Local News

YMCA renames children’s center

FRANKSTOWN — The Hollidaysburg Area YMCA Children’s Center has a new name. YMCA officials announced Thursday the name of the facility on Reservoir Road in the former Frankstown Elementary School building is now the Hollidaysburg Area YMCA Early Learning Center. The new name is better ...

Man asking jury to clear charges

HOLLIDAYSBURG — An Altoona man is asking a Blair County jury to clear him of criminal charges linked to a methamphetamine lab police found in a Juniata residence in 2014 after responding to a domestic complaint. “Question who is really responsible,” defense attorney Matthew Dombrowsky ...

Area briefs

CLEARFIELD New Route 53 bridge to open PennDOT will open a new Route 53 bridge in Bigler Township, Clearfield County, on Saturday. Crews have been working since mid-July to replace the old bridge that spans Maplepole Run, near the village of Madera. An average of more than 1,600 vehicles ...

Tyrone man accused of stealing from relative

A Tyrone man faces 34 felony counts after allegedly confessing to stealing thousands of dollars from a family member, according to Tyrone police. Mark J. Richardson, 34, of Tyrone was arrested Sunday on the 1200 block of Cameron Avenue after the family member reported to police that ...

Tyrone man faces charges after allegedly stealing car

A Tyrone man is accused of stealing and then crashing his boyfriend’s car after an argument. James R. Waybright Jr., 25, of 125 W. 14th St., faces felony theft-related charges along with a misdemeanor charge of simple assault over the alleged incident Tuesday evening in Tyrone. According ...

Registered sex offender accused of raping ex-girlfriend

A registered sex offender is back behind bars after police say he raped his ex-girlfriend early Wednesday. Anthony J. Mesmer, 24, 217 Bell Ave., was arrested Wednes­day morning by Altoona police after Mesmer allegedly raped his ex-girlfriend and then shoved her 3-year-old son to the floor ...

City could exit Act 47 within 10 days

The city could be out of Act 47 distress within 10 days, according to a state official who conducted a public hearing Wednesday on whether the city should exit the financial recovery program it entered five years ago. Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin has ...

Meeting on Altoona Area school project planned

Altoona Area School District residents will get a chance to voice their opinions about the high school building project tentatively on Sept. 6 The Altoona Area School Board is wrapping up the design phase of its new high school building project, said Damian Sparr, a representative of the ...

Jury convicts man of illegal possession of guns

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A Blair County jury took less than an hour on Wednesday to convict a Martinsburg man with a 13-year-old felony on four counts of illegal possession of a firearm, which is likely to land him in jail. But it was Harry Emerson Miller’s prior social media postings about ...

Pipeline drilling to resume with more oversight

Construction, including drilling, will resume along the route of Sunoco Pipeline LP’s Mariner East 2 following a settlement approved Wednesday by a state Environmental Hearing Board judge. An attorney representing an environmental group challenging pipeline-related permits said the ...

Hearings delayed for homicide suspects

BEDFORD — Preliminary hearings for three suspects in a Bedford County homicide case were delayed Wednesday, with new hearings scheduled for next month. Heather Renee Schade, 39, of Bedford; James Antonio Wallace, 29, of Randallstown, Md.; and Devonta Desean Gaines, 22, of Baltimore; were ...

Area briefs

BEDFORD Hyndman man accused of rape A Hyndman man faces dozens of charges for allegedly raping two teenage girls, according to police and court records. State police charged Bradley Allan Blocher, 29, with charges including forcible rape, aggravated indecent assault on a child and sexual ...

APD: Man sold heroin to police informant

An Altoona man is in jail after allegedly selling heroin to a police informant. According to Altoona police, Keith C. Christian, 1623 N. 16th St., had more heroin, cocaine and pills on him, along with cash, after his arrest Tuesday night after Christian allegedly exchanged seven capsules of ...

Man faces charges in assault

A Carrolltown man faces charges, including felony aggravated assault, for allegedly hitting another man Tuesday with a baseball bat. Justin R. Homola, 32, of the 300 block of North Main Street was arrested Tuesday after police responded to a home along Elder Avenue in Northern Cambria, where ...

Cresson man accused of choking 3-year-old

A Cresson man faces multiple felony charges for allegedly choking a 3-year-old boy in late March. Michael J. Mazur, 24, of the 500 block of Front Street is accused of grabbing the child by the throat and squeezing until “the victim’s face turned red and he could not breathe,” according ...

City man accused of raping 5-year-old

By Russ O’Reilly roreilly@altoonamirror.com An Altoona man is facing charges alleging he raped a 5-year-old girl while four others are facing charges for hindering his arrest. Alex Strange Budd Plowman, 22, of 412 Walton Ave., was arraigned Thursday morning on the first-degree felony ...

Parents face abuse charges

By Greg Bock gbock@altoonamirror.com A Tyrone couple are in jail on charges stemming from the alleged abuse of a 5-week-old infant whose injuries are so severe that police say she will likely never recover. Tyler M. Biddle, 21, and Briana M. McClellan, 20, both of 202 W. 10th St., Apt. 3, ...

Drug exposure creates scare

Four Pennsylvania State Police troopers in Bedford were decontaminated last week amid fears they had been exposed to carfentanil, an increasingly common opioid that can kill even in tiny concentrations. The troopers had to be decontaminated Wednesday after a suspect claimed a substance found ...

Tyrone to utilize Altoona alternative ed program

TYRONE — The Tyrone Area School Board unanimously approved an agreement allowing district administrators to enroll students in Altoona Area School District’s alternative education program at the William P. Kimmel School. This school year marks the first that Altoona Area’s alternative ...

Optometrist remembered as ‘great guy’

Optometrist Donald G. Snyder Jr. was well respected by his colleagues. Dr. Snyder, 63, died Saturday following a heart attack at his Hollidaysburg home. “He was just a great guy; he was truly a nice person,” Dr. Richard Centar of Duncansville said. “I would see him at a lot of seminars. ...