The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

October 11, 2012

Evening News Brief | 4 last homeless residents move from Erie tent city

ERIE — Police and CSX railroad officials have been evicting the last four homeless residents of northwestern Pennsylvania tent city.

The residents and property owner CSX last month agreed to give the residents until Oct. 10 to find alternative housing after they leave the wooded encampment in Erie.

Twenty people lived in the tent city blocks from downtown Erie that included more than 20 tents and three wooden structures, including a makeshift shower and a solar panel.

CSX says the residents are trespassing on land that's dangerous to live on because of the proximity to the tracks.

Social service agencies have worked to find other places for the residents to stay.

CSX special agent Jerry Lewandowski tells the Erie Times-News "This is really hard on everybody."

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Sandusky will get to keep $900K in pension money

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania's public employee retirement system says Jerry Sandusky will get to keep more than $900,000 in state pension payments he received after his 1999 retirement from Penn State University.

The State Employees' Retirement System said Thursday it won't seek repayment of the money Sandusky received from 1999 to September 2012 because the state's forfeiture law does not authorize SERS to go after money paid before the date of a plea or conviction.

The agency notified Sandusky he will no longer receive his $59,000 annual pension following his conviction and sentence in the child sexual abuse sex scandal. Sandusky was sentenced Tuesday to at least 30 years in prison for sexually molesting 10 boys.

Sandusky's lawyer says the former Penn State assistant football coach will fight to keep his pension.

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Romney calls family at center of T-shirt flap

PHILADELPHIA — Mitt Romney has called the family of a 16-year-old Philadelphia girl who says she was mocked by her geometry teacher for wearing a Romney T-shirt in class.

Romney campaign spokesman Rick Gorka says the Republican presidential candidate called Samantha Pawlucy's home on Wednesday.

Gorka says Samantha wasn't home but her mother was. He says Romney told her that he appreciated her daughter's courage.

The girl briefly returned to Charles Carroll High School on Tuesday. But her father says she never actually made it to class because she felt uncomfortable. He says Samantha and two other high-school age children in his home will now be transferring to another school.

The teacher has apologized, but hasn't returned to school as she awaits the results of a school district investigation.

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