Monday, April 23, 2007

National and State News-Monday, April 23rd

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - One week after the deadliest school shooting in U-S history, classes will resume at Virginia Tech today. The 32 students and teachers killed will be remembered in a
tribute at the dormitory where the rampage began and through a moment of silence and the ringing of bells.

BAGHDAD (AP) - A shop owner in northern Iraq says no place in his country is safe from "the terrorists and their evil deeds." Three suicide bombings killed at least 27 people and wounded nearly 60 in different parts of the country today. One attack occurred outside an office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party near Mosul.

BAGHDAD (AP) - The U-S ambassador to Iraq says the American military will "respect the wishes" of the Iraqi government in regards to a barrier being built around a Sunni enclave in Baghdad. But he stopped short of saying construction would stop, even though Iraq's prime minister has ordered a halt to construction.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says California Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald was a "trailblazer." The seven-term Democrat died over the weekend of cancer. With the Democratic victory in November, Millender-McDonald became the first
black woman to chair the Committee on House Administration.

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Police shot to death a man and a woman at a luxury oceanfront resort in Laguna Beach, California, over the weekend. Police say the pair disobeyed orders to drop their gun. Officers were responding to a domestic dispute at a bungalow that went for 22-hundred dollars a night.

CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS, Pa. (AP) - An Amish girl who had been missing for four days was found safe yesterday and her father was charged with concealing her whereabouts. Police found 17-year-old Mary Gingerich in McKean County, about two hours from her home in Crawford County's Amish community. Gingerich's father, Edward, spent five years in jail for killing
and disemboweling his wife in a schizophrenic frenzy. Since 1993 when her mother was killed, Mary Gingerich has lived with her grandparents and will be returned to them after a judge
awarded them custody on Thursday.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia's murder rate continues to climb. Police say the city is up to 125 homicides as of Sunday afternoon. That includes five fatal shootings in a span of less
than 24 hours over the weekend. Homicide detective Ron McClane says the spike in killings could be partially due to the warm weather, which brings out more people. The recent spate of five murders began around 10 p-m Friday and continued until Saturday afternoon. Police have charged a suspect in one of the cases. Last year, the city had a total of 406 homicides -- the highest number in nearly a decade. Philadelphia will exceed that number this year if the current pace continues.

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. (AP) - Months after returning home from Iraq, thousands of U-S soldiers are learning that they didn't escape the war unscathed. Many tell military authorities that they have no mental health problems. But some troops just don't want to bother with the paperwork. And others don't have any symptoms until three to six months later. There's now a program designed to identify soldiers who don't immediately recognize they need help. Since 2005, a quarter (m) million troops have undergone a second, mandatory mental health assessment.
The Defense Department says about 22 percent of those troops have been referred to mental health professionals, though not all may end up needing treatment.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - California researchers say losing weight is easy but keeping it off is another story. Organized diet programs, prescription pills, psychotherapy, even hypnosis may work for a while -- but then the weight inevitably creeps back up. So researchers say give up the gimmicks and yo-yo dieting and do the right things that will keep the weight off. U-C-L-A researchers analyzed 31 diet studies that followed people two to five years after they went on diets. Between one-third and two-thirds gained back the weight they lost. A small number were able to successfully maintain their weight loss. So how can you lose weight and keep it off?
Experts say the way to do it is to eat breakfast daily, get about 60 to 90 minutes of exercise daily and keep a moderately lowfat, high-carbohydrate diet.

STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Monroe County man accused of being an accomplice in a 2004 murder in a Wal-Mart parking lot is denying that he gave a weapon and bulletproof vest to the killer. Twenty-one-year-old John Brabazon of Tobyhanna told jurors he never planned to rob two friends and did not know how Joseph Alvarado got the gun he used. Prosecutors say 23-year-old Alvarado, also of Tobyhanna, shot and killed 20-year-old David Sigmund Junior and wounded 20-year-old Chris Nowak in a car in the East Stroudsburg Wal-Mart lot in December 2004. Alvarado has testified that he and Brabazon wanted more cocaine, so Brabazon devised a plot to rob Sigmund by luring him to a meeting under the pretense of wanting to buy drugs. Alvarado says Brabazon supplied the gun and a bulletproof vest. The trial resumes today, with closing arguments and jury deliberations expected tomorrow.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - To grow, Pittsburgh needs to attract immigrants. But to bring in newcomers, the city needs more jobs. The situation is so severe, recruiters have quit their jobs in frustration and research indicates Pittsburgh will be in dire need of workers by 2020. Eugene Matta moved from New Mexico to Pittsburgh in 2001 to head the city's Hispanic Center. He spent three years making promotional videos, pitching Pittsburgh across the Midwest and asking nurses to move to the former steel town. Matta, who now works for the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, says immigrants want to live near people like
themselves. He says Hispanics do not have a tradition in Pittsburgh like they do in California or Texas.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The mayor of New Orleans has apologized for remarks he made saying Philadelphia is a dirty city. WPVI-TV in Philadelphia is reporting that Ray Nagin says he
meant no offense. Nagin says he had a great time visiting the city last week, to learn about anti-blight programs. Nagin made the remarks about Philadelphia on Saturday to a group of New Orleans residents concerned about the city's recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Nagin told them that while New Orleans still has some work to do, at least the city is cleaner than Philadelphia.

NEW YORK (AP) - Thirteen-year-old Morgan Pozgar has the fastest thumbs in the West.
And the East, too. She wins the L-G National Texting championship. The teen from Claysburg in Blair County takes the crown by typing the word "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"
from "Mary Poppins" in just 15 seconds. Morgan defeated nearly 200 competitors to become East Coast champion and then beat the West Coast champ -- 21-year-old Eli Tirosh of Los Angeles -- in the New York competition. Morgan wins 25-thousand dollars and says she's going on a shopping spree. She gets plenty of texting practice. Morgan figures she sends more than eight-thousand text messages a month on her cell phone.


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