The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 1, 2014

Laurels and barbs

JOHNSTOWN — Laurel: An important piece of Somerset County history will be preserved for future generations. Members of the Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association will transcribe oral statements made after the crash of United Flight 93 into the written word as part of the Flight 93 National Memorial’s Oral History Project. Interviews with family members, eyewitnesses, first responders, investigators, air traffic control personnel, journalists and government officials will be transcribed for posterity.

Laurel: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and pediatric cancer research were the big winners of two recent fundraisers. Tau Kappa Epsilon brothers made their annual plunge into ice-covered Lake St. Francis in Loretto for the eighth Polar Bear Swim. Proceeds from the swim totaling $1,500 were forwarded to St. Jude’s. And at Penn State, students endured 46 hours without sleep or being allowed to sit as they participated in THON, billed as the largest student-run philanthropic event in the world. The endurance dancers raised a record $13.3 million.

Barb: We read about this all too often. A local woman has been charged with using credit cards she allegedly stole from residents of an assisted living facility. Shelly C. Ellsworth of Garfield Street is accused of racking up more than $14,000 in illegal purchases. An investigation was launched after relatives of the bilked residents noticed suspicious transactions on credit card statements. “I’m embarrassed,” she told District Judge John Barron. She has a good reason to be ashamed.

Laurel: Kudos to three former area wrestlers who will be among the Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2014 inductees during ceremonies later this month. They are Carlton Haselrig and the Strittmatter brothers, Jody and John. All three prowled the mats at Pitt-Johnstown and all attained national championship status – Haselrig six times; Jody Strittmatter, twice; and John Strittmatter, once. “These are three of our best to ever put on a UPJ singlet,” wrestling coach Pat Pecora told reporter Mike Mastovich.

Laurel: The creative minds of two entities that collaborated on a joint robotic project have received a Gold Edison Award. Concurrent Technologies Corp. and Carnegie Mellon University teamed up to create an automated system that uses lasers to remove paint and other coatings from aircraft. The system was demonstrated on aircraft at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. We congratulate all of those involved in the project.

Barb: Someone in Venango County is having a real downer. Police Chief Matt Carlson said a “substantial quantity” of marijuana was discovered among clothes that were donated to a charity. Police said workers at the Salvation Army outlet in Sugarcreek came across the large plastic bag of pot when they were sorting the clothes.

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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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