Other than occasionally explaining our decisions about specific coverage, we typically don't comment on legal matters still pending.
Which is why I waited to weigh in on Martin Wimer's case, in which the former Hollidaysburg Area High School teacher and cross country coach was sentenced last week to three to six years in prison for homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence.
Suffice to say this is one of the sadder situations we've dealt with.
I know people in both families - Wimer, who my children had as a teacher, and relatives of Judy Wills, who was killed when Wimer's vehicle, which was traveling in the wrong lane on Frankstown Road, struck her car head-on about noon Sept. 27, 2008.
For the previous four years, Wimer had been attempting to cope with the loss of his son, Ben, who was killed on Scotch Valley Road in 2004.
While no one should have to bury a child, Wimer somehow made his own tragedy even worse by actions that led to the death of another person - in this case Wills, an innocent victim who was en route to visit her grandchildren.
Wimer, from this view, could well have and arguably should have gotten a longer sentence. There are people in jail for lesser crimes serving longer terms.
While he can never fix the void he left in the Wills family, when he gets out of prison, Wimer could provide society with an example of how not to handle personal adversity - even the worst personal adversity.
Here's hoping the man who was once regarded as an outstanding teacher can someday return to deliver a positive lesson from a very negative situation.
A day fit for 'Moose'
Close followers of this column may recall a couple of playful past references to the Gallitzin Moose.
It started with a mention of Mirror advertising queen Patty Shirock, now the reigning Mirror Employee of the Year, and a longstanding member of the Moose.
Anyway, after wondering aloud why there had been no invitation to the Moose, maybe to watch a Steelers game, one quickly arrived from Barry Knee, governor of the Loyal Order Of Moose, Gallitzin Lodge 185.
My bluff having been called, I assembled a mini-family contingent and traveled to the Moose on Dec. 27 for the Steelers-Ravens game.
We toured the facility and were wined and dined with beer, soda, chips and pretzels (the Moose has no kitchen). We took pictures, were presented commemorative glasses and exchanged Gallitzin lore. Between Knee, John Palko and other Moose members, we could not have been treated better. Patty even showed up.
The Moose recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, and there are plans to move to a new building, if all goes well, in the coming years.
When that day comes, here's hoping the new place will have the same, warm charm and be fit for a Moose - a Gallitzin Moose.
* Our condolences to the Ingham family on the death of Staff Sgt. Matt Ingham in Afghanistan. The headline on a sidebar about Matt's confidence having grown from a "crazy kid," we understand, further upset the situation. The headline reflected the story, which captured Matt's endearing, fun qualities, but we nonetheless apologize to anybody offended.
* Former Mirror columnist Dave Hurst has authored a book "Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountains," published by the History Press. Hurst is the father of David Hurst, the Mirror's Cambria County reporter.
* I'm pleased to report that Puzzlegate has been solved. As a large number of you noticed, we no longer are running the Word Sleuth, but it's been replaced with the Janric Wordfind and will appear on Page D4 daily. The Jumble Crossword will move to Page D5. The amount of interest in the loss of the puzzle for three days almost approached, dare I tread here, the changes we made to Select TV.
Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.