NEW CASTLE — A western Pennsylvania man accused of killing a puppy during a fight with his girlfriend says police killed the dog, not him.
Leroy Graham had been due in court Wednesday, but told reporters after his hearing was continued that an officer killed the puppy after responding to a report of a fight outside their New Castle apartment.
Graham's girlfriend told police he killed the dog and choked after she was late coming back from a shopping trip on July 11. Police say they have surveillance footage that shows Graham throwing the puppy against a car.
The 54-year-old Graham remains jailed at Lawrence County Prison on charges of assault, harassment and cruelty to animals.
Police: Man made 911 call during drug deal
SCRANTON — Police say a northeastern Pennsylvania man accidentally dialed 911 during a drug deal, leading to the entire conversation being recorded and his subsequent arrest.
Scranton police say they arrested 24-year-old Justin Kryzanowski on Wednesday after being contacted by dispatchers who told them a conversation about narcotics could be heard over an open line.
Investigators say they tracked down Kryzanowski at his home and found syringes filled with the opioid dependence medication Suboxone and various prescription drugs. The Times-Tribune of Scranton reports officers also found Kryzanowski's cellphone, which matched the one that called 911.
Arraignment information for Kryzanowski wasn't immediately available.
Penn State announces background check policies
STATE COLLEGE — New hires and volunteers who work with children at Penn State University will have to undergo background checks under enhanced safety policies set up in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky abuse scandal.
The policy overhaul combines previous rules and applies to all new hires, no matter if the position includes working with children. The rules also apply to contractors, graduate assistants and adjunct faculty.
Associate Vice President for Human Resources Susan Basso says consistent background check policies are imperative to ensuring the safety of students, staff and visitors.
The Centre Daily Times reports Penn State's announcement says the university also has the power to conduct background checks on current employees when it has "reasonable grounds" to do so.
Sandusky is awaiting sentencing on 45 criminal counts.
Justice Melvin opposes joining sister's case
PITTSBURGH — Suspended Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin wants her campaign corruption trial separated from that of her sister and former aide.
Melvin's attorney says in a court filing Wednesday her case is "fundamentally dissimilar" from that involving her sister, Janine.
Authorities say Melvin illegally used her taxpayer-funded staff for campaign purposes while she was a Superior Court justice seeking a spot on the state's highest court. Janine Orie is accused of directing the allegedly illegal political activities of Melvin's staff and that of a third sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie.
Allegheny County prosecutors want Melvin and Janine Orie tried together, saying the cases are based on the same acts.
Jane Orie is in prison for misusing her own staff for political work, but was acquitted of using her staff to aid Melvin's campaigns.
Michelle Obama campaigning in Philly, Bethlehem
PHILADELPHIA — The nation's first lady is hitting the campaign trail in eastern Pennsylvania.
Michelle Obama will stump for the president's re-election on Thursday in the Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley areas.
She'll first hold a rally in west Philadelphia at the University of the Sciences' athletic center.
Obama will then travel to suburban Fort Washington, where she'll greet supporters at Upper Dublin High School.
Obama will end her trip with remarks at Moravian College in Bethlehem.
Pennsylvania voted for President Barack Obama in 2008. However, the state has a strict new voter identification law that critics say will disenfranchise likely Democratic supporters in November.
The law is being challenged in state court.
State: Hospital didn't report suspected abuse
HARRISBURG — State health officials say a central Pennsylvania hospital failed to properly report cases of suspected child sex abuse.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health says Carlisle Regional Medical Center staff didn't report three cases of suspected abuse, including two involving children four or younger.
Hospital CEO John Kristel denies staff failed to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities. He blamed paperwork problems Wednesday for the discrepancy.
Kristel says the investigation started after a 17-year-old patient was told to go to another hospital because Carlisle Regional Medical Center didn't have a specialist available for her at the time. Kristel acknowledges the hospital didn't get the patient to sign the appropriate waiver.
Kristel says one of the cases involving the younger patients was reported, while there was no evidence of sexual abuse in the other case.