Today's News - Tuesday, October 29, 20913

Rather than stand trial in Cambria County Court, Troy Lloyd of Northern Cambria yesterday pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for stabbing Roger English Jr., with an 18-inch decorative sword outside his home in April of last year. The defense says the incident happened after years of Lloyd being bullied by the victim. English had to be lifelighted to UPMC Altoona with a collapsed lung. Lloyd will be sentenced to 2-and-a- half to 10 years in state prison when he appears in court December 17th.

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An Upper Yoder Township Police Sergeant rescued Joe Varmecky from his burning house early monday on the 500 block of Swank Street. Varmecky is hearing impaired, cannot speak, and is blind in one eye, but he made it out safely. Investigators say the blaze was caused by a wood burner, and has been ruled accidental.

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Three men were arrested and another was held in custody after a drug bust at a Johnstown motel known for its drug activity. Johnstown police say they received a tip about suspicious activity at Towne Manor Motel in downtown Johnstown on Friday. When police responded they caught the end of a drug deal in progress along with dozens of empty bags of heroin and a bag of cocaine floating in a toilet. One of the men was carrying a stolen handgun.

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In Johnstown’s federal court yesterday, a judge sentenced 35-year-old Alfred Noble of Portage to five years in prison for conspiring to traffic oxycodone. Noble was charged earlier this year.

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In a unanimous vote, Richland School Board decided Monday night that high school students can create a Gay-Straight Alliance Club. The issue was brought to the board by senior Kasey Caron, a transgender student who unsuccessfully fought for the right to be allowed on the homecoming king ballot. Caron was born a female but identifies as a male.

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State Treasurer Rob Mccord is upset with Governor Tom Corbett for spending $3.4 million from the lottery fund to pay consultants and law firms in an attempt to privatize the Pennsylvania lottery. McCord is calling on Corbett to stop extending the bidding process and stop trying to privatize the lottery all together. The bidding process was previously extended and is now set to close today.

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The Pennsylvania lottery is releasing six new holiday instant games. Officials say the Merry Millionaire, Sleigh Ride, Holiday Gifts, Merry Multiplier, Snow Days and Cashing Thru the Snow games go on sale today. VIP Players Club members will also have a second chance to win in the Jolly Jackpot Second-Chance Drawings. Go to pa-lottery.com for more information.

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According to a news release, Penn State is paying almost $60 million to settle lawsuits with 26 victims of Jerry Sandusky. The total payout is $59.7 million, but individual amounts were not released due to confidentiality agreements. Penn State rejected six claims for being without merit, but more settlements could come in the future.

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The Obama Administration is giving Americans six more weeks to sign up for health coverage before getting hit with tax penalties. Due to a series of glitches, the White House announced an extension of the deadline yesterday from mid-February to March 31st of next year.

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Today’s the first anniversary of when Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast. The storm made landfall near Brigantine, New Jersey, with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles an hour. It destroyed thousands of homes, knocked out power to millions and caused billions of dollars of damage.

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The U.S. ambassador to Spain is addressing the NSA spying scandal. After being summoned by the Spanish government on Monday, ambassador James Costos addressed allegations that the NSA had recently collected data on 60-million telephone calls in Spain.

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The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee begins two days of meetings today. Economists expect the Fed to keep doing what it's been doing to help the economy's slow recovery. That means the central bank isn't likely to end its 85-billion-dollar-a-month bond buying program until the economy shows that ending the stimulus won't bring things to a halt or worse.

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A Senate panel is scheduled to hold a hearing on controversial stand-your-ground laws today. The laws exist in several states and became a hot issue after a black Florida teenager was shot to death in Sanford, Florida last year. George Zimmerman was later acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

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Disgraced Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. has reportedly turned himself in to authorities to begin a 30-month prison sentence in North Carolina. The 48-year-old Democrat was sentenced in August following a conviction for misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds.

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The 46-year-old man accused of tampering with a ride at the North Carolina State Fair is facing assault charges, after five people were seriously injured. Timothy Tutterrow was in charge of the ride that reportedly dropped some people from as high as 30-feet in the air last week.

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Red Bull is facing an 85-million dollar lawsuit alleging the beverage killed a Brooklyn man. The 33-year-old died of a heart attack after chugging the energy drink while playing a game of basketball. The family's lawyer said Red Bull is different than a cup of coffee and more dangerous than the drink company lets on.

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Chris Brown is free on bail following a court appearance on an assault charge in Washington, DC. The charge has been reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor and the R&B singer has pleaded not guilty. Reports say he has also been ordered to stay 100 yards away from the alleged victim. Sources tell TMZ.com the charge was reduced due to some question about who threw the first punch.

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There’s another surprise elimination on this season’s “Dancing With The Stars.” On Monday, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi of “Jersey Shore” fame got the boot, despite being in the middle of the leaderboard. Snooki was in tears after her name was called and her fellow contestants got to their feet to cheer for her.

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Bicycle riders at a college in Iowa apparently have to start keeping their eyes open for “squirrelly” bike vandals. Matt Strom, a math professor at Iowa Lakes Community College, tells the “Sioux City Journal” he called police after his bike seat, tires, headlight, and taillight were repeatedly damaged last week. But not long after a fellow instructor spotted a squirrell knawing on one of Strom’s tires.

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A Japanese company is helping people save money by creating a smarter wallet. When paired with a bookkeeping smartphone app, the “Living Wallet” knows when the owner shouldn’t be opening it. The billfold is equipped with four tiny wheels that allow it to evade its owner when it's in “save mode.” And if it is caught, the wallet starts playing cries for help, and even sends an email to the owner's mother to let her know about the potential spending. On the other hand, when the owner switches to “consume mode,” the wallet plays Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and lists the most popular items on Amazon.com as possible purchases.

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