Local News

Rare weather

Historically, February weather has been more conducive to swinging ice chippers than golf clubs, but recent temperatures have many local residents hitting the links early in the year. While warm weather is a hit with golfers, those who like to ski local slopes may be less ...

Scarnati supports Blair senator

Pennsylvania Senate Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati’s support ensures Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr. will remain chairman of the Senate Education Committee, despite efforts of a Democratic colleague to drum up support to remove him. Senate chairs are chosen solely by the Senate president pro ...

Robbery with toy gun nets city man lengthy sentence

HOLLIDAYSBURG — An Altoona man who used a toy gun to hold up a neighborhood convenience store almost two years ago will serve 15-30 years in a state prison. Judge Timothy Sullivan imposed the sentence Thursday on Nicholas Todd Kruge, 28, who admitted to the March 28, 2015, robbery of ...

Judge allows more charges

HARRISBURG — A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday allowed prosecutors to add a conspiracy charge against three former Penn State administrators, increasing their possible penalty if convicted of crimes for their handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal. Judge John Boccabella ...

Saint Francis gets aviation grant

A new aviation degree program at Saint Francis University is set to get off the ground with a $1.9 million state grant. Rep. Frank Burns, D-Johnstown, brought the House Democratic Policy Committee to the Ebensburg Borough Municipal Building in October to listen to testimony on employer needs ...

Tyrone women accused of stealing car

Two Tyrone women face charges after police say they stole a car. Jessica A. Albright, 37, of 273 Hickory Drive and Christina Moore, 36, of 419 Garfield St. are accused of stealing a car Tuesday night from Tyrone Borough after taking the keys from a man’s pants pockets. According to Tyrone ...

Inmate death reported

Houtzdale — An inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale was found dead in his cell on Thursday morning, Superintendent Barry Smith said in a release. Andrew Smith, 26, was found unresponsive in his cell about 6:10 a.m. Thursday. Officers and medical staff immediately ...

Blair sees more Clean and Green applications

A large number of property owners applied for the Clean and Green program as a result of the 2016 Blair County reassessment. Blair County Commis-sioner Terry Tomassetti had urged farmers to sign up for Clean and Green, a state program allowing land devoted to agricultural and forest use to ...

Woman sentenced to probation

HOLLIDAYSBURG — An Altoona woman will be on probation for five years in connection with a 2015 robbery and assault that occurred inside a car she was driving. Judge Timothy Sullivan handed down the sentence Thursday for Sinclair Rodgers, a 20-year-old woman found guilty in December on ...

Philipsburg-Osceola faces lawsuit

A former transportation director of the Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the superintendent and the district, claiming that she was subjected to a “relentless stream of sexually offensive and inappropriate remarks and conduct” and was ...

A walk among friends

Old friends (from left) Tina Sefchok, Kyler Merrick and Ann Sissler enjoy a walk in the sunshine through the Stonehedge development on Wednesday afternoon. Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec

Murder suspect pleads guilty

Jonta St. Clair Bishop pleaded guilty Wednesday to the 2014 Hyndman-area murder of James Deneen Jr., bringing the nearly three-year case to a close with a life sentence. Bishop, 21, of Cumberland, Md., avoids a trial and a possible death sentence with the murder plea, which carried a life ...

Tyrone mayor won’t seek re-election

Tyrone’s mayor confirmed early this week he will not run for re-election this year, but others on the borough’s council have shown interest in the position. On Monday, William Fink said family concerns would keep him from seeking another term. “I won’t be on the ballot,” Fink ...

City man charged with DUI for January crash

An Altoona man who crashed on Plank Road near The Meadows intersection last month, knocking power lines onto two other vehicles, now faces DUI and other charges. Alex J. Walter, 26, of 5902 Maryland Ave., was charged Wednesday with DUI while on drugs as well as two counts of recklessly ...

Senator looks to oust Eichelberger as chairman

An effort may be brewing in Harrisburg to remove Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr., R-Blair, from his new position as education committee chairman because of comments he made during a town hall meeting Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, said Eichel-berger displayed ignorance and bias with ...

Vets want more specialists

The Van Zandt VA Medical Center should hire more doctors in basic specialties to better serve veterans in its 14-county territory, a primary-care physician’s assistant told administrators at a hospital “town hall” this week. Hiring those specialists wouldn’t be as easy as it sounds, ...

VA complaints include entrance, phone system

In Vietnam, John Gradwell of Huntingdon could work himself into underground passages designed by the Viet Cong to frustrate admittance. At the Van Zandt VA Medical Center in Altoona, the former tunnel rat found himself frustrated recently by an entry designed to make admittance ...

IU8 seeks space at Penn Cambria

CRESSON — A new preschool program geared toward special education might soon be available in the Penn Cambria School District. However, the program will be entirely funded and staffed by Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 — a regional agency that covers several counties. Intermediate Unit ...

Tyrone man jailed after attack

A Tyrone man remains behind bars after police in Altoona say he attacked his girlfriend with a windshield wiper blade. Carlos J. Mills, 37, of 533 20th St., Tyrone, was arrested Friday after his girlfriend reported to police that Mills had ripped the arm of her windshield wiper off and ...

Judge: Man can visit daughter

HOLLIDAYSBURG — An Altoona man identified more than two decades ago as the perpetrator in a child abuse case can have twice-monthly supervised visits with his infant daughter born last year, a Blair County judge has ruled. The father tried to sway Judge Daniel Milliron in a child custody ...