Local News

Controversial budget calls for tax hike

After lengthy, emotionally charged bickering, the Altoona Area School Board voted 5-4 Monday to pass a $104 million budget with a 0.47-mill tax increase. The 2017-18 budget also includes an estimated $7.5 million deficit, but it would be larger without the tax increase, which will generate ...

Cambria men face rape charges

EBENSBURG — Two Cambria County men allegedly raped a woman while holding her down Saturday at an Ebensburg motel after she agreed to meet one of the men on an internet-dating application, according to charges filed by Cambria Township police. Nathaniel D. Baum, 25, of the 800 block of ...

DUI charges filed against Altoona officer

An Altoona police officer was charged Monday by summons with a misdemeanor DUI for driving under the highest blood-alcohol content of the state’s three-tiered system. The charge to Erik Stirk, 40, stems from his arrest on June 19 at 11:19 a.m. initially for erratic driving on the 700 block ...

Cost of Blair ­courthouse repairs draws Beam’s ire

HOLLIDAYSBURG — As Blair County Commissioner Ted Beam Jr. sees it, a pair of votes cast last week by his fellow commissioners will obligate the county to spend an additional $220,000 for nothing in return. But commissioners Bruce Erb and Terry Tomassetti say one of their votes isn’t ...

Blair judge rules against plumber

A Blair County judge will not allow a Duncansville plumber to sit for a master’s test in Altoona, despite his having a master’s license in Johnstown. Judge Wade Kagarise denied Trevor Rabenstein’s appeal of a city plumbing board ruling that prohibited him from taking the master’s test ...

Tussey mourns ‘life of the party’

SAXTON — The Tussey Mountain School District community has lost one of its long-time fixtures with the passing of Ronald McCahan. McCahan, 64, of Hollidaysburg died Friday after a battle with Lewy Body Dementia. Born and raised in Saxton, he graduated from Tussey Mountain High School and ...

Budget deadline looms as lawmakers eye deficit

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Monday with five days left to pass an on-time budget and no firm agreements on how to address state government’s biggest cash shortfall since the recession. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has kept a low profile, while leaders of the ...

State tackles heated issue

It was less than two weeks ago that state Rep. Frank Farry, R-Langhorne, was released from a four-day hospital stay — the result, he said, of overheating and dehydration brought on from his work as a volunteer firefighter. “The difference is, I was actually able to make the phone call ...

Altoona Area building project budget outlined

The Altoona Area High School project is to cost $88 million or less by the time it’s all done, construction managers hired by the school board stressed in June. But what’s in and not in that figure? That $88 million estimate includes $13 million in soft costs and $75 million for ...

Frye’s lifetime of business knowledge benefits SFU

LORETTO — Business is in Randy Frye’s blood. Frye, 61, is the dean of the Shields School of Business, director of the Graduate School of Business and Human Resource Management and professor of business administration at Saint Francis University. “He is the life of the Saint Francis ...

Police: Man dies from injuries in ATV accident

BEDFORD — A Bedford County man died early Sunday of injuries suffered in an all-terrain vehicle accident in Monroe Township, state police at Bedford said Sunday. Mitchum L. Fulmer, 67, Clearville, was heading north on Pine Ridge Road when he lost control of his ATV north of township Road ...

Orthopedic surgeon faces felony charges

HARRISBURG — An orthopedic surgeon based in Centre County remains free on $20,000 unsecured bail on felony charges in connection with writing 63 prescriptions for opioid pain medication and other drugs for a woman who wasn’t his patient. A preliminary hearing is scheduled July 19 for Dr. ...

Area briefs

HUNTINGDON Man accused of luring child State police are trying to identify the driver of a white pick-up truck who stopped Saturday outside a Shirleysburg residence and tried to entice a 2-year-old boy to get into his truck. The boy’s father told state police that he saw the truck and ...

Ride, event celebrate man’s life

In the parking lot of the Catholic War Veterans club on Saturday afternoon, about 50 people gathered to watch a ring of blue and white balloons, shaped like a rosary with a dangling cross, float up in the sky. “Billy, this is for you,” said his mother, Karen Heininger, who with the help ...

Blair man convicted in sword killing

INDIANA — An Indiana County jury late Friday night delivered a guilty verdict against a Blair County man charged in the sword slaying of a Blairsville drug dealer almost three years ago. The panel of six men and six women found Michael Eades of Tyrone guilty of involuntary manslaughter and ...

Barred worker’s fall poses trouble for firm, AHA

Many years ago, the Altoona Housing Authority got in trouble with the Altoona Drug and Crime Commission for failing to do background checks as required by the federal government. In the years since, the authority has been rigorous with such checks, which are performed on applicants for ...

Physician’s assistant raises concerns at VA

A lack of providers at the Van Zandt VA Medical Center is straining the primary care department, according to a physician’s assistant, who spoke after a town hall roundtable at the hospital last week. And a VA policy by which those primary care providers — doctors, PAs and nurse ...

Oklahoma man dies in motorcycle crash

CLEARFIELD — An Oklahoma man died Saturday afternoon when he lost of control of his motorcycle in Beccaria Township, state police at Clearfield said. Eric John Huber, 46, Wynnewood, was pronounced dead at the intersection of Union Street and Westover Road where he crashed. State police ...

Logan supervisors to review roadway

Upon the request of resident Ed Kreuz, the Logan Township supervisors on Thursday agreed to put the short, no-outlet township road in the Ivyside area on its list to check this fall for possible inclusion in the 2018 program for paving or tar and chips. It turns out that the 800-foot-long ...

Blair receives grant for courthouse work

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County has secured an $80,000 state grant to use toward the cost of repairing and restoring water-damaged surfaces in the former lawyers lobby on the second floor of the courthouse. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission revealed its recent decision in a ...