Today's News - Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Police in Cambria County are investigating two armed robberies that occurred within one hour of each other. The first robbery took place around 7 last night at a store on the 400 block of Main Street in South Fork. The second happened around 8 at Country Mart on Bridge Street in Summerhill. No other details have been released.

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Due to the inclement weather, Waste Management residential and commercial trash collection has been cancelled in the Altoona, Johnstown and Homer City areas for today. Customers will be serviced one day behind for the remainder of the week, with Friday pick up taking place on Saturday. If you have any questions, visit wm.com.

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One person is dead and eight others are hospitalized with complications from the swine flu at Allegheny General Hospital and UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh. Those who are ill are so sick that they need machines to keep their lungs and hearts functioning. The swine flu, also known as H1N1, is a prevalent strain of the flu this year. Doctors say the strain was included in the flu vaccine this season but remind people they can become infected even after receiving the vaccine.

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Jerry Sandusky is scheduled to take part in a 3-day hearing starting today that will determine whether Pennsylvania should have stripped him of his $4,900 per month public worker pension. A spokeswoman for the state employee retirement system told the Associated Press that plans call for Sandusky to participate via video conference from the state prison where he is serving 30 to 60 years.

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A hearing to determine the future of the defamation lawsuit filed by former Penn State president Graham Spanier will be held today at the Centre County Courthouse. Spanier wants to delay the suit against former FBI director Louis Freeh until the criminal case is resolved against Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.

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The Arctic cold gripping much of the Midwest and Northeast is out of this world. The National Weather Service says the coldest spot in the U.S. Monday was minus-37 in Babbitt, Minnesota. That's colder than it's been on Mars in recent days.

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Several states are under states of emergency due to the dangerously cold temperatures and heavy snow. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for counties north of Syracuse, where as much as six feet of snow could fall. Indiana Governor Mike Pence is also declaring states of emergency in 29 counties. That lays the groundwork for a possible request for federal aid.

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A procedural vote extending longterm unemployment benefits has been postponed in the Senate. A number of senators faced weather delays as they tried to return to Washington, DC yesterday.

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Janet Yellen is the new chief of the Federal Reserve and the first woman chosen for the top financial position. Yellen was confirmed by the Senate on Monday, 56-26. Yellen, the Fed's vice chair, replaces retiring Ben Bernanke as head of the nation's central bank.

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The family of Jahi McMath says she is now receiving nutrients and antibiotics. This, after the brain-dead Northern California teenager was moved from Children's Hospital Oakland on Sunday night and is now at an undisclosed facility. The family's attorney says the teen is being stabilized so she can be given a feeding tube.

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An Ohio teacher wants the chance to defend himself against allegations he made a racist remark to one of his students. "The Cincinnati Enquirer" reports Gil Voigt claims he did not tell an African-American student that, quote, "we do not need another black president."

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Samsung Electronics came up short on fourth quarter earnings forecasts as it paid out a billion dollars in bonuses. The South Korean electronics giant announced today that its fourth quarter profit of just under $7.8 billion was down six percent from a year ago.

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The Denver City Council is asking banks to handle money from that state's legal marijuana industry. As it stands now, shop owners might have a hard time finding a bank to accept their money based on federal regulations. Most Americans now support legalizing marijuana. A new CNN/ORC International poll shows 55 percent of those surveyed across the country think marijuana use should be legalized. By comparison, that sentiment was shared by just 16 percent of Americans 25 years ago.

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A federal judge says Chicago's ban on gun sales is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Edmund E. Chang ruled on Monday that the city ordinance goes too far and the judgement is stayed for now to give the city a chance to respond.

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The 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show kicks off this week in Las Vegas. Wearable tech, flexible phones and curved TV screens are among the hot gadgets on display at the event. There are also headbands, socks and bras that analyze brain waves, heart rates and sweat levels. Intel, the world's biggest semiconductor company, is making a big push into the wearable tech device market. They unveiled a smart watch, smart earbuds and a smart earphone headset called Jarvis at the show.

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"Maxim" is declaring Eva Longoria "Woman Of The Year." The former "Desperate Housewives" star graces the cover of the magazine's January/February issue and talks about being a producer, businesswoman and philanthropist inside. Longoria also shares that she likes dabbling in domesticity.

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The eagerly anticipated season premiere of "Downton Abbey" did not disappoint fans - or PBS. With an average audience of ten-point-two-million viewers, Sunday night's premiere episode became the highest-rated drama debut in PBS history. It's a 22 percent improvement from last year's season opener, which drew just under eight-million viewers. And, according to Nielsen SocialGuide, almost three million people sent out 97,000 tweets during Sunday night's premiere, generating more than 15 million social media impressions.

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Most Americans want to put the "social" back in social media. More than half of the respondents in a new Heart+Mind Strategies poll plan to readjust their social media use this year, and will place their emphasis on maintaining relationships. Over 50 percent say they'll primarily use social media to keep in contact with family and current friends. A third are also hoping to find people they've lost contact with over the years. Meanwhile, 38 percent say they aren't interested in reading comments posted by celebrities, athletes, or politicians; and 26 percent won't be looking for information from companies or brands. Nearly a third are vowing to no longer look for potential romantic partners through social media, and 22 percent say they're going to stop using social media as a surveillance tool to learn more about someone else.

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Pop superstar Madonna isn't getting a favorable reaction to a photo of her 13-year-old Rocco holding up a bottle of liquor. Most respondents to an online poll on OnTheRedCarpet.com don't agree with the singer's decision to post the photos of her teenage son on her Instagram page. Fifty-two percent called her post "inappropriate," adding that "she should know better" as a mother. Twenty-four percent say they don't "care" about the Queen of Pop's online activity. Seventeen percent felt it was "just a photo" that was "all in good fun," while six percent answered that it isn't the public's "place to judge."

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