TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2017

Peters Picks Consultant
Peters Township is moving ahead with its master plan for what used to be the site of the Rolling Hills Country Club. Monday night, council voted 4-3 to award a $111,000consulting contract to Mackin Engineering of Findlay Township. The development will be known as Petes Hill Park. Those voting in favor of giving to job to Mackin said they were encouraged the company wants to keep the public involved in the months ahead. Those opposed to Mackin said their bid was higher than the bid of another company and was also slightly higher than what was expected.

Man Faces Trial In Cal-U Assault
An Erie man will stand trial for allegedly assaulting his then-girlfriend at her Cal-U dorm, then using her stolen access card to get into a restricted building. At Monday's preliminary hearing, a student at California University of Pennsylvania said 22-year-old Rasheed Pacley had spent the night at her Vulcan Village apartment on March 14. When she woke up the next day, Pacley allegedly became angry and started punching her in the face while she was still in bed. She left the bedroom, and then Pacley allegedly followed her and punched her again in the apartment's common area. He left before police arrived, and the student said her keys and access cards were missing. Pacley was arrested at the Vulcan Village clubhouse on March 16 after allegedly using the student's stolen card to gain access. All charges were held for court, including robbery, criminal trespass, and simple assault. He remains jailed on $15,000 bond.

Self-Driving Program Resumes After Crash
NEW YORK (AP) - Uber says it is resuming its self-driving car program in Arizona and Pittsburgh after it was suspended following a crash over the weekend.
The company had also grounded self-driving cars in San Francisco over the weekend but they resumed operating earlier on Monday. The difference between the California program versus the ones in Arizona and Pennsylvania is that California does not allow passengers to ride in the vehicles. The company said Monday that it paused the operations over the weekend to better understand what happened in Arizona, but feels confident in returning the cars to the road. There were no serious injuries reported in the incident in Tempe, Arizona on Friday night. Police said the self-driving Uber SUV was obeying the law while the human driver of the other car was cited for a moving violation.

King's Closing Some Restaurants
PITTSBURGH (AP) - King's Family Restaurants has closed five of its western Pennsylvania restaurants. The Pittsburgh-area chain was founded in 1967, but was sold two years ago to Kelly Capital, a San Diego, California private equity firm.
Nobody at Kelly or King's immediately responded to messages left today. The chain announced Sunday night that its restaurants in Altoona, Bridgeville, Harmar Township, Imperial and Wexford were closing. That leaves the chain with 24 locations in western Pennsylvania and one in eastern Ohio. The new owners said two years ago that they had no immediate plans to close any locations or cut any employees. About 130 workers are affected by the closings that took effect 7 p.m. Sunday.

Pittsburgh Symphony Gets Financial Boost
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Three foundations have collectively committed $6.5 million in donations to help the struggling Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as it deals with budget challenges. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Heinz Endowments approved a $5 million grant over a five-year period to support the orchestra's restructuring of its business plan and attaining "financial stability." The other grants include $1 million from The Benter Foundation over the next four years and $500,000 from the Eden Hall Foundation, which will be used to "inspire donors at the $5,000 level and above to increase their giving levels." Pittsburgh Symphony management has already instituted cost-cutting measures including layoffs in administration and other departments. A two-month strike that ended in November resulted in $3.6 million in musicians' wage concessions over the life of the contract.

 

Washington Selects New Superintendent
The Washington School District will have a new superintendent after this summer's retirement of Dr. Roberta DiLorenzo. The board announced last night the selection of Dr. James Konrad. Board President Jeff Fine says Konrad is from Michigan and "has experience" in inner-city schools in Detroit and near Philadelphia. Fine says Konrad has what the district needs now with his ideas and plans for the future. Konrad will meet the community April 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

Congressman Makes Secret Trip To White House
WASHINGTON (AP) - More questions are arising about the independence of the House intelligence committee review of Russia's interference in the 2016 election and Trump associates' ties with the Kremlin. Chairman Devin Nunes went to the White House grounds to review intelligence reports and meet the secret source behind his claim that communications involving Trump associates were caught up in "incidental" surveillance during the waning days of the Obama administration. He spoke to reporters the following day without alerting his Democratic counterpart.

No Fracking In Maryland
ANNAPOLIS, Md.4 (AP) - Maryland lawmakers have voted to ban hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas, a process better known as fracking. It's also supported by Gov. Larry Hogan, who supports the ban. Fracking opponents cite health and environmental concerns. Supporters say fracking could create jobs. A portion of the western side of the state sits atop the Marcellus Shale, which runs underground from New York to Tennessee. Neighboring West Virginia and Pennsylvania allow fracking, while New York and Vermont have banned it.

Officers Ambused
MIAMI (AP) - Two Miami-Dade County police officers have been wounded in what authorities are calling "an ambush-style" shooting. Authorities say the plainclothes officers were shot last night while conducting an investigation at an apartment complex on the city's north side. The wounded officers are part of the Homicide Task Force-Gang Unit. No suspects have been arrested.

Zambelli Fireworks Pleads Guilty
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A 124-year-old Pennsylvania fireworks business will pay $200,000 for not reporting more than 63,000 fireworks that were apparently stolen three years ago. Zambelli International Fireworks announced in January that it would pay the penalty and close for two weeks. On Monday, a Zambelli attorney pleaded guilty to not reporting the theft within 24 hours as required by law, and a federal judge in Pittsburgh imposed the agreed-upon penalty.

Prosecutors Battle Over Jury Selection
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Prosecutors in Bill Cosby's sex assault case in Pennsylvania are fighting defense efforts to question 2,000 potential jurors. They also want the jury selected weeks before the scheduled June 5 trial so jurors can prepare to be sequestered. The trial is being held near Philadelphia. But jurors are being chosen from the Pittsburgh area, nearly 300 miles away, because of worldwide publicity about the case. The defense bid to start jury selection June 5, if successful, could delay testimony for weeks. The battle over jury selection Monday is the latest legal maneuvering in the case. The judge must still decide how much the jury will hear from Cosby's deposition about his long history of extramarital affairs. Cosby is accused of drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004.

Juror Comments On Spanier's Conviction
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A juror who voted to convict Penn State's former president of child endangerment says the defendant's own words in a 2001 email amounted to some of the strongest evidence against him. Victoria Navazio said Monday that an email from Graham Spanier to former co-defendants Gary Schultz and Tim Curley showed that he knew children were at risk. Prosecutors say Spanier mishandled complaints that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting boys. Jurors last week found Spanier guilty of one misdemeanor count of child endangerment, but acquitted him of conspiracy and a second child endangerment count. Curley and Schultz pleaded guilty earlier this month to child endangerment and testified for the prosecution. All three men await sentencing.

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