Today's News - Monday, February 17, 2014

John Hugya officially began his campaign for the 12th Congressional district Sunday at his downtown Johnstown headquarters. Hugya is a retired Marine Corps Colonel and served as chief of staff for the late Congressman John Murtha. He says he will use his experience to bring jobs to the region. In the May primary election, Hugya will face Erin McCelland, a Democrat from the Alle-Kiski Valley area.

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Johnstown police say 26-year-old Maurice Davis Jr., also known as “Spunky,” is in the Cambria County Jail charged with beating his 16-month-old daughter at an Oak Street home back on January 24th. Davis originally told authorities she fell down a flight of stairs from the attic. The child has bleeding on the brain, spinal injuries and broken bones. She remains in serious condition at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

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A malfunctioning electrical outlet in a bathroom on the first floor is being blamed for starting a fire that damaged a home on Ticonderoga lane in Conemaugh Township, Cambria County, early Sunday. Three people escaped, but one reported trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital. The flames also damaged a utility room and kitchen on the first floor and caused some damage to bedrooms on the second floor. There is smoke damage throughout the home.

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A house on Fulmer Road in Richland Township is a total loss after a fire Saturday. The blaze started after the homeowner overfilled a kerosene heater. He couldn’t find his phone, so he had to drive for help. He got stuck in the snow and had to flag down passing motorist to call 911. Firefighters had to plow the driveway before they could get to the house. Two cats died in the fire, but the homeowner was able to save a dog and two ferrets.

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Sixty-two-year-old Florida State president Eric Barron is expected to be named Penn State’s 18th president today. Barron spent 20 years as a professor at the university, then as dean in the college of earth and mineral sciences. He was named Florida State’s president in 2010. Penn State’s board will hold a special session this morning to approve Barron, then a press conference will follow at noon at the Penn Stater Conference Center.

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Over 12,500 fans, including a record 698 breast cancer survivors, packed the Bryce Jordan Center yesterday for the Lady Lions eighth annual Pink Zone game. Preliminary fundraising totals approached $200,000. That does not include single game ticket sales, t-shirt sales or the CharityBuzz.com online auction. Penn State won the game 78 to 68 over Wisconsin.

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Applications for the Department Of Revenue’s property tax/rent rebate program are now available for eligible residents. The program aids those 65 and older, widows and widowers age 50 and older, and persons with disabilities age 18 and older. The maximum standard rebate is $650, but some homeowners may receive up to $975.

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Regions that can't catch a break this winter are getting even more snow. A fast-moving storm is forecast to dump up to half a foot of snow from the Midwest to the East Coast through Tuesday. The heaviest snowfall is expected today in Wisconsin, Michigan and northern Illinois, including Chicago.

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The FBI is talking with police in Pennsylvania about a young woman who's allegedly admitted to killing over 20 people across the country. Nineteen-year-old Miranda Barbour has so far been charged only with murdering a man last November she lured through a Craigslist ad.

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President Obama is spending Presidents Day out west, working with aides in California. Obama is wrapping up a long weekend at the secluded Sunnylands sanctuary in the Palm Springs area about two hours east of Los Angeles.

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George Zimmerman says he is homeless and had developed PTSD since the shooting death of Trayvon Martin two years ago. In an interview with Univision broadcast on Sunday, the former Florida neighborhood watchman refused to answer many questions about the night of the shooting, saying a federal civil rights action is still pending.

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Some residents in central Oklahoma are a bit shaken up after a magnitude 3.8 earthquake hit the region. The late Sunday night tremor was the strongest in a string of earthquakes that rocked the area this weekend. People across the state reported feeling the vibrations.

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Three people are dead after a plane crash near a runway in Telluride, Colorado. Authorities say the Beechcraft Bonanza disappeared shortly after taking off from Telluride Airport Sunday morning in light snow. Sheriff's deputies found the wreckage of the plane about six hours later.

-0- Florida state prosecutors plan to retry the man accused of murdering a teenager after an argument over loud music. State Attorney Angela Corey says her office will retry Michael Dunn for first-degree murder after Dunn opened fire on Jordan Davis and his friends in their SUV at a Jacksonville gas station in 2012. A jury found Dunn guilty on three counts of attempted murder Saturday, but deadlocked on whether he murdered Davis.

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A Kentucky pastor known for handling deadly snakes in church is dead after being bitten by a rattler. Middlesboro police say Jamie Coots was found dead in his home Saturday night after refusing medical treatment. Coots starred in the National Geographic reality series "Snake Salvation" and, according to the show's website, believed a poisonous snakebite wouldn't harm him as long he was anointed by God's power.

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A hijacked airliner is on the ground in Switzerland. Swiss aviation officials say the Ethiopian Airlines plane landed safely in Geneva after it was forced to divert on a flight to Rome from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. -0- President Obama is starting to feel his age. In an interview broadcast Sunday night on TNT, Obama told the network's Charles Barkley he's limiting his basketball playing to about once a month, because he's getting "a little older and creakier."

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The Eastern and Western Conference split the four events at the NBA's All-Star Saturday night in New Orleans. The East took the Shooting Stars Challenge and the final event of the night, the Slam Dunk Contest. The West won the Skills Challenge and the Three-Point Contest.

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Bob Costas is returning to Olympic coverage in Sochi on Monday after recovering from a noticeable eye infection. Costas anchored the NBC coverage at the start of the Sochi Games but the eye condition worsened and the network opted to replace him with "Today" show host Matt Lauer beginning with last Tuesday's primetime show. It marked the first time since 1988 that someone other than Costas has anchored the coverage.

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