Today's News - Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Johnstown Police arrested 31-year-old Michaelson Ferdinand of Johnstown following a chase along Scalp Avenue early Monday morning. He had been spotted leaving a methadone clinic. He also fled police Sunday after crashing his vehicle in Ferndale. Ferdinand is charged in a Tire Hill home burglary and possible other break-ins. 38-year-old Shawn Everetts was also arrested. Police believe Ferdinand and Everetts were working together.

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A jury deliberated over lunch for about two hours yesterday before finding former Cambria County Prison inmate William Cramer guilty of first-degree murder. The 22-year-old strangled his cellmate, 28-year-old William Sherry of Northern Cambria, with a bedsheet last year. Cramer, an admitted white supremacist, had accused Sherry of fathering a bi-racial child. He will receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

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According to “The Daily American,” 19-year-old Robert Lee Stull, of Somerset, was arraigned on charges that he sent a photo of his genitals through Facebook to a 12-year-old girl. Stull is charged with unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a communication facility – both third degree felonies –and corruption of minors. He is free on $30,000 unsecured bond.

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Another commercial burglary in Somerset County and police say they believe it’s the same suspect who has broken into 20 other businesses since July, in the surrounding area. Rustic Mountain Pizza on Glades Pike was robbed early Saturday. Surveillance footage has already been released showing the suspect’s right foot is turned in causing him to have a pronounced limp.

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Penn State’s costs associated with the Jerry Sandusky Scandal topped $50 million as of the end of July. The university spent more than $1 million in legal costs since the end of June. More than $8 million went toward the Freeh Report and $11 million for legal services. $12 million of the NCAA fine has been paid.

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The federal government shutdown is entering another day, but Senate leaders are optimistic that an agreement to reopen is on the horizon. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says there's “tremendous progress” being made toward a deal to raise the debt limit and end the ongoing government shutdown.

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Bay Area Rapid Trains in California will run today. That’s the word from federal mediator George Cohen, who announced early this morning BART and its unions are still working on a deal. Union leaders submitted a counter-offer late last night, pushing negotiations well past their midnight deadline. Details of the proposal were not revealed.

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An alleged senior al-Qaeda figure is scheduled to appear in a New York court today. Abu Anas al-Liby was captured in Libya earlier this month by U.S. Special Forces. He is a suspect in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that left more than 220 civilians dead.

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At least six people have been killed in a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that rocked the central Philippines island of Bohol. People were killed when buildings and markets collapsed on the island and nearby Cebu. A number of buildings and churches were damaged.

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Iran’s nuclear program will be the subject of talks beginning today among world powers in Geneva, Switzerland. The U.S., Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain will take part in the two days of discussions. Both sides have downplayed chances of any major advance despite hopes raised by the more moderate government in Tehran.

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The deadline extension to file your 2012 tax return is about to run out. Although the IRS is one the agency’s affected by the partial government shutdown, H&R Block tax advisor Michael Hayes says you still have to have your tax return postmarked by midnight tonight.

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Millions of people are still having trouble with the website healthcare.gov where people can enroll for health insurance under the healthcare reform law. The situation is frustrating for those people and the volunteers who are trying to help them through the process.

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Former U.S. Army Captain William Swenson is going to receive the nation’s highest military honor after waiting more than four years. Officials say Swenson led troops through an enemy ambush in Afghanistan during a mission called Dancing Goat Two in 2009. President Obama will present Swenson with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday.

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The star of “Breaking Bad” has a fan in Oscar-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins reportedly binge-watched the entire series in two weeks, then sent a fan letter to star Bryan Cranston, saying, quote, “your performance as Walter White was the best acting I have seen – ever.”

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A big-spending German Catholic bishop has some explaining to do to Pope Francis. Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst is in Rome to try to explain his high-roller lifestyle, for which he’s facing several calls to resign. The alleged extravagances of the cleric have resulted in his being dubbed the “bling bishop” by the press.

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Netflix is readying its next original series. Following the success of its critically acclaimed shows “House of Cards,” “Orange Is The New Black” and “Hemlock Grove,” the digital video service is turning to the creators of the FX-DirecTV legal thriller “Damages” for a new storyline. Described as a psychological thriller, “The Hollywood Reporter” says the still-untitled new series will revolve around a family of adult siblings whose dark secrets begin to surface with the return of their estranged brother.

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