The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 11, 2012

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


Associated Press

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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State diocese lets homeless parish keep all assets

PITTSBURGH — The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has agreed to let an Anglican parish that caters to homeless people keep all of its property and assets.

The diocese has been battling in court over such assets since a majority of its parishes voted in 2008 to leave the more liberal Episcopal Church for the more theologically conservative Anglican Church in North America.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the diocese and Shepherd's Heart Fellowship have agreed the parish can keep all its property — half of which was titled to the diocese and half to the parish. The agreement marks the first time the diocese has let an Anglican church keep its property since the 2008 schism.

Both sides say the deal was struck because of the church's unique outreach and isn't a model for settling ongoing disputes involving other Anglican parishes.

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Rare view of fishes' 'true colors' in Philly

PHILADELPHIA — Compared to the fish we see at the local seafood market, the paintings in a new exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences may look downright surreal.

From the purple-blue stripe on a swordfish to the rainbow skin of a black sea bass, these are fish of a different color.

James Prosek, a Connecticut-based artist, captured his subjects showing their true colors — when they're still alive right after they're pulled from the ocean.

Fourteen of Prosek's life-size watercolors are at the Academy starting Saturday and ending Jan. 21.

Prosek said after the fish dies, the colors fade instantly.

His work has been compared to the famous 19th century naturalist and painter John James Audubon, whose "Birds of America" prints are still treasured for their beauty and accuracy.