Today's News - Friday, January 31, 2014

Johnstown police say Samantha Meyers left two puppies to freeze to death last week inside a house on Beatrice Avenue and her preliminary hearing is scheduled today. Officials say the house had deplorable conditions and no heat. It has been condemned. Meyers is charged with animal cruelty and is free on $5,000 unsecured bond.

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At least 20 cats were killed and a Johnstown man was left homeless when fire destroyed a house Thursday morning. The blaze broke out on the 200 block of Cypress Avenue. Firefighters tried to save the cats, but the house was already fully engulfed when they arrived. Authorities say the fire started by something being left on the stove while the resident was not home.

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Police are searching for a gunman following an early morning incident near Indiana University of Pennsylvania. State police say a man in a silver Lincoln MKZ sedan followed another man for several blocks before the victim pulled into the Maple Street Apartments. Both got out of their cars and the suspect knocked the victim to the ground before pulling a handgun and shooting the victim in the leg.

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In Somerset County, a homeowner had to be taken to the hospital with unknown injuries after fire broke out at the house in the village of gray early Thursday morning. Firefighters had to battle below-zero temperatures and the house was a total loss. No word on the cause.

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Johnstown police Chief Craig Foust tells “The Tribune-Democrat” that 32-year-old Tenia Hancock will be extradited from Washington, D.C. to face charges of kidnapping a child. The woman is accused of moving to the capital around Christmas time and taking her 3-year-old god-daughter with her. Kayada Martin was returned to her family last week.

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U.S. Sen. Bob Casey says an additional $27.5 million in federal heating assistance funds has been authorized for Pennsylvania through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. To apply for LIHEAP assistance, call 866-857-7095 or go to www.compass.state.pa.us.

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Governor Tom Corbett held an early education rally yesterday at a pre-kindergarten in Harrisburg to preview his budget that will increase funding for Pennsylvania’s Pre-K Counts program by $10 million. Corbett says the program will allow 1,600 preschoolers to access high quality early learning. The money will come out of the Department of Public Welfare’s general fund.

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Tax filing season officially opens today and the IRS expects most Pennsylvania residents to file electronically this year. You can do that through Pennsylvania Free-File. To check the status of your refund, go to IRS.gov.

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A new poll shows Pennsylvania voters are not happy with Governor Tom Corbett’s first term. The Franklin & Marshall College poll released Thursday found that only 23 percent of voters think he deserves to be reelected. That number is slightly higher than the last survey in October when only 20 percent of voters felt he deserved reelection. Officials say Corbett’s approval ratings are considerably lower than the past 2 Pennsylvania Governors at similar points in their first terms.

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Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The two explosions allegedly set by Dzhokhar and his older brother killed three people and injured more than 250 others near the finish line of the Boston Marathon last year. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was later killed in a shootout with police.

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The government is preparing to announce the results of an environmental impact study on the Keystone XL pipeline project. CNN reports that several sources, including two senior Obama administration officials, say the report will be released this afternoon.

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President Obama wants a renewed focus on jobs training programs in the U.S. Speaking Thursday in Wisconsin, Obama said Vice President Joe Biden will lead an across-the-board review of federal jobs training programs.

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The verdict is guilty for Amanda Knox. That's the decision in the University of Washington student's retrial for the murder of her British roommate in Italy in 2007. She has been sentenced to 28 years, six months in jail. However, she may not serve any time since she's currently in the United States due to her acquittal in 2011.

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A Utah sheriff's deputy is dead and another is wounded after a car chase ended in gunfire on Thursday. The surviving deputy is suffering from a head wound but is expected to make it. The incident began when Sergeant Cory Wride spotted a car in Eagle Mountain that appeared to have been abandoned.

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A new poll released ahead of this year's Super Bowl shows 40 percent of Americans would encourage their kids to play a sport other than football due to the concussion issue. The poll results come as the NFL is embroiled in a massive lawsuit brought by retired players over whether the league did enough to prevent concussions or provide care for players with brain injuries.

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In Texas, a ten-million dollar federal lawsuit is being filed against the San Antonio Police Department over an alleged rape. Attorneys for the victim's family say Chief William McManus should have fired Officer Jackie Neal long before last November's alleged rape at a traffic stop.

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The Obama administration is nominating Michael Rogers as the new head of the National Security Agency. Rogers is currently chief of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, which is responsible for the Navy's cyber warfare programs.

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A Georgia emergency official says he made "a terrible error in judgement" regarding preparations for this week's winter storm that paralyzed the Atlanta metro area. Charley English, who heads the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, says he waited too long Tuesday to enact storm preparations.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York City is close to resolving the federal stop-and-frisk case. As part of the agreement, the city has asked a Court of Appeals to send the case back to the lower court that ruled against it.

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The weather forecast for Super Bowl 48 on Sunday is better than initially anticipated. Temperatures at kickoff are expected to be in the upper-30s but wind could end up being a factor in the big game.

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Fake NFL merchandise and tickets worth more than 21-million dollars are now in the hands of the feds. More than 50 people are also under arrest following a crackdown this week ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl.

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The Altoona Curve begins national anthem try-outs tomorrow at Altoona’s Logan Valley Mall from 9 to noon with registration starting at 8 a.m. The try-out tour continues next Saturday at Country Club Mall in Lavale, Maryland, and February 15th at Johnstown’s Galleria mall. For information, call 1-877-99-CURVE, visit AltoonaCurve.com, or stop in at People’s Natural Gas Field.

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A new poll released ahead of this year's Super Bowl shows 40 percent of Americans would encourage their kids to play a sport other than football due to the concussion issue. The poll results come as the NFL is embroiled in a massive lawsuit brought by retired players over whether the league did enough to prevent concussions or provide care for players with brain injuries.

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