Today's News - Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Cambria County 911 center has released the recording of the bomb threat made against the courthouse in Ebensburg on Tuesday. In the call, 50-year-old Stephen Jablonski of Johnstown used a fake accent and said “We have placed an explosive device in your courthouse to be triggered at a time of our choosing. You have an unknown period of time to take steps to eliminate casualties. Ahmad jihad.” Jablonski’s girlfriend was scheduled to be in court to be sentenced on a probation violation and a retail theft. He told police they had been doing drugs and he didn’t want her to fail a drug test. Heroin and crack cocaine were seized from inside of his apartment. Charges are pending against Jablonski’s girlfriend. His preliminary hearing is scheduled Tuesday.

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56-year-old Bobby Williams of Johnstown tells the tribune democrat he endured two hours of surgery, suffered a heart attack, and fears he may never again be able to fully use his right arm. This after he was mauled by two pit bulls Friday at the corner of Poplar and Pine Streets in Hornerstown. A neighbor shot and wounded one of the dogs and a police officer killed the other one. Police Chief Craig Foust says the family that owned the animals is expected to be charged with harboring dangerous dogs.

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Johnstown city councilman Pete Vizza was named deputy mayor in a 4-3 vote yesterday. The position was made available when Frank Janakovic became mayor of Johnstown in January. Vizza was the leading vote getter in the last election.

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The three Republican candidates for the ninth district U.S. House seat will participate in a forum tonight at 7:00 at the Kovalchick Complex in Indiana. Incumbent Bill Shuster is being challenged by Bedford County developer Art Halvorson and Franklin County farmer Travis Schooley. Three similar events are planned next month, including a debate May 2 at Penn State Altoona.

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The wildfire on Will’s Mountain in Cumberland Valley Township, Bedford County, has been burning since Saturday. It has now scorched about 900 acres, but crews say it is 70 percent contained. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Public Information Officer Glenn Bell is urging those who have cabins or property on Will's Mountain to stay away from the area. The speed limit on Route 220 in the Centerville area has been reduced to 35 miles per hour due to smoky conditions. Investigators are still trying to determine what sparked the blaze.

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The USS Somerset has arrived at his home port in San Diego after being commissioned in Philadelphia March 1. The amphibious transport dock ship sailed through the Caribbean Sea and Panama Canal to reach its destination. The ship was named in honor of the crew and passengers of United Flight 93 which crashed outside Shanksville on 9-11.

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A new statue of legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno could be up in downtown State College by November of next year. A group of alumni will start a fundraising campaign in July and borough officials have already signed off on the plan. The $300.000 bronze statue will show Joe Pa sitting on a bench reading Virgil’s “Aeneid.” It will be on private property near the entrance to the Tavern Restaurant off East College Avenue. Penn State removed a bronze statue of Paterno from outside Beaver Stadium after the Sandusky scandal broke.

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Officials are confirming that investigators seized 12 items from the locker of Franklin Regional High School student Alex Hribal who is accused of stabbing classmates and a security guard with kitchen knives earlier this month. According to a search warrant inventory, authorities took a backpack, a handwritten note, a cell phone, a student handbook, six school binders, a bag of gym clothes and a textbook. Two of the victims left the hospital yesterday

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President Obama continues his visit to Japan with a state dinner at the Imperial Palace on today's schedule. Earlier today, the President reassured Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the U.S. continues to value its historic ties to the Asia-Pacific region. The President called North Korea the biggest threat to the region's security.

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It is now legal to take a gun into church in Georgia. Governor Nathan Deal on Wednesday signed legislation which allows people to carry guns in a wide variety of public places, including churches, bars, and government buildings without security checkpoints. Critics call the new law irresponsible and a threat to public safety.

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Spirit Airlines flight attendants are the rudest compared to other airlines. According to a poll done by the website Airfare Watchdog, Spirit ran away with the title after nearly doubling the amount of votes compared to second-place Air Canada. Southwest and Alaska Airlines received the highest praise for their flight attendants.

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The Food and Drug Administration is proposing new rules to regulate e-cigarettes. The rules set to be floated by the FDA today would immediately make e-cigarettes off-limits to anyone younger than 18. Public health experts have been calling on the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes as the products' popularity has been heating up over the past few years. Sales hit two-billion dollars last year.  

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Michael Phelps returns to competitive swimming today. The 22-time Olympic medalist will compete for the first time since the 2012 London Games in the Arena Grand Prix Series in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, Arizona. The 28-year-old swimming legend isn't saying whether this will lead to him competing in his fifth Olympics in Rio in 2016.  

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Federal regulators plan to propose new rules that will allow Internet providers to create a so-called "fast lane" for certain websites and streaming services. The move is a reversal from the Federal Communications Commission which previously banned Internet service providers from discriminating against online content.

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It's feared a suspected child molester may have had as many as 90 victims in at least nine countries. The FBI says William James Vahey committed suicide last month, two days after agents in Houston sought a warrant to search a thumb drive that belonged to him. The FBI says Vahey is believed to have molested children while working at American international schools in Nicaragua, the U.K., Venezuela, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Iran, Spain and Lebanon.

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The Oklahoma Supreme Court is clearing the way for a pair of executions. The state's high court Wednesday lifted a stay of execution that was put in place for two convicted murderers over concerns about the lethal injection drugs. The court ruled the inmates had been provided with the identity and dosages of the drugs to be used and there were no reasons for the stay to remain in place.

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Thousands of federal prisoners could be freed under new clemency guidelines. The Obama administration wants to reduce federal prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders. Candidates must serve at least ten years of their sentence and not pose a threat to public safety. They also can't have ties to gangs, organized crime syndicates or drug cartels.

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Big news from Facebook. The social media giant is reporting first-quarter earnings that beat investor expectations. Facebook's revenue rose 72 percent to $2.5 billion. That's above the $2. 36 billion mark that analysts expected. At the same time, Facebook announced Wednesday that Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman is stepping down from his post June 1.

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A Chicago man doesn't play the lottery a lot, but he has a really good batting average when he does. Christopher Kaelin has won the Illinois Crossword lottery three times in three weeks. Lottery officials announced on Wednesday the Kaelin won $25,000, $1,000, and $250,000 on his winning streak.

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The Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine is indefinitely suspending a doctor's license to practice over some unorthodox cleaning methods. Officials announced on Wednesday that the physician in question had admitted to using Lysol floor cleaner and spray to disinfect medical equipment, and then reusing the instruments on different patients.

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Two French daredevils now hold the world record for BASE jumping, after a leap from the top of the world's tallest building this week. The duo jumped from a platform at the top of the spire on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, free-falling more than a thousand feet before opening their parachutes about half-way down the more than 2,700 foot tall building.

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Many Americans will be getting away this year, far away. Two-thirds of the respondents in a new TripAdvisor poll say they'll be visiting another country before 2014 is over. That's a 14 percent increase over 2013.  

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Spirit Airlines flight attendants are the rudest compared to other airlines. According to a poll done by the website Airfare Watchdog, Spirit ran away with the title after nearly doubling the amount of votes compared to second-place Air Canada. Southwest and Alaska Airlines received the highest praise for their flight attendants.

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