State briefs

Marine killed in bloody WWII battle ID’d, remains head home

ALTOONA (AP) — The remains of a U.S. Marine killed in one of World War II’s bloodiest battles have been identified and are returning to his family in Pennsylvania.

The POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Monday that Nicholas Cancilla, of Altoona, will be buried on Nov. 7 in his hometown with full military honors.

Cancilla was 18 when his battalion stormed the remote Pacific atoll of Tarawa.

More than 990 U.S. marines and 680 sailors died and almost 2,300 were wounded in one of the first major amphibious assaults in the Pacific.

Cancilla was one of hundreds of U.S. Marines buried anonymously after the fight.

In June 2011, a non-governmental organization notified the U.S. they discovered a burial site on Tarawa’s Betio Island. In 2012, a government team excavated the site and recovered three sets of remains, including Cancilla’s.

Tetanus shots to be provided

after Central Pa. flooding

HARRISBURG (AP) — State health officials have announced that tetanus shots will be provided to central Pennsylvania residents who may have been exposed to debris from recent flash flooding.

Dr. Karen Murphy, the commonwealth’s health secretary, said her department was responding to requests from Lycoming and Centre counties.

Officials say residents of those counties may want to get a tetanus shot if they came into contact with debris during the flooding or cleanup and if they haven’t had a tetanus shot in the last 10 years or can’t remember when they had their last one.

Free tetanus shots will be available Tuesday at the Ralston Volunteer Fire Company and Thursday at the Lycoming public safety department in Montoursville. Centre County tetanus shots will be provided Thursday at Freedom Life Church in Bellefonte.

Trial opens for man charged in church service shooting death

NORRISTOWN (AP) — Trial has begun for a man charged in the shooting death of a fellow churchgoer during Sunday services in a suburban Philadelphia church.

Mark Storms is charged with voluntary manslaughter and reckless endangering in the April death of Robert Braxton III in North Wales.

Investigators say Braxton became disruptive and Storms ordered him to leave, showing him a concealed weapons permit and a handgun. They say Braxton punched Storms and was then shot twice.

Pottstown’s The Mercury newspaper reports prosecutor Kristen Feden said during opening statements Monday church is “a place where people are supposed to go when they need wisdom, guidance, comfort.”

Defense attorney Vincent DiFabio says his client was legally carrying his weapon “as he does when he goes anywhere.”