Township: Parties to be addressed

Logan Township leaders are vowing to look for more effective ways to address collegiate parties, like the one two weeks ago that led to multiple underage drinking charges and required firefighters to help a student get down from a water tower.

The Sept. 28 party was at the Nittany Pointe housing complex near Penn State Altoona, the same location where multiple students were charged in April for a party that township police deemed a riot when residents threw bottles from balconies, including one at a cruiser.

“There has to be some way to encourage better behavior,” township Supervisor Ed Frontino said.

Frontino and fellow supervisors have directed Solicitor Larry Clapper to look into stronger ordinances designed to end such behavior and the related risks.

Someone could have fallen from that water tower and been seriously injured or killed, Frontino said.

For about five years, Logan Township has levied fines for violations of ordinances prohibiting a disorderly house and disorderly gathering – descriptions typically linked to parties with excessive drinking.

But every year brings a new group of collegians into the township, Supervisor Joe Metzgar said.

“I think we need to do something to the landlords,” Metzgar said.

Metzgar and other supervisors acknowledged that the township has many landlords with student tenants who never draw attention from police.

Unlike properties with local landlords, Nittany Pointe’s is managed by Resource Residential, a real estate management company headquartered in Philadelphia.

Police Chief Ron Heller said he was in contact with Nittany Pointe’s management after the Sept. 28 party. They’re requesting copies of all the criminal complaints being filed, Heller said.

Clapper said he needs to do some research to explore the township’s options.

In the meantime, Frontino and Supervisor Jim Patterson said they will arrange to meet with Penn State Altoona administrators to seek their assistance in curbing this kind of behavior.

“I just wonder what’s going with the whole world,” Patterson said. “In past years … when the police showed up, you ran. … The kids today, they sit there and throw rocks and bottles.”

After the Sept. 28 party, Penn State Altoona Chancellor Lori Bechtel-Wheery vowed that all students would be subject to disciplinary measures based on the outcome of the criminal charges.