Corbett backs gun shows at complex
HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett is standing by a policy that allows gun shows to be held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex.
Spokeswoman Janet Kelley said Monday that Corbett considered a recent suggestion by a radio talk-show caller that gun shows be banned on publicly owned property.
Corbett told the caller that he raised a good point and promised to think about it. His comment drew attention in the aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Kelley said the governor decided against changing the policy because people who buy guns at such shows are subject to the same background checks that are required when they buy a gun at a store.
Pa. Dutch couple lose interpreter appeal
HARRISBURG – A state appeals court said a judge didn’t make a mistake when he denied a couple’s request to have a courtroom interpreter for their native tongue, Pennsylvania Dutch.
A Commonwealth Court panel ruled Friday against Joseph and Barbara Yoder, who had each been fined $300 for the summary offense of failing to connect to the public sewage system in Warren County.
The ruling said the Yoders exhibited a sufficient grasp of English in the court documents they filed and at trial. Pennsylvania Dutch is a German-based dialect.
Pennsylvania court rules require an interpreter if a judge determines the parties have a limited ability to speak or understand English.
The appeals court also upheld the guilty verdict.
Allentown dog found in Houston
HOUSTON – A microchip implant has helped a dog from Pennsylvania named Roxy get home after the missing animal was found 1,500 miles away in Houston.
Animal shelter officials said the German shepherd registered to Dan Loefflad of Allentown was returned Sunday afternoon. The pet was flown from Houston to Newark Liberty International Airport via United Airlines.
An animal control officer on Friday picked up the dog wandering on a southwest Houston street.
Officials noticed the pooch had a microchip, which led to Loefflad. He told animal shelter authorities who contacted him that a relative took his dog without permission and apparently drove Roxy to Houston.
Shelter authorities said a pet store helped coordinate Loefflad’s arrangements to fly the dog home at his expense.
Photo exhibit features defunct blast furnaces
BETHLEHEM – A new photography exhibit aims to bring the defunct blast furnaces of Bethlehem Steel back to life.
“Blast Furnace” will be unveiled Thursday at the Arts-Quest Center on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel complex. The group will use special cubes to mount the images and try to show what the blast furnace was like in the steel giant’s heyday.
Organizers said the 2-foot by 2-foot cubes will be arranged in sets of eight to create smaller “living room”-like spaces.
Turnpike toll increase takes effect
HARRISBURG – A toll increase has gone into effect on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said most cash-paying customers will see a
10 percent increase, while E-ZPass users will pay 2 percent more. Motorists on the Southern Beltway in the Pittsburgh area will see a steeper increase in cash tolls.
The previously announced toll hikes went into effect Sunday.
Retired pastor on trial for killing wife
STROUDSBURG – Jury selection has been completed in the case of a retired Pennsylvania pastor charged with killing both of his wives who is on trial in the death of his second wife.
Sixty-four-year-old Arthur “A.B.” Schirmer is charged with killing Betty Jean Schirmer in 2008 and staging a car accident to cover it up. A panel of 12 jurors and four alternates was chosen Monday. Opening statements are expected today at the Monroe County Courthouse in Stroudsburg.
Schirmer also stands accused of killing his first wife, Jewel, in 1999. A trial date hasn’t been set.
A grand jury has said Schirmer likely used blunt objects to kill the women.
Corbett backs gun shows at complex
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4-year-old killed by van after dad’s funeral, police say
Police in southeastern Pennsylvania say a 4-year-old boy was struck and killed by a passing van hours after returning from his father’s funeral.
Woman gets 6 to 12 years in infant kidnapping
A Pittsburgh area woman was sentenced to six to 12 years in prison after she was convicted of kidnapping an infant by luring the mother to a Fayette County motel with a phony story about a commercial photo shoot for disposable diapers.
Lawyer: Evaluate stabbing suspect’s mental health
The attorney for a 16-year-old accused of stabbing 21 other students and a security guard at their high school said Thursday he wants to have a mental health expert evaluate the boy and hopes to have the case moved to juvenile court.
Obamas send prayers to school stabbing victims
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are sending their thoughts and prayers to the victims of a stabbing spree at a Pennsylvania high school.
Stabbing spree at Westmoreland County high school leaves 20 injured
A 16-year-old armed with two knives went on a stabbing and slashing spree at a high school near Pittsburgh on Wednesday, leaving 20 people injured, including a school police officer who eventually subdued him with the help of an assistant principal, authorities said.
Student flashed 2 knives, injured 20 in Westmoreland County school, police say
A 16-year-old boy "was flashing two knives around" when he injured 19 students and a school police officer who eventually subdued him with the help of an assistant principal at a high school near Pittsburgh on Wednesday, a police chief said.
Police: Man killed by train was texting
Police say a man killed by a commuter train in suburban Philadelphia was texting a friend when he was struck while walking on the tracks.
Investigators seek cause of fire that killed three brothers
Authorities searched the rubble of a burned-out farm house over the weekend for the cause of a fire that took the lives of three young brothers left home alone while their widowed mother worked the overnight shift at a direct mail company.
Lawmakers want more aid for cities
Several bills circulating at the Capitol would open improvement zones more quickly or allow smaller cities to participate.
Sen. John Wozniak, D-Westmont, wants to make the concept available to more cities the size of Johnstown.
No shows escaped death by Craigslist killer
The young woman who says she was driven by satanic spirts to commit a cross-country murder spree over the last six years says authorities are not taking her claims seriously and that she tried to lure other central Pennslyvania men into her death snare with online companionship ads but they didn't show up.
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- 4-year-old killed by van after dad’s funeral, police say