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This Hour: Latest Pennsylvania news, sports, business and entertainment

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Police: Trooper hurt in ambush conscious, talking

BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania state trooper who was injured when a gunman ambushed him and killed a colleague outside a police barracks is conscious and talking for the first time.

State police spokesman Trooper Tom Kelly says investigators hope to soon interview Trooper Alex Douglass to get additional information on the shooting.

The attack Friday night killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson of Dunmore, a married father of two.

Kelly said in an emailed statement Sunday that police are getting a large number of tips, and some are "fantastic."

He says they are keeping details of the investigation quiet to preserve the integrity of the leads.


Coroner rules 2 shooting deaths are murder-suicide

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Authorities say two people found shot to death in eastern Pennsylvania are victims of a murder-suicide.

The Lehigh County coroner says 36-year-old Etab Mahkoul was gunned down outside her home in Allentown on Sunday morning.

The coroner says her ex-husband, 51-year-old Mouwaffak Mahkoul, fatally shot himself outside the house.

A relative tells The Express-Times of Easton that the couple immigrated to the U.S. from Syria about 15 years ago, and that they have a 12-year-old son.


Pregnant woman fatally shot; newborn critical

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Authorities in Philadelphia say a pregnant woman died after being hit by gunfire, and her newborn is in critical condition.

Police say doctors were able to deliver the woman's full-term baby by cesarean section on Sunday. The mother did not survive.

Police say the woman was shot in the face Sunday morning in the Frankford section of the city.


2nd woman dies following explosion, house fire

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A second woman has died as a result of injuries suffered in an explosion and house fire in central Pennsylvania.

The Public Opinion newspaper reports 23-year-old Naja George died Friday at a hospital in Baltimore.

State police say George's mother, 47-year-old Marlena Campbell, died of her injuries on Sept. 4.

Authorities suspect propane cylinders kept outside the family's house in Marion contributed to the disaster on Aug. 28.

Police say the gas might have entered the home and been ignited by a hot water heater in the basement.


Police destroy 92 marijuana plants worth $200K

CLARKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - State police say they seized dozens of marijuana plants worth about $200,000 from a property in western Pennsylvania.

Authorities say they acted on a tip when they began investigating the 132-acre farm in Morgan Township, Greene County. That's about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Police say they found 92 pot plants in a chicken coop adapted to grow marijuana. Troopers say the greenery ranged from 2 feet high to 6 feet high.

Authorities say they also seized related paraphernalia, two guns and three vehicles.

Three people were arrested Friday and charged with various drug offenses.


Slots cash a mixed bag for Pa. property owners

DALLAS, Pa. (AP) - In the summer of 2004, Gov. Ed Rendell and top state lawmakers promoted legalized casino gambling as a way to provide historic relief from burdensome school property taxes.

A decade later, slot-machine revenue has helped restrain the inexorable growth of a tax that homeowners love to hate, and completely eliminated it for thousands of low-income seniors.

But an Associated Press analysis of state Education Department data shows that Pennsylvania casinos haven't delivered enough tax relief to put a significant dent in most homeowners' tax bills.

If anything, homeowners are feeling even more of a pinch because taxes continue to go up while the value of the slots-financed tax relief has remained steady.


Sendak collection leaving library in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A small Philadelphia museum that houses more than 10,000 pieces by illustrator Maurice Sendak will be returning most of the collection to the author's estate.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports trustees for Sendak's foundation are reclaiming the artwork based on instructions in his will. He died in 2012.

Sendak is best known for his classic book "Where the Wild Things Are." He had a decades-long relationship with the Rosenbach museum and library in Philadelphia.

But Sendak wanted his home in Ridgefield, Connecticut, to be operated as a museum. Rosenbach officials say his artwork, manuscripts and other ephemera will be sent back starting next month.

The Rosenbach will retain about 600 Sendak pieces. The author also left the institution rare editions of books by Herman Melville and Henry James.


World's top paddlers tackle Md. whitewater course

MCHENRY, Md. (AP) - The world's best whitewater paddlers are preparing to compete in western Maryland.

Athletes from 46 countries are participating in the canoe and kayak whitewater slalom world championships beginning Thursday at the Adventure Sports Center International in McHenry. The event runs through Sunday.

It's the biggest event ever held at the seven-year-old, man-made course. Organizers say they expect up to 10,000 spectators and a $20 million economic impact.

State officials say the championships could help bring the summer Olympics to Washington in 2024 by showcasing the region's ability to play host to an international event.

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