WILMINGTON, Del. — A Pennsylvania man accused of trying to buy a Delaware woman's baby for $15,000 faces sentencing after pleading guilty to falsifying a birth certificate.
John Gavaghan faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine at Friday's sentencing.
Gavaghan's co-defendant, Bridget Wismer, was sentenced Thursday to a mental health treatment program after pleading guilty but mentally ill to a charge of falsifying a birth certificate.
A Wilmington judge sentenced Wismer to five years in prison but suspended that sentence for 18 months of intensive mental health probation.
Prosecution wraps in tattoo artist child sex case
DOYLESTOWN — Attorneys for a suburban Philadelphia tattoo artist charged with sex crimes involving more than a dozen children are set to begin presenting their defense.
The prosecution wrapped up its case against Walter Meyerle on Thursday.
Meyerle's attorneys can begin their defense on Friday, although it may not take long. The defense has opted for the judge to review evidence and issue a verdict that could be appealed based on pretrial rulings.
Over four days Bucks County prosecutor Jennifer Schorn presented to the court victim testimony, a child pornography collection allegedly seized from Meyerle's home and text messages he allegedly exchanged with one teen.
Authorities say Meyerle, of Falls Township, traded a tattoo for sex with a 15-year-old girl last year, sparking an investigation that led to additional charges.
Bikes motoring through western Md. for 9-11 event
HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Hundreds of motorcyclists are riding across parts of western Maryland and northern Virginia as part of a Sept. 11 anniversary event.
They were scheduled to leave Shanksville, Pa., Friday morning. Their route includes parts of interstates 68, 70 and 66.
This is the 11th annual ride organized by America's 911 Foundation to support emergency responders and honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
On Thursday, they visited the Flight 93 crash site memorial near Shanksville. They're spending Friday night near the Pentagon, where another jetliner controlled by terrorists crashed.
The ride continues Saturday up Interstate 95 to New York City and the World Trade Center. A ceremony is planned Sunday at the memorial to victims of the two jetliners that crashed there.
Scranton leaders confident in recovery plan
SCRANTON — The mayor and city council president in financially struggling Scranton say they're confident they'll receive approval for a compromise financial recovery plan after a long standoff that forced temporary pay cuts for hundreds of workers.
Mayor Chris Doherty attended a city council meeting Thursday for the first time in several years after being invited to sit in following last month's agreement on a recovery plan.
After the meeting, The Times-Tribune of Scranton reports Doherty and council President Janet Evans said they're still modifying the plan to address concerns raised by the city's recovery coordinator but ultimately expect the plan to be approved.
Last month Doherty cut the pay of about 400 workers to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for one pay period because of cash-flow problems.
Ohio man dies in fall from wax plant roof
TITUSVILLE — Authorities say an Ohio man has been killed in a fall while working on the roof of a wax products plant in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Crawford County Coroner Scott Schell tells the Titusville Herald that the victim of Thursday's workplace accident was 43-year-old Mark Allen Whitely, of Cleveland.
The coroner says Whitely was removing beams from the plant's roof to make way for new equipment being moved into the International Waxes Corp. plant in Titusville. That's about 85 miles north of Pittsburgh.
The coroner says Whitely was wearing fall protection equipment, but had removed it briefly so he could move from one position on the roof to another. That's when a beam gave way and he fell.
The accident happened about 12:50 p.m. Whitely was pronounced dead at Titusville Area Hospital.
Ex-dog law chief claims critics defamed her
HARRISBURG — The former head of dog law enforcement in Pennsylvania is suing an animal rescue agency among others, claiming defamation led to her losing her job.
Jessie L. Smith is suing Chester County-based Main Line Animal Rescue, a blogger and two newspaper companies, saying they all played a role in her losing her job as the state's special deputy secretary for dog law enforcement.
Smith's suit alleges her critics falsely claimed she took bribes and was guilty of other misconduct. Her attorney told The Patriot-News of Harrisburg Thursday the allegations went beyond criticism to slander.
Smith says stories the newspaper companies ran furthered the damage by including links to sites where defamatory material was posted.
Main Line Animal Rescue founder William Smith says the lawsuit is an attack on free speech rights.
Voter ID plaintiff gets card amid appeal
PHILADELPHIA — One of the lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit to block Pennsylvania's new Voter ID law has been granted the identification necessary to cast her ballot despite lacking the documentation required to get the card.
Ninety-three-year-old Viviette Applewhite received her temporary identification card on Thursday, the same day her attorneys appealed a judge's ruling upholding the law Applewhite sued over.
Applewhite, of Philadelphia, testified in July that she was unable to get the necessary documents for an ID because she was adopted early in life, so the name on her birth certificate doesn't match her other paperwork.
State officials say PennDOT is committed to working with applicants on a case-by-case basis.
Applewhite's attorneys questioned the state's motives in granting a card to a woman suing over the law, but The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Applewhite wasn't apparently recognized by the clerk.
Historic farmer's market shut down over pests
HARRISBURG — Harrisburg's historic Broad Street Market has been temporarily shut down following inspections that found rodents and roaches.
The city shut down the market Thursday after inspectors found the pests. Now the market must clean the building and hire an exterminator.
City officials say they expect the market to reopen sometime next week.
The Broad Street Market bills itself as the oldest continuously operated market house in the country. It traces its history back to 1860.
Market board member Bert Keisling apologized to customers for the inconvenience and promised to correct the problem.