Today's News - Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lawyers for 21-year-old Demetrius Gibson of Tire Hill say his homicide trial is on track with jury selection to begin August 25. He’s charged in the stabbing death of his estranged girlfriend, Elizabeth Miller, last summer. The trial will be held in the courtroom at the Central Park Complex in Downtown Johnstown. The judge will consider the petition for a change of venue at the time of jury selection.

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In Johnstown’s federal court yesterday, another member of the Lowmaster drug ring was sentenced. 40-year-old Christopher Jolly will spend ten months in prison and four years on probation for mailing 46 packages of marijuana worth $40 thousand per box. Ringleader George Lowmaster of Carrolltown will be sentenced later this summer.

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A man who was already banned for 30 days from a local bar for harassing a woman allegedly escalated the situation by threatening to kill her. Johnstown police arrested David Ambush after he fled Rocky’s Tavern in the Woodvale section of the city on Friday. Police say a bouncer tried to escort Ambush out of the bar after he pulled the woman’s dress over her head, but he refused. Ambush then fled, but police caught him.

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Another fallen tree on an area roadway, but this time no injuries. A large tree fell on Solomon Street in the Oakland section of Johnstown Wednesday afternoon, blocking both lanes. The tree did not hit any vehicles. It took fire crews 45 minutes to clear the tree from the street.

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Concurrent Technologies Corporation has received national recognition for its hiring of veterans. Armed Forces news publication “Military Times” listed CTC at number 11 on its annual Best for Vets employer list; 59 businesses were recognized. CTC has received this honor four times.

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Incumbent Republican Tom Corbett is lagging behind his Democratic challenger, Tom Wolf, in the race for governor. A recent Franklin and Marshall College poll found 47 percent of registered voters plan to vote for Wolf in November, and 25 percent plan to vote for Corbett. Only 27 percent of the total voters surveyed said Corbett is doing an excellent or good job as governor.

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Still no state budget and no agreement on pension reform. A bill was voted back to committee on Tuesday. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai said yesterday that pension reform will not likely be focuses on until the fall.

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PennDOT, state and local police are partnering to make the Independence Day holiday travel safer through enforcement targeted at motorists impaired by drugs or alcohol. Last year, there were 256 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 11 fatalities from Friday, June 30, to Sunday, July 9. This marked a decrease from 2012, when there were 355 alcohol-related crashes and 20 fatalities. Also during the holiday period last year there were 69 drug-related crashes and 4 fatalities. State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan says troopers last year arrested 411 people for DUI from July 3 through the 7. 

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Four out of five Pennsylvania voters are in favor of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. A recent Franklin and Marshall poll found 59 percent of registered voters strongly support medical marijuana and 25 percent somewhat favor it. The poll also found that 57 percent of Pennsylvanians are against legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes.

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A new department of education report says students at the main campuses of Penn State and Pitt pay more tuition than students at any other publicly funded university. Tuition tops $16 thousand per year. The national average for public universities is $7,407. Penn State campuses at Berks, Harrisburg, Erie-Behrend and Altoona ranked 11th through 14th on the list.

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Tropical storm Arthur is now a hurricane. Arthur's wind speeds have reached 75 miles an hour as it spins toward the North Carolina coast. Hurricane Arthur is now expected to reach the Outer Banks tonight.

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A Denver woman is in federal custody after being accused of supporting the militant group ISIS. Court documents show Shannon Conley provided material support to the group, which has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization.

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The Army says Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is being allowed to venture off a Texas military base as he learns to readjust to everyday life. The Army says Bergdahl has been supervised during visits to a super market, restaurants and shopping centers.

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Today could be the final day of evidence and testimony in the murder trial of South African track star Oscar Pistorius. The court heard defense testimony Wednesday from a sports exercise professor who said the double-amputee's decision to confront a potential threat was a reflex action, something he can't control.

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There will be no change in the number of rounds a gun can hold in New Jersey. Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have reduced the legal ammunition capacity from 15 to ten rounds. In his veto message Wednesday, Christie says he doesn't believe that decreasing the number of bullets in guns will stop mass shootings.

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Murrieta, California residents continue to voice their disapproval of the government's plan to process detained migrants at their town's Border Patrol station. A Wednesday night town hall meeting was packed with hundreds of angry residents. Meantime, Presidential spokesman Josh Earnest claims the government is doing everything possible to deal with the flood of migrant children across the U.S.-Mexican border.

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The transfer of Syria's chemical weapons is complete. The Pentagon says the transfer from a Danish container ship to a U.S. vessel was finished on Wednesday at a port in Italy. The disposal process marks the end of an effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapons stockpile. The chemical weapons included mustard gas and Sarin nerve gas.

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The 12-year-old boy who opened fire at a New Mexico middle school in January is going to remain behind bars until he's 21. A judge handed down the maximum sentence to Mason Campbell in a Roswell court room Tuesday. Two students were wounded when the boy opened fire with a modified shotgun.

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The government is demanding answers about an ongoing vehicle risk from Chrysler. On Wednesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called on Chrysler to explain why there's been such a delay in fixing more than a million Jeep sport-utility vehicles. The cars have been linked to dozens of deadly fuel tank fires.

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Five people are recovering after a stone facade at the Brooklyn Bridge collapsed. They were injured when the heavy stone facade of the walkway to the world-famous bridge collapsed Wednesday evening. It happened as a wild storm, laced with hundreds of lightning strikes, pounded the area and set off some flooding.

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The Powerball jackpot is hitting the century mark once again. No one matched all six numbers in Wednesday's Powerball lottery drawing, moving Saturday night's jackpot to an estimated 101-million dollars. The numbers drawn Wednesday night were 8-18-45-53-58 with the Powerball of 35.

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More Americans are traveling for this Fourth of July, and Triple-A says more people will be charging their trips on credit cards. Triple-A's Heather Hunter says travel spending is growing faster than personal income, which means more people are putting their vacations on plastic.

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Comedian Katt Williams is denying reports that he pulled a gun on a man at a West Hollywood comedy club Tuesday night. According to TMZ.com, Katt claims he was involved in an altercation with four gang members. Katt's story contradicts witnesses, who told the celebrity gossip website that Williams pulled the gun on a man who was heckling him.

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Richmond, Virginia, is the place to be to celebrate the Fourth of July. That's according to a new WalletHub.com list of the best and worst cities for Fourth of July celebrations. The list rankings were based on factors including weather forecasts, the quality of food and entertainment, and outdoor activites. Irvine, California, ranked second.

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The nation's capital is apparently the third "most patriotic" city in America. That's according to a new survey using sales figures for America-themed flags on Amazon.com. Miami, Florida came in second, while Virginia Beach, Virginia ranked number one on the list.

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Facebook is removing some controversial photos from the page of a Texas teen big game hunter. The photos were taken down from Kendall Jones' page in the last 24 hours. They featured pictures of the 19-year-old posing with a lion, a leopard, and an elephant she'd shot while in Africa.

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