The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


December 28, 2013

Laurels and barbs

JOHNSTOWN — Laurel: Students at Greater Johnstown High School and Middle School merged forces to make Christmas merrier for less fortunate families in the area. Members of the high school’s Interact Club and the middle school’s Builder’s Club raised $1,500 to fund the project. “I like to give to people because not everyone has what I do,” said Brittany Ellsworth, a sixth-grader. Very profound words from a young girl, and a worthy endeavor by both groups.

Laurel: A local manufacturer has taken another step to become a major player in the natural gas industry. Environmental Tank & Container, a division of Johnstown Welding and Fabrication, has earned a pressure vessel certification from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The certification opens new avenues of business for the 2-year-old facility, which employs about 100 people at its Cramer Pike plant in West Taylor Township. We congratulate the company for its achievement.

Barb: An alleged robber who couldn’t get anywhere with an adult turned his wrath on a 14-year-old girl. George Kushner, 48 of Johnstown, allegedly approached a woman in a Kernville

convenience store and asked for money. The woman refused and left the store. The man then turned his attention to the woman’s teenage daughter, who entered the store after her mother left, police said. Fearing for her life, the girl handed over $4 in change. For his efforts, Kushner was lodged in Cambria County Prison on $65,000 percentage bond. Terrorizing teenagers is not a manly act.

Laurel: A Westmont resident was honored with the Pennsylvania Homeowners Association’s inaugural Action Award. James Greco was recognized for spearheading Cost Effective Approaches Supporting Education that was formed to oppose constant tax increases in the Westmont Hilltop School District. Thanks to Greco’s leadership and insight, the district has held the line on tax increases for the past two years. It’s a deserving award for a tireless worker.

Laurel: We believe the Somerset County commissioners are on the right track by hiring a consultant to seek funding for a proposed train station in Rockwood. Former state lawmaker Richard A. Geist of Altoona has been tasked with finding up to $3 million for construction of an Amtrak stop in the borough. “He’s very confident we can be successful,” Chairman John Vatavuk said. We, too, are putting our faith in Geist.

Barb: Some exes will stop at nothing in trying to belittle a former spouse. A Clymer woman has been accused of possessing child pornography and lying after she allegedly accused her estranged husband of downloading the porn onto a computer. But after examining the hard drive, police say the suspected images were downloaded after Meri Jane Woods’ husband had left the residence. That’s a despicable act.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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