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Weird Pittsburgh

News of the weird from all over Western Pennsylvania

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Kathleen Kane is the Pennsylvania Attorney General but she is not, presently, a practicing lawyer. Her law license was suspended as she faces criminal charges for allegedly leaking secret grand-jury documents to reportedly embarrass a deputy in her office. Despite the suspension, however, she continues to work as AG. The functional problem with this situation was on display when Kane testified to a state Senate panel that was considering a bill that would lift the statute of limitations on child sex-abuse charges. Usually, the AG would interpret the constitutionality of such a bill. Kane “beg[ged]” the senators “to pass that bill immediately,” but noted she wasn’t “here to give a legal opinion as to the constitutionality of the bill.” That would be lawyering, which she isn’t allowed to do. The panel also called Bruce L. Castor Jr., Kane’s second-in-command and a licensed attorney, to give legal advice. He contradicted her. Castor testified that statutes of limitations have been interpreted as a constitutional right and that this law risked being overturned in court, giving victims “false hope.” Castor told PennLive.com that he hadn’t conferred with Kane because, “I’m not supposed to discuss such things with her.”

The instructor of Ambridge Area High School’s JROTC program recently accepted a plea bargain on a DUI charge. The school board was apparently unaware of First Sgt. Carl Curtis’ latest arrest until John Paul, of news website the Beaver Countian, brought it to the board’s attention. When pressed, board members admitted Curtis was presently at a “team-building exercise” with students at the Walt Disney World Resort. The other chaperone of the Florida trip was school-board member Mary Jo Kehoe, who was removed as board president when she and Curtis both faced charges stemming from a bar fight at an American Legion hall in 2014. Curtis was also charged with child endangerment that day for allegedly showing up to transport students on a trip while still drunk from the American Legion incident, though he was acquitted and resisted pressure to resign. Although the district has apparently been more relaxed in its monitoring of Curtis recently, it once paid a private investigator $4,000 for an “internal investigation” of his behavior.

Kerri Little, Bellwood-Antis High School’s 2016 valedictorian, wanted to address bullying in her commencement speech, and the school responded with a lesson in irony: threatening to cut her microphone and have police escort her offstage if she did. Little told PennLive.com that the Blair County school doesn’t “have a lot of resources in terms of bullying, which is awful.” She said that racist and sexist comments are common and that a friend left the school due to harassment. Little says that when her adviser and principal learned she planned to address the issue at commencement, they told her to deliver a more typical valedictorian speech or be shut down. In a Facebook post, Little says she turned in a written speech of “complete and utter shit to the highest degree” for approval and then, without forewarning, skipped graduation. Principal Richard W. Schreier griped to PennLive, “She kind of left us high and dry.”

Tristan Hardinger, described by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as a “drunken North Oakland man,” allegedly followed a squad of state police on horseback, who were working crowd control on the South Side after the Penguins’ Stanley Cup win, and repeatedly swung a skateboard in front of the horses, as if he were going to strike one. Hardinger, 20, wore a one-piece jumpsuit, striped in black, green, gold and red, with a marijuana-leaf emblem at the chest, and allegedly ignored several warnings from officers before his arrest. 

While awful, frustrated men of younger generations use dating apps to send strangers unwanted sexually explicit messages, 83-year-old William Carter of Center Township apparently prefers a more old-fashioned approach. Police told the Beaver County Times that Carter delivered handwritten notes to four neighbors, some in person and some left in mailboxes, that included “wording and drawings of sexual acts that he wanted to conduct with” them. He faces four misdemeanor counts of harassment.

Eighty-year-old Dorothy Louise Stofko of Penn Township allegedly got drunk, crashed her Sebring into a neighbor’s fence and then tussled with police. Court papers, viewed by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, accuse Stofko of swearing at officers and punching one in the chest. When they wrangled her into a squad car, the octogenarian allegedly delivered a kick to an officer’s crotch.


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