Today's News - Primary Election Day, Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A preliminary hearing for Steven Jablonski of Johnstown is scheduled today. He’s charged with calling in a bomb threat to the Cambria County Courthouse last month, leading to an evacuation. He told authorities his girlfriend was due to appear in court, but the two had been doing drugs and he didn’t want her to fail a drug test.

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The search continues for the 19-year-old who may have drowned Saturday in the Susquehanna River near Karthaus, Clearfield County. He was kayaking with his church group when he fell into the water. Officials say rescue operations include air support, search dogs, sonar and underwater cameras.

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Penn Cambria High School and Richland Elementary School were honored yesterday by the State Department of Education for leading Cambria County in the first round of the Penn. School Performance Profiles. Penn Cambria Scored a 91.7 and Richland a 92 on the standardized test. Only 428 schools out of around 500 in the commonwealth scored 90 points or higher in the testing.

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Philadelphia resident 22-year-old Jerome Brown was arrested Saturday at Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown after a nurse found him carrying a loaded handgun. Brown was at the hospital seeking treatment for an illness. The gun had been stolen from a Stoystown, Somerset County, residence.

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In today’s primary election, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters will be asked, but not required, to show an acceptable photo ID that contains an expiration date.

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A number of races are on the ballot in today’s primary election.
Republicans and Democrats will decide on their candidates for governor and lieutenant governor. In the 12th Congressional District, Democrats John Hugya and Erin Mcclelland are facing off. Democratic incumbent Bryan Barbin of Johnstown is running unopposed in the primary for the 71st district. The GOP hopefuls are Jim Rigby of Ferndale and Mark Amsdell of Johnstown. The retirement of longtime 72nd District Democratic Representative Gary Haluska has incumbent Frank Burns seeking the party nod along with Martin Westrick. On the Republican side, the candidates are Philip Rice and RJ Wilson. Under the reapportionment, the new 73rd District contains a small part of Cambria County, but is largely Clearfield County. Incumbent Republican Tommy Sankey of Clearfield is running unopposed for his party’s nomination. On the Democratic ballot is Matt Barczak of Northern Cambria.

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In today’s primary, incumbent Governor Tom Corbett and Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley are unopposed. Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for governor include: Allyson Schwartz, Tom Wolf, Rob McCord and Katie Mcginty. The Democratic Hopefuls for Lieutenant Governor are State Senator Mike Stack of Philadelphia, State Representative Brandon Newman, former Congressman Mark Critz, Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith and Harrisburg city councilman Brad Koplinski.

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PennDOT is partnering with state and local police for a nationwide “Click it or Ticket” seat-belt enforcement campaign which runs through June 8. PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch says Pennsylvania is one of 11 states, plus Ontario, canada, participating in the “border-to-border” seat-belt initiative. Enforcement will focus on nighttime operations, using traffic enforcement zones and roving patrols. Last year in Pennsylvania, 425 people died in unrestrained crashes statewide, down from 503 in 2012. The number of crashes involving people not wearing seat belts decreased to 14,436 last year, down from 15,528.

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The White House is asking for patience until a full review of the Veterans Affairs Department is finished. When pressed Monday about reports concerning growing problems at VA health clinics, presidential spokesman Jay Carney said the White House will assess the facts once the review is completed.

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With November's midterm elections on the horizon, primaries are set to take place in several states today. Voters are going to the polls in Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon and Pennsylvania. In Kentucky, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is expected to easily win his primary.

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American passenger jets may soon be sharing the skies with drones and other remotely-operated aircraft. NASA will begin tests later this year in the California desert to see how well a U.S. Predator drone interacts with other planes. The goal is to gather data that would help a drone's remote pilot avoid coming close to other aircraft.

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An appeals court is turning down BP's bid to block businesses from recovering money over the 2010 oil spill. In a ruling announced Monday, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said BP can't stop businesses from getting paid, even if they can't trace an economic loss to the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake say problems are widespread in the nation's V.A. hospitals. Senator Flake says for more funding to be given to the hospitals, Congress must be given the correct information. A former worker at the Phoenix V.A. hospital said on Monday that he believed he was fired for asking too many questions about the so-called "secret waiting list."

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A new report out today says many of America's cultural and historic landmarks are at risk because of climate change. The Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, DC titled the study "National Landmarks at Risk." Some of the landmarks at risk include New York's Statue of Liberty, North Carolina's Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Sprint is agreeing to pay a seven and a half million dollar fine to settle a do-not-call case. The fine was issued by the Federal Communications Commission. As part of the settlement, Sprint also agreed to implement a two-year plan that will better protect its customers from receiving unwanted calls from telemarketers.

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It's a somber anniversary in the Sooner State. Today marks one year since a deadly EF-5 tornado slammed into Moore Oklahoma, killing 24 people. A ceremony to honor the victims and break new ground on a medical center destroyed by the twister is set to begin at 10 a.m. local time.

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China is warning the United States of retaliation if it continues with charges against five Chinese military officers accused of cyberspying. Attorney General Eric Holder said several American companies were targeted for espionage through hacking. It's the first time that cyber-crime charges have been leveled against foreign government officials.

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Same-sex couples in Oregon are tying the knot after a federal judge struck down the state's ban on gay marriage. Gay marriage opponents had asked a superior court to stay the judge's decision, but earlier Monday the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected their emergency motion. Oregon is now the seventh state where a federal judge has struck down a gay marriage ban as unconstitutional since the U.S. Supreme court ruled last year against key sections of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

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The NBA is moving forward with its efforts to oust embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The league has initiated a charge seeking to terminate his ownership in the aftermath of recorded racial comments against African-Americans that went public last month. The NBA Board of Governors needs three-quarters of league owners to vote in favor of ousting Sterling.

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A retired FBI agent says Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had him investigate officiating in the 2006 NBA Finals. The Mavericks jumped out to a two-games-to-none lead over the Miami Heat, but the Heat ended up winning four in a row to take the title. According to an investigative report by the "Oregonian" newspaper, retired agent Warren Flagg told Cuban he could win a lawsuit against the league. However, Flagg says Cuban knew that suing the NBA would be "killing the golden goose."

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Twitter may be getting back in the music business. The company is said to be considering a deal to buy SoundCloud, a music and audio-sharing company with 250 million users. If Twitter buys SoundCloud, the deal would be a blockbuster. SoundCloud was recently valued at $700 million.

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California Chrome will have a shot at winning the Triple Crown after a ruling from the New York Racing Association. The thoroughbred will be allowed to wear a nasal strip in next month's Belmont Stakes. The NYRA says it is ending its ban on the equipment.

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Actor Michael Jace, a star of TV's "The Shield," is being detained in connection with the shooting death of his wife. Los Angeles Police arrested the 48-year-old actor Monday after his wife, April Jace, was shot to death. The "Los Angeles Times" reports police are investigating to determine whether the shooting was deliberate or an accident.

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"Selfie" and "hashtag" are some of the more than 150 new words being added to the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. The people behind the dictionary say a lot of the new words show that technology is becoming a bigger part of society. The new words also include "gamification," which is the act of adding game-like elements to tasks like working out, getting errands done and doing homework.

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