MONDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2014

Online Threat At Trinity Middle School
State Police Reportedly Questioned three Juvenile suspects who they believe made the threats using pictures via Instagram. There was a heightened police presence at the school on Monday. No further details have been released on the identities of the suspects. Parents received an email Sunday night saying that administrators were aware of the threat and that North Franklin and State Police are investigating. Anyone with information about the person responsible for the threats is asked to contact Trinity Area School District Police.

Pipe Bomb Found At WV Car Dealership
ELKINS, W.Va. (AP) - Police are investigating a pipe bomb that prompted the evacuation of an Elkins auto dealership. Performance Motors marketing director Stephanie Murphy tells The Inter-Mountain that a mechanic discovered the device on Monday morning underneath a stack of crates. About a dozen employees were in the building when police evacuated the structure. Police also closed several surrounding streets. Police tell media outlets that the device was a pipe bomb but it didn't have active explosives. A West Virginia State Police bomb technician diffused the device. No arrests have been made.

On Alert
NEW YORK (AP) - Police departments across the country are telling their officers to be extra careful following the weekend ambush killing of two police officers in New York City. Officers in Newark, New Jersey, are being told not to patrol alone and to avoid people looking for confrontations. The chief of the NYPD has sent a memo asking officers to limit their comments on social media to "expressions of sorrow and condolence."

Sentencing Scheduled In Steubenville Rape Case
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) - A volunteer football coach whose Ohio house was the scene of a party that preceded the rape of a girl by two high school football players faces just under six months in jail for violating his probation. Former coach Matt Belardine (BELL'-ahr-deen) pleaded guilty in a Steubenville court last week to four counts of violating conditions of his release after previously pleading no contest to charges related to the rape. Special Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove was scheduled to sentence Belardine in Jefferson County court Monday. The state wants Belardine sentenced to six months in jail minus 10 days already served. Belardine admitted leaving the state without permission and going to a bar, consuming alcohol, and being arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct in Arizona.

Joe Cocker Dies
LONDON (AP) - British singer Joe Cocker is dead at age 70. His London-based agent, Barrie Marshall, said Cocker died early Monday of lung cancer in Colorado, where he has lived for the past two decades. Cocker was known for a memorable Woodstock performance and cover of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends." The ballad "You Are So Beautiful," with Cocker's voice cracking on the final emotional note, was a Top Ten hit in 1975. He reached the top of the charts in the 1980s with the duet "Up Where We Belong," with Jennifer Warnes, that appeared in the movie "An Officer and a Gentlemen." Cocker also had hits with Randy Newman's song, "You Can Leave Your Hat On" and "When the Night Comes."


Explosion At Car Wash Injures Two
Two people are recovering from injuries they suffered yesterday morning, in an explosion at Ducky's Car Washington in McDonald. Authorities say Rich Bongiorni of Burgettstown, the owner of the car wash, and Dennis Fodsey of McDonald, a customer, suffered various injuries and were taken to Mercy Hospital for treatment. Authorities say the explosion occurred when Bongiorni was in the office, lighting a boiler. Fodsey and his wife told police that shortly before the explosion, they could smell the odor of natural gas. (Photo: WPXI)

No Compromise On Pittsburgh Abortion Issue
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Attorneys for the city of Pittsburgh and anti-abortion activists have been unable to reach a compromise on an ordinance that establishes a 15-foot buffer zone for protesters around abortion clinic entrances. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports lawyers for both sides say they will keep talking, but also will file a final set of legal arguments for the judge to rule on the issue.

Good News From The Nation's Coal Mines
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Deaths and injuries at the nation's coal mines have been declining since a West Virginia underground mining disaster killed 29 workers less than five years ago. Coal mines are on pace this year to set a new low mark in mining deaths. So far in 2014 there have been 15 coal mine-related deaths, and with less than a month left in the year, the number could stay below the record 18 set in 2009.

NJ Governor Demands Cuba Return Cop Killer
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he disagrees with President Obama's decision to normalize relations with Cuba and wants the president to demand the return of a convicted cop killer before diplomatic relations proceed. Christie outlined his requests in a letter sent to the White House last week and released by his office Sunday. Joanne Chesimard was convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973 but escaped from prison and fled to Cuba, where she was granted asylum. A spokeswoman for the White House's National Security Council says it will continue to press the Cuban government to return U.S. fugitives. Christie has generally refrained from weighing in on foreign policy issues as he mulls a run for president in 2016.

Pope Has Scathing Critique Of Vatican Bureaucracy
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has issued a blistering critique of the Vatican bureaucracy that serves him. He has denounced how some lust for power at the expense of others, live hypocritical double lives and suffer from "spiritual Alzheimer's" that has made them forget they're supposed to be joyful men of God. Francis' Christmas greeting Monday to the cardinals, bishops and priests who run the Holy See was less a joyful exchange of holiday good wishes than a sobering catalog of what Francis called the "ailments of the Curia" that he hoped would be atoned for and cured. Francis has not shied from complaining about the gossiping, careerism and power intrigues that afflict the Vatican. But as his reform agenda gathers steam, he seems even more emboldened to highlight what ails the institution.

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