Today's News - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The 25-county federal court district in Western Pennsylvania has been targeted by an email identity theft scam. Officials say the district, which has courts in Pittsburgh, Erie and Johnstown, is one of at least 14 targeted by the scammers. The emails appear to be official and claim to be sent as part of the "National E-Juror Program," a real program used to register jurors in about 80 U.S. Court districts. Some ask for Social Security or credit card numbers and claim the recipient owes a fine for missing jury duty. Court officials say potential jurors are contacted through the U.S. Postal Service only.

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At his preliminary hearing Tuesday, 48-year-old Michael Ambush was ordered to stand trial on charges of threatening and harassing a woman in June. Police say Ambush screamed at the woman at Rocky’s Tavern in the Woodvale neighborhood of Johnstown. Ambush is free on bond.

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A preliminary hearing is scheduled today for 25-year-old Kyle Rodgers of the Johnstown area who is accused of fatally shooting his live-in girlfriend in May. Rodgers claims 20-year-old Linsey Wolfe was killed when his gun accidentally went off during a dispute in their Bloom Street apartment. He’s represented by Altoona defense attorney Tom Dickey.

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Patton Township police are looking for the man who robbed the State College Radio Shack at gunpoint around noon Tuesday. He allegedly showed the clerk a handgun and demanded cash. The suspect is described as a black man, 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, in his early 20s with short dreadlocks. He was wearing blue jeans and a white t-shirt. Anyone with information should call Patton Township police.

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AAA Fuel Gauge says Western Pennsylvania gas prices dipped about five cents to $3.67 a gallon this week. The average for regular unleaded across Pennsylvania is $3.60. And nationally, for the first time since March 12, the average dropped below $3.50 to $3.49. Today’s national average is at the lowest level for early August since 2010.

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The Department of Environmental Protection says two mosquitoes have tested positive for the West Nile Virus. They were found July 25 in Ashville, Cambria County and also in Rush Township, Centre County. To combat the spread of the virus, Pennsylvania has developed a comprehensive network which covers 40 counties. Officials trap mosquitoes, collect dead birds, and monitor horses and people.

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Penelec is one of four First Energy subsidiaries filing a request with the state Public Utility Commission to increase rates effective October 3. According to the “Altoona Mirror,” Penelec, West Penn Power, Met-Ed, and Penn Power want to raise bills by about 8.6 percent, which would cost the average residential customer an extra $19.58 per month. Spokesman Scott Surgeoner says First Energy filed a base distribution rate increase proposal in 2006, but it was rejected by the PUC.

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A judge has ruled that Jerry Sandusky’s new attorney can have grand jury transcripts and others materials held by his previous defense team, but the “Centre Daily Times” reports the judge is holding the lawyer to the same protective order that’s been in place in the case since the trial. Alexander Lindsay, an attorney from Butler, says he is representing Sandusky in a post-conviction relief act appeal. That gives people who have exhausted other opportunities for appeal another chance to have their cases heard. It’s not clear on what grounds Sandusky would make the PCRA appeal, which is limited to certain arguments.

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American aid worker Nancy Writebol is now being treated for an Ebola infection at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital. She's reportedly very weak, but showing signs of improvement. Meantime, the White House says the CDC is actively engaged with other global health organizations in responding to the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

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An Army General killed in Afghanistan is the highest ranking U.S. officer to die while serving since the Vietnam war. U.S. officials say Major General Harold J. Greene was killed when a man believed to be an Afghan soldier opened fire at a military academy in Kabul. More than a dozen other troops were injured in the attack, including eight Americans.

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The military is about to get some answers from Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. His lawyer says Bergdahl will be questioned today about the circumstances of his disappearance in Afghanistan and capture by Taliban militants in 2009. Bergdahl was held captive for five years before being released in May as part of a controversial prisoner exchange.

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President Obama's approval rating is at an all-time low. An "NBC News-Wall Street Journal" poll shows the President's approval rating has sunk to 40 percent. The news is a lot worse for Congress, which has a 14 percent approval rating. The biggest reason for the discontent is the economy.

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Search teams continue to look for a missing six-year-old girl in Washington state. Janise Wright was last seen in her bedroom Saturday night in Bremerton, west of Seattle. On Tuesday searchers combed through the woods near the trailer park where she lives but found nothing. A spokesman for the local sheriff's department says the girl's parents took a lie detector test and are cooperating with authorities.

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At least 14 people are recovering from injuries that occurred after two double-decker tour buses collided in Times Square. Fire officials say a tour guide on one of the buses was hurt along with 13 pedestrians. None of the injuries appear to be serious and most of the injured were hit by flying debris from the buses and light post.

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Sprint is deciding not to ring in rival T-Mobile. Sprint will no longer pursue a deal to purchase their wireless opponent after numerous challenges to score winning approval from regulators. The value of T-Mobile is estimated to be $32 billion. Both parties have not ruled out a consolidation in the future.

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A St. Louis-area man who raped and strangled his neighbor is dead following his execution in Missouri. The state executed Michael Worthington shortly after midnight, Central time Wednesday. Worthington's is the first execution in the nation since last month's Arizona execution that raised questions about the legality of lethal injections.

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A new service helps parents choose baby names based on domain availability. Awesomebabyname.com allows parents to type in the baby's last name and whether it's a boy, girl, "or whatever." The site will search the internet to see which first names are domain-friendly, allowing you to create a dot-com address with the baby's first and last name.

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Storm Troopers invading Disneyland? It could happen. While announcing huge gains over its third quarter during an earnings report Tuesday, Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger also revealed plans to ramp up the "Star Wars'" presence at Walt Disney's theme parks. Iger says he sees even more gains with a bigger "Star Wars" presence.

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The majority of employees believe it's important to be courteous to their co-workers. More than 80-percent of those taking part in an Accountemps survey say the way a person treats others on the job plays a role in getting a promotion. Forty-percent think being polite can actually "accelerate advancement."

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