Local News

City doctor pleads guilty to fraud

JOHNSTOWN — Dr. John H. Johnson, an Altoona anesthesiologist, entered guilty pleas Thursday to conspiracy to defraud Medicare and Medicaid and failure to remit payroll taxes for employees of his doctor’s office and a local car wash business, Johnny On The Spot. The charges will land ...

Man gets lengthy sentence for rape

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A 43-year-old Altoona man will spend 12 to 36 years in prison after entering a no contest plea Thursday to multiple charges of rape and indecent assault of an 18-year-old mentally challenged woman. Christopher G. Buckreis, who has been in the Blair County Prison since his ...

‘Wheels & wings & rain’

EBENSBURG — Wings were frying and alcohol was flowing Thursday night in Ebensburg Borough, where motorcycles lined local streets despite the pouring rain. There, hundreds gathered to enjoy live music and admire the bikes at the 13th annual Wheels & Wings event, hosted by borough ...

Blair departments seek raises

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Representatives for three Blair County departments asked county leaders Thursday for higher starting salaries and salary increases to address what they identified as a lack of pay equality in their departments. They also presented salaries paid to their counterparts in ...

Opinions on health care bill fall mostly along party lines in Pa.

When Senate Republicans revealed their plan Thursday to replace the Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvania political figures quickly tallied the effects its passage may have in the state. Opinions on the GOP plan fell predictably along largely partisan lines, but the far-reaching bill — ...

NCambria man faces intimidation charge

EBENSBURG — A Northern Cambria man faces a charge of witness intimidation after police allege he threatened a man, telling him to drop charges in a previous case. Brandon P. Shutty, 36, of the 1200 block of Elder Avenue, who is now lodged in the Cambria County Prison, intimidated another ...

Auditor faults PSU tuition

HARRISBURG — Penn State University needs to do more to address its “skyrocketing” tuition rates and spiking enrollment of out-of-state and international students, compared to in-state student enrollment, the state’s elected fiscal watchdog said in a report Thursday. Auditor General ...

Celebrating Central’s Championship

Subscribers who have activated their free All Access account can view this poster by clicking on Today's Paper at the top, under the Altoona Mirror logo, and logging in. Once logged in, readers should click on the front page to access the newspaper.

Animal cruelty bill heads to Wolf

HARRISBURG — With Libre, the hairiest lobbyist in Harrisburg present, the state Senate unanimously passed an overhaul of the state’s animal abuse statutes restricting tethering and strengthen abuse penalties. The bill by Rep. Todd Stephens, R-Montgomery, makes five major changes to ...

Council parks off-street change

City Council has introduced a package of zoning changes but didn’t include what had been its most controversial provision — to require off-street parking spaces for all students living in student homes. Mayor Matt Pacifico, who had suggested that provision in May at a strategic ...

PC board OKs budget with $900K deficit

CRESSON — Penn Cambria School District officials were able to reduce a deficit in a 2017-18 budget approved Tuesday evening. Still, costs are predicted to exceed revenue by more than $900,000. The budget doesn’t increase taxes. The general fund budget — which predicts expenditures at ...

Changes at Van Zandt please Vietnam veteran

Vietnam veteran John Gradwell of Huntingdon has lodged his share of complaints with officials of the Van Zandt VA Medical Center during the hospital’s periodic town hall meetings. But at a “roundtable”-style town hall Tuesday, Gradwell began with compliments, followed by a couple of ...

Tyrone man: Stepbrother ordered help slaying dealer

INDIANA — A Blair County man testified Tuesday that his stepbrother ordered him to help in the violent slaying of a drug-dealing partner with a sword almost three years ago in Blairsville. Michael Eades, 45, of Tyrone is on trial in Indiana County Common Pleas Court for the Sept. 29 death ...

Cambria audit shows financial improvements

JOHNSTOWN — Cambria County leaders have made financial improvements during the past year, according to an audit report issued Wednesday at a commissioners meeting held in Upper Yoder Township. “This year’s audit did issue an unmodified audit opinion,” Wessel & Co. accountant Joel ...

Police: Tyrone man rammed pregnant ex-girlfriend’s car

A Tyrone man faces felony charges after police said he rammed his pregnant ex-girlfriend’s car and then took a crowbar to it. Derek S. Moore, 19, of 244 Gypsy Camp Hollow Road was arraigned Sunday on felony aggravated assault and criminal mischief charges along with misdemeanor counts of ...

Altoona police officer to be charged with DUI

An Altoona police officer will be charged with driving under the influence. Altoona Police Chief Janice Freehling said Wednesday that Patrol­man Erik Stirk, 40, will be charged today with DUI and related charges stemming from his arrest Sunday morning. Stirk, who was off duty at the time, ...

Cambria coroner identifies trucker

Shannon L. Roberson, 39, of Oklahoma, was the man who was found dead in a tractor-trailer in a Sheetz store parking lot in Mundys Corner. WJAC-TV said Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees identified the man and said an autopsy showed he had been dead for four days. Roberson’s body was found ...

Center’s program aims to provide disabled children with haven

During the summer, when school’s out, children with disabilities are often housebound, and during the rest of the year, when they’re in school, they’re sometimes bullied and ridiculed, according to Kathy Ranguette, an independent living specialist with the Center for Independent Living of ...

Penn Cambria lighting upgrade to lead to savings

CRESSON — Lighting upgrades at two Penn Cambria school buildings will be completed this fall, according to a Tuesday vote by school board members, who approved the $440,000 cost. At the meeting, district Facilities Manager Dave Beck said the project — contracted to Schneider Electric — ...

Police bust meth operation

An alleged partnership trafficking in large quantities of cystal methamphetamine has ended with both men in handcuffs and pounds of the drug in the hands of police. In an investigation by Altoona police and agents from the state Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation that ...