Today's News - Tuesday, October 8, 2013

In Cambria County Court, the murder trial of 19-year-old Shahliek Greene of Johnstown has been scheduled to begin with jury selection December 9th. Green is accused of shooting 29-year-old Joshua Price during a dispute over a vehicle in Moxham back in February.

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Three Conemaugh Township coaches are being investigated for incidents that occurred during a football game at Windber Stadium on Friday. One coach was ejected from the game after he questioned a call. Another ended with a coach being handcuffed by police after the game. The local chapter of the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Athletic Association said it's aware of what happened but said it's in the school district's hands right now.

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Berlin Brothersvalley School District was placed on lockdown around 5 yesterday afternoon. Borough police say that they are investigating bomb threats called into the high school office after hours. Three athletic events were cancelled as a result of the lockdown.

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A Cambria County jury was seated Monday for the trial of a former Cambria County Prison inmate. 22-year-old William Cramer is accused of using a bedsheet to strangle his cellmate, 28-year-old William Sherry of Northern Cambria in August of last year, then trying to make it look like suicide. They had only been sharing the cell for a few hours. Cramer was awaiting transfer to a state lockup. Testimony will get underway tomorrow morning.

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A new study shows Pennsylvania has the 14th highest rate of drug overdose deaths. The Washington-based Trust for America’s Health says our state had 15.3 overdose deaths per 100 thousand residents in 2010, most involving prescription drugs. That's an increase of 89 percent from 1989, when there were 8.1. West Virginia led the nation in fatal overdoses with nearly 29 per 100 thousand people. Pennsylvania is among 28 states and the District of Columbia that received low scores on implementing strategies for curbing prescription-drug abuse.

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The legal process grinds along, and now the attorney for former Penn State President Graham Spanier has filed another motion in court asking for grand jury transcripts from former university general counsel, Cynthia Baldwin. Spanier claims Baldwin violated attorney-client privilege when she took the stand. His lawyers want to know if Baldwin received immunity for her grand jury testimony. They also want the names of any witnesses the state plans to call at trial.

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Victim One in the Jerry Sandusky case and his mother claim his school principal didn’t believe his stories in 2008 of being sexually assaulted. “USA Today” says investigators with the State attorney general's office are reviewing what several School officials did regarding Aaron Fisher, who attended Central Mountain School in Mill Hall in the Keystone Central School District. Fisher says principal Karen Probst told county youth authorities to be suspicious of the boy’s claims. 

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Some Pennsylvania Congressmen say they won’t take a paycheck as long as the government shutdown continues, although most aren’t slated to miss a check unless it goes on until next month. Those on the list include Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey and more than half of Pennsylvania’s 18 House members. Lawmakers would automatically receive backpay when things get back to normal. Congress is working to make sure than hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be treated the same way.

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The partial shutdown of the federal government is now in its second week.  House Speaker John Boehner says President Obama’s refusal to sit down and negotiate with Republicans is hurting the nation. President Obama is repeating his request for Congress to craft a “clean” funding extension to end the partial government shutdown.  Obama also is urging lawmakers to raise the federal debt ceiling and avoid a default. 

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The partial government shutdown is not affecting the U.S. Supreme Court’s fall term that started Monday.  Today the high court will hear oral arguments on whether limitations on campaign contributions should be eased. 

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North Korea is not pleased about a joint military exercise between the U.S., South Korea and Japan.  Pyongyang is warning the U.S. a “horrible disaster” could occur if the naval drill takes place. 

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The fraud trial for aides of Ponzi-scheme king Bernie Madoff  begins today in Manhattan Federal Court. Madoff's former finance chief Frank DiPascali is the main prosecution witness.  He's expected to outline how each of the defendants helped defraud clients of Madoff's investment firm of almost $20 billion.

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Lawmakers in Florida are considering possible changes to the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws.  A bill has been introduced calling for law enforcement agencies to conduct full investigations of deadly shootings even when there's a claim of self-defense.

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An Oklahoma wildlife park employee who was attacked by a tiger over the weekend says she's to blame for the incident.  The “Oklahoman” has identified the victim as Kelli Saffery.  She says she broke protocol Saturday by sticking her hand into the big cat’s cage at the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park.

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A self-proclaimed anarchist will spend ten years in prison for plotting to blow up an Ohio bridge.  Joshua Stafford was one of five people charged in the plot to destroy a bridge 30 miles south of Cleveland. 

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A new hundred dollar bill is being introduced today.  The Federal Reserve has been working on the new, harder-to-counterfeit bill for over a decade.  One of its new anti-counterfeiting features is a copper inkwell with a holographic bell.   

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A much-anticipated “Frontline” report on accusations the National Football League has deliberately denied the risk of concussions airs tonight on PBS.  The program argues, through interviews with former players, doctors, and players' families, that the NFL has schemed for 20 years to play down any link between football and long-term brain injuries. 

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The war of words between Joan Rivers and the Writers Guild of America appears to be over.  Both sides have reportedly reached an agreement in their dispute over Rivers’ show “Fashion Police.”  The settlement, which will see Rivers refrain from writing during an ongoing “Fashion Police” writers’ strike, will skirt a trial that was scheduled to begin October 14th.  The Writers Guild of America had accused Rivers of violating its bylaws in the midst of an ongoing writers’ strike against the E! Network.

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Credit card balances are down again in the nation for the third straight month.  The latest figures from the Federal Reserve show they’ve declined about six-billion-dollars through August.  That hasn't been the case with other lines of credit, including auto loans and student debt.

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A runaway dog in Indiana recently completed a half-marathon.  According to WFIE-TV, the event's participants say the chocolate lab – named Boogie – ran on to the course just as the race got under way in Evansville this past weekend.  The pooch kept running until he finished the half-marathon, and then wound up in the hands of the Evansville Animal Care and Control.  Officers say Boogie was reunited with his family safe and sound

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While most people would like to have a solid financial base, the majority agree it’s the people in our lives – not our bankbook balance – that leads to happiness. Three-quarters of the respondents in a new CreditDonkey.com poll admit that being in debt makes them unhappy, and they’re happier when they have a good financial cushion.  But only 21 percent believe money can buy happiness, and just 10 percent think getting rich leads to a happy life overall.  Meanwhile 72 percent say having a good marriage and family life is what creates the most happiness over a lifetime.  In addition, 38 percent feel that prioritizing family and personal time over making money leads to longterm happiness.

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