The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 19, 2014

Laurels and barbs

JOHNSTOWN — Laurel: It’s a good problem to have – thousands of boaters flocking to the region to paddle the Stonycreek River every year. But a popular access area is not designed to handle the flood of whitewater enthusiasts. So Benscreek Canoe Club has proposed a permanent 50-foot-long boat ramp at the Hollsopple-area site. The club has applied for a $4,000 grant to cover construction costs. That’s an idea that we hope will float.

Laurel: It’s an encore performance that’s been three decades in the making. Foghat, which rocked the War Memorial Arena in 1981, will be the headline entertainment for this year’s Thunder in the Valley. We congratulate the Greater Johnstown Cambria County Convention and Visitors Bureau for securing another well-known act for the popular motorcycle rally.

Barb: In our opinion, a local woman is just delaying the inevitable. Cambria County Judge Norman Krumenacker recently ordered Rebecca Kelly to serve a 30-day jail sentence after her seventh incident for driving without a valid driver’s license and numerous other offenses. Kelly, pregnant with her fourth child, fought for house arrest, but Krumenacker would not budge, saying that Kelly had to take responsibility for her actions. In the end, Kelly’s attorney filed an appeal and Krumenacker had no recourse but to stay her sentence.

Laurel: Johnstown K9 officers and their dogs form a tight, lifelong bond. So it would make sense that the officers would be knowledgeable in basic first aid for their partners. Karen Tiffany, an associate veterinarian at Richland Veterinary Hospital, showed the officers how to treat wounds, apply bandages and flush their dog’s eyes. “It’s great knowledge for us to have if something happens to them in the field,” K9 Officer Michael Kanuch told our Dave Sutor.

Laurel: Another unsightly waste coal site has been removed from the region. Armagh-based Robindale Energy Services garnered a Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for removing more than 300,000 tons of boney from a 46-acre dump near Saltsburg and reclaiming the land to its original contour. Another unsightly scar on the landscape has been healed.

Laurel: A Salute to Working Women that focused on sharing information, topics and opportunities geared toward women attracted more than 190 participants to a working luncheon. “One of our goals is to educate women, whether it’s learning new techniques or hearing new topics,” Michele Bonerigo, chairwoman of Women’s Information Network, which sponsored the event, told our Ruth Rice. It was the first time that the information network hosted the event.

Barb: We hope that a young Boswell man gets anger management help. According to police, Joel Lepley apparently began choking his mother while ranting, “How’s it feel to die?” after the two began arguing allegedly over Lepley selling a TV for marijuana. Lepley has been charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats and simple assault.

Barb: When will people wise up that child pornography is illegal, and disgusting? Daryle Henry Burket, 71, of Somerset was charged with 15 counts of sexual abuse of children and corruption of minors after a home health nurse allegedly noticed the photo of a nude child on his computer. State police said they recovered more than 30 images of young girls on Burket’s laptop.

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