Pennsylvania

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Mystery Illness Sickens 174 College Students

Students have been hospitalized as the school looks for a cause

(Newser) - The number of students sickened by a mystery illness at Ursinus College in eastern Pennsylvania has risen to more than 170, the AP reports. College spokesperson Esme Artz says 174 students have shown signs of a stomach infection. Overnight, two students went to the emergency room, and two others were... More »

Cops: Man Shackled Teen as Collateral for Loan to Her Dad

She was able to free herself and text for help

(Newser) - Police say a Pennsylvania man kept a 15-year-old girl in shackles as collateral for a loan to her father, the AP reports. Thirty-year-old Christopher Wiley Brown of Brownsville was jailed Thursday on kidnapping, indecent assault, and other charges. The Herald-Standard reports that the girl agreed to care for Brown's... More »

Woman Killed in Bed by Falling Tree, Husband Trapped

'Get me the hell out of here'

(Newser) - A 90-foot tree fell on a home in suburban Philadelphia early Friday, killing a woman in her bed and trapping her husband beside her for hours before he could be rescued, authorities said. The tree apparently came down on the split-level home at about 6am local time, but rescue units... More »

Woman Who Put Newborn in Closet Didn't Know She Was Pregnant

Kelsey Martin, 21, charged with concealing the death of a child

(Newser) - A 21-year-old Pennsylvania woman told police she had no clue she was pregnant before she gave birth at home, put her unresponsive newborn into a shoebox and stored it in an upstairs closet. Kelsey Martin, of Springettsbury Township, was charged Jan. 28 with concealing the death of a child, a... More »

Cops: Man Tries to Hawk Drugs While in Court

Pennsylvania man's plan didn't pan out

(Newser) - A 35-year-old man who showed up in a Pittsburgh traffic courtroom Monday to face charges of driving under suspension was apparently feeling either very reckless or more or less invincible (and invisible). The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Christopher Durkin had wrapped up his hearing and was heading out of the... More »

Petco Drops Small-Animal Supplier After PETA Video

PETA went undercover, documented what it says is evidence of awful conditions

(Newser) - Petco, one of the biggest pet retailers in the country, severed its relationship with a Pennsylvania small-animal dealer amid a federal investigation into conditions at the facility where it keeps thousands of hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, and other species. Petco said in a statement Tuesday that Holmes Chinchilla Ranch and... More »

Docs Bring Back 'Miracle' Man Frozen in Snow

Justin Smith spent hours in minus 4-degree weather lying in snowbank—and lived

(Newser) - When Don Smith found his son, Justin, lying in a McAdoo, Pa., snowbank on Feb. 21, 2015, after Justin had tried to walk home from a bar the night before, it was a terrible sight. "I remember holding him," the elder Smith said in tears Monday, per the... More »

Email Could Doom Cosby Sex Case

Former DA says he promised deposition wouldn't be used

(Newser) - A Pennsylvania prosecutor's sexual assault case against Bill Cosby could be in deep trouble, according to an email obtained by CNN . In the email, former Montgomery County DA Bruce Castor tells a successor that he made an agreement with Cosby that a deposition from a 2005 civil case brought... More »

Cops: Kidnapper Could Be 'Dumbest Criminal of Year'

He allegedly scheduled a meeting with the victim and actually showed up for it

(Newser) - "If he can survive the remaining 340-some days of the year, he will definitely win the dumbest criminal of the year," Philly.com quotes police chief David Splain. The dumb criminal in question is Pennsylvania 17-year-old Jason Hayes, who is charged with kidnapping and robbing an old woman... More »

As Dad and Cop Face Off, Bullet Kills Girl

Constable was carrying out an eviction when dad threatened him with a gun

(Newser) - A 12-year-old Pennsylvania girl was in the wrong place—standing behind her father—at the wrong time Monday morning, and ended up dead. As Clarke Steele, a state constable, attempted to evict Donald Meyer and his family from an apartment in Penn Township, authorities say Meyer, 57, exchanged words with... More »

Silence of the Lambs House Not Killing It on Real Estate Market

'Just because I want to gawk at something doesn't mean I want to buy it'

(Newser) - "Would you [put a serious offer on] me? I'd [put a serious offer on] me. I'd [put a serious offer on] me hard. I'd [put a serious offer on] me so hard." Despite the fact that it has a place in cinema history as the... More »

Drug Task Force Agent Arrested in $2M Drug Bust

He was on vacation at the time

(Newser) - A drug task force agent from California was arrested Dec. 29 in Pennsylvania while allegedly transporting nearly 250 pounds of marijuana, ABC 27 reports. According to the Patriot-News , authorities say a traffic stop in York County turned up $2 million worth of pot, $11,000 in cash, and sheriff's... More »

Cosby Charged With Felony Sexual Assault

In 2004 case of Andrea Constand

(Newser) - Two weeks ago Bill Cosby tried to wrest back control of the sexual assault allegations against him by filing lawsuits against seven of his accusers. Now he's back on the defensive after a Pennsylvania prosecutor announced that the entertainer would be charged for a 2004 incident, the AP reports.... More »

Septuagenarians Find Out They're Long-Lost Sisters

Pennsylvania women say the discovery is a Christmas miracle

(Newser) - Barbara Smith didn't find any firearms or wooden PS4s underneath her Christmas tree this year—instead, she got a sister, the AP reports. The 78-year-old woman from Pottsville, Pa., tells the Progress she received a call from a man named Carl Trusiak last week, and he delivered astounding news:... More »

'Porngate' Unveils One State's Ugly Politics

Pennsylvania's attorney general revealed offensive messages

(Newser) - What do Pennsylvania state officials like emailing one another? Racist, pornographic, and misogynistic messages accompanied by lewd and offensive photos, according to a political scandal dubbed "Porngate." In recent months, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane revealed the messages amid a slew of thousands of emails uncovered in a... More »

Cops: Man Kills Burglar, but Also Brother, Roommate

He's been charged with illegally possessing a firearm but not homicide

(Newser) - A Pittsburgh man fatally shot an armed robber who broke into his apartment Monday but also accidentally shot and killed his visiting teenage brother and his housemate, a district attorney says. Meiko Devaughn, 22, has been charged with illegally possessing a firearm, drug possession, and receiving stolen property. Devaughn, who... More »

US Mayors Call for Ban on Donald Trump

At least 'until we fully understand the dangerous threat posed by all Trumps'

(Newser) - Well, well, well. It looks like the ridiculous hairdo is on the other head. In the wake of Trump proposing a ban on Muslims entering the US , two US mayors have expressed interest in doing the same to Trump. "I am hereby barring Donald Trump from entering St. Petersburg... More »

Severed Pig's Head Dumped at Philly Mosque's Door

'Could the next thing be a pipe bomb?' local activist asks

(Newser) - An employee at a Philly mosque stumbled upon a gruesome discovery Monday morning: a severed pig's head lying near the building's front door, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Per USA Today , surveillance video shows a red pickup truck cruising slowly by the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society building Sunday night, then... More »

Cab Passenger Rants About ISIS, Attacks Driver

'He came out of the house carrying a rifle in his hand'

(Newser) - Around 1am on Thanksgiving day, a Pittsburgh taxi driver picked up a man outside Rivers Casino—and ended up in a hospital bed after a possible hate crime. The passenger was talkative: "He started the conversation and began to ask questions like, ‘You seem to be like a... More »

Where's the Beef? Trucker Steals 40K Pounds of Meat

The missing beef is worth $110,000

(Newser) - Where's the beef? That's what authorities would like to know after someone stole 40,000 pounds of it from a meat plant in central Pennsylvania. State police say it happened last Saturday at Nicholas Meat near Loganton. According to troopers, a trucker loaded $110,000 worth of meat... More »

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