Local News

Incident leaves toddler on life support, police say

"The Altoona Police Department is investigating a very serious incident that occurred Sunday, May 20, just before 9 a.m. on the 900 block of 23rd Avenue, that has an 18-month-old child on life support in a Pittsburgh hospital," Altoona police Sgt. Matthew Plummer said Thursday. Plummer said ...

St. Thomas School celebrates last Mass

BEDFORD — The last scheduled Mass of the academic year at St. Thomas School brought tears to some of the close-knit faith community Wednesday. Bedford’s only Catholic school, which opened in 1966, is set to close May 30 because of low student enrollment and high operational costs, ...

Breaking ground for new school

Altoona Area School Board President Dutch Brennan put a gold-painted shovel into a pile of soil at the site of the planned new high school B building Wednesday, marking the start of construction and renovation of the A building. “Today we don’t simply celebrate the construction of a school ...

AAA: More Americans to travel this weekend

Americans will kick off the unofficial start of summer by traveling in near-record numbers. According to AAA, more than 41.5 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, nearly 5 percent more than last year and the most in more than a dozen years. INRIX, a global transportation ...

Bedford County brothers face trial on drug charges

Two Bedford County brothers arrested inside an Altoona home where police said methamphetamine was made will face trial. Jeffrey McFarland, 57, of Defiance and his brother, Randolph McFarland, 59, of Hopewell appeared Wednes­day at Central Court for a preliminary hearing for a list of charges ...

Man sentenced for fighting police

HOLLIDAYSBURG — An Altoona man arrested in January for fighting with police officers at his residence while being arrested has been sentenced to five years’ probation. David E. McConnell, 18, rendered guilty pleas Monday in Blair County Court to four counts of resisting arrest filed after ...

Cambria Heights to raise taxes

PATTON — The Cambria Heights School Board will raise real estate taxes by 2 mills to pay for renovations to the high school. The district’s tax millage is now set at 63 mills after action at Tuesday’s meeting. District Business Manager Stephanie Renninger confirmed the increase means ...

Blair interviewing for warden

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County leaders are interviewing applicants for the prison warden position with a hiring goal of late June. County Commissioner Ted Beam Jr., who is on a search committee, said this week that interviews have started and will continue to be conducted at the ...

Light malfunctions, causes fire at home

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A Wednesday morning fire on the 500 block of Chimney Rocks Road amounted to no more than two scorched boards but drew about a half dozen fire engines. Firefighters were called about 10:28 a.m. to a home at 580 Chimney Rocks Road, where smoke was reported coming out of a ...

Cambria approves grant for homeless

FALLENTIMBER — Home­less people and those suffering from chronic substance abuse and severe mental illness are to benefit from a $157,856 grant approved Wednesday evening by Cambria County commissioners. At a meeting in White Township, the commissioners voted unanimously to approve a grant ...

Jaffa Shrine members begin annual crusade

Members of the Jaffa Shrine will be distributing their free tabloids for the Annual Shrine Hospital Crusade on Friday and Saturday. The tabloid includes stories about Pennsylvania children treated in Shrine orthopedic and burn hospitals and has information on how to contact the Shrine about ...

Stance on bill prompts concern

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County Commissioner Terry Tomassetti is asking fellow commissioners to reconsider their no comment stance on a proposed bill drawing local criticism partly because of the bill’s timing. “We just went through reassessment,” former Altoona Mayor William Schirf told ...

Bedford DA office fills staff positions

BEDFORD — The Bedford County commissioners approved the hiring of three staff members and the promotion of one at the District Attorney’s Office at Tuesday’s meeting. Jonathan Thomas has been promoted to first assistant district attorney at a yearly salary of $43,000. Dwight Diehl has ...

Cambria pair facing child abuse charges

EBENSBURG — A Cambria County man and woman face criminal charges after day care center employees allegedly found a burn mark on a 2-year-old child’s stomach. The child was left at the day care on May 17 despite protests from employees, who told the couple it was at capacity, according to ...

Blooming days

Theresa Johnsonbaugh takes some time to deadhead pansies on a flower arrangement near the entrance to Adler’s Landscape Nursery in Altoona. Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec

Convicted drug dealer wants sentence tossed, new trial

A Philadelphia man, convicted in Blair County for his part in a statewide drug ring that distributed thousands of opioid pills obtained through forged prescriptions, is asking the U.S. District Court in Johnstown to vacate his lengthy prison sentence and order a new trial. The defendant, ...

City Stay and Play suspended

Operations at Stay and Play preschool, located in the Christ Community United Methodist Church on 58th Street in Altoona, were suspended Tuesday after questions arose about preschool funds, according to Shawn Gilgore, spokes­man for the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church in ...

Fugitive suspect taken into custody

A suspected crack dealer who spent months on the lam is now in jail. Heidi Jo Williams, 41, of Altoona, was taken into custody Friday by U.S. marshals in Philadelphia, according to Altoona police Detective Sgt. Chris Moser. Moser said that Williams was wanted for questioning in an unrelated ...

Patton man facing sexual assault charges

A Patton man faces criminal charges after he was allegedly found naked in bed with a teenage girl. Ryan W. Patterson, 19, of 626 Donnelly Ave., was arraigned Tuesday on felony charges of statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault of someone younger than 16 and corruption of minors, ...

AASD work to affect travel

Construction will mean a change for drivers and pedestrians in the area around the Altoona Area High School campus beginning today. The areas affected are on Sixth and Seventh Avenues between 13th and 15th streets and travelers are urged to use extra caution when negotiating the new traffic ...