Today's News - Thursday, August 28, 2014

A construction worker who fell off a roof August 20 in Davidsville, Somerset County, has died at Johnstown’s Memorial Medical Center. Cambria County Chief Deputy Coroner Jeff Lees says 30-year-old Gregory Beckett Jr., of Everett, fell about 30 feet and suffered a severe head injury.

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All 12 jurors and two alternates are now seated for the Cambria County murder trial of 22-year-old Demetrius Gibson who is accused of stabbing his estranged girlfriend, Elizabeth Miller, last summer outside of a car wash in Johnstown's Moxham neighborhood. Testimony is set to begin this morning in Johnstown.

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Yesterday, a woman called 911 and claimed she had been abducted in Cambria County, now she is charged with filing false reports. Kelly Miller of Altoona allegedly called 911 twice between 3 and 4 a.m. Wednesday and said she had been kidnapped and that she and the suspect were in a white Chevy Impala traveling eastbound on Route 22 toward Altoona. Cambria Township Police Chief Mark Westrick says Miller sounded intoxicated. She later called Altoona Police and said she had been assaulted and that there was an unwanted male at her apartment. According to the “Altoona Mirror,” police have connected Miller to a similar case in the city.

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This year’s AAABA Tournament just ended, but one local lawmaker is already looking to next year’s games – and hopes they are televised. Democratic State Representative Frank Burns has contacted various networks, including ESPN and NBC Sports, to see if they would be interested in televising the tournament.

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Penn State could have the final year of the bowl ban lifted. “The Sporting News” is reporting that two NCAA sources have said the university has a strong case to have the ban lifted for 2015 if Penn State continues its progress toward implementing recommendations made in the consent decree. Athletic Integrity Monitor George Mitchell released his first report detailing the athletic programs’ compliance with the sanctions almost a year ago and a second report is pending. No comment from the NCAA.

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Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission officials are asking drivers to pay attention to the speed limit signs over the Labor Day weekend. Nearly 2.2 million vehicles are expected on the turnpike during the 4-day period. Maintenance activities will be suspended from 3 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

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An announcement could be coming soon about Governor Tom Corbett’s plan to use billions of dollars in federal Medicaid expansion dollars under the 2010 health care law to subsidize private health insurance policies. According to the Associated Press, a State Department of Public Welfare spokeswoman said negotiations with the federal government are in the final stages, but details remain under wraps.

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The mother of an American journalist who's being held by ISIS in Syria is using video to plea for his release. Shirley Sotloff's son Steven was identified last week as the next hostage to be killed in the graphic video that showed the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley.

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There are now reports identifying a second American killed while fighting alongside militant Islamists in Syria. Fox News and KMSP-TV in Minneapolis say Abdirahmaan Muhumed of Minneapolis died in the same battle that killed another Minneapolis-area man, Douglas McCain.

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Police in Omaha, Nebraska say a crew member for the TV show "Cops" was killed by police gunfire during a shootout Tuesday night at a fast-food restaurant. The Omaha police chief says officers opened fire after the robbery suspect fired two shots from an airsoft pistol.

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More than a dozen activists, civil rights groups and faith leaders are delivering a petition to the White House today demanding action against police in Ferguson, Missouri. The groups want President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate, prosecute and eventually fire all members of the suburban St. Louis police department who played a role in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

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Lending Club is going public. The online marketplace for loans filed the paperwork Wednesday and is looking to raise $500 million from its IPO. Lending Club has reported a net revenue of close to $87 million in the first half of 2014.

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The U.S. is ready to provide assistance aimed at rebuilding Gaza. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki stressed Wednesday that the seven-week-long war was triggered by a terrorist organization that fired rockets into Israel.

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Authorities in Arizona are investigating the accidental fatal shooting of an instructor who was teaching a nine-year-old girl how to fire an Uzi submachine gun. Charles Vacca was killed Monday when the girl pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the gun drifting to the left.

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The convictions of 16 Amish men found guilty of hate crimes in eastern Ohio are being thrown out after a federal appeals court ruling in Cincinnati. The "Cleveland Plain Dealer" reports Bishop Samuel Mullett Sr. and 15 of his followers could now receive new trials. They were convicted in a series of hair-and-beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish men in Jefferson County in 2011.

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The search for a missing pilot will continue through the night after his F-15 fighter jet crashed Wednesday morning in western Virginia. The aircraft went down in George Washington National Forest shortly after declaring an inflight emergency. Radar is being used to search in wooded and hilly areas, but authorities say the pilot has the training to survive in a hazardous situation.

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A CDC employee who was exposed to Ebola in West Africa is back in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the unnamed health worker is not sick and has no Ebola symptoms. The worker is being monitored for 21 days for any signs of Ebola.

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A Texas man is not guilty of murder for the death of the drunk driver who killed his kids. A Brazoria County jury ruled Wednesday afternoon that there wasn't enough evidence to prove David Barajas was the one who shot Jose Banda in 2012. Banda had just slammed into Barajas' truck and killed his young children.

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The FBI is investigating recent reports of a series of cyber attacks on several banks. An FBI spokesman said the bureau is working with the Secret Service to determine the severity of the reported attacks. None of the banks were named.

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The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers is facing charges for making a bomb threat. New York City police say Aliana Tsarnaev was arrested and released for aggravated harassment. Tsarnaev admitted she told a woman over the phone she has people that can go over to the woman's house and put a bomb on her.

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The command center in Ferguson, Missouri is now closed. Authorities disbanded it yesterday after several days of subdued demonstrations. The law enforcement center was put up temporarily to respond to sometimes violent protests over the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

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Napa city officials say the damage estimates from Sunday morning's earthquake are expected to top $300 million. The damage price tag includes homes and commercial properties, but does not include damage to public buildings or infrastructure, loss of business inventories or general economic losses.

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USC cornerback Josh Shaw won't be playing anytime soon after admitting to lying about saving his nephew. School officials say Shaw told the athletics department Wednesday that he lied about how he suffered ankle injuries last weekend. Shaw initially told his coaches he had jumped from a second-story building to save his nephew who was struggling in a pool.

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The Powerball jackpot is moving up again after no one matched all six numbers Wednesday night. Saturday's jackpot in the multi-state lottery drawing will be an estimated $90 million. The numbers drawn Wednesday were 17-24-26-45-46 with the Powerball of 19.

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Diane Sawyer is leaving behind the anchor's chair on "ABC World News." She signed-off from her final broadcast last night saying it's been a deep privilege to sit in that seat. The 68-year-old Sawyer is stepping aside after serving as the show's anchor for five years.

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Apparently some cities bleed red, white and blue more than others. A new survey from WalletHub.com asked respondents to rank which cities around the country are the most "American." Nashville, Tennessee tops on the list, followed by Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Charleston and Jacksonville. The results were based on factors like each population's racial makeup, age, gender, education and income. Two cities in the state of Arizona rank in the top and the bottom. Phoenix is number eight on the list, while Yuma ranks far down on the list at number 362. Other cities the survey found to least resemble America include McAllen, Texas, Boulder Colorado and Altoona, Pennsylvania. Johnstown comes in as the 7th city least like the country.

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