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Trial, hearing delayed for Penn St. administrators

Trial, hearing delayed for Penn St. administrators

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) A hearing scheduled for next week and a trial set for next month were delayed Wednesday for former Penn State administrators accused of a criminal cover-up in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

A district judge indicated he needed more time to resolve pending motions before presiding over a preliminary hearing for Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz. The Jan. 7 trial of Curley and Schultz for some of the charges they face was also delayed indefinitely.

Curley, the school's athletic director who is on paid leave while the last year of his contract runs out, and Schultz, a retired vice president, were first charged a year ago. Prosecutors added counts against them last month, and charged Spanier, who was forced out as university president last year.

The three deny the allegations, which include perjury, obstruction, conspiracy and failure to properly report suspected abuse.

In a related development, Sandusky has appealed a decision to revoke his $59,000-a-year pension, arguing the law did not support the action by the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System.

Sandusky attorney Charles Benjamin's five-page letter to the system's board, dated Nov. 21, was obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press through the state Right-to-Know Law.

Benjamin wrote that Sandusky's pension rights became vested in 1969 and were not changed by later amendments to state law. He argued that Sandusky, a Penn State assistant football coach who retired in 1999, was not a university employee when tougher forfeiture rules were passed in 2004.

``We trust that SERS, upon further reflection, will agree that no legal basis exists for forfeiture of Mr. Sandusky's vested retirement benefits,'' Benjamin wrote. He did not return messages seeking comment.

The retirement system yanked Sandusky's pension after he was sentenced in October to 30 to 60 years in state prison for sexual abuse of 10 boys. He maintains he was wrongfully convicted and is pursuing appeals.

The retirement system said Sandusky's convictions for involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault triggered forfeiture provisions of the state's Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act. The law, first passed in 1978, was amended in 2004 so that it applies to any public school employee convicted of a sex crime against a student.

Benjamin said the pension board's argument that Sandusky was a ``de facto'' employee of Penn State in later years was ``illogical and untrue.''

He said many of the payments made by the university to Sandusky after 2004 were smaller speaking fees and that tax records indicate Sandusky described himself after retirement either as self-employed or as a consultant to the charity for children he founded, The Second Mile.

``At no time after Mr. Sandusky's June 30, 1999, retirement did SERS cause the retirement benefits he was receiving to cease,'' Benjamin noted. ``Had Mr. Sandusky returned to active service at Penn State for regular remuneration as a school employee, SERS would have caused his retirement benefits to cease.''

Sandusky collected a $148,000 lump sum upon his retirement in 1999, and by September 2012 had received about $900,000 in pension payments.

Benjamin told the retirement board that if it does not reconsider the decision, he wants an administrative hearing.

The pension forfeiture also applies to Sandusky's wife, who would otherwise be eligible for survivor's benefits if he dies before she does.

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4 reasons the Caps beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

4 reasons the Caps beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

The Caps put together their best performance of the series Thursday in a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 4 of their 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series.

he win pulled Washington even with Columbus in the series 2-2.

Here's how the Caps got the big win.

4 Reasons why the Capitals beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

1. Tom Wilson factors in the offense

Wilson’s hands are good for more than just punching.

He proved that again on Thursday as he scored the first goal for the second consecutive game. Chandler Stephenson and John Carlson provided the pressure on Sergei Bobrovsky. With Bobrovsky scrambling in the crease, Evgeny Kuznetsov passed the puck back to Wilson who fired the one-timer past the Columbus netminder.

In the first two games of the series, Wilson had no points and no shots. In the last two games, he has two goals and 13 shots on goal.

2. A great keep-in by John Carlson

We saw how dangerous it was when penalty killers fail to clear the puck in Game 1 when the Caps failed to clear in the third period leading to the game-tying power play goal.

In Game 4, the roles were reversed. Trying to kill off an Artemi Panarin penalty, Cam Atkinson attempted to clear the puck with the backhand. Carlson skillfully corralled the puck out of the air at the blue line to keep it in the zone.

The power play was able to reset and T.J. Oshie scored the rebound goal soon after.

3. Braden Holtby closes the door to finish the second period

After the Caps took the 2-0 lead, the Blue Jackets made a late push to try to pull one back.

In the last 10 minutes of the second period, Columbus had 13 shot attempts, five of which were not net. Several of those shots were high-quality opportunities, but Holtby came up with the big saves that the team was not getting earlier in the series.

His play ensured the Caps took the 2-0 lead to the locker room.

4. Alex Ovechkin extends the lead to three

Washington entered the third period up 2-0. In each of the first three games, the Caps held a two-goal lead and allowed the Blue Jackets to battle back and tie the score. Even with a two-goal lead, it still felt at the start of the third that the next goal would decide the game. If Columbus pulled within one and got the crowd back on their side, we have seen what that momentum can do for them.

This time, however, Ovechkin struck first. After a board battle behind the net, the puck trickled out to the faceoff circle. Ovechkin grabbed it and quickly snapped the puck past Bobrovsky before anyone could react.

The goal gave Washington their first three-goal lead of the series and shut the Blue Jackets’ comeback down before it could begin.

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Tarik's 3 stars: Ovechkin said Caps would even the series, on Thursday, he helped them do it

Tarik's 3 stars: Ovechkin said Caps would even the series, on Thursday, he helped them do it

COLUMBUS — Alex Ovechkin confidently predicted earlier this week that the Caps were going to win twice at Nationwide Arena and take their first round series back to Washington knotted, two games apiece.

And, on Thursday night, that’s exactly what Ovechkin made sure his team did.

No. 8, who was playing in his franchise-record 101st playoff game, scored his third goal of the playoffs early in the final frame and the Caps beat the Blue Jackets 4-1 in Game 4.

Tarik’s Three Stars of Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 4

1. Tom Wilson, Capitals

After a slow (and penalty-plagued) start to this series, Wilson has become a force. Yes, he took another minor, but the good is far outweighing the bad these days. Big Willy recorded a goal, an assist and a team-high seven shots. 

2. Braden Holtby, Capitals

Holtby had his best game in, well, a long time. He stopped 23 shots, including all eight he saw in a contentious second period.

The goal he surrendered was a nearly unstoppable tip-in by Boone Jenner.

3. T.J. Oshie, Capitals

Osh just plays the game so dang hard.

So it should come as no surprise that he delivered in his team’s biggest game of the season to this point. Oshie, of course, scored the game-winning goal on the power play midway through the second period.

It was No. 77’s second tally of the series. He also directed six shots at the Columbus net and made a couple of hits...all from a player who's been fighting through injury the past few weeks.

Agree? Disagree?

Let us know what you think in the comments.