The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 22, 2014

Laurels and barbs

The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN — Laurel: We congratulate Sondra L. Haberl of Ebensburg, Kayla L. Kirsch of Elmora, Samuel T. Lech of Johnstown and Brandon T. Miller of Somerset for graduating from the State Police Academy in Hershey. The four rookies will be working out of Troop G in Hollidaysburg. We wish them well.

Laurel: First National Bank is on the move. The Richland Township planning commission gave tentative approval to the financial institution’s plans to build a larger bank with more drive-through lanes on property adjacent to its Scalp Avenue location. The new 3,700-square-foot bank will be built on its current lot and on property formerly occupied by a Sunoco gas station. Richland Township is growing again.

Barb: Scofflaws have caused the Catholic Charities of Altoona-Johnstown to take two steps backwards in its attempt to open a homeless shelter in Dale Borough. Metal scavengers and vandals broke into the vacant structure, causing thousands of dollars in damages. “All the metal, all the copper” has been removed, said Larry Custer, executive director of the county’s redevelopment authority. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the individuals responsible for the damage were to need the homeless shelter?

Laurel: Two Windber venues, borough council and the middle school, can share a laurel. Borough officials realized they failed to alleviate 12th Street traffic woes, so they decided to return the street to its original traffic pattern. Nothing gained, nothing lost. And the middle school was honored with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Academics for achieving the top assessment score in the state – 93.3 percent.

Laurel: Ben Roethlisberger has been known to come through in the clutch. And so it was when the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation announced that it would buy the Pittsburgh city police a new K-9 dog to replace Rocco, an 8-year-old German Shepherd that was stabbed to death last month by a homeless fugitive. The foundation has donated more than $1 million for police dogs.

Barb: Perhaps two math majors at Reed College in Portland, Ore., should have enlisted the help of physics majors when, urged on by onlookers, they set out to build a snowball as large as possible by rolling it down a sidewalk. You guessed it, the frozen orb began to roll out of control and smashed into a dormitory, partially destroying a bedroom wall and causing approximately $3,000 in damage.