Today's News - Monday, December 30, 2013

There is counterfeit money circulating in Johnstown and police are trying to find out who’s responsible for using the phony money. Fake $20 bills have been used in several stores including Ciscato’s and Carpenter’s store on Railroad Street in Old Conemaugh Borough and Family Dollar on Central Avenue in Moxham. Police believe a group of people are involved and could be making hundreds of dollars a day in fake cash. Stores are urged to pay close attention to the money used for purchases. Anyone with information is asked to call the Johnstown police.

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The State Department of Health has released their latest influenza numbers. As of December 21, Cambria County had 34 flu cases, Somerset 18 and Indiana 22. Blair County leads the state with 79 cases. The best way to avoid the flu is to wash your hands and keep clear of people who are already ill. It’s also never too late to get a flu shot.

-0- Giant Eagle is recalling Candy Place Chocolate Santas. The store says the candy may contain undeclared peanuts and is advising customers with peanut allergies to return the candy for a full refund. For more information, visit www.gianteagle.com.

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Another deadly explosion has rocked a southern Russian town just weeks before the Winter Olympics. A blast tore through a trolleybus in Volgograd early this morning, with a death toll that has now risen to at least 14 people. It follows a suicide bombing at a crowded railroad station that killed at least 17 people on Sunday.

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More heavy, wet snow is cutting off power and making roads treacherous across Northern New England. Thousands of homes and businesses across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont will start the day in the dark as utility crews scramble to get the lights back on.

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President Obama's landmark healthcare reform law takes full effect this week. Starting Wednesday, millions will be covered under the Affordable Care Act. The Obama administration says more than one-point-one million people have signed up for coverage since the healthcare.gov website launched on October 1st.

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Edward Snowden's legal adviser says Snowden's leaks about the government's surveillance program have been "profoundly valuable." The ACLU's Ben Wizner spoke on NBC's "Meet the Press" and said he's in contact with Snowden "very regularly" and that his client hopes to come back to the United States.

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Retiring New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg spent some two-thirds of a billion dollars of his own money being mayor. An analysis by the "New York Times" found that the multi-billionaire who created a worldwide financial information and media empire spent at least $650 million during his three terms as mayor.

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A 26-year-old Canadian man is missing, after jumping off a cruise ship near Puerto Rico. Witnesses said Tien Nguyen jumped overboard Saturday night from the Adventure of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean ship about 15 miles east of Mona Island.

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Families of victims of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting want James Holmes' former apartment bulldozed rather than rented out. The 650-square-foot apartment is going for 850-dollars a month and comes fully furnished. Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding dozens of others in July of 2012. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

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The clock is ticking for the family of a brain dead Oakland, California girl. They've been desperately trying to raise money to pay for the cost of airlifting 13-year-old Jahi McMath to one of two facilities that have offered to care for her indefinitely. Jahi was declared brain dead after suffering complications from tonsil surgery.

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The image of the Boy Scouts could start changing after January 1st. That's when the Scouts will start accepting openly gay members. Under the new membership policy, youths can no longer be barred from the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts or co-ed Venturers program because of sexual orientation.

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Seven-time World Driving Champion Michael Schumacher remains in critical condition following a skiing accident in the French Alps over the weekend. The 44-year old German driver won an unprecedented 91 races and five straight titles with team Ferrari between 2000 and 2004.

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A small town in North Carolina is making headlines for its plans to welcome the New Year by dropping a live possum as the clock counts down to 2014. The possum is in good company, with cities nationwide giving their own version of the traditional Times Square ball. In Mobile, Alabama, spectators will gather to watch a massive MoonPie descend following a Mardi Gras-style parade.

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Here's something you may not have known about the federal health care overhaul: It will require vending machines to display calorie counts for each item they dispense. The FDA is expected to release final rules in January that will affect roughly five-million vending machines nationwide. The proposed rules would give companies with 20 or more machines a year to comply.

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A New York City steak house is asking diners to empty their wallets for their last meal of 2013. According to the "New York Post," on New Year's Eve, the newly-opened Empire Steak House is offering an extravagant ten-thousand-dollar meal. The so-called "Emperor's Delight" menu consists of five courses, including an appetizer with two pounds of caviar, Kobe steak, South African lobster tails and a Louis the 13th cognac pudding.

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