BC-PA--Pennsylvania News Digest, PA

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Associated Press

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Pennsylvania at 8 p.m.

The desk can be reached at 215-561-1133. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

New: WRESTLING TEAM SUSPENDED, PIZZA ROBBERY-TEEN, PA LAWYER-PONZI CLAIM, TEEN BEATEN-VIDEO

Updates: PENN STATE-PRESIDENT, PHILADELPHIA NEWSPAPERS, HEINZ-CHECKS FORGED, BEDNARIK-ATHLETIC COMMISSION

TOP STORIES:

PENN STATE-PRESIDENT

HARRISBURG — Penn State University trustees Wednesday announced a special meeting, apparently for the purpose of voting on a new president, only to call it off a few hours later. In a legal notice, the board said the purpose of Friday's special meeting was to consider a resolution on "a personnel matter." The board's website says it is responsible for only one position at the university — the presidency. By Peter Jackson. SENT 445 words

HARING MURAL-RESTORATION

PHILADELPHIA — The mural created 26 years ago by pop artist Keith Haring was badly discolored and cracked, but it still drew plenty of admirers to an otherwise nondescript corner in the heart of Philadelphia. "It wasn't very exciting," homeowner Erica Bryant said of the artwork. "Chunks of the wall were missing out of the painting." By Kathy Matheson. SENT 407 words

AP Photos PAMR106, PAMR102, PAMR101, PAMR105, PAMR104, PAMR103. AP Video

BUSINESS:

PHILADELPHIA NEWSPAPERS

PHILADELPHIA — Two investors have offered $29 million to buy out fellow co-owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer amid a bitter, expensive feud that staffers call "a disgrace." Powerful New Jersey Democrat George Norcross and investor William P. Hankowsky made the offer Wednesday after squaring off in court this week with co-owners Lewis Katz and H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest. The fight was sparked by editor Bill Marimow's firing, but more broadly involves the company's future. By Maryclaire Dale. SENT 488 words

EARNS-COMCAST

PHILADELPHIA — Comcast Corp., the nation's largest TV and Internet provider, on Tuesday posted a drop in third-quarter earnings that was milder than expected. Its NBCUniversal media subsidiary overcame the loss of Olympics programming with better movies like "Despicable Me 2" as well as upbeat theme park revenue. On the pay TV side, 876,000 more consumers than a year ago opted for high-definition and digital video recorder service, which costs $15.95 a month per set-top box in certain regions like its home base of Philadelphia. SENT 450 words

AP Photo NYBZ135.

AROUND THE STATE:

ELK ILLEGALLY SHOT

PITTSBURGH — It's a bull elk whodunit, as Pennsylvania game officials try to figure out who shot the huge animal earlier this month in the middle of the night, on someone's lawn. Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau said the roughly 700 pound elk was mortally wounded on Oct. 15 at about 3 a.m. in Benezette. That's 130 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, and elk herds have flourished in the region, attracting tourists but also generating some complaints because of damage to yards, gardens, and crops. Game Commission officers later put the animal down because of its injuries. By Kevin Begos. SENT 440 words

TEACHER-FONDLING

PITTSBURGH — A suspended northwestern Pennsylvania high school teacher awaiting trial on state court charges that he molested a boy for several years has now been charged for a second time this year with producing and possessing child pornography. The latest charges filed by federal prosecutors in Erie allege David Montgomery, 43, of Erie, enticed two boys — described in court documents as one born in 1995 and the other in 2002 — to commit sexual acts so he could make photos or videos. By Joe Mandak. SENT 523 words

HARD LUCK PARK

MEADVILLE — The state attorney general's office has sued to remove a court-appointed board of trustees who oversee a 121-year-old amusement park in northwestern Pennsylvania. The lawsuit filed in Crawford County contends The Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park Inc. have fallen nearly $900,000 behind on property taxes, and failed to have insurance when fires burned the park's Dreamland Ballroom in 2008 and its Beach Club, which is leased and operated by a private firm, on Aug. 1. SENT 425 words

AP Photos PAERI502, PAKS201.

PITTSBURGH POLICE-SPECIAL EVENTS

PITTSBURGH — The city plans to revamp the way its officers are scheduled and paid for off-duty details, during which they work in uniform, but are paid by bars, restaurants and sports teams to provide security and traffic control. The biggest change is that the city will use a private firm, North Carolina-based Cover Your Assets, to schedule the officers and collect the fees from the businesses, which will then be passed through to the officers. SENT 456 words

NASA ADMINISTRATOR

GETTYSBURG — The leader of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration calls this "a very exciting time for NASA" with planned missions to an asteroid and to Mars in the next couple of decades. NASA administrator Charles Bolden Jr. told an audience Tuesday at Gettysburg College that he's optimistic about America's future in space despite what he called "temporary setbacks facing everyone in government," The Gettysburg Times reported. SENT 265 words

PASTOR-MORTGAGE FRAUD

PHILADELPHIA — A former Philadelphia-area pastor convicted in a $6 million mortgage fraud scheme has been sentenced to more than 14 years in prison. Michael Wilkerson Sr., 47, denied any wrongdoing before he was sentenced Tuesday in federal court on bank fraud counts, The Reading Eagle reported. SENT 302 words

MEMBER EXCHANGE:

MEMBER EXCHANGE-PITTSBURGH MAYOR'S RACE GAME

PITTSBURGH — A week from now, it's likely Councilman Bill Peduto will be mayor-elect, but Tuesday he and others on council recognized a pair of young politicos for a game that gives ordinary Pittsburghers a chance to seek the title. Alex Pazuchanics and Adam Shuck created Ninety, a board game simulating a breakneck contest for mayor of Pittsburgh, inspired by their love of Pittsburgh's 90 neighborhoods and their political work. Matthew Santoni, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

MEMBER EXCHANGE-HISTORIC LINCOLN HIGHWAY

BEDFORD — Generations of history are interwoven alongside the Lincoln Highway as it passes through Bedford County. By making just a few stops, travelers can learn about Native American culture, colonial times, 1940s-style lodging and 20th century marketing. There is an art deco landmark, a state park, a modern highway interchange in Breezewood to take drivers to the Washington D.C./Baltimore region, Fort Bedford Museum, the 1806 Old Log Church and a big ole coffee pot, too. Dave Sutor, The (Johnstown) Tribune-Democrat.

IN BRIEF:

— WRESTLING TEAM SUSPENDED — The wrestling program at York College has been temporarily suspended amid allegations of hazing.

— PIZZA ROBBERY-TEEN — A western Pennsylvania judge says he gave a 16-year-old boy a break on sentencing because of his remorse, lack of prior record, and family support.

— PA LAWYER-PONZI CLAIM — Dozens of victims in a fraudulent multimillion-dollar investment scam will get at least some of their money back.

— TEEN BEATEN-VIDEO — Pittsburgh police have identified a woman who is allegedly seen in cellphone video kicking a 15-year-old girl in the head and back during a street beating involving two other girls.

— HEINZ-CHECKS FORGED — Authorities allege a Pittsburgh-area woman who worked for ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Company forged paychecks using the names of former company employees in Texas, Oregon and other states.

— BEDNARIK-ATHLETIC COMMISSION — Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik is ending more than three decades of service on Pennsylvania's State Athletic Commission, Gov. Tom Corbett's administration said Wednesday.

— EAST STROUDSBURG-CUTS — A university in northeastern Pennsylvania is cutting programs and laying off faculty to address a projected budget gap of nearly $7 million for the 2014-2015 academic year.

— OFFICER CHARGED — A police officer in northeastern Pennsylvania is charged with what prosecutors allege was an off-duty drunken disturbance last month.

— SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING — A retired Philadelphia police inspector is going to prison for violating his sex offender parole when he grabbed and threatened an 8-year-old girl last year.

— RIDING MOWER FATAL — A south-central Pennsylvania man has been charged in connection with a crash that killed a man on a riding lawn mower.

— CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY-ROBBERY — Officials say California University of Pennsylvania was placed on lockdown Wednesday after an armed robbery, but a suspect has been arrested.

___

If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to phillyap@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. If you have questions about the Pennsylvania AP news report, please contact News Editor Matt Moore at 215-446-6631 or mmoore@ap.org.

MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from Pennsylvania and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational pane of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click "All" or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.

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