Today's News - Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Shane Krestar of Fallentimber is in the Cambria County jail, charged with trying to hire his uncle to kill one of his employees at Key Life Human Services in Coalport. State Police say the female employee, who is openly gay, had demanded a raise and a promotion, but they are not considering this a hate crime. Krestar’s company provides residential help for mentally challenged clients. According to court documents, Krestar met with his uncle on four occasions, once asking him to tamper with the woman’s car. His uncle eventually went to the police.

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A body was pulled from a burning pick-up truck shortly before noon yesterday after a crash on Keysertown Road in Jenner Township, Somerset County. State Police say the 2013 Red Ford F-150 truck was speeding when it left the road, ran through a field, crashed into the woods and came to rest at the bottom of Beaver Dam Run Creek, then caught fire. The investigation continues and the driver has not yet been identified.

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Last October, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Samuel Stiles of Johnstown died near a naval base in Japan. Now his friend and fellow Petty Officer 2nd Class David Lange of North Dakota has been court-martialed. He pleaded guilty to several counts and was sentenced to eight months confinement. Lange confessed to being with the 25-year-old Stiles the night he climbed on a train car while urban hiking at a closed station. Stiles was shocked by overhead power lines and fell to his death. Navy investigators say Lange fled instead of calling for help and possibly saving Stiles’ life. He later lied about Stiles’ whereabouts. Stiles was legally intoxicated at the time.

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Gallitzin Fire Chief Mike Sanders tells “The Tribune-Democrat” a flue fire stemming from a wood burner gutted a house on Howell Street late Sunday. The home’s owner, who was in the hospital at the time, was left homeless. The Red Cross is helping him. Fire crews were back on the scene early Monday when the flames briefly rekindled.

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Sixty-year-old Yon Park of Georgia appeared in Johnstown’s Federal Court yesterday. She pleaded guilty to one count of transportation for illegal sexual activity for bringing a woman into the country to work as a prostitute at the Sunset Health Spa on Pleasant Valley Boulevard in Altoona. Park’s husband, Steve, pleaded guilty to money laundering. The couple will be sentenced February 24th. Yon Park faces up to 10 years in prison, while Steve Park could get up to 20 years.

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A State Senator is introducing legislation that cuts taxes for small breweries. Bob Casey toured Troegs Brewing Company in Hershey yesterday and talked about the legislation, saying the tax cut would help small breweries compete in the industry. Casey says the legislation would also create jobs in the area.

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Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley is out of the hospital. Cawley was admitted Monday after becoming light-headed while presiding over a state Senate session. Cawley’s doctors say tests indicated he had an elevated blood pressure and heart rate. Cawley was given medicine and will be monitored in the coming weeks.

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A bill to impose stricter penalties for home invasions is on its way to the Senate. House Bill 12-96 would make home invasions a first-degree felony with a minimum penalty of 5 years in prison. A second offense would mean 10 years behind bars. The measure passed by a vote of 200 to 2.

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Four state-related universities, including Penn State, are arguing they should not be fully covered under Pennsylvania’s Right To Know Law. According to State College.com, representatives from Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln University appeared at a Senate committee meeting this week. Officials say because the schools are not state agencies, they would not have immunity if fully covered by the law. Definitions of state agencies and state-related universities also have created concerns.

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Veterans want a bill passed to ensure all Veteran’s Administration funding can’t be disrupted. The call is being made by veterans who feel their services have been ignored by the recent federal government shutdown. Stewart Hickey, of the AMVets service organization, says the legislation has received bi-partisan support in the House.

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The fallout from the federal government's partial shutdown is hitting the IRS. The agency has announced that the start of the 2014 tax season is being delayed by one to two weeks. The shutdown put a hold on preparation of computer filing systems during a peak period.

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An experienced White House figure Jeffrey Zeints is being brought in to oversee efforts to fix technical glitches at HealthCare.gov. The website is key to the success of new healthcare exchanges in the healthcare reform law. Since its launch, the site has been troubled by glitches.

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The city of Detroit will be on the hot seat today as it goes to court to determine if the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history can go forward. Detroit's filing cites $18 billion in debt. Retirees and pension funds argue the Motor City shouldn't be eligible to restructure its debt because it hasn’t properly negotiated with them.

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A man accused of being involved in al-Qaeda’s bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 is pleading not guilty. Abu Anas al-Liby’s plea was entered at a court hearing in New York City. Al-Liby was captured by a U.S. Army Delta Force squad more than a week ago in Libya.

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The Ohio man who confessed on YouTube to killing a man in a wrong-way crash will learn his fate today. Matthew Cordle is facing eight years in prison for aggravated vehicular homicide. He pleaded guilty to getting drunk and driving the wrong way along a Columbus interstate in June when he caused the deadly crash.

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Colleges are seeing a slowdown in tuition price increases. A new report released today shows the average costs at four-year public universities jumped 2.9 percent this year. That’s the smallest annual increase in more than three decades. However, it also notes that the smaller rates of increase this year are tempered by recent declines in federal grant aid.

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Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal is being turned into the stuff of TV drama. Two primetime series will air episodes inspired by the salacious details revolving around the disgraced New York lawmaker. They include tonight's episode of NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” and ABC’s “Scandal” tomorrow.

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The newest member of the British royal family will be Christened today. The three-month-old Prince George has received a lot of good wishes. A giant mint green Christening card, signed by 5,000 people, was hand delivered to St. James’ Palace Tuesday for him.

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The lighter iPad Air will be making its way to consumers soon. Apple rolled out its latest generation in its tablet line yesterday in San Francisco. It's the lightest full size tablet in the world at just one pound. It will begin shipping November 1st and will start at $499 for the 16 gigabyte model.

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The best pizza in the U.S. can be found in Connecticut. Frank Pepe’s is at the top of a list of 101 top pizzas compiled by the website The Daily Meal. The New Haven restaurant wins with its White Clam pizza, made with clams, grated Parmesan, olive oil, garlic and oregano.

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