Today's News - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tom Fleming has been chosen as Bishop McCort High School's new principal and chief administrative officer. Fleming has spent the last 16 years as a district administrator at Richland School District, most recently as superintendent.


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A federal judge yesterday sentenced 27-year-old Che Rose of Johnstown to 15 years in prison. Rose was convicted of possession of crack cocaine with the intent to deliver and illegal possession of a firearm.

 

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In Somerset County court yesterday, a homeless man pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in a stabbing that happened in Windber back in September. Twenty-seven-year old Aaron Gill stabbed Shawn Becker three times in the back at the Slovak Social Club. Gill told police a man named Shawn owed him money and refused to pay. Becker said he didn’t know Gill.

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When Vintondale firefighter Bobby Cook responded to a blaze Monday night, he found out that it was his parents’ home that was burning. No one was inside when the fire broke out at the home of Gary and Patti Shilling on Main Street. Three dogs were killed and the house was destroyed. A state police fire marshal is investigating and donations are being accepted for the family. Fundraisers are also being planned.

 

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In Somerset County court, 28-year-old Cody Schatiger of Ursina will spend up to 22 years in a state prison after pleading no contest to involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment in the death of his live-in girlfriend’s 18-month-old daughter. The child was found dead in her crib in August of 2012. An autopsy showed she died from asphyxiation due to smothering. She also had a broken arm, bruises and a head injury.

 

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A federal judge in Johnstown yesterday sentenced 24-year-old Brittany Horner of Windber to two years in prison. In 2011 she and her husband, Lawrence Horner, kidnapped, beat and robbed a woman they knew and made her drive to Baltimore. Lawrence Horner also pleaded guilty and is serving 14 years.

 

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A federal judge in Johnstown this week decided that Penn State Altoona student Vladislov Miftakhov should be granted bail, and now Blair County District Attorney Rich Consiglio tells the “Altoona Mirror” that he totally disagrees with that decision. The 18-year-old Russian native was arrested last month when police found homemade bombs at his Juniata apartment. Miftakhov is a legal, permanent resident of the U.S., but he is not a citizen. Consiglio thinks he’s a flight risk and a risk to the community. The U.S. attorney plans to appeal the magistrate’s bail ruling.

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Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane wants more money for her staff. Yesterday, she asked the State Senate Appropriations Committee to approve a 14 percent spending boost, saying the money would be used for salaries and benefits and to hire more drug agents. Kane says Governor Tom Corbett’s $87 million flat-fund proposal would eliminate 108 positions.

 

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Pennsylvania House Speaker Sam Smith is retiring at the end of his term in November. Smith made the announcement yesterday, saying his heart isn’t in it anymore.  Smith, a Republican, became the speaker in 2011 after spending eight years as the House Republican floor leader.

 

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Penn State President Rodney Erickson was scheduled to testify tomorrow before the state senate about the need for state funding to the university, but a snowstorm is forecast, with six inches or more for the Harrisburg area, so the hearing has been cancelled. No word yet on when it will be rescheduled. Governor Tom Corbett has proposed $214 million for Penn State in his 2014-15 budget.

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If your child uses a Graco safety seat, pay attention. Graco Children’s Products is recalling several models of toddler and booster child restraints that were sold between 2009 and 2013. Officials say the harness buckle on some has become stuck, which means the child may get stuck in the event of a crash, fire, or other emergency. For information, call Graco at 1-800-345-4109.

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A major ice storm with the potential to knock out power to thousands is moving into Georgia with freezing rain and sleet this morning. Governor Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency. The National Weather Service says the storm that will sweep across the South is packing a mix of winter weather hazards, including heavy snow and freezing rain.  

 

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President Obama raises the minimum wage for some future federal contract workers today. Obama will sign his promised executive order boosting the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for private sector employees working on federally-contracted projects. The order will cover people doing janitorial, kitchen work, and other low-wage jobs for federal contractors in the future.

 

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The U.S. women's hockey team faces off against Team Canada this morning. Both teams enters this morning's game at 2-and-0. In skiing, American Julia Mancuso failed to medal in this morning's women's downhill. Mancuso won bronze earlier this week in the super combined.  

 

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The nation is pulling back from possible default after a federal debt ceiling hike passed in the House. It is a clean, one-year extension with no add-ons. President Obama has been demanding legislation to extend the nation's borrowing authority without conditions.

 

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The governor of Washington is putting a stop to death penalty executions in his state.  Governor Jay Inslee said he imposed a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty after he looked at evidence that capital punishment didn't deter murders. He also said it's cheaper to keep a prisoner for a life term than to put them on death row.

 

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The U.S. and France are closer than ever after a 238 year-long alliance. President Obama and French President Francois Hollande toasted the nations' relationship at a state dinner on Tuesday night. That was a few hours after assuring reporters that France and the U.S. have resolved issues over digital eavesdropping by the National Security Agency.

 

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The jury is expected to begin deliberations this afternoon in the murder trial of a Florida man accused of killing an unarmed teenager in a dispute over loud music. Dunn took the stand yesterday and said he 2012 shot 17-year-old Jordan Davis in self-defense in 2012 because he thought Davis and his friends were armed.  

 

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A wire haired fox terrier named Sky is the top dog at the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog show in New York. Sky beat dogs in six other groups to take the honors Tuesday night. It's the 14th time the wire fox terrier has won "best in show" at the competition.  

 

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Flappy Bird clones are popping up to fill the gap created when the creator took down the app, and some of them can cost players money. Some fake Flappy Bird apps ask for permissions to read and send text messages while the app is installed, then send premium messages that can empty the user's balance or bump up phone bills.  

 

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It's the end of an era for American snowboarders on the Olympic halfpipe. Shaun White failed in his attempt to grab his third gold medal, finishing fourth in men's halfpipe on Tuesday. It marked the first time since snowboarding's Olympic debut in 1998 that Americans failed to medal in the event.

 

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It's the end of an era for American snowboarders on the Olympic halfpipe. Shaun White failed in his attempt to grab his third gold medal, finishing fourth in men's halfpipe on Tuesday. It marked the first time since snowboarding's Olympic debut in 1998 that Americans failed to medal in the event.

 

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Tom Brokaw is battling cancer. NBC announced Tuesday that the veteran news anchor has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which affects blood cells in the bone marrow.  In a statement, the 74-year-old Brokaw says he is "very optimistic about the future" and looking forward to continuing his life, his work and his adventures still to come.

 

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Taco Bell is planning to launch a mobile ordering app. The fast food chain says the app will allow customers to place orders using smartphones. The company has been testing the app at about a half-dozen of its restaurants in Southern California.

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