Today's News - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A tragic freak accident yesterday afternoon in Conemaugh Township, Somerset County. Police say a large, rotten tree fell out of the woods, hit a moving car, and killed two Johnstown children under the age of 12. It happened on Route 403 near the Cambria County line. The coroner’s office says two other children, their pregnant mother, and the male driver were sent to the hospital. A state police accident reconstruction team is investigating.

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Another delay in sentencing for convicted drug kingpin George Lowmaster of Carrolltown. A federal judge granted the request by Lowmaster’s attorney because he has several unspecified issues with the results of a pre-sentence investigation report. Sentencing is now scheduled for August 19. Lowmaster faces at least 20 years. Two dozen people, including Lowmaster’s parents and other relatives, have pleaded guilty for their roles in the drug ring.

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A missing person has been found safe and sound in Somerset County. Nineteen-year-old Zachary Updyke disappeared last Sunday from his home in Jenner Township. He has since been located.

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A district judge in Johnstown yesterday ordered two women to stand trial on felony and misdemeanor prostitution charges. Police say Hong Yuan Lin and Xianzi Li were operating out of Traditional Chinese Massage in Richland Township. Both women are free on bond.

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The investigation cost more than $180 thousand, but State Attorney General Kathleen Kane says the delay in prosecuting Jerry Sandusky was not politically motivated. After the first allegations, it was more than three years before Sandusky’s arrest. Current Governor Tom Corbett was attorney general at the time. Kane says the delay possibly led to additional boys being abused. Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years.

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Illegal immigrants are fighting for the right to drive in Pennsylvania. Dozens rallied at the Capitol yesterday in support of a house bill, which would allow immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. Supporters say they need the licenses to work and pay taxes. State Republicans say they will not support the measure.

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The State Employees’ Retirement System and Jerry Sandusky are battling in court and an arbiter in Harrisburg has ruled that Sandusky should be able to keep his $5,000 a month pension despite his criminal conviction. His attorneys have argued that because he retired in 1999, and because sex crimes weren’t added to the list of offenses that can cost a state employee a pension until 2004, Sandusky can’t be stripped of his pension. Attorneys for the retirement system say Sandusky remained a contracted employee with Penn State after retiring as a coach.

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Secretary of State John Kerry is in northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, trying to persuade Kurdish leaders to join a new unity government in Baghdad. Kerry was in Baghdad earlier on Tuesday, urging Iraq's government to take immediate steps to be more inclusive.

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Congress is investigating the huge influx of unaccompanied migrant children across the U.S.-Mexican border. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and FEMA Director Craig Fugate are expected to testify in a House hearing this morning.

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Another round of primary elections will be held in several states today. Mississippi Republicans will decide the fate of veteran Senator Thad Cochran. Cochran is in a hotly-contested runoff with Tea Party favorite Chris McDaniel. Another hot race is happening in Oklahoma to replace retiring Republican Senator Tom Coburn.

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President Obama wants the government to do more to help working families. Speaking at a White House Summit on Working Families Monday, the President said people should not have to sacrifice family needs for work demands. Obama called for more paid family leave and flexible schedules in the workplace.

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A new report released today claims that climate change will bring killer humidity to the Midwest before this century is over. The report, entitled "Risky Business," sees an increase in heat and humidity that could bring on heat stroke for a moderately fit person after less than an hour of outdoor activity.

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Oregon is at the top of a new list of the best states to visit during a summer road trip. The WalletHub.com poll ranks Oregon very high when it comes to fun and scenic attractions as well as road safety. Idaho is second on the list due to excellent summer weather and traffic safety. Mississippi is at the bottom of the list.

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At least four people are under arrest after hundreds of fans celebrating Mexico's latest win at the World Cup got a little too rowdy on Monday in a Los Angeles suburb. The fans took to the streets of Huntington Park and snarled traffic. Police wearing riot gear and some on horseback were called in to disperse the crowd.

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The fate of the massive sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum will soon be decided. On Wednesday, the museum board of directors will decide if it should be filled or left open for visitors to see. Attendance at the museum has increased since the crater opened up inside the Sky Dome on February 12th.

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Target has some good news for online shoppers. The retailer announced Monday that most online orders of $50 or more will be shipped for free. VP Jason Goldberger said in a statement, "we've changed it to make it simpler and reduce the friction in making purchases on the website." REDcard holders can always get free shipping.

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