Today's News - Friday, August 1, 2014

State and local drug agents arrested 31 suspects in Huntingdon County on Wednesday, and yesterday they busted about 30 more in Cambria and Somerset counties. Attorney General Kathleen Kane says they are accused of selling heroin, crack, and prescription medications. Thursday’s arrests were part of a nine-month investigation with the attorney general’s office. Kane says they are just getting started.

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State police in Indiana say 68-year-old Paul Tressler of Blairsville died after a massive fire that broke out late Wednesday night in the kitchen at Sharon’s Restaurant and Lounge in Blairsville. The flames destroyed Chaek’s Window Ice Cream Shop, then spread to a connecting apartment building that housed Chaek’s Photography. As many as seven people may have been left homeless. The blaze has been ruled accidental.

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The NCAA has reached a $75 million settlement with dozens of college athletes who filed a class action lawsuit in connection with head injuries. The settlement requires mandatory regulations that coaches and staff members must follow if a player gets hurt during practice or a game. The requirements mainly include additional testing and ensuring a student-athlete who has a concussion doesn't return to playing without seeing a physician.

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Recent polls show incumbent Republican Governor Tom Corbett lagging way behind Tom Wolf in the polls, and Corbett hopes he gained some votes after attending last night’s Altoona Curve game. Corbett says he’s fighting the basic lie Wolf has been campaigning on, that Corbett is to blame for cutting $1 billion from public education, forcing school districts to raise taxes. Corbett claims federal stimulus money ran out at the worst time and the state didn’t raise taxes to make up the deficit. Also, the governor is still fighting for pension reform and to have new state employees contribute more to their own 401k.

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A vote to legalize medical marijuana is waiting for the state senate when members return in September. Supporters say if it passes, it would clear the way for CBD, which has been used to reduce seizures in children with epilepsy. The bill has already won the approval of the Senate Law and Justice Committee.

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What was supposed to be a three-day truce between Israel and Hamas is reportedly over. The truce only lasted a few hours before Hamas reported that Israeli tank fire killed four Palestinians in southern Gaza. On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that all parties had agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire.

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With time and money running out, the Senate has agreed to a Republican plan to extend funding for highway and transit construction through May 2015. Meantime, a bill reforming the troubled Veterans Affairs Department is headed to President Obama's desk after final passage by the Senate last night. Both measures were passed just before the five-week summer recess.

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White House spokesman Josh Earnest is defending CIA Director John Brennan after Brennan apologized to the Senate. Brennan issued a formal apology to leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee after an agency probe found that CIA employees improperly searched the computers of committee staffers.

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At least one of the Americans infected with the Ebola virus in Africa will be treated in the U.S. Emory University Hospital in Atlanta officials said Thursday the worker will spend time in a special isolation unit. They wouldn't say if the patient is Dr. Kent Brantly from Texas or Nancy Writebol from North Carolina.

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A leading computer researcher says hackers can tap into personal computers through USB devices including keyboards, thumb-drives and mice. Karsten Nohl will describe his finding at next week's Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas. The event attracts thousands of computer security professionals.

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Former House majority leader Eric Cantor will resign from Congress before finishing out his term. In an interview with the "Richmond Times-Dispatch," Cantor said he will step down from the House of Representatives on August 18. The announcement comes less than two months after his stunning primary defeat and just hours after stepping down as House majority leader Thursday afternoon.

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A man charged with the murder of a border patrol agent will be indicted Friday after being extradited to the U.S. from Mexico. Ivan Soto-Barraza has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of agent Brian Terry in a gun battle near the Arizona-Mexico border in 2010.

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Los Angeles city officials say they are making steady progress to repair the water main that caused heavy flooding on the campus of UCLA. Officials with the Department of Water and Power say they hope to have the major repairs on the water main done as early as Friday night. After that, reconstruction of Sunset Boulevard will begin.

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The second named storm of this year's hurricane season is now churning in the Atlantic. Tropical Storm Bertha formed late on Thursday and has maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the islands of Barbados, Dominica and St. Lucia.

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The fat lady isn't singing yet as New York's Metropolitan Opera and labor unions have agreed to keep negotiating on new contracts. The two sides have agreed to postpone a lockout for 72 hours past the midnight deadline when contracts between the Met and 15 of its 16 unions expired. The Met is demanding a 16-percent cut in labor costs from the unions.

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Political tensions abroad are making many Americans leery of traveling. According to a poll conducted by German market researchers GfK for The Street.com, 36 percent of respondents say they fear flying internationally in light of recent turmoil in other countries. Those more likely to be hesitant of international travel are women, older respondents and people living on the East coast.

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America's 43rd President is coming out with a book about a subject he knows very well -- America's 41st President. Former President George W. Bush has been writing a biography of his father, former President George H.W. Bush. Crown Publishers announced Wednesday that the book covers the elder Bush's life and career in and out of politics. It will be released in November.

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