Today's News - Thursday, January 9, 2014

In Cambria County, the murder trial of Lemmel Myers was scheduled to begin next month, but it has been postponed since he has a new attorney. Johnstown police arrested Myers last July after he allegedly shot 37-year-old Leslie Schetrompf in the leg because he owed Myers $20. The bullet struck a major artery and Schetrompf died a few days later. Myers may be planning to claim self defense.

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A Cambria County man is due at a preliminary hearing today on charges of raping and sexually assaulted a mentally disabled 16-year-old girl at his Beaverdale home. Summerhill Township police say they have a written confession from David Carman who is jailed on $100,000 bail. The abuse had reportedly been going on since about April of last year and there were approximately ten assaults.

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Due to this recent cold snap, the Red Cross says 18 blood drives in our area had to be cancelled and there is an urgent need all blood, especially negative blood types. To find a blood drive in your area, go to RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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Governor Tom Corbett is now saying he will support the legalization of medical marijuana if the FDA approves it. Corbett’s spokesman, Jay Pagni, said yesterday if the FDA rules there are medical benefits to POT, the governor will consider supporting that stance. Pagni says Corbett has great empathy for patients dealing with serious medical issues who are looking for solutions and relief.

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The “Centre Daily Times” reports that Penn State has made its second payment toward the 60 million fine imposed by the NCAA for the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Spokesman David La Torre says 12 million has been set aside in a separate account. Altogether, Penn State has set aside 24 million and has three payments to go. According to the consent decree the university signed with the NCAA, the money is supposed to be put into an endowment to fund child abuse awareness progress. However, the NCAA has not moved forward with setting up the endowment because State Senator Jake Corman filed a lawsuit seeking to keep the money in Pennsylvania.

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The Kiski-Conemaugh River came in second in the River of the Year contest while the Schuylkill River, which flows through 128 miles of eastern Pennsylvania, earned top honors. The contest was sponsored by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Stonycreek River in the Johnstown area was the state’s 2012 River of the Year.

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In an effort to shore up its public image during an ongoing corruption probe, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has hired Ray Morrow, the former chief of the FBI Office in Pittsburgh, to be its new inspector general. Morrow is responsible for examining reports of theft, fraud and waste. Back in March, State prosecutors filed criminal charges against eight people, in connection with alleged bid rigging and influence peddling involving multimillion-dollar turnpike contracts. Six, including a former state senator and three former top commission employees, were ordered held for trial in July. The other two defendants, both turnpike employees, are being prosecuted separately.

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The House will vote today on a measure requiring more transparency from the Obama administration about the security of personal information on the HealthCare.gov website. Defending the effort, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has cited the recent, massive data security breach at Target stores. The administration insists no serious security problems have arisen over HealthCare.gov.

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Apparently deliberate traffic delays on a bridge linking New York and New Jersey slowed emergency workers, including a team going to treat an elderly woman who later died, according to newspaper accounts. This, after emails came to light yesterday that suggest aides to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie deliberately slowed traffic on the George Washington Bridge last September to retaliate against a mayor who failed to back Christie's re-election campaign.

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An outburst against North Korean-detained American Kenneth Bae has drawn an apology from Dennis Rodman. He says he was overwhelmed and had been drinking at the time of his interview on CNN. In a statement released by his publicist early this morning, Rodman apologized to Bae's family, as well as to his management team and the players with him in North Korea.

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Surgeons have inserted feeding and breathing tubes for the Northern California teenager declared brain-dead nearly a month ago. An attorney for the family said Wednesday that the surgery on Jahi McMath was performed at an unnamed Catholic care center Sunday night. The 13-year-old was moved there from Children's Hospital Oakland.

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Medical marijuana is getting the green light in New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Wednesday in his State of the State address. He described the move as a pilot program for those with serious illnesses and made clear that it may not be permanent. The drop in President Obama's job approval rating appears to have leveled off. A Quinnipiac University poll of nationwide voters shows that his approval rating is currently 41-percent, with 53-percent disapproving of his performance. That's a slight improvement from a Quinnipiac Poll taken last month, where the president's approval rating hit an all time low of 38-percent.

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Three children are dead after a horrific house fire in Hammond, Indiana. Two other children and their father survived last night's blaze. However, due to the man's injuries officials have not immediately been able to confirm whether the three children killed in the fire were also part of the same family.

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A Foster Farms chicken processing plant near Modesto, California has been shut down due to cockroaches. The U.S. Department of Agriculture shut down operations Wednesday after cockroaches were seen in several locations.

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The Pope continues to break the rules when it comes to papal protocol. Pope Francis spotted a familiar face in the crowd at St. Peter's Square yesterday. When he saw Argentinian priest Fabian Baez, the Pope ordered his car stopped and brought Baez into the ultra-exclusive Popemobile.

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Apple and Samsung have agreed on a new battlefield in their ongoing fight over smartphone patents. The firms filed court documents Wednesday stating that their CEOs will attend a mediation session that's scheduled on or before February 19th. Apple and Samsung are fighting over smartphone patents in a number of countries.

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T-Mobile is offering up to 650 dollars to people who are willing to ditch their current providers. Customers will have to trade in their old phones and purchase a new one from T-Mobile. They'll also have to release their current number.

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Sandra Bullock is a big favorite among the people. At Wednesday's "40th Annual People's Choice Awards," honors for Bullock spanned both dramatic and comedic movie categories. Her roles in "Gravity" and "The Heat" landed her trophies in the Favorite Dramatic Actress and Favorite Comedic Actress categories, as well as the general Favorite Movie Actress category.

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Racism is making people age faster. In a first of its kind study published in the "American Journal of Preventative Medicine," researchers at the University of Maryland found that African-American men who reported feeling negative effects of racial discrimination have shorter chromosome biomarkers for aging, known as telomeres. Shorter telomeres have been linked to life-shortening diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and dementia.

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