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January 2, 2014

State News in Brief | Police: Tyrone man beat mother

TYRONE — State police said a Blair County man nearly killed his mother by beating her about the face and head as the two argued in the waning moments of 2013.

Matthew James Baldessaro, 30, argued with his 55-year-old mother shortly before midnight Tuesday at a home in Tyrone Township, police said.

The beating left the woman with what police described as “severe head and face trauma,” and she was transferred to an unspecified hospital in Pittsburgh after first being rushed to UPMC Altoona hospital. Her condition was not immediately available Thursday.

Police charged Baldessaro with attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault and other crimes. He remained in the Blair County Prison on Thursday, unable to post $500,000 bail.

Court asked to rethink drilling case

HARRISBURG – Lawyers for two state agencies on Thursday asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reconsider its decision last month that struck down key components of a state law that regulates natural gas drilling.

The Public Utility Commission and Department of Environmental Protection filed a motion with the justices which argued that parts of the court’s main opinion would benefit from scientific and scholarly evidence and that the court also should take another look at how much of the law will remain in force.

Lawyers for those who successfully sued to challenge the law said they will oppose the Corbett administration’s request.

The justices threw out significant portions of the law, which instituted impact fees and limited the power of local governments to determine where the gas industry can operate.

Priest released from prison

PHILADELPHIA – A Roman Catholic church official who won an appeal of his landmark conviction in the priest-abuse scandal left a Pennsylvania prison on Thursday after 18 months behind bars.

Monsignor William Lynn, 62, left the state prison in Waymart in northeastern Pennsylvania, prison spokeswoman Terri Fazio said, and was taken by the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office to a city jail, where he was to be fitted with an electronic monitoring device.

The attorney, Thomas Bergstrom, declined to say where in Philadelphia his client will live while prosecutors appeal the Superior Court ruling.

Worker killed in rock salt pile

PHILADELPHIA – A worker at a suburban Philadelphia salt storage facility was killed when a massive pile of road salt fell and crushed him.

Falls Township police said the accident happened around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, when a 100-foot-tall pile of salt toppled over and trapped a man working a backhoe. His name was not immediately disclosed.

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