Today's News - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Forty-five-year-old Richard Norton of Johnstown received a sentence of 8- to 23-months in the Cambria County Prison yesterday. He pleaded guilty to trying to lure two boys into a truck in Old Conemaugh Borough in 2012. Co-defendant 74-year-old Harry Jones was previously sentenced to 48 months probation. The boys were 12 and 7 at the time.

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In Cambria County Court yesterday, the preliminary hearing for 32-year-old Jermaine Jones of Johnstown was continued until June. He was arrested last weekend in the Oakhurst neighborhood when police found heroin, marijuana, cash and liquid fentanyl in his car, and more drugs at his Stone Street home. Police haven’t determined if Jones was planning to mix the heroin with fentanyl, which was blamed for a number of deaths in the Pittsburgh area earlier this year. In a 72-hour period last month, there were 12 heroin overdoses in Cambria and Somerset counties linked to a bad batch of heroin called “Seven of Hearts.”

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Twenty-one-year-old Demetrius Gibson is accused of murdering his estranged girlfriend at a Moxham car wash last August. Now his attorneys were in court Tuesday to challenge evidence gathered from three search warrants they says were illegally obtained. Gibson’s attorneys want evidence suppressed that was gathered during a search of Gibson’s home and vehicle right after the alleged murder plus DNA samples.

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In the wake of the Sandusky scandal, Pennsylvania lawmakers have sent the governor a bill designed to improve reporting by school employees of suspected child abuse. The house voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of the measure that puts school workers under the same reporting requirements as people employed in other types of work environments. Governor Tom Corbett’s office says he plans to sign it.

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AAA Fuel Gauge says Western Pa. gas prices rose almost eight cents to $3.85 a gallon this week. Today’s national average is $3.67, about three cents less expensive than one week ago, but it is nine cents more than one month ago and about 15 cents more than the same date last year. Some experts say gas prices may have reached a springtime peak, but it is too early to know for certain.

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House Democrats are angry over a resolution calling for the impeachment of State Attorney General Kathleen Kane. Members of the House State Government Committee met yesterday to discuss the matter, but Democrats walked out when committee chairman Daryl Metcalfe asked for Democrat Mike O'Brien to be removed for being out of order. Metcalfe says he drafted the impeachment resolution because Kane has not followed the law and should have pursued bribery charges against Philadelphia lawmakers.

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The NCAA says the Paterno family and its supporters are trying to “rewrite history” in their lawsuit to have $60 million in sanctions overturned and the consent decree that authorized them voided. According to the “Centre Daily Times,” the NCAA filed a legal memo in court Tuesday. Paterno family attorneys have argued the NCAA bypassed its own rules when it penalized Penn State for the Sandusky scandal. They have also criticized the Freeh report which implicated top university officials with covering up the allegations.

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Natural gas workers are fighting a push by lawmakers to raise taxes on the wells in the Marcellus shale. The Marcellus shale coalition rallied more than 2,500 supporters on the capitol steps yesterday to show state officials how important shale drilling is to the commonwealth. Protesters say drilling is harming the environment but supporters argued that energy equals jobs in the state.

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Pennsylvania has a new law banning children from indoor tanning facilities. Governor Tom Corbett signed the legislation yesterday, prohibiting people under the age of 16 from using tanning beds and requiring 17-year-olds to have parental consent. The new law will take effect in 60 days.

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The U.S. will send a team of experts overseas to help Nigeria deal with the growing crisis involving kidnapped girls. White House spokesman Jay Carney calls the abductions horrific and says time is of the essence. An Islamist militant group is claiming responsibility for abducting more than 200 schoolgirls and vows to sell them as slaves.

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President Obama heads to central Arkansas today to view the damage caused by deadly tornadoes that swept through parts of the South and Midwest last week. He'll also meet with victims and first responders. The President will later head to Los Angeles to begin a three-day stay in California.

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There's new evidence suggesting Google and the National Security Agency once enjoyed a close working relationship. On Tuesday, Al Jazeera America published a series of email exchanges between former NSA director Keith Alexander and Google chairman Eric Schmidt. The correspondence pre-dates documents that were leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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State house speaker Thom Tillis is the winner of North Carolina's Republican U.S. Senate primary. Tillis defeated Tea Party favorite Greg Bannon and six other candidates to avoid a runoff election. In Ohio, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner easily turned back a primary challenge from Tea Party-backed J.D. Winteregg. The victories on Tuesday make the GOP establishment the overall victor.

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The three Cleveland women rescued a year ago Tuesday from a decade in captivity are standing as beacons of hope. Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus were honored last night with Hope Awards from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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The pressure is mounting on Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down. Two Republican senators are calling for Shinseki to resign over a string of recent scandals involving the treatment of veterans. The latest scandal involves VA officials at a Phoenix hospital, where up to 40 patients may have died while waiting for treatment.

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The first U.S. patient to contract the MERS virus continues to improve and should be released from an Indiana hospital in a few days. Officials with the Community Hospital in Munster said the patient will remain in isolation at home until experts decide he is no longer a risk to infect the public.

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Former Rutgers University defensive tackle Eric LeGrand will give a commencement address at the school after all. University President Robert Barchi issued a statement saying LeGrand will speak and he will personally present his degree to him.

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A new lawsuit is comparing an upcoming Texas execution with the botched one in Oklahoma. Attorneys for convicted killer Robert Campbell told a federal judge Tuesday his execution shouldn't happen because Texas won't reveal where the execution drug comes from. Texas uses a different drug than Oklahoma.

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The world is getting a new look at the California teen who stowed away in an airplane wheel well on a flight to Maui. The Hawaii Department of Transportation has released security video from Kahului Airport that shows the teen dropping down from a Hawaiian Airlines jet after surviving the nearly six-hour flight. The video shows the boy's legs appear from under the plane before he tumbles to the tarmac and is eventually discovered by airport workers.

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The Vatican says in the last ten years over 800 priests have been defrocked for sexually abusing children. The figures were announced Tuesday as Vatican officials were grilled by a UN Committee against Torture. The Vatican's UN Ambassador in Geneva Archbishop Silvano Tomasi admitted the Roman Catholic Church had in the past covered up for priests who had molested kids but wouldn't do it now because it understands the problem better.

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University of Missouri football standout Michael Sam is expected to make a special announcement on "Good Morning America" today. Sam made headlines in February after coming out as gay. His appearance on the ABC morning show comes just one day before Thursday's NFL Draft for which he is projected to be a mid-round draft pick.

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Richmond, Va. once again has the title of America's "Asthma Capital." For the fourth time over the past five years, the city leads the Asthma and Allergy Foundation's list of "The Most Challenging Places to Live with Asthma." Memphis, Tenn. ranks second and McAllen, Texas is third.

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Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky says she deeply regrets her affair with former President Bill Clinton. In a tell-all article in "Vanity Fair," she says she wants to explain her side of the story, and quote, "it's time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress." Lewinsky hopes her story will help others deal with their moments of humiliation.

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Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda is speaking out about disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Lasorda tells ABC affiliate WPBF that he's been a friend of Sterling for 30 years and is not surprised by his racially charged remarks. Lasorda added that he hopes Sterling's companion V. Stiviano gets hit by a car.

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Teenagers who consume sports and energy drinks at least once a week are more likely to engage in other unhealthy behaviors. Researchers say teens who like energy drinks are also more likely to smoke cigarettes, drink more soda and play video games for hours on end.

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The spring art auction season is off to a lukewarm start. Tuesday night's opening session at Christie's in New York City saw Impressionist and modern art works by Picasso, Kandinsky, and Dali bring much lower prices than expected. Two classic works by Degas didn't sell at all, victimized by estimates that turned out to be too high. One exception was Modigliani's portrait of a young man. The 1919 work sold for 17.6 million dollars.

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