The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 14, 2012

Midday News Brief | Scranton sends out decade's worth of trash bills

SCRANTON —

The northeastern Pennsylvania city that had to cut worker pay to minimum wage earlier this year is sending out more than a decade's worth of delinquent garbage bills as it looks to generate cash.

Scranton last week sent out 7,800 garbage bills dating from 1999 through last year — prompting a crush of residents to descend on the treasurer's office Tuesday to either pay up or complain.

The Times-Tribune of Scranton reports the city's new collection agency used written records to generate a list of delinquent residents.

The city says anyone who can produce a receipt or canceled check for the fees will have their payment certified as paid.

Scranton temporarily cut the pay of about 400 employees in July because it couldn't meet its full payroll obligations.

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Coroner IDs hotel body that led to robbery arrests

ERIE — A coroner has identified a body found at a northwestern Pennsylvania hotel that led to the arrest of two people suspected in a series of bank robberies.

Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook says the dead man is 28-year-old Kenneth Hubbert. Toxicology tests to confirm how he died are still pending.

Investigators say they were called to the downtown Erie hotel Sunday by someone concerned about the man's welfare, saying heroin may be involved.

Erie police then arrested 34-year-old Anthony Herrmann who allegedly acknowledged robbing two banks on Thursday and 27-year-old Erin Anderson, who acknowledged helping Herrmann rob one of them.

The Erie Times-News reports the couple are suspects in bank robberies in New York and Ohio.

Herrmann and Anderson remain jailed.

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Alleged cop-killer's trial moved to Nov. 26

PITTSBURGH — A judge has rescheduled jury selection for a man charged with fatally shooting a Pittsburgh-area police officer who fell mysteriously ill and had to be hospitalized in the county jail before jury selection could begin earlier this week.

Allegheny County Judge Kevin Sasinoski tells The Associated Press that jury selection for 35-year-old Ronald Robinson's death penalty trial will now begin Nov. 26. That's expected to take three or four days, after which testimony will begin.

Robinson was found unresponsive in his jail cell Tuesday when guards went to awaken him for his jury selection. He was then taken to UPMC Mercy hospital where jail officials and his defense attorney said he was on life support before doctors on Wednesday advised he is expected to recover completely and be returned to jail later this week.

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Tackling the area's drug problem.
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