Today's News - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Democratic State Representative Gary Haluska of Cambria County has decided not to seek re-election. He says the new Republican-created legislative boundaries are the reason. Haluska has served the 73rd legislative district for more than 20 years. His term will end November 30.

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Jay Paterno yesterday officially entered the race for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor and there are five other candidates, including former Congressman Mark Critz of Johnstown. The current lieutenant governor, Republican Jim Cawley, will run unopposed. Incumbent Tom Corbett has a Republican challenger in Robert Guzzardi.

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Sentencing was scheduled yesterday in Cambria County Court for 34-year-old Dave Malloy, but it’s been postponed until May 1. Police say the Vintondale man was drunk in December 2011 when his car crashed in Jackson Township killing his passenger, 26-year-old Kaylynn Reynolds, also of Vintondale. Investigators say he was driving more than 75 miles per hour in a 45 zone and his blood alcohol was twice the legal limit.

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A preliminary hearing is scheduled today in Bedford County court for 45-year-old Michael Edmondson of Everett. He’s charged with more than 2,400 child sex abuse counts, accused of raping three different female relatives when they were girls between 2002 and 2014. Edmonson is jailed and also charged with threatening to kill at least one of the alleged victims.

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Yesterday in Bedford County Court, a jury was selected for the trial of 79-year-old Richard Maine of the Blue Knob area. He’s accused of sexually assaulting two female relatives starting when they were 8- and 10-years-old. The girls claim Maine threatened them to keep quiet and his wife urged them to lie about the abuse. Maine remains jailed on $250,000 bond.

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A bill that would make volunteer firefighters exempt from certain healthcare mandates is on its way to the U.S. Senate. The legislation, introduced by State Representative Lou Barletta, passed unanimously in the house last night. Barletta says the current law designates volunteer firefighters as full-time employees and most fire departments can't afford mandated health care coverage.

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Dottie Sandusky still believes her husband, Jerry, is not guilty and she’ll appear on NBC’s “Today” show this morning. Dottie Sandusky sat down with Matt Lauer Monday. Jerry Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-years in prison.

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One of the defense attorneys who represented Jerry Sandusky is being investigated for the potential theft of a significant amount of money from his clients. Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed released a statement saying he learned last week about allegations against Karl Rominger that concern a divorce case. Rominger tells the Associated Press that he’s “cooperating completely” and in an audio statement released on his Facebook page, Rominger said he had “wronged” others.

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State Senators Any Dinniman and Tommy Tomlinson are proposing legislation that would allow state-owned universities to opt out of the state system of higher education. The lawmakers say many universities are struggling financially due to declining in enrollment and allowing them to become "state-related" rather than "state owned" will give them more flexibility meeting enrollment needs. Universities would need more than 7,000 students to leave the system and would also be required to compensate the state for the property.

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The mysterious disappearance of a Malaysian airliner is still baffling searchers. Flight 370 vanished from radar on Saturday while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard, including several Americans. Since then, a massive international effort has been unable to uncover any clues about the flight's fate.

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People from the Great Lakes to New England are in for some heavy snow. Chicago-area commuters could be plowing through as much as eight inches of fresh snow this morning, and up to a foot expected in Cleveland before the storm moves on. Western New York is under a blizzard warning with 18 inches of snow forecast for Rochester, where winds will gust to 44 miles an hour. ]

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Most Americans say they see Russia as a foe, not a friend. The NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll finds 72 percent of people surveyed say Russia is an adversary, and more than six in ten have a negative view of Russian president Vladimir Putin. The poll finds Americans split almost evenly on President Obama's reaction to Russian occupation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

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Healthcare enrollment is showing lackluster numbers for February. New government figures report that more than 940,000 people enrolled in the new health insurance exchanges last month, down from one-point-one million the previous month. A total of 4.2 million people have signed up in the past few months.

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There's a new lead in the frantic search for missing Mississippi girl. Authorities are looking into a reported sighting of two-year-old Myra Lewis at a South Memphis motel Tuesday. The FBI is investigating.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is "disappointed" in the CIA. Reid says the spy agency is "apparently unrepentant" in a dispute with the Senate Intelligence Committee. This, after California Democrat Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA of snooping in a secure computer network that was set up exclusively for the intel panel she chairs.

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Things are returning to normal at Facebook's company headquarters in Menlo Park, California following a brief evacuation. Police were called to the scene late Tuesday night and cleared the main campus, sending employees away on buses. The "San Jose Mercury News" reports the temporary evacuation was sparked by a "non-credible" threat phoned in to the San Francisco Police Department.

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President Obama's plummeting popularity is hitting a new low. The latest "Wall Street Journal"/NBC News poll puts the President's job-approval rating at its lowest since he took office. The survey shows a major drop in approval for Obama's handling of foreign policy.

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A Texas mother is encouraging Bexar County to pass an ordinance to keep kids from seeing lewd concerts like Miley Cyrus. Bobbie Mueller tells the "San Antonio Express-News" Cyrus' show is "beyond obscene." She's pushing the County Commissioners to make it a Class C misdemeanor for any parent who lets their child under the age of 13 go to the concert alone. Cyrus is scheduled to perform Saturday at the county-owned AT&T Center.

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A man who spent nearly 30 years on Louisiana's death row is free after new evidence showed he did not murder a jeweler in 1983. A now-64-year-old Glenn Ford was released from the maximum security prison at Angola Tuesday night.

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Texas Governor Rick Perry didn't get the warmest of welcomes when he stopped by ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" Tuesday. He was greeted with a mix of boos and cheers as he walked out on the stage in Austin, Texas. Perry joked that receptions like the one he got on Kimmel's show may have had something to do with his decision not to run for reelection in Texas this year. At the same time, he also hinted that he might be thinking about making another run at the White House.

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People who suffer from migraines are getting a new treatment option. The FDA approved the TENS device Tuesday for marketing. The battery-powered device is portable and looks like a plastic headband worn across the forehead.

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AAA Fuel Gauge says Western Pa. gas prices remain unchanged this week, staying at $3.66 a gallon. Today’s national average is $3.49, three cents more expensive than one week ago and 20 cents more than one month ago. National prices are still 21 cents per gallon less than the same date last year.

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White House spokesman Jay Carney is defending President Obama's appearance on "Between 2 Ferns." He said the appearance was "designed to reach Americans where they live." The intentionally-awkward Internet comedy show is hosted by actor Zach Galifianakis.

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A new study suggests low-weight female newborns may have trouble having their own babies. Swedish researchers studied women undergoing fertility treatment. They learned those women weighing less than five-and-a-half pounds at birth had twice as many problems conceiving.

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