Today's News - Friday, April 25, 2014

Copper thieves: you could be caught on camera. “The Tribune-Democrat” says Cambria County’s Department of Emergency Services has received a $230,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security, and cameras have been installed on 17 towers that make up the 911 communications system. The cameras have a direct line to the dispatch center in Ebensburg. County Chief Clerk Steve Ettien says thieves have stolen thousands of dollars worth of copper and the thefts also affect the 911 system.

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A car rammed into Afordable Auto Sales on Bedford Street in Stonycreek Township on Wednesday, which caused the business’ roof to collapse about 12 hours later. No one was inside at the time and no injuries were reported.

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If you were bugged by black flies last summer, there’s good news for you. Cambria County commissioners have worked out a deal with the state Department of Environmental Protection to provide black fly suppression spraying. The Conemaugh River near the Westmoreland and Indiana County lines is the target area. The spraying will be done by helicopter and will cost the county $2500.

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24-year-old Charles Hershey, of Rockwood, was arraigned in Somerset County court Tuesday on arson and other charges, including causing or risking a catastrophe. Henry allegedly used a road flare to start a fire at a vacant home in Rockwood. Emergency crews were not called to the blaze because it ended up extinguishing itself.

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The next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is tomorrow and state police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will accept unwanted, expired and unused prescription drugs free and anonymously. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., unwanted prescription medications may be dropped off at select police barracks including Hollidaysburg, Bedford, Huntingdon, Indiana and Falls Creek. Drop-offs will also be accepted at the East Hills Senior Activity Center in Johnstown. During the last event, Pennsylvanians turned in over 38,000 pounds of expired and unwanted medications for safe and proper disposal.

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That wildfire on Will’s Mountain in Cumberland Valley Township, Bedford County, is now totally contained and won’t be able to spread anymore. It scorched about 900 acres since breaking out Saturday afternoon. Bureau of Forestry officials say the blaze did not destroy any occupied structures and several firefighters had minor injuries like cuts and scrapes.

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Sunday sales at liquor stores have proven so popular the Liquor Control Board is breaking a state law limiting how many stores can be open on Sundays. Spokeswoman Stacy Kriedeman says there has been no resistance to its efforts to add Sunday hours at more stores and a spokesman for House Majority Leader Mike Turzai says that’s because the state liquor system needs to be privatized. At the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year, the LCB had 26 percent of its stores open on Sunday. Now there are 27.5 percent of the state’s 608 liquor stores open on Sunday.

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Today and tomorrow, the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation and Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial are continuing a major re-forestation project at the crash site. By the time they are finished, there will be 150,000 new trees. Tree-planting will be underway from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. If you’d like to volunteer, you can pre-register online. You must be at least 14 years old.

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President Obama is working through a busy day in South Korea, with a warning for North Korea. Shortly after arriving in Seoul, Obama warned the government in the North against conducting another nuclear test. He said such a test wouldn't accomplish anything except further isolating North Korea from the rest of the world.  

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Senator John McCain and other senators are looking into recent claims against the Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Phoenix, Arizona. Recently retired Dr. Sam Foote says the VA created a "secret waiting list." Foote says the list was part of a scheme managers designed to hide the fact that as many as 1,600 people were forced to wait months to see a doctor.  

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The Nevada cattle rancher at the center of a big beef with the federal government is responding to critics who say he's a racist. Cliven Bundy gave rambling answers at a press conference Thursday comparing African-Americans living in subsidized housing to slavery. Bundy was quoted in a recent "New York Times" article suggesting blacks might have been better off as slaves.  

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More information about the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School is now public. Newly released documents reveal that the brother of shooter Adam Lanza told the FBI that his brother had never been violent before the December, 2012 shootings that killed 20 children and six educators at the school in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Northwestern University football players are scheduled to vote today on whether to form a union. The National Labor Relations Board ruled last month that scholarship players are not primarily students because of the amount of time they're required to dedicate to football.  

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A senior U.S. defense official thinks the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 could take years. The undersea drone Bluefin-21 is expected to complete the last of its 16-hour trips today scouring a small area of the southern Indian Ocean floor for the plane's wreckage. The drone has turned up nothing since it began searching two weeks ago.

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The Food and Drug Administration wants to regulate electronic cigarettes. The agency is proposing a new rule which would give it regulatory authority over the booming e-cigarette industry. The rule would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to people younger than 18.  

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The Pentagon says suicide rates in the military are actually higher than previously reported. New calculations show the military's actual suicide rate was at least one-percent higher than what had been reported over the past eight years. A record 164 service members committed suicide in 2012.

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California Highway Patrol investigators are trying to figure out why a school bus driver to crash in Southern California. Authorities say the driver did not appear to hit the brakes when the bus skidded down a road, up over a curb, and into a grove of trees Thursday afternoon in a wealthy Orange County community. Two children and the driver are in critical condition.  

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Facebook is moving to get its friends moving. The social network giant has acquired the popular fitness-tracking app Moves. The people who run Moves say it will continue to be a standalone fitness application, separate from the main Facebook app.  

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Microsoft is wrapping up its deal to pick up Nokia's smartphone business. Microsoft says the seven-billion dollar acquisition will close today.

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This year's commencement at the University of South Florida will be selfie-free. According to the "Tampa Bay Times," USF's Assistant Vice President and Dean Michael Freeman says they want students to "think about the dignity of the ceremony" and refrain from taking photos of themselves with the university's president while receiving their diplomas. Freeman says students who violate the selfie ban run the risk of facing disciplinary action.

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Two Navy sailors are in hot water after their decision to shoot a pellet gun on a San Diego area base ended up causing a shutdown of the facility. Personnel at Naval Base Point Loma were told to shelter in place Thursday afternoon on reports of an unauthorized gunman on the base. That gunman turned out to be two sailors goofing off by shooting a pellet gun at a mirror in a parking lot.

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Thousands of people from all over the world are pouring into New Orleans for this year's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The annual event begins its seven-day run at the city's fairgrounds this morning with hundreds of musical acts scheduled to perform on the festival's 12 stages. Headliners include Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Santana, and Christina Aguilera.

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A Minneapolis man is suing a local McDonald's for twice refusing to serve him because he had a service dog. Robert Mingo was eventually served both times, but the lawsuit claims a manager ordered him not to eat in the dining room the second time.  

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Justin Bieber is free after nearly four hours of questioning at Los Angeles International Airport Thursday. The 20-year-old pop star was returning to the U.S. after spending the past week in Japan with friends and family when he was detained at LAX. "E! News" says U.S. Customs held him inside the terminal when his plane landed as scheduled at 1 p.m., although it's unclear why.

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Seth Meyers has already booked another hosting gig. NBC has tapped the new "Late Night" host to serve as emcee at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. The ceremony will be broadcast on the Peacock Network live from Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre on August 25th.

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Olympic champ Michael Phelps is in an unfamiliar place in the pool. He finished second to fellow American Ryan Lochte in the men's 100 meter butterfly final at the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Arizona. Thursday's race was the first competition since Phelps retired following the 2012 London Olympics.

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