The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 3, 2012

Laurels and barbs

— Laurel: Superstorm Sandy didn’t do as much damage to our region as many feared it would, but we’re glad that so many took precautions in order to be as safe as possible. Among those are the many municipalities that changed trick-or-treat dates just to be sure. Yes, many ultimately could have  held the events on Wednesday night, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. A piece of candy or the chance to show off a spooky new costume just isn’t worth endangering a child’s life.

Laurel: Somerset County Chamber of Commerce will honor six residents for their service to the county on Wednesday at Seven Springs Mountain Resort. Barbara Davis will receive the Outstanding Person of the Year Award for her philanthropic and volunteer work with numerous organizations and causes. Roger Wahl, who owns radio station WQZS-FM, is the recipient of the Grant B. Miller award, which honors any accomplishment within a business or profession that has had a direct effect and benefit to the area. Mike Quinn, who was a catalyst behind the success of the Stonycreek Quemahoning Initiative, is being honored with the Betty Haupt Memorial Tourism Award. Alex Ream, 14, will receive the Harold W. Wheeler Jr. Memorial Humanitarian Award after he donated $800 from the sale of two market pigs to a family whose wife and mother had died of cancer. Doyle Paul is the winner of the Somerset County Ag-Business Award for his active role in the agricultural industry. Anna Baird will receive the Ambassador of the Year Award, which recognizes a person who best exemplifies the mission of the chamber.

Barb: A Johnstown man allegedly tried to make a meat-packing company into a drive-through, according to West Hills Regional Police. A criminal complaint says that 47-year-old Joseph Winogrodzki smashed his car into the Alex Froehlich Packing Co. in Lower Yoder Township, then stole more than $1,000 worth of meat and a cash register. Winogrodzki, who reportedly told police that he drank alcohol, consumed pain medication and had not eaten in two days, is charged with burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, tampering with evidence and making a false report to police.

Laurel: Facial hair has a longstanding tradition in hockey, with pro players growing playoff beards each season. The North American Hockey League’s Johnstown Tomahawks are joining in a somewhat newer tradition. The league is having each player grow a mustache to participate in the “Movember” program, a monthlong campaign that raises awareness and funds for men’s health issues. Fans can donate to the cause by visiting the team’s web page at

Laurel: The rescue of nine miners trapped underground a decade ago took cooperation from dozens of individuals, government agencies and corporations. Now, a few months after the 10-year anniversary of their rescue, the Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation and Windber Coal Heritage Center are coming together to consolidate equipment and artifacts from the ordeal that had a global audience focused on Somerset County. Five major exhibits and 60 artifacts will be moved from Windber to the farm where the miners were rescued, making it easier to learn about the miracle at the mine.

Barb: We understand how 4-year-old Abigael Evans feels. Abigael, in case you don’t know, is the Colorado girl shown crying in a video that has gone viral. When her mother asks why she is crying, she replies that she is tired of “Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney.” We, too, are tired of the negative campaigns – not just from President Obama and Romney, but from all of the candidates slinging mud ahead of Tuesday’s election.

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Tackling the area's drug problem.
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