Today's News - Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Twenty-five-year-old Denver Blough of Windber remains in the Somerset County Jail charged in the shooting death of his 9-months pregnant girlfriend Saturday evening. Caressa Kovalcik’s baby girl reportedly remains in a coma at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh after being delivered by c-section. Court documents reveal that Blough told police the two argued. He then broke his shotgun into two pieces and took the barrel into the kitchen to show Kovalcik, when it fired and hit her in the face. The couple’s 11-month-old child was in the apartment at the time.

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Johnstown Police Captain Andy Frear says 36-year-old Derick Stephens of Johnstown has been charged in connection with the 2013 shooting death of 37-year-old Jamil Gray. His body was found in an alley off Union Street. Police say cell phones recovered from the victim and Stephens led to the charges. Stephens is in the Cambria County Jail, and a second suspect is expected to be charged later this week. According to documents, casings found at the scene of Gray’s murder were fired from the same gun used in a July 2012 shooting on Kennedy Street.

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Sixteen-year-old Alex Hribal waived his right to a preliminary hearing yesterday in connection with the stabbings of 20 students and a security guard at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville back in April. The teen remains in a juvenile detention center and his attorney plans to ask a judge to move the case to juvenile court, where Hribal would face incarceration or probation only until he turns 21. All of the victims have been released from hospitals, the last one on May 17. Formal arraignment is scheduled July 23.

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The Pittsburgh Zoo is settling a lawsuit with the family of 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh who was mauled to death by a group of wild dogs after he fell into their exhibit in 2012. Zoo officials made the announcement yesterday, saying the details of the settlement will remain confidential. The boy's parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit, alleging officials knew about dangers at the exhibit but did not correct them.

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President Obama is on the ground in Poland. Upon arriving, the President thanked his Polish hosts for a warm welcome and said he looked forward to his visit. The President said he would be announcing some additional steps regarding the current situation in Ukraine later today.

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Republicans in Congress are calling for hearings on the prisoner swap that freed Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. The soldier from Idaho was released last weekend after being held by the Afghan Taliban for nearly five years. GOP members of both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees want public hearings into the prisoner exchange.

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The FBI says a man who was wanted for allegedly stockpiling explosives in his San Francisco home is in custody. Ryan Chamberlain had been the subject of a three-day nationwide manhunt. Agents had been searching for Chamberlain after they found explosives in his apartment over the weekend.

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Another round of state primaries is set for today and will help set the stage for November's midterm elections. One of the most closely-watched contests is in Mississippi. Veteran Republican Senator Thad Cochran faces a tough challenge from State Senator Chris McDaniel. The campaign heated up after a McDaniel supporter was arrested for allegedly posting a video of Cochran's wife in a nursing home.

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Accident investigators now have the black box recorders from last week's jet crash outside Boston. The recorders were recovered yesterday afternoon and could yield clues into why the Gulfstream jet went down about two-thousand feet from the runway at Hanscom Field Saturday night. All seven people on board were killed.

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The minimum wage in Seattle is going up. The city council voted unanimously to approve an increase in the minimum wage to 15 dollars-an-hour. That would be the highest minimum wage in the U.S. The wage hike would be phased in over the next three-to-seven years.

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Chicago police are investigating a shooting inside a South Side laundromat that left at least six people wounded, including a 14-year-old. The incident happened Monday night in the 26-hundred block of East 79th Street. A Chicago Fire Department spokesman says most of the victims were young adults who were laid out on the floor of the coin laundry.

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One congressional candidate in Arizona is going to great lengths to win over voters. According to the "Arizona Capitol Times," a former congressional candidate named Scott Fistler changed his name to Cesar Chavez and is now running for the congressional seat in Arizona's 7th Congressional District.

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The Obama administration is planning to work with and fund the new Palestinian unity government. The State Department said Monday that it viewed the government sworn in by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday as a group of technocrats and would do business with the body. Israel immediately voiced its disappointment with the decision.

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The folks in charge at the National Hurricane Center might want to rethink giving some hurricanes female names. Data about hurricane-related deaths since 1950 shows female-named storms are routinely more deadly than hurricanes with male names. Researchers think some people may let their guard down when warnings are issued for female-named hurricanes.

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Pot clubs in San Jose, California are offering voters a unique incentive to help boost turnout at the polls – free marijuana. The Silicon Valley Cannabis Coalition is organizing the "Weed for Votes" program. They'll give free pot to anyone holding a medical marijuana card who can prove they voted.

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The auctioning of a Civil War soldier's skull is being called off. Estate Auction Company had planned to sell the skull and military relics found near the Gettysburg battlefield, but cancelled the auction after widespread criticism. The company hoped the items would fetch up to $250,000.

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