Third-party hopefuls abandon bids for governor
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Both third-party candidates who hoped to compete in Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race have given up - leaving Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic nominee Tom Wolf to compete one-on-one.
Green Party nominee Paul Glover and the Libertarian Party's Ken Krawchuk said they could not gather the nearly 17,000 petition signatures needed to qualify for the Nov. 4 ballot by Friday's deadline.
Glover blames his failed bid on the large number of signatures required, his campaign's low public profile and a lack of more money to pay signature gatherers.
Krawchuk says third-party candidates actually must raise many more than the minimum number of signatures as insurance against petition challenges.
Statewide major-party candidates need to gather only 2,000 signatures, but they have to then win the nomination in the primary election.
Charges dismissed against priest in assault case
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - A northeastern Pennsylvania judge has dismissed charges against a priest accused of plying a 13-year-old girl with alcohol and touching her inappropriately after a midnight Christmas Mass in 1998.
The (Scranton) Times-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1uPRgyh ) that Lackawanna County Judge Michael Barrasse dismissed charges against the Rev. Philip Altavilla. The judge ruled Friday that the statute of limitations had expired.
Altavilla had been charged with indecent assault and corruption of minors.
The accuser testified in May that Altavilla rubbed her feet and thigh. Defense attorney Paul Walker questioned whether the touching constituted indecent contact and also argued that the statute of limitations had run out.
Pa. senator: Colo. trip included using marijuana
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania state senator says he tried some marijuana on his taxpayer-funded trip to Colorado to see how the state's marijuana industry is working.
Democratic Sen. Daylin Leach said Friday he took two hits from a vape pen, similar to an e-cigarette, at his hotel. He says it was the first time he had used marijuana in about 25 years.
A vape pen vaporizes a form of marijuana and is smokeless. He says it was a gift from a facility he and aides toured during the official trip, which cost nearly $5,000.
He says the legal weed caused him to giggle a bit through dinner. Afterward, he says he did something unusual - he watched a romantic comedy on TV.
Leach is a leading proponent of legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania.
TWO FOUND DEAD
Death of NW Pa. man, woman ruled murder-suicide
ERIE, Pa. (AP) - The deaths of a man and woman found shot in a northwestern Pennsylvania apartment as her two daughters were sleeping in another room have been ruled a murder-suicide.
Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook said he had ruled Friday that 62-year-old John Lorenzo shot 45-year-old Mary Page to death in their Erie apartment and then turned the weapon on himself.
Police chief Randy Bowers told The Erie Times-News (http://bit.ly/1xLe5PK ) that the motive for the 8:30 a.m. Thursday shooting is unclear.
Investigators said Lorenzo and a 48-year-old woman who also lived in the apartment had been living there together for some time, and Page and her daughters later moved into the unit.
Officials said the other woman was unhurt, and the 11- and 16-year-old girls were also uninjured.
SUV IN RAVINE
Man gets 40 to 80 years in NE Pa. murder case
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - A judge has imposed a 40- to 80-year sentence on a man convicted in the death of a man whose body was found in a sport utility vehicle at the bottom of a northeastern Pennsylvania ravine a year ago.
The (Scranton) Times-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1pMeIo7 ) reports that Lackawanna County Judge Terrence Nealon imposed the maximum sentence on 24-year-old Jason Dominick. He was convicted of third-degree murder and conspiracy in the death of 24-year-old Frank Bonacci, whose body was found in an SUV on a ledge above Roaring Brook in July 2013.
Defense attorney Bernard Brown had asked the judge to combine the murder and conspiracy convictions and impose only a 17- to 34-year term.
Twenty-four-year-old Neil Pal was earlier convicted of first-degree murder and faces a mandatory life term without parole.
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