Today's News - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg was shut down for a while yesterday. Now police have arrested a man and a woman in connection with the bomb threats. Fifty-year-old Stephen Jablonski was picked up in the Moxham neighborhood of Johnstown Tuesday afternoon. Bomb-sniffing dogs searched the courthouse and found no explosives. Police tracked down the suspects after viewing surveillance video from the Richland Township Walmart where the phone used to make the threat was purchased.

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Forty-eight months probation is the sentence for 74-year-old Harry Jones of Johnstown who pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless endangerment for attempting to lure two boys into his truck in 2012. His co-defendant, 45-year-old Richard Norton of Johnstown will be sentenced next month. The incident happened in Old Conemaugh Borough and the boys were 12 and 7 at the time.

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An Adams Township police investigation not only netted the alleged suspect in a robbery, but uncovered a crime ring based in South Fork. Five people have been arrested in connection with a number of break-ins in the area. The crime has been linked to drugs.

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A Cambria County judge yesterday sentenced 23-year-old Anthony Poukish of Johnstown to 5 to 10 years in prison. According to “The Tribune-Democrat,” Poukish told the judge he robbed First National Bank on Walnut Street at gunpoint back in June because he was tired of helping others. He received a concurrent sentence for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl he met on Facebook.

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It broke out Saturday, and that wildfire continues to rage on Will’s Mountain in Cumberland Valley Township, Bedford County. The flames have now scorched more than 800 acres. Officials say about 50 percent of the fire has been contained and dozens of firefighters from Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia are working to stop it from spreading. Motorists driving on Route 220 in the Centerville area are advised that the speed limit has been lowered to 35 miles an hour due to the low visibility caused by smoke.

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Western Pa. gas prices keep climbing, up almost six cents to $3.72 a gallon this week according to AAA Fuel Gauge. Today’s national average is $3.67, two cents more than last week, 14 cents more than one month ago and 15 cents more than the same date last year. Refineries are required to start producing summer-blend gasoline by May 1, and some go off-line for scheduled maintenance at this time of year.

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The U.S. is sending about 600 troops to Poland and the Baltics because of Russia's actions in Ukraine. The Pentagon announced that 150 paratroopers from the Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade will arrive in Poland for military exercises today. Another 450 troops are being deployed to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania over the next few days.

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President Obama is praising all the people who are helping a Washington state community recover from last month's devastating mudslide. The President on Tuesday toured the site of the mudslide in tiny Oso, Wash., about 55 miles northeast of Seattle. Obama met with families who lost loved ones in the mudslide that killed 41 people. Two people are still missing.

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Missouri has carried out its sixth execution in six months. William Rousan was pronounced dead at ten minutes past midnight Central time. He was convicted of murdering a couple more than 20 years ago.

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The U.S. Supreme Court says states can end affirmative action without violating the Constitution. In a 6-2 ruling Tuesday, the court upheld Michigan's ban on affirmative action in public college admissions. The ruling means a state constitution may be amended to prohibit preferential consideration in college admissions based on race and gender.

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, the vice-president's wife, will be at Fort Campbell, Kentucky today for a jobs summit focused on putting veterans to work. Recently released statistics show more than 700,000 veterans were unemployed last year.

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The death toll keeps rising in last week's South Korean ferry tragedy. At least 138 bodies have now been recovered, while more than 160 people are listed as missing. Most of the passengers on board the ill-fated vessel were high school students.

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A California man is calling it quits in his efforts to be the oldest American to climb Mt. Everest. Sixty-eight-year-old Jim Geiger of Sacramento posted in his blog Tuesday that out of respect for the 16 Sherpa guides killed in Friday's avalanche and his own responsibilities to his family, he is abandoning his quest after reaching the 1,800 foot level.

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The mother of a high school student killed in a tour bus crash in Northern California is suing over her daughter's death. Rosa Rivera has filed a negligence lawsuit against FedEx, saying the company has a history of fires breaking out in its vehicles. Rivera's daughter Jennifer Bonilla was one of ten people killed on April 10th when the tour bus they were in collided with a FedEx truck outside Orland.

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The NYPD's effort to reach out to the community through Twitter seems to have backfired. The department's official twitter account asked people to post pictures of themselves with police officers, but some users hacked the hashtag and posted pictures allegedly showing police roughing people up.

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More details about the teenager who hid inside a wheel well on a flight from San Jose to Hawaii on Easter are coming out. A homeland security official tells the "Los Angeles Times" that an airport security camera captured the boy jumping a perimeter fence at the airport, more than six hours before the plane took off.

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Ohio voters could decide as soon as November whether to legalize same-sex marriage. Today, gay-rights supporters got permission to start gathering signatures for a proposed state constitutional amendment. To get the question on the November ballot, supporters must have 385,247 verified signatures.

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A new study finds that Medicare pays male doctors almost twice as much, on average as it does female doctors. The study by the financial analytics group NerdWallet reports that the average male physician gets nearly $119,000 a year in Medicare reimbursements, while the average female doctor collects just over $63,000.

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Federal investigators say last year's deadly fertilizer plant explosion in Texas could have been prevented. A U.S. Chemical Safety Board report released Tuesday said the West Fertilizer Company blast could have been prevented if plant managers had safely stored the supply of ammonium nitrate. The explosion killed 15 people and leveled dozens of homes.

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A lot of young adults would rather not have a car. Nearly two-thirds of the 18-to-34-year olds answering a Rockefeller Foundation poll cite the quality of public transportation as a primary consideration in choosing a place to live. More than 45-percent of car owners say they'd give up their vehicle if they lived in a place with viable alternative means of transportation.

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U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware marked Earth Day by announcing legislation that would designate the nation's first coast-to-coast trail. The American Discovery Trail stretches 6,800 miles from Delaware to California. The bill would make the ADT part of the National Trails System.

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Stephen Colbert is surveying the late night landscape on network television. The Comedy Central funnyman dropped by CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman" Tuesday for a sitdown with the man he will be replacing next year. Colbert's "Late Show" visit Tuesday marked his first appearance on the show since he was announced as Letterman's successor two weeks ago.

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Drew Barrymore is a mom again. The actress has confirmed to "People" that she gave birth to her second child – Frankie Barrymore Kopelman – on Tuesday. The baby girl is Drew's second daughter with husband Will Kopelman. The couple welcomed their first child Olive two years ago.

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