Sheriff heading to trial on threat charges DEP: Drilling didn't foul wells Crude oil leak closes highway
BEAVER -- A judge said a sheriff accused of threatening to cut a political campaign worker's hands off and shoot an online news reporter should go to trial.
Judge Michael L. Gerheim heard nearly five hours of testimony Monday before agreeing most of the 11 charges against Beaver County Sheriff George David should go to trial.
A grand jury report says David delivered expletive-fueled rants and uttered a racial slur to his victims. It says he threatened to cut off and eat a campaign volunteer's hands.
David denies the charges and remains in office because county officials are powerless to remove him.
He was arrested last month on charges including terroristic threats, witness intimidation and obstructing an investigation. Authorities said the charges stem from encounters since November 2011.
MONTROSE -- State environmental regulators looking into a high-profile case of methane contamination in northeastern Pennsylvania have concluded that gas drilling isn't to blame.
Matthew and Tammy Manning blame the high level of methane in their well water on a natural gas driller, WPX Energy.
But the state Department of Environmental Protection said Monday that its 16-month investigation shows that WPX isn't responsible. DEP says the methane in the residents' wells is naturally occurring shallow gas, not production gas from the Marcellus Shale formation.
BRADFORD -- A northwestern Pennsylvania highway had to be closed for about five hours when crude oil mixed with natural gas spewed about 60 feet into the air when a valve broke on a pipeline.
Lafayette Township fire Chief Don Fowler told the Bradford Era that the slick oil was blown across U.S. Route 219 about noon Saturday in neighboring Bradford Township.
The pipeline is owned by Atlas Energy, which has an office in Mayville, N.Y. where officials did not immediately return a call Monday.
From our wire services