Today's News - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

More details about that tragic accident in Conemaugh Township, Somerset County, Monday afternoon. Eight-year-old Ryhleigh and 6-year-old Macayla Friewald were in the back seat of a car when a large, rotten tree fell on it along Route 403. The girls were killed and their two younger sisters were injured. The driver, 36-year-old Jason Himebaugh, and front seat passenger, 26-year-old Ashley Lichty, remain in serious condition at Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown. Lichty is about 8-months pregnant, but the baby is said to be doing okay. A fund has been set up for the family at First Summit Bank in Westmont. Money is also being raised through the website GoFundMe.com.

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A Cambria County judge has sentenced Kevin McGee of Johnstown to 14 to 31 years in prison for attempted homicide. He fired gunshots into an empty police cruiser outside the Richland Municipal Building in 2012. McGee was also convicted of pointing a gun at the building. He was then shot in the stomach.

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32-year-old Jermaine Jones, of Johnstown, will stand trial in Cambria County Court for allegedly possessing and dealing heroin. Police say they stopped a car that Jones was a passenger in and found drugs and money. Jones’ girlfriend’s home was also searched where more drugs and cash were found, including vials of fentanyl.

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One man was taken to the hospital last evening after a stabbing at the Solomon Homes in Johnstown. Police say it happened near Building Four. No other details have been released.

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Forty-six-year-old Patrick Ellis of Cresson is scheduled at a preliminary hearing today in Altoona. He was arrested last week after he allegedly threatened to kill a staff member at Valley View Nursing Home. She had reportedly refused to turn over confidential medical information to Ellis. He told police he is a sovereign citizen and not subject to U.S. laws.

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The state auditor general is angry over a report that claims the department of public welfare has been giving benefits to people who have died. Eugene DePasquale released a report yesterday claiming more than $212,000 has been handed out to 138 dead people. DPW officials say about half of the 138 people are still alive and only five cases involved fraud. DePasquale's report was part of a welfare audit he plans to release next year.

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A $29 billion state budget plan is on its way to the house floor. Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee approved the plan yesterday despite Democrats' objections. The bill would not raise taxes, but would instead fill the budget gap with revenues from a proposal to privatize the state’s liquor stores and transfers from special funds. Democrats instead want a tax added to gas drilling and rollbacks of business-tax cuts.

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The head of the Pennsylvania State Police is asking Attorney General Kathleen Kane to clarify accusations she made in connection to the Jerry Sandusky case. Kane implied Monday that if an arrest had been made earlier, two additional victims would have been spared abuse, but Commissioner Frank Noonan said yesterday he does not know who Kane is referring to. Kane's office later released a statement saying evidence exists that indicates two individuals were victimized in the fall of 2009.

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AAA Fuel Gauge says Western Pa. gas prices rose more than four cents to an average of $3.82 a gallon this week. As we approach the end of the first full month of the 2014 summer driving season, the national price for regular unleaded is $3.68, which is the highest price for early summer in six years.

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Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson is traveling to Nogales, Arizona today. He'll be visiting facilities that are housing hundreds of unaccompanied migrant children who have crossed the U.S.- Mexico border illegally. Johnson told lawmakers Tuesday in a House hearing that the government is actively seeking more shelter space to properly care for the apprehended children.

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Congressional Democrats and Republicans agree that patients deserve faster treatment at Veterans Affairs medical centers, but they don't agree on how to pay for it. Lawmakers in both parties indicated Tuesday they are shocked at the $35 billion to $40 billion price tag for a VA reform bill.

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Pilot error likely played a role in last summer's crash of an Asiana Airlines flight at San Francisco International Airport. Speaking during a hearing Tuesday morning in Washington, acting NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said the flight crew wasn't accustomed to the Boeing 777 they were flying.

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Google is taking another shot at TV today. The search engine giant will show off its version of a set-top box at the company's annual developer conference. Google's Android TV software will power the box to deliver movies, games and other digital content.

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House Speaker John Boehner is considering a lawsuit challenging executive actions of the Obama administration. In a meeting with house Republicans Tuesday, he reportedly discussed the possibility of filing the lawsuit to curtail the president's power. A spokesman for Boehner says the president has exceeded his constitutional authority.

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A federal judge says the no-fly list violates the Constitution. U.S. District Judge Anna Brown in Oregon made the ruling Tuesday. She was considering a case filed by 13 Muslim Americans who claim there was no reason for them to be on the list.

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Ford is launching its new Edge with a redesigned global platform. A Ford spokesman said Tuesday this will be the first Ford in North America to offer enhanced active park assist, which helps not only with parallel parking but with perpendicular parking as well. The Edge will be built at Ford's Oakville Assembly Plant near Toronto.

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A lawsuit filed by the parents of George Zimmerman against TV comedienne Roseanne is being sent back to a Florida court. The "Orlando Sentinel" reports that the money sought by Robert and Gladys Zimmerman doesn't meet the threshold of being argued in federal court. The Zimmermans sued Barr for tweeting their home address in the weeks after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

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A possible tornado is being blamed for damaging several homes in the Indianapolis area. Spotters say the twister caused significant damage near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Tuesday afternoon. No injuries were reported.

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An apparent biting incident at the World Cup is becoming an internet sensation. Uruguay's Luis Suarez appeared to bite the shoulder of Italian opponent Giorgio Chiellini during today's Group D match. One Twitter user created an animated image from footage from the movie "Jaws" that substituted Suarez for the shark.

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The tragic deaths of 19 Arizona firefighters killed while battling a wildfire last year will be the subject of an upcoming movie. Ken Nolan, the screenwriter behind 2001's "Blackhawk Down," is writing the script about the Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighter crew. Deadline.com says Scott Cooper, whose credits include "Out Of The Furnace" and "Crazy Heart," will direct.

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A visit to Facebook is landing one Minnesota man behind bars. According to Minneapolis' WCCO-TV, Nicholas Wig logged onto Facebook at the St. Paul home he allegedly broke into earlier this month. The homeowner, James Wood, came home to find his home wrecked, but also discovered that Wig hadn't logged out. Wood posted his own phone number to Wig's Facebook wall and got a response from him.

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Today is the five year anniversary of Michael Jackson's death. Jackson died just days before he was scheduled to launch a series of comeback concerts in London. His estate has reportedly earned more than $700 million since his passing.

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KFC says a Mississippi girl was never actually asked to leave one of their restaurants because of facial scars. Following two investigations, no evidence of the incident has been found and the restaurant chain says it was all a hoax and the case is now closed. KFC is however honoring its promise to make a $30 thousand donation to the family of three-year-old Victoria Wilcher.

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