Area briefs

AASD construction plans reviewed

Blair County Planning Commission members Thursday gave a positive review to the Altoona Area School District’s plans to construct modular classrooms at Ebner Elementary School in Logan Township.

Logan Township supervisors gave permission Aug. 2 for the Altoona Area School District to install the modular classrooms at the school to relieve overcrowding there.

The plans call for construction of a 4,980-square-foot, four-classroom modular unit. The construction also includes sidewalks, ramps, decks and stormwater infiltration trenches. Prior to construction, playground equipment, various landscaping and a storm wall need to be removed.

Commission members recommended that the developer replace the landscaping, which was removed during the demolition stage.

Cooking found to be cause of fire

Cooking was responsible for a kitchen fire Saturday in Logan Township.

Firefighters were called out about 2:30 p.m. to a fire at a two-story home at 783 Avalon Road. The blaze was confined to the kitchen and was under control in about 15 minutes, according to United Fire Department Chief Travis Lunglhofer.

A total of 35 firefighters from the township responded and were assisted by departments in Greenwood, Bellwood and Pinecroft. AMED and Logan Township police were also on scene. There were no reported injuries.

Man jailed after leading police on chase

A Gallitzin man is in jail after state police say he stole a cop car and led officers on a chase.

Gerard A. Warren, 21, allegedly ran from the staff at an assisted living home where he was living, as well as from Gallitzin Borough police, about 8:30 p.m. According to state police in Ebensburg, Warren broke into the Gallitzin Sewage Treatment Plant, which is still under construction on Commercial Lane, and when he ran out the front door of the building, Warren came upon an unoccupied Gallitzin Borough police cruiser.

Police said Warren stole the police car and fled south on Route 53 into Cresson where he was then pursued by officers from Cresson Borough and Cresson Township. After Warren turned onto the westbound lanes of Route 22, he was stopped by police near the Munster exit and taken into custody.

Warren is charged with felony counts of criminal trespass and theft as well as misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person and fleeing police.

Warren remains in Cambria County Prison pending a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge John Prebish.

From Mirror staff reports

Area briefs

Police: Man fought passenger after crash

A Tyrone man faces charges after state police say he wrecked while intoxicated and then got into a fight with his passenger on a nearby house’s porch.

Matthew J. Miller, 21, 2253 Columbia Ave., was charged Tuesday with DUI and criminal mischief, along with six traffic violations, stemming from an incident early July 17 on Gardner Lane and Decker Hollow Road in Snyder Township.

According to police, Miller was driving down Decker Hollow Road about 3 a.m. with another man when Miller wrecked his 1994 Buick Century in a yard on Gardner Lane. A neighbor woke to find Miller and the other man yelling and fighting with each other on her front porch. Police said potted plants and furniture were damaged in the scuffle. Police noted when questioned, Miller refused to say who he was arguing with on the porch.

Miller, who was detained at the scene by Tyrone Borough police until state police arrived, was allegedly drunk, and a subsequent blood test allegedly showed Miller had a blood-alcohol content of 0.256.

Miller is due to appear at Tyrone District Court on Sept. 20 for a preliminary hearing on the charges.

Conservancy gets $178,000 for project

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has received about $178,000 for a sediment and pollution project in the Chest Creek Watershed.

The Chesapeake Bay Program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced roughly $11 million in restoration and conservation grants across five states and Washington, D.C., Thursday at Penn State’s Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center.

Including $60,000 in matching funds, the conservancy is set to spend just under a quarter of a million dollars on work to improve the watershed.

The project includes installing riparian buffers and exclusion fencing to reduce sediment and nutrient pollution in the watershed. The project also includes two manure management plans, two heavy-use protection areas and one stabilized livestock crossing.

The other 12 Pennsylvania projects received close to $4.6 million for other restoration work.

From Mirror staff reports

Area briefs

Ritchey speaking at tea party event

Aaron Ritchey, a local business owner and former member of the Hollidaysburg Area School Board, will speak at the Blair County Tea Party meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Bavarian Hall, 112 13th St.

Ritchey will address several issues related to the Blair County property assessment, including the state law that structures reassessment, the way values are established, shortcomings and impacts, millage rates, the cost of the reassessment, the experience of other counties, suggestions for change and what can be done if people missed the appeal deadlines.

The tea party will also give a report on Freedom Fest and its recent fundraising efforts. The membership will be asked for feedback on possible changes for future events. The meeting is free and open to the public.


Cromwell Twp. bridge to reopen

The Spring Creek Road bridge project in Cromwell Township, Huntingdon County, has been completed and will reopen to traffic on Monday, PennDOT said.

The bituminous decks were replaced with new composite concrete


Area briefs


Rep. Burns schedules children’s fair

State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Johnstown, is planning a kids fair this week to be attended by area first responders.

The free fair is scheduled for 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Patton Park.

Burns said police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians are scheduled to attend and be recognized.

A MedStar emergency medical helicopter from Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center also is slated to land during the fair.

The fair will feature games and activities, and organizers will provide healthy snacks for the children.

Anyone looking for more information can call Burn’s Ebensburg office at 472-8021.

Open house for bridge project set

PennDOT will conduct an open house and plans display on the proposed Route 4009 Oppenheimer Run Bridge Replacement Project in East St. Clair Township, Bedford County.

The meeting will be held from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday at the East St. Clair Township Building, 1445 Quaker Valley Road, New Paris.

Area briefs


Manager’s new contract approved

A two-year contract for borough manager James Gehret, including a pay increase, was approved Thursday.

Borough Council unanimously approved the contract at its regular monthly meeting.

At the meeting, council applauded Gehret for his work during his time as manager.

Afterward, Gehret confirmed the new contract for 2017 through 2018, including a 2 percent pay increase.

While no figures were given, a contract approved in 2015 included an annual salary of $92,000.

Nearby lightning injures park patrons

DelGrosso’s Amusement Park and Laguna Splash announced through its Facebook page that two guests were injured by a nearby lightning strike Thursday in the parking lot for the park.

In a post, the park said one male and one female felt a “residual electric recoil” and were treated before being taken to the hospital as a precaution. The park closed at 3 p.m. because of Thursday’s storms.

In response to a later post, the account said park management expected the facility to reopen at 11 a.m. today.

Area briefs


Judge: Sandusky may testify at hearing

A Pennsylvania judge’s court order says former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky could take the stand during his appeal hearing.

WJAC-TV reported Judge John Cleland ruled Tuesday that the 72-year-old Sandusky may testify if prosecutors agree and are allowed enough time to prepare.

Sandusky was convicted in 2012 on multiple child sex abuse charges and is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence. Sandusky didn’t testify during his trial. He has maintained his innocence and seeks a new trial.

The judge scheduled three hearings for Aug. 12, 22 and 23 in Bellefonte, near State College.

Man accused of stealing from wallet

A California man is behind bars after police say he stole cash from a lost wallet.

Carlos L. Marks, 28, of Victorville, Calif., was arrested Saturday by Logan Township police after Marks allegedly stole between $280 and $300 from a wallet he found in the bathroom at Big Lots, 415 Orchard Ave.

According to police, the wallet was on the sink in the bathroom, and Marks took it back to his motel room at the Motel 6. Police allege Marks took the money from the wallet and then showed the wallet to his female companion. The woman then took the wallet and returned it to Big Lots but didn’t know money had been taken from it.

The wallet was returned to its owner, a 52-year-old Imler man, who noticed the money was gone, police said.

Marks faces a charge of theft of lost property and remains in Blair County prison in lieu of $50,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is slated for today before Magisterial District Judge Steve Jackson.

Police: Woman tried to stab husband

A Logan Township woman is behind bars after allegedly threatening to kill her husband with a knife.

Sally Wilinski, 51, 504 Sycamore St., was arrested Saturday night at the couple’s home after police responded about 9:40 p.m. for a report of Wilinski running around the house with a butcher knife and threatening to stab her husband, according to police.

Police said Wilinski not only threatened her husband, but also stabbed holes in the couch. Wilinski was ultimately taken to UPMC Altoona for examination and proceeded to yell vulgarities in the emergency room waiting room. Wilinski is charged with terroristic threats, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct and harassment. She was jailed in lieu of

10 percent of $50,000 and is due to appear for a preliminary hearing today.

Police warn public of counterfeit cash

Logan Township police are warning of a counterfeiting ring that has hit Cambria County and may be heading to Blair County.

Police said a counterfeiting ring is passing $100 bills in the Johnstown area, and the bills are of very good quality and contain a blue hologram strip.

The bills cannot be detected with a counterfeit pen, and the serial number on the bogus cash is LC62272923A.

Police are asking people to be on the lookout for the counterfeit $100 bills and to contact local police if anyone has information about these bills.