Mar. 28 News Briefs

By 
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Involuntary manslaughter charges tossed in frat death

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — A judge has thrown out involuntary manslaughter and some of the other most serious remaining charges against 11 of the former Penn State fraternity members arrested in a pledge’s hazing-related death last year. It’s the second major blow to the prosecution’s case. District Judge Allen Sinclair on Wednesday threw out nearly 300 new or refiled counts but allowed some alcohol and hazing-related charges to stand. Felony counts that carry the lengthiest prison sentences were tossed at a prior hearing. All 11 former members of the now-shuttered Beta Theta Pi chapter face additional charges that were previously allowed to stand. Prosecutors are still reviewing the cases of 15 other frat members charged in the death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza of Lebanon, New Jersey. Piazza suffered fatal head and abdominal injuries the night of an alcohol-fueled pledge bid acceptance ceremony at the fraternity house.

More than 2 dozen Rhode Island towns sue opioid makers

PROVIDEINCE, R.I. (AP) — Twenty-six Rhode Island cities and towns have joined a national movement and sued major drug manufacturers and distributors over the opioid epidemic. The suit filed this week in federal court says the drug companies conspired to generate enormous profits while spurring the nationwide opioid epidemic. The Providence Journal reports that the suit alleges the drug companies engaged in deceptive marketing campaigns aimed at increasing opioid use. The cities and towns say they seek to “eliminate the hazard to public health and safety” and abate the nuisance caused by the companies. They are seeking unspecified damages. Eva Mancuso, who is serving as Rhode Island counsel in the suit, says the communities in the suit represent 80 percent of the state’s population.

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