Today's News - Thursday, March 20, 2014

Police in Cambria County are looking for Brett Lysic of Carrolltown who is accused of choking his 5-year-old stepdaughter in Bakerton last week, leaving her with bruises on her neck. The little girl told police Lysic was angry because she and her little brother were being noisy while he was trying to sleep. A warrant has been issued for Lysic’s arrest.

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A Cambria County judge has sentenced 50-year-old Mark Greenawalt of portage to 4- to 8-years in state prison for molesting a girl over a period of nearly three years. Greenawalt was also determined to be a sexually violent predator under Megan’s Law. He pleaded guilty to indecent assault.

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Preliminary hearings will be held next week for Devon Cashaw and Raelynn McGraw who are accused of sexually assaulting two young children in Cambria County starting at least seven years ago. Cashaw is the charged with rape and police say both he and McGraw are accused of committing graphic assaults on a number of occasions for at least tywo years. Neither one is in jail.

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55-year-old Lous Davido appeared in Cambria County Court yesterday, charged with forging a retired judge’s name on a divorce decree. He pleaded guilty to forgery and was sentenced to 18 months probation and an almost $2,000 fine. Davido admitted that the action was “just stupid.”

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A murder suspect is back in Cambria County. Police say that 20-year-old Earl Mitchell killed Jarek Adams in January in the Oakhurst section of Johnstown, then fled. Authorities later found him in Prince William County, Virginia in February, two weeks after the shooting and captured him after a car chase. Mitchell is charged with criminal homicide, two counts of aggravated assault and illegally carrying a firearm. He’s in the Cambria County Jail.

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Former Penn State president Graham Spanier’s defamation lawsuit against former FBI Director Louis Freeh and his law firm will remain on hold until the criminal case against Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz is resolved. The judge this week denied Freeh's motion for reconsideration of a February order granting Spanier's request.

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The state Senate unanimously approved a bill yesterday that would give schools more flexibility to make up missed time due to the bad winter. Schools can calculate the academic year on an hourly, rather than daily basis. They can also choose to hold classes on one Saturday per month.

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Investigators may be a step closer to finding the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced what could be a significant discovery yesterday during a meeting of the country's House of Representatives. Abbott said expert analysis of satellite images shows two objects in the southern Indian Ocean that may be from Flight 370.

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Hillary Clinton isn't optimistic about the fate of nuclear talks with Iran. The former Secretary of State said Wednesday night that she's "personally skeptical" that Iran's leaders will honor any comprehensive agreement. However, the current favorite for the 2016 Democratic nomination for President said the U.S. should "give space for diplomacy to work" and hold off on new economic sanctions against Iran.

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Osama bin Laden's son-in-law is speaking out against claims that he conspired to kill Americans after 9-11. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith took the witness stand unexpectedly at his trial in New York City yesterday. He testified that while he met with bin Laden in a cave in Afghanistan following the 9-11 attacks, he had no idea beforehand that the al-Qaeda plot would happen.

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A homeless man is dead after the temperature in his Rikers Island jail cell hit triple-digits. Jerome Murdough’s mother Alma says her 56-year-old son was mentally ill and shouldn’t have been in jail in the first place. Murdough was locked up for trespassing while trying to stay warm in a stairwell last month.

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Prosecutors are pushing for a life sentence against the Montana newly-wed who shoved her husband off a cliff in Glacier National Park. Jordan Graham struck a deal and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in December just as closing arguments in her murder trial were set to begin. She is due to be sentenced next week in the death of her husband of eight days.

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President Obama hits the road today to highlight women and the economy during a visit to Florida. White House spokesman Jay Carney called it the start of a series of regional events around the U.S. He said the events will lead up to a White House summit on working families on June 23.

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A former rapper convicted of murder in Texas is dead. Ray Jasper was executed by the state Wednesday for killing a studio owner in November 1998. Jasper was accused of stabbing and slashing the man's throat while his accomplices robbed the studio.

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The brutal winter that pounded the United States is actually the world's eighth warmest. Scientists at the National Climactic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina announced Wednesday that this winter was more than one degree warmer than average. Europe was particularly mild, with Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Switzerland reporting one of their five warmest winters on record.

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A terrorist magazine believed to have inspired the Boston Marathon bombings is now calling for car bombs in major U.S. cities and points toward the Big Apple. New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says the new edition of "Inspire Magazine" has a photo of Times Square in it. The al-Qaeda written piece reportedly has instructions on how and where to set off car bombs.

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The Federal Reserve is keeping key interest rates at historic lows and tapering another ten-billion dollars from economic stimulus measures. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday that a brutal winter had taken a bite out of the economy. In her first press conference since taking over as head of the nation's central bank, Yellen also projected a continued, gradual decline in the unemployment rate.

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An Army general who committed adultery is expected to be sentenced in a Fort Bragg courtroom today. Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair apologized in court yesterday for his inappropriate relationships and asked for leniency. He faces a maximum punishment of 21 years in prison.

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As the deadline approaches to sign up for healthcare, one-third of Americans plan to remain uninsured. That's according to a recent study by Bankrate.com, which showed most of those who plan to go without health insurance will do because they think it's too expensive. The report also shows a staggering 70-percent of the uninsured aren't aware of the available subsidies that can lower their health insurance costs.

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Nearly 13 million more Americans could find themselves on cholesterol-lowering drugs in the future. That's according to the "New England Journal of Medicine." In an online article, the findings estimate that nearly half of the U.S. population between ages 40 and 75 could become candidates for taking a statin to prevent heart disease.

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Pope Francis isn't going to watch Russell Crowe's film "Noah." The Pope instead blessed the actor Wednesday when they met briefly at the Vatican. Crowe's "Noah" has been criticized by religious groups for straying too far from the original tale.

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Flappy Bird fans are squawking over the return of the popular mobile app. The game's creator Dong Nguyen surprised fans last month by pulling it from the App Store at the height of its popularity, when it reportedly earned him 50-thousand dollars a day. Nguyen remains a bit flighty about when fans can expect the game to return, but indicates improvements are in the works and it won't be grounded forever.

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Spring is in full swing at the nation's capital. The National Cherry Blossom Festival gets underway today in Washington, DC. The weather is forecast to be springlike, for a change, but the National Park Service doesn't expect peak bloom until April 8th through the 12th.

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More happy hours are coming to Starbucks. The coffeehouse chain plans to expand its Evenings menu, which includes alcohol, to more stores around the country. "Evenings" is already available at more than 25 Starbucks locations including Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago and Portland.

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The man who organized a party with a Nazi theme at a Minneapolis restaurant is apologizing. Scott Steban has played German soldiers in several movies and explained that the party was done for period actors with a hobby of dressing in World War Two garb. The event was hosted by Gasthof’s on Martin Luther King Day, which Steban explained was only chosen because the restaurant was closed that day.

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