The following stories are planned for Thursday AMs, subject to change as developments warrant. For questions about the state report, contact the Philadelphia bureau at 215-561-1133
New: ESTRANGED WIFE SLAIN, PEEPS PLANT-INJURY, SCHOOLS TO HOUSING
HARRISBURG — A judge promised to rule as quickly as possible after hearing arguments Wednesday about whether a suburban Philadelphia court clerk should be forced to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini said a central issue is "how power is allocated in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania." By Mark Scolforo.
PHILADELPHIA — State officials can pursue their bid to steer Penn State's $60 million fine over the Jerry Sandusky scandal to advocacy efforts in Pennsylvania, a state court has ruled in a setback for the NCAA. The NCAA calls the state effort a violation of the school's 2012 consent decree, and therefore a breach of federal contract law. However, the Commonwealth Court judges rejected the NCAA's motion to dismiss the case. By Maryclaire Dale.
PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania congressman caught a cutting-edge ride to the airport on Wednesday. Rep. Bill Shuster, a Republican from Altoona, made a 33-mile trip from Cranberry Township to Pittsburgh International Airport at about 11 a.m. in a computer-operated car. By Kevin Begos.
AP Photos PAKS101, PAKS103, PAKS106, PAKS104, PAKS105, PAKS107, PAKS102.
UNIVERSITY STUDENT KILLED
WHEELING, W.Va. — Wheeling police say they're looking for a third person who may have been involved in the fatal beating of a Wheeling Jesuit University student. Two men are charged with murder, but Detective Sgt. Gregg McKenzie tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1dH9SHq) the suspects say at least one other person was involved in the fight.
TEEN MURDER PLOT
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A teenage girl charged with plotting and pulling off the murder of her longtime best friend will be tried as an adult in a West Virginia court, the prosecutor in charge announced late Wednesday. Shelia Eddy's case was moved from juvenile to adult court in a closed-door hearing in Monongalia County Circuit Court. After months of silence and secrecy, Prosecutor Marcia Ashdown announced in a one-paragraph press release that all further proceedings will be held in open court. By Vicki Smith.
NEW YORK — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is disputing assertions that the league's $765 million settlement with former players is a paltry sum compared to the sport's revenues. In his first public comments since the settlement to the lawsuits was announced last week, Goodell said Wednesday that "this is a significant amount of money," and that "the plaintiffs also agreed it was an appropriate amount." Goodell was speaking at an NFL function at Tiffany and Co., and will move on to Baltimore this afternoon, to announce a new helmet health initiative. By Rachel Cohen. About 500 words.
THE STAR WARS
It's a story that needs no introduction: Young, idealistic rebel seeks to fight off an unjust, tyrannical mystic with a big space station capable of destroying planets. It's "Star Wars" but it's not. It's "The Star Wars," Dark Horse Comics' eight-issue adaptation of George Lucas' original rough draft of the script that led to six blockbuster films and a mythology firmly rooted in the public conscience. The series, which begins Wednesday, features some similar names — Darth Vader, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker — but in dramatically different ways, as well as some characters, like Annikin Starkiller, who didn't make the final cut. By Matt Moore. About 450 words.
TWO-STATE POLICE CHASE
ALLENTOWN — A man accused of leading police in two states on a wild chase involving stolen police cars has pleaded guilty to a burglary charge in an unrelated eastern Pennsylvania case.
PITTSBURGH — A federal appeals court says the family of a western Pennsylvania man killed in state prison earlier this month cannot continue his appeal of his conviction in the 1998 murders of his ex-wife and her boyfriend.
BUS STOP CRASH
ALLENTOWN — A woman has been charged with homicide by vehicle in the crash of a sport utility vehicle into a group waiting at an eastern Pennsylvania bus stop that claimed two lives a year ago.
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