The Associated Press

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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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