Leasing hot spot
BEAVER, Pa. (AP) - A major natural gas company exploring the lucrative Marcellus Shale formation is leasing a lot of property in western Pennsylvania's Beaver County.
The Beaver County Times reports county records show more than 1,000 properties have been leased by a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corp. of Oklahoma City since the start of the year.
Chesapeake now holds lease agreements on more than 1,300 Beaver County properties. More than 1,000 of them were acquired since Jan. 1, and more than 75 since April 1.
Drilling, however, is slow so far. The state Department of Environmental Protection says only three well-drilling permits have been issued and only one well drilled this year.
in capital trial
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Jury selection has begun for the death penalty trial of a man accused of killing a former friend in central Pennsylvania because he heard that the victim was calling him a "snitch."
Authorities in Lancaster County allege that 25-year-old Charlie Jose Rivera-Rodriguez of Lancaster and another man dragged 28-year-old Anthony Swaydis from his bed in August 2009 and shot him in a room where two women and a 3-year-old girl were sleeping.
District Attorney Craig Stedman told the (Lancaster) Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era that authorities are seeking the death penalty because the murder was committed during a burglary and there was "grave risk" to others.
Dog fights raided
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Investigators interrupted a front-room dogfight inside a Philadelphia rowhouse and went on to arrest 14 people at four sites while recovering drugs, weapons and more than $10,000 cash, an animal-welfare group said.
Authorities also rescued 26 dogs, including two dogs badly injured in the fight and seven puppies believed to have been bred for fighting, a Pennsylvania SPCA spokeswoman said. The puppies were found in crates in a basement.
"We think this was a pretty big ring," SPCA spokeswoman Wendy Marano said. This wasn't just a corner pick-up fight. It was organized."
The arrests late Sunday and Monday capped months of investigation and may lead to suspects beyond Pennsylvania, as it appeared the dogs were being shipped from state to state, she said.
Neither she nor city police immediately knew the names of those charged at the four locations, including the southwest Philadelphia rowhouse where the dogfight was taking place just before midnight Sunday in a front bedroom outfitted with fighting rings.