PITTSBURGH — A southwestern Pennsylvania woman has settled a civil rights lawsuit involving state police she says urinated on her while she was shackled hand and foot.
Derena Marie Madison's civil rights lawsuit against five state troopers was formally dismissed Thursday, more than two months after the end of mediation.
Madison said the troopers from a Fayette County barracks also pepper-sprayed her after a February 2011 arrest on charges of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.
The troopers denied urinating on Madison and said they used pepper spray because she was being verbally abusive. They said they used warm water to wash out her eyes after she calmed down.
Online court records don't show the terms of the settlement. Attorneys for both sides didn't immediately return messages Friday.
2 plead guilty in Pa.-to-NYC gun-trafficking case
NEW YORK — Two men have admitted selling guns from western Pennsylvania in New York City.
Albert Striegel pleaded guilty in New York Friday to a firearms-sale charge. He's expected to get a nine-year prison term at a July 11 sentencing.
Travis Matthews pleaded guilty Thursday to a more serious gun-sale charge and is set to get a 16-year sentence.
Matthews is from Pittsburgh. Striegel is from Ambridge, Pa., about 20 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.
The Manhattan district attorney's office says the 23-year-old Matthews and the 20-year-old Striegel brought guns from Pennsylvania to New York City to sell.
Prosecutors say Matthews sold 13 of the weapons to undercover detectives, and Striegel helped out with six of the sales.
The guns included semi-automatic pistols and revolvers.
Pittsburgh man gets prison in home invasion sex assault
PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh man will spend 15 to 45 years in state prison for his role in a home invasion robbery in which he also sexually assaulted a woman while her 2-year-old son was present.
Twenty-three-year-old Terry Eugene Shields has been sentenced by an Allegheny County judge on Friday on charges including burglary, aggravated indecent assault and robbery.
Police say Shields and two other men forced their way into the woman's home on November 2008 and beat up the woman's roommate.
Shields assaulted the woman while the other men were ransacking the house for money.
Police didn't arrest Shields until February 2009, after the woman recognized him as her attacker when she saw him walking down the hall of Pittsburgh Municipal Court when she was dropping off a friend for a hearing.
Man to prison for Craigslist police threat
PITTSBURGH — A western Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for threatening a police chief in a post on a Craigslist "rants and raves" section.
Thirty-year-old Adrian Stock, 30, of Jeanette, pleaded guilty in March to making the threat against Irwin police Chief Joseph Pocsatko in February 2011 — although Stock has argued the exaggerated rant couldn't be taken seriously.
Stock was angry after Pocsatko gave him a ticket for driving while his windows weren't clear of snow and ice. Stock ranted about wanting to use tow chains to drag the chief and his car into a creek and ends with a statement about wanting to send the chief to hell.
U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer on Friday says she considered the rant "very serious and indeed threatening."
Judge: Police beating civil lawsuit won't be split
PITTSBURGH — A federal judge says that a civil lawsuit claiming that Pittsburgh police used excessive force against an art student will be decided at one trial.
District Judge Gary L. Lancaster made the ruling Friday.
Three officers are accused of badly beating 18-year-old Jordan Miles during an arrest in 2010. Miles filed a federal civil rights suit claiming physical and psychological injuries.
Attorneys for the officers had sought one trial on whether the officers were liable, and a second on damages.
The city has paid $75,000 to settle claims that it improperly supervised the officers, but would still have to pay any monetary verdict.
A local prosecutor and the Justice Department chose not to file criminal civil rights charges against the officers.
The trial is set to begin July 16.
5 killed, 1 hurt in crash of car, tow truck in Pa.
NEW TRIPOLI — Police continue to investigate a crash that killed five people and injured a sixth in eastern Pennsylvania.
State police in Bethlehem on Friday said 22-year-old Nicholas Gustafson of Lowhill Township in Lehigh County has been identified as the driver of the car that ran a stop sign and was hit by a tow truck hauling a box truck Thursday afternoon in rural Heidelberg Township.
Gustafson was killed, as were his three passengers. Police are still trying to identify one man but say the other victims are 23-year-old Michael Bruno of Catawissa and 22-year-old Cecilia Besecker of Dallas, Pa.
The Lehigh County coroner's office identified the tow truck driver as 58-year-old Charles Oswald of North Whitehall Township.
The tow truck's passenger is hospitalized with minor injuries.
W. Pa. dentist charged with insurance fraud
ELIZABETH — A Pittsburgh-area dentist has been arrested and charged with insurance fraud after he allegedly continued to see patients while his license was suspended.
The Attorney General's office says in a statement Friday that 55-year-old Thomas Wasilko, of Elizabeth, is charged with two counts of insurance fraud and two counts of theft by deception.
Prosecutors say that Wasilko's dental license was suspended in Nov. 2010 for at least six months, but he allegedly continued to practice. Wasilko allegedly submitted more than 100 insurance claims during the time his license was suspended and receive nearly $5,000 from an insurance company.
Wasilko was released without bond and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 9.
A message left at a number listed for Wasilko was not immediately returned.
PSU prez seeks lowest tuition hike in 35 years
HARRISBURG — Penn State University's president says he'll propose the lowest tuition increase in about 35 years for the coming school year.
Rodney Erickson made his comments Friday as he and leaders of the other state-supported and state-owned universities joined Gov. Tom Corbett at the Capitol to thank Corbett and lawmakers for rescinding a proposed cut of as much as 30 percent in state aid.
Erickson said he'll ask the Penn State trustees in July to increase tuition for Pennsylvania residents by 2.9 percent at the main campus in State College and 1.9 percent at the commonwealth campuses.
Earlier this month, a report by the U.S. Department of Education ranked Penn State as having the highest in-state tuition of any four-year public university during the 2010-11 school year.
Pa. to wait 1 more month before ending cash aid
HARRISBURG — State senators say Gov. Tom Corbett's administration has agreed to a one-month extension of a Depression-era cash benefit it wants to eliminate for tens of thousands of poor adults who're unable to work.
Sen. Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia said Friday the administration agreed to extend the $200-a-month benefit that it was otherwise poised to end Sunday. The program would last until Aug. 1.
Hughes opposes the benefit's elimination, but says the extension is designed to create time for the state to notify people that they'll be losing the benefit and help them seek out other public assistance.
A coalition of faith-based and community aid organizations from across Pennsylvania, including the AARP, the United Way and Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Unitarian Universalist and Jewish groups, had lobbied to keep it intact.
State Senate gives budget OK with 36 hours to spare
HARRISBURG — A budget plan savaged by Democrats as taking from the poor to give to the rich but defended by Republicans as appropriate and responsible has final approval to go to Gov. Tom Corbett to become law.
Senators voted 32-17 on Friday on a Republican-penned $27.7 billion plan for the fiscal year that begins in less than 36 hours.
The plan would increase spending by about 1.5 percent, primarily for health care for the poor and public employee pensions, without raising taxes.
Meanwhile, it would create hundreds of millions of dollars in businesses tax reductions while slashing about the same amount from benefits for the poor, disabled, homeless or troubled.
Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa calls the Republicans' elimination of a Depression-era cash benefit for poor, childless adults unfair and "mean-spirited."