Trump University is one in a string of what some would call sleazy dealings in the career of Donald J. Trump (the most recent of which has been convincing Republican primary voters he can and will implement their agenda). Battered by multiple lawsuits, the defunct company allegedly enticed people to learn Trump’s supposed investment secrets online and at airport-hotel-style seminars, but provided little worthwhile education. Melissa Norris, of Franklin Park, says Trump University connected her with a convicted thief, drug peddler and sex solicitor, with a history of bankruptcy, who took $230,000 of hers for his Ponzi scheme. In 2007, Norris spent $17,248 for a Trump seminar, which included work with an investment coach. She says Trump University assigned her to Cary Beagley, of Utah, who convinced her to fork over the six-figure sum. The feds later shut down Beagley’s operation, and Norris lost all of it. After she contacted WTAE with her story last week, the station confirmed Beagley’s prior criminal record and bankruptcy. In an infomercial, the now-Republican nominee said Trump University’s instructors “are all people handpicked by me,” but in a 2012 deposition he said he oversaw neither hiring nor curriculum.
Paul Spadafora won the International Boxing Federation lightweight championship in 1999. Since then, the local boxer has had numerous brushes with the law and did time in a state prison in 2003. On April 4, Spadafora, 40, was involved in a legal two-fer. At the Redstone Tavern, in Crafton, he allegedly battered a 63-year-old woman. Police say that, hours later, Spadafora showed up at a Sheetz in Armstrong County, complaining that his car had broken down. The manager reportedly could not understand him and felt alarmed when he saw Spadafora holding a blueberry muffin in one hand and a knife he carries with him in the other. His defense attorney said it was “a complete misunderstanding.” Phillip DiLucente assured the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “What he was using the knife for was to put some cream cheese on his muffin.” (Charges for the Sheetz incident have been withdrawn, but charges stemming from the tavern are going to court.)
Facing continual budget shortfalls, the Erie School District has come up with a novel idea: Get rid of high school. The plan for the 2016-2017 school year, for which the district faces a $4.3 million deficit, eliminates all-day kindergarten, every sport, and all music and art programs. But, for the larger picture, Superintendent Dr. Jay Badams has found one more bit of fat to cut: those four years in which kids learn algebra, Shakespeare and the societal pecking order. As the city’s four high schools sit empty, the district would apparently beg neighboring ones to take its 14-to-18-year-olds. The school-board president of the neighboring town of Millcreek has already told the WFXP newscast that’s a no-go.
The state Attorney General’s office has charged a 62-year-old pharmacist at a Giant Eagle in Greene County with theft and possession of a controlled substance for allegedly stealing drugs from work. But if you’re expecting a black-market pill operation, read no further. The alleged theft is more remarkable for how little was taken. According to the Observer-Reporter, of Washington, Douglas Farquharson is accused of pilfering $27.98 worth of drugs to “self-medicat[e] for ear pain and stomach problems.”
A party prank landed a Cambria County woman in jail. When an attendee at a birthday party fell asleep, Jessica Lynn Lucas, 27, thought it’d funny to bind her in plastic wrap. However, a scuffle broke out when the prankee awoke mid-wrap, police told the Tribune-Democrat, of Johnstown. Officers thought this warranted charges of simple assault and harassment for Lucas, and the on-call judge, Michael Zungali, slapped her with a $5,000 bond. Lucas was shuttled to the county jail for failing to pay 10 percent of it.
The Erie County Department of Health has dusted off and revised its body-modification regulations. According to the Erie Times-News, tattoo/piercing establishments can now implant foreign objects under the skin, burn permanent scars and suspend a person from hooks. But the department drew the line at tongue-splitting.