×

Area Life

Portrait found in gallery’s walls verified

PIACENZA, Italy — Art experts have confirmed that a painting discovered hidden inside an Italian art gallery’s walls last month is Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of a Lady,” which was stolen from the gallery nearly 23 years ago. The authentication of the painting announced Friday solved ...

Grammys CEO put on ‘administrative leave’ following allegations

NEW YORK — The Recording Academy has placed Deborah Dugan, its president and CEO of just six months, on administrative leave following an allegation of misconduct by a senior leader at the organization. The move announced late Thursday comes 10 days before the 2020 Grammy Awards will be ...

Message of hope

Tony Melendez is a self-taught guitarist. He had to be. No instructor knew how to teach him to strum the strings with his feet. The son of a mother who took thalidomide to ease morning sickness during pregnancy, Melendez was born in 1962 in Rivas, Nicaragua, without arms. The sedative drug, ...

Anime abounds

Anime is a type of Japanese animation. The characters’ wide-eyed faces are popular with adults and children. Setsucon, a convention that celebrates anime and Japanese culture, is returning to the area on Jan. 25-26 at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona. This will be the fourteenth ...

Appreciate the sacrifice

Every historically significant event had a beginning. It’s probably safe to say that, at least occasionally, said beginning was a relatively simple matter that got blown way out of proportion. Such was the case of the Great French Bread Pizza Incident of 2020. Haven’t heard of it ...

Arise convocations set

Arise Together in Christ, a renewal program being celebrated throughout the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, will begin its fourth season with a choice to attend one of two diocesan convocations. Peter Ascosi, assistant director for ChristLife, a Catholic apostolate in Baltimore, will ...

Spiritual notes

Free luncheons - St. Mary Catholic Church, Mulberry and Clark Streets, will host the Hollidaysburg Free Soup Program the next two Saturdays, Jan. 18 and 25. Meals include soup, sandwiches, bread, butter, desserts and beverages. An offering will be accepted, but is not mandatory. The Free Soup ...

On this date

50 YEARS AGO: Jan. 17, 1970 The first ever downtown pedestrian mall was planned by the Altoona Redevelopment Authority, William C. Bellamy director, from the 10th Avenue parking lots to 11th Avenue between the former Ecumenical Center and Endicott Shoes buildings, now Wolf’s Colonial ...

‘Joker’ tops Oscar nominations

Todd Phillips’ much-debated supervillain origin story and R-rated box-office smash “Joker” topped all films with 11 Academy Awards nominations, while Martin Scorsese’s elegiac crime epic “The Irishman,” Quentin Tarantino’s 1960s Los Angeles fairy tale “Once Upon a Time ... in ...

San Francisco’s Beefeater doorman retires

SAN FRANCISCO — Another bit of old, quirky San Francisco will be no more when Tom Sweeney finally hangs up his white pressed collar and signature Beefeater jacket this weekend after more than four decades of opening doors at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel downtown. Sweeney has taken the ...

Robots headline CES Gadget Show

LAS VEGAS — Robots were front and center at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas. One even made pizza. The annual CES technology conference in Las Vegas runs through Friday and offers a forum for companies to unveil their products and services for the coming year. Here are some ...

Our spiritual evolution

People believe many different things about God and spirituality. Some are convinced that it’s arrogant to assume that we can know God’s will or walk with the Lord personally. However, what most people never stop to consider is how could the Creator ask His creation to accomplish ...

Spiritual Notes

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak of the Altoona-Johns­town Diocese has directed that the Precious Blood not be distributed in any form at Mass beginning the this weekend, Jan. 11-12, and continuing until further notice. The directive is due to the severity of the flu season. It is the belief of ...

Perspectives course kicks off Monday

The course, “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement,” begins Monday, Jan. 13, with speaker Bob Sjogren, author and president of UnveilinGLORY. Perspectives is a 15-week course focusing on the biblical, historical, cultural and strategic aspects of God’s heart for the world and how ...

‘New Zealand Night Prayer’ set

As part of the Community Common Prayer Series, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 335 Locust St., downtown Johnstown, will hold a “New Zealand Night Prayer” service at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19. The service is free and open the public. The offering of prayer late in the evening, by laity, ...

On this date

50 YEARS AGO: Jan. 10, 1970 Two IRA men showed a film on the new federal gun control laws at Altoona City Hall by the firearms law enforcement division of the Internal Revenue Service and about 65 local people attended. Local resident George H. Alderson Jr. questioned the “one-sidedness” ...

Gervais leads raucous Globes

NEW YORK — Ricky Gervais made a big deal Sunday about how this was the fifth and final time he was going to host the Golden Globes. Maybe that’s true. Maybe not. But it’s the frame he used this time for his devil-may-care act of jokes that provoke a swift intake of breath. Harvey ...

ACT seeks national award for late director

Altoona Community Theatre will nominate the late Steven C. Helsel for a national award in 2020, for a lifetime of outstanding leadership and service to community theater. Helsel dedicated his life to serving the theater and the community from 1987 until his death in November 2018. Among the ...

A ‘banner year’ for female filmmakers

NEW YORK — Lulu Wang, Lorene Scafaria, Melina Matsoukas and Greta Gerwig led Hollywood to a record year for women in the director’s chair. In 2019, women directed more of the most popular movies than any year before. Women directed 12 of 2019’s top 100-grossing films in 2019, according ...