Today's News - Thursday, September 19, 2013

In Cambria County Court yesterday, 26-year-old Patrick Burkett of Beaverdale pled guilty in the death of his girlfriend’s 22-month-old daughter. Burkett was babysitting Reagan Panic while her mother was at work. Reagan died of blunt force trauma to the head at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh in August of last year. Burkett is scheduled to be sentenced November 7th.

-0-

An armed robbery shortly before 1a.m. Wednesday in Portage, Cambria County. State Police say a white male entered the Sheetz on Main Street wearing a mask and gloves. He pointed a handgun at employees and demanded cash, then fled the scene on foot. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police.

-0-

Many communities are having money problems, but Cambria County Controller Ed Cernic Jr. says the county is in dire straits and this is the worst financial picture he’s seen in his 10 years in office. Cernic tells WTAJ right now the county has about $5 million, but more than $16 million in obligations. Last year, the county owed $6 million at the end of the year.

-0-

Johnstown police found a Vinco area man allegedly attempting to steal copper Tuesday night. The police arrested 29-year-old Jason David Huston after receiving a phone call about someone entering a vacant building on Maple Avenue. Houston is in the Cambria County prison after failing to post bond.

-0-

A state lawmaker is introducing legislation to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $9 an hour and would also raise the minimum wage for tipped employees to 70 percent of regular minimum wage. The increases would be done in stages so employers are not hit all at once.

-0-
Penn State has decided not to impose a surcharge on employees who refuse to undergo mandatory health screenings and surveys under the new health care plan. Workers were concerned about their privacy, but according to the “Centre Daily Times,” Penn State announced the policy would be suspended. Smokers and employee spouses will still have surcharges if they don’t comply. Penn State is now forming a task force to look at improving the system.

-0-

Operations at the Washington Navy Yard are set to return to normal today. Only mission-essential personnel have been able to work there since gunman Aaron Alexis killed a dozen people at the facility on Monday. Two buildings will remain restricted. One of them is Building 197, where the shootings took place.

-0-

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says his government will follow through on an agreement to destroy its chemical weapons supply. In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Assad admits the government has a stockpile of chemical weapons but says he will comply with a deal brokered by Washington and Moscow.

-0-

An evacuation of homes is underway as firefighters try to contain a fire at a chemical plant in Thomas, Oklahoma. No injuries have been reported despite multiple explosions and flames that could be seen from miles away burning at the plant outside the town.

-0-

The cost of the flooding in Colorado is staggering. Total property losses from the flooding are estimated to run close to two billion dollars. That combines residential, commercial and government sector losses.

-0-

Powerball officials will be waiting today for someone to claim the multi-million-dollar Powerball jackpot. The winning ticket was sold in Lexington, South Carolina. The winning numbers for the estimated $400 million jackpot are: 7-10-22-32-35 with the Powerball of 19.

-0-

Honesty appears to be the best policy for a homeless man in Boston. More than $92 thousand in donations have poured in for Glen James since he found a backpack stuffed with cash and turned it in to police. Boston's Police commissioner publicly praised James for turning in the bag containing $42 thousand in cash.

-0-

Reports of a mythical beast in the Valley Park, Missouri area have the community talking. Several people in the area tell KTVI-TV they've spotted a strange, gray animal they think could be a “chupacabra,” a mysterious creature said to have a large snout, fangs and an overwhelming smell. Wildlife officials say it’s probably a mangy dog.

-0-

Penn State professors are among the nation’s best according to Rate-My-Professor.com. Nittany Lions professors are ranked at number three, based on criteria including quality, clarity and helpfullness. Duke University came in first followed by Vanderbilt.

-0-

Last year, the cognition research team Lumos Labs of San Francisco named the Johnstown-Altoona metropolitan area the eight-smartest in the country and now the area has jumped to fifth smartest on this year’s list. Lumos Labs officials say more than 3 million people, ages 15 to 85, have completed the mind-sharpening exercises on their website, Lumosity.com. The games test speed, attention, flexibility, memory and problem-solving.

Category: