WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2014

Secret Service Director Resigns
WASHINGTON (AP) - Secret Service Director Julia Pierson has resigned amid security lapses at the White House. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday that Pierson offered her resignation, and he accepted it. The move came one day after her appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in a congressional hearing focused on recent security lapses at the White House. Pierson had worked at the Secret Service for 30 years.

U.S. Ebola Patient Had Contact With Children
DALLAS DALLAS (AP) - Five schoolchildren are among as many as 18 people who are being monitored by health officials in Texas, after they may have been exposed to a man who's become the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States. Thomas Duncan has been kept in isolation at a Dallas hospital since Sunday. His sister says he had told health care workers two days earlier that he was visiting the U.S. from Liberia, but that they sent him home with antibiotics.

Three People With Respiratory Virus Have Died
NEW YORK (AP) - Health officials say three people died who were infected with a virus causing severe respiratory illness across the country. But what role the virus played in the deaths is unclear. A Rhode island child died last week after suffering both a bacterial infection and infection from enterovirus 68. The virus is behind a spike in harsh respiratory illnesses in children since early August. Rhode Island officials said it's unclear what role the virus played in the child's death. Federal officials have detected the virus in two other patients who died, but again say the virus's role was unclear. The government released no other details about them. The government says enterovirus 68 sickened at least 472 people in 41 states and the District of Columbia. Almost all have been children.

President Meets With Israeli Leader
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama and Israel's prime minister have been pressing each other today to address issues that are causing tensions between their two countries. Meeting at the White House, Obama called for an end to Palestinian civilian deaths. Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, warned of the consequences of leaving Iran with nuclear capabilities. As the meeting began, Israeli officials announced plans to move ahead with a controversial new housing development in east Jerusalem. (Photo: NBC News)

County Well-Equipped For Major Disasters
Police, fire and other first-responders in Washington County attended a seminar Tuesday at the South Strabane township fire hall on how to prepare for a mass disaster. Jeff Yates, Public Safety Director for Washington County, says our county is actually well-equipped to handle major problems like bus crashes or other large-scale accidents, "thanks to Homeland Security funding and support from the Washington County Commissioners." Arbie Goings of Homeland Security was the main speaker at yesterday's seminar and said mass disasters can be "overwhelming" for small, rural areas. He stressed how first-responders must be prepared for the worst. The seminar was sponsored by the Emergency Management Agency and Washington County Coroner Tim Warco.

Corridor Project Paving Could Mean Delays
The finishing touches are being put on the Route 19 Corridor Project, and that could mean some traffic delays if you're traveling through that area. PennDot says paving work on the streets, which include Highland, Ridge, Murtland and Locust Avenues, will begin at seven o'clock Thursday morning and will continue until the project is finished. Officials say the side streets will be paved during the daylight hours, while work on Highland will start at six o'clock in the evening.

Leader Of Mon Valley Gambling Ring Pleads Guilty
A West Newton man, whom authorities believe was the leader of a Mon Valley gambling ring, has pleaded guilty. Fifty-five-year-old Ronald "Porky" Melocchi entered his plea Wednesday, in Allegheny County Court, to one felony count of running a corrupt organization and misdemenor charges of possessing gambling devices and pool selling and bookmaking. The State Attorney General's office says Melocchi ran the ring, which included more than fifty locations with video poker machines, throughout the Mon Valley. (Photo: WPXI)

Crash Leads To Immigration Investigation
WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) - State police say 9 Hispanic individuals whose vehicle was allegedly hit by an intoxicated driver on a southwestern Pennsylvania highway were turned over to federal immigration officials, but have since been released. Troopers from the Washington, Pennsylvania barracks say the crash happened about 9:50 p.m. Tuesday. That's when 48-year-old Sue Irene Weber of Washington, who is believed to have been driving under the influence of drugs, lost control on an entrance ramp of Interstate 70 and crashed into a Chevrolet Tahoe in South Strabane Township. Police say the people in the Tahoe ran from the scene, but were located nearby a bit later. A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman could not immediately comment Wednesday. Police say Weber was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital and will likely be charged with DUI.

2000 Turkeys Kick-off
It's that time of year again--the annual "2000 Turkeys" campaign officially got underway Wednesday morning on WJPA's morning show with Pete Povich. The 2000 Turkesy program feeds as many people as possible in this area for Thanksgiving. Canonsburg Mayor Dave Rhome, a member of the board, says thousands are in need every year with a yearly goal of $100,000. $15 feeds a family of four. Another board member, Senator Tim Solobay, notes that over $1 million has been raised over the past 20 years. One of the first major contributions every year comes from annual Blue Ride motorcycle run and the organizer of the ride, North Strabane Police Sgt. Dave Richards, was on hand for a check presentation this morning for $2,500. (photo of the 2000 Turkey board, L to R: Matt Pitzarella, Grace Hopwood, Karen Mansfield, Pete Povich, Dave Richards, Tim Solobay and Dave Rhome).

Search For Frein Yields Pipe Bombs
BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. (AP) - State police searching for a man accused of killing a state trooper say they found two pipe bombs in the Pennsylvania woods during their manhunt. Lt. Col. George Bivens said Tuesday the pipe bombs were fully functional and could have been set off by either a trip wire or fuse, but appear to be among items that were hastily discarded. Eric Frein has been on the run since Sept. 12, accused of killing one state trooper and wounding a second outside their police barracks in Blooming Grove. Frein is described as a self-taught survivalist with a vendetta against law enforcement. Authorities believe he's hiding in the thick woods near his parents' home in Canadensis. Police said last week they were treating the search area as if it was booby-trapped. They had also previously said they had evidence Frein had been experimenting with explosives.



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