The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 23, 2013

Cambria leaders laud ‘role model’

NORTHERN CAMBRIA — The Cambria County commissioners held an evening meeting Thursday at Northern Cambria High School. Aside from cleaning the simple administrative tedium from their plates, they gave special recognition to a man who helped draw in close to $750,000 for the county – all through helping convicts in the adult probation program.

The panel of community officials passed, among other things, approvals for a $15,000 expansion to the Northern Cambria Senior Activity Center parking lot and the new county prisoner rate of $68 per day, per prisoner – which is about $30 lower than the state’s rate. They also adopted an agreement to match CamTran’s $25,000 advertising revenue shortfall for the fiscal year – which is $10,000 higher than last year.

As the last agenda item, Commissioner Doug Lengenfelder commended Hal Dues, assistant supervisor of the Community Service Industrial Arts with the Cambria County Adult Probation Department, as being a consistently “strong role model” while helping probationers to pay off their court costs through community service.

This praise came after a time Dues had spent on the wrong side of the law.

Dues was pulling community service after being found guilty of a theft by deception charge. He shined in the job, taking his own initiative to learn skills from his supervisors and prompting Cambria County Senior Judge Gerard Long to take notice.

“He saw that I was very motivated and always busy,” Dues said. “When the judge said, ‘You want to be a supervisor?’ I laughed.

“To know Judge (Gerard) Long – he’s like a father.”

Dues said he felt fortunate to have received the “proper grooming” to help him get a leg up on charges that could haunt future employment. He gave thanks to Long when he shyly accepted his recognition award – for seeing more in him than just another docket number – and also praised President Judge Timothy Creany.

“They know the individual, instead of the crime – that means a lot,” he said.

Community service hours are figured by taking the total court costs held against an offender and dividing it against the minimum wage.

While working with probationers in the program – DUI convicts, minor drug offenders, domestic violence instigators, check bouncers – Dues came to develop personal relationships and, through his supervision, helped them pay off three-quarters of a million in court costs and fees that many owed.

“We may never have recouped any of that,” said Lengenfelder, who sees Dues’ value as a mentor figure to those trying to pay back the community through the program. “(He’s) someone who understands what it means to get into trouble and how to get out of it.”

“We try to take people who made bad choices and correct them,” Dues said. “You can make mistakes and you can get past them.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • WilliamsA ‘I thought I was going to die’

    Hornerstown resident Robert “Bobby” Williams said he endured two hours of surgery, suffered a heart attack and fears he may never again be able to fully use his right arm.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • JFD traing Firefighters practice river rescues

    Johnstown Fire Department members lift a “victim” out of the rescue basket during training Wednesday along the Stonycreek River flood-control wall

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    Here are the names of the 10 entrants that were chosen today-April 22, 2014.  If you see your name, call the Circulation Department at 814-532-5000 (#1) or 1-866-307-0905 to verify your information.

    April 22, 2014

  • sewer meeting map Sewer work will tie up traffic

    Brace yourselves.
    This summer’s sewer main replacement project will delay traffic with detours, closed streets and lane restrictions through one of Johnstown’s notoriously snarled neighborhoods.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • USS Somerset USS Somerset arrives at San Diego homeport

    The USS Somerset is home.
    The amphibious transport dock ship named in honor of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 arrived at its new homeport of Naval Base San Diego on Monday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jablonski, Stephen Charges filed in courthouse bomb threat

    A Johnstown man was charged by Ebensburg Borough police Wednesday with threatening to blow up the Cambria County Courthouse, a call he admitted to Ebensburg police he made Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vizza, Peter Vizza voted deputy mayor

    The top vote-getter in last year’s Johnstown City Council election is now also the city’s deputy mayor.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conemaugh Township rezoning opens business possibilities

    A portion of South Main Street in Davidsville will be rezoned to give greater allowances to the businesses along the road.

    April 23, 2014

  • Sculptor’s work to be raffled off

    The work of a local sculptor will be raffled off during the Art in Bloom show.

    April 23, 2014

  • Katie and Gary Lamer Birthday remembrance bash provides aid to region

    It’s been four years since Johnstown resident Gary Lamer died of complications from pneumonia, but his memory lives on through an annual party that gives back in a big way.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads