National Roundup

Pennsylvania
Golfers refuse to testify about on-course fight

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Two Pennsylvania golfers accused of fighting over the rules had assault charges dismissed after they refused to testify against one another.

State police say 63-year-old Roger Lee Harris and 42-year-old Bryan Bandes were playing with three others at the Springdale Golf Course near Uniontown on Aug. 3. That's when they began arguing about rules involving "casual water" - or puddles - after it rained.

The North Union Township men eventually came to blows, and police say Harris hit Bandes over the head with a 3-wood.

District Judge Robert Breakiron dismissed the charges after a preliminary hearing Wednesday. He sent the men home with a warning, saying, "I don't want you to be back again in this courtroom or I'm going to assess you two penalty strokes."

Pennsylvania
Man fatally shot outside Ph­i­lly peace concert

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A man was fatally shot outside a Philadelphia concert being held to promote peace and stem violence in the city, police said Thursday.

The shooting happened at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday outside the Dell Music Center in the city's Fairmount Park, according to investigators.

Officials said the 20-year-old man was apparently either arriving at or leaving the "Philly Support Philly: Peace on the Streets" concert when he got into an argument with someone in the parking lot.

Police said the shooter opened fire, striking the victim twice. He was rushed to Temple University Hospital, where authorities said he was pronounced dead at about 2:15 a.m. Thursday.

No arrests have been made. Police said they are checking surveillance video.

The concert featuring rap music was attended by about 600 people. No other injuries were reported.

Police commissioner Charles Ramsey told reporters that such a shooting outside an event aimed at stemming violence comes as no surprise.

"People who put on these concerts are well-intentioned," Ramsey said. "The problem is, it doesn't always reach the street thugs that we deal with on a daily basis. This is what they do, and they don't care if it's at a peace rally, in church - they could care less."

"So I'm not frustrated and I'm not surprised," he said.

New York
Family of child slain in elevator plans to sue NYC

NEW YORK (AP) - The family of a 6-year-old New York City boy stabbed to death in a public housing elevator has notified the city that it is planning a $281 million lawsuit.

The Daily News says the family of Prince Joshua "P.J." Avitto filed a notice of claim Wednesday. They say there is insufficient security at the Boulevard Houses in East New York.

The city's Law Department calls the case "very tragic" and says it will review the allegations.

The city says it's on track to install cameras at its facilities by year's end. It says it has already completed work at seven locations - including the Boulevard Houses.

Daniel St. Hubert has pleaded not guilty in the June 1 attack.

P.J.'s friend, 7-year-old Mikayla Capers, was stabbed 16 times but survived.

Pennsylvania
Man found guilty but mentally ill in sword slayings

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A man has been found guilty but mentally ill in the sword stabbing deaths of his parents and twin brother in suburban Philadelphia more than three years ago.

A Montgomery County judge on Wednesday convicted 27-year-old Joseph McAndrew Jr. of first-degree murder in the March 2011 slayings of 70-year-old Joseph C. McAndrew, 64-year-old Susan McAndrew, and twin brother James McAndrew in Gulph Mills.

Prosecutors argued that McAndrew knew what he was doing when he stabbed the victims - and knew his actions were wrong.

Defense attorney Paul Bauer sought a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, saying McAndrew had stopped taking medication months before the murders.

Judge Gary Silow deliberated for only about 10 minutes before announcing his ruling. He ordered a psychiatric evaluation before sentencing.

Kentucky
High court hears arguments over records fight

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Supreme Court has heard arguments in a records dispute between the Council on Developmental Disabilities and the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

The advocacy group is asking to review the records of two disabled men who died in state care in 2009 shortly after being moved to new homes.

The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/1uThbRU) reports justices heard arguments on Wednesday in the case.

David Tachau, a Louisville attorney who represents the Council on Developmental Disabilities, argued the agency should have to release the records under the state's Open Records Act.

"This court has said over and over again for more than 20 years that the Open Records Act is supposed to mean public disclosure," argued David Tachau, a Louisville attorney who represents the Council on Developmental Disabilities. "The Open Records Act is supposed to allow people like the council to see whether public servants are in fact serving the public."

Cabinet attorney D. Brent Irvin argued that a different state law calls for records in such cases to be released only to government agencies with a legitimate interest in the case.

Lower courts, including the state court of appeals, have ruled that the council does not have such an interest.

"We think the lower courts got it correct. The duty of the court is to ascertain and follow the intent of the legislature, not make policy," Irvin said.

The council asked for death investigations records of the men, who were both severely disabled and without families, to find out if they could have been abused or neglected before their deaths.

"The folks we are most concerned about actually do not have families - like these two men - live most of their lives in a state institution," Donovan Fornwalt, chief executive of the council, said after the hearing. "To claim that only government entities have a right to review records when a ward of the state dies in state custody, really concerns us. It's the fox guarding the hen house."

Afterward, Irvin said he commends the council for what it's trying to do.

"We applaud that they are out there trying to help the disabled," he said. "Our only interest in this case, as in all cases, is to follow the requirements of the statute."

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