National Roundup

Pennsylvania
Man guilty of trespassing — and sleeping — in woman’s home

CONESTOGA, Pa. (AP) — A central Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to trespassing in a woman’s house and falling asleep — after leaving her a note telling her not to be alarmed.

Online court records show 28-year-old Robert Sheets, of Holtwood, pleaded guilty to a trespassing citation and a misdemeanor drug charge in the bizarre June 21 incident.

That’s when police say the woman arrived at her Conestoga Township home to find a note on the door saying, “Don’t be scared when you come, Bob is here.”

The woman’s boyfriend told police he knew Sheets, but not well and hadn’t seen him in a long time. The couple hadn’t given Sheets permission to stay at their home.

Lancaster County authorities dropped a felony trespassing charge against Sheets in return for Tuesday’s guilty pleas. He was fined more than $500.

Massachusetts
Cabbie turns in $187,000 left behind in his taxi

BOSTON (AP) — A man who left about $187,000 cash in a Boston taxi has been reunited with his money thanks to an honest cabbie, police said Tuesday.

Raymond “Buzzy” MacCausland, a driver for the Independent Taxi Operators Association, picked up a fare with a cast on one leg on Saturday.

“He told me he was homeless and had been living in a shelter for six months,” MacCausland said.

At one point, the man got out of the cab to meet a friend intending to return, leaving a bag behind, the 72-year-old MacCausland said. MacCausland waited about 30 minutes, but the man didn’t return. So, he drove to the man’s hotel to look for him.

Unable to find the man, even with the help of the hotel staff, MacCausland looked in the bag for identification. There he found three bundles of $50 and $100 dollar bills. He immediately drove to police headquarters to turn in the cash.

Police found paperwork indicating that the money was part of an inheritance.

“To me that was a relief,” MacCausland said. “Because I know if it wasn’t they’d come looking for me.”

The money was returned to the unnamed man after police determined he was the rightful owner. The man gave MacCausland a $100 reward.

“This hackney driver exhibited exemplary behavior and his honest deed should be recognized,” Police Commissioner William Evans said in a statement.

About 30 years ago, another person left a large sum of money in MacCausland’s cab. A fare he drove to the airport left a briefcase containing $10,000 behind. That person didn’t give him a reward, he said.


Virginia
Railroad settles discrimination allegations

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Norfolk Southern Corp. will pay nearly $500,000 to more than 2,000 African-Americans to settle allegations of race-based hiring discrimination.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday that Norfolk Southern will pay 2,086 African-Americans who applied for track laborer and building-and-bridge laborer positions at the company’s Roanoke, Virginia, location.

The Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs had found that the company failed to provide equal-employment opportunities and engaged in discriminatory hiring practices against African-American applicants from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2011.

Norfolk Southern agreed to pay $492,000 in back pay and interest to the applicants. The company also agreed to change employment practices and will offer jobs to seven applicants who were turned down for some positions.

North Carolina
U.S. Justice Department asks judge to block transgender law

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The U. S. Justice Department has asked a federal judge to halt implementation of a North Carolina law requiring people to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in May the department would try to block the provision of the law.

A filing Tuesday in U.S. District Court in North Carolina says the Justice Department is likely to be successful in getting the law overturned based on a recent ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals involving a transgender student’s bathroom access in Virginia.

North Carolina lawmakers made only minor changes in the law last week, allowing people to sue in state courts if they believe they have faced employment discrimination. The bathroom provision was not changed.

Pennsylvania
Outspoken clergy abuse advocate found hanged

EBENSBURG, Pa. (AP) â A Pennsylvania man who spoke out against clergy abuse after publicly identifying himself as a victim of a predator priest has killed himself, authorities said.

Brian Gergely, 46, was found hanged in his home in Ebensburg on Friday, Cambria County Coroner Jeffrey Lees told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Gergely went public in 2003 while suing Monsignor Francis McCaa and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, saying he was abused as a 10-year-old altar boy.

“It takes a great deal of courage to step forward, and even more courage to go public and give your identity instead of a pseudonym. Brian overcame that because he felt so strongly about the sexual abuse of children,” Richard Serbin, the Altoona attorney who represented Gergely said Tuesday. “Tragically, the demons he’s been dealing with since he was molested by Monsignor McCaa finally won out.”

Gergely and other plaintiffs settled their lawsuit against McCaa, other priests and the diocese in 2005. McCaa died in 2007.
McCaa was described as a “monster” in a state grand jury report released in March that criticized the diocese’s handling of clergy abuse claims. He fondled altar boys whom he had told to go without pants under their cassocks, molesting them in a church sacristy, a rectory and even while taking their confession, the grand jury found.

Gergely gave numerous interviews in hopes of encouraging other abuse victims to come forward.

“I was standing in the sacristy and he pinned me to the desk. I was just a little guy,” Gergely told the British newspaper The Guardian after the grand jury report’s release. “My parents were patrons. They were going door to door raising money for the church. The community put Monsignor McCaa on a pedestal.”

Gergely’s funeral was Wednesday at Holy Name Catholic Church, the parish where he had been molested.

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