TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2014

California University Lays Off Staff
California University of Pennsylvania has announced plans to lay-off workers. University officials say sixteen employees will actually lose their jobs while fourteen positions will be eliminated through attrition. University spokesperson Chris Kindl tells WJPA News that enrollment this fall has declined over three-percent, compared with last year, and personnel costs have risen dramatically, so the reduction in staff is an attempt to align the workforce with the school's budget.

Motion To Suppress Evidence
Attorneys in the case involving former Common Pleas Judge Paul Pozonsky have submitted arguments over how evidence was obtained. Defense attorneys Robert Del Greco and Mark Fiorilli ague that documents seized from Pozonsky's office were taken illegally and without a search warrant. The Attorney General's office maintains the evidence was obtained properly using an administrative order signed by President Judge Debbie O'Dell Seneca. Briefs were filed on Monday and attorneys have another ten days to file rebuttals. Bedford County Judge Daniel Howsare will then issue his ruling. Pozonsky is accused of conflict of interest, theft, obstruction of justice and drug possession.

Study Says Don't Blame Fracking
WASHINGTON (AP) - A new study says that the drilling procedure called fracking didn't cause much-publicized cases of tainted water, blaming contamination on leaky natural gas wells instead. The study finds that eight hydraulically fractured wells in Pennsylvania and Texas leaked gas because the piping and cement seals in the wells themselves weren't working properly. The process of pumping highly pressurized chemicals and water underground to get valuable natural gas trapped in shale has become highly charged as contamination complaints initially surged. Ohio State University geochemist Thomas Darrah and colleagues used certain elements to trace where the leaks came from. He said finding them in the wells rather than the fracking process, means contamination is more preventable and fixable. The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.

Military Leaders Discuss Terrorist Threat
WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's top military leader says strikes against Islamic extremists in Syria will be persistent and sustainable as President Barack Obama expands the military campaign to combat the terrorist threat. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate panel today that the Islamic State militant group is not organized. He said the strikes will degrade the group. Joining Dempsey was Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who defended Obama's strategy. Hagel said the fight will not be easy or brief.

Stun Gun Use Under Review In Missouri
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) - The FBI is investigating after a police officer in suburban Kansas City, Missouri, used a stun gun to subdue a 17-year-old during a traffic stop, leaving him hospitalized in critical condition. Police say an officer used a stun gun on Bryce Masters of Independence yesterday afternoon. They say Masters was uncooperative and that he physically resisted after he was stopped because the car he was driving had a warrant attached to it. The FBI's Kansas City office will investigate whether the officer used excessive force.

President Obama Brings Ebola Survivor To White House
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has met at the White House today with Dr. Kent Brantly, an American physician who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia. He recovered after treatment with an experimental drug. Obama later today is visiting the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. He'll be announcing a stepped-up response to West Africa's Ebola crisis. It'll include sending 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the region to supply medical and logistical support to health care systems.

Congress Debates Help For Moderate Rebels
WASHINGTON (AP) - The House and Senate are on a tight schedule as they race to authorize an expanded mission to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels. The Obama administration says the training operation is needed to establish credible, local grounded forces to accompany U.S. air strikes against the militant group Islamic State. Republicans are expected to hold internal talks today.

Severance Package At United Airlines
CHICAGO (AP) - United Airlines is offering flight attendants up to $100,000 in severance if they leave the company. United and the Association of Flight Attendants announced a deal under which some of United's 23,000 flight attendants will be offered the lump-sum payments in order of seniority. United says the early-outs will help it match staffing to its flight schedule.

LeBron James Won't Get "Named" Roller Coaster
SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's Cedar Point amusement park won't be renaming a roller coaster after LeBron James after all. Instead, it's forming a partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation. The Sandusky park had promised to rename a coaster "King James" if the NBA star left Miami and returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers, which he did. But park officials say they and James have decided that partnering with the nonprofit will have a greater impact than renaming a ride. The park will hold a first-ride benefit auction next spring and host children involved with the foundation's programs next summer.

Suspect: Armed & Dangerous
UNDATED (AP) Pennsylvania State Police say the suspect in the killing of a trooper and the critical wounding of another outside a rural barracks is a survivalist who has expressed a desire to kill law enforcement officers and commit mass murder. State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan identified the suspect as 31-year-old Eric Matthew Frein (freen), of Canadensis, Pennsylvania. Noonan says about 200 law enforcement officials are looking for Frein, but his whereabouts are unknown. Noonan says Frein is considered armed and "extremely dangerous." An assailant killed 38-year-old Cpl. Bryon Dickson and critically wounded Trooper Alex Douglass outside a state police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania on Friday night, then slipped away. (Photo: WPXI)

Tom Wolf Impresssed With Canonsburg School
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf stopped off at the Canonsburg Middle School Monday morning, saying he liked what he saw, especially with technology labs. Wolf also talked about the education funding policies of his November opponent, Governor Tom Corbett. In an interview with WJPA NEWS, Wolf said education funding could be increased substantially with a severance tax on Maracellus Shale drilling. Wolf said education funding is not a priority with the Corbett administration even though the administration has maintained that education funding has actually increased while Corbett has been in office. "I know the election is November 4th, not today," Wolf told WJPA News, and said he would continue "working hard" to present his vision to Pennsylvanians leading up to the election.

Ford Acquitted Of Aggravated Assault
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh prosecutors are weighing their next move after a black man left paralyzed when he was shot by a white Pittsburgh police officer was acquitted of aggravated assault and jurors hung on the remaining charges. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said Monday the judge declared a mistrial in the criminal trial of 21-year-old Leon Ford. Police have said Ford was shot during a struggle with officers when he tried to drive way during a November 2012 traffic stop. Ford's attorneys say police confused him with a wanted gang member. The paper says Officer David Derbish testified that Ford tried to push him out an open door as the vehicle was moving. Ford is pursuing a civil lawsuit over the incident.

Bill Would Allow Teachers To Carry Guns
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A bill to allow Pennsylvania teachers and other school employees to carry guns at work is drawing a mixed reaction. Republican Sen. Donald White, the prime sponsor, said Tuesday at a Senate Education Committee hearing the bill would give school boards more options for protecting students. Indiana Area High School teacher Mark Zilinskas testifies that it would enable school employees licensed and trained to use guns to potentially prevent a mass shooting, rather than react to it. He cited the 2012 massacre of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and an April knife attack at a school near Pittsburgh that injured 21 people. But Sen. Anthony Williams of Philadelphia says it's a bad idea to place such a grave responsibility on people whose principal interest is educating children.

UN Names Leonardo DiCaprio A Messenger Of Peace
NEW YORK (AP) - The United Nations has named Leonardo DiCaprio a UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the announcement Tuesday, calling DiCaprio "a credible voice in the environmental movement." He also invited the actor to the upcoming UN Climate Summit planned for September 23. DiCaprio said he was honored by the role and that he feels "a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history" about the threat of climate change. Messengers of Peace are selected from the arts, music, literature and sports. They agree to help bring attention to UN work. Previous actors named to the honor include George Clooney, Edward Norton and Charlize Theron. The 39-year-old "Wolf of Wall Street" star founded an environmental foundation in 1998.

 


   
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