TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2014

Nasty Weather
ST. LOUIS (AP) - More strong storms have been rumbling through the Midwest.
The National Weather Service says a tornado touched down near Cedar Vale, Kansas last night, with hail the size of pingpong balls. And other places saw heavy rains, large hail and strong winds. Forecasters also say about 8,500 people lost power in Missouri, and about 9,000 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Detroit Free Press is reporting that two tornadoes hit northern Michigan earlier Monday. The National Weather Service says there was property damage, but no injuries. And a storm spotter was hospitalized in Iowa after he was struck by lightning while watching a system a night earlier that left swollen rivers, power outages, trees down and campers overturned.

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh says our area will see thunderstorms this afternoon and some of those storms could produce heavy rainfall. The chance of rain continues tonight and then mostly sunny skies predicted for Wednesday.

Pittsburgh Names New Police Chief
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh officials have announced the hiring of a new police chief. He is Cameron McLay, a former Madison, Wisconsin, police captain who has been working as a consultant for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. McLay is a 35-year veteran of law enforcement. The 56-year-old's hiring is subject to approval by the Pittsburgh City Council. McLay will succeed acting Chief Regina McDonald. She replaced former Chief Nate Harper, who is serving a federal prision sentence for conspiring to divert money into a slush fund for his personal use.

New Natural Gas Pipeline
NEW YORK (AP) - Dominion Resources, Duke Energy and other partners have proposed building a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with the prodigious supplies of natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Gas is being relied upon to generate more of the nation's electricity in recent years because the enormous new domestic supplies have drastically lowered its price and it burns cleaner than the nation's other most important fuel for electric power, coal. The 550-mile project will begin in Harrison County, West Virginia and stretch to Robeson County, North Carolina, in the southern part of the state. The partners, which included Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources, expect to receive regulatory approval by mid-2016 and to start operating the pipeline in 2018.

Counter Attack In Somalia
WASHINGTON (AP) - A day after an Islamic-extremist group launched an attack in Somalia, U.S. military forces have struck back. A Pentagon spokesman says the results of the operation are being assessed. The target was apparently fighters for the al-Shabab network, which has ties to al-Qaida. Somali officials say the group launched a Sunday attack on an interrogation center. All of the attackers, three soldiers and two civilians are said to have been killed.

Robbery In Canonsburg
Canonsburg police spent part of the holiday weekend looking for two men who robbed a man near the baskeball courts at Town Park. Police told our news partners at WPXI-TV that it was Saturday night when two men pulled a gun and stole the man's money and i-phone. He was not injured.

Trooper Arrest During Wedding Brawl
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A western Pennsylvania groom spent his wedding night in the back of a police car after allegedly harassing a waitress at the reception then resisting arrest after an altercation with the pregnant woman's boyfriend. A criminal complaint says groom Mark Williams touched the waitress several times during the wedding cruise and tried to pour alcohol down her throat. Police say he then scuffled with the woman's boyfriend after the boat docked early Monday morning. Williams faces charges including riot, harassment and resisting arrest. He declined comment to reporters outside court Monday. Authorities say Williams' off-duty state trooper brother assaulted two Pittsburgh police officers who were called to the scene. A state police spokeswoman confirmed a trooper was arrested during the incident. A third man also faces charges.

Air Rage Over Reclining Seat
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Delta Air Lines flight from New York to West Palm Beach, Florida, was diverted to Jacksonville because of a dispute between passengers over a reclining seat. Jacksonville station News 4 Jax reports that Delta says the flight was diverted Monday night. Passenger Aaron Klipin told the station a woman sitting next to him got into an argument with a passenger behind her. The woman was trying to recline her seat while the other passenger was trying to sleep on the tray table. Klipin says the woman who was trying to sleep started screaming. A flight attendant came over and the woman who was screaming demanded that the flight be diverted. The plane landed in Jacksonville and continued on to West Palm Beach. Delta says local law enforcement removed the unruly woman from the plane.

Cracked Windshield Grounds Plane
GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) - An American Airlines jet bound for North Texas has safely returned to Los Angeles International Airport after the front windshield cracked. American spokesman Paul Flaningan said today that nobody on Flight 2448 to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was hurt. Flaningan says the Boeing 757 took off Monday afternoon but within minutes the pilot noticed a windshield crack. Flaningan says authorities are trying to determine what caused the crack and that there's no preliminary indication of a bird strike. He says the jet carrying 184 passengers and a five-person crew returned to Los Angeles. Passengers boarded another American jet and were on their way about 90 minutes later. Flaningan says the windshield-damaged jet was taken out of service for repairs.

Connecting With Squirrels
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - A Penn State student is gaining an Internet reputation as a "squirrel whisperer" for befriending, feeding and dressing up a furry little friend she has named "Sneezy." Junior Mary Krupa tells WJAC-TV that she's able to dress up the squirrel in party hats, or get Sneezy to hold doll-sized props, simply by feeding the animal. Krupa and Sneezy's exploits are chronicled in a Facebook page titled "Sneezy the Penn State Squirrel." So far, the squirrel is proving quite popular as its Facebook page has more "likes" that a page dedicated to the school's official mascot, the Nittany Lion.

FBI Investigates Leaked Nude Photos
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The FBI says it is addressing allegations that nude photos of several female celebrities have been stolen and posted online. A statement released by the agency Monday afternoon doesn't elaborate on what steps are being taken to determine how intimate images of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence and other stars were leaked. The photos of Lawrence and others began appearing online Sunday. The 24-year-old's publicist called the release of the images a violation of the actress's privacy. Apple said Monday it is investigating whether any of its customers' iCloud accounts had been tampered with. The FBI has investigated previous leaks of nude celebrity images, including leaks involving Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera and footage shot of television sports reporter Erin Andrews in a Tennessee hotel room.

Video Shows U.S. Journalist Beheaded
BEIRUT (AP) - An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group. Sotloff, who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, had last been seen in Syrian in August 2013 until he appeared in a video released online last month by the Islamic State group that showed the beheading of fellow American journalist James Foley. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against the backdrop of an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the group in Iraq. In the video distributed Tuesday and entitled "A Second Message to America," Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is beheaded by an Islamic State fighter.

Obama Heads To NATO Summit
WASHINGTON (AP) - With the Ukrainian crisis firmly in the forefront, President Barack Obama heads for Estonia today on his way to this week's NATO summit, amid criticism that he's being too tentative in the face of global threats. The crisis between Russia and Ukraine has raised the stakes at the summit. Obama will press member states to increase their defense spending.

 

West Alexander Fair Underway
In a sure sign that summer is winding down, the annual West Alexander Fair is underway. Highlights tonight include a performance by the McGuffey band at 6 and a demolition derby at 7. The fair continues through Saturday.

East Allegheny Teachers On Strike
MCKEESPORT, Pa. (AP) - Teachers in a small western Pennsylvania school district are walking the picket line, becoming the second union local to go on strike in the new school year. Members of the East Allegheny Education Association walked out Tuesday after contract talks with the school district broke down. The district has 1,700 students. The Pennsylvania State Education Association says teachers in more than 150 other school districts are working without current contracts while negotiations continue. The American Federation of Teachers, which represents a smaller number of locals that include teachers in the state's two biggest cities, says Philadelphia teachers are working under an expired contract but most of its locals have settled agreements. In addition to the East Allegheny strike, educators in Millville School District in northeastern Pennsylvania also are on strike.

Atlantic City Casino Closes
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Little more than two years after opening with high hopes of turning around Atlantic City's struggling casino market, Revel will close its doors today. The shutdown follows the closure of its hotel on Monday. By mid-September, four of Atlantic City's 12 casinos will have gone out of business, but none will be a costlier failure than Revel. It started construction just before the Great Recession hit, and had to take on so much debt it never could turn a profit. The Showboat closed on Sunday, Trump Plaza is closing Sept. 16, and the Atlantic Club closed in January.
The consolidation is a reaction to the saturated northeastern U.S. casino market, which continues to add new gambling halls to markets without enough demand to support them all.

Joan Rivers On Life Support
NEW YORK (AP) - Joan Rivers' family is confirming that the comedian is on life support after going into cardiac arrest last week during a procedure at a doctor's office. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said in a statement Tuesday that her mother is on life support "at this time." Melissa said the family is extremely grateful for the public support. Joan Rivers was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan last Thursday. The 81-year-old comedian has maintained a busy career as host of "Fashion Police" on the E! network and co-star of the WEtv reality show, "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?" Melissa Rivers said Tuesday that she knows her mother would be overwhelmed by the continuing outpouring of kindness.

Home Prices Rise In July
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices rose in July but at a slower rate compared with earlier this year. Real estate data provider CoreLogic says prices rose 7.4 percent in July from July 2013. That's slightly below June's year-over-year increase of 7.5 percent and far below a recent peak of 11.9 percent in February. The smaller price gains should make homes more affordable.

Eating Habits Improving
CHICAGO (AP) - A new study says Americans' eating habits have improved - except among the poor. Those results show a widening wealth gap when it comes to diet. Yet even among wealthier adults, food choices remain far from ideal. The 12-year study used an index of healthy eating where a perfect score is 110. U.S. adults averaged just 40 points in 1999, and that climbed to 47 points in 2010. Scores for low-income adults were lower than the average and barely budged during the years studied. Higher scores mean greater intake of heart-healthy foods including vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats. Low scores mean less of those foods and a greater chance for diet-related illnesses including diabetes, heart problems and obesity. The study is in Monday's JAMA Internal Medicine.

Wildfires Still Burning In California
HAPPY CAMP, Calif. (AP) - A Northern California wildfire has been contained after destroying a forest cabin, damaging five other homes and forcing about 50 people to evacuate. Meanwhile, a second blaze threatens hundreds of homes. Authorities say the blaze erupted shortly before 3:30 p.m. Monday along the Russian River near Forestville in Sonoma County. Three people were treated for burns or smoke inhalation. The San Francisco Chronicle says residents of Summerhome Park were evacuated for several hours until the fire was contained. It burned about 1 acre. Meanwhile, crews are battling a fire that has burned 100 square miles of the Klamath National Forest near Happy Camp. That fire that began Aug. 11 is 15 percent contained. It threatens nearly 700 homes, and 250 remain under evacuation orders.

Millions Spent To Keep Kids Safe In Chicago
CHICAGO (AP) - More guards will be watching Chicago students to keep them safe on the first day of school. Thanks to $1 million from the city, another 100 "Safe Passage" workers will be on routes that children walk through crime-ridden neighborhoods when classes resume today. There is far less publicity than a year ago, when Mayor Rahm Emanuel's closure of some 50 schools raised concern that children walking to new schools would be crossing gang lines. The worst fears never came to pass, as about 1,200 guards lined the routes last year. 27 more schools will be part of the Safe Passage program this year, which already covers 93 schools. Gov. Pat Quinn has pledged another $10 million in state funds, which will pay for another 600 workers.

   
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