Today's News - Thursday, August 22

A Cambria County jury will be seated starting today for the vehicular homicide trial of 38-year-old Brian Roles of East Taylor Township. Police say Roles was under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs when his pickup crashed last year, killing his son, Brian Roles Junior, Roles was driving with a suspended license due to a previous DUI charge.

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A warm welcome for local soldiers – members of the First Batallion, 104th Attack Reconnaissance Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard returned home Wednesday after serving in Afghanistan for a year.

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 Windber Medical Center has cut 19 jobs in a reorganization attempt to prepare for the future, “The Tribune-Democrat” reports. An additional 11 vacant positions at the hospital will not be filled.

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A preliminary hearing has been scheduled next month for 21-year-old Demetrius Gibson of Tire Hill.  After nearly two weeks on the run, he surrendered to police this past weekend and then hired Altoona attorney Tom Dickey.  Gibson is accused of fatally stabbing his girlfriend, Elizabeth Miller, at a Moxham car wash on August 6.  Dickey tells 6 News he’s working on his strategy, but it doesn't make sense to him that there was a specific intent to kill in this case.

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A PennDOT spokesperson says the department and AMTRAK have reached an agreement to continue funding rail passenger service across the state. The deal, which is not yet signed, means The Pennsylvanian, connecting Philadelphia to Harrisburg to Pittsburgh, will continue through the end of September 2014 at a cost of $3.8 million.  Ridership on Pennsylvania rail passenger lines increased by 2.2 percent from 2011 to last year.

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PennDOT is trying to make bridges safer and last longer. The agency’s new bridge posting criteria will be discussed during a news conference this morning. Pennsylvania leads the nation in structurally deficient bridges with more than 5,500, many of them in the western part of the state.

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The Paterno family and the NCAA are now scheduled to be in Centre County court October 29 for a pre-trial hearing as part of the family’s lawsuit. The plaintiffs include a number of former football players, members of Penn State’s board of trustees and faculty members. They are seeking to have the NCAA’s sanctions overturned.

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A bad sensor is getting the blame for bringing a Kennywood roller coaster to a stop.  For the third time in a month yesterday, riders found themselves sitting and not moving on a lift hill.  The end of last month riders had to come down a staircase when a sensor failed.  Earlier this month another train at the platform forced a train on the lift hill to sit still for six minutes

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Closing arguments are set to begin today in the Fort Hood massacre trial.  Nidal Hasan declined to present any defense on why he admittedly gunned down 13 people and wounded dozens of others in 2009.  He is acting as his own attorney and could get the death penalty if convicted. 

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Supporters of Bradley Manning feel his conviction was unfair and his sentence is too severe.  Dozens of protesters gathered in front of the White House yesterday, calling on President Obama to pardon the discharged soldier who was given 35 years in prison for passing along classified documents to WikiLeaks.

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Authorities want California's governor to declare a state of emergency as a wildfire near Yosemite National Park keeps growing.  The Rim fire has burned more than 16,000 acres and nine building since it broke out Saturday.  The fire is threatening various communities and businesses.

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The international community is waiting for confirmation of a chemical weapons attack in Syria.  Rebels claim government forces gassed hundreds of people yesterday, including women and children, on the outskirts of the capital city, Damascus.  Congressman Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says if those reports are true the U.S. has an obligation to act. 

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A resolution regarding the future of embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is near.  Filner has been under increased pressure to resign since allegations surfaced over unwanted sexual advances from a number of women.  No word on the details of the proposal, but the San Diego City Council will vote on it Friday afternoon. 

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The New York City council will vote today to override Mayor Michael Bloomberg's veto of two bills that clamp down on the NYPD's controversial stop and frisk policy.  One bill creates an inspector-general to oversee the police department's policies.  The other gives the right to sue regarding racial-profiling.

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Some prescription painkillers could require a lot more than a doctor's prescription in Indiana before the year is out.  The Indiana Medical Licensing Board is weighing whether to require patients to sign an agreement that they'll use the medicines properly, and submit to periodic drug tests.  The Board will meet today to discuss the emergency rules.

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Wells Fargo is cutting thousands of jobs from its mortgage-production unit as high interest rates lead to a lower rate of requests for refinancing.  The San Francisco-based banking giant will look to eliminate 23-hundred jobs from the unit, roughly 20 percent of the mortgage loan officers workforce.

A Florida man is facing aggravated assault charges for attacking someone with a samurai sword over a can of shrimp.  According to the "Orlando Sentinel," the man allegedly broke through a door with the sword, then threatened to use the sword against his mother’s boyfriend, who threw knives at him.  He “went into code red and lost his temper." 
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A pair of British girls have wing-walked their way into the record books.  According to BBC News, nine-year-old cousins Rose Powell and Flame Brewer became the world's youngest formation wing-walkers after they strapped themselves to the top of two bi-planes and flew through the air just a few feet apart.  Powell and Brewer are actually the third generation of their families to wing-walk on these particular planes.

A new survey of international flight crew members has revealed some of the most common - and strangest - items that get left on planes.  Passports are one of the most frequently left behind items - almost a quarter of flight attendants said they've found one on board.  Twenty-three percent said they have found phones, while 21 percent said they've found reading material.  Among the most random belongings respondents said they'd found were a live parrot, a frog and an egg.  Personal items like a glass eye, prosthetic leg, underwear, wigs and toupees were also left behind.

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An overwhelming majority of Americans say they're scared of giving a job interview.  According to the poll conducted by Harris Interactive for Everest College, 92 percent of respondents said interviewing for a job is something that gives them stress.  The study found that the biggest concern for people during an interview was fear of coming across too nervous.  Seventeen percent said their biggest fear had to do with getting a case of the jitters when put on the spot.  Fifteen percent said they were concerned about being stumped by the employers questions and 14 percent said they worried about showing up late.  Eleven percent said their biggest concern was being under qualified.

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