Today's News - Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gary Vaughn, who owned Gary’s Steals & Deals Pawn Shop in Portage, was convicted of purchasing items stolen by drug addicts and selling them on the internet. He is serving two years in a federal prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering and mail fraud. Now, the “Altoona Mirror” reports that the IRS is asking a U.S. District Judge to force Vaughn to forfeit thousands of dollars and 67 silver bars found in his home. His wife, Tonia, is also charged with selling stolen items after he husband’s indictment. He is appealing.

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A door-to-door pizza scam – and now Johnstown Police have charged Jon Beltz and Nichole Cairns, both of Johnstown, with three counts each of theft and receiving stolen property . They allegedly funded Beltz’s heroin habit by knocking on doors selling “Little Caesar’s Pizza Kits” in May and June. They used a child as part of the scam, so Beltz and cairns are also charged with corruption of minors. Authorities say they have the names of 57 residents who donated between $18 and $20 for pizza and cinnamon sticks. Only 11 people have come forward so far.

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32-year-old Renaldo Cooper, of State College, has been charged with assault on a sports official, simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment charges after smacking a referee during a basketball tournament in May at East Hills Rec in Richland. Cooper was coaching a seventh grade girls team when he started arguing with the ref about a foul. Several people were needed to restrain him.

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A recent study by AARP ranks Pennsylvania as one of the worst states for the elderly. The report is titled "Raising Expectation," and uses data collected from 2009 to 2013. Pennsylvania comes in at number 42 on the list, getting poor ratings when it came to affordability, access to long term care, quality of life care and family care giver support.

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We’re just hours away from hearing Governor Tom Corbett's decision on whether he will sign the budget. He told reporters yesterday he is still reviewing documents for the more than $29 billion spending plan, but he did not tip his hand if he was leaning toward signing or vetoing the package, or asking the House and Senate to fix the problems he has with it.

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Damage is estimated at more than $100 thousand after a fire that affected three homes in the Ferndale section of Johnstown Monday evening. A state police fire marshal is listing the cause as undetermined for the time being because of the amount of damage. The fire started in the first floor of a house at Suter Street and Quaker Avenue. That home was destroyed. No one was injured.

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Governor Tom Corbett yesterday signed into law legislation that will allow all hunters in the state to use crossbows in deer, bear and turkey seasons. The new law was introduced Representative Gary Haluska of Cambria County, chairman of the House Game and Fisheries Committee. He says it will take effect by early September.

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A law was signed this week in Harrisburg and the 17th Street bridge carrying traffic over route 56 in Windber is now officially known as the State Trooper Joseph Sepp Junior Bridge. The 1986 Windber Area graduate was gunned down on duty in November 2002 following a chase that ended in downtown Ebensburg. Mark Leach, the man who shot Sepp, died in prison in 2011.

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Weather forecasters have now confirmed that at least two tornadoes hit different parts of Pennsylvania Tuesday. The National Weather Service says a twister packing maximum winds estimated at 90 miles per hour touched down near the town of Hoagland in Mercer County, traveling two-and-a-half miles. Another tornado touched down near New Albany in Bradford County. It destroyed a mobile home and a barn. Utility crews have been working to restore service to tens of thousands of Pennsylvania customers left without power.

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Senators will consider a White House request for border assistance today. President Obama is asking Congress for an emergency budget allocation of almost four billion dollars to better-deal with the southwest border crisis.

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A deadly standoff near Houston is over. Harris County Constable Ron Hickman says the suspected gunman surrendered to police after sitting in his car for about four hours. Six people were killed Wednesday night in the suburb of Spring. Four of them were children. Police say a domestic dispute sparked the violence.

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A decorated Marine combat veteran is back in a Mexican prison, following his first appearance before a judge on Wednesday. Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi has been imprisoned since late March after he drove into a border checkpoint with three guns in his pickup truck.

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The Republican Governors Association is raising a lot of money. The group headed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie raised more than $26.5 million in the second quarter of this year. The organization aims to elect Republicans in this year's three-dozen governors races.

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Coloradans and tourists are creating a high demand for pot in the state. A study released Wednesday estimates market demand at more than 130 metric tons a year. The state report also shows about nine-percent of the population uses the drug at least once a month.

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Texas Governor Rick Perry is challenging President Obama to act now to stop the surge of undocumented immigrants flooding across his state's border. Perry called the situation "a humanitarian crisis that he has the ability to stop." Perry also told "Fox News" Wednesday he'd like to see the President use the National Guard to secure the border.

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President Obama claims things are continuing to get better, despite dysfunction in the nation's capital. Speaking in Denver Wednesday, Obama said the U.S. economy has come back faster and stronger than any other big country after the deep recession. The President argued that things could get even better if Republicans stop "saying no."

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A person of interest is in custody following a shooting at the National Guard Armory near Nashville that left one person dead. Officials say the victim was shot in the chest Wednesday afternoon and airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he died.

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A witness says a burglary suspect near Dallas, Texas set himself on fire before the flames spread to a female officer. Police in Cedar Hill say officers shot the man after he poured what appeared to be gasoline on his clothing and set himself on fire. The officers had been chasing the man, who was suspected of robbing an apartment.

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Iraq's government says militants have gotten hold of nuclear materials at a university, but U.S. officials aren't too concerned. Two U.S. officials told CNN on Wednesday that the small amounts of uranium the militants got at university science facilities near the northern city of Mosul are not weapons-grade or enriched.

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Utah is taking its appeal of a ruling against its same-sex marriage ban directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. The state said Wednesday it will not seek a review from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and instead will go straight to the highest court in America. A federal judge overturned the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage last month.

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Things are getting ugly in Donald Sterling's probate trial over ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers. As his estranged wife finished up her testimony today and walked in front of him, Donald said to her, "Stay away from me, you pig." Shelly testified that Donald has become more forgetful over the past three years and he gets mad for no particular reason.

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Most Americans want to hit the mute button when it comes to Sarah Palin. A new "NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg" poll shows that 54-percent of voters say they've heard enough from the former Alaska governor and would prefer that she be less outspoken in political debates. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats have had their fill of Palin and nearly four-in-ten Republicans feel the same way.

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Pop star Justin Bieber won't get any jail time in connection with an egg-throwing case in Southern California. As expected, Bieber pled no contest Wednesday to misdemeanor vandalism charges for throwing eggs at his neighbor's Calabasas home back in January. He's been sentenced to two years probation and community service.

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Millennials may be wary to make friends at the office thanks to the results of a new poll from LinkedIn. The survey finds that 68 percent of workers ages 18 to 24 say they would be willing to sacrifice a friendship with a co-worker if it meant getting a promotion for themselves.

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The NBA's moratorium period is over and free agents can be officially signed. The "New York Daily News" reports Carmelo Anthony will re-sign with the Knicks today. Reports have LeBron James still deciding between the Heat and the Cavaliers.

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