State briefs

Failed House candidate faces fed sentence for fake DVDS

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A western Pennsylvania man faces a federal court sentence for selling thousands of counterfeit, Chinese-made DVDs on eBay, all while twice running for the General Assembly.

Thirty-five-year-old Michael See ran as a Republican in 2010 and 2012, losing narrowly both times to Democratic state Rep. Jaret Gibbons.

He pleaded guilty in June to wire fraud and copyright infringement in a deal calling for $430,000 in restitution to be paid to the Motion Picture Association of America.

See’s attorney is seeking to avoid a prison sentence, claiming the thefts were fueled by See’s gambling addiction which began when he was a young child, helping his grandmother scratch off instant-win lottery tickets.

Federal prosecutors are asking for prison.

Courts: Mom can sue Philly schools for head-first gym injury

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court says a mom can sue the School District of Philadelphia for injuries her 9-year-old son suffered when he ran head-first into a gymnasium wall.

A Philadelphia judge had dismissed the lawsuit, claiming the district couldn’t be sued under governmental immunity.

But Pennlive.com reports the appeals panel found the school could potentially be found negligent when Jarrett Brewington was hurt in May 2012 at the Walter G. Smith Elementary School.

The boy was running in a relay race when he tripped and fell into a gymnasium wall. Syeta Brewington sued claiming the school should have lined the gymnasium’s walls with safety mats.

The boy suffered a severe concussion and wasn’t allowed to speak or watch TV for three months afterward. He reported memory problems years later.

Oklahoma student in

Penn racist chat is

‘no longer enrolled’

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — University of Oklahoma President David Boren says a student involved in a racist incident at the University of Pennsylvania “is no longer enrolled” at OU.

Boren said in a statement Tuesday that the university has “zero tolerance” for those who take part in racism. Boren said OU will maintain a strong sense of community that values and respects all students.

The Associated Press and other local media outlets have identified several reports of racist incidents at schools since Donald Trump was elected president including a group chat that the Oklahoma student got involved with aimed at black freshmen at Pennsylvania, Trump’s alma mater.

Boren said in a previous statement that university officials were investigating and that it appears the matter did not originate at the University of Oklahoma.

Ben Franklin’s grave pitted from pennies needs makeover

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A fundraising campaign has been launched to save the damaged gravestone of Benjamin Franklin at the Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia.

The Christ Church Preservation Trust tells The Philadelphia Inquirer that the marble ledger tablet marking Franklin’s final resting place has developed a significant crack on top of the pitting caused by the ritual of tossing pennies onto Franklin’s grave.

Tens of thousands of coins are thrown onto the marker each year in tribute of Franklin’s famous adage, “a penny saved, is a penny earned.”

Franklin, who died in 1790, is one of seven signers of the Declaration of Independence buried at the two-acre graveyard across from Independence Mall.

The trust has received grants to restore the gravestone but is seeking another $10,000 for the project.

Inmate to argue mental defect if convicted in guard slaying

WILKES-BARRE (AP) — Attorneys for an inmate charged in the death of a guard at a federal prison in Pennsylvania have filed a motion informing prosecutors that they plan to use a mental disease or defect defense to argue against the death penalty if he’s convicted of first-degree murder.

Jessie Con-ui is charged in the February 2013 stabbing death of Eric Williams at the Canaan federal prison in Waymart.

Authorities say Con-ui was upset after Williams ordered a search of his cell. Williams, of Nanticoke, was stabbed more than 200 times in the attack, which was recorded on video.

Con-ui’s attorneys indicated Monday that they plan to oppose the death penalty if he’s convicted in his April trial. The defense has argued that the attack was prompted by poor treatment of their client.

Big changes coming to beer sales in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG (AP) — Big changes are coming to beer sales in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation Tuesday that will allow the state’s more than 1,000 beer distributors to sell suds in any quantity. That includes individual 32-ounce bottles, four-packs, six-packs and growlers.

The law takes effect in 60 days.

Also, it lets bars sell alcohol starting at 9 a.m. on Sundays, without a requirement to serve food, and allows consumers to legally participate in beer-of-the-month clubs that ship beer directly to homes.

Sporting venues also could sell mixed drinks.

Beer distributors had long sought to loosen restrictions on the beer quantities they could sell.

The changes arrive as state regulators increasingly grant six-pack licenses to convenience stores and after Wolf signed sweeping changes to liquor laws allowing wine sales in grocery stores.

Police: Man killed after trying to drag trooper into median

STRINESTOWN (AP) — State police say a man was shot and killed on a central Pennsylvania interstate after authorities say he tried to drag a state trooper into a cement median.

Authorities say the man fled Tuesday after a traffic stop on Interstate 83 in York County. They say the trooper was on the driver’s side of the vehicle at the time and was dragged about three-tenths of a mile toward a cement median.

Cpl. Ryan Lawrence said the trooper feared for his safety and the public’s and fired at the motorist, striking him.

Police said the suspect was provided medical aid but died at the scene. His name hasn’t been released.

Police said the trooper sustained injuries that didn’t appear to be life-threatening.

Authorities said they would release further details later.