Today's News - Friday, May 30, 2014

The Cambria County Drug Task Force made several undercover heroin buys from 44-year-old Phillip Bodenschaz of Johnstown, and they arrested him this week. At the time, he had 41 stamp bags of heroin on him and officers also found drugs and drug paraphernalia at his Colgate Avenue home. Bodenschaz is in the county jail.

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Silver Airways currently operates flights from the Altoona/Blair County Airport, but has withdrawn its name from consideration for the federally-subsidized “Essential Air Service” program for Altoona and the Beckly, West Virginia airport. According to the “Altoona Mirror,” a spokesman says Silver has not been able to reach an agreement with United Airlines to allow the use of United’s scheduling and ticketing systems. Silver wants to continue serving the Johnstown/Cambria County and Dubois/Jefferson County airports. Silver’s contract with Altoona ends July 31, but the government could order the company to continue providing service until a new carrier takes over.

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Visitors to the Johnstown Flood National Memorial in St. Michael are advised of parking changes in effect all day Saturday for the 125th anniversary commemoration of the Great Johnstown Flood. All visitor parking will be at the Forest Hills High School parking lot in Sidman. Buses will run to the visitors center beginning at 9 a.m. Event parking and the shuttle bus are free, and park entrance fees are waived on Saturday.

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New Penn State president Eric Barron said he believes the university has made “enormous progress” in implementing Freeh Report recommendations and should be “rewarded” with a further softening of NCAA sanctions affecting the school’s football program. During an interview with the Pittsburgh “Tribune Review,” Barron said he is hopeful that former U.S. Senator George Mitchell will recommend additional relief with his annual report which is due in August. Last fall, the NCAA moved to gradually restore Penn State’s allotment of football scholarships to the pre-sanctions level.

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White House spokesman Jay Carney says President Obama is ready to hold people accountable once more facts are known about the Veterans Affairs scandal. A preliminary report from an independent inspector general accuses VA health clinics of inappropriate scheduling practices, including falsifying records to hide systemic scheduling problems.

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A Marine jailed in Mexico hopes to be released soon. Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi says nothing really got done at his court appearance this week because he just hired a new attorney. A hearing is set for next Wednesday on charges the Afghan war veteran illegally brought guns into Mexico.

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The star of "Duck Dynasty" lectured the audience at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans Thursday night, and the crowd loved it. Phil Robertson called on the party leaders to return to the values of the Bible.

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Gay and lesbian couples across Illinois will be able to tie the knot in just a few days. The couples will officially be allowed to get licenses on Sunday but since that's the weekend, most will have to wait until Monday.

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Forecasters are predicting this year's Atlantic hurricane season will be calmer than last year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says a warm current along South America's western coast may mean eight to 13 named tropical storms will develop over the next six months. The unofficial start of the six month Atlantic hurricane season is this Sunday.

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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's mental health may be speeding the sale of the basketball team. Several news organizations report that a panel of experts has determined Sterling is mentally unfit to make decisions concerning the family trust that owns the team. Shelly Sterling reached an agreement Thursday to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.

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Sheriff's deputies in California never watched the bizarre videos Elliot Rodger posted online when they checked on his welfare less than a month before his deadly rampage. A new report says the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department knew about the videos before sending deputies to check on Rodger, but never viewed them.

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Relatives of a woman charged with driving her children into the ocean on Daytona Beach are now working to raise the $90,000 bond to get her out of jail. A judge reduced the one-point-two-million dollar bail that had been set for Ebony Wilkerson after psychiatrists testified that she is no threat to the community.

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The company that supplies NASA's cargo-hauling spacecraft is ready to build a sleek spaceship to fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, unveiled the upgraded passenger version of its Dragon cargo ship on Thursday.

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Two groups say exporting U.S. oil could ease prices at home. The American Petroleum Institute and research firm IHS say ending the crude-oil export ban could also create at least a million jobs. The restrictions were put in place during the energy crisis of the 1970s.

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The Orange County prosecutor criticized for his Facebook post about "crack hoes" is being reassigned and ordered to take sensitivity training. Florida's State Attorney Jeff Ashton also ordered a review of all the drug and prostitution cases Kenneth Lewis prosecuted over the last two years to look for any signs of prejudice.

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Prosecutors and the lawyers defending the accused Colorado theater gunman are asking a judge to close the jury selection process to the public and media. The request came during a hearing in Arapahoe County District Court Thursday. James Holmes is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder from a 2012 shooting rampage in a suburban Denver theater that left 12 people dead and another 70 injured.

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The top Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs Committee is the call for VA secretary Eric Shinseki to step down. Mike Michaud of Maine said "it's time to move forward." The calls for Shinseki's resignation are growing louder following the release of a report by the agency's inspector general which confirmed scheduling abuses in the VA.

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The National Security Agency is contradicting claims made by Edward Snowden during a recent interview. Snowden told NBC News he sent e-mails to supervisors showing his concern about the NSA's vast surveillance programs. The NSA argues Snowden sent supervisors only one e-mail and it had nothing to do with intelligence gathering methods.

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The "hidden cash" craze that started in San Francisco on Twitter is paying it forward all the way to Colorado. An anonymous group started hiding randomly placed envelopes filled with $40 in cash around Boulder yesterday. Clues were tweeted about where the envelopes could be found.

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Oprah Winfrey is paying tribute to the woman she says guided her through some of the most important years of her life. Oprah is honoring her long friendship with Maya Angelou with a five-hour tribute to the late poet and activist on her network, OWN, this Sunday, June 1.

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It’s Children’s Miracle Network telethon weekend at Delgrossos’ Amusement Park in Tipton, with rides, water fun, food and lots of activities to support the Janet Weis Children's Hospital at Geisinger Medical Center.

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