Today's News - Friday, June 20, 2014

Thunder in the Valley is next weekend and area drivers and riders are encouraged to be safe and to especially not drink and drive. Officials from the Western Pennsylvania DUI Association, Johnstown Police and PennDOT met at Zepka Harley-Davidson yesterday for a press conference. Last year, there were 3,427 motorcycle related crashes in the state, leading to 181 fatalities.

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Alternative Community Resource Program held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new outpatient clinic and pharmacy, located on Walnut Street in Johnstown in the historic former Bethlehem Steel administration building. The space was donated to ACRP by Conemaugh Health System. The agency was able to add six new jobs with the opening of the facility.

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Southmont fire fighters responded to what they thought was a structure fire in the borough on Thursday, but it ended up just being ruined breakfast. A man had burnt toast at his home on State Street, and a mail carrier saw the smoke and reported a blaze. The home owner was able to douse most of the flames himself, although some of his kitchen cabinets were damaged.

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Due to the insurgency turmoil in Iraq, gas prices have risen 5 percent worldwide. In the U.S., the average price for a gallon is $3.68 -- higher than its been since 2008, although experts predict prices will not reach over the $4 level.

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A new Senate Majority Leader has been chosen, as Eric Cantor prepares to step down after a stunning primary election loss. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California will take over the position, and Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana will fill in as Whip, McCarthy’s former post.

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Russian forces continue to build up their military along the Ukrainian border in an attempt to intimidate Ukraine, although Russian president Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have been discussing peace plans by telephone.

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More details in the Veteran’s Affair scandal.  Reports now show that many more soldiers than originally believed had to wait excessive times for appointments. An audit of all 731 VA medical facilities showed that most patients are forced to wait at least a month with average wait times varying widely across the country. More than 56,000 veterans were waiting more than 90 days for an initial appointment.

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