for a western Pennsylvania glass shop owner charged with murdering his mother, sister and an elderly aunt says his client has a simple defense: He didn't do it.

Defense attorney Robert Bell says 52-year-old Kevin Murphy was close to the women, all three of whom helped him at his business, where they were found shot dead on April 23, 2009.

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4:26 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Penguins-Bruins Game Postponed Due to Boston Manhunt

The Red Sox and Bruins postponed their games on Friday night while authorities searched for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

No makeup date was announced for the opener of the Red Sox three-game series against the Kansas City Royals scheduled for Friday night at Fenway Park. The Bruins game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden was tentatively rescheduled for Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

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Gun Laws
3:33 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Senate Blocks Expanded Gun Sale Background Checks

Updated Post: 4:56 p.m.

Senate Republicans, backed by rural-state Democrats, blocked legislation Wednesday to tighten restrictions on the sale of firearms, rejecting personal pleas made by families of the victims of last winter's mass elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Attempts to ban assault-style rifles and high capacity ammunition magazines also faced certain defeat in a series of showdown votes four months after a gunman killed 20 elementary school children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary.

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2:05 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Feds Deny Reports of Boston Marathon Suspect in Custody

Federal officials are denying that a suspect is in custody in the Boston Marathon bombings.

A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press on Wednesday a suspect was in custody.

But the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in Boston dispute that.

The official who spoke to The Associated Press did so on condition of anonymity and stood by the information even after it was disputed.

Public Safety
2:00 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Pittsburgh Police Respond After Actual Pressure Cooker, Not Bomb, Delivered to City Building

Pittsburgh police responded to a report that a box labeled "pressure cooker" with a Massachusetts return address was delivered to a city office building — only to find it really was a pressure cooker, ordered by an employee.

Police Lt. Shirley Sloan said the police response Wednesday was born out of an abundance of caution in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

"It was really tense there for a while," Sloan said.

The FBI has said Monday's blasts were caused by homemade bombs crafted using pressure cookers.

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9:08 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Photos, Maps of Boston Marathon Explosions

8:24 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Loss of Pa. State Web Services Prompts Tax Delay

Pennsylvania's state government websites are back online after being dark for nearly three hours, but the tax-day outage is prompting a postponement of the filling deadline.

"In light of that outage the Department determined in the interest of customer service it is appropriate to not impose penalties or interest on any personal income tax returns so long as it is filed by midnight today, Tuesday, April 16th," said Pennsylvania Department of Revenue spokesperson Elizabeth Brassell.

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3:27 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

2 Explosions at Boston Marathon Finish Line; Injuries Reported

BOSTON — Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers in the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts.

Competitors and race organizers were crying as they fled the chaos. Bloody spectators were being carried to the medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners.

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9:54 am
Mon April 15, 2013

1 Sickened by Legionnaire's at Pittsburgh Building

The Allegheny County Health Department says one person has been treated for Legionnaire's disease-related pneumonia at a Pittsburgh senior-citizens apartment building.

Officials at York Commons say crews have flushed water lines, shower head and faucets with hot water meant to kill the bacteria that health department officials have determined sickened an unidentified female resident last month.

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9:32 am
Fri April 12, 2013

New Owners Move Burger King CEO to Heinz Helm

The new owners of Heinz are tapping Burger King CEO Bernardo Hees as the company's next top executive, a move that installs one of their own at the helm of the ketchup maker.

It also signals other big changes could be in store for the 144-year-old company, which had been run by CEO William Johnson for the past 15 years.

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12:12 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Pittsburgh Officer Shot in Shoulder, in Surgery

Pittsburgh police say an officer is in surgery after being shot in the shoulder while pursuing a suspect, who was also shot by police.

A police spokeswoman, Officer Diane Richard, says the officer is expected to recover.

Investigators say the shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. Thursday in the city's Homewood section when two officers on patrol when saw a car speed by.

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