Today's News - Friday, July 18, 2014

David Horten, who owns NyKo’s Restaurant in Johnstown has been ordered to trial on charges that he illegally bought black bear gallbladders in 2011. “The Tribune-Democrat” reports the State Game Commission set up the deal which happened in the restaurant’s parking lot. Horten told the undercover officer his mother would dry the gallbladders and take them to New York City, where they would be sold. Bear gallbladders are consider edible and are used for medicinal purposes in Asia. Horten is free on his own recognizance.

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A fatal fire yesterday morning in Nanty Glo, Cambria County. The fire marshal says the blaze was caused by an electrical problem and it has been ruled accidental. Flames broke out along Springfield Street around 7:30. 64-year-old William Ferguson died of smoke inhalation. A neighbor tried to get inside to save him, but couldn’t.

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Johnstown police have released no new details in Wednesday’s reported shooting in Old Conemaugh Borough. 911 callers reported hearing several gunshots around 5:30 in the afternoon. Police questioned several people living in a duplex apartment in the 1100 block of Church Avenue. No injuries were reported.

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18-year-old Isiah Waulk and 19-year-old Sean Castapheny, of Johnstown, have been ordered to stand trial for allegedly pistol-whipping a man during a robbery at a West End home in January. Police say they and a third man were wearing bandanas over their faces when they forced their way into the Strayer Street house. One of the victims was able to deflect the handgun that was pointed at him and when it discharged, the bullet struck the floor. The robbers made off with money and a cellphone. Castapheny and Waulk remain in the Cambria County Prison.

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Heroin deaths are increasing in Pennsylvania. Officials said yesterday the state is number 7 among states with the highest numbers. Coroners have been using a new online database to track the problem and have found that Pennsylvania had a 30 percent increase in heroin deaths in the first quarter of this year. Lancaster County had the most heroin-related deaths in the state, with 92 between 2009 and last year. Officials say the number of major routes that run through the state are adding to the problem by allowing drugs to travel long distances quickly.

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A proposed constitutional amendment aimed at reducing the House and Senate is on hold for now after the bill failed to get a final vote before the legislature’s summer break. The measure would have cut the Senate from 50 to 45 members and the House from 203 to 153. It passed the House and was unanimously approved by the State Senate Government Committee, but stalled on the Senate floor.

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Matt Sandusky’s interview with Oprah Winfrey aired last night on the OWN TV network. He claims Jerry Sandusky would molest him when he tucked him in during overnight visits. In the interview, he mentioned more serious abuse than he previously told detectives about. Matt Sandusky did not testify against his adoptive father, and Jerry Sandusky has not been charged with any crime in relation to him. Matt is among those who have shared $60 million worth of civil settlements from Penn State.

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Recovery crews now have a second black box from a Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine. The flight recorder was recovered earlier today. The Malaysia Airlines jet was carrying nearly 300 people when it was shot down by a surface-to-air missile Thursday. Ukraine's president calls the tragedy a "terrorist action."

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Arizona Senator John McCain wants American troops to be deployed to support Ukraine against Russian separatists. McCain says President Obama's administration has acted "cowardly" for not supporting Ukraine with weapons. McCain believes if Ukraine had weapons, yesterday's missile strike on the Malaysian jet could have been avoided.

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Israel's military confirms one of its soldiers has been killed during its ground invasion of Gaza. The military action is part of a new ground offensive against Hamas militants. Gaza health officials say 23 Palestinians have been killed.  The invasion followed several hours of heavy rocket fire into southern and central Israel by Gaza militants.

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The federal government is deploying more ATF agents to Chicago to help curb gun violence. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently approved seven additional ATF agents after meeting with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other officials. Fifty-eight people were wounded and 13 others killed in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend.

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An Amber Alert is out in Colorado for a baby girl who was kidnapped in Oklahoma Thursday. Authorities say the five-month-old child was taken from the central Oklahoma town of Cashion by her great-aunt, 48-year-old Cindy Findley. They believe Findley might be headed to Salt Lake City in a sport utility vehicle with Texas plates.

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A powerful typhoon is slamming into southern China. Typhoon Rammasun is packing heavy rain and winds in excess of 90 miles an hour. Earlier this week, Rammasun blasted through the Philippines, killing at least 40 people. China's state-run news agency says air and train travel in the region has been temporarily suspended.

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A former cop is pleading not guilty to stuffing the bodies of two women into suitcases and dumping them in a roadside ditch in Wisconsin. Steven Zelich didn't appear in court yesterday, but entered his plea through video from jail. He's charged with two felony counts of hiding a corpse in an area about 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee.

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A federal indictment says FedEx has been shipping powerful prescription drugs for illegal online pharmacies. The grand jury indictment alleges FedEx continued delivering controlled substances and prescription drugs even after authorities closed down two prominent online pharmacy organizations.

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Tens of thousands of New Yorkers won't have to worry about a Long Island Railroad strike. Governor Andrew Cuomo helped broker a six-and-a-half year agreement Thursday that includes 17-percent salary hikes and the first-ever healthcare contributions from the workers who make up the eight unions involved.

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Microsoft is cutting 18-thousand jobs over the next year. CEO Satya Nadella announced the layoffs in an email this morning to all Microsoft's employees. Nadella says, while Microsoft is cutting jobs in some areas, it is "adding roles" in certain other strategic areas.  The layoffs are the most in the company's history.

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A state judge is tossing out Florida's ban on same-sex marriage, but the ruling only applies to one County. Judge Luis Garcia ruled in favor of six gay couples who claimed the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage made them second-class citizens. The judge said marriage licenses for gay couples could be issued in Monroe County starting next week.

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The Justice Department is looking into those missing IRS emails. The investigation was confirmed in written testimony submitted to the House Oversight Committee, which is holding a hearing on the matter. Republicans believe the missing emails could shed more light on possible IRS targeting of conservative groups.

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The military will begin gender identity treatment for convicted document leaker Chelsea Manning. The Army private, formerly known as Bradley Manning is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks. Following her conviction in 2013, Manning requested sex change therapy and be allowed to live as a woman.

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The filmmakers behind the ill-fated Gregg Allman biopic are denying the charges they're facing in connection with the death of crew member Sarah Jones. "Entertainment Weekly" says director Randall Miller and Jody Savin appeared in court Thursday and entered not guilty pleas to charges of involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass. The charges stem from the fatal train accident, which killed Jones and injured several others while they were shooting the film "Midnight Rider" on a train trestle in Georgia.

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Jason Biggs is now apologizing for an ill-timed joke about Thursday's Malaysian Airlines disaster. The "American Pie" actor who stars in the critically-acclaimed Netflix hit "Orange Is The New Black," initially tweeted a joke that asked, "Anyone wanna buy my Malaysian Airlines frequent flier miles?" Biggs has since tweeted a four-part apology.

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Life in the year 2014 is overrated, according to many polled in a new survey from British historical TV network Yesterday. Fifty-seven percent of respondents say they would rather live a decade other than the current one. One in five say they would prefer to live in the 1960's. The second most popular era chosen was Ancient Rome.

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