GREENSBURG — A jury has begun hearing opening statements in the trial of a Texas man charged with killing a fellow patron at a western Pennsylvania bar and restaurant last year after they argued about the volume of a television.
The seven-man, five-woman jury picked Monday in Westmoreland County must now decide, primarily, whether 42-year-old Stephen Paul Fromholz, of San Antonio, was too drunk to form a specific intent to kill.
He's charged with shooting 65-year-old Donald Holler after the argument at Fat Daddy's Place in Ligonier last July 11.
Fromholz's attorney contends he's guilty of third-degree murder, which carries a maximum 20- to 40-year sentence, but prosecutors say he committed first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence.
Prosecutors say Fromholz left the bar to get an AR-15 rifle from his truck, which he used to shoot Holler.
CALIFORNIA, Pa. — A Washington County man has been charged with breeding cockfighting roosters, but his attorney says although the man still has the birds, he stopped doing that some time ago.
Seventy-five-year-old Thomas MacFann, of West Pike Run Township, was charged Friday by a state police organized crime task force. He faces a preliminary hearing Wednesday on charges of possessing instruments of crime and animal cruelty.
Authorities seized 92 of 127 roosters found at the farm, along with other paraphernalia — including blades that could be attached to the birds' talons for fighting — during a raid on Aug. 8.
MacFann's attorney, Martin Dietz, says his client raised the birds to fight in the past. Dietz says MacFann doesn't do that anymore though he needs to keep the birds tethered because they're "born fighters" and would otherwise kill each other.
John Kirkpatrick, publisher of The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, announced the changes Tuesday in an email to friends of the newspaper.
The email didn't say which days the paper will be published. It says the change will be accompanied by an expansion of the paper's around-the-clock news coverage online.
Kirkpatrick's email calls the move a major step to ensure the newspaper is a leader "in the world of innovation and solutions."
The newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize this year for its coverage of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
In June, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans said it was switching to three-times-a-week publication.
NY man charged with molesting 2 at Bradford youth home
Officials with Beacon Light Behavioral Health System in Bradford say they can't comment on the allegations against 38-year-old Steven Mesiarik. He lives in Olean, N.Y. just across the border from the facility, which is about 130 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Online court records don't list an attorney for Mesiarik who remained jailed in New York pending his extradition to McKean County, where he was charged Monday.
Bradford police tell The Bradford Era (http://bit.ly/NTZd0J ) that Mesiarik fondled the girls — 14 and 16 — after offering them cigarettes for various "favors" and encouraged them to kiss one another while he watched them back in May.
Information from: The Bradford Era, http://www.bradfordera.com
PITTSBURGH — Food maker H.J. Heinz Co. on Tuesday said strength in emerging markets and a better tax rate will help push its first-quarter earnings above analyst expectations.
The world's biggest ketchup maker expects net income, excluding one-time items, of 85 cents per share. Analysts had expected 80 cents per share, according to FactSet. A year ago, net income totaled 78 cents per share, excluding one-time items.
The Pittsburgh company is scheduled to report its first-quarter results on Wednesday.
Growth in emerging markets, improved productivity and a favorable tax rate all helped results, said Chairman and CEO William Johnson. Heinz is focusing on countries such as Brazil, China, Russia and Indonesia, which are growing faster than the U.S. and Western Europe.
Like most food makers, it is also facing higher costs and has offset that by cutting costs of its own. It has said it will close up to eight factories of its 81 plants worldwide as part of its plan to lower costs and improve productivity.
The update came as the company conducted its annual shareholder meeting in Pittsburgh. At the meeting, Johnson said net income, excluding one-time charges, would rise "despite the headwinds of a still weak economy and adverse foreign currency trends." The stronger dollar lowers the value of overseas sales. That effect amounted to 4 cents per share, Johnson said.
Shares of Heinz rose $1.26, or 2.2 percent, to $57.72 during midday trading. The stock is up about 5 percent since the beginning of the year.
HARFORD, Pa. (AP) — State police say the release of a bull that injured 10 people at a fair in Susquehanna County was an accident.
One of four bulls that got loose at the Harford Fair on Friday knocked over a paraplegic woman as she tried to get away. One of the nine people hospitalized had to be airlifted by a helicopter, the rest were transported by ambulance.
Police said Monday the bulls escaped while being loaded into a trailer. Three were quickly corralled but a fourth was able to get free and roam the grounds, prompted an announcement for fairgoers to seek safety.
Some of the 10 taken to hospitals came in d contact with the bull but others were injured in the rush to get away.
The fair opened as normal on Saturday.
Venango County's DA fires assistant prosecutor
FRANKLIN — A northwestern Pennsylvania district attorney has fired an assistant prosecutor who has been criticized by the state Superior Court for alleged prosecutorial misconduct in two different cases
The Associated Press could not immediately locate a home or private office number Tuesday for attorney James Carbone.
Carbone was fired last week by Venango County District Attorney Marie Veon who has not commented on the decision. Veon did not immediately return a call to her office.
The Superior Court, in two separate cases, found that Carbone prejudiced defendants with "prosecutorial misconduct" including menacing behavior, yelling and pointing his finger in the face of the defendants.
In one case, the county was barred from retrying a sexual assault defendant and in the other case a man convicted of physically abusing a 1-year-old boy was granted a new trial.
State health officials to oversee Magee measures
PITTSBURGH — The Pennsylvania Department of Health says it will monitor any security changes that Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC makes in the wake of an newborn's abduction from the Pittsburgh hospital last week.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (http://bit.ly/RUNr7N ) reports today the health department plans to "ensure the facility has all the proper plans and protocols in place to ensure this type of event does not occur again."
A UPMC spokeswoman declined comment on incident or security at the hospital, which delivers about 10,000 babies annually. UPMC officials had previously said they'd review the event to see if security improvements were warranted.
Police say 19-year-old Breona Moore, the woman jailed in Thursday's kidnapping, told them she picked Magee because its maternity ward as easy to access. Police say she dressed as a nurse to snatch the baby, which was recovered hours later.
Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com