Today's News - Friday, March 21, 2014

Richland Township police are searching for two men who they say added an unidentified chemical to a fish tank in Wal-Mart on February 19, killing 1,000 fish and causing more than $10,000 in losses. The suspects appear to be in their late teens or early 20s. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 800-281-1680 -0- An attempted murder/suicide yesterday in Scalp Level, Cambria County. Police say they tried to serve a warrant on a man who lived at 310 Main Street, but he barricaded himself inside and a 6 hour standoff began. He allegedly shot a woman in the head as she was trying to leave. The woman was taken to Johnstown’s Memorial Medical Center. But family members say she is alert and able to talk. The man then shot himself and was later found in the attic of the home. No names have been released.

-0-

Fire destroyed a house in Jenner Township, Somerset County, Thursday morning. The blaze broke out in the 6000 block of Somerset Pike at about 11 a.m. At least ten fire companies responded and had to use tanker trucks in the rural area. No one was in the home when the fire started, and no injuries were reported. A state police fire marshal is investigating.

-0-

After the unexpected departure of its head, Somerset Hospital has named two new execs. Craig Saylor was appointed CEO for Somerset Hospital and the Somerset Foundation, while Andrew Rush is now CEO for Somerset Health Services and vice president and COO for the hospital.

-0-

The legislature is working to protect Pennsylvanians with variable rate plans from huge electric bills. A public hearing was held at the Capitol yesterday to address the issue and earlier this week a bill was introduced that would only allow rates to go up once every six months and would require full disclosure by electric companies. The PUC has also introduced several initiatives aimed at educating consumers about variable rate contracts and is calling for laws to make it quicker for customers to switch suppliers. For more information, visit: PAPowerSwitch.com.

-0-

The president of Penn State Altoona’s Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity is speaking out. Eric Traister has hired Hollidaysburg attorney Ted Krol who tells the “Altoona Mirror” he denies all accusations of hazing. 18-year-old freshman Marquise Braham committed suicide in Long Island during spring break last week and his father says Marquise’s friends told him about all kinds of hazing that was going on. The national chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa has placed the Penn State Altoona chapter on probation as the investigation continues.

-0-

The U.S. Veterans Educational Institute may be unraveling. The “Altoona Mirror” reports the chief officers for information, technology and education, as well as the executive directors for education and events have all quit recently because they weren’t getting paid. Chairman Dennis Butts however claims his organization is fine, and he blames UPMC Altoona, which allowed a twice-extended option to buy the former Bon Secours Hospital property, to expire. He says delays in the title search and the discovery of mold in the property were not his fault.

-0-
The weather today is good for crews hunting for the missing Malaysian jet in the southern Indian Ocean. Lieutenant Commander Adam Schantz is leading one of the U.S. Navy aircrafts involved the search. He says they have several tools on board that allow them to search the ocean both above and below water.

-0-

A pair Oklahoma teens are pleading not guilty to first-degree murder charges in the shooting of an Australian baseball player. A court clerk said today that Michael Jones and Chancy Luna will go on trial August 18. The two teens are accused of shooting 22-year-old Chris Lane as he was jogging in Duncan, about 80 miles south of Oklahoma City.

-0-

The United States' credit rating is back on top. Fitch Ratings is restoring the nation's AAA credit rating. Fitch put the U.S. on Rating Watch Negative last October when an impasse in the debt ceiling negotiations raised the risk that the federal government would default on its debts.

-0-

The man who founded the notorious anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church is dead. According to his son, Fred Phelps died Wednesday night in Kansas at the age of 84. The Westboro Baptist Church is infamous for picketing military funerals.

-0-

General Motors CEO Mary Barra will testify before Congress next month about the automaker's recall of over one-point-six million vehicles. The company issued the recall because of problems with ignition switches that have been linked to 12 deaths and 31 crashes.

-0-

Brooklyn Nets reserve Jason Collins says he's gotten taunts about being gay from only one player this season. When Collins signed with the Nets last month, he became the first openly gay player in any of America's four major professional team sports. Collins told the "New York Daily News" on Thursday that he didn't react when a player from an opposing team taunted him with a gay slur.

-0-

It's up to a judge to decide the fate of Michigan's gay marriage ban. A federal judge is expected to make a ruling today after hearing arguments for and against the nearly decade-old amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

-0-

A convicted killer is offering his kidney to a sick man in Oregon. According to Oregon's KGW TV, since Kevin Gray was diagnosed with kidney failure last year, he's been standing on a Newberg street corner with a sign reading "Living Kidney Donor Needed. Please help." After Kevin's story was featured on the local news convicted killer Christian Longo responded, offering up his own kidney.

-0-

Long-term unemployed people are having a hard time finding jobs. Princeton economists reported Thursday that only eleven-percent of the long-term unemployed find full-time work 12 months later. Economists say if more options aren't opened to the long-term unemployed, they will continue to drop out of the workforce and weigh down the economy.

-0-

Twitter is inviting its users to get a little nostalgic. In celebration of its eighth birthday today, the social media giant has come up with a tool to let users find their very first tweet. All people have to do is go to the website first-tweets.com and then enter in their username.

-0-

Sleep deprivation is being linked to Alzheimer's disease. Researchers at Temple University School of Medicine studied two groups of mice who were each at the human age equivalent of 40 years old. At the end of the eight-week study, researchers found the sleep-deprived mice suffered from memory loss and impaired learning ability.

-0-

New studies of DNA are changing the future of crime scene investigation. Scientists say they are beginning to create 3-D facial reconstructions using DNA samples. They say a lot more study lies ahead, but that if it turns out there is a general way to reconstruct faces from DNA, then genetic samples from crime scenes could potentially be used to help narrow the pool of possible suspects.

-0-

Seattle police deny reports suggesting they're reopening the investigation into the death of late Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain. Seattle TV station KIRO reported earlier that police were examining undeveloped rolls of film that were locked away for years in an evidence locker. A police spokeswoman now says there's nothing new to add and they won't be reopening the case.

Category: