Today's News - Thursday, January 23, 2014

Johnstown police are investigating after three puppies were found dead inside a home on Beatrice Street. Chief Craig Foust tells Six News the home was in deplorable condition and it wasn't clear if the animals died due to malnutrition or if they possibly froze to death. No charges have been filed so far, but police are searching for the home owners. The home has been condemned by city code officials.

-0-

In Johnstown’s federal court yesterday, Ron Repak, the former executive director of the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority, pleaded not guilty as he was arraigned on six felony counts of bribery and extortion. Repak is free on $10 thousand unsecured bond and was ordered to turn over his passport. His trial date has not yet been set.

-0-

Tonia Vaughn of Portage tells Six News that federal investigators and the IRS raided her home Wednesday morning, taking computers and phones. Vaughn took over Gary's Steals and Deals after her husband was sentenced to federal prison in 2012 for selling stolen goods. She claims she’s been running the business above board.

 -0-

Families whose children are covered by Pennsylvania's CHIP program now have until 2015 to switch to Medicaid. Governor Tom Corbett's administration made the announcement yesterday saying the deadline was originally 2014 but has been switched to a phased-in transition. Notices will be mailed to affected families.

 -0-

Despite the bitter cold, nearly 75 people gathered at Penn State last night for a candlelight vigil to mark the two-year anniversary of the death of Joe Paterno. The Paterno family did not attend the vigil, which was organized by Inspiration Way, a non-profit organization that aims to highlight inspirational people in the community.

 -0-

The state supreme court has denied a request for a hearing to be held on behalf of one of Jerry Sandusky's defense attorneys regarding potential information leaks to the media regarding his trial. Karl Rominger was ordered to reveal whether he shared with the media any Sandusky-related documents produced by prosecutors in the case. Meanwhile, Sandusky's attorneys have appealed his conviction to the high court after the superior court rejected his motion in October.

 -0-

Pennsylvania is making it easier to file taxes. The state Department of Revenue is unveiling “PA Free File,” an online portal offering free, Internet-based filing options for both state and federal returns. The state’s previous program, Pa Direct File, only handled state income taxes and is being retired after this year. Go to PaFreeFile.com for more information.

-0- 

Texas has put to death a Mexican national for killing a Houston police officer. Edgar Tamayo was executed last night for shooting and killing Officer Guy Gaddis in 1994. The Department of Corrections says Tamayo declined to make a last statement.

-0-

People in Florida are waking up to a frosty morning. The National Weather Service issued an urgent frost advisory late Wednesday night for parts of Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties. People with concerns about agriculture may have some anxious moments as officials say the frost may kill some unprotected crops.

-0-

An independent review board says the National Security Agency's phone data collection program should be shut down. In a report to be released today, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board says the NSA program is illegal.

-0-

An al-Qaeda leader is reportedly urging rebel groups in Syria to end their infighting. The message was recently posted on militant websites, and was purportedly from Ayman al Zawahiri.

-0-

A final determination is still to come but army investigators believe the deaths of three people at Fort Hood could be a murder-suicide. A 49-year-old man and two girls were found dead inside an on-post house on Tuesday. Yesterday investigators said the three were Army dependents of a female soldier who'd just returned from overseas.

-0-

A group of California legislators is hoping House Speaker John Boehner's influence can sway the passage of an emergency drought relief bill in the state. The proposed bill would permit farmers to use water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It would also lead to the creation of a joint House-Senate panel to deal with water issues.

-0-

Police are issuing an all-clear after reports of shots being fired in a residential area of Purdue University. The shots were reported last night at Purdue Village, a popular area with graduate students in West Lafayette, Indiana. It comes a day after a teaching assistant was shot and killed in a classroom by another student.

-0-

Mayors from across the U.S. will huddle today at the White House. They'll meet with President Obama for the 82nd Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. On the agenda will be policy discussions on topics including education, workforce development, healthcare and boosting trade.

-0-

Accusations of fraud are being hurled by the Justice Department at the government's largest private security background check contractor. Officials charge former top US Investigations Services executives of a campaign that defrauded the country of millions of dollars.

-0-

Some people are not happy with Reverend Jeremiah Wright's comments about the Tea Party. Former congressman Allen West of Florida says the group is neither anti-American nor a lynch mob. Wright slammed the group at a Martin Luther King Junior commemoration event in Delaware. He accused the party of being akin to a modern-day lynch mob.

-0-

A new study says the number of cesarean deliveries appears to be dropping nationwide. Cleveland Clinic OB-GYN Dr. Jeffrey Chapa says it's probably a good thing because cesarean sections increase the risk for mothers and babies and also cost more. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted the study.

-0-

A boy who died after saving several family members from a fire in upstate New York is being hailed for his courage. Flames erupted early Monday morning at a mobile home near Rochester. Fire officials say eight-year-old Tyler Doohan alerted six family members, but died while unsuccessfully trying to save his disabled uncle. Tyler's grandfather also perished in the flames.

-0-

The planned reboot of the mystery series "Murder, She Wrote" has been axed. According to Deadline.com, NBC has decided not to go forward with the remake of TV series. Had it proceeded, the reboot would have starred Oscar winner Octavia Spencer as a hospital administrator who publishes her debut mystery novel.

-0-

Elton John is sending a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In an open letter on his personal website, the singer blasts Russia's anti-gay legislation and calls on Putin to acknowledge the dangers the laws are posing to its gay community.

-0-

A Houston furniture store owner is keeping his word on a football-themed deal. The "Houston Chronicle" reports Jim McIngvale decided to boost business at Gallery Furniture last week. He promised that any customer who bought at least five-thousand dollars worth of stuff and correctly picked the winners of the AFC and NFC championship games would get their money back. He's now out 600-thousand dollars.

-0-

One University of Utah student is paying down his tuition costs one dollar at a time. According to the "Salt Lake Tribune," on Tuesday Luq Mughal paid off his two-thousand-dollar tuition bill entirely in singles as a protest against tuition hikes. Trustees at the university previously raised tuition by five-percent.

-0-

Bill Cosby will once again be working for NBC. The network is returning him to a sitcom in hopes of repeating the ratings bonanza it enjoyed with his show in the 1980s. Deadline.com says the 76-year-old entertainment legend is on board for a new family comedy, playing the head of a multi-generational family.

Category: