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Pennsylvania
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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Pennsylvania
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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Crime
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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Pennsylvania
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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Pennsylvania
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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Pennsylvania
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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Pittsburgh
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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Pennsylvania
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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Pennsylvania
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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Pennsylvania
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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Police
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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Pennsylvania
2:30 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

No Ruling After Brief Hearing in Penn State Suit

A judge says it might be late April before he rules on Penn State's request to dismiss a whistleblower and defamation lawsuit filed by former assistant football coach Mike McQueary.

Judge Thomas Gavin presided over the half-hour hearing Monday at which lawyers debated the school's preliminary objections that could end the case.

McQueary is seeking millions in damages for how he says he was treated after reporting having seen Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy in 2001.

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Sequestration
10:32 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Automatic Federal Budget Cuts Affect PA

Education and defense would be among the biggest losers in Pennsylvania under automatic cuts to the federal budget set to take hold this week, according to a report that the White House issued Sunday as it seeks to avoid the impending economic fallout.

The White House compiled the numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers reflect the impact of the cuts this year. Unless Congress acts by Friday, $85 billion in cuts are set to take effect from March to September.

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Sports
5:40 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Jimmie Johnson Wins Second Daytona 500; Danica Patrick Makes Historic Leads

Jimmie Johnson celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 12:59 am

A big first for Danica Patrick, but an even bigger second for Jimmie Johnson.

Patrick made history out front at the Daytona 500, only to see five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson reclaim his spot at the top in the end.

Johnson won his second Daytona 500 with a late push on Sunday, grabbing the spotlight from Patrick as she faded on the final lap. Patrick became the first woman in history to lead laps in "The Great American Race" and was running third on the last lap, but slipped to eighth in the late push for position.

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