December 11th, 2017 6:48 pm

Company sues Pa. man

who’s critic of gas drilling

MONTROSE (AP) — A gas driller argued in court Monday that it’s entitled to monetary damages from a Susquehanna County homeowner who continued bad-mouthing the company after settling his water-contamination lawsuit against it more than five years ago.

Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. claims Dimock resident Ray Kemble and his former lawyers tried to extort the company through a frivolous federal suit that recycled already-settled claims. The suit, filed in April but withdrawn two months later, accused Cabot of polluting Kemble’s water supply anew.

Cabot says the claims in Kemble’s suit were the subject of a 2012 settlement between Cabot and dozens of Dimock residents, including Kemble. Cabot’s suit also claims Kemble has repeatedly breached the 2012 agreement by publicly talking about the company.

The company is seeking monetary damages against Kemble and his former lawyers. The first hearing in the case was Monday.

Kemble and his new lawyer said Cabot is trying to use the legal system to chill dissent and discourage attorneys from taking on contamination cases.

“This is just a way to shut the people up of the county and of the state, and I just don’t think it’s right,” Kemble told reporters. “We the people have the right to talk.”

DA: Police justified to shoot

man who killed state trooper

HARRISBURG (AP) — A district attorney ruled Monday that State Police acted properly a year ago when they shot and killed a man they suspected of murdering a state trooper in a rural area of central Pennsylvania.

Huntingdon County District Attorney David Smith issued his decision in the Dec. 31 death of 32-year-old Jason Robison.

The two-page report said troopers searching for Robison found him inside a camper not far from where Trooper Landon Weaver, 23, had been killed.

Smith said the investigators retreated and secured the area, and a short time later, Robison appeared at the camper door, holding a pistol.

“Troopers at the scene ordered Robison numerous times to drop his gun, which he refused to do,” Smith wrote. “Robison moved as if to advance from the camper while still holding the pistol in his hand.”

A .32-caliber Beretta pistol was recovered beside Robison’s body. It contained eight live rounds, and there were two other bullets in the pocket of his jacket.

Celebs flee homes

as wildfires rage on

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ash fell like snow and heavy smoke had residents gasping for air Monday as a huge Southern California wildfire exploded in size, becoming the fifth largest in state history and driving celebrities from a wealthy hillside enclave.

Tens of thousands have fled their homes as flames churn through foothill towns near Santa Barbara, the latest flare-up after a week of wind-fanned wildfires throughout the region.

With acrid smoke thick in the air, even residents not under evacuation orders took the chance to leave.

Officials handed out masks to those who stayed behind in Montecito, an exclusive community about 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles that’s home to stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges and Drew Barrymore.

Actor Rob Lowe wore a mask as he live-streamed his family evacuating Sunday from their smoke-shrouded home.

“Praying for the people in my area,” he said to his Instagram followers.

The blaze has destroyed more than 750 buildings, officials said.