Today's News - Friday, December 27, 2013

Johnstown police say a 36-year-old man who had recently been released from jail stole a red kettle full of money from a Salvation Army bell ringer on Christmas Eve at Johnstown’s Galleria mall. The bell ringer followed the man outside and saw him waiting for a bus. She called the cops when she spotted the kettle in his shopping bag. It contained about $150. The suspect’s name has not yet been released.

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29 year old Jeffrey Weible of Stoystown is in the Cambria County Jail, charged with breaking into Western Central Equipment in Johnstown on Christmas day. Police say he stole thousands of dollars worth of chainsaws. Weible admitted to the theft and also to stealing from a sister store in Somerset County.

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The controversial process of privatizing the Pennsylvania lottery may have to start over. Democratic lawmakers are working on legislation that would force Governor Tom Corbett’s administration to re-bid the current deal with Britain’s Camelot Global Services. Camelot’s bid expires at the end of the year and has already been extended several times.

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The death toll could rise as utility crews put in long hours to restore power in states left shivering from an ice storm. Thousands remain without power from Michigan to Maine. Weather-related outages are being blamed for more than a dozen deaths in the United States and at least ten in Canada.

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A bomb blast in Lebanon has killed former Lebanese minister Mohammed Shattah, an opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Security sources say the explosion targeted his convoy in Beirut today and killed at least four other people.

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The family of a brain-dead teenager may be in for a fight as they try to keep her on life support. Officials at Children's Hospital in Oakland say they will oppose performing surgery on 13-year-old Jahi McMath to facilitate her move to a Bay Area nursing home.

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Connecticut State Police are releasing all of their documents from the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack investigation today. The heavily redacted release will include police interviews, videos and other evidence related to the deadly mass shooting.

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All eyes are on Wall Street to see if the stock market can continue its record-setting year end rally. Yesterday, stocks closed with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 122 points to close at 16,480, a new high. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also made gains.

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An appeals court is dismissing a criminal case against a Philadelphia priest jailed for more than a year for his handling of priest-related sex-abuse complaints. The superior court yesterday ordered Monsignor William Lynn to be released from prison, where he has been serving three to six years.

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Momentum appears to be swinging back to the Republicans ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. A new CNN/ORC poll shows 49-percent of voters surveyed favor a GOP-controlled Congress. Nearly 45 percent said they'd like to see Democrats take over both chambers.

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Rescue is near for the more than 70 people aboard an expedition ship trapped by sea ice in the Antarctic. The captain of a Chinese icebreaker tells CNN he expects to reach the stranded vessel later today. A few hours later, a French icebreaker is expected to reach the trapped researchers and tourists.

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A Houston-area man is facing federal hate crime charges for allegedly taking part in the "knockout game." Officials say 27-year-old Conrad Barrett attacked an elderly African American man last month and broke his jaw in two places. According to court papers, Barrett recorded the attack on his cell phone.

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Tickets are being given away for the New Year's Day public memorial for the victim of a Colorado school shooting. Claire Davis died nearly a week ago after being shot at Arapahoe High School in Centennial earlier this month.

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It's time for another spacewalk outside the International Space Station. Today two Russian cosmonauts will venture outside the orbiter to install two Canadian Earth observation cameras. The spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., Eastern time.

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A Chicago doctor will be trying out Google Glass in the operating room. NBC reports Dr. Anil Shah will wear the glasses while working on a patient who smashed her nose at an amusement park back in October. He says the new tech glasses will allow him to see the patient’s X-Rays and MRIs while operating, without taking his eyes off the patient.

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An anonymous donor is giving the Salvation Army a big boost this holiday season. According to Michigan City's "News-Dispatch," volunteers working a Salvation Army collection kettle recently discovered that a generous donor dropped in a gold bar valued at 12-hundred dollars.

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Two national polls put Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie neck and neck in a hypothetical matchup for the 2016 election. A Quinnipiac University survey shows Christie with the support of 42-percent of registered voters. He narrowly beat out Clinton, who received 41-percent support.

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"Rush," the Ron Howard-directed movie based on a real-life Formula One rivalry, has been voted the most under appreciated movie of 2013. According to an online poll on LATimes.com, almost 27 percent say "Rush" didn't get enough credit from the box office or critics this year. Nineteen percent voted for Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper's crime drama "The Place Beyond The Pines." And 16 percent of those polled say the Shailene Woodley coming-of-age romance "The Spectacular Now" was the most under appreciated movie of year after the Simon Pegg-Nick Frost sci-fi comedy "The World's End." Other choices were indie flick "Short Term 12," "The East" and "The Counselor."

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