Today's News - Friday, February 7, 2014

Johnstown murder suspect Earl Mitchell Jr. is behind bars in Virginia after being caught by the Prince William County Police Department Thursday night in the Manassas area. Police say he was first spotted during a traffic stop and a chase followed. The 20-year-old from Philadelphia is accused of killing Jareek Adams January 25 in the Oakhurst Homes section of Johnstown. A second person, Jonathan Moore, was shot several times, but survived. Mitchell will be extradited to face charges in Cambria County.

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The Blair County district attorney’s office announced Thursday that 18-year-old Penn State Altoona student Vladislav Miftakhov is now facing federal charges. The Russian native was arraigned at the federal courthouse in Johnstown on charges of possessing or making an unregistered explosive device. When he was arrested last month, Miftakohv told police he was planning to blow up the bombs in a field. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday. Meanwhile, Miftakohv is jailed without bond. If convicted he could face 10 years in prison or a $10,000 fine.

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37-year-old Donald Ivey, who is an inmate the Cambria County Prison, is refusing to leave his cell in order to go to an extradition hearing.  According to The Tribune-Democrat, He’s also not allowing authorities to take his finger prints or a DNA swab. Like all county lock-ups in the state, the prison holds inmates for no more than two years, but due to his actions, Judge Timothy Creany has ordered Ivey to be kept there, even if it is for the rest of Ivey’s life.

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The 2014 Special Olympics Pennsylvania Winter Games begin with opening ceremonies this Sunday evening at Central Park in downtown Johnstown. Events will be held Monday and Tuesday at Hidden Valley Four Seasons Resort, Blue Knob Four Seasons Resort, the Cambria County War Memorial and Planet Ice in Richland Township. Events include figure skating, skiing, speed skating and snow shoeing. Awards and closing ceremonies will be held Tuesday at each venue.

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As Penn State prepares for the student-created drinking holiday State Patty’s Day, some downtown State College taverns say they’d like to stay open March 1, but they are willing to limit their services. According to the “Centre Daily Times,” borough manager Tom Fountaine plans to meet with some bar owners to discuss their plan. Possible restrictions might include higher cover charges, a possible ban on drink specials and barring any drinks from being served to those wearing State Patty’s Day green and white attire. Last year, taverns were paid $5,000 to not serve alcohol. The money came from a partnership with university and local officials called Campus and Community United Against Dangerous Drinking.

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More than half a million people are without electricity this morning, as cold weather persists in the Northeast.  Power is out for an estimated 578,000 people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey and Maryland after heavy, wet snow pulled down power lines and knocked out transformers. 

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The spectacle that is the Opening Ceremony for the 22nd Winter Olympics is set for this evening.  NBC will broadcast the event beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.  The athletic competition began Thursday with the men's snowboard slopestyle event. 

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Investors are looking for clues and hoping for assurance from this morning's employment report for January.  The report will shed light on the strength of the labor market and help determine whether Wall Street's recent worries about an economic slowdown are justified. 

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President Obama will be in Michigan today to sign a new farm bill.  The measure eliminates direct subsidy payments to farmers, trims food stamp programs by one percent, and adds crop insurance options for specialty crop growers. 

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Senate Republicans continue to block measures to extend longterm unemployment benefits.  Two Senate procedural votes failed to hit 60-vote thresholds on Thursday needed to move forward.  Longterm jobless aid for more than a million-and-a-half Americans expired on December 28. 

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The U.S is banning all liquids and gels in carry-on bags on flights to and from Russia during the Winter Olympics in Sochi due to terrorism concerns.  The TSA says the items can still be packed in checked luggage. 

 

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A bill which would allow the use of the electric chair as a back-up choice in Virginia death penalty cases is on hold.  By a 21-19 vote, the state Senate yesterday sent the legislation back to committee, which could mean it won't become law this year. 

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Friends and family of Philip Seymour Hoffman are paying their respects to the late actor.  Hollywood stars Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly and Jason Theroux were reported to be among the mourners who showed up for Hoffman's wake Thursday at a funeral home on New York's Upper East Side.  A private funeral will be held Friday at the St. Ignatius Loyola Church. 

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Justin Bieber's legal troubles could be taking a serious turn.  TMZ is reporting the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is looking to slap the pop star with a felony charge for allegedly egging a neighbor's home last month. 

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Jay Leno's time as host of NBC's "Tonight Show" is over.  Thursday was Leno's final night in the host chair, ending a 22-year run.  Jay's emotional goodbye included heartfelt praise for his crew, whom he credits with making him look and sound like a star.  Jimmy Fallon will take over as "Tonight Show" host on February 17th.  

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