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Ex-honor student gets 5 years in terrorism case

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Maryland teenager convicted with two American women in a Jihadist terror plot has been sentenced in Philadelphia to five years in prison.

Mohammad Khalid, of Ellicott City in the Baltimore suburbs, was sentenced Thursday. He has already spent three years behind bars in the case linked to Colleen "Jihad Jane" LaRose, who is serving a 10-year term.

Federal prosecutors say Khalid met LaRose and other extremists online when he was 15. They say he used his "brilliance and eloquence" to help translate documents and try to recruit westerners.

Defense lawyers argue that Khalid's youth, foreignness and Asperger's syndrome made him isolated and vulnerable.

Prosecutors say the 21-year-old native of Pakistan has assisted with global terrorism investigations since his 2011 arrest.

Khalid says he hopes to rebuild his life in the U.S. but knows he could be deported.


Lawyer who brought heroin to lockup will resign

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A defense attorney has pleaded guilty to bringing heroin and other drugs to a client locked up in a southwestern Pennsylvania city's police booking center and will resign his law license.

Thirty-five-year-old Brian Salisbury, of Newell, faces a recommended jail sentence of 11½ to 23 months after agreeing to the plea deal Thursday in Fayette County. He will sign a letter resigning his law license and must resolve any court cases he's handling before he's formally disbarred on May 28, when he'll be sentenced.

Uniontown police charged Salisbury in July after a surveillance camera showed him passing the drugs to a client who was in custody on a bench warrant. Salisbury's client told police he was an addict and had Salisbury bring him drugs so he could avoid withdrawal sickness while incarcerated.


Pennsylvania county to display 'In God We Trust'

BUTLER, Pa. (AP) - The commissioners of a western Pennsylvania county have voted 2-1 to display the national motto, "In God We Trust" on a wall of their meeting room.

Republican Butler County Commissioners William McCarrier and Dale Pinkerton supported the display while Democrat Jim Eckstein didn't. Pinkerton pushed the idea at the urging of a national group called In God We Trust - America Inc., which hopes cities and counties across the country will display the national motto adopted in 1956, which also appears on U.S. currency.

Eckstein says he's concerned about a court challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union or some other group.

But ACLU attorney Sara Rose, of Pittsburgh, says a challenge is unlikely because courts have ruled the motto doesn't promote one religious group over another.

Butler is 30 miles north of Pittsburgh.


City: Philly chocolate factory not being harassed

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A city official denies that a popular Philadelphia chocolate maker and candy store shuttered days before Easter is being harassed.

WPVI-TV reported Wednesday that the Department of Revenue revoked the business license of the Blasius Chocolate Factory in the city's Kensington neighborhood.

The firm has been hand-making chocolates since the 1920s. It's noted for buttercreams and giant Easter eggs.

Mark McDonald, spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter, said the action was part of a crackdown on outstanding business taxes that has netted $17 million from 700 business accounts with another $7 million pledged.

Owner Phillip Kerwick told the station that he tried to negotiate his $12,000 tax bill. But McDonald said the owner must pay the bill or sign a payment agreement and pay a substantial portion of the amount.


Philly mom surrenders to police in girl's death

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A west Philadelphia woman being sought in the shooting death of her 11-year-old daughter by a toddler has surrendered to authorities.

Thirty-one-year-old Tiffany Goldwire turned herself in early Thursday afternoon at the city police headquarters to face an involuntary manslaughter charge.

Defense attorney Eugene Tinari called the April 5 death of Jamara Stevens an "unspeakable tragedy." Police said the child was shot by a 2-year-old and died shortly afterward at a hospital.

Investigators said they believe a man had brought the weapon into the home a few hours earlier and stashed it on top of a refrigerator.

Tinari told the Philadelphia Daily News that he believes prosecutors will see that the shooting "was an accident and not a criminal act" on the part of his client.


Wolf reports $2.2M in 2012 income

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Tom Wolf, a Democratic candidate for governor who took out a multi-million dollar loan to help finance his campaign, reported nearly $2.2 million in adjusted income in 2012.

Wolf, who runs a building materials distributor, released two pages of his 2012 tax return Thursday after seeking an extension for 2013.

The Associated Press asked each gubernatorial candidate to release their entire tax return for 2013, or 2012 if they sought an extension.

Democrats Allyson Schwartz and Katie McGinty each released entire 2012 returns. Republican Tom Corbett and Democrat Rob McCord have yet to release theirs. Republican Bob Guzzardi is declining to release his.

In 2012, Wolf reported $263,000 in taxes and $586,000 in deductions and exemptions. Income included $1.5 million in ordinary dividends, $281,000 in salary and $237,500 in interest.


3 to run marathon to help school stabbing victims

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Three people from the western Pennsylvania town where 21 students and a security guard were wounded in a high school stabbing rampage are hoping to raise money for the victims by running the Boston Marathon.

Kim Pekarcik, one of the three runners, says Murrysville residents have come to understand some of what Boston experienced when a boy stabbed and slashed other students April 9 at Franklin Regional High School.

That's why she and friends Marlo Ayres and Jason Jelovich plan to run the marathon Monday.

They're looking for sponsors to donate $1 for every person who goes online to track their progress along the 26.2-mile course.

WPXI-TV says money raised will go to a bank account set up for the stabbing victims, four of whom remained hospitalized Thursday.


Philly armored car robbed of $105,000; no injuries

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Authorities in Philadelphia say two men armed with rifles robbed an armored car of $105,000 in northeast Philadelphia, but no injuries were reported.

A police spokeswoman said the robbery was reported just before 9 a.m. Thursday at a TD Bank branch in the Tacony section of the city.

Police said the men fled in a white Cadillac. WCAU-TV reported that the heist took place in the parking lot.

Police and the FBI are investigating.


DA probing troubled district's afterschool program

WILKINSBURG, Pa. (AP) - Detectives have seized the records of an afterschool program from a financially-troubled western Pennsylvania school district whose former coordinator is awaiting trial on charges he stole $3,2000 worth of computer and video game equipment from the district.

Mike Manko, a spokesman for the Allegheny County district attorney's office, says Wednesday's raid is a follow-up of the pending case involving the theft of equipment the Wilkinsburg School District bought with grant money.

The school district and its intermediate unit declined to comment on the records seizure.

The former director of the 21st Century afterschool program, 31-year-old Christopher Spradley, was ordered to stand trial after a preliminary hearing last month on charges he stole a 3-D printer, two laptop computers and two video game systems from the program. He's pleaded not guilty.


UPMC wants city to bill subsidiaries for taxes

PITTSBURGH (AP) - An attorney for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says the city should send it a tax bill to its subsidiaries if city officials really believe the hospital network shouldn't be a tax-exempt nonprofit.

That challenge was aired at an Allegheny County court hearing into an ongoing lawsuit filed by the city, which contends the hospital network behaves more like a business than a nonprofit, and should therefore pay taxes on its properties.

But UPMC attorney William Pietrogallo - who has argued UPMC, itself, doesn't have any employees - says the city should focus on whether to tax UPMC's 44 subsidiaries, 23 which are tax-exempt and 21 that pay taxes.

Pietrogallo says the city should send tax bills to whichever additional subsidiaries it believes should be taxed, so those disputes can be argued in court.


Armored car robbed in NE Philly; no injuries

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Authorities in Philadelphia say an armored car was held up in northeast Philadelphia, but no injuries were reported.

A police spokeswoman said the robbery was reported just before 9 a.m. Thursday at a TD Bank branch in the Tacony section of the city.

WCAU-TV reported that the heist took place in the parking lot.

Police and the FBI are investigating.


Pittsburgh man cleared of home invasion slaying

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A Pittsburgh man has been released from jail after a second jury cleared him of all remaining charges in a fatal home invasion robbery on Easter 2009.

Twenty-five-year-old Robert Pace told reporters, "I'm good ... my innocence was proven today" as he was released from jail Wednesday. That's when a second Allegheny County jury acquitted him of second-degree murder and lesser charges in the death of 34-year-old Cecil Potter, of McKeesport.

Pace had previously been acquitted of first- and third-degree murder in October. He was retried this month because the first jury was deadlocked on the remaining counts.

Bryan Gilbert, of McKeesport, was only 15 when he was also charged in the fatal robbery.

Gilbert is serving 30 to 60 years in prison after previously pleading guilty to third-degree murder and other charges.


W.Va. miner charged with bomb threat against mine

WAYNESBURG, Pa. (AP) - A West Virginia man has been jailed on charges he phoned in a bomb threat to the southwestern Pennsylvania mine where he worked because he couldn't find a baby sitter to watch his 8-year-old daughter during his shift last week.

Online court records don't list an attorney for 42-year-old John Paul Perkins, of Fairmont, W.Va. He's charged with using a convenience store pay phone to call in the threat against the Emerald Mine in Greene County last Friday.

The (Washington) Observer-Reporter says the mine was shut down for a time due to the threat, which cost the company more than $96,000.

Police say they traced the call to a pay phone in Fairmont, and questioned Perkins after he was seen on surveillance video near the phone.

Perkins faces a preliminary hearing April 24.


Motive for W.Va. arson that killed 3 unknown

LITTLETON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia State Police trooper says the investigation of an arson that killed three people is progressing. But the motive remains unknown.

The Jan. 13 fire at a house in Wetzel County killed 63-year-old Michael McDougal, 55-year-old Carmen McDougal and 48-year-old Jimmy Kisner of Aleppo, Pa. The McDougals lived at the house outside Littleton.

State police Sgt. J.E. Shriver tells The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that Kisner was an acquaintance of the McDougals.

Shriver says investigators have some persons of interest and have eliminated others as suspects. But they are having difficulty finding a motive.

The State Police's detachment in Moundsville has been sending a trooper to aid the Hundred detachment in the investigation.


New group seeks to run Pennsylvania fun park

MEADVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A reconfigured group of trustees wants a judge to let it oversee a historic 122-year-old amusement park in northwestern Pennsylvania, and let it come up with a plan to pay off more than $750,000 in property taxes and penalties.

The Meadville Tribune reports the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County wants to form a new oversight board containing some members of the Trustees of Conneaut (KAW'-nee-aht) Lake Park, which has overseen the park since 2007.

An ongoing lawsuit by the state attorney general's office, which oversees such nonprofits, seeks to remove the trustees for falling behind on the taxes and failing to have adequate insurance when fires burned the park's Dreamland Ballroom in 2008 and its Beach Club in August.

The new oversight group hopes to prevent a September sheriff's sale.


Police ID 4 dead in Pennsylvania head-on crash

SOUTH BEND, Pa. (AP) - Police have identified three teenagers and a 41-year-old woman killed in a head-on crash on a rural western Pennsylvania highway.

State police from Kittanning says 19-year-old Brandon Sulava, of Apollo, was killed along with his passengers, 15-year-old Brandon Sauers, of Apollo, and 18-year-old Brieyonah Painter, of Kittanning.

They died when Sulava's Ford Mustang crossed the center line of Route 156 in South Bend Township and hit a Chevrolet Lumina driven by 41-year-old Crystal Kay Kelley, of Avonmore, who was also killed. Three passengers in her car were flown to a Pittsburgh hospital in critical condition.

Coroner Brian Myers says the crash happened shortly before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and was so "horrific" the impact tore the Mustang in half.

There was no immediate evidence of drugs or alcohol, but Myers says it appears the Mustang was speeding.


Coroner: skeleton near Pa. mall a foul play victim

YORK, Pa. (AP) - The York County coroner says the man whose remains were found last fall near a shopping mall is a homicide victim.

West Manchester Township police said forensic experts found evidence of trauma during an examination of the skull and bones found near the West Manchester Mall. Authorities on Thursday released a sketch of what the man probably looked like.

No additional details were released because the investigation is ongoing.

Tree-trimmers discovered the body last November in a brushy area near the mall, just northwest of York. Authorities haven't been able to match the remains with any missing local people.

The coroner had previously determined that the skeletal remains were those of a white man in his 30s or 40s and the body had likely been there for a decade.


Central Pa. woman sentenced for fake kidnapping

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - A central Pennsylvania woman is going to prison for faking her own kidnapping at a Lancaster park last spring.

LancasterOnline said 34-year-old Maria Collazo was sentenced Thursday to three to 23 months in prison.

Collazo had previously pleaded guilty to making a false police report and causing false alarm to the public.

The New Holland woman called 911 in May, saying she had been abducted from her workplace, sexually assaulted, tied up and forced into the trunk of her car.

The hoax report set off a five-hour manhunt involving mounted police, trained tracking dogs and helicopters.

Collazo, who is married with four children and four stepchildren, apologized for her actions. She said she has been suffering from depression for a long time and is getting counseling.


Man gets 75 to 150 years for 2002 Pittsburgh rape

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A man linked to the 2002 rape of a Pittsburgh college student using DNA taken from him after an unrelated arrest has been sentenced to 75 to 150 years in prison.

Allegheny County Judge David Cashman told 47-year-old Ralph Skundrich on Thursday that, "Your days of torturing women are over."

Skundrich's criminal record dates to 1987 and he still faces charges that he raped a woman in Cranberry, Butler County, seven weeks before the Pittsburgh attack, as well as a sexual battery case in Florida.

Skundrich is also facing trial on burglary and drug charges from two separate incidents dating as far back as 2003 in neighboring Westmoreland County.

Skundrich was charged in the July 25, 2002 Pittsburgh attack after police matched his DNA to that scene in March 2010.

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