Law enforcement awards presented

Operation Our Town presented its annual law enforcement awards Thursday to those involved in investigating two drug overdose death cases in 2017.

Blair County Assistant District Attorney Amanda Jacobson and Altoona Police Department officers Sgt. Chris Moser, Detective Terry Merritts and patrolmen Garrett Trent, Derek Swope and Dennis Tymenksy were honored for their roles in the 2017 Tremmel/Lopez investigation.

The case involved the death of Gregory Lynam, 29, who was found dead on March 28 in a second-floor bathroom at 814 Broadway with a needle sticking out of his left arm.

Three men have been charged with felony drug delivery resulting in death for allegedly supplying the fentanyl-laced heroin that killed Lynam.

Blair County First Assistant District Attorney Peter Weeks, Assistant District Attorney Nathan Michaux, Tyrone Police Chief John Romeo, Tyrone patrolmen Scott Beall and Jessica Walk, Altoona Police sergeants Chris Moser and Joseph Merill and agent Tom Brandt of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office were honored for their work in the 2017 Miles/Lucas Investigation.

The case involved the death of Joshua Blowers, 31, of Tyrone, who was found in the bathroom of an apartment on the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Four people face charges of drug delivery resulting in death and related charges stemming from the fatal overdose of fentanyl-laced heroin that killed Blowers.

“Chief Romeo is doing a great job in Tyrone and did a great job with this investigation,” said Operation Our Town board member Randy Feathers, who presented the awards.

The 2018 Community Partnership Award, which is given to a community partner that supports and furthers the mission of OOT, went to the Nehemiah Project.

The Nehemiah Project is an organization that has been working for years to transform the Lower Fairview neighborhood west of UPMC Altoona.

“We are now involved in two game-changing activities. We will purchase the Wright Elementary School in 20 days and with the Hope Community Townhouse Project, we will build townhouses in Lower Fairview,” CEO Peter Joudry said. “What we have found out is that no one does anything of value alone, partnerships with God and others leads to anything significant.”