Today's News - Thursday, May 1, 2014

Information about the city’s sewer upgrade has been given to two Johnstown residents. Now they have withdrawn their complaints against that alleged that the city refused to hand over the information. Former councilman John “Jack” Williams and Charlene Stanton wanted documents pertaining to the sewer project, including financial records. Both still have outstanding requests that should be addressed later this month.

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In Cambria County Court yesterday, 20-year-old Earl Mitchell Jr. of Johnstown pleaded not guilty in the January shooting death of 27-year-old Jareek Adams. Adams’uncle, Jonathon Moore, says they were walking with another man along Wagner Street in the Oakhurst Homes area when Adams shook hanks with Mitchell who then opened fire. Moore was shot multiple times in the head, neck and leg. Mitchell fled the scene and was arrested after a manhunt in the Washington D.C. area. He remains in the county jail.

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A Somerset County judge yesterday sentenced Cody Schartiger to 4 to 10 years in prison for his voluntary manslaughter plea in the August 2011 death of his girlfriend’s 18-month-old daughter, Bailee Svenungsen. Police say the toddler was suffocated in her crib at their home in Ursina. Back in 2010, Schartiger was arrested for trying to smother his then-girlfriend's 3-year-old son because the boy wouldn't stop crying. He pleaded no contest in that case. The mother pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children in 2012.

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Sentencing is scheduled today in Cambria County court for 34-year-old Dave Malloy. Police say the Vintondale man was drunk in December 2011 when his car crashed in Jackson Township killing his passenger 26-year-old Kaylynn Reynolds, also of Vintondale. Investigators say he was driving more than 75 miles per hour in a 45 zone and his blood alcohol was twice the legal limit.

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The fire that scorched about 1000 acres of Wills Mountain near Centerville in Bedford County this month was ruled an arson, and now the State Bureau of Forestry says a series of ten wildland fires in Clearfield County were also intentionally set. On April 16, the blazes scorched a total of 35 acres of private lands near Shiloh, Bradford Township. A weekend brush fire near Shade Gap, Huntingdon County, has also been ruled suspicious. Information can be forwarded to Bureau Special Investigator Terry Smith at 717-362-14-72.

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A Pennsylvania senator is pushing a bill that would put beer and wine on grocery store shelves. Senator Chuck Mcilhinney says his legislation would also let beer distributors sell 6-packs instead of just cases, and allow customers to purchase wine on-line. Mcilhinney said yesterday that the measure does not yet have the required 26 votes to pass the senate.

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The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has denied the NCAA’s request to re-argue its preliminary objections to the state’s 2013 law requiring $60,000 in fine money from Penn State to remain in PA. According to the “Centre Daily Times,” the court announced its decision yesterday. Local State Senator Jake Corman originally introduced the legislation.

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Legislation that would keep children out of indoor tanning salons is on Governor Tom Corbett's desk, awaiting a signature. The house bill was approved earlier this week by the state senate and would ban anyone under the age of 16 from using an indoor tanning bed. Supporters say the measure will protect children from the dangers of sun exposure.

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Pennsylvania's highest court is blurring the lines on search warrants.
The Supreme Court has issued a ruling that police do not necessarily need a warrant to search a vehicle, and can carry out a search based on reasonable probable cause. Defense attorneys are calling the ruling an expansion of government power and a step towards eliminating personal privacy and freedom.

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An explosion has rocked a Florida jail, injuring an estimated 100 inmates and corrections officers and bringing down part of the building. The blast happened at the Escambia County Jail's central booking area. Initial reports suggest the incident may have been the result of a natural gas explosion.

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A wildfire continues to grow about 45 miles east of Los Angeles. Smoke is blanketing the Rancho Cucamonga area. So far about one thousand acres have burned. Winds gusting up to 80 miles per hour helped spread the fire Wednesday. Strong winds and high temperatures are predicted for the area again today.

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Authorities in Virginia aren't sure just how much crude oil from three derailed tanker cars made its way into the James River. At least a dozen tanker cars on the CSX train derailed Wednesday near downtown Lynchburg and three of them burst into flames. Hundreds were forced to evacuate as thick black smoke billowed high into the sky. The NTSB is expected on the scene today.

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AT&T is talking about buying satellite broadcaster DirecTV. The telecommunications giant and the satellite service are in what's described as very preliminary discussions. If there's a deal, it would create a pay-TV heavyweight with nearly 26 million subscribers in the U.S. and 17 million more in Latin America.

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Demonstrations around the San Francisco Bay Area and a possibly paralyzing protest in Seattle will fill May Day. The first day of May evolved in the 20th century from a celebration of spring into the celebration of a worldwide labor movement and communism. Today it will be a day of human rights protests around the world.

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A minimum wage hike is going nowhere in the Senate. Tuesday's procedural vote failed to hit a 60-vote threshold needed to move legislation forward. The tally was 54-42. The Democratic bill would have gradually raised the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour. The national minimum wage has not been raised since 2009.

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A Mississippi congressman is defending recent comments he made claiming that conservative criticism of President Obama is rooted in racism and that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is an "Uncle Tom." When asked Wednesday about the controversial remarks, Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson told CNN he stands by the "Uncle Tom" statement because Thomas is "not sensitive" to real issues African Americans care about.

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President Obama will honor teachers today. The President will host the 2014 National Teacher of the Year in a White House ceremony. Finalists in the annual competition will also attend the ceremony.

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Georgia authorities say a FedEx employee who shot six co-workers at a facility outside of Atlanta Tuesday left a note behind before committing suicide. But they are not disclosing what Geddy Kramer said in the note. A 28-year-old security guard remains in critical condition.

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The woman at the center of Donald Sterling's downfall has aspirations beyond scandal. In an impromptu moment caught outside of a Los Angeles restaurant Tuesday night, V. Stiviano told paparazzi she plans to become President of the United States someday. Stiviano is the woman heard on the revealing recording that outed the racist views of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling over the weekend and led to his banishment from the NBA.

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Toronto's crack-smoking mayor is said to be taking a break from his re-election campaign and going to rehab. The "Toronto Sun" reports that Rob Ford's decision to get help comes after the newspaper obtained a new recording of an obscene-laced rant in a local bar. Ford told the newspaper that he wants to "deal with his issues," but is being urged by people around him not to leave the mayoral race.

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Oprah Winfrey is denying reports that she wants to be the next owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. Oprah told TMZ on Tuesday that she has no interest in owning the Clippers, despite a report that David Geffen wanted to include Winfrey in a potential ownership group.

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