Today's News - Monday, November 18, 2013

“The Tribune-Democrat” reports that more than 80 people have now stepped forward claiming that Franciscan Brother Stephen Baker molested them. Most of them are males who attended Johnstown’s Bishop McCort High School in the 1990s. Dozens of civil lawsuits have been filed and the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese is in settlement talks. Baker commtted suicide in January after it came to light that he had reached out-of-court settlements with other young men who had similar claims in Ohio.

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Johnstown Police are investigating a shooting that happened at 6 a.m. Sunday at the Prospect Homes. One person was shot in the torso and taken to Memorial Medical Center. He’s listed in fair condition. Police say one man is in custody and charges are likely to be filed today.

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Silver Airways, the company that provides flights from the Altoona-Blair County and Johnstown-Cambria County Airports is cutting back. Officials tell the “Altoona Mirror” the early morning departure and late night arrival are being eliminated. The flights are being replaced with a mid-day arrival and departure, allowing aircraft to remain overnight at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.

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A Penn State student died shortly before 4 Saturday morning after falling off a ninth floor balcony. State College Police say 20 year old Conor Macmannis fell from The Penn Towers Apartment Complex and they believe drugs and alcohol were factors.

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The State House is expected to vote this week on a transportation funding bill that has already been approved by the Senate. The measure calls for spending $2.5 billion a year on infrastructure, mainly through a gradual uncapping of the oil company franchise tax.

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The storm system that spawned dozens of tornadoes across the Midwest and left six people dead is moving into the Northeast. Nearly two dozen people were injured when a line of strong storms tore through the Midwest Sunday. There were close to 80 tornado sightings with more than a dozen confirmed twisters in Illinois.

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Two miners are dead and 20 others were injured in an accident at a silver mine in southwest Colorado. Initial reports indicated there was an explosion at the mine Sunday, but authorities in Ouray County later ruled that out. They also ruled out a cave-in.

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The leaders of international relief agencies say there are likely still areas of the Philippines that have yet to receive aid well over a week after Typhoon Haiyan struck. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says he "wouldn't be surprised" if help had not yet reached some of the more isolated islands. Officials now think four-million people have been displaced by the storm.

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A New York man is dead after trying to set a free diving record. Nicholas Mevoli was trying to go 236 feet below the surface on one breath of oxygen and without swim fins yesterday. Organizers of a ten-day competition in the Bahamas say the 36-year-old diver from Brooklyn flashed on OK sign after surfacing, but lost consciousness about 30 seconds later and died.

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A court hearing is set for today in the case of a North Carolina boy found handcuffed to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck. The Union County Sheriff's Office says it appears this wasn't the first time he was chained down. Dorian Harper and his wife Wanda Larson are facing multiple charges including child cruelty.

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A social worker in North Carolina is behind bars and facing a court hearing today after deputies found a boy chained to the woman's porch with a dead chicken hanging around his neck. Wanda Sue Larson was arrested Friday after a Union County deputy found the boy shivering with his ankle handcuffed to the front porch.

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Engineers at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant are beginning to remove the fuel rods from a damaged reactor in the crippled electric plant. The dangerous procedure is considered an important milestone in the 50-billion dollar cleanup, more than two years after a powerful earthquake and a massive tsunami all but destroyed the plant in March of 2011.

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Princeton University officials are expected to decide today whether to offer students a meningitis vaccine that hasn't been approved in the United States. The vaccine has been approved in Europe and Australia. There have been seven confirmed cases of meningitis at the university since March.

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A Pittsburgh-based study says those pro-smoking cigarette and tobacco ads get the attention of young adults and stay with them longer than once thought. Rand Corporation scientist Steven Martino says they "detected an increase in intentions to smoke at the time they were exposed," adding there was "increased attention to it for up to seven days." The study surveyed 134 college smokers and non smokers 18 to 24, and is published in the "Journal of Adolescent Health."

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Pittsburgh Steelers fans are celebrating a big win, but some fans also got to see a celebrity at Heinz Field. "Sons of Anarchy" star, Charlie Hunnam who plays Jax on the show, was at the game yesterday and led the Terrible Towel Twirl. Hunnam was wearing a number 99 Brett Keisel jersey and was joined in the towel twirl by former Steelers offensive lineman Kendall Simmons.

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NASA's MAVEN spacecraft is ready to lift off for the Red Planet. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution orbiter will blast off at 1:28 p.m. Eastern time, barring any weather delays or technical glitches.

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"Thor" is holding onto the top spot at the movie box office. The big budget superhero adventure Thor: The Dark World" pulled in $38.5 million to take the lead for a second straight weekend. "The Best Man Holiday," a romantic comedy sequel starring Taye Diggs, Nia Long and Terrence Howard, opened with a strong $30.5 million showing.

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Miley Cyrus is reacting to some less than positive tweets after her performance on U.K.'s "X Factor" Sunday. After she sang "Wrecking Ball" on the results show, Twitter started to light up with underwhelming comments about her lack of energy. "The Mirror" called it "one of her most tame performances since her Disney days." In what seemed like a response to the harsh criticism of her toned-down performance, the singer tweeted, quote "damned if you do, damned if you don't."

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