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Local News

Suspect appreciates drug court opportunity

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A former Altoona man convicted in May of delivery and possession of a substance made to look like heroin has been sentenced to participate in Blair County’s drug court program for up to 18 months. “I see something in you,” Blair County Judge Timothy M. Sullivan told ...

Fighting for the future

Like Sept. 11, 2001, Friday was a perfect late-summer day. And like 9/11, Friday was a day to contemplate catastrophe, according to about 180 rally-goers at Heritage Plaza and millions more around the world on a day designated “Global Climate Strike,” an event scheduled to call attention ...

Plan to link trails gains momentum

SHANKSVILLE — A longtime plan to connect the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail to the Flight 93 National Memorial Trail may reach a breakthrough with Gov. Tom Wolf’s Restore Pennsylvania proposal, officials said Friday. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy ...

Gallitzin mourns Knee’s passing

GALLITZIN — Walk down the street in the Borough of Gallitzin, and just about anyone you’d stop would probably know the name of Nancy Knee and they’d most likely have a kind word to say about her, said the friends and family who knew her. “She was just such a likeable lady,’’ said ...

Molestation case draws 5-10 year jail sentence

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A Duncansville man was sentenced Friday to five to 10 years in jail, followed by five years’ probation, for molesting a teenage girl in 2017 and 2018. Michael D. Lastra, 49, who has been in Blair County Prison since January when state police at Hollidaysburg filed multiple ...

More charges filed for suspect in stabbing

A Warriors Mark man charged with attempted homicide over the stabbing of a Tyrone man in August now faces additional charges. Benjamin C. Wrye, 31, was charged Friday by state police with resisting arrest stemming from his capture the morning of Aug. 23 at Snappy’s Convenience Store in Bald ...

Cambria woman faces drug, counterfeit money counts

A Cambria County woman wanted in Blair County now faces additional charges after police find counterfeit money and drugs. Melissa L. Maybush, 35, of Ashville, was arrested Thursday night on a Logan Township police arrest warrant from July, and when searched, officers allegedly found $130 in ...

Traffic stop yields meth, heroin

Two people from Tyrone face charges after police found drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop. Jason P. Lewis, 39, of 115 Gladys Lane, and Christy L. Mengel, 38, of 705 Oak St., were arraigned Thursday morning by Magisterial District Judge Fred Miller on multiple drug and drug ...

Monumental task

Chris Aaron of Pittsburgh (left) and Grant Lyons of Bethlehem rake stones provided by the city at the World War II veterans monument in Garden Heights on Friday. The men were helping a pair of local veterans groups that are restoring the monument site. Mirror photo by William Kibler

Magisterial district judge

Filed before Altoona Magisterial District Judge Benjamin F. Jones: Angela K. Reel, 34, 1130 13th Ave., Apt. 622, charged by Altoona police with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia on the 1200 block of 14th Avenue, Jan. 13. Guilty plea entered to charge of ...

Sentencings

The following sentencings were filed in Blair County Court. Although some cases may be more than a year old, the Mirror publishes them in the interest of complete reporting. The following defendant was placed in Probation Without Verdict Program for four to six months and will pay all ...

Coming Sunday

Some highlights to look for in the Mirror’s upcoming Sunday edition: John’s Way Medical Equipment Ministry near Martinsburg has become a thriving mission. Holly Claycomb reports. The U.S. Navy Band, scheduled to play in Hollidaysburg, features Hollidaysburg native Matthew Neff. Patt ...

Hands-on approach: Trainees urged to ‘see the person’

Barb Zaplotney’s life changed “in a blink of an eye” 12 years ago. The 33-year-old Windber resident became paralyzed in a car crash returning to Scranton after Christmas break. The impact severed her spinal cord at T-10 and shattered her T-11 and T-12 vertebrae. Zaplotney, who uses a ...

Prison looking at mail options

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The Blair County Prison Board is asking commissioners to consider contracting with a mail management company to examine mail for contraband and to introduce a fee-based email service for inmates. Options are available through a company called TextBehind, headquartered in ...

City owes pension funds $5.7M

The city will owe a total of $5.69 million to its three pension funds by the end of next year. The 2020 minimum municipal obligation comprises $2.67 million for the firefighters’ pension plan, $2.42 million for the police pension plan and $594,000 for the non-uniformed workers’ pension ...

Water authority plans soil cleanup from tank

The Altoona Water Authority will rent a large excavator to remove now-dried soil from a tank at the Westerly Sewer Treatment Plant that held “mud puddle water” brought in by pipeline companies after boring operations under rivers and roads during the last two years. The rental will cost ...

Hollidaysburg man faces child sex abuse charges

A Hollidaysburg man faces charges he sexually abused a boy. According to charges filed by Blair Township police, 20-year-old Brandyn C. Koll allegedly molested the boy, now 13, over the course of several years and threatened to punch him if he told anyone. The allegations came to light in ...

Police: Beccaria man allegedly threatened to burn house down

CLEARFIELD –– A Beccaria man will stand trial for threatening to burn down a home and assault a woman. James Charles Selvage, 33, was charged by state police with misdemeanor terroristic threats and a summary harassment after an incident at a residence in Gulich Township, Clearfield ...

Flooding befouls spray park

The new gym floor at the Adler Athletic Complex at Penn State Altoona wasn’t the only recreational facility flooded by Spring Run during a storm on the afternoon of Aug. 2. Less than a mile downstream, the creek came over its banks at a curve where the bottom is elevated with a large gravel ...

Blair gets $250K lead paint grant

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County has received a $250,000 grant to devote to the proper removal of lead-based paint from residences. Commissioners Chairman Bruce Erb said Tuesday that the county has been notified of the award by the state Department of Community and Economic Development. A few ...