Today's News - Thursday, August 15, 2103

Former Congressman Mark Critz of Johnstown has big plans.  “The Daily American” reported that he will run for lieutenant governor in 2014.  Critz says he’s in the process of putting together the paperwork to form a committee and is learning how to run a statewide campaign.  Critz, who replaced John Murtha, was defeated by Republican Keith Rothfus last November.

-0-

A man dressed as a ninja intended to stop crime in a Johnstown neighborhood, but ended up havin a run-in with the law himself. 6 News reported Todd Kapcsos, of Johnstown, was charged with loitering, prowling at night and disorderly conduct when he was apprehended in Moxham on July 15 dressed in black and carrying a baseball bat.  There have been several high profile crimes in the area.

-0-

Burglars broke into a Cambria County church early Wednesday and stole copper piping. Police say the water lines were ripped out of Holy Ascension Church in Colver. Hinges were ripped off the door and pipes torn out of the ceiling. The church is holding a basket fundraiser Sunday and the thieves even took some of the baskets.

-0-

A former restaurant owner will appear in Cambria County Court. “The Tribune-Democrat” reported that Andy Lasky, who used to own City View Bar and Grill in Johnstown, failed to appear for his preliminary hearing on Wednesday. Lasky was arrested for criminal trespass and disorderly conduct charges after he refused to leave the premises of his former business after a dispute on June 27.

-0-

U.S. Marshals were in Johnstown yesterday looking for a Pittsburgh-area murder suspect.  James Lawrence of Homewood is accused of killing a man back in march and he is also a suspect in a number of other crimes.  Marshals say anyone helping Lawrence hide will face charges.  Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 412-422-47-22.

-0-

Attorney Tim Burns has resigned his position with Blair County and will no longer be handling the appeals of indigent defendants. Back in May, Burns suffered a serious concussion and other injuries when death row inmate Andre Staton clobbered him with handcuffed hands during a hearing.  Burns has not yet been able to return to his practice.

-0-

State House Speaker Sam Smith thinks the general assembly has too many members, and he plans to introduce two bills in the next session to reduce the number.  One will cut the number of state representatives to 153, eliminating 100 members. The other would cut the number of state senators to 38, getting rid of 12 seats. Similar legislation died in the state senate last year.

-0-

Higher insurance rates are coming to smokers. A Gallup poll shows most Americans agree with the plan. Federal healthcare officials are giving states permission for online exchanges to charge higher premiums for smokers. In October, eight insurers in Pennsylvania can start charging more for policies to smokers.  The move involves increased risk and expense for claims.

-0-

Facebook is buying a language technology company in Pittsburgh.  Mobile Technologies was founded by a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University.  CMU spokesman Jaime Carbonnell said, “It says if you want to start a company in this general field, Pittsburgh is the place to do it.” 

-0-

Up to 300 are reported dead in violent clashes between protesters and security forces in Egypt.  Thousands more have been injured as the military attempts to remove supporters of ousted leader Mohamed Mursi who have been staging protests in various locations around Cairo. 

-0-

Suspected murderer and kidnapper James Dimaggio tortured his victims before killing them according to court documents that were unsealed on Wednesday.  The documents claim that Dimaggio killed Hannah Anderson's mother and eight-year-old brother, and also shot the family dog.  A bloody crow bar was found on the ground next to one of the bodies which leads investigators to believe that Dimaggio tortured his victims.

-0-

Army Private First Class Bradley Manning is acknowledging his misdeed in handing over sensitive documents to Wikileaks.  A sentencing hearing is taking place at Fort Meade in Maryland that will determine Manning's punishment for what's being called the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. military history.  Manning told his court-martial that he knows his actions hurt the U.S., and that he's sorry.  He could face 90 years in prison.

-0-

A once-promising political career is ending in disgrace.  Former congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. was sentenced Wednesday in a DC federal court to 30 months in prison for misusing nearly 750-thousand dollars in campaign funds.  He also failed to report the money on his tax forms.  The Illinois Democrat resigned from congress last year.  Jackson's lawyers argued that he suffers from severe depression and bipolar disorder.  Jackson is the son of civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson.

-0-

Federal investigators are already working to figure out what brought down a UPS cargo plane in Alabama early Wednesday.  Both the pilot and co-pilot were killed.  National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt says the agency has begun the process of putting the events in order.  He says the black boxes have not been recovered yet due to the fire which is still burning on board. 

-0-

One man in Eastern China almost made an accidental trip to the U.S. “Fairfax New Zealand News” says Jiang Wu thought he'd gone back to his bed and breakfast after a night out drinking.  But he awoke to discover he was actually in a sealed shipping container destined for Los Angeles -- and was set to begin the two-week voyage across the Pacific within the hour.  A police spokesman says Wu phoned his friends as well as the authorities hoping someone could get him out.  But when officers arrived, Wu couldn't direct him to where he was -- he didn't know which of the thousands of containers on the ship he was in.  Wu was eventually able to lead officers to him by pounding on the container wall.

-0-

German manufacturing company Henkel is flushing a line of toilet fresheners from their Eastern European market.  According to Reuters, Henkel's Bref Duo stick freshener enraged Ukrainians because of its similarities to that nation's flag.  The bar not only features the same blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian standard, it is also shaped like a tiny flag.  While the flag actually wasn't marketed in Ukraine, many Ukrainians ended up seeing ads for the freshener on Russian television stations.  Henkel's general manager for laundry and home care products in Ukraine, Tore Birol, says that the company is “very sorry if people were offended.”  He also assured Ukrainians that they've stopped “production, distribution and television advertising” of the toilet freshener. 

-0-

A couple in Houston is rethinking how they keep an eye on their child after their baby monitor was hacked.  According to abcnews.com, Marc and Lauren Gilbert discovered something was wrong after hearing a man's voice in the bedroom of their two-year old daughter.  Apparently, the voice was cursing at the girl, calling her an “effing moron” and a “little slut.”  When Marc and Lauren entered the room, the voice began making comments towards them as well.  Apparently, someone had gained access to their video monitoring system, which is connected to wi-fi.  Once Marc realized that someone was not only controlling the system, but also watching them, he disconnected the device immediately. While his internet service provider told him to make sure his passwords to the device were secure, Marc says he doesn't think “it will ever be connected again.”

-0-

Russia is looking to draw tourists to Bigfoot's purported home.  According to the Russian news agency Ria Novosti, visitors to the Shorsky National Park in the Kemerovo region now have a clear path to the Azasskaya cave, which is believed to be the lair of the mythical beast.  Volunteers have cleared nearly eleven miles of shrubs and trees from the taiga to create the “environmental pathway” to the cave.  They also set up tables and chairs as well as a welcome banner for visitors. The project is a move by the park to take advantage of reports about Bigfoot sightings in the region dating back to 2008. 

-0-

An Ohio man is recovering after being shot in the arm while attending a gun safety class.  “The Columbus Dispatch” says Terry Dunlap, Sr. fired the handgun as part of his weapons demonstration.  The bullet glanced off a desk and hit student Michael Piemonte in his upper right arm.  Piemonte says he suspects Dunlap was unaware there was a bullet in the chamber.  He adds that he's glad he was only struck in the arm, and that his wife and the others around them weren't injured.  Piemonte's fellow students included a number of nurses, who provided treatment until a medic squad arrived.  The county sheriff's office investigation has determined the shooting was accidental, and Dunlap is not facing charges in the incident.

-0-

Angelina Jolie's decision to go public with her recent double mastectomy may have had a positive influence on ordinary women.  According to a new poll from Health Day, a growing number of women said they plan to ask their doctors about the same type of preventative treatment.  The vast majority of the respondents, 86 percent, said that they had heard about Jolie's gene mutation that made her at risk for breast and ovarian cancer.  Five percent of the women surveyed said they intended to seek medical advice to determine whether it could be an option for them.  Five percent translates to about six-million women nationwide who may have been made aware of the possibility thanks to the actress.

-0-

Age is just a state of mind, according to a new poll conducted by support services company Invicta Telecare.  The survey questioned over two-thousand people between the ages of 65 and 98, and found that only six percent of them described themselves as old. Almost 40 percent said that they were the happiest over the age of 60 than at any other time in their lives, and 42 percent described themselves as more tolerant. On the other hand, almost half complained of ageism.  Sixty-two percent said they were concerned about being seen as a problem by society, and one in five said they worried about being a burden to their friends and family as they grew older.  

Category: