The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 1, 2010

Reward offered for information in turbine shooting

— Authorities have mounted a coordinated investigation after shots were fired May 10 at an Adams Township wind turbine where two maintenance employees were working.

On Tuesday, Cambria County Crimestoppers announced a $2,000 reward for information leading to the shooter’s or shooters’ arrest.

Vandalism incidents at two unmanned wind turbines near Portage also are being investigated.

“We have had multiple incidents around Portage. On May 10, it escalated to a point where lives were endangered,” District Attorney Kelly Callihan said Tuesday during a press conference at state Sen. John Wozniak’s office, 2307 Bedford St. in Geistown.

“There were maintenance workers up on the tower,” Callihan said.

Police believe the shooter was using a high-powered rifle like those used to hunt deer, Adams Township police Chief Kirk Moss said at the press conference.

Although investigators are not ready to say the Adams Township shooting was related to the Portage vandalism, Callihan said they were “similar in nature.” She would not say if the Portage incidents involved bullet damage.

Because the attack on a wind turbine can be considered an attack on a power plant, federal laws come into play, Callihan said.

The state police local terrorism task force is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Adams Township Highland Wind Farm is owned by EverPower Wind Holdings Inc. The company worked with other wind power concerns to raise the reward money for Crimestoppers, company spokesman Daniel Lagiovane said at the press conference.

“We are very concerned,” Lagiovane said.

“Our workers are family members and just going about doing their jobs.”

Because of the unique nature of wind power technology, what may seem to be minor damage can be extremely expensive to repair, he noted.

Authorities have no evidence to connect any of the incidents to wind energy opposition groups, Callihan stressed.

EverPower has been welcomed into the community and experienced no other problems, Lagiovane said.

The Crimestoppers reward may produce information that saves lives, Moss said.

“It’s the old adage,” Wozniak said. “Somebody knows something about someone.”

Those with information are asked to call the Crimestoppers tip line at (800) 548-7500.

Tipsters may remain anonymous, Crimestoppers President Gary Martin said.

 

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