Today's News - Thursday, September 12, 2013

An Ebensburg man allegedly robbed First National Bank in Cresson around 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.  Witnesses gave police a good description and a partial license plate and jeffrey pellegrino was arrested about an hour later in the Johnstown area. Authorities think he also used a knife to hold held up S&T Bank in Armagh, Indiana County, on Tuesday. Police recovered money and the clothes worn during both robberies at his home.

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Rather than go to trial for murder in Somerset County, 24-year-old Jonathan Beal of Meyersdale has plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence, and abuse of a corpse in the death of his on-again/off-again girlfriend, 19-year-old Justine Jackson. Investigators say Beal strangled Jackson last September and buried her along the Great Allegheny Passage in Meyersdale. Jackson’s body was found by some hikers about a month later. BEAL, who was arrested by U.S. Marshals hiding in a bathroom in New Orleans a few weeks later, faces a maximum of 24 years behind bars.

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Employees got back to work Wednesday at Johnstown defense contractor Concurrent Technologies Corporation one day after a shut-down while federal investigators searched two offices. Investigators have not said what the agents were searching for, and officials with CTC say they have no idea. The investigation continues.

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A preliminary hearing is scheduled today for 21-year-old Demetrius Gibson of Tire Hill. He is accused of fatally stabbing his girlfriend, Elizabeth Miller, at a Moxham car wash on August 6, then staying on the run for nearly two weeks before turning himself in. Gibson has hired Altoona defense attorney Tom Dickey.

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On the 12th anniversary of 9-11, U.S. Senator Bob Casey introduced the Saracini Aviation Safety Act of 2013 which would require each commercial aircraft to install a barrier, other than the cockpit door, to prevent access to the flight deck of an aircraft. The legislation is named after Bucks County resident Captain Victor Saracini who piloted United Flight 175 when it was hijacked by terrorists and flown into the World Trade Center. The bill has also been introduced in the House and has 45 bipartisan cosponsors. The measure is endorsed by the Airline Pilots Association, Allied Pilots Association and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

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Penn State great and former Steeler Franco Harris is headlining a peaceful protest during next week’s Penn State board of trustees meeting. “The Centre Daily Times” reports the event, called “March for Truth” will be at 3:30 next Friday at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel. The board’s meeting is scheduled for 1:30 to 4:30 the same day. Organizers say they want the board to know that people in the Penn State community want justice for Joe Paterno.

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Saint Francis University in Loretto and Mount Aloysius College inCresson have been named to “U.S. News & World Report’s” Best Colleges 2014. Saint Francis climbed 18 places to land at number 43, placing it in the top fourth of institutions in the North Regional Universities category. Mount Aloysius College ranked 39th  in the North Regional Colleges category.

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Syria will be the topic of discussion today in Geneva when Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart meet.  The U.S. is assessing Russia's proposal for Syria to put its chemical weapons stockpiles under international control. 

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UN weapons inspectors could release their findings about the poison gas attack in Syria as soon as this weekend or Monday.  Diplomats have said it will suggest the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were responsible.

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People in Colorado and Michigan are dealing with some challenging conditions.  One person is dead after flooding swept across Boulder County, Colorado.  Officials in Jamestown said a building collapsed overnight, killing a person trapped inside.  In Michigan, storms that raced through metro Detroit yesterday evening left over 70-thousand people without power. 

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The Florida pastor who planned to burn nearly three-thousand copies of the Quran is under arrest.  Polk County Sheriff's deputies stopped Pastor Terry Jones before he arrived at a public park with kerosene-soaked copies of the Muslim holy book stashed in a barbecue smoker.  Jones and an assistant are facing traffic-related charges for towing the large smoker. 

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The latest stop on a comeback tour by former CIA Director David Petraeus brought him to Duke on the 12th anniversary of 9-11.  The retired four-star general said President Obama is right to seek a diplomatic solution with Syria over its chemical weapons stockpile.  Petraeus resigned his CIA post after admitting to an extramarital affair with Charlotte resident Paula Broadwell.

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An Ohio man who confessed on YouTube to killing a man in a June drunk-driving crash remains in jail after entering a not guilty plea in the case.  A lawyer for Matthew Cordle says the 22-year-old remains committed to his promise to plead guilty and will do so in court on September 18th.  The attorney called yesterday's plea a procedural matter. 

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“Esquire Magazine” is apologizing for posting a 9-11 photo next to a headline for a fashion article.   The magazine's apology was made after a famous photo of a man falling from one of the Twin Towers accidentally appeared on its website next to a headline for the article that read: “Making Your Morning Commute More Stylish. Look good on your way to work.” A fire training exercise at Logan International Airport in Boston yesterday prompted the Massachusetts Port Authority to also issue an apology.  The exercise involved flames and smoke.  Massport said it was sorry for the poor timing and any offense it may have caused to people touched by the September 11th attacks.

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Facebook stock is priced at 45-dollars per share, for the first time since the company's Initial Public Offering.  Shares rose more than three-percent Wednesday, to the highest point since May 18th, 2012, the day the stock was first offered for trading. 

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Colorado is adopting the country’s first rules for recreational marijuana businesses.  The rules released earlier this week cover everything from licensing requirements to marijuana packaging criteria. 

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An electronic sign in Arlington, Virginia that says “Don't hit the car in front of you,” is reportedly reducing the number of car accidents in the area.  The sign stands in what's considered the county's top area for accidents.  Arlington County Police, who are responsible for the sign, say the number of accidents has dropped since it went up.

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A new poll is showing that 48-percent of American adults say they are open to the idea of alien spacecrafts observing what's happening on Earth.  According to the survey from the “Huffington Post” and YouGov, only 35 percent of respondents said they outright reject the possibility of unidentified floating objects.

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A spinoff of the critically acclaimed AMC series “Breaking Bad” is moving forward.  The network announced on Wednesday that it has inked a deal with Sony Pictures Television to create another show centered on the character of Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk.

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There's even more money now in the Powerball jackpot and it could be a huge check this week for someone in our.  The estimated jackpot for Saturday's drawing is 317-million dollars and even the lump sum cash option is more than 176-million.  Pennsylvania Lottery revenue goes to programs to help older residents of Pennsylvania.

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