Today's News - Thursday, April 3, 2014

An animal cruelty case in Cambria County. Police say Matthew Straw of Carrolltown was supposed to be caring for three animals at a home along East Campbell Street following the death of a family member. A dog and a cat had died and a second cat was near death when a relative called police in late March. The house was also covered in filth. Straw is also charged with abandonment of animals. Both summary charges carry a $750 fine.

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Former Johnstown city councilman John "Jack" Williams is suing the city and its manager, Kristin Denne, for failing to provide him with documents concerning the sewer upgrade project. Williams asked for the material in January. He says that under Pennsylvania's Right to KNow Law that the city should have supplied him the papers within five days.

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Jury selection is scheduled to begin today for the attempted homicide trial of 46-year-old Kevin McGee of Johnstown. He is accused of firing shots into an empty Richland Township police cruiser in 2012. Last week, the judge agreed to allow McGee to represent himself at his trial.

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49-year-old Joseph Miller of Marsteller, Cambria County, faces a minimum of 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges. Sentencing is scheduled for May 13 or following an assessment to determine if he is a sexually violent predator. Miller was previously arrested on similar charges.

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Without saying why, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has decided not to review the conviction of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky who is serving 30 to 60 years in a state prison. Attorney General Kathleen Kane released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying – quote “We are very pleased with the supreme court’s decision. Protecting Pennsylvania’s children is one of my top priorities and I remain committed to seeking justice for all victims of sexual abuse.”

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According to court papers filed this week, State Attorney General Kathleen Kane is fighting a request for an injunction by former Penn State President Graham Spanier to stop his criminal prosecution. Spanier accuses former Jerry Sandusky case prosecutor Frank Fina of violating his due-process rights through the grand jury investigation. He claims he thought former Penn State General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin was representing him. Kane says she will respond soon with a legal memo citing case law. Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz have all asked the judge to dismiss the charges against them.

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At least four people are dead after a gunman opened fire at Fort Hood in Texas. Lieutenant General Mark Milley says the shooter, who is among the dead, was a soldier at the base who had seen active duty in Iraq and was known to have mental health issues. Milley says the shooter died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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Only 13 people are still missing after the devastating Washington state mudslide. In the days following the disaster the number of people unaccounted for was nearly 200. The death toll from the horrific mudslide northeast of Seattle now stands at 29.

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The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is shifting north. Australian officials say the search will continue change directions as they eliminate areas where they have found nothing. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott overnight called the hunt for the missing plane "the most difficult search ever undertaken."

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Chile is recovering from another big earthquake that hit the country's coast. A magnitude 7.8 quake hit late Wednesday triggering a preventive evacuation of the country's northern coastline. It followed a massive magnitude 8.2 earthquake that killed six people and triggered a tsunami just a day earlier.

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A Connecticut woman is not getting the chance to sue the state over injuries sustained when her friend's chimpanzee attacked her. The legislature's Judiciary Committee has rejected a request by Charla Nash to sue for $150 million. Nash claimed that state environmental protection officials were aware of the dangers posed by Sandra Herold's chimp Travis before he went on a rampage in 2009 and ripped her face and hands off.

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Students and faculty at Kent State University are hoping for a quieter day after gunfire on campus prompted a lockdown. University officials say gunman was arrested off campus, three hours after a single gunshot put the school on lockdown. The gunfire happened outside Bowman Hall, where students barricaded themselves in classrooms until police gave the all-clear.

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Some Newtown, Connecticut residents are calling for the home where Adam Lanza was raised to be torn down. The house has stood vacant since Lanza killed his mother inside and went on a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

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A federal appeals court is granting a temporary injunction against Arizona's new abortion pill rules. The court ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood's attempt to block the new measure Wednesday. The rule says women can't get the abortion drug, RU-486, past the seventh week of pregnancy. A final decision could be announced as early as next week.

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A New Jersey teenager is facing a serious charge after reportedly scaling the 1 World Trade Center in New York. Prosecutors added a Base Jumping charge Wednesday. This is the most serious charge 16-year-old Justin Casquejo faces and it could send him to jail for a year.

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Nearly all business between America's space agency and the Russian government is on hold because of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. With the exception of the International Space Station program, NASA is suspending meetings, communications, and any travel to and from Russia. Currently, the U.S. pays the Russians for rides into orbit and two Americans now live on the ISS.

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The Supreme Court is striking down more limits on campaign spending. Today's ruling means a single donor can now give the maximum amount allowed by law to as many federal candidates, parties and committees as he or she wishes during a two-year election cycle. The 5-4 vote split along party lines.

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Another big earthquake is spawning tsunami alerts for the coast of Chile. A magnitude 7.8 quake hit off the coast late Wednesday causing a preventive evacuation of the country's northern coastline. It follows a massive magnitude 8.2 earthquake that killed six people and triggered a tsunami on Tuesday.

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MTV is honoring "Magic Mike" star Channing Tatum at this month's MTV Movie Awards. The 33-year-old actor will receive the MTV Trailblazer Award, to be presented by his "Jupiter Ascending" co-star Mila Kunis. MTV President Stephen Friedman says Tatum "is the quintessential leading man for the MTV audience."

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An Indiana man's Native American artifacts and other historical items are in FBI hands. Agency spokesman Paul Bresson says 91-year-old Don Miller amassed the collections over eight decades. He also said Miller improperly obtained some of the items. The artifacts are from countries around the world, including Peru and Greece.

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The U.S. Winter Olympics and Paralympics teams are visiting the nation's capital. In a White House ceremony Thursday, President and First Lady Michelle Obama will honor the teams for their performances at this year's Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

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Yahoo is taking steps to keep its information safe. The company said Wednesday that all traffic to its data centers is now encrypted. Yahoo is also taking steps to make Messenger and other services more secure. A Yahoo blog post says the company aims to encrypt its entire platform for all users, all the time.

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