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2005 Jul
Pennsylvania legislators increase their salaries 16 percent to 34 percent to at least $81,050, more than any state except California, and crafted the package in secret without debate or public scrutiny. They also found a way around a constitutional provision barring them from collecting any salary increase during the term in which it is approved. Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell signed the bill into law. A lawsuit was soon filed in state court challenging the legality of paying the raises early as unvouchered expenses, though no hearing date has been set. A ruling against the unvouchered expenses would nullify the entire law, including their raises.
Links: Pennsylvania, Govm’t Scandal     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Sep 21
A grand jury report in Philadelphia charged 2 former Catholic leaders, Cardinal John Krol and Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, with a coverup of sexual abuse and named 63 priests with records of abusive behaviour. No criminal charges could be filed because of limits of state law.
Links: Pennsylvania, Clergy Sex     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Sep 21
Molly Yard (93), former National Organization for Women president died in Pittsburgh.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Women     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Sep 24
Monica Lozada-Rivadineira (26), an immigrant from Bolivia, disappeared in NYC. Her daughter, Valery, was found in the evening wandering barefoot in Queens. On Oct 6 Police found her body in a Pennsylvania landfill and police said she was killed by her boyfriend. In 2006 Cesar Ascarruna (32) pleaded guilty to manslaughter and reckless endangerment. He was sentenced to 32 years in prison.
Links: Bolivia, USA, NYC, Pennsylvania, Murder, Migrant     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Oct 1
A world record pumpkin measured 1,469 pounds at the Pennsylvania Giant Pumpkin Growers Weighoff.
Links: Writer, Pennsylvania, Food     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2005 Oct 4
Philadelphia selected EarthLink to run its municipal wireless system.
Links: Pennsylvania, Telecom     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Oct 7
John Rigas and his son, founders of bankrupt Adelphia Communications, were indicted for failure to pay some $300 million in taxes.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Taxes, Corp. Scandal     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Oct 31
A transit strike in Philadelphia brought the city’s buses, subways and trolleys to a halt.
Links: Pennsylvania     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Nov 8
Pennsylvania voters came down hard on school board members who backed a statement on intelligent design being read in biology class, ousting eight Republicans and replacing them with Democrats who want the concept stripped from the science curriculum.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Education     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Nov 13
In Lititz, Pennsylvania, David G. Ludwig (18) killed 14-year-old Kara Beth Borden's parents, Michael F. and Cathryn Lee Borden, after they and their daughter argued about her curfew. David and Kara were arrested Nov 14 in Indiana following a police chase and crash. On June 14, 2006, Ludwig agreed to a plea deal and was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment without chance of parole.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Murder, Indiana, Teens Amuck     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2005 Nov 15
Harold Wilson of Philadelphia was acquitted, based on DNA evidence, of a triple homicide after serving sixteen years in prison.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Murder, DNA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Nov 17
Pennsylvania Democratic congressman John Murtha argued that it was time to bring US troops home from Iraq.
Links: Iraq, USA, Pennsylvania     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Nov 18
In Pennsylvania an oil painting by Jackson Pollock and a silkscreen by Andy Warhol were stolen from the Everhart Museum by thieves who shattered a glass door in the back of the building. The thieves had disappeared by the time police arrived, four minutes after the alarm sounded at 2:30 a.m.
Links: Artist, Pennsylvania, Museums, Robbery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Dec 6
Philadelphia won the first NHL scoreless game that was decided by a shootout, beating Calgary 1-0.
Links: Canada, USA, Pennsylvania, Hockey     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Dec 20
A US federal court in Pennsylvania ruled it was unconstitutional to teach schoolchildren the intelligent design theory of life as an alternative to evolution, dealing a blow to religious conservatives. Local parents had sued the Dover, Pa., school board after the board required that ninth-grade biology students be read a statement critical of evolution.

Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Education     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2005 Dec 23
In a NYC probe, first reported by the Daily News in October, authorities confirmed this week that investigators found paperwork indicating that bones of British broadcaster Alistair Cooke had been removed and sold by Biomedical Tissue Services, before he was cremated in 2004. Human bone, skin and tendons were allegedly removed from the bodies of hundreds of others without required permission from their families. The Brooklyn case stemmed from a deal struck between Michael Mastromarino (42), a Fort Lee, NJ, dentist who started Biomedical Tissue Services, and Joseph Nicelli (49), an embalmer and funeral parlor operator from Staten Island. In 2006 seven funeral directors pleaded guilty to undisclosed charges and agreed to cooperate with investigators. In 2008 Mastromarino pleaded guilty to hundreds of counts of abusing corpses, forgery, theft and other allegations stemming from the operation, which he ran with 3 Philadelphia funeral directors.
Links: USA, NYC, Pennsylvania, New Jersey     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005
In Argentina scientists discovered fossils of an 85-foot-long dinosaur that lived from 84 to 66 million years ago. After 4 years of excavations the fossils were shipped to Philadelphia. In 2014 the giant and a smaller speciman were dubbed Dreadnoughtus schrani, after a battleship and Adam Schram, an entrepreneur who financed the research.
Links: Argentina, Pennsylvania, Dinosaur     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Jan 3
In Pennsylvania the Dover School Board rescinded its policy of presenting intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in high school biology classes.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Evolution     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Jan 4
In a triple-overtime game that began Jan. 3 and finished after midnight, No. 3 Penn State beat No. 22 Florida State 26-23 in the Orange Bowl.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Jan 22
The Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC title game over the Denver Broncos 34-17. The Seattle Seahawks claimed the NFC title over the Carolina Panthers 34-14.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2006 Jan 25
It was reported that Wyoming rancher Allen Cook (57), with no connection to the University of Pittsburgh, has given the school 4,700 acres of land littered with dinosaur fossils.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Dinosaur     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Feb 5
In Detroit, Mich., the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl over the Seattle Seahawks 21-10.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Washington, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Feb 23
A New Zealand teenager hacked into the University of Pennsylvania computer system. Owen Thor Walker (18), known by his online name "AKILL," also was linked to a network accused of infiltrating 1.3 million computers and skimming millions of dollars from victims' bank accounts. In 2008 Walker was ordered to pay more than $11,000 in fines but avoided a conviction so that he can help police solve computer crimes.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Internet, New Zealand, Robbery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Feb 27
Connecticut state officials said Venezuela will provide 4.8 million gallons of heating oil at a 40% discount to households that qualify for state home heat assistance. Venezuela has also sent shipments to Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Vermont. The Bronx in New York City also joined the program.
Links: USA, Oil, NYC, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Apr 12
Police checking on a home in Leola, Pennsylvania, discovered a gruesome scene: the bodies of six people, some wrapped in sheets and blankets in the basement, and blood, bone fragments and a hammer upstairs. Jesse Dee Wise (21) was charged the next day for the murder of 6 relatives.

Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2006 May 11
The Philadelphia City Council unanimously approved a plan to blanket the city's 135 square miles with a high-speed wireless Internet connection, a measure the mayor is expected to sign soon.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Internet     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Jun 29
East Coast rains, which began over the weekend, have been blamed for five deaths in Pennsylvania, four in Maryland, one in Virginia and three in New York.
Links: USA, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, WeatherUS     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Jul 11
The American League edged the National League 3-2 in the All-Star Game in Pittsburgh.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Baseball     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Jul 13
Hazleton, Pa., passed Mayor Louis Barletta’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act in an effort to get rid of undocumented immigrants. In August federal lawsuits were filed against Hazleton and other local governments for attempting to regulate immigration. A 1976 US Supreme Court decision said regulation of immigration is exclusively a federal power. In 2007 a federal judge struck down the Hazleton anti-illegal immigration law.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Supreme Court     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Jul 18
A heat wave in the US left at least 7 people dead including 5 in Oklahoma and 2 in Pennsylvania.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, WeatherUS     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2006 Aug 4
In Philadelphia Danieal Kelly (14), a disabled girl, was found dead in her mother's squalid house covered with bone-deep, maggot-infested bedsores. She weighed 42 pounds. In 2008 4 social workers were among 9 people charged in relation to her death. In 2008 Andrea Kelly, the mother, was charged with murder and Daniel, the father, was charged with child endangerment. Both parents retained lawyers who filed suits against their criminal co-defendants, blaming them for the girl's demise. In 2009 mother Andrea Kelly pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20-40 years in prison. In 2010 case worker Julius Murray was sentenced to 11 years in prison on fraud and obstruction in the case. He had skipped visits and still faced involuntary manslaughter charges.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Kids     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Aug 24
Ralph Schoenstein (73), American humorist, writer and NPR commentator, died in Philadelphia. His 18 books included “Fatherhood” (1987), ghost written for Bill Cosby.
Links: USA, Writer, Pennsylvania     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Sep 6
Philadelphia’s Art Commission voted 6-2 to move a 2,000-pound bronze statue of Rocky Balboa, commissioned by actor Sylvester Stallone, out of storage and onto a street-level pedestal near the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Museums     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Sep 17
In Pennsylvania 5 Duquesne basketball players were shot and wounded during an apparent act of random violence on campus. As of 2007 two alleged gunmen and two women who allegedly helped facilitate the shooting awaited trial.
Links: Pennsylvania, Basketball     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Oct 2
In Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, Charles Carl Roberts IV (32), a local truck driver, lined at least 11 girls against a blackboard and shot them in the head at a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County. He shot himself as police stormed the schoolhouse. Two young students were killed, along with a female teacher's aide who was slightly older than the students. Seven others, most shot at point-blank range, were taken to hospitals, and two of them died early the next day.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Murder, Mad Man, Kids     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2006 Oct 4
A Philadelphia jury awarded a woman $1 million and her husband $500,000 in compensatory damages after finding that Wyeth's hormone replacement drug Prempro was a cause of her breast cancer. In the first federal Prempro trial, a jury last month in Little Rock, Arkansas found Wyeth was not negligent and had adequately warned patients and doctors of the cancer risk associated with the drug. Wyeth faced some 5,000 lawsuits involving its hormone replacement drugs.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Pharma     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Oct 20
In Pennsylvania 24 rail cars carrying ethanol derailed and 9 caught fire on a bridge over the Beaver River in New Brighton, 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.
Links: Environment, Pennsylvania, Train Crash     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Nov 16
A state regulatory board approved Gov. Ed Rendell's proposal to make deeper cuts in mercury emissions from Pennsylvania's coal-fired power plants, despite opposition from power plants and mining companies.
Links: USA, Environment, Pennsylvania     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Dec 20
Pennsylvania cleared the way for 2 slot machine casino licenses in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Dec 22
Rafael Robb (56), tenured economics professor at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, bludgeoned his wife (39) to death in Norristown. In 2007 he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2006 Dec 29
In Allentown, Pa., a fire swept through 4 downtown row houses killing 5 people. An extension cord overload was blamed.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Fire     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Dec
Javon Thompson (19 months) was starved to death in Baltimore after adults of a cult called 1 Mind Ministries stopped feeding him, in part because he refused to say amen after meals. In April 2007 police found his remains in a suitcase in Philadelphia. In 2008 his mother and 3 cult members were charged with murder.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006
An auto accident in Pennsylvania that left 2 men dead was later attributed to a defective replacement tire from China. In 2007 it was estimated that some 450,000 tires imported by Foreign Tire Sales Inc. of New Jersey from Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. were defective.
Links: China, Pennsylvania, Cars     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006
In Turkey Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim preacher, was cleared in absentia on charges of undermining secularism. Gulen had emigrated some years earlier and set up residence in Pennsylvania, from where he led a network of followers active in education.
Links: Turkey, USA, Pennsylvania, Islam     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Feb 2
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. closed Metropolitan Savings Bank of Pittsburgh and approved the takeover of its insured deposits by another Pittsburgh bank. This marked the first failure of a federally insured financial institution since June 2004.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Banking     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2007 Feb 12
In Philadelphia, Penn., 3 men were shot to death in a marketing company conference room and another was critically injured by a gunman who killed himself as police closed in. The gunman had put a gig sum in a failed venture.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Murder, Mad Man     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Feb 15
Hundreds of drivers became stranded on a stretch of eastern Pennsylvania that had been hit by a monster storm. The National Guard was called in to deliver food and other necessities to a 50-mile line of vehicles trapped on I-78.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, WeatherUS     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Feb 17
In southwestern Pennsylvania fire swept through a house in Waynesburg, killing six young children and a woman and injuring one other person.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Fire     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Apr 10
In Panama the charred and mutilated body of Staten Island businesswoman Toni Grossi Abrams (57) was found on the outskirts of Panama City. Debra Ann Ridgley (56) of Pennsylvania, was later arrested as a suspect in the killing but had not been formally charged. Police searched for two other suspects identified as Colombian men, one of whom has previous drug charges against him.
Links: Panama, NYC, Pennsylvania, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Jun 19
James Cockayne (21) of New Hope, Pa., was beaten and stabbed to death in the Virgin Islands. 3 men, Anselmo Boston, Kamal Thomas and Jahleel Ward, were arrested after the parents of Cockayne appeared on US news programs and accused Virgin Islands detectives of botching an investigation into their son's death. On Oct 10, 2008, Ward was found guilty of first-degree murder and other charges. Anselmo Boston and Kamal Thomas were found guilty on two counts each of third-degree assault, among other charges.
Links: Pennsylvania, Murder, Virgin Islands     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2007 Jun 20
Isaac Kamali, who appears on Rwanda's most wanted list submitted to Interpol, was detained at Philadelphia airport.
Links: USA, Rwanda, Pennsylvania     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Jul 8
In Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell ordered a range of government services shutdown after last minute negotiations failed to break a budget stalemate. The shutdown took about 24,000 workers off the job. A budget deal was hammered out the following night.
Links: USA, Labor, Pennsylvania     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Jul 10
Railroad Development Corp., a Pittsburgh-based railroad company under Henry Posner III, planned to shut down Guatemala's only train service after years of fighting thieves, squatters and government-backed lawsuits. Posner expected to take his case to int’l. arbitration under CAFTA with a demand for $65 million in lost revenues and investments.
Links: Guatemala, USA, Pennsylvania     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Aug 3
Virgin Islands’ authorities arrested Kamal Thomas and charged him with first-degree murder and assault, as well as using a dangerous weapon while committing a crime. James Cockayne (21) of new Hope, Pa., was killed on June 19 near a shopping center.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Murder, Virgin Islands     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Aug 15
Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Michael Thomas Joyce, an appeals court judge, was indicted on charges of scamming $440,000 from insurers by claiming he suffered debilitating injuries in a car crash, even while he golfed, skated and went scuba diving.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Govm’t Scandal, Scam     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2007 Aug 27
Police arrested Paul Devoe III (43) in Shirley, NY, following 5 recent murders in Texas and one in Pennsylvania. On December 19, 2007, the Texas Travis County District Attorney announced his office's intention to pursue the death penalty. In 2009 Devoe was sentenced to death for the 2007 slaying of two Jonestown, Texas, teenage girls.
Links: USA, New York, Pennsylvania, Murder, Texas     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Aug
In Peru the body of Claudia Gomez was found in a large suitcase that washed up on a Pacific Ocean beach. William Trickett Smith II of Pennsylvania was extradited to Peru in 2010 to face charges that he killed his Peruvian wife, Claudia Gomez in early July at a hotel in Lima. Trickett entered a guilty plea on May 19, 2011. On May 23 he was sentenced to 35-years in prison and ordered to pay $21,000 in restitution to the family of Claudia Gomez.
Links: Peru, USA, Pennsylvania, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Sep 10
It was reported that John Kanzius of Erie, Pa., had accidentally discovered a way to burn salt water when he tried to desalinate seawater with a radio-frequency generator he developed to treat cancer. He discovered that as long as the salt water was exposed to the radio frequencies, it would burn.
Links: USA, Technology, Pennsylvania, Fire, Inventor     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Sep 13
In Philadelphia police chief Sylvester Johnson acknowledged that police alone could not quell the city’s deadly violence and planned to introduce “Call to Action: 10,000 Men,” an effort to get volunteers on the streets as of Oct 21.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Sep 17
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said it has created a $1.25 million fund to settle 32 lawsuits alleging abuse or injury by priests.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Lawsuit, Clergy Sex     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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