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Local News

Pandemic takes toll on Salvation Army’s bell ringing

Officials with The Altoona Salvation Army Worship and Service Center said the impact of COVID-19 has increased the number of residents needing assistance, decreased the availability of volunteers and lowered donations since the mid-November start of the Red Kettle Campaign. “We want to ...

State’s COVID-19 positives top 8K

Pennsylvania set a record Thursday for new COVID-19 cases, then broke it Friday, topping 8,000 for the first time, quadrupling the state’s high point for the spring. The statistics are alarming, but hardly evoke the reality of the illness, according to Harold Chambers, 83, of Altoona, a ...

The calm before the stores

Altoona experienced a calmer Black Friday than normal, according to local shoppers. Deborah Liegey, 53, of Morrisdale and Amber Liegey, 23, of Altoona were about to enter the Logan Valley Mall for their holiday shopping. The mother-daughter duo said their experience this year has been ...

Nights of Lights opens

The Bedford County Chamber of Commerce has opened its second annual Holiday Nights of Lights at the Bedford County Fairgrounds. The seasonal display opened Friday. The community-based, drive-thru light display features more than 100 businesses, organizations, churches, school groups and ...

Election effort faces final curtain

A weekslong campaign to reverse or override Pennsylvania’s presidential election result appeared to falter in the last few days, even as President Donald Trump’s allies threw a Hail Mary pass to secure the state’s electoral votes. Efforts by the White House to claim the state’s vote ...

Williamsburg Pharmacy set to open

WILLIAMSBURG — Williamsburg Pharmacy will open its doors Monday. The town has been without a pharmacy since Dick’s Pharmacy closed. Tyler Ruby, who owns Orby Pharmacy in Orbisonia and Ruby’s Pharmacy in Saxton is opening Williamsburg Pharmacy at 318 E. First St. Ruby, an Everett ...

Firefighters extinguish fire in home’s basement

Firefighters from the Greenwood, Lakemont and Logan Township United fire departments doused a blaze Wednesday in a matter of minutes, Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Mark Rispoli said. “The guys did a good, quick knockdown of the fire,” Rispoli said. “They probably had ...

Retailers optimistic as shopping spree kicks off

As shoppers converge on area stores today, they are finding a different Black Friday than they have experienced in years past. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll. “We know this holiday season will be unlike any other, and retailers have planned ahead by investing billions of dollars ...

Gun sales ablazing for deer season

By Walt Frank wfrank@altoonamirror.com Business has been booming for area stores as Pennsylvania’s firearms deer season gets underway Saturday. “It is crazy. Supply is down and sales are way up for guns and ammo,” said Ken Westover, owner of Allegheny Trade Co. in Duncansville. ...

Bike skills park closes for season

HESSTON — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has closed Raystown Lake’s Mountain Bike Skills Park for the winter. The skills park is scheduled to reopen in April, according to Allen Gwinn, supervisory park ranger. The closure helps maintain the park’s tread for future accessible and safe ...

Feeling blessed

When asked what she feels grateful about this Thanksgiving, in spite of COVID-19 and 2020’s other disruptions, Pat Griffith of Tyrone spoke of her volunteer work, which satisfies a compulsion that surfaced when she was a child in Bald Eagle. Her family had a cocker spaniel, Randy, and she ...

Executive director resigns position

The Blair County Convention Center has lost its executive director at a time when the facility’s business is slow because of the coronavirus pandemic. The authority that manages the center accepted Rocco Alianiello’s resignation during a meeting Wednesday and indicated that he was ...

Continued tensions bubble over for AASD board

The Altoona Area School Board meeting Tuesday brought months of debate over educational models to a peak, drawing varying responses from within the district. Kirk Dodson, an Altoona Area High School teacher, applauded the administration and the five board members who voted for a virtual ...

Allegheny officer named ‘Top Gun’

The Pennsylvania DUI Association recognized an Allegheny Township Police Department officer in November for his efforts to keep the roads safe from impaired drivers, an association spokesperson said. Officer Paul Mummert was selected for the association’s 2020 DUI Top Gun award, which is ...

Bellwood-Antis schools go virtual

BELLWOOD — The Bellwood-Antis School District will move to full remote education when classes resume Tuesday. The remote learning platform is expected to continue through Dec. 11, according to Superintendent Thomas McInroy. School board members made the decision at an emergency meeting on ...

AASD dedicates conditioning center

The Altoona Area School District hosted a ribbon cutting of its new Thompson Family Strength and Conditioning Center. The center is named after the late Bill and Anne Thompson, who gave $100,000 to the AASD Foundation for the district to outfit the center with quality strength and ...

Drive-by donation scheduled for Friday

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The Holiday Kickoff Drive-By Donation will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in front of the U.S. Hotel Tavern at 401 S. Juniata St. Proceeds will benefit the Hollidaysburg BackPack Program and the American Rescue Workers. Non-perishable items, toiletries and new, ...

BG student releases Christmas single

A Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School student has released her interpretation of Ralph Blane’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” in time for the holiday season. Ellie Irwin, 18, daughter of Joey and Becky Irwin of Altoona, said her rendition of the holiday classic will be ...

All tied up

Everett Railroad track foreman John Hafer of Hollidaysburg works with a crew to spike new ties south of East Freedom on Tuesday afternoon. (Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski)

AASD shifting to virtual learning

The Altoona Area School Board voted Tuesday to shift the district to a full-virtual learning model. According to the district’s virtual learning plan, junior and senior high school students will follow a standard school-day schedule, attending live classes using their devices. Elementary ...