$30G grant to extend St. Francis program
St. Francis University in Loretto said a $30,000 grant from Dominion Resources and the Dominion Foundation will be used for the university to expand its environmental engineering program to better serve watershed groups and to provide engineering and science students with project-based learning experiences.
The grant is part of $85,000 in education grants awarded by Dominion to six high schools and educational institutions in Pennsylvania for the 2013-14 school year.
The grant will help to amplify the activities of St. Francis’ Center for Watershed Research & Service. It will enable student-professor teams to conduct research and service projects for local watershed restoration nonprofit organizations.
The grant also will help create an “Engineers and Scientists Serve!” seminar series for engineers and scientists active in the nonprofit sector to share their experiences with university students and the community.
For more information, visit francis.edu/environmental-engineering.
Suspect arrested in $1M jewelry robbery
PITTSBURGH – Chicago police have arrested a man who allegedly took part in a $1 million jewelry robbery near Pittsburgh.
Authorities said they questioned 30-year-old Oscar Rodriguez after he was found standing in a Chicago street just before 3 a.m. Friday. A name check uncovered his outstanding Pennsylvania warrant for robbery.
Northern Regional police Chief Robert Amann said they believe Rodriguez is one of three people allegedly responsible for stealing about $1 million worth of jewelry in May from a salesman who was in the parking lot of a store in Wexford, about 15 miles north of Pittsburgh.
Human error blamed in gas explosion
EPHRATA – Fire officials are blaming human error for a gas explosion and three-alarm fire at an apartment building that has left 22 people homeless.
The blast happened Friday morning in Ephrata, Lancaster County.
Lincoln fire Chief Randy Gockley said a maintenance man working on a furnace capped the wrong end of a gas line, causing natural gas to build up. When the worker lit the pilot light on the furnace, it ignited an explosion.
Officials estimate the blaze caused $300,000 in damage to the building and $200,000 in personal property losses.
There were no injuries in the blaze, although a firefighter collapsed at the scene and was treated at a hospital.
Strawberry test drop creates a jam
HARRISBURG – A ceremonial strawberry that’s lowered every New Year’s Eve in downtown Harrisburg has ended up in a messy jam.
The berry fell three stories and smashed during a practice run at the Hilton Harrisburg on Friday. Officials said a faulty harness clip is to blame.
The Hilton is working to build a new strawberry for revelers to ring in 2014 on Tuesday night.
Penguin babies on parade at aviary
PITTSBURGH – Visitors can now see a newborn pair of endangered African penguins at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh.
The chicks, a male and a female, were removed from their nest Thursday, and visitors can watch them grow up in a brooder pen.
Officials at the aviary said the chicks weighed only about 2 ounces at birth, but they already weigh more than 10 times that.
The species has been declared endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The penguins live off the southern coast of Africa.
$30G grant to extend St. Francis program
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Halfway house inmates can ease back into society
Prison life can be a time warp.
When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.
Crime board took aim at house
Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.
Homicides linked to center
Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
Volunteers helping to spruce up community
Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.
Hartzok targets income disparity
Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.
Schools rise to leadership challenge
Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.
Student’s photos win awards
A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.
- Local briefs 4/20/2014
Biggest student loan profits come from grad students
This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.
Smartphone kill switches are coming
Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!
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