PHILLY POLICE SHOOTING
Man shot by Philly police may have feared robbery
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Police say a man shot and wounded by plainclothes officers in Philadelphia appears to have been a pizza deliveryman who may have mistaken them for robbers.
Police say two officers responding to a report of gunshots shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday in southwest Philadelphia saw a man walking down the street and tried to stop him.
Police say the man fled to a car and put it in reverse, and the officers then fired because they feared for their safety.
Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross tells KYW-TV that the man may not have heard the officers identify themselves and thought he was being robbed.
Authorities say the man is in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
ALLEGHENY COUNTY PARK-DRILLING
Council hears pro, con testimony on parks drilling
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Council members in western Pennsylvania heard testimony for and against a proposal to drill for natural gas under a Pittsburgh-area park.
The Allegheny County Council is considering a proposal to allow Range Resources and Huntley & Huntley to drill beneath 1,180-acre Deer Lakes Park from well sites on neighboring properties.
Officials say the plan would mean millions of dollars for the county and a park improvement fund.
Many of those who spoke in favor of the plan Tuesday night highlighted the financial windfall. But opponents said they were concerned about pollution and the possibility of accidents.
A council committee takes up the issue again Wednesday evening at a meeting. It will include a presentation from the company and a panel to answer legal questions about the lease and proposal.
Pa. township, firm settle suit over seismic tests
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A western Pennsylvania township has settled a lawsuit over seismic testing following a federal judge's ruling that it couldn't interfere with a Texas company using public roads for the tests.
ION Geophysical Corp. of Houston won a preliminary injunction earlier this month after arguing that Westmoreland County's Hempfield Township, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, had no authority to block the testing.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that both sides filed a motion to settle and dismiss the suit Tuesday.
Township lawyer Michael Korns said the company has agreed to post a $100,000 performance bond and pay for any damage caused by the testing.
Body found in NE Pa. pond ID'd as missing woman
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - Authorities have positively identified a body found in a northeastern Pennsylvania pond as that of a woman missing for five months.
The (Scranton) Times-Tribune reports that the Lackawanna County coroner's office used dental records to identify the body as that of 56-year-old Diane Zavislak of Trucksville.
Police were called to a site near the Susquehanna River after the body was found Saturday. Zavislak's car had been found in November a few miles upstream.
Chief James Balavage of the Kingston Township police department said he doesn't know whether the death was a homicide or a suicide. The coroner's office says the cause and manner of death remain under investigation.
Pa. slaying defense to focus on 'state of mind'
GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) - An attorney representing a western Pennsylvania man accused of strangling his wife and dumping her body in a wooded area two years ago says the defense will focus on her client's "state of mind."
Forty-three-year-old David Stahl of Hempfield is charged in Westmoreland County with criminal homicide in the February 2012 death of 37-year-old Derry Area schoolteacher Rebecca Stahl.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Assistant Public Defender Donna McClelland said Tuesday that the defense has hired a psychologist. The judge ordered the report of that expert witnesses turned over to prosecutors by May 1.
Late last year, another judge denied a defense request to bar prosecutors from using Stahl's statements to police during the trial, which is scheduled to begin in mid-June.
25- to 50-year term in Pa. teen runaway kidnapping
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A central Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to 25 to 50 years in state prison after being convicted of kidnapping a teenage runaway.
PennLive.com reports that jurors deliberated for about 2½ hours Tuesday before convicting 50-year-old Walter Sawyer of Harrisburg of kidnapping, unlawful contact with a minor and providing false identification to police.
Court records indicate that he was acquitted of unlawful restraint and false imprisonment as well as misdemeanor attempted indecent assault.
The 17-year-old girl testified tearfully that Sawyer offered to buy her food, then drove her under a bridge and demanded sex before an officer on patrol interceded. Prosecutors said Sawyer had fled from a halfway house.
Sawyer's attorney argued that her client was made a scapegoat because the girl didn't want to get into trouble.
Man accused of painting swastikas on building
WEST AMWELL, N.J. (AP) - Authorities have accused a Pennsylvania man of painting swastikas and curse words on a building in New Jersey.
Police have charged 20-year-old Brandon Wetzel of Yardley, Pa., with criminal mischief and theft of a license plate.
Police say Wetzel cut power lines and vandalized the building along Route 179 on April 17.
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