Today's News - Friday, April 4, 2014

The City of Johnstown and its manager, Kristin Denne, are facing a second civil lawsuit concerning the city’s sewer upgrade project. City resident Charlene Stanton wants to access financial records concerning sewage rental fees and the city’s general fund. In February, Stanton lost a court battle in which the city was trying to take part of her property for the sewer project. Yesterday, it was reported that former city councilman John “Jack” Williams had also filed a suit against the city and Denne for failing to supply sewer records in accordance with the state’s Right to Know Law.

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A stomach bug shut down the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown last weekend, but officials tell the tribune democrat it seems to be winding down. Nine new cases of the suspected norovirus were reported Thursday, bringing the total to 176 who got sick. Spokeswoman Natalie Bombatch says state inspectors from the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Food Safety this week completed an inspection of the dining facilities and found no violations. Officials don’t know where the problem started.

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A Cambria County jury was seated yesterday for the attempted homicide trial of Kevin McGee of Johnstown. He’s accused of firing shots into an empty Richland Township police cruiser in September 2012. He refused to put down the gun and an officer shot him in the stomach. Mcgee will represent himself when testimony begins Tuesday.

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The City of Johnstown will soon have a new K-9 vehicle out on the streets and two more will soon follow. The new vehicles were purchased with help from a fund set up through the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies. Laurel Auto Group supplied the vehicle at cost and Team Force Inc. outfitted the cars with specialized police equipment and lights for a fraction of what it would usually cost.

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A new poll indicates that tom wolf has a sizeable lead in the democratic race for governor.  The Franklin and Marshall College poll released yesterday shows wolf with 33 percent of the vote, while the other candidates each have less than 10 percent. 46 percent are still undecided. The survey polled 524 registered democratic voters and was conducted between March 25 and the 31.

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Customers complained and the Public Utility Commission listened. After a winter that saw spiking variable electric rates, the PUC adopted new regulations yesterday that will require power suppliers to disclose more information. Customers would be clear on the price-per-kilowatt hour and be able to change companies within three days if they don’t agree to the terms provided by the supplier. The new rules must still be approved by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.

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Governor Tom Corbett outlined more than 250 projects yesterday that will start this year due to the state’s new transportation plan. He says approximately 900 highway and bridge projects will get underway and 300 of them were made possible because of the plan which increases several driver’s fees. Corbett thinks the transportation plan will add 18,000 new jobs.

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Now that the initial shock is beginning to wear off, they're starting the grieving process as well as the search for answers at the nation's largest military base.  Wednesday's shooting at Texas' Fort Hood left four people dead, 16 injured and thousands struggling to come to grips with how and why this happened.  Authorities say terrorism wasn't a motive and have identified the gunman as Army Specialist Ivan Lopez.  

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Hail, thunderstorms, and twisters are pounding a stretch of the Midwest and southern Plains.  The National Weather Service has tornado warnings up for North Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, central Missouri, Kansas and western Kentucky.  The tornadoes that touched down Thursday were relatively small, but hailstorms were big and destructive in parts of north and central Texas.

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A punishing storm system that hit the central U.S. with hail, thunderstorms and heavy rain is heading east.  Severe weather is expected to descend on the East Coast today as ice and snow linger in the upper Midwest. 

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Economists are predicting this morning's jobs report will show employers added 200,000 thousand new jobs in March.  They also expect the unemployment rate to drop back to 6.6 percent. 

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The search for a missing Malaysian jetliner is now going on underwater.  Searchers in the Indian Ocean are using a giant underwater microphone that listens for pings from the plane's flight data recorders.  They're also using an underwater robot that scans the ocean floor for signs of wreckage. 

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It looks like 2013 was a record-breaking year for the big players in business.  More than a dozen CEOs and other key executives joined the $100 dollar compensation club, according to "USA Today."  Notable names on the list include Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, Disney CEO Robert Iger and Apple's Timothy Cook. 

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McDonald's is shut down in Crimea.  The fast-food giant announced today that "manufacturing reasons" are behind its suspended operations in the region Russia recently annexed from Ukraine. 

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General Motors is hiring a top crisis manager.  The move comes as the automaker is under investigation for defective ignition switches linked to deadly crashes and growing vehicle recalls.  Jeff Eller heads up the firm Public Strategies which has advised U.S. presidents and leading CEOs on dealing with complex communications and policy issues. 

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Seven-hundred people are back on the ground after scaling New York's Number Four World Trade Center in the name of charity.  Participants from all five boroughs and 15 states raced up the tower's 72 flights of stairs.  Thursday night's vertical marathon raised more than $170,000 for the Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.

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Lights are out at the Georgia restaurant that sparked Paula Deen's racism scandal.  Uncle Bubba's Seafood & Oyster House shut its doors Thursday without even notifying employees.  One of the eatery's former employees filed a lawsuit against Deen last year accusing her of racial and sexual discrimination. 

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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is investing in a study of Human Growth Hormones.  The ground-breaking study will look at the affect HGH has on injury recovery.  ESPN says it will take two years and is headed by a renown university medical school.

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The debate is already under way over who should step in as David Letterman's successor on the "Late Show."  Conan O'Brien is the favorite in an "Entertainment Tonight" poll, with 18 percent of the vote.  "Late Late Show" host Craig Ferguson follows with nods from 15 percent.   

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There's a new treatment device that can save people from a drug overdose.  Federal health regulators approved a device Thursday may help keep people alive as prescription drug abuse spreads.  The hand-held treatment is a small injector, similar to the EpiPen used by allergy sufferers.

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The stunning selfie that Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz snapped with President Obama earlier this week is actually a publicity stunt for Samsung.  The reigning World Series MVP took the selfie with the Commander in Chief during his team's Tuesday visit to the White House.  The selfie went viral and Samsung Mobile later tweeted out "This photo was taken with a #GalaxyNote3."  The "Sports Business Journal" reports that Ortiz recently inked a deal to be Samsung's MLB social media insider.

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