Local News

Audit rips jobless system accounting

HARRISBURG — State auditors said Tuesday that sloppy record keeping made it impossible to determine if the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry properly spent millions of dollars in recent years on an unemployment compensation system that melted down during a funding fight. Auditor ...

Heroin suspect facing trial

One of the major players in a so-called heroin pipeline between New York, Altoona and York appeared before a magisterial district judge on Tuesday for his preliminary hearing on charges he ran a multi-million dollar heroin trafficking ring. Lawrence M. Francis, 39, of York is accused of ...

Reports: Man in shooting worked in law enforcement

A man who killed a woman and then himself early Tuesday in Cambria County’s Richland Township had held several local law enforcement positions, according to media reports. Matthew Dunkleberger, 22, shot Amanda Bennett, 20, in a housing complex called Aspen Woods before shooting himself, ...

Authority puts brakes on garage proposal

The Altoona Parking Authority has moved on from a proposal to create a parking garage by renovating a former car dealership building on the 1400 block of 13th Avenue. The high unit-cost and structural limitations of the five-story Donnelly building led to the decision, authority Executive ...

Horell seeking position on Altoona school board

A man born and raised in Altoona is seeking a seat on the Altoona Area School Board. Dave Horell, 40, is a 1996 graduate of Altoona Area High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree of psychology from Penn State. He is principal agent of Horell Insurance Agency LLC. Horell’s community ...

Teacher running for spot on Hollidaysburg school board

A teacher is seeking a seat on the Hollidaysburg Area School Board. Nikki Varney, 44, has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a biology concentration and a Master’s of Secondary Education in science. “I have taught in a variety of public schools for 21 years. I started my ...

NCambria police chief reinstated

A Cambria County police chief who was suspended last week was reinstated Monday by Northern Cambria Borough Council members. Northern Cambria Police Chief Jeffrey Kopsic was reinstated following a unanimous vote by council members, numerous media outlets reported. Council members did not ...

Blair County commissioners briefs

Summer concerts, arts fest get funds Blair County commissioners have approved the allocation of $7,250 in recreation funds to support the Central Blair Recreation Commission’s summer playground program and its summer concert in the park series. The commissioners also agreed to allocate ...

Police: Man withheld information

EBENSBURG — A South Fork man faces a felony charge of hindering an investigation for not immediately disclosing information about two area men who have been missing since March 26. Landon D. Reighard, 33, no fixed address, was arrested late last week for refusing to provide information about ...

Blair prison warden to retire

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County Prison Warden Michael Johnston has submitted a retirement notice effective Oct. 25. Judge Daniel Milliron, who chairs the prison board, said he recently received the notice indicating that Johnston intends this fall to wrap up 33 years of service to the county ...

State court overturns kidnapping conviction

The conviction of a former Altoona man for the kidnapping of his young daughter was reversed Friday by the Pennsylvania Superior Court after the judges heard an argument that the taking of the child was an “act of affection.” A three-judge panel reversed the conviction of Tex Xavier ...

Local developer’s suit clears hurdle

HOLLIDAYSBURG — One of the first hurdles has been cleared in the civil lawsuit brought by local developer Greg Morris, accusing former Altoona Mayor Wayne Hippo of forming a rival development company while working as an attorney for Morris. In a recent court ruling, Senior Judge Stewart ...

Homeowner identifies cause of blaze

From Mirror staff reports A fire that gutted a Logan Boulevard home Sunday night most likely started with an overheated computer or power strip, the homeowner said. Mike DeCort said he was told by the fire marshal Monday that it was either an overheated computer or the power strip it was ...

Reade Township audit yields positive findings, minor fixes

BLANDBURG — The Reade Township Municipal Authority is in good financial shape, according to an audit of last year’s records. However, there were two minor negative findings associated with the authority’s internal controls. Accountant Brenda Pawlowski, with Kotzan CPA & Associates ...

Pair accused of raping woman

A pair of men face a long list of felony and misdemeanor charges for allegedly raping a woman while holding her down inside a tent in Cambria County. Joseph H. Feeley, 39, of Northern Cambria was arrested Saturday for his part in the alleged sexual assault near Iris Street in Susquehanna ...

B-A bringing back random drug tests

BELLWOOD — Random drug testing will resume in the Bellwood-Antis School District with the beginning of the 2017-18 school year under an updated drug testing policy adopted by school board members. Superintendent Thomas McInroy said before he arrived as superintendent in November 2014, ...

Wolf signs unemployment center bill

Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill Monday to allow about 200 state unemployment workers to return to work, although the bill is set to fund their jobs for only a few months as lawmakers seek a permanent fix. Passed last week, the bill — co-sponsored by Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr., R-Blair — ...

Police: Man fought with seven others

EBENSBURG — A Summerhill man faces a list of misdemeanor and summary charges after police said he fought with seven people Sunday while refusing to turn over custody of a child. Lance R. Kough, 28, of 126 Fury Road, Summerhill, faces charges of simple assault, endangering the welfare of a ...

Juniata man accused of choking girlfriend

A Juniata man faces charges after police say he choked his girlfriend during an argument. Michael A. Stine Jr., 34, of 506 N. Eighth St., was arrested Friday afternoon by Altoona police after officers were called to the home about 3:30 p.m. for a domestic dispute, according to the charges. ...