Today's News - December 12, 2013

Police in the Johnstown area say Dwight Bumford stole keys from an apartment building superintendent, then burglarized a number of apartments in the Edwards Hill and Norwood Gardens complexes in Lower Yoder Township last month. WJAC reports that Bumford was already a suspect, then police arrested him on a parole violation for heroin use. That’s when they found the evidence they needed to charge him. Police haven’t recovered all of the stolen keys, but several locks have been changed. Bumford is in the Cambria County Prison on $260 thousand bond.

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The Cambria County Court system has begun fining those who fail to show up for jury duty $100 each. Court Administrator William Valko tells “The Tribune-Democrat” that six people were fined this week and 11 others were ordered to return at a later date for jury duty.

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Doctors at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh say 2-year-old Marc Jackson Jr. of Somerset will make a full recovery after being trapped beneath an old stove on Monday afternoon. The child’s father’s fiancee found the boy and got him breathing again. The family is remodeling their kitchen and the curious boy climbed into the old oven. It then overturned on top of him.

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Back in March, a bus carrying the women’s lacrosse team from Seton Hill University crashed along the turnpike near Carlisle. Now investigators say they found evidence of heart damage in the body of the driver, 61-year-old Anthony Guaetta of Johnstown. They believe he may have suffered a heart attack or stroke and was unconscious before the wreck that killed the team’s pregnant coach, Kristina Quigley of Greensburg, and her unborn child. Eighteen lacrosse players and an assistant coach were injured.

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Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is not only on the rise nationally, it is also up in Pennsylvania. At the end of last month, 11,788 Pennsylvanians selected a health insurance plan under Obamacare. Around 100,000 state residents qualify to enroll in a plan, while nearly 40,000 are eligible for federal financial assistance. Anyone who wants coverage by January 1st must enroll by December 23rd.

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Though the cost to attend Penn State is rising, it is still one of the best values for a public college, according to “Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.” The magazine ranked Penn State number 53 in its annual listing, which combines education and economic value. Penn State was one of three Pennsylvania schools to make the list. The University Of North Carolina/Chapel Hill ranked first.

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The Pennsylvania School Performance Profile is now posted online and it includes information from more than 620 schools that previously had their statistics suppressed. The site uses federal and state test scores to rate schools throughout the state on a scale of one to 100. More than 70 percent of the schools in Pennsylvania currently receive a rating of 70 or higher.

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In light of the Jerry Sandusky and Catholic clergy scandals, the state house yesterday approved several pieces of a child-abuse reform package. They would expand the definition of “perpetrator” and toughen penalties for assaults against children under certain circumstances. The bills now move to the Senate, which is expected to pass them and send them on to Governor Tom Corbett for his signature.

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This week marks the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook School shooting in Connecticut. Pennsylvania State Police have released new guidelines to help schools keep students safe. The new report says many schools in our state are still vulnerable to a violent attack by an armed individual or a terrorist group. In the report, State Police cite the advantages of armed security guards, better control of building access, and having comprehensive plans in place for dealing with any sort of attack.

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Conservative groups who oppose the bipartisan budget deal are getting slammed by House Speaker John Boehner. The Ohio Republican says that anti-spending groups are using GOP House members and "using the American people for their own goals.” The House could vote as early as today on a deal that would fund the federal government for two years.

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White House spokesman Josh Earnest is responding to Republican criticism of President Obama's handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro. Earnest called it "unfortunate" and cited a longstanding tradition of not criticizing a President when he is overseas.

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A new poll finds that many Americans believe political gridlock will keep hurting the nation's economy. The Bloomberg National Poll shows 78 percent of people surveyed say the absence of agreement in Washington, DC will keep the economy from growing in 2014.

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A vigil for the Newtown school victims and all other victims of gun violence will be held today at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. The vigil comes two days before the first anniversary of the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School by Adam Lanza that killed 20 first graders and six educators.

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The Senate has approved President Obama's nomination of Cornelia "Nina" Pillard to serve on the federal appeals court in Washington. The vote in the Senate was 51-44. Pillard is a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General and former assistant to the Solicitor General.

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The sign language interpreter accused of signing gibberish at the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela says he suffered a schizophrenic attack while on stage in Johannesburg. The man told the "Johannesburg Star" he started hearing voices in his head and began hallucinating.

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Concerns over the use of antibiotics in America's meat is causing the Food and Drug Administration to push new guidelines in the use of drugs on farm animals. The effort is focused on stopping the use of growth enhancers in livestock, which would slow a surge in human resistance to the drugs.

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South Dakota and 26 other states are opposing expanded gun laws. Attorney General Marty Jackley says that the state has joined a Supreme Court brief that opposes attempts by the federal government to expand the prosecution of legal gun owners who sell firearms to another person who can legally possess a gun.

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Foreclosures are showing a decline to their lowest level in seven years. RealtyTrac says new foreclosure filings dropped 15 percent in November. It's the biggest monthly decline since November 2010 and the lowest since December 2006.

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NASA is scaling back operations on the International Space Station due to a cooling system failure. NBC reports that a NASA official says the situation is not life-threatening. The report says one of the station's two cooling loops has shut down and the six-person crew is prioritizing life support systems.

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Security for Super Bowl week in New York will be shifted into high gear. New York Police will have groups of heavily armed officers and police dogs on the streets and patrol boats on the rivers. An estimated 400,000 visitors are expected and dozens of pre-game events are scheduled ahead the February 2nd game at MetLife Stadium.

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The majority of Americans say they think Christmas should be celebrated in the nation's public schools. Seventy-five percent of the respondents of a new Rasmussen Reports telephone poll say they think children who celebrate the holiday should get to do so at school. Fifteen percent of respondents disagreed.

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A group in Kansas City is hoping that having Santa on their side will stop the building of a new airport. According to Kansas City's KSHB-TV, a group called Friends of KCI showed up to the City Clerk's office dressed as Santa and delivered a petition with 3,500 signatures against a new airport being in the city.

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Bob Barker will be celebrating his 90th birthday in familiar surroundings. The veteran game show host returns to "The Price Is Right" Thursday to assist current host Drew Carey in helping to spread the word about Pet Adoption Week. Since retiring from "The Price Is Right," Barker has only appeared on the show once, in 2009 to promote his autobiography.

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