Thursday, June 03, 2010

Today's News-Thursday, June 3, 2010-updated 8:50am


MOUNT CARMEL, Pa. (AP) - Police in northeastern Pennsylvania say they called off the chase of a motorcyclist several miles before the crash that killed him. Ashland police Chief Adam Bernodin said Wednesday that 47-year-old Bernard Kawa, of Ashland, was driving more than twice the speed limit when an officer tried to pull him over Tuesday night. He says Kawa fled and the officer backed off after Kawa ran a red light and wove in and out of traffic. The officer lost sight of the motorcycle before coming upon the crash near Mount Carmel. Kawa was pronounced dead at the scene by the Northumberland County coroner after rear-ending a sport utility vehicle. Investigators say Kawa kept speeding for about four miles after the officer backed off.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - U.S. appellate judges in Philadelphia hope to sort out the thorny question of whether schools can discipline students for MySpace parodies created off-site when they rehear appeals that led to conflicting rulings. Fourteen judges on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments today in a pair of MySpace cases from Pennsylvania. A three-judge panel from the 3rd Circuit this year upheld the suspension of a Blue Mountain eighth-grader who posted sexually explicit material along with her principal's photograph on a fake MySpace page. But the same day, another panel said Mercer County schools cannot reach into a family's home and police the Internet. That case involved a MySpace parody of a principal done on a home computer.

A Tuesday night incident in Girardville leads to charges of harassment against a borough woman. State police say two women, Sherry White and Elia Garcia, were arguing over a traffic violation outside 207 B Street when it turned physical, with White striking Garcia. Harassment charges against White will be filed in district court.

A New Philadelphia woman is accused of assaulting another during a Memorial Day incident. State police reports Chrystina Hosler became unruly at her father's home in the borough Monday night. Chrystal Filer tried to restrain Hosler. Hosler hit and bit Filer. After arraignment on simple assault charges, Hosler was taken to the county prison.

PennDOT has imposed weight restrictions on four county bridges. Recent inspections of the structures have indicated deterioration in steel beams. A 34 ton restriction has been put in place for the PA 339 bridge over Catawissa Creek, a 9 ton restriction for the Red Ridge Road bridge over Tomhickon Creek in North Union, a 31 ton restriction for the bridge over Big Run Creek in Butler Township and a 22 ton limit on a bridge over the Little Mahantongo Creek in Upper Mahantongo Township.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Metro Bancorp says it is eliminating 14 back office jobs at its headquarters operations center in suburban Harrisburg. A spokesman says the job cuts are necessary to ensure the bank is operating efficiently. The company employs about 1,000.
It has 30 Metro Bank branches in south-central Pennsylvania.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia police are asking for the public's help to find the person who beat and strangled a 20-year-old woman outside her apartment. Police say Sabina Rose
O'Donnell had been out with friends Tuesday night in the Northern Liberties section and was apparently waylaid outside her home. Her body was discovered in an alley yesterday morning.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia City Council members are considering a plan to crack down on witness intimidation in court cases. A council committee has approved the idea of fining those
convicted of witness intimidation up to $2,000 and using the money to help the victims.

BALTIMORE (AP) - Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is skipping a meeting today in Baltimore with a top EPA officials and the governors of Maryland and Virginia about Chesapeake Bay restoration. Rendell and the others are members of the Chesapeake Executive Council. But a Rendell spokesman says today's meeting is not on the governor's schedule.

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - The situation on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico keeps getting more dire as the oil slick from a blown out well drifts perilously close to the Florida Panhandle's white
beaches. Crews are doing everything possible to limit the catastrophe. Meanwhile, BP continues efforts to cut and cap the gusher after a stuck saw became the latest fumble at 5,000 feet.
The company hopes to use giant shears to finish the cut.

ISTANBUL (AP) - The war of words between Israel and pro-Palestinian activists over the deadly seizure of an aid ship continues. The head of an Islamic charity group says the beating of
some Israeli soldiers during the raid was self defense. Israel says the fight put up by people in the flotilla showed their purpose was not humanitarian.

LONDON (AP) - Police in rural England are looking for answers to a murderous rampage by a taxi driver, who killed 12 people and himself. More than 100 officers are investigating the attacks by Derrick Bird. Some reports say he had argued with fellow cab drivers while others suggest a family dispute. It was Britain's deadliest mass shooting since 1996.

CHICAGO (AP) - Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says something "very wrong" that's been done to him will be over soon as his trial begins today. Jury selection is scheduled to start in Chicago. The ex-governor is charged with scheming to profit from his power to fill President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is facing more questions over back-room dealmaking. A Colorado Democrat has acknowledged that he was encouraged by one of President Barack Obama's top advisers to apply for an international development job instead of challenging
the candidate whom the president favored in a Senate race. A White House official says no formal offer was made and insists there was nothing inappropriate in the contacts.


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