Monday, August 27, 2012

Morning Briefing | Duran Duran plans to reschedule canceled show - The Tribune-Democrat

PITTSBURGH â€" British rock band Duran Duran is hoping to reschedule a Pittsburgh concert that was called off Sunday because of the illness of keyboard player Nick Rhodes.

The band's web site says Sunday night's concert at Stage AE on the city's North Shore was called off due to Rhodes' illness, the same reason the band canceled Saturday's concert in Atlantic City, N.J.

Fans are being encouraged to hold onto their tickets because the band hopes to announce a rescheduled concert in Pittsburgh within the next few days.

Doctors believe Rhodes has a viral infection.

Rhodes has told fans in a message on the band's web site that he's been urged to rest until doctors can complete more tests on his illness.


Dems picking ballot replacement for state rep.

ALLENTOWN â€" A former township commissioner is the favorite to take the ballot spot of a Pennsylvania state representative who dropped his re-election bid after allegedly assaulting his wife.

Former Whitehall Township executive and commissioner Daniel McNeill was the top vote-getter Sunday at a meeting of Democratic county committee members in Lehigh and Northampton counties.

A state Democratic Party committee must still issue a final decision on who will replace state Rep. Joe Brennan on the ballot.

The state committee will choose Republican candidate Dave Molony's opponent from among the top three vote-getters.

Brennan dropped his re-election bid after being arrested earlier this month on drunk driving and assault charges following a confrontation with his wife. Brennan says he will remain in office until November.


Pittsburgh pilot dies in crash of small plane in Va.

HARRISONBURG, Va. â€" Authorities are investigating the crash of a small plane in Rockingham County that killed the pilot.

Virginia State Police say 50-year-old Brian Forrest Hall of Pittsburgh was the only person on the plane. The 1975 single-engine fixed-wing Beechcraft crashed around 11:30 a.m. Sunday in the George Washington National Forest near the Rockingham-Augusta county line.

State police say the plane was traveling from Wilmington, N.C., to the Harrisonburg area when it crashed.

State police, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.


Bucks County officer wounded in traffic stop shooting

CHALFONT â€" Police say a suburban Philadelphia police officer is hospitalized after being shot during an early morning traffic stop.

Investigators say the Chalfont, Bucks County police officer was shot in the chest after pulling over a suspicious vehicle around 3:15 a.m. Monday.

The officer was able to radio dispatchers after he was shot. He was transported to a hospital and listed in stable condition. Officials say he was wearing body armor.

Authorities say they're searching for the maroon Oldsmobile the officer had pulled over with two men and a woman inside.


Convicted Pa. councilman can't delay sentence

ERIE â€" An Erie County councilman has lost a final bid to delay the start of his federal prison sentence for Social Security fraud.

Friday's denial by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means Erie County Councilman Ebert Beeman must report to prison Monday.

Beeman was sentenced in July to a year and a day in prison for using a fraudulent Social Security number to apply for two credit cards and two jobs since 2007.

Beeman's prison sentence is just the start of his legal troubles. The IRS is scheduled to auction four of his properties on Wednesday after winning a $2.1 million judgment for back taxes.

The Erie Times-News ( ) reports Beeman has refused to resign his seat. The district attorney has petitioned to have him removed.


Information from: Erie Times-News,


Enrollment down at state-funded schools

PITTSBURGH (AP) â€" Pennsylvania's university system is expecting a second consecutive year of declining enrollment after more than a dozen years of gains.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ( ) reports the State System of Higher Education projects a slight decline of 1,500 students over its 14 member schools. It's the second straight year enrollment has declined after 14 years of increases. Not all the schools are expecting a decrease.

A spokesman for the schools says a decrease isn't unexpected given a decline in the number of graduating high school seniors in the state. Kenn Marshall says about 89 percent of the state system's students come from Pennsylvania, which saw about 5,000 fewer high schoolers graduate last spring.


Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,


Jury to weigh drunkenness in western Pa. shooting

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) â€" A jury being picked must decide whether a Texas man was too drunk to form a legal intent to kill a fellow patron at a western Pennsylvania bar and restaurant last year.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ( ) reports jury selection was to begin Monday in the first-degree murder trial of 42-year-old Stephen Paul Fromholz, of San Antonio.

He's charged with shooting 65-year-old Donald Holler after the men argued about the volume of the TV inside Fat Daddy's Place in Ligonier last July.

Police say two other patrons disarmed Fromholz and restrained him until police arrived.

Fromholz's attorney contends his client was too drunk to form a legal intent to kill.

But Westmoreland County prosecutors disagree, saying Fromholz went out to his truck to get a semiautomatic rifle before shooting Holler.


Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,



Meadows Casino officials explain power outage

HOUSTON â€" Officials at a Washington County casino explain they had to close for several hours because a power outage knocked out surveillance cameras â€" which are required for the casino to operate legally.

Officials at the Meadows Casino & Resort in Houston, say the power was cut when a high-voltage power line hit another, causing a power surge that knocked out the casino's surveillance system about 6:15 p.m. Friday.

Although the power line was fixed about 8:30 p.m. the casino didn't reopen until about 3 a.m. Saturday, which is when the surveillance system was running again.

State regulations do not allow casinos to operate without surveillance cameras, so the facility about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh had to evacuate patrons until the cameras were fixed.


Fire marshal probing explosion at Pittsburgh course

ALLISON PARK â€" A county fire marshal is investigating an explosion and fire that destroyed a storage garage at a Pittsburgh-area golf course.

West Deer Township fire chief Josh Wiegand says the fireball produced by the explosion early Sunday could be seen for about 10 miles.

The explosion occurred about 10 minutes after midnight at the Rose Ridge Golf Course.

Propane and other fuel tanks were stored in the building, though the cause of the blast and subsequent fire was not immediately clear.

The explosion destroyed the garage, where lawn mowers and other supplies were stored. The resulting fire destroyed a nearby trailer.

The course about 10 miles northeast of Pittsburgh has reopened for business.


Former Westmoreland County glass plant catches fire twice

JEANNETTE â€" Authorities believe ongoing demolition work sparked a fire that rekindled hours later at a former glass plant in Westmoreland County.

Nobody was hurt in either fire at the former Jeannette Glass Factory.

The plant closed in 1983 but it has been the focus of activity by state environmental officials in recent months.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recently got a search warrant for waste samples on the site.

The first fire was reported about 2:30 a.m. Sunday. The fire rekindled and crews had to respond again about six hours later.


Pittsburgh police to consult DA on scalded boy

PITTSBURGH â€" Pittsburgh police say they'll consult with the district attorney before deciding whether charges are warranted in the case of an 8-month-old boy who was scalded on the lower half of his body.

Police aren't identifying the boy but say they've interviewed his mother.

Officers went to UPMC Mercy hospital around 10:30 a.m. Saturday after learning the baby had been burned. The boy has since been reported in stable condition.

Police haven't said how or why they believe the boy was burned. But they say detectives with their sex assault unit have been conducting the investigation.


Sandusky charity seeks to delay transition plan

BELLEFONTE â€" The charity for troubled youths started by Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach convicted of sexual abuse, wants to postpone its plan to transfer programs and assets to a youth ministry.

David Woodle, interim president and CEO of The Second Mile, tells The Associated Press the charity agreed to ask for a postponement in response to opposition from some of Jerry Sandusky's victims.

Woodle said Monday that The Second Mile, the state attorney general's office and victims' lawyers are filing a joint petition in Centre County Orphans' Court.

The charity was financially crippled by the child-sex abuse scandal involving Sandusky, its founder and onetime public face.

It had sought court approval to shift programs and millions of dollars in assets to Arrow Child & Family Ministries Inc.


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