AROUND THE STATE

Man arrested over brass theft from historic Philly building

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police say a man is in custody for damaging an exterior staircase at a historically significant building in downtown Philadelphia.

Tuesday’s theft of a 6-foot section of brass railing from the Union League of Philadelphia sent brick and stone from the grand, curved staircase tumbling to the sidewalk.

Police on Thursday say they’ve arrested 50-year-old Reginald Phillips and charged him with criminal mischief, theft and related offenses.

They say Phillips took the brass to a local scrap yard, but a piece of the railing has been recovered. Damage is estimated at $100,000.

No attorney information for Phillips is available in online court documents.

The group’s 151-year-old French Renaissance-style building sits a couple blocks from City Hall. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Prosecutor: Man, 26, woman, 20, found slain in home

PENN RUN (AP) — A prosecutor says a 26-year-old man and 20-year-old woman have been found slain in a western Pennsylvania home.

Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty says more information will be released at a press briefing later Thursday.

State police and the county coroner also are investigating the scene in Cherryhill Township, about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh. The victims’ names haven’t been released.

The incident was reported Thursday about 12:40 a.m.

Police aren’t saying if they have a suspect or how the victims were killed.

Authorities were reportedly called after neighbors heard a disturbance. One neighbor went to investigate and was told by someone they didn’t recognize that there was a fight ongoing.

Neighbors say the victims were a couple and had at least one child in the home.

Postal Service: Dog attacks on carrier halt mail delivery

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service says it’s halting mail delivery to one block in western Pennsylvania because a carrier has repeatedly been attacked by a pit bull.

Renee Scholato says her dog, Tank, is just friendly, though she acknowledges the animal sometimes escapes from her home and did jump on the carrier. But she says the dog wasn’t attacking or biting.

No matter.

The Postal Service has told residents that mail won’t be delivered to Scholato’s block in Washington, Pennsylvania, until the dog is properly restrained. Until then, those residents can pick up their mail at the post office, where it will be held for 30 days.

Neighbor Brenda Dogle says she’s upset about being punished for someone else’s dog, saying neighbors “have to suffer because of one house.”

School board reaches deal over ‘In God We Trust’ push

WAYNESBORO (AP) — A Pennsylvania school board has agreed to post historical documents in school lobbies as a compromise to a businessman’s offer to place plaques reading “In God We Trust” in all classrooms.

The Waynesboro Area School Board made the decision Tuesday night to hang documents with the national motto, as well as copies of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.

The move was a compromise with local businessman Tom McCloud, who offered in March to donate the plaques. His offer sparked a vigorous public discussion both for and against the plaques at the district about 65 miles south of Harrisburg, near the Maryland line.

McCloud felt the plaques were fitting, since the motto was put into wide use by Pennsylvania’s 13th governor, James Pollock, while he was director of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.

3 vehicles hit by rocks thrown onto Pennsylvania’s I-376

BEAVER (AP) — State police are investigating after three vehicles were hit with rocks thrown or dropped onto Interstate 376 in western Pennsylvania.

Troopers from the Beaver barracks say two food service trucks were hit with rocks shortly before 1 a.m. Monday in Brighton Township. About 30 minutes later, a passenger car was hit with a large piece of limestone that hit its hood and went through the windshield.

Police didn’t report injuries in either incident.

In July 2014, a Uniontown, Ohio teacher was hit by a nearly 5-pound rock dropped from an overpass onto Interstate 80 in central Pennsylvania. She lost an eye and eventually had surgeries for other debilitating injuries. Four young men were prosecuted in that case and the teacher’s husband later killed himself.

Finding of the shrews: Animals’ nest causes ‘musty’ school

MCDONALD (AP) — These shrews haven’t been tamed, but they have been located and blamed for the musty smell that plagued a western Pennsylvania high school for weeks.

Fort Cherry School District Superintendent Jill Jacoby even crawled through a trench under the Washington County high school — finding nothing — before a nest of shrews were found more than a week ago in the corner of a classroom, behind a furniture fixture.

The small, mole-like mammals have smelly saliva, which they use to paralyze and subdue their prey.

Crews spent three weeks checking for mold, mildew or other causes of the musty smell.