The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 30, 2013

Laurels and barbs

JOHNSTOWN — Laurel: AmeriServ Financial has given Johnstown a Christmas present that many residents may remember and others may come to cherish. Holiday displays of yesteryear that decorated the windows of the former Penn Traffic and Glosser Bros. department stores were brought back to life in the bank’s lobby. “Children today have not seen displays like this,” said Glenn Wilson, president and chief executive officer. “For older residents, it will bring back great memories and maybe tears.” Make it a point to see what used to draw throngs of people to the downtown.

Laurel: It was a pretty hairy situation at St. Francis University as male – and female – members of the faculty either grew or sported mustaches in support of men’s cancer awareness during “Movember.” The Loretto-based institution hoped to match or better last year’s total donations of $1,200. Movember was founded in 2003 to highlight men’s health issues that may otherwise be invisible. To all participants, we say keep a stiff upper lip.

Barb: West Hills Regional police apparently have arrested the person responsible for copper thefts inside vacant homes that sported “for sale” or “for rent” signs. Police allege that Fred Paul Dixon of Johnstown broke into the empty homes and removed copper. Police feared that the brazen scofflaw would try to break into occupied structures. We commend police for taking another alleged offender off the streets.

Laurel: Every little bit helps, and that’s what students in 20 schools in Cambria and Somerset counties are counting on. They are participating in the Easter Seals’ Million Pennies Campaign. Containers are in place in homerooms where students can drop off their pennies. “The kids get excited and are really happy to be helping a good cause,” said Sandy Roush, Easter Seals’ special events coordinator. The community also can get involved. A military vehicle has been parked in The Galleria so shoppers can toss in their spare change. Go ahead, give ‘em your two cents worth.

Laurel: A Patton couple has received the 2013 Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award. Tommy and Tracy Nagle received the award from the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. The Nagles take care of 170 beef cattle and till 650 acres of crops. “I was raised in a small town by both parents and took every opportunity, starting at the age of 4, to accompany my grandfather to the family farm,” Tommy Nagle said. “This sparked my love for farming.” Congratulations to a hard-working couple who are firmly rooted in agriculture.

Barb: Someone made off with a ring of duplicate keys to all apartments in the

Norwood Gardens/Edwards Hill Apartments complex and now is beginning to use those keys to enter and burglarize the units. West Hills Regional police said at least three apartments have been entered and several thousand dollars in money and jewelry is missing. This could be very upsetting to the older residents of the units. We would urge them to install dead bolts on their doors if they haven’t already done so. And to the management, we would suggest that they find a better place to store the duplicate keys, such as in a safe.

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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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