Today's News - Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Johnstown-area woman is now facing charges of homicide by vehicle while driving drunk. 35-year-old Misty Petrick’s blood alcohol level was .15 percent on August 4th when her car struck a tree along Emmett Drive in Westmont. Her husband, 44-year-old Jamey Petrick died in the wreck. Petrick is free on unsecured bond.

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Following a preliminary hearing, 34-year-old George Lane of Portage was ordered to stand trial on charges including solicitation to commit robbery and aggravated assault. Police say he asked three people to rob and beat his estranged wife and vandalize vehicles at her workplace back in July. Lane also was charged with 51 counts of harassment for allegedly sending threatening e-mails to the woman’s workplace. 21-year-old Rashonn Garland, 18-year-old Alexis Hayostek, and a juvenile are also facing charges for the vandalism.

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Firefighters rescued the family dog from a blaze that damaged the kitchen of a home on the 600 block of Center Street in Boswell Wednesday afternoon. They gave the dog oxygen and it’s doing well at a Somerset animal hospital. The family of four was not home when the fire started. Damage is estimated at between 30- and 40-thousand dollars.

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In Cambria County Court today, jury selection is set to begin for the murder trial of Sherman Holes of Cherry Tree. He’s charged in the 2010 death of 79-year-old Arthur Henry who was found badly beaten at his Northern Cambria home on June 30th. Henry died three days later. Investigators used new DNA testing to identify blood on a 2x4 which was the murder weapon.

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State House Majority Leader Mike Turzai told reporters yesterday that the House will take up transportation infrastructure funding legislation in two weeks. Governor Tom Corbett has proposed a $2.5 billion dollar-a-year bill to improve highways, bridges and mass transit. The Senate passed the measure in June.

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Jerry Sandusky is not getting a new trial. A Pennsylvania Superior Court denied Sandusky’s appeal yesterday dismissing his argument that the judge did not properly instruct the jury. Sandusky is serving a 30-to-60-year sentence for his conviction on 45 counts of sexual abuse.

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The bill allowing school districts to lower or do away their property taxes is through the House and in the Senate. The measure from Representative Seth Grove lets the districts around the state raise that lost revenue with an “elimination tax” that involves other taxing options. Grove says the House bill gives districts flexibility. Other bills in the package dealing with the elimination of property tax are under consideration.

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There’s apparently no progress on ending the government shutdown after President Obama brought congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday. After the meeting, House Speaker John Boehner said Obama refused to negotiate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans of seeking a short-term solution aimed at derailing Obamacare. The President will stop at a construction company in Maryland today to call attention to the shutdown’s impact on businesses.

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Republican Senator Rand Paul is offering an olive branch to Democrats, or at least a cup of coffee. Paul invited all senators from both sides of the aisle to a coffee meeting on the steps of the Capitol building this morning to talk over ending the federal government shutdown.  

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At least eight people have been killed in a horrific traffic accident in Jefferson County, Tennessee. The Tennessee Highway Patrol says the accident on I-40 involved a Baptist church bus, a tractor trailer and an SUV. A tire on the bus apparently blew, causing it to cross the median, leading to the collision. More than a dozen people are said to be injured. Six of the dead are said to be from the bus which was from Statesville, North Carolina.

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Today is the 20th anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu, known to many as “Black Hawk Down.” On October 3rd of 1993, Somali militants shot down two American Black Hawk helicopters on a mission to seize two rebel lieutenants. The resulting rescue operation claimed the lives of 18 U.S. troops.

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Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is expected today to make it official that she's running for governor in the Lone Star State. Davis grabbed the national spotlight last June when she conducted a filibuster that lasted almost 13 hours, taking a stand against a restrictive abortion bill.

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Bond is set at one-million-dollars for the Florida man who set off a security scare at the Jacksonville airport, forcing a five-hour evacuation of the facility on Tuesday. Zeljko Causevic is charged with making a false bomb report and making a hoax bomb.

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Pittsburgh police say they are not planning on charging anyone in connection with an incident at PNC Park that involved the wife of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mat Latos. Dallas Latos claims a Pirates fan punched her in the back of the head during Tuesday night's playoff game and says police did not thoroughly investigate the incident.

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AEG Live has been cleared of wrongdoing in the 2009 death of Michael Jackson. The verdict announced Wednesday brings an end to a five-month long case brought by the singer's mother Katherine Jackson on behalf of Jackson's three children.

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Apparently history is in the eye of the beholder. According to a new survey from Public Policy Polling, 12 percent of American voters say they believe the deaths of celebrities like John Lennon and Tupac Shakur were conspiracies staged by the government. People were almost twice has likely to believe that the government was behind the assassinations of political figures, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy.

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Scientists in the U.K. have found a way to make charging a cell phone a life-risking activity. According to Orange News, scientists at the University of Southampton charged a Nokia phone with lightning bolts they created in the lab by passing 200-thousand volts across a 12-inch air gap.  

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Apple says it’s working to fix a glitch in its overhauled iOS7 software. The problem is in its iMessage program which allows Apple devices and computer users to send texts for free over Wi-Fi. However, the messages from phones to devices such as the iPad and iPad Touch aren't all being sent or received.

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Justin Bieber is in the clear under the law. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Country District Attorney rejected two cases against the pop star. One involved allegations from one of his Calabasas, California neighbors that Bieber spat in his face in March. The 19-year-old is also off the hook for a speeding case from July.

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