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This Hour: Latest Pennsylvania news, sports, business and entertainment

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Parts of Pennsylvania's I-80, I-380 to see 70 mph

HIGHSPIRE, Pa. (AP) - Speed limits on more than 100 miles of two interstates maintained by Pennsylvania's highway department will rise to 70 mph for the first time.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said Wednesday that the sections include 88 miles on Interstate 80 in northern Pennsylvania's Clearfield and Clinton counties and 21 miles of Interstate 380 in northeastern Pennsylvania's Lackawanna and Monroe counties.

The change is to take effect the week of Aug. 11.

The announcement comes a day after the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission raised that roadway's speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph on a 97-mile stretch in central and eastern Pennsylvania.

Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch (shohk) says other highways could see increased speed limits next spring or summer. About 35 other states already allow speeds of 70 mph or more.


Police: Man found dead by fiancee had been shot

CORAOPOLIS, Pa. (AP) - County police are treating a Pittsburgh-area man's death as a homicide now that an autopsy shows he was shot in the head and neck before his fiancee returned home to find him dead.

Allegheny County police say 59-year-old John Parkes Jr. was last seen alive when his fiancee left their Kennedy Township home about 11 a.m. Monday. She returned to find him wounded on their living room floor about four hours later.

County homicide detectives have said there was no sign anybody forced their way into the home before Parkes' fiancee returned. Neighbors have been surprised because Parkes lived in the middle-class bedroom community for years and appeared to get along well with his neighbors.


1 killed, 1 wounded at Pa. home being remodeled

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Authorities in western Pennsylvania say a contractor was shot to death and a man he worked with was injured outside a vacant home being remodeled in Pittsburgh.

Public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said gunfire erupted shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday at the property in the Homewood section of the city.

Arriving officers found the victim's body in the street with a gun next to him and numerous shell casings in the area.

The Allegheny County medical examiner's office said 39-year-old Glenn Walker Jr. of McKeesport was pronounced dead minutes later.

Toler said at least three people were discussing work at the two-story dwelling when an argument began.

The injured man was treated at UPMC Presbyterian for a gunshot wound to the eye. Investigators were trying to locate the third person.


Work van crash in central Pa. kills 2, injures 2

HELLAM, Pa. (AP) - Authorities in central Pennsylvania have released the names of two men killed in the crash of a work van.

Officials in York County said the van was heading west on Route 30 in Hellam Township when it left the road at about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday and rolled several times.

Coroner Pam Gay said the crash killed 36-year-old Jerry Eady and 52-year-old Jack Mason III. She said the West Manchester Township residents were ejected from the vehicle.

Township police chief Mark Sowers said the van driver and a third passenger were taken to hospitals in stable condition.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.


Merged sentences sought in NE Pa. slaying case

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - A man convicted in the death of a man whose body was found in a sport utility vehicle at the bottom of a northeastern Pennsylvania ravine last summer is asking a judge to combine his murder and conspiracy sentences.

Twenty-four-year-old Jason Dominick was convicted in Lackawanna County last month of third-degree murder in the death of 24-year-old Frank Bonacci, whose body was found in an SUV on a ledge above Roaring Brook in July 2013.

The (Scranton) Times-Tribune reports that defense attorney Bernard Brown argued in a sentencing memorandum filed Tuesday that the verdict didn't specify whether jurors believed his client pulled the trigger. He also argued that the conspiracy was part of the murder.

Twenty-four-year-old Neil Pal was earlier convicted of first-degree murder in the case.


Man who died after jumping into Pa. pond ID'd

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - An eastern Pennsylvania coroner has released the name of a man who died after jumping off a rope swing into a pond.

Police in Allentown in Lehigh County were called at about 5 p.m. Tuesday to the pond near the South Mountain Reservoir.

Witnesses said a man surfaced after jumping off the makeshift rope swing into the water, but they said he appeared to be having difficulty and went under again.

Coroner Scott Grim on Wednesday identified the man as 24-year-old Matthew Ruch of Allentown.

An autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause and manner of death.


Pennsylvania cutlery firm celebrates 125 years

BRADFORD, Pa. (AP) - A northwestern Pennsylvania cutlery firm is celebrating its 125th anniversary, along with $10 million in renovations to its plant.

W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. was formed by four brothers in 1889 in upstate New York. The company moved to Bradford, Pennsylvania - its current location about 130 miles northeast of Pittsburgh - in 1905.

The company is now owned by Zippo Manufacturing Co., which makes the iconic cigarette lighters best known for their distinctive metal cases.

As part of Wednesday's anniversary celebration, Zippo is spending nearly $10 million to renovate the Case Cutlery factory, which was built in 1975. That plant is the third built by case since it relocated to Bradford.

More than 2,000 U.S. stores are authorized Case dealers, including Cabela's, Bass Pro, Field & Stream and Dick's Sporting Goods.


Pittsburgh curbs tailgating before PNC Park show

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh officials and those who control parking at the city's sports stadium lots are limiting tailgating hours in hopes of avoiding rowdy behavior and mountains of trash when country music star Jason Aldean performs at PNC Park on Saturday.

Tailgating will be limited to five hours before the 7 p.m. show, meaning stadium lots won't open until 2 p.m.

That move and others come in response to heaps of trash and scores of emergency calls at last month's Luke Bryan concert at Heinz Field.

The city will also use more police and Alco Parking Corp. says it will supply more portable restrooms - 200 - in hopes of keeping the lots clean.

Officials say the pre-event changes will be reviewed and may impact how the city polices tailgating before Pirates, Steelers and Penguins games as well.


Cops: Boro worker sold road materials to another

CRESSON, Pa. (AP) - The former road foreman of a central Pennsylvania borough has been charged with stealing more than 100 tons of road salt and anti-skid material from that municipality - and selling it to a contractor who did road work for a neighboring borough.

The defense attorney for the former Cresson employee, 58-year-old Richard Latterner, didn't immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.

The Altoona Mirror reports Latterner's resignation was accepted earlier this month and that he was charged after a state audit of the borough's liquid fuels tax money uncovered the thefts.

Police say Latterner sold the stolen materials to a contractor hired by Loretto Borough to plow and salt its streets.

Latterner has waived his right to a preliminary hearing and faces formal arraignment Aug. 19 in Cambria County Common Pleas Court.


Police, Pennsylvania farmer seeking missing bull

MERCER, Pa. (AP) - It's no bull.

State police and a western Pennsylvania cattle owner are looking for a 2-year-old bull that has been missing for more than a week.

Kevin Minor says the Watusi bull should be easy to spot: He's about 400 pounds, with a solid red hide, and 3-foot-long horns.

Minor took the bull to a friend's farm near Mercer, about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh, hoping it would mate with a buffalo there.

The man who owns that farm, Joe Gaburri, says the animal was running with three buffalo for about two weeks before it turned up missing July 14. Gaburri says the bull is docile and wouldn't have jumped a fence, so he mowed his fields thinking he might find the bull's body, but didn't.


Woman: Backyard near turnpike not a rest stop

STAHLSTOWN, Pa. (AP) - The Pennsylvania Turnpike has asked state police to increase patrols near an area of the toll road where a woman says she can see motorists exposing and relieving themselves near her backyard.

Crystal King tells WTAE-TV her backyard in Stahlstown, Somerset County, is separated from the turnpike by only a short fence.

As a result, King's 11-year-old son and other children in her yard are often able to see people who pull off the road to relieve themselves instead of using assigned rest areas. Stahlstown is about 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

King says one woman who stopped to urinate got angry when King yelled at her to stop, and wound up throwing the human waste at her.

Turnpike officials say they've spoken to King and have asked police for more patrols.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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