Real Rembrandt in Allentown: AP PA Headlines and more AP news

AP PA Headlines 2/18/20

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A nearly 400-year-old painting that had long been attributed to someone in Rembrandt’s workshop has now been judged to have been a work of the Dutch master himself. For decades, the Allentown Art Museum displayed an oil-on-oak panel painting called “Portrait of a Young Woman” and credited it to “Studio of Rembrandt.” Two years ago, the painting was sent to New York University for conservation and cleaning. The work revealed telltale signs that Rembrandt himself was responsible for the original, delicate brushwork. The newly restored painting goes on display June 7.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Authorities have charged two men in the strangulation homicide of a woman whose body was found in a western Pennsylvania park last year. Allegheny County police say the pair, who are already incarcerated, are charged in the death of 43-year-old Tameka Dallas, whose body was found Sept. 12 in a wooded area of Renziehausen Park in McKeesport. The suspects are charged with homicide, robbery of a motor vehicle, evidence-tampering and abuse of a corpse. Court documents don’t list defense attorneys.

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Andrew Funk posted 19 points as Bucknell cruised past Holy Cross 69-48. John Meeks had 18 points and Avi Toomer added 10 for Bucknell, which snapped its five-game road losing streak. This game was on Eagle 107 and Eagle 107.com.

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WILMINGTON (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy protection as it faces a barrage of new sex-abuse lawsuits. The filing Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware, is an attempt to work out a potentially mammoth compensation plan for abuse victims that will allow the 110-year-old organization to carry on. It could be one of the biggest, most complex bankruptcies ever seen.  Scores of lawyers are seeking settlements on behalf of several thousand men who say they were molested as boys by scout leaders decades ago. The organization could be forced to sell off some of its vast property holdings to raise money for a compensation fund that could surpass $1 billion.

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) — A judge dismissed a professor’s lawsuit against a small, public university in Ohio that rebuked him for not addressing a transgender student using the student’s preferred gender terms.  Nicholas Meriwether’s federal lawsuit alleged Shawnee State University officials violated his rights by compelling him to speak in a way that contradicts his Christian beliefs.

Schools officials contended such language was part of his job responsibilities, not speech protected by the First Amendment, and that the case should be dismissed. U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott dismissed it last week, agreeing that the way Meriwether addressed the student wasn’t protected under the First Amendment.  Asked whether Meriwether would further pursue the matter, his attorney says they are evaluating their next steps.

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A white professor at an Indiana university who called police because a black student refused to change seats won’t be teaching the remainder of the semester.  The school, Ball State University, says no formal charges or disciplinary action were immediately taken against marketing professor Shaheen Borna — and he continued to teach after the incident last month, despite campus protests.

The student who declined to switch seats characterized the teacher’s punishment as an insufficient “slap on the wrist.” Sultan “Mufasa” Benson believes he was singled out in class because of his race and feared for his safety when police were called.

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says he plans to spend $10 billion of his own fortune to help fight climate change.  Bezos, the world’s richest person, said in an Instagram post that he’ll start giving grants this summer to scientists, activists and nonprofits working to protect Earth.

Bezos’ company Amazon has an enormous carbon footprint. The online retailer relies on fossil fuels to power planes, trucks and vans to ship billions of items around the world. Amazon workers in its Seattle headquarters have been vocal in criticizing some of the company’s practices, pushing it to do more to combat climate change.

NEW YORK (AP) — “Sonic” was super at the box office. The movie based on the popular Sega videogame “Sonic the Hedgehog” has sped to the top of the box office list. It took in $57 million in its opening weekend, which is also the highest opening for a movie drawn from a video game. What makes the success even more interesting was that when the first trailer for the movie was released.

The trailer  was ridiculed on social media, in part because people thought Sonic’s teeth looked weird. Movie producers literally went back to the drawing board, tweaked Sonic’s “grill” — and the rest is history.  Second over the weekend was “Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey” with $17.1 million, followed by “Fantasy Island,” “The Photograph” and “Bad Boys for Life.”

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — It would have been a glowing moment of triumph. But an effort to break a world record for the most sparklers lit at once has fizzled — because of a technicality. People in Gillette, Wyoming submitted the August event for Guinness World Records posterity, saying they had 2,500 sparklers lit at once.

That would have shattered the current mark of 1,713. But the Gillette News Record reports Guinness snuffed the record because those holding the sparklers had to light them themselves — and the Wyoming event had volunteers helping to light sparklers before handing them to participants. Gillette officials say they’ll try again — with a closer eye on the rules.

BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) — It was many years — and many, many miles — that separated a woman from her high school ring. But the story has a happy, though improbable ending. Debra McKenna says she lost her high school ring in Portland, Maine in 1973.

She forgot about it until it was recovered by a sheet metal worker, who pulled it out from under 8 inches of soil in a forest in Finland. Making the recovery even more special is that the ring belonged to McKenna’s husband, Shawn, who died in 2017, after 40 years of marriage. McKenna says she cried when she got the ring in the mail.

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