Today's News - Thursday, June 12, 2014

A custody hearing was scheduled for 25-year-old Denver Blough of Windber yesterday, but it was continued. His newborn daughter is fighting for her life after her mother was shot in the head May 31. She died following an emergency C-section. Blough claims he shot Caressa Kovalcik by accident. A judge will decide if Kovalcik’s parents can take custody of the baby and force Blough to relinquish his rights. The couple also had an 11-month-old son.

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Johnstown City Manager Kristen Denne announced at last night’s council meeting that she is resigning, but no one commented on why. City officials also voted to temporarily suspend sewer line pressure testing which some residents and business owners say is expensive and unnecessary. Federally mandated sewer line upgrades are currently underway throughout Johnstown and will continue for the next few years.

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Two women are facing charges of operating a prostitution ring out of the Traditional Chinese Massage Parlor along Scalp Avenue in Richland Township. Police say they received a tip that illegal sexual activity was taking place there and officers went undercover. The women’s names have not been released. They are in the Cambria County Jail.

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Bedford County emergency personnel confirm that at least one tornado touched down during last night’s severe storms. There were also a number of funnel clouds that did not touch down. The storm flooded some roads and homes and also brought down trees and power lines, but there were no reported injuries.

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Johnstown police say two people are in custody after a shooting and a 7-hour standoff. It started around 2:00 Wednesday afternoon on Thomas Street in the Kernville section of the city. One person was reportedly shot in the arm and taken to Memorial Medical Center. Two suspects fled to a home near the corner of Messenger and Horner Streets. One was taken into custody quickly, but another man refused to come out and the Special Emergency Response Team surrounded the house during the torrential downpours. The suspect surrendered shortly before 9 p.m. No motive or names have been released.

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More than $2,300 worth of Lego blocks were stolen from the Richland Township Walmart on four separate days in May. Now 22-year-old Roger Roles of Johnstown is in the Cambria County Prison on $25,000 bond. He waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday. Police say a drug needle fell from his pocket as he was being detained, so he’s also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

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The teenager accused of carrying out a mass stabbing at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville is pleading not guilty. Alex Hribal entered the plea yesterday and also asked for a jury trial. He is facing 21 counts each of attempted murder and aggravated assault. Hribal is being charged as an adult.

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The state revenue department says the property tax and rent rebate program application deadline has been extended until the end of the year. Those eligible include seniors ages 65 and older, widows or widowers ages 50 and older, and people with disabilities ages 18 and up.

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Eric Cantor is stepping down from his post as House Majority Leader at the end of July. On Tuesday night the Virginia Republican was stunned in a primary loss and plans to serve out his term in Congress. In a Capitol briefing Wednesday, Cantor thanked his colleagues and supporters and called himself optimistic about the future.

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel calls the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap absolutely necessary. In a House hearing Wednesday, Hagel cited growing concerns that Bergdahl's health was deteriorating. Meantime, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says the Obama administration broke the law in the deal that brought Bergdahl home.

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The ACLU and other groups say Border Patrol agents must treat migrant children better. Ashley Heebner of the National Immigration Justice Center says many kids at a Nogales, Ariz. detention center said agents physically and verbally abused them. She also said the children don't have adequate food, water, sleeping areas or private toilets.

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This week marks the 20th anniversary of one of the most famous murder cases of all time. On June 13, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were found murdered in the Los Angeles community of Brentwood. Simpson's ex-husband, NFL Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson, was almost immediately suspected of killing the pair due to evidence collected at the scene.

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The Powerball jackpot is starting over after one ticket matched all six numbers in the multi-state drawing Wednesday night. The winning ticket was purchased in Tennessee. The winner will select either the jackpot of $257 million or the cash option worth more than $151 million.

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Iraqi insurgents are promising more fighting after already taking control of two cities in that country. A recording believed to be from the al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria urges the militants to take the fight to more Iraqi cities, including Baghdad.

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Police say the boy responsible for killing a fellow student at a Troutdale, Oregon high school Tuesday was Jared Michael Padgett. Police Chief Scott Anderson says Padgett was a freshman at Reynolds High School and confirmed that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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A 13-year-old girl declared brain dead after surgery at Oakland's Children's Hospital is getting her eighth grade diploma. KCRA reports that the E.C. Reems Academy of Technology and Arts in Oakland will present Jahi McMath's diploma to a family member at ceremonies on Friday. McMath went into cardiac arrest following surgery for her sleep apnea last December.

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Two Catholic priests are in the hospital, after an alleged stabbing at a downtown Phoenix church on Wednesday night. Police report the victims are in critical condition, with one suffering life-threatening injuries.

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The next chapter in the ongoing standoff over the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers will take place in July. That's when a hearing on Shelly Sterling's request to confirm that she is entitled to sell the team will be held. Sterling's attorney filed the court papers Tuesday morning, and a full hearing on the matter is now scheduled for July 7.

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President Obama is continuing his push to reform the nation's education system. While giving the commencement address at Worcester Technical High School in Massachusetts Wednesday, Obama called for the redesign of American high schools and more high-speed broadband connectivity. Obama pointed to the school as a model for success, saying he wants the nation to learn from Worcester Tech.

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Radio legend Casey Kasem's final days may be near after a judge reversed his ruling requiring the ailing deejay be given medication and fluids. The decision essentially gives Kasem's children the go ahead to end his life support. They said ending the support honors their father's written wishes.

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The Walmart truck driver involved in a deadly crash that injured comedian Tracy Morgan is pleading not guilty. Thirty-five-year-old Kevin Roper of Georgia made his first court appearance Wednesday on charges of vehicular homicide and assault. Prosecutors say he was driving after being awake for more than 24 hours when his rig crashed into a limousine bus carrying Morgan and others.

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The parents of a young New York boy say Justin Bieber played a part in curing their son of a mystery illness. Kera Bolonik says her son Theo started suffering from seizures at just 14-months old, and playing Bieber's hit song "Baby" was the only way to convince him to eat. Kera jokes that she "swore that Bieber would never be allowed in [their] house, but desperate times [called] for desperate measures."

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Your last bite of tasty steak could mean you'll eat it again faster. Stanford University researchers said Wednesday that study participants who ate small portions were more likely to eat the same food again. They also ate it more quickly.

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A tribute to South Dakota's Mount Rushmore is taking center stage today to celebrate National Jerky Day. A giant replica of the national monument made from beef jerky is going up in New York City. "Meat Rushmore" will feature close to 16-hundred pounds of the meat. It's sponsored by the jerky company Jack Link's.

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