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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – Penn State president Rodney Erickson is admonishing students who wore costumes and held offensive signs in photographs circulated on the Internet. But Erickson said in a campus-wide letter Thursday that the school won’t pursue disciplinary action. He said the behavior was protected by free speech rights. His letter didn’t specifically reference the photos or name the Chi Omega sorority. But Erickson said it became clear recently that some students “celebrated Halloween in costumes that offended others” and acted contrary to university values. One sign in the photo of sorority sisters says “will mow lawn for weed + beer.” Two women holding signs are wearing fake mustaches. Others in the photo are wearing sombreros. The sorority has apologized. Chi Omega’s national chapter says it is placing the sorority on probation.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The race for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania cost about $40 million, ending in the re-election of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey for a second six-year term. The campaigns released information Thursday in conjunction with a federal reporting deadline. Casey beat his better-financed but lesser-known Republican challenger, Tom Smith, 54 percent to 45 percent. Almost $30 million of the total amount, including money from outside groups, was spent after July 1. Smith spent almost $21 million, mostly his own money. Casey spent about $12.5 million in the two-year campaign cycle.Including contributions from outside groups, Smith outspent Casey by nearly 2-to-1. The cost was substantially less than the 2010 election in which Pat Toomey beat Joe Sestak to take Arlen Specter’s Senate seat. The cost of that election exceeded $50 million.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Newly re-elected Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey says he spent more than $9 million in the campaign’s final four months to overcome a challenge from his better-financed but lesser-known Republican challenger Tom Smith. Casey’s campaign released the information Thursday in conjunction with a federal reporting deadline. The Casey won the election, 54 percent to 45 percent. The same information wasn’t available from Smith’s campaign. But a pre-election report suggested he was on course to outspend Casey by nearly two-to-one since July, with help from outside groups including tea party-affiliated Freedomworks. Including an expensive Republican primary, the total cost of the Senate election was on track to be around $35 million. That’s substantially less than the 2010 election in which Pat Toomey beat Joe Sestak to take Arlen Specter’s Senate seat.

 

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved)

 

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PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) – More than 2,000 people are expected at Pearl Harbor to mark the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack that killed thousands of people and pulled the United States into World War II. A moment of silence is planned for 7:55 a.m. local time on Friday, marking the moment the bombing began. The crew of a guided-missile destroyer will stand on deck while the ship passes the USS Arizona, a battleship that still lies in the harbor where it sank decades ago. Hawaii Air National Guard aircraft will fly overhead in missing man formation. The Navy and National Park Service are hosting a ceremony in remembrance of 2,390 service members and 49 civilians killed in the attack. They will also recognize women who flew noncombat missions during World War II.

 

BOARDMAN, Ohio (AP) – The crook is now sorry. A Salvation Army red kettle was swiped from a northern Ohio mall earlier this week. The thief apparently had a change of heart. Police say a note was left at the Salvation Army, along with 130 bucks. The crook apologized and wrote there was enough to buy a new kettle and bell, too. The Vindicator newspaper in Youngstown reports the note also says “please forgive me.”

 

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Pebble the pooch has a new trick — ringing the doorbell. And it’s not just any doorbell — it’s a doggy doorbell. Keith Jin got tired of Pebble scratching the door when he wanted to go out or come back inside. So, Jin installed a doggy doorbell. It’s just the right height for Pebble to push with his nose. Jin tells KVAL in Eugene, Oregon, his friends and relatives are impressed. Now, he’s started a business, selling the Pebble Smart Doggy Doorbell. Jin thinks cats might be trained to use it, too.

 

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved)

 

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