Local News

Blair inmates face drug charges

Two Blair County Prison inmates face charges over drugs found at the jail. Angelique M. Lynch, 37, was charged this week over a bag of drugs she allegedly tried to push under the door and out of her holding cell on Sept. 6 while Deborah L. Wilson is charged over three 800 mg gabapentin pills ...

Lighting the way

Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski Blaine Barefoot of the Altoona Public Works electrical department removes a streetlight along Union Avenue on Thursday afternoon in preparation for new LED lighting and wiring.

City man accused of child abuse

An Altoona man is behind bars on charges he raped a child. Michael S. Hampton, 34, of 1213 S. 27th St., Apt. B, was arrested Thursday morning by Altoona police on felony rape of a child and related charges stemming from allegations he sodomized a boy and forced the child to perform oral ...

Court tosses Spotz appeal

Mark N. Spotz, a Clearfield County man on death row for killings in three eastern Pennsylvania counties, has lost his attempt to attack the state’s death penalty statute based on two 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The U.S. Supreme Court by 8-1 majorities found that a clause in the ...

More female inmates stretch prison resources

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The number of female inmates at the Blair County Prison has increased. As of Thursday, the county facility was housing 346 inmates including 84 women, 18 more than the facility’s 66-bed capacity for females. To accommodate the increase, the prison has been assigning six ...

Cresson man faces robbery charges

A Cresson man faces six felony charges for an alleged violent robbery Oct. 13, when a boy was beaten and threatened with a gun. John J. Lacue, 18, of 233 Powell Ave., Apt. 5, is accused of stealing jewelry, money and clothing from a juvenile male, according to Cresson Borough police. In a ...

Off to see the Wizard

Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski Scarecrow (Tony Demi), Dorothy (Ellie Irwin) and Tinman (Will Jones) encounter the Wicked Witch of the West along the Yellow Brick Road in P&J Theatre Works and Altitude Entertainment’s production of “the Wizard of Oz” on Thursday evening at the ...

Amtran to add audio to security cameras

Amtran plans to activate audio recording on its security cameras for buses, after years of delay over worries about violating the state’s wiretap law. Management plans to discuss the proposed change with union members, then introduce the policy next month for the board to consider, General ...

Penn State officials sued

HARRISBURG — A man whose request to rent space at Penn State for an appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer was turned down sued university officials Thursday, claiming his free speech rights were violated. The federal lawsuit by Cameron Padgett, a Georgia university student ...

Reward offered for robbery info

The armed robbery of a Penn State Altoona student is this week’s Blair County Crime Solvers Crime of the Week. A reward of up to $2,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest in the armed robbery, one where Logan Township police report two black males entered a Grandview ...

AASD: Day care could yield $685K per year

The Altoona Area School Board projects opening a day care could yield $685,500 per year for the district. School board President John Donley said the board needs ideas like that to plug budgetary holes without continually leaning on local taxpayers and the state government. Assistant ...

Sandusky denied new trial

HARRISBURG — Jerry Sandusky lost a bid Wednesday for a new trial and a second chance to convince a jury he is innocent of the child sexual abuse charges that landed him in state prison to serve a lengthy sentence. Judge John Foradora denied Sandusky’s requests for a new trial or for ...

Ex-guard convicted of indecent assault

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A former Blair County Prison guard was convicted Wednesday of indecent assault and false imprisonment, charges filed after a female co-worker accused him in 2015 of making unwanted sexual advances. The jury of six men and six women deliberated about two hours before ...

Carrolltown native considers renovating monastery

A former Carrolltown monastery that once housed Benedictine monks may soon have new occupants, as local entrepreneur Mike Ryan works to renovate the aging building. If plans are fulfilled, it will be brewmeisters, travelers and diners who occupy the space. “We want to bring life to the ...

RTMA gets state loan for system upgrades

The Reade Township Municipal Authority has been awarded a $1.57 million state loan to complete long-discussed improvements to its local system. The Pennvest loan announced Wednesday by state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Johnstown, will allow the installation of about 420 residential meters within the ...

Appeals court upholds parental rights ruling

A state appeals court has upheld a decision by Blair County Judge Jolene G. Kopriva to terminate the parental rights of an Altoona man who, it was determined, could not be trusted to care for his child who suffers from juvenile diabetes. The child’s father and mother worked for months with ...

Board introduces acting warden

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The Blair County Prison has a new warden — even if it’s just temporary. With the impending retirement of Warden Michael Johnston, members of the Blair County Prison Board came together Wednesday to introduce Robert Marsh, a state Department of Corrections official, as ...

Amtran ‘tripper’ service appears safe

Amtran’s longstanding school “tripper” service does not appear to be in danger of disappearing, although the Altoona Area School District is seeking proposals for bus services for the 2018-19 school year. “(The district) is not using the bid process to push us out,” Executive ...

City man now facing attempted homicide charge

An Altoona man accused of violently attacking his estranged wife outside their garage is now charged with attempted homicide. Steven S. Snowden, 51, has remain­ed in Blair County Prison since the night of Sept. 6, when he was arrested by Altoona police after he allegedly slammed his wife’s ...