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Gallitzin firefighter deserving

Shining rays of sun on some good news:

The profile of first responders certainly has been raised, dating back to 9/11 and especially over the past 17 months as the country dealt with and is still dealing with COVID-19.

To that end, the good folks who fill those frontline roles can never get too much credit.

That’s why we were glad to see one of our own named the National American Legion and American Legion Pennsylvania Firefighter of the Year.

Robert C. “Herb” Nagle, 72, of Gallitzin, received his state award in Harrisburg earlier this month and is scheduled to be recognized for the national award in Phoenix, Arizona, in August.

Nagle, who also served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, joined the fire service in 1964 — when he was 17 — and filled a variety of roles with the Gallitzin Fire Company, including as fire chief, for the past 55 years.

His recognition is obviously well deserved.

Chuck Monts, a former Hollidaysburg pastor, rode a bicycle across the country, from California to New York City, raising funds for The Bowery Mission in New York, which feeds the needy.

Monts, who recently retired from the New York mission, surpassed his goal of $25,000 for the project.

Prior to his 12-year tenure in New York, Monts served 12 years at the First Presbyterian Church in Hollidaysburg.

Previous executive directors of the Blair County Convention Center have mainly brought experience in business and marketing.

Tom Schilling is the exception.

Schilling has been the head chef at the local facility for eight years.

But his work as a cook and interim operations manager over the past nine months earned him the trust of the Blair County Convention Center Authority to be handed the top job last week.

Simone Biles is one of the most recognizable athletes in the Olympic Games.

But America’s defending gold medalist withdrew from the all-around competition this week, saying she wanted to focus on her mental health.

While it’s disappointing not to see Biles perform — she hasn’t made up her mind on the individual events next week — we support whatever she decides.

All too often, the world has seen the effects of depression and mental health issues.

Biles’ decision took more courage than actually competing.

Speaking of the Olympics, a local family had more than a passing interest as American swimmer and rising star Emma Weyant, granddaughter of Martinsburg resident Kay Weyant and daughter of 1985 Central High School graduate Jim Weyant, took a silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley.

Emma Weyant, 19, grew up and trained in Sarasota, Florida, and her Olympic qualifying time in the 400 was the fastest in the world this year.

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