Area/State News In Brief…

Tea Party to meet

The Warren County Tea Party will meet at Thorne’s Bi-Lo Community Room at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 11.

Man on trial

in stabbing death

ERIE, Pa. (AP) – A man is on trial in the stabbing death two years ago of a woman who lived in the same northwestern Pennsylvania apartment building where he was a resident.

WSEE-TV says prosecution and defense made opening statements Wednesday in Erie County Court in the trial of 33-year-old James Duncan of Erie.

Duncan could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in the June 2011 death of 27-year-old Nikkia Sawyer, whose naked body was found in her apartment.

Prosecutors allege that Duncan stabbed Sawyer 60 times .

But defense attorney Nicole Sloane said two relatives spent the weekend with her client and saw no signs of a violent attack.

Ex-chief given

time for motions

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A judge has given former Pittsburgh police chief Nate Harper more time to file pre-trial motions in the corruption case against him.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon on Wednesday granted the request from Harper’s attorney, even though prosecutors objected.

Attorney Robert Leight says in the motion that Harper is engaged in plea negotiations with prosecutors, but no agreement has been reached yet.

Harper was indicted in March and charged with conspiracy and four counts of failure to file tax returns. Prosecutors allege that Harper conspired with others to divert more than $70,000 from a city account into unauthorized credit union accounts and spent nearly $32,000 of that.

Suit filed against

Erie restaurant

ERIE, Pa. (AP) – A federal agency has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against a prominent Erie restaurant.

The Erie Times-News reports Wednesday that the lawsuit against Ricardo’s Restaurant Inc. alleges that a co-owner created a sexually hostile work environment by making repeated vulgar, boorish remarks to female workers since November, 2011.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint seeks damages for a woman who resigned over the alleged sexual harassment and any other female workers who were affected. The EEOC says that co-owner Peter West allegedly made vulgar remarks about women’s bodies and about sexual acts.

The complaint says one woman identified as “Hannah” repeatedly asked West to stop making the remarks, but he ignored her requests.