Weird Pittsburgh: Roommates in court, prejudice in public office and a real lover’s leap | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


Weird Pittsburgh: Roommates in court, prejudice in public office and a real lover’s leap


A feud between two Penn State sorority sisters has landed in federal court. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Rachel Lader filed suit against Molly Brownstein, her Alpha Sigma Alpha sister, along with Brownstein’s parents and the university, for alleged defamation and breach of contract. The dispute seems to have started when the two were roommates studying abroad in Barcelona. They clashed over the volume of Lader’s music and Brownstein’s messiness. Tensions mounted when Lader allegedly left a colander of pasta on Brownstein’s bed, as a statement on her supposed slovenliness, and later invited a young man to a hotel room they shared in Prague, causing Brownstein to vacate. (In her lawsuit, Lader said he was just a friend who’d locked himself out of his own room.) The suit alleged that Brownstein’s parents used their influence as Penn State donors to convince the school to charge Lader with harassment, a violation of the student code of conduct. (Brownstein’s mom wrote an eight-page memo for Penn State’s case file, entitled “A Mother’s Perspective,” detailing all the ways in which Laden supposedly wronged her daughter.) Before the Spain trip, the two then-friends signed a lease for an apartment. Penn State agreed to cease disciplinary action if Laden dropped out of the lease, but both she and Brownstein refused to give up the apartment. Both accused the other of inflicting extreme distress. In a statement to Penn State, Brownstein claimed Lader’s actions caused her to contemplate suicide. In her lawsuit, Lader blames the Brownsteins for migraines, anxiety and colitis. Before the court date, for which both retained lawyers, Lader dropped the suit. “The girls hugged and made up” said Brownstein’s father, according to the Centre Daily Times. They even plan on being roommates again this fall.

A Mifflin County Commissioner used her official Facebook page to speak out against Muslims. The Centre Daily Times reports that Lisa Nancollas changed the cover photo of the “Lisa Nancollas, Mifflin County Commissioner” page to a design of a red circle and diagonal line over a mosque, framed by the words “No Islam Allowed.” When constituents complained, Nancollas shot back, “If you don’t like what I post on my wall then don’t look at my wall. Also, I believe in the Christian God. I don’t believe in Islam, sharia law nor do I believe in Allah.” The three Mifflin County Commissioners have a range of powers — over elections, taxes, property use and social services — making the open prejudice of a commissioner concerning to many. After a drumming by other Facebook users, Nancollas deleted her page.

A Pitt student took his date to the top of a building and, “[i]n an effort to impress her,” attempted to jump to the adjacent building, reports KDKA. This Romeo of Oakland ended up wedged between the two buildings, a Bruegger’s Bagels and a Qdoba, for several hours. (Side note: Oakland has become so corporatized!) Firefighter and city public-works crews cut holes into the wall of the Qdoba to free him. At around 6 a.m., paramedics carried him away on a stretcher and treated his ankle injury — by which time his date had probably moved on to a more athletic suitor.

Many teens do something stupid with their friends once they get access to the family vehicle — even some from sects religiously prohibited from owning cars. According to the Courier Express of Dubois, police in Indiana County pulled over a horse and buggy after allegedly spotting two men riding on its roof. They cited the five occupants of the vehicle, all male Amish teenagers, with underage drinking, and charged 18-year-old Robert Miller, who was operating the buggy, with DUI.

An Ephrata man’s horny dog landed him in trouble with the law. The Ephrata Review, the community newspaper of the Lancaster County town, reports that police allegedly found that Matthew Bacon’s dog “had broken into [a] residence through a screen door to be with female dogs inside.” Police say it was the third time they’d caught the amorous pooch on the loose and cited Bacon with a dog-law violation.

Several people spotted a naked man chillaxing in the Susquehanna River near Perry County, police told The man (and his genitals) were variously seen on the shore and floating in the water. He encountered a group of people and asked them for a towel. They did him one better and offered a pair of pants. The man wandered off and has not been seen since.

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