Friday, April 20, 2007

National and State News-Friday, April 20th

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House could be poised to pass an Iraq war funding measure that has a weaker troop withdrawal provision than some Democrats wanted. Diane Watson of California says House members want to send President Bush a bill and let him veto it.
Bush is on the stump in Michigan today for a no-strings measure.

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Parents and officials are urging people to focus on the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings. Virginia's governor has declared today a day of mourning and called for a moment of silence at noon. One parent of a victim says the world should "know and celebrate our children's lives."

WASHINGTON (AP) - The fate of Paul Wolfowitz is under discussion at the World Bank. The organization's board has ordered an ad hoc group to discuss the turmoil created by revelations that Wolfowitz helped his girlfriend get a big raise. The World Bank fights global poverty.

NEW YORK (AP) - BlackBerry users now know it was a software glitch that left (m) millions of them without wireless e-mail access. BlackBerry maker Research in Motion says the problem was an insufficiently tested software update at the company's network data center. About eight (m) million of the devices are now in use.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - A Swedish hospital says it's getting too much static that needs to stop. So the hospital wants to ban its staff from wearing those popular Crocs plastic clogs. It says the U-S-made shoes generate static electricity blamed for knocking out some medical equipment.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Remembrances for the Virginia Tech massacre are planned for Penn State's annual Blue-White spring football game tomrrow . Students wearing maroon and orange shirts are to form a "V-T" symbol in the stands. Cheerleaders are to lead "Let's Go Hokies" chants. Yesterday, relatives of shooting victim Jeremy Herbstritt sat quietly in the front of a worship hall in State College during a memorial. Students and staff lit candles and
signed a condolence banner to mourn the death of the Penn State graduate and 31 others slain in the massacre. Herbstritt was a grad student at Virgnia Tech. Several students and staffers wore Virginia Tech sweat shirts, while others donned clothing with maroon and orange, Tech's school colors.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) - Prosecutors in Williamsport say a fatal shooting there was payback for an earlier crime involving two Philadelphia men. The district attorney contends that 24-year-old Johnathan Mitchell killed 28-year-old Idreis Jones in 2005. Prosecutors say Mitchell shot Jones because Jones had robbed and kidnapped Mitchell a few years ago. They also say Mitchell confessed to a friend after the fact and also called his mother saying he had killed someone. There were no witnesses to the murder and the weapon used has not been recovered. Trial resumes this morning in Lycoming County Court.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - John Amaechi says he hasn't heard a word from any former N-B-A teammates since he publicly acknowledged his homosexuality. But was the exact opposite with his former Penn State teammates. He says he's received messages from every one of them. Amaechi he got a warm reception during a 90-minute appearance at his alma mater last night. In his talk to students Amaechi said he was a "geek" and "gym rat" in his college days.
He encouraged students to strive for perfection, and to not be apathetic about issues of diversity.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - State College school district officials canceled classes today, the anniversary of the killings at Columbine High School. Police say a threatening note was found late yesterday afternoon in a high school bathroom and authorities are investigating the credibility of the threats. Authorities say they are concerned because today marks the
eighth anniversary of the killings of 13 people at Columbine High School in 1999 -- and in light of the shootings this week at Virginia Tech. In western Pennsylvania, Plum School District, about 15 miles east of Pittsburgh, will ban backpacks and large purses today based on an unspecified threat. Bethel Park, Thomas Jefferson and Allegheny Valley school districts, all in the Pittsburgh suburbs, also have dealt with unspecified threats this week.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The trial of three Beltzhoover men accused of gunning down a student with an assault rifle outside Carrick High School is moving forward despite an effort by the defense to have it postponed because of the Virginia Tech massacre. Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning ruled yesterday that jury selection will begin today for 21-year-old Jheri Matthews, 22-year-old Howard Kelley and 24-year-old Shawn Wilmer. They are charged in the March 16th, 2005, shooting death of Keith Watts Junior. Matthews' attorney, Michael Foglia, asked Manning to postpone the trial for two months because news coverage of the Virginia Tech
massacre would influence jurors. Manning polled potential jurors and only six out of 70 said the
Virginia Tech massacre would influence them.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier has moved to drop a lawsuit against his daughter after she pledged to help him locate his missing business records.
A lawyer for Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde says the file at the center of the legal dispute never left "Smokin' Joe's" North Philadelphia gym. Frazier's lawyer says he reluctantly agreed to drop the suit but vows to refile it "quicker than a Joe Frazier left hook" if Frazier-Lyde does not comply. Frazier filed the suit in Philadelphia Municipal Court this month charging that his daughter refused to return contracts and other financial records she kept when she managed her father's legal affairs. Frazier's lawyers say he may be missing out on film royalties,
product endorsement fees or other income promised in the old contracts.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A federal jury has found that a Westmoreland County company illegally exported components of military night vision equipment without a federal license. Sentencing is scheduled July 13th for Electro-Glass Products of Norvelt, convicted of unlawful exportation of defense articles. Prosecutors say that between May 2003 and August 2004, the company sold and exported to a company in India 23-thousand solder glass preforms. The preforms are components of military night vision equipment. Federal law requires a license from the State Department to export them. Electro-Glass Products did not have such a license.

DANVILLE, Va. (AP) - The Federal Aviation Administration says two people were killed when a small plane crashed in Danville, Virginia. The plane was flying from Washington County, Pennsylvania, to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, when the Danville airport and the city's Emergency Operations Center received word that someone on board was having medical difficulties. The wreckeage of the single-engine, two-seat Grumman was found about 9:30 a-m in a wooded creek bottom. First responders used chainsaws to get to the wreckage. Identities of the victims were not immediately available. The F-A-A is investigating.

ALIQUIPPA, Pa. (AP) - A second man has been arrested in connection with the shooting of Aliquippa High School basketball star Herb Pope. Police say 21-year-old Tremayne Foster of Aliquippa threatened 18-year-old Pope in the early morning hours of March 31st and punched the basketball star in the face as he sat in a car Foster has been arraigned on charges of simple assault and harassment. Police say Pope and Foster fought before 19-year-old Marcus
Longmire of Pittsburgh joined in and shot Pope four times. Longmire is charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and a firearms violation. Pope has been released from a Pittsburgh hospital. He led the Quips to the WPIAL Class Double-A championship this season.


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