The Associated Press


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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5:00 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Paterno's Widow: We Were Ignorant of Sex Predators

The widow of longtime Penn State coach Joe Paterno says she and her husband were ignorant about sexual predators like Jerry Sandusky.

Speaking at a child-abuse prevention program, Sue Paterno says she and her husband sometimes unknowingly helped Sandusky "groom" the boys he abused, believing he was helping them find a better life.

Paterno says she was horrified to learn Sandusky sexually abused several young boys.

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11:31 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Insurer Highmark Inc. Worth $15.2 Billion

Pittsburgh-based Highmark Inc., the state's largest health insurance company, is now worth $15.2 billion and turned a profit of $432.2 million last year, though that includes assets gained when it acquired Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware.

Without that acquisition, Highmark's profit was $246.5 million, the company says in a release Wednesday.

Highmark's profit was $444.7 million in 2011, but the company's value was $14.8 billion.

10:25 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Next move Is Unclear After Penn State Case Ruling

For months, the criminal case against three former Penn State administrators accused of covering up abuse complaints about Jerry Sandusky has been in limbo while a judge considered their request to have the case thrown out.

Judge Barry Feudale's ruling against Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley could clear the way for a district judge to finally conduct the preliminary hearing that had once been scheduled for last December.

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9:35 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Former Robert Morris Player: Rice Used Gay Slur

A former Robert Morris player has told school officials former coach Mike Rice used a homophobic slur and threw a basketball at a player "once or twice" during his time at the university.

Rice was fired by Rutgers last week after video of the coach verbally and physically abusing players became public. A former Rutgers staff member alleged Rice engaged in several "coaches versus players" brawls while coaching the Colonials from 2007-10.

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9:41 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Western PA Brush Fire Burns Estimated 500 Acres

Officials say a brush fire burned an estimated 500 acres of western Pennsylvania farm land before being contained.

No injuries were reported following the fire Sunday in Shenango Township, Lawrence County. That's about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Firefighters said winds of up to 35 mph helped fan the flames. The fire burned almost five hours before being brought under control Sunday evening. No homes were damaged or evacuated.

The National Weather Service had issued a red flag warning for the area that expired Friday.

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4:05 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Seton Hill University Cancels Lacrosse Season After Fatal Crash

A Pennsylvania university has canceled the rest of the women's lacrosse season in the wake of last month's bus crash that killed the team's pregnant coach.

Seton Hill University made the announcement Friday. A statement on the university's website says the decision was made out of "concern for the physical health and emotional well being of our student-athletes."

10:15 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Millionaire Tom Knox Won't Run for Pa. Governor

Millionaire business executive Tom Knox says he won't run for Pennsylvania governor and is instead considering another bid for Philadelphia mayor.

Knox said in a statement Thursday he has decided not to run for governor. In recent weeks, other Democrats have been announcing plans to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in his expected 2014 re-election bid.

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10:32 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Pittsburgh Mayoral Underdog A.J. Richardson Arrested for DUI

A.J. Richardson
Credit 90.5 WESA

A self-described community activist running an underdog campaign for Pittsburgh mayor may be an even longer shot now that he's been charged with drunken driving.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review first reported the arrest early Wednesday of 36-year-old Abdula Jamal Richardson. A woman hung up the phone when The Associated Press called a number listed for Richardson on a campaign-related website. An email message came back as undeliverable.

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12:25 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Schwartz Run for Pa. Governor Appears More Certain

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz appears close to formally announcing a run Pennsylvania governor in 2014.

A fellow Democrat, Sen. Daylin Leach, said Tuesday he's running for the Philadelphia-area congressional seat that Schwartz has occupied since 2005.

A Schwartz political spokeswoman isn't definitively saying what the fifth-term congresswoman is up to. Schwartz has said she plans to run for governor, and Leach says he's convinced she will.

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10:59 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Judge Tosses Suits by 3 Wounded Duquesne Players

A federal judge in Pittsburgh has dismissed lawsuits by three former Duquesne University basketball players who sued the school, claiming it was responsible when two men shot them after an on-campus dance in 2006.

But U.S. District Judge David Cercone's ruling, first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday, says the school isn't responsible for the pain, damages and loss of income claimed by Shawn James, Stuard Baldonado and Kojo Mensah. They were three of five players wounded in the shooting on Sept. 17, 2006, following a dance sponsored by the Black Student Union.

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1:40 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Corbett Boosts Money to Fight Domestic Violence

Gov. Tom Corbett is defending his proposal to increase state spending to combat domestic violence by 10 percent.

At a news conference Friday at the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, Corbett said the $1.3 million increase would support an array of valuable services ranging from shelters for battered women to counseling and legal services.

Corbett said domestic violence often occurs behind behind closed doors or involves people who know each other, but that "we all agree that it's not acceptable."

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9:28 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Suspect named in Pittsburgh Target store stabbings

Police have identified a man who allegedly stabbed three people at a Target store in Pittsburgh, including a 16-year-old girl who remains hospitalized.

Court records show that 41-year-old Leon Raymond Walls is being held in Allegheny County Jail, unable to post $250,000 bond.

Investigators say Walls ran into the store in the East Liberty neighborhood on Monday after a fight nearby. They say he slashed two men and stabbed and seriously injured the girl.

Police say she remains in serious condition with cuts to the back and arm.

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State Supreme Court
8:36 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Castille Says 7th Justice Key to Major Rulings in PA High Court

The state Supreme Court’s chief justice is emphasizing how much the high court needs a seventh member – and soon.  

Ron Castille says now that suspended Justice Joan Orie Melvin plans to resign in May, the slot should be filled.

Gov. Tom Corbett says he plans to nominate someone for the seat.

But Castille says the court might be able to appoint an interim justice more quickly since it wouldn’t need the state Senate to confirm its selection with a two-thirds majority vote.  

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Jerry Sandusky Scandal
3:16 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Penn State: Sandusky Interview Continues to Open Wounds

Penn State says Jerry Sandusky's assertion that a key witness misinterpreted his showering with a young boy continues to "open wounds" for his victims.

Excerpts of Sandusky's interview with a documentary filmmaker were broadcast Monday on NBC's "Today" show. The former Penn State assistant football coach says he doesn't understand how Mike McQueary concluded "sex was going on" when he witnessed the shower incident in 2001.

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Joan Orie Melvin
2:02 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Melvin Quits Pa. Supreme Court as of May 1

A Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice who was convicted last month of using taxpayer-paid staff for political campaigns told the governor Monday she is resigning from the bench as of May 1, about a week before she will learn her sentence.

The letter from Justice Joan Orie Melvin to Gov. Tom Corbett said she made the decision "with deep regret and a broken heart."

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11:09 am
Mon March 25, 2013

DA: Central Pa. Dad May Have Planned Son's Murder

PETERSBURG, Pa. — A central Pennsylvania man who fatally shot his 2-year-old son and wounded his estranged wife before killing himself may have planned the boy's death.

Huntingdon County District Attorney George Zanic says 52-year-old Kenneth Ayers didn't leave a suicide note but did other things the prosecutor wouldn't specify in the week before that suggest Saturday's shooting was planned.

Ayers was under a protection from abuse order filed by his wife when he went to his mother's home to visit his son, Michael.

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5:18 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Pa. Turnpike Official Resigns in Wake of Inquiry

A Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission member who told a grand jury he did not disclose resort gift certificates he received from an engineering firm says he's resigning immediately.

Bill Lincoln, a former state Senate Democratic floor leader, said in a Friday statement that he's no longer able to do the job because of "personal stress" and ongoing health issues.

He didn't specifically mention last week's grand jury report that alleged a "pay-to-play" culture at the turnpike commission.

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Pittsburgh Police
12:47 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Ex-Pittsburgh Police Chief Harper Faces Conspiracy, Tax Evasion Charges

U.S. Attorney David Hickton outlines how authorities believe former Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper diverted funds. Attorneys for Harper say he plans to plead guilty to the tax and conspiracy crimes he's been charged with.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Attorney David Hickton announced a five-count indictment Friday against former Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper. The charges range from conspiracy and theft of public funds to willful failure to file income tax returns.

It’s the result of a joint investigation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the IRS. Hickton said the first count is conspiracy to engage in the theft of public money through the diversion of funds to the Pittsburgh Federal Credit Union.

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11:25 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Punxsutawney Phil 'Indicted' Over Spring Forecast

CINCINNATI — Famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil might want to go back into hibernation.

Authorities in still-frigid Ohio have issued an "indictment" of the furry rodent, who predicted an early spring when he didn't see his shadow after emerging from his western Pennsylvania lair on Feb. 2.

Mike Gmoser, the prosecutor in southwestern Ohio's Butler County, says Punxsutawney Phil "did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that spring would come early."

The penalty? Gmoser says — tongue firmly in cheek — is death.

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5:02 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Man Killed in Pittsburgh Fire Set for Eviction

A man killed in a Pittsburgh apartment fire was set to be evicted and may have started the blaze by disconnecting the gas line to his stove.

Witnesses reported hearing an explosion before just after 7 a.m. in the nine-story, 170-unit Amberson apartment complex in the city's Shadyside section.

The Allegheny County medical examiner has identified the dead man as 60-year-old Mark A. Williams. An autopsy shows he died of external burns and from inhaling superheated air.

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1:15 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Suit: Pa. Child Molester Should Buy Victim's House

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The parents of a young Pennsylvania girl who was sexually molested by their neighbor have sued the man in a bid to force him to buy their house.

Sixty-five-year-old Oliver Beck pleaded guilty in September 2011 to indecent assault of a child under 13. After getting out of prison, he moved back to his home near Emmaus, about 55 miles north of Philadelphia.

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9:44 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Councilman Facing Drug Charges in Northeastern Pa.

Authorities say a northeastern Pennsylvania borough councilman faces charges after he was caught buying heroin.

The Monroe County district attorney's office says Stroudsburg Borough Council Vice President Neil Lawson Allen was arrested Sunday. Authorities say an officer went to Kay's Tavern and observed a suspected drug dealer entering Allen's vehicle and saw Allen put drugs in his pocket.

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9:52 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Pa. Man, 90, Jailed on Charges He Punched Trooper

ARMAGH, Pa. — A 90-year-old man has been jailed on charges he punched a state trooper called to the man's western Pennsylvania home to check on the welfare of a woman who lived there.

Troopers from the Indiana barracks don't say in a news release who asked them to check on the woman or why, or even who she is, and a barracks spokesman could not immediately be reached Tuesday.

But police do say the Russell Stiffler threatened to shoot any troopers or medical personnel who came to his home after police were asked to check on the woman just before 6 p.m. Friday.

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4:24 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Mayor Ravenstahl: Policeman in Taser Incident Should be Fired

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has threatened to fire a police detective who allegedly placed a stun gun against the neck of a man who fell down before he was arrested for public drunkenness on Saturday.

Detective Frank Rende was working an off-duty security detail on the South Side during Saturday's St. Patrick's Day weekend festivities when the incident occurred.

Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said tests show the stun gun wasn't fired, which supports Rende's version of the incident as spelled out in a criminal complaint against 27-year-old Mark Keyser.

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