The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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December 13, 2012

Midday News Brief | Police: Woman shot mother through front door




1 of 2 suspects arrested in anti-cop rap video

PITTSBURGH — A 21-year-old Pittsburgh man on probation and awaiting trial on illegal weapons charges is now accused of posting a violent rap video on YouTube that urges people to kill city police officers.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Rashee Beasley who, court records show, has been charged eight times since 2010 with crimes including theft, assault and drug possession.

Now he faces a Dec. 20 preliminary hearing on charges of witness intimidation, retaliation, terroristic threats and conspiracy with a second man who remained at large Thursday.

The video, pulled from YouTube after police began investigating it last month, praises Richard Poplawski who killed three city officers in April 2009.

The lyrics include the line, "Let's kill these cops 'cause they don't do us no good" and names specific officers who patrol the area where Poplawski lived.


Judge says summer trial likely on voter ID law

HARRISBURG — A summer trial appears likely on a constitutional challenge to Pennsylvania's new voter identification law.

At a meeting with lawyers in the case Thursday, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson said he is leaning toward a summer trial. That would allow time before next November's general election for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to rule on an appeal from one side or the other.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Patrick Cawley urged the judge to fast-track the case so that the state's high court could issue its ruling before the May 21 primary election. But lawyers for the plaintiffs who are challenging the law said that doesn't leave enough time to prepare for and fully argue the case.

Simpson said he'd issue a scheduling order within two weeks.


How US states fared on jobless aid applications

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell sharply for the fourth straight week, a sign the job market may be improving. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 29,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000. That's the lowest level in two months and second-lowest this year.

Here are the states with the biggest increases in applications. No state reported large drops. The state data are for the week ended Dec. 1, one week behind the national data.

States with the biggest increases:

  • California: Up 24,411, due to processing of claims left over from Thanksgiving week, and layoffs in services and agriculture
  • Pennsylvania: Up 14,636, due to layoffs in construction, transportation, hotels, restaurants and professional services
  • North Carolina: Up 13,961, no reason given
  • New York: Up 11,025, due to layoffs in transportation, construction, and restaurants
  • Texas: Up 10,435, due to processing of claims left over from Thanksgiving week
  • Georgia: Up 8,708, due to layoffs in manufacturing, construction, health care, and hotels and restaurants
  • Illinois: Up 8,478, due to layoffs in the construction, manufacturing and administrative industries


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