The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 29, 2013

In brief: Ruptured gas meter forces evacuation

Staff and wire reports

WINDBER — Apartments and businesses in a four-block area of the borough were forced to evacuate Thursday night after a motorist backed into a building and ruptured a gas meter, fire officials said.

A vehicle struck the building at 1332 Graham Ave. around 11 p.m., Windber fire Chief Craig Cicon said. The building houses several businesses that were closed at the time, he said.

“We started evacuating everything downwind,” the chief said. “Everything was closed in the center of town, so it made our job a little easier.”

Patrons at Sheetz and a couple of bars, and tenants in apartments above Patti’s Restaurant were evacuated for about two hours until the gas company shut off the flow of gas, Cicon said.

Firefighters had to stop a Norfolk Southern train from passing through town to prevent sparks from igniting the natural gas, Cicon said.

No injuries were reported.

Seven Springs extends season

SEVEN SPRINGS – Seven Springs Mountain Resort will stay open for skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing through April 7.

This weekend, the resort will feature more than 37 slopes and trails and more than 70 terrain park features.

Hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Snow tubing will be open from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For information, visit

Hidden Valley stays open longer

SOMERSET – Hidden Valley Resort will remain open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and Friday through April 7. The schedule and rates are as follows:

Valley Side slopes will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Ski/board tickets are $25 for adults or juniors with free ski/board rentals and a free beginner group lesson included.

Slopes will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday through April 7. Ski/board tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for juniors. Equipment rentals are $15 for adults or juniors.

For detailed information on rates, hours, season passes and lodging packages, visit

Homer City weighs distillery on Main Street

HOMER CITY – A proposal to make vodka, rum and whiskey at a microdistillery in this Indiana County borough is running up against concerns over the effect of the liquor on addicts who meet next door and questions about whether it should be permitted in a commercial zone.

The Indiana Gazette reported that a Homer City Planning Commission hearing was put on hold Thursday after nearly an hour and a half of public comment.

The proposed Disobedient Spirits distillery is the idea of two Indiana University of Pennsylvania professors, and it would provide a retail outlet.

The professors said the business should be zoned commercial and allowed to start up on its proposed Main Street location next to Homer City United Methodist Church, which houses addiction recovery meetings.

Website marketing seminar available

LATROBE – St. Vincent College Small Business Development Center will host Search Engine Optimization from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday. Registration will start at 8:30 a.m.

The seminar will provide online marketing strategies that will give a website more visibility and increase website traffic through search engine results. Presenter Joe Polk previously was senior technical specialist with PennTAP, Web technology specialist with Marconi PLC, and Web developer with Management Science Associates in Pittsburgh.

The fee is $40, or $35 each if two or more attend or register for an additional program.

To register or for more information, call 724-537-4572.

Job, career fair planned

The Veterans Leadership program of Western Pennsylvania has scheduled a job and career program for veterans and others on Thursday.

The program will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in Seminar Theatre at the Hiram G. Andrews Center in Upper Yoder Township.

Employers who have signed up so far to participate are Three Wire Systems, Goodwill Industries, the two state prisons in the Somerset area, Pepsi, Johnstown Welding and Fabrication, Safari Contract Cleaning, Riggs Industries, Geneva College and Lowe’s.

Because the event is a program and not a walk-around job fair, it is important that attendees arrive promptly at 9 a.m.

Job-seekers should bring a resume for distribution to employers.

For more information, call the Veterans Leadership Program at 255-7209.

Farm bureau will meet

EBENSBURG – The fourth annual meeting of the Cambria County Farm Bureau will be held at 7 p.m. April 8 at the Manor Meeting Room, 499 Manor Drive in Ebensburg.

The purpose of the meeting is to update members on benefits and services available to them and on issues that could impact farms.

Lou Kopczyk from the County Conservation District will discuss the legal requirements of the manure management manual.

The meeting is free and open to the public.

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