Today's News - Friday, December 13, 2013

Earlier this year, a Cambria County jury convicted 38-year-old Brian Roles Sr. of East Taylor Township of driving while intoxicated and causing a crash that killed his 16-year-old son, Brian Jr. in 2013. He’s serving 8-and-a-half to 17 years in a state prison. Roles is appealing and yesterday a judge appointed an attorney to represent him through that process. At his trial, the older Roles testified that his son was driving, but a nephew who was also in the pickup said that wasn’t true and he had been pressured to lie in court.

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Attorneys representing Windber brothers William and Ron Kuchera are asking a federal judge for leniency when he sentences them Tuesday. The brothers owned Kuchera Defense Systems and their lawyers say that meant steady jobs for hundreds of people in the area working on projects that supported the nation’s troops. The Kucheras were convicted of defrauding the government and conspiracy to avoid paying taxes. In his memo to the court, their attorney argued that prison would be a waste of taxpayer dollars. One of the men was recently diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

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Loan limits for volunteer fire companies have been the same for over four decades, but that may change soon. A proposed bill that will increase limits is on its way to the governor’s desk. The bill would double the amount of money that fire companies are permitted to borrow for equipment and apparatus.

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The state's auditor general is pressing Governor Tom Corbett to end his bid to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery. Eugene DePasquale says the privatization push has cost taxpayers over $3 million. Corbett announced in 2011 that he wanted to sell the lottery to Camelot Global Services and several contract extensions have been enacted to make the deal work. DePasquale says the extensions need to stop or taxpayers could lose another million dollars.

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Penn State’s student-created drinking holiday, State Patty’s Day, is coming up, but now the Inter-Fraternity Council has announced that it has voted to ban social functions during that weekend. According to a release from the university, in an effort to limit destructive activities, Greek-lettered organizations will not host events involving alcohol from 2 a.m. Friday, February 28 through Sunday, March 2. During last year’s event, more than three dozen bars received $5,000 dollars to not serve alcohol. Police made 138 arrests, down from 225 in 2012 and 234 the previous year.

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Jerry Sandusky’s former attorney is in some trouble himself. The Associated Press reports that Joe Amendola is being sued by American Express for over $25,000 in purchases and interest on a credit card. Amendola says he can’t comment until he reviews the lawsuit.

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A federal budget plan is on its way to the Senate after receiving a thumbs up in the House. The two year agreement aims to avert another spending showdown next month. Many Democrats are upset that the deal does not include an extension of longterm unemployment benefits. The White House is also putting more pressure on Congress to extend long-term unemployment benefits.

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Three U.S. Senators want an investigation in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' so-called "storefront" operations. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Charles Grassley of Iowa are demanding action from the Justice Department.

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A group of mayors and mayors-elect will meet with President Obama today on job creation policies. White House spokesman Jay Carney says the mayors understand that smart investments in things like American manufacturing and infrastructure help provide good jobs for middle-class families.

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A new poll shows support for stricter gun control measures is dropping. The NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" survey indicates it's at the lowest level since last year's elementary school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Fifty-two percent now say they want tougher laws covering the sale of firearms. An uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jung Un has been executed. Jang Song Thaek had been considered the second most powerful man in the communist nation. He was executed after a special military tribunal found him guilty of treason.

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Three stabbing victims following last night's Broncos-Chargers game are talking to investigators. Denver Police spokesman Steve Warneke says there may be another who hasn't come forward. One of the victims was listed in critical condition.

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No memorials, vigils or other remembrances are slated to mark the coming one year anniversary since the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. It'll be one year tomorrow that Adam Lanza shot his way into the school and killed 20 children and six adults in one of the nation's worst mass killings.

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More winter weather is moving into parts of the U.S. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Cincinnati and most of the tri-state region from tonight through tomorrow evening. Forecasters are expecting two-to-four-inches of snow to blanket the area.

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It's too early to tell how severe this flu season will be. The CDC says flu levels across the country are low right now, but that's expected to change with the holidays coming and more people traveling. The CDC recommends everyone six months and older get the flu vaccine, especially people at increased risk like seniors and kids five and under.

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Ford Motor Company will add five-thousand jobs in the United States next year as the Dearborn-based automaker plans on rolling out a record 16 new vehicles. Nearly three-thousand salaried positions will be created in Southeast Michigan, with the remaining jobs going to plants around the country.

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Most Americans say their New Year's resolution is to be healthier. A new survey shows seven out of ten respondents said their goal for 2014 is to shed some pounds.

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This can be a very difficult day for those who suffer from a fear of Friday the 13th. The morbid fear of the number 13 or the date Friday the 13th is called triskaidekaphobia and for certain individuals it can cause misgivings, anxiety and all kinds of distress.

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The Mega Millions jackpot is still growing. Tonight’s estimated jackpot is a whopping 400-million dollars, and even the cash option is 216-million. This is the second-largest Mega Millions Jackpot ever and the fifth largest lottery jackpot of any kind in the U.S.

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Tiger Woods' stepbrother is under arrest for allegedly making a bogus bomb threat at the government facility where he worked. Fifty-eight-year-old Earl Woods, Junior phoned in the threat to the Department of Economic Security office in Phoenix Thursday. Workers alerted security at the facility who in turn called the police. Woods reportedly told the authorities the call was intended as a joke and that he didn't expect his fellow workers to take it seriously.

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Shopping centers aren't the only retail outlets buzzing with activity over the holiday season. Many consumers say they'll also be making more trips to convenience stores in the coming weeks. A third of the respondents in a National Association of Convenience Stores poll say they'll be stopping at a convenience store for a pick-me-up snack or beverage when they're out shopping. They'll also be buying gifts. Nearly a quarter plan to give convenience store gift cards as presents, while 21 percent will buy small gifts or stocking stuffers at their local convenience store. Another 22 percent will be running out to the convenience store to get utilitarian items like tape and batteries. In addition, 21 percent will stop at a convenience store to get wine, beer, or snacks for their holiday parties. And 22 percent expect to make a few more visits than usual to their convenience store's ATM during the holiday season.

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