Cambria proud of threat response

EBENSBURG – The Cambria County commissioners on Thursday recognized the first responders involved in investigating Tuesday’s bomb threat at the courthouse.

President Commissioner Douglas Lengenfelder said the quick response to the threat, which came in about 8:45 Tuesday morning, was because of “a whole lot of work by many agencies.”

“We had such a superb team working on this that by the time we were reopening, the [suspects] were in custody,” he said.

Stephen Jablonski, 50, of 668 Russell Ave., Johnstown, has been charged with making bomb threats, obstructing administration of law and risking a catastrophe, making terroristic threats and making a false alarm to agency of public safety in the case. His girlfriend, identified in other court documents as Heidi Butara, has not been charged but is under investigation.

A number of local law enforcement representatives were present at the meeting to discuss their actions on Tuesday. Ebensburg Police Chief Terry Wyland said that teamwork was key to dealing with the threat quickly.

“It just all went like clockwork,” he said.

Cambria County Sheriff Bob Kolar echoed the sentiment, saying the response was “complete professionalism.” Leaders noted that assistance came from across Cambria County and also county lines, as the Blair County Sheriff’s Office sent its bomb dog to assist, and Pennsylvania State Police were quickly involved in the investigation.

Commissioner Mark Wissinger said the county’s handling of the threat would likely deter future incidents.

“If you weren’t proud of our law enforcement and first responders … then take a good hard look [at yourself],” Lengenfelder said. “This county is dead serious about what’s going on here.”

Other business:

– The commissioners approved an agreement with Medical Guardian LLC to provide personal emergency response systems to the local Agency on Aging. The agency can rent them and then provide them to seniors, according to the agreement. These devices would allow people to alert 911 in the case of injury or illness. The cost to rent each system is about $40, according to the agreement.

– The commissioners approved an addendum to the county’s agreement with Nutrition Inc., which provides Meals on Wheels to seniors. For an additional 50 cents a meal, the meals will include a fruit, nutrition bar or similar item, Lengenfelder said. The cost is not additional to the county and comes from existing grant funds, he said. “We hope our seniors in Cambria County will take advantage of it,” Lengenfelder said.

– The county will enter the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Black Fly Suppression Program for the first year. Commissioner Thomas Chernisky said representatives of the Sunnehanna Country Club contacted the commissioners with concerns about the flies. The county will pay $2,500, regardless of the amount of work DEP has to do, Chernisky said.

Mirror Staff Writer Paige Minemyer is at 946-7535.