PHILADELPHIA -- A former Arizona State University professor is facing charges for allegedly claiming to have explosives at Philadelphia's iconic Liberty Bell.
Police say 41-year-old Carlos Balsas of Tempe, Ariz., entered the tourist site in Philadelphia's historic district around 11 a.m. Saturday. An officer at an entrance security check told police that a man stated his two backpacks contained explosives.
The man left and security officers notified park rangers. Police cordoned off the street on Independence Mall where the Liberty Bell building is located. Balsas was stopped by park rangers a block away and was arrested after a brief struggle. Two backpacks were found nearby but there were no explosives inside.
Balsas was charged Sunday with terroristic threats, bomb threats, possessing an instrument of crime and related offenses.
PHILADELPHIA -- Enrollment officials at Bucknell University inflated students' average SAT scores over the past several years, the school's president said.
President John Bravman, who took office in 2010, attributed the inaccurate figures to officials who no longer work at Bucknell. The discrepancies were uncovered by a new enrollment administrator who noticed the next admissions class had average scores about 20 points lower than its predecessor. An inquiry revealed that the scores of 13 to 47 students were omitted from the SAT calculation in each of the past seven years. That resulted in reported averages 7 to 25 points higher than they actually were, the president said.
Bucknell's website, which Bravman said is now accurate, cites incoming scores for current freshmen as ranging between 1,200 and 1,390 out of a possible 1,600.
STATE COLLEGE -- Two Pennsylvania congressmen want the NCAA to restore football scholarships taken away from Penn State, saying in a letter Monday those sanctions unfairly punish innocent student-athletes for the child sex abuse scandal involving retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
In the letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert, U.S. Reps. Charlie Dent and Glenn Thompson wrote that taking away up to 40 scholarships harmed players who had nothing to do with the scandal that engulfed the university in 2011.
A spokeswoman for college sports' governing body said the NCAA would respond directly to Dent instead of through the media.
HARTFORD, Conn. -- An estimated 1,400 Connecticut residents descended upon the state Capitol on Monday to voice their often-emotional views on gun control in the wake of the shooting massacre last month at a Newtown elementary school.
Some speakers called for a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-caliber magazines that allowed killer Adam Lanza of Newtown to shoot 20 children and six educators in a span of about six minutes.
Speakers countered that any gun control laws would infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens who have not broken the law. They said that criminals, like Lanza, have always disregarded the law and would continue to do so. They said that the Virginia Tech shooter did not use an assault weapon, and the Columbine High School killers committed their crimes during the federal assault weapons ban.
SEATTLE -- Seattle police worked with Army officials Monday to track down the history of a nonfunctional missile launcher that showed up at a weapons buyback program and determine whether it was legal or possibly stolen from the military.
A man standing outside the event Saturday bought the military weapon for $100 from another person there, according to Detective Mark Jamieson. The single-use device is a launch tube assembly for a Stinger portable surface-to-air missile and already had been used.
Police witnessed the private exchange of the military launch tube near the gun buyback event, where gun buyers tempted those standing in long lines to sell their weapons to them for cash.
The firearms collected included 348 pistols, 364 rifles and three so-called street sweepers, or shotguns that include a high capacity magazine capable of holding twelve 12-gauge shotgun shells.
WASHINGTON -- Rives Grogan was up a tree during President Barack Obama's inauguration. Now he's out on a limb, legally speaking.
The Los Angeles man has been barred from the nation's capital pending his trial on misdemeanor charges stemming from the loud anti-abortion protest he staged while 40 feet up a tree on Inauguration Day.
The unusual court order, which bars Grogan from the District of Columbia except for court-related appearances, comes after the anti-abortion activist has been arrested, by his count, more than 30 times.
He has shouted from the visitors galleries in the House and Senate chambers, from inside the Supreme Court during its proceedings, from a tree during a vice presidential debate in Kentucky, and as he ran onto the baseball field with an "Abortion is Sin" sign at a Cincinnati Reds game.
The U.S. attorney's office, noting that Grogan has been arrested three times within the past month for "disruptive conduct" on the Capitol grounds, said his actions on Inauguration Day "commanded hours of attention by law enforcement and caused substantial disruption for those around him who had come to enjoy this historic occasion."
Washington radio station WTOP quoted Colin Cloherty, a professional football player who was near Grogan during the inauguration, as saying, "He kept yelling through the prayer, the different speeches and the poem. It was pretty disruptive to the people that were right there."