The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 8, 2013

In brief: Flight 93 land trial underway


The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN — Trial is underway in a Pittsburgh federal court over whether a Somerset County property owner was underpaid for the strip mine land where Flight 93 crashed.

Michael Svonavec testified in court Monday that he had developed plans to build a visitors center and other tourist draws on the Stonycreek Township land – but lost it after it was claimed by the Department of Interior through eminent domain in 2009, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday.

For Svonavec’s loss, he was paid $611,000 – an amount far below the $23 million his attorney said it is worth.

A three-judge panel is presiding over testimony, which continued Tuesday.

Driver, passenger hurt in Portage crash

PORTAGE – Two men sustained injuries in a Munster Road crash early Monday, Portage fire officials said.

The accident occurred as the duo were traveling to work toward Ebensburg when the vehicle’s driver, a male, lost control of his car, struck several mail boxes and then sheared a utility pole, Portage fire Lt. Andrew Myers said.

Injuries sustained in the crash were not believed to be serious, he said.

Hikers rescued from hillside

Three hikers who became stranded Tuesday afternoon in a precarious position halfway up the steep hillside between Westmont and the city were rescued through the teamwork of many folks.

Johnstown Assistant Fire Chief Neil Crossen said Johns-town firefighters used ropes and harnesses to bring the adult hikers to safety.

He said firefighters utilized the Inclined Plane cars to move their equipment and manpower to the area. Also helping at the scene was the staff from the Inclined Plane; Westmont firefighters; Dr. Neil Yoder, a medical command physician; and medical personnel from West End and West Hills.

Domestic violence event scheduled

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness month, Pages and Light Bookstore in the Georgian Place, Somerset, will host a domestic violence awareness event Friday at the store.

Participating will be Erin Donovan, author of the book “Knight in Tarnished Armor, A Survivor’s Memoir of Domestic Abuse.”

The Women’s Help Center will have a presentation at 1 p.m. and another geared toward teen dating abuse at 4   p.m.

The Soroptimist Club of Somerset County will have an information table, and Barb Hauger from Paramount Martial Arts will do a personal safety presentation starting at 3 p.m.

All proceeds from the day’s sale of Donovan’s book will be donated to the Women’s Help Center.  In addition, Pages and Light will donate 20 percent of all other sales.

The event is free and open to the public.

Information: www.facebook.com/pagesand light.