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Getty Images(HARRISBURG, Pa.) -- Life’s tough, get a helmet…or 600…

A former Pennsylvania state employee is facing charges for allegedly stealing more than 600 military combat helmets, Philly.com reported. According to criminal charges filed Friday, 43-year-old Michael Gantz swiped the protective head gear from his job at the Pennsylvania Department of General Services’ surplus property warehouse.

The helmets, which were allegedly stolen between July 2009 and January 2010, have an estimated value of more than $5,000. Prosecutors said Gantz has filed an agreement indicating he will plead guilty to a felony count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. He faces up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

No word on what he actually did with the helmets after he stole them.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


John Normile/Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- The worst is over for the Buffalo, New York, area as far as the snow is concerned.

Now comes the danger of epic floods with temperatures rising and the threat of rain with some suburbs still covered in seven or eight feet of snow.

At a news briefing Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters, "Flooding in my opinion is worse than dealing with snow. It’s not water, it’s a toxic brew…It has all sorts of sewage in it."

The chief worry in Buffalo-area towns like Hamburg or the city of Lackawanna is that rapid melting will turn basements and living rooms into swimming pools even as some homes had their roofs collapse under the weight of unprecedented autumn snowfall.

To that end, a frantic snow clean-up continues with the governor calling on trucks and equipment from other parts of the state, including Albany and New York City.

Meanwhile, emergency shelters have been set up by the Red Cross for possible evacuations should residents have to get out of their homes quickly.  Cuomo ordered over 50 boats and "swift-water" rescue teams to be at the ready for calls as waters rise.

 


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With a grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting death not expected until Monday at the earliest, both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have issued pleas for a calm and measured response to the verdict.

The grand jury, which convenes again Monday, will determine what charges, if any, to bring against Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Last August 9, Wilson shot Brown, who was unarmed, six times following an altercation.

The racially-charged incident touched off confrontations between the African-American community and law enforcement officers and many fear the civil unrest will be even more violent if Wilson is exonerated.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, President Obama urged residents to "keep protests peaceful," saying, "You know, this is a country that allows everybody to express their views, allows them to peacefully assemble to protest actions that they think are unjust, but using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are."

Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video released by the Justice Department, "History has...shown us that the most successful and enduring movements for change are those that adhere to non-aggression and nonviolence," a sentiment similarly expressed by Michael Brown Sr., who released his own video appealing for calm.

Holder also stated that "long-simmering tensions will not be cooled overnight,” and he touted the “importance” of police forces engaging with communities long before times of crisis.

 


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


File photo. (The Image Bank/Getty Images)(READING, Pa.) -- The Christmas tree in downtown Reading, Pennsylvania, wasn’t exactly bringing holiday cheer.

According to WFMZ.com, many residents complained that the 50-foot Norway Spruce was “ugly” and “pathetic,” and now it’s being replaced. "I think it does look a little pitiful," resident Teresa Rodriguez said of the scraggly spruce. "I think they picked the wrong tree."

Another resident who works near the tree, Martin McNeil, added, "It was a waste of time for them to even come out here and put this tree up. Honestly, they might as well put nothing out here."

In response to the bah-humbugs, the city has decided to replace the tree with one that's fuller and greener. The new tree is expected to be in place Monday or Tuesday. It will be decorated Friday and lit on Saturday. As for the poor old tree, it was adopted by a local business.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


John Normile/Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- The worst is over for the Buffalo, New York, area as far as the snow is concerned.

Now comes the danger of epic floods with temperatures rising and the threat of rain with some suburbs still covered in seven or eight feet of snow.

At a news briefing Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters, "Flooding in my opinion is worse than dealing with snow. It’s not water, it’s a toxic brew…It has all sorts of sewage in it."

The chief worry in Buffalo-area towns like Hamburg or the city of Lackawanna is that rapid melting will turn basements and living rooms into swimming pools even as some homes had their roofs collapse under the weight of unprecedented autumn snowfall.

To that end, a frantic snow clean-up continues with the governor calling on trucks and equipment from other parts of the state, including Albany and New York City.

Meanwhile, emergency shelters have been set up by the Red Cross for possible evacuations should residents have to get out of their homes quickly.  Cuomo ordered over 50 boats and "swift-water" rescue teams to be at the ready for calls as waters rise.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio





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