AP PA headlines, features, scores and skeds – February 13

 

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — President Donald Trump again is trying to drastically reduce or eliminate federal support for cleanups of some iconic U.S. waterways.  His proposed budget would slash Environmental Protection Agency funding for Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay restoration programs by 90 percent.  It would kill all EPA spending on programs supporting other waters including San Francisco Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and Puget Sound.

 

Trump made a similar attempt last year but Congress refused to go along.  His administration says state, local and tribal governments should be responsible for regional water cleanups.  But the programs are popular with members of Congress in both parties, who say they boost the economy as well as the environment. Advocates say they’ll resist the proposed spending cuts.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s campaign says he’ll hold a rally in the Pittsburgh area next week.  Trump visited the region last month to talk up new tax cuts, and put in a plug for Pennsylvania state lawmaker Rick Saccone. The Republican is running for Congress in a contest widely seen as a test of whether Trump’s party can stave off Democratic gains in the fall elections.

 

Saccone faces Democrat and Marine Corps veteran Conor Lamb in a March 13 special election to succeed Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned after acknowledging an extramarital affair.  Vice President Mike Pence has campaigned for Saccone.  Trump’s campaign says the Feb. 21 rally will take place at Ambridge Area Senior High School in Ambridge, Pennsylvania.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Penn State fraternity brothers facing refiled charges in a pledge’s hazing death are scheduled for a second hearing on whether prosecutors have enough evidence to send the most serious allegations against them to trial.  A judge on Friday scheduled a six-day preliminary hearing for next month for 11 members of the now-shuttered Beta Theta Pi fraternity.  Prosecution of the case was recently turned over to the state attorney general’s office, which could seek further delays. A spokesman said Monday the agency was still reviewing the matter.

 

Then-District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller last fall refiled charges that had been dismissed in September after a marathon preliminary hearing. They included the most serious counts that had been charged, involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault. She also sought to replace District Judge Allen Sinclair, who handled the preliminary hearing.  Parks Miller was voted out and left office at the end of December, after which her successor turned over the case to state prosecutors.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Top Democratic state lawmakers said Monday they want to work with Gov. Tom Wolf on a consensus Democratic plan of congressional districts to present to state Supreme Court justices who are poised to impose new boundaries.  Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa and House Minority Leader Frank Dermody said they hope to meet with Wolf as early as Tuesday to begin cooperation on a map.

 

He said they have urged Wolf to reject a map given to him on Friday by the GOP-controlled Legislature’s top Republicans.  A redrawn map of Pennsylvania districts could boost Democrats nationally in their quest to take control of the U.S. House. With the 6-year-old map of GOP-drawn districts struck down in a gerrymandering case, the boundaries of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts for May’s primary election are up in the air.

 

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Third-party and independent candidates will have an easier time running for office in Pennsylvania following settlement of a longstanding federal lawsuit.  The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a judge recently approved the settlement that includes a provision that such candidates will need far fewer petition signatures to qualify for the ballot.

 

Such candidates running for U.S. senator, governor or state row offices previously had to get at least 2 percent of the votes cast for the top statewide vote-getter in the last general election. That could total more than 30 times the number required for Democrats and Republicans.  The court agreement caps the signature requirement at 5,000 for third-party candidates. They also no longer will have to pay for legal challenges, which have run in the tens of thousands of dollars.

 

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The principal at a Philadelphia elementary school in a violent corner of the city is paying eighth-graders to not fight.  The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Mitchell Elementary School Principal Stephanie Andrewlevich is taking the innovative approach to manage behavior at the school.  If all eighth-graders make it to graduation with no physical violence, each child will get $100.

 

The principal says the incentive is working.  So far this year, only 8 percent of the eighth-graders have been suspended. That’s down from 17 percent at the same point last year, and down 21 percent from 2016.  One student says not fighting feels natural now, and it’s no longer about the money. She says she’d give the money to her mom to buy school supplies.  Andrewlevich says she’ll put up the $3,300 herself, unless a sponsor emerges.

 

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Matthew McConaughey is congratulating fellow Texan and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles on his Super Bowl win.  The actor took out a full-page ad in the Austin American-Statesman on Sunday. It reads: “From one local to another, Congratulations Nick Foles. just keep livin, Matthew McConaughey.”

 

McConaughey was born just west of San Antonio. The Super Bowl MVP was born and raised in Austin.  McConaughey is a Washington Redskins fan, but that didn’t stop him from showing support for a division rival.

“Just keep livin” is McConaughey’s personal mantra and the name of his nonprofit health and wellness organization.

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

 

Features

 

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York judge has awarded $6.7 million to graffiti artists who sued after their work was destroyed on buildings torn down to make room for luxury condos. Federal Judge Frederic Block in Brooklyn noted Monday there was no remorse from the owner of the warehouse buildings. Twenty-one aerosol artists had sued the owner of a Long Island City site known as 5Pointz. Their graffiti was painted over in 2013, and the buildings were torn down a year later. The ruling followed a three-week trial in November. The judge said he would not have assessed so much in damages if the owner had awaited his permits and demolished the art 10 months later than he did.

 

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Good news for anyone who has had a dinner, TV show or conversation interrupted by a robocall. A federal judge in Montana has upheld the constitutionality of the state’s law that bans most robocalls. The challenge was issued by a political consulting firm that sought to do business in Montana. The company filed a complaint last year saying the state law violates its right to free speech — and prevents it from being able to send political messages to Montana voters. But the judge notes he U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled individuals aren’t required to welcome unwanted speech into their homes and that the government may protect that freedom.

 

NEW YORK (AP) — A coalition of state attorneys general on Monday urged the U.S. Department of Commerce to not add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, saying it could lower participation among immigrants and cause a population undercount.  New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a letter sent to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

 

The letter said they were opposing a request by the U.S. Department of Justice to add the question, and that it would chill “participation in the 2020 census by noncitizens and naturalized citizens alike” over fears about confidentiality and possible data-sharing.  Diminished participation would be detrimental to states, the letter said, because it would impact a range of outcomes, from political representation in Congress to federal funding of programs used by the states.  There was no immediate comment from the Commerce Department.

 

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) — No charges will be filed against a man who tried to attack former sports doctor Larry Nassar in a Michigan courtroom.  Eaton County prosecutor Douglas Lloyd says Nassar and his attorneys didn’t want charges against Randy Margraves. He says he gave those views “considerable weight” because they were potential victims.

 

Margraves is the father of three daughters who say they were sexually assaulted by Nassar, the former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor. Sheriff’s deputies tackled him after he charged at Nassar on Feb. 2.  Margraves apologized. He was briefly locked up, but a judge declined to hold him in contempt of court.  Nassar was sentenced to prison for molesting women and girls with his hands. He’s first serving a 60-year sentence for child pornography crimes.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has a tweet for just about everything, but he’s got nothing so far for Team USA a few days into the 2018 Olympic Games.  Since the competition began on Friday, Trump has tweeted about the massive budget deal he signed into law, his desire to have more Republican legislators in Congress and offered condolences for two Ohio police officers who were killed in the line of duty.

 

He tweeted about jobless claims dropping, his decision to block release of a Democratic memo on the Russia investigation and the downfall of a top aide accused of domestic abuse.  Missing from the series? Any mention of Team USA or words of encouragement for the athletes competing in the games that opened Friday in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  Trump did send a pair of tweets last week complimenting the host country for the games.

 

WILLOWICK, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman had given up hope of seeing her wedding dress again after a dry cleaner mix-up three decades ago until her daughter’s friend saw photos of the dress on Facebook.  Michelle Havrilla was nearly speechless after getting the dress back last week for the first time since her 1985 wedding.

 

Her dress was put in the wrong box by a now-defunct dry cleaner in Willowick and stored in another family’s attic.  The Akron Beacon Journal reports Ame Bartlebaugh found the dress on Feb. 4 when she went looking for her mother’s wedding dress.  She posted about the mix-up on Facebook, and Havrilla was reunited with the dress within a day.  Bartlebaugh hopes social media will help her find her mom’s dress before her own wedding next year.

 

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s capital city is taking a high-tech approach to rid the city of an estimated 30,000 crows that are waking up residents and leaving droppings behind.  The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday will begin using pyrotechnics, lasers, spotlights, amplified recordings of crow distress calls and crow effigies to try to scare the birds away from Trenton.

 

USDA district supervisor and biologist Kimberly Clapper tells NJ.com crows and other birds in the winter form large roosts. Clapper says the crows look for areas where there is less light and few people, such as parking lots.  Clapper says the methods have worked to clear crows from other urban areas.  USDA wildlife officials will spend four consecutive nights in Trenton until Feb. 23.

 

BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) — Police have arrested a man they say broke into people’s homes in Massachusetts while they attended wakes or funerals.  Authorities say they began to suspect 35-year-old Randy Brunelle during an investigation into a series of break-ins on Cape Cod. Brunelle previously had served an 18-month prison sentence on a 2012 conviction for breaking into a police officer’s home as the officer attended his mother’s funeral.

 

Barnstable police say they followed his car Friday while other officers went to homes of residents attending funerals.  Officers discovered a break-in and pulled Brunelle over. Police say they arrested him after finding jewelry in his pockets.  Brunelle, who police nicknamed the “obit bandit,” is facing multiple charges including felony breaking and entering. The Cape Cod Times reports that he ignored a reporter’s questions while entering court for his arraignment Monday.

 

NEW YORK (AP) — A German shepherd that survived a brutal highway accident a few years is out of Westminster, and his show career might be over.  Fanucci was unable to walk into the ring Monday, the first day of two days of America’s most prestigious dog show.  His owners think he might have been nipped by a playful puppy recently, or perhaps he shook his ear too hard and broke a blood vessel.

 

The 5-year-old was considered by many the nation’s top German shepherd. But his left ear, the one closest to the judge, bubbled up and knocked him out of the competition.  Fanucci’s right rear leg was shattered in 2014 when he jumped out of a van that was being towed. He was injured so badly his owners considered euthanizing him.

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Academy Award winner Charlize Theron was named honorary starter for the 60th running of the Daytona 500.  The actress will wave the green flag for the season-opening race Sunday in NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series.  Theron won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best actress in 2003 for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wournos in “Monster.”

 

Today she stars in and produces the upcoming film “Gringo.” The movie will be released nationwide next month.  She also starred in “The Cider House Rules” (1999), “The Italian Job” (2003), “North Country” (2005), and more recently in “Atomic Blonde”, “The Fate of the Furious” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

 

Sports, Scores & Skeds

 

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

 

Hughesville 48, Line Mountain 29

 

Loyalsock 49, Danville 47

 

Montoursville 59, Neumann 48

 

Muncy 62, Montgomery 39

 

Shikellamy 65, Southern Columbia 62

 

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

 

Bellefonte 55, Central Mountain 23

 

Berwick 48, Lake-Lehman 35

 

Central Columbia 78, Montgomery 26

 

Lewisburg 36, Hughesville 29

 

Montoursville 51, Neumann 41

 

Northumberland Christian 46, Columbia-Montour 18

 

Penns Valley 57, Hollidaysburg 53

 

Shamokin 51, Jersey Shore 34

 

South Williamsport 42, Millville 38, OT

 

Southern Columbia 54, Shikellamy 32

 

Sullivan County 77, Bucktail 20

 

Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:

———

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Final     Philadelphia      108      N-Y Knicks     92

Final     New Orleans    118      Detroit  103

Final     L.A. Clippers   114      Brooklyn          101

Final     Chicago            105      Orlando            101

Final     Utah     101      San Antonio     99

Final     Golden State    129      Phoenix            83

———

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Final     Toronto            4          Tampa Bay       3

Final     Florida 7          Edmonton         5

Final     Arizona            6          Chicago            1

———

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Final     (14) North Carolina      83        Notre Dame     66

Final     (20) West Virginia        82        TCU    66

TODAY’S SPORTS SCHEDULE

———

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Miami   at         Toronto            7:00 p.m.

Houston           at         Minnesota        8:00 p.m.

Cleveland         at         Oklahoma City 8:00 p.m.

Atlanta at         Milwaukee       8:00 p.m.

Sacramento      at         Dallas   8:30 p.m.

San Antonio     at         Denver 10:30 p.m.

———

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

L.A. Kings       at         Carolina           7:00 p.m.

Columbus         at         N-Y Islanders  7:00 p.m.

Ottawa at         Pittsburgh         7:00 p.m.

Tampa Bay       at         Buffalo 7:00 p.m.

Calgary            at         Boston 7:00 p.m.

New Jersey      at         Philadelphia      7:00 p.m.

Anaheim           at         Detroit  7:30 p.m.

St. Louis           at         Nashville          8:00 p.m.

Washington      at         Winnipeg          8:00 p.m.

N-Y Rangers    at         Minnesota        8:00 p.m.

Chicago            at         Vegas   10:00 p.m.

Arizona            at         San Jose           10:30 p.m.

———

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

(1) Virginia       at         Miami   9:00 p.m.

(2) Michigan St.            at         Minnesota        9:00 p.m.

(23) Oklahoma at         (7) Texas Tech 7:00 p.m.

(13) Kansas     at         Iowa St.           7:00 p.m.

Richmond         at         (16) Rhode Island         8:30 p.m.

South Carolina  at         (18) Tennessee 9:00 p.m.

(21) Texas A&M         at         Missouri           7:00 p.m.

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

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