Today's News - Good Friday, April 18, 2014

Ellen Whited of Gallitzin tells the “Altoona Mirror” that a state police trooper shot and killed a black lab mix Sunday afternoon along Route 36. Whited says she pulled over because the dog looked like hers. One cop allegedly threatened to arrest her if she didn’t leave, then he shot the dog. Whited claims they whipped it over in the bushes. State police later told Whited the dog was aggressive and turned on the officer and he had to shoot it because there was a visible wound. Whited retrieved the body, which she says has no wounds other than a bullet hole, and she is hoping to track down the owner.

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The city of Johnstown has a new council member. Frederick Mikel was sworn in Thursday to fill the vacancy left by Frank Janakovic when he left to become mayor. Council members had been unable to come to a decision on who should fill the empty spot, so they gave that appointment responsibility over to the Cambria County Courts. Judge Timothy Creany chose Mikel from a field of 10 candidates.

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Two Johnstown-area brothers are in jail, charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and more, after police say they beat a man inside of Woodside Bar and Grill. 26-year-old John Sisko and 21-year-old Ryan Sisco allegedly assaulted Leonard Felosky so badly that they gave him a concussion and possibly blinded him in one eye. The brothers are in the Cambria County Priosn.

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A major heroin bust along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Somerset County. 160 bricks of heroin were seized during a traffic stop Wednesday. Now James Farrish of Pittsburgh is behind bars on a quarter million dollars bail. A trooper pulled over Farrish for failing to turn on his headlights when he entered the Allegheny Tunnel.

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State troopers are planning to be out and about over the Easter holiday driving period. They will be increasing patrols and conducting traffic enforcement details to focus on drunk drivers, speeders, aggressive drivers and those who don’t buckle up.

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In a pre-hearing conference before a Public Utility Commission judge yesterday, the union representing Penelec workers said that the utility habitually fails to read house meters every other month as required. According to the “Altoona Mirror,” the union thinks that calls for a fine and a PUC order to hire more meter readers. Lawyers for Penelec argued that the union and its individual plaintiff lack legal standing and haven’t suffered actual harm, and that the commission doesn’t have the power to order the hiring of employees. 140 union workers, including meter readers, just returned to work this week after a lockout that started in November.

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Nine universities in the Pennsylvania state system of higher education are being accused of failing to provide equal athletic opportunities for female students. The complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Education this week and cites data showing gaps between enrollment of female students and their participation in sports programs. schools included in the complaint were Indiana, Lock Haven, Bloomsburg, Cheyney, Clarion, Kutztown, Mansfield, Millersville and Shippensburg.

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Divers are still searching for more than 270 people missing after a ferry sank off the coast of South Korea. Over two dozen people have been confirmed dead. An official investigating Wednesday's accident says a junior officer was at the helm of the ferry and the captain may have been off the bridge when the ship started sinking.

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Police in Kansas City have a man in custody who may have carried out a dozen shootings on highways and roads in that area. Three people were injured in the shootings that began in early March. Police Chief Darryl Forte says more details will be released at a Friday press conference.

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Secretary of State John Kerry is disgusted by pamphlets calling on Jewish people in eastern Ukraine to register with the authorities. Speaking in Geneva, Kerry called such actions grotesque. He insisted that extremism, racism and religious intimidation will not be tolerated.

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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is not interested in winning a Senate seat. The "New York Times" reports Sebelius won't challenge Kansas Senator Pat Roberts after she leaves the Obama administration.

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Michaels says more than two-and-a-half million payment cards were stolen in a security breach. The arts and crafts chain also said Thursday about 400-thousand payment cards for its subsidiary Aaron Brothers may have been breached by sophisticated malware. This is the latest of several security attacks on major U.S. retailers following Target's massive credit card breach during last year's holiday shopping season.

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Lawmakers are weighing in on a cattle dispute in Nevada. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says calmer heads should prevail in the clash over federal grazing fees. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy "domestic terrorists."

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At least two people are dead and up to ten are missing after an avalanche on Mount Everest. An executive with Alpine Ascents International in Seattle told CNN the avalanche took place above a base camp in the Khumbu Ice Fall. The missing are said to be Sherpa guides who had been setting the ropes and preparing camps along the climbing route.

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Racist websites are being linked to murders and mass killings. A civil rights organization that tracks hate groups says people who post frequently on these websites are becoming increasingly responsible for deadly crimes. A new report released Thursday by the Southern Poverty Law Center claims more than 100 people in the last five years have been murdered by frequent users of a white supremacist website named "Stormfront."

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The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity's national headquarters is closing the book on its chapter at Ole Miss. Officials say the decision on Thursday was based on ongoing bad behavior by some of the Ole Miss frat brothers, including hazing and underage drinking. The frat has been on suspension since February, when a group of freshman were expelled for hanging a noose over the school's statue of James Meredith, a Civil Rights hero.

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President Obama is touting the latest healthcare numbers. The President said eight million people have enrolled in health insurance through HealthCare.Gov, the federal website for the new health insurances exchanges. Obama noted that more than one-third of the new enrollees are under the age of 35.

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It's up to a federal appeals court panel to decide the fate of Oklahoma's same-sex marriage ban. The judges of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Thursday on a lower-court ruling that found Oklahoma's law unconstitutional. The same three judges last week voted two to one to uphold a lower court ruling against a similar law in Utah.

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Auto enthusiasts are racing to the Big Apple as the New York International Auto Show opens to the public today. More than one-thousand vehicles and new technologies will be on display, and people will be able to get a glance at dozens of brand new debuts, sneak peeks and concept vehicles.

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Some Americans aren't happy about the future of technology. A new Pew Research Center poll shows two-thirds of respondents have concerns about parents one day being able to alter the DNA of their unborn children. An equal number of Americans don't like the idea of robots becoming the main caregivers for the elderly or invalids.

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Bill and Hillary Clinton are about to become grandparents. Daughter Chelsea Clinton shared the news Thursday that she and her husband of almost four years, Marc Mezvinsky, are expecting their first child later this year.

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The major record labels are standing up for oldies artists and themselves in court. "The New York Times" says Sony, Warner, Universal, and ABKCO have teamed up in a lawsuit against streaming music service Pandora, claiming the outlet has been playing songs recorded before 1972 without authorization. This material is not protected under federal copyright laws, but the labels are arguing that they're still covered under state law.

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A South Carolina man facing federal charges and a big fine for refilling a drink at the Charleston VA Medical Center will get off with a warning. Construction worker Christopher Lewis says he didn't know he had to pay 89-cents for a drink refill at the VA, or that he could be slapped with federal charges and a $525 fine.

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