Today's News - Thursday. December 5, 2013

State police in Cambria County are looking for a grinch. Christmas decorations have been destroyed at at least three homes around Wesley Avenue in Portage Township. The vandals ruined lights, ornamental figures, and snipped heavy duty extension cords. If you notice suspicious activity, call troopers.

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DRS Technologies Inc., located in Richland, is cutting around 10 percent of its local workforce of 300 – that’s 35 jobs, according to “The Tribune-Democrat.” The defense company, which is based in Virginia, will cut facility-wide in manufacturing, management and support departments.

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19-year-old Faith Ann Robertson, of Meyersdale, was sentenced for a scam involving collecting money to buy a headstone for a murder victim. Robertson received 89 days – which she had already served – to 12 months and was immediately paroled for soliciting money door to door which she said was to buy a tombstone for Justine Jackson. Jonathan Beal was recently sentenced 10 to 24 years for killing Jackson.

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An aggressive bull is on the loose in Bedford County and people are being told not to go anywhere near it. On Monday, four bulls escaped from Leader Meats Slaughterhouse on North Imler Valley Road. Two were re-captured and a third was shot and killed by a hunter. The missing animal weighs between 12- and 15-hundred pounds.

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In Blair County today, a preliminary hearing is scheduled for 22-year-old Chelsea Emerick of Jerome, Somerset County. Last month, she led Freedom Township police officers on a high speed chase until she was arrested along I-99. Cops say Emerick was under the influence of drugs when they tried to stop her on Dunnings Highway. She is in the County Prison on $30 thousand bail.

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Pennsylvania is going to begin looking at online gaming as an option for its residents. A Senate committee agreed this week to conduct a study of gaming in Pennsylvania and will examine Internet gambling as a possibility. Officials say for now, it is only a study. Once the study is complete, the issue will move to the senate for a vote.

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A bill that would put cameras on police officers is on its way to the Pennsylvania House. The Senate approved the bill yesterday saying it is not a mandate for cameras but simply an option for officers. Officials say the legislation modifies wiretapping laws by requiring police to notify people that they are being recorded. It also prohibits officers from recording people in their homes.

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Fierce wintry weather is primed to hammer stretches of the U.S. Ice storms are in the forecast starting today for Dallas, across Arkansas, Tennessee, and into the Ohio River Valley. A winter storm watch will be in effect for Cincinnati with up to half a foot of snow on the ground by Friday night. Temperatures across Southern California have been falling since Wednesday night and sub-freezing weather is coming to the mountains and inland valleys.

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Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy says he has listened to the 911 recordings from the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack. Malloy says the recordings showed people stepping up to protect others during moments of horror. The calls handled by Newtown police dispatchers were released Wednesday after a judge ordered them unsealed.

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The Florida Supreme Court is considering whether voters should have a say in medical marijuana across the state. The state's high court will hold a hearing on the matter Thursday. The law would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients under state law.

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A budget deal is taking shape on Capitol Hill. Republican Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray are quietly working out the details of a possible two-year budget agreement. The deadline for lawmakers to come up with a budget is December 13th and both sides are said to be optimistic they can get a deal done before then.

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The engineer who was behind the wheel of a Metro-North train that derailed in the Bronx Sunday is off the job. The "New York Post" reports that William Rockefeller was suspended without pay on Sunday once investigators knew that he was speeding. The train was going 82-miles-per-hour as it approached a 30-mile-per-hour curve.

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Survivors who are suing theater owner Cinemark in the Aurora, Colorado movie massacre won't have access to records from the criminal proceedings. The ruling was handed down yesterday, stating it could compromise the case against accused shooter James Holmes.

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Young adults are being encouraged to enroll in Obamacare by the President. Kicking off a White House youth summit, President Obama tried to make the case that health insurance should be worth the cost to young people. He called the sweeping healthcare law is a long-overdue remedy to a broken healthcare system.

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Dozens of pilot whales are still stranded in the shallow water of Florida's Everglades National Park. A total of ten have already died and 41 remain stranded. Necropsies are being performed on the whales that have died in hopes of finding out why they beached themselves.

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The NSA is tracking cellphone locations globally on a daily basis. The "Washington Post" says a new report shows the NSA takes in nearly five-billion records each day having to do with the location of cellphones, including those of some Americans.

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may have tried to purchase a video that appears to show him smoking crack. Canada's "National Post" cite police documents released yesterday as indicating Ford may have offered $5,000 and a car to men trying to see the video two months before the existence of the footage came to light.

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He may be the leader of the free world, but President Obama is not allowed to have an iPhone. The President told a group of young people meeting at the White House that he can't have Apple's popular smart phone for "security reasons."

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A generator malfunction is being blamed for canceling last night's NBA game in Mexico City between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves. The malfunction ended up filling most of Mexico City Arena with thick smoke and forcing everyone outside.

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Autopsy results reveal "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker died from trauma and burn injuries. According to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, Roger Rodas, Walker's friend who was driving the car, also died from multiple traumatic injuries. Walker and Rodas were killed Saturday when Rodas' Porsche careened out of control, slammed into a pole and burst into flames.

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The Marchex Institute swears it's true. The data-collection firm says people in Ohio curse more than residents of any other state, and are also among the least-courteous people in America. It scanned thousands of customer calls to businesses over the past year for the use of profanities, as well as the use of "please" or "thank you."

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Sarah Palin is fighting what she calls the "war on Christmas." In an appearance at Liberty University yesterday, the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate said revisionists want to erase the word Christmas and turn this time of year into the "winter solstice season."