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AP-PA--Pennsylvania News Digest, PA

July 7, 2018

Good afternoon! Here’s a look at AP’s general news coverage today in Pennsylvania. For questions about the state report, contact the Philadelphia bureau at 215-561-1133. Ron Todt is on the desk. Editor Larry Rosenthal can be reached at 215-446-6631 or lrosenthal@ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with updates

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org,



HARRISBURG — One after another, witnesses beat back fear of revealing details many had kept largely private and recounted to grand jurors their story of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests whom they had trusted. As they spoke, many said they felt compassion from the grand jurors in the sweeping investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse and cover-ups in six of Pennsylvania dioceses. And they felt believed. Now, many are eagerly anticipating the public release of the grand jury report, which is pending clearance from Pennsylvania’s highest court as justices sort through arguments by current and former clergy named in the document that releasing it would violate their constitutional rights. By Marc Levy. SENT: About 790 words.



PITTSBURGH — Beth Roncevich’s father was in his last few days of life, lying in bed in his Indiana Township home with her and her mother somberly by his side. Though his eyes were closed while terminally ill from lung disease on that day four years ago, laughter unexpectedly emerged from Albin Langus. “I said ‘Dad, what are you laughing at?’ He said, ‘Oh, we’re all together.’ ” The bewildered Ms. Roncevich and her mother wondered who and what he was seeing. He was even giggling. “He said, ‘Everybody’s together and we’re all just having a wonderful time. We’re having so much fun’ ... and those were the last words he spoke,” she recounted last week between her visits to patients of UPMC Family Hospice and Palliative Care. Now a hospice nurse, Roncevich has become accustomed to hearing of such encounters. In particular, say she and others who work with the dying, individuals might report a vision, hallucination or dream of someone who preceded them in death. It is often a long-lost loved one — mothers are most common, but fathers, siblings, grandparents and even pets also frequently show up, seemingly welcoming them to whatever lies next. Gary Rotstein, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


WEST CHESTER — Emily Scott has been part of the West Chester University family for a long time. In her first year of life, West Chester students learning about child development regularly visited Emily and her twin sister, Elizabeth, at the family home in East Goshen Township. At age 3, Emily took swimming classes on campus. She’s since participated in nutrition, fitness, and dance programs. So when it came time to think about college, West Chester was the logical choice. But Emily has Down syndrome, and the state university she had grown to love had no place for her or others like her. That changes this fall. Emily and one young man will become the first full-time students with intellectual disabilities at West Chester. And with that move, West Chester reflects what has been an exponential growth in such college offerings, from 25 in 2004 to 270 colleges welcoming students with intellectual disabilities. Susan Snyder, The Philadelphia Inquirer.


WASHINGTON, Pa. — Paul Petroskey - also known as “Weird Paul” - had been waiting for something like YouTube for decades. Petroskey considers himself the “Original Vlogger.” The 47-year-old Bethel Park native had hours of video tapes that he recorded in the ’80s and ’90s that included homemade music videos starring his family, a review of McDonald’s breakfast items, homemade award shows and whatever else the teenager found interesting. “As soon as YouTube came about, I said, ‘This would be great. We didn’t have this when I was making these back in the ’80s,’” Petroskey says. His channel now reaches more than 16,000 subscribers from across the world with videos created in Petroskey’s Brookline home and was even spun-off into a local TV show, “The Weird Paul Variety Show,” that ran on WEPA until the channel ceased operations last year. Justin Channell , (Washington) Observer-Reporter.


MCSHERRYSTOWN — John Sherdel remembers catching pop flies from his grandfather at their home in McSherrystown. Bound to a wheelchair and decades removed from his professional baseball heyday, Bill Sherdel had quite the story to tell. Before tossing baseballs to his grandchildren, he did it on the nation’s biggest stages against players like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. But Sherdel would not talk about those days unless he was prompted, according to his grandson. He was far too humble.” He wouldn’t go around and say, ‘I did this, I did that,‘” John said. “If you didn’t ask him, you didn’t know it.” John’s grandfather, best known as “Wee Willie” Sherdel, will now have the story of his illustrious professional baseball career told through the new book written by Penn Township resident John Coulson. “Wee Willie Sherdel: The Cardinals’ Winningest Left Hander,” explores Sherdel’s pitching career from 1917 to 1932, competing in two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals and winning one in 1926. Dustin B Levy, Hanover Evening Sun.


ELIZABETHTOWN — There’s a Star Barn inside the Star Barn on Stone Gables Estate. The original barn, built near Middletown in 1877, was carefully disassembled, moved and rebuilt to exacting standards at a new location near Elizabethtown. But just slapping up the old woodwork wasn’t sufficient, according to new owner David Abel. The iconic barn, known worldwide for its unique architecture, needed a host of improvements to restore the sagging structure, meet modern design codes and preserve it for future generations. “Basically, we built a second Star Barn,” Abel said. “We cocooned the original Star Barn with new wood. It’s a complete second building.” Although nearly 90 percent of the original Star Barn was reused to rebuild it, Abel said an entirely new Star Barn was built around it — in part to protect the original structure, and in part to to conceal the steel beams, wiring, insulation, climate control, glass and other amenities that a modern structure requires. Tom Knapp, LNP newspaper.


MISSING FISHERMAN — Search and rescue crews have been trying to find the body of a fisherman who went missing two weeks ago at a lake in central Pennsylvania.



PITTSBURGH — The Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates continue a three-game weekend series on Saturday. Jameson Taillon (5-6) starts against Philadelphia’s Jake Arrietta (5-6). UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game begins at 4:05 p.m. EDT.


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