The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 24, 2013

Central Cambria schools increase security after written threat found

EBENSBURG — Cambria Township police are investigating an alleged threat scrawled on a bathroom wall at Central Cambria High School. The message, discovered Tuesday morning in the second-floor boys’ bathroom by two students, was rumored to suggest a shooting would occur the day before prom, May 3.

Ebensburg Borough and Jackson Township police have since then increased presence on the school grounds.

“We still have an ongoing investigation, looking at video tapes and interviewing students,” said Superintendent Dr. Vincent DiLeo. “Security of our students and staff is of the utmost importance.”

Assemblies were held in the Central Cambria School District as an attempt to garner new information from the student body and a letter was sent home to parents on Wednesday, detailing the situation and assuring them that investigators will “exhaust all resources to determine who is responsible for this action.”

“We've met with the staff and so they understand if something (out of the ordinary) happens, to alert staff - something that doesn't appear to be normal,” said DiLeo.

Cambria Township Police Chief Mark Westrick was named by authorities as the officer in charge of the threat investigation, but he will be away from the area on a vacation which began Wednesday afternoon. Further calls to determine who will be leading the investigation went unreturned. The Cambria Township officer-on-duty had no further information regarding the incident, citing the chief as the only official who could provide new details.

Calls made to Ebensburg Borough police were ended abruptly, on claims that Central Cambria Middle School did not lie within Ebensburg borough - although it used to. Calls made to Jackson Township police went unreturned.

Eighth-grader Matthew Flowers said, however, that at least one Ebensburg and one Jackson Township officer remained at the school all day. He was privy to the same rumors circulating around the incident and, although he will be attending school on May 3, he said he doesn’t feel unsafe with the added police presence.

“I feel confident,” he said.

School Board President Dennis Simmers said police presence at Central Cambria schools is not unusual - local police are there regularly. Simmers and DiLeo both said response to the threat was flawless and swift, although Principal Kim McDermott told WTAJ-TV that roughly half of the student body was aware of the threatening message before administrators or authorities - the result of social media dissemination.

Simmers and DiLeo urged anyone with further information regarding the investigation, or concerns about the incident to contact the district’s administrative offices directly.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • bank1 West End bank robbed

    The West End branch of AmeriServ Financial was robbed Tuesday morning, two days before the branch is scheduled to close.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather_2 Old Man Winter returns to area

    Just when you think we’ve finally escaped the cold temperatures, winter swoops back in to remind us it’s not going away just yet.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 15, 2014

  • City seeks support for sewer revamp

    The city is looking for backup from the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority in spreading what they call “true” facts and figures regarding the city’s encompassing sewer revamp.

    April 15, 2014

  • Airport gets lift with $180G grant

    The John Murtha Johnstown–Cambria County Airport needs to replace some basic maintenance equipment: a pickup truck, painting machine, chain saw, weed eater, hand tools and more.
    So, on Tuesday, the airport’s authority agreed to accept Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Aviation grant money that already has been tentatively allocated.

    April 15, 2014

  • Cresson asks court to force ex-chief to sign pact

    An agreement reached more than a month ago between Cresson Borough Council and its former police chief still has not been signed, and the borough is asking a judge to intervene.

    April 15, 2014

  • hamer 16 Mom told to seek help for addiction

    A Johnstown woman charged with tossing her 4-month-old baby and with drug-related offenses pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Cambria County court on Tuesday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • District hopes refinancing will save additional $40G

    Refinancing about $4 million in debt will result in savings more than twice as large as initially expected, Windber Area school board members learned Tuesday night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Elder justice events set

    In an effort to combat elder abuse in area communities, an elder justice seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 24 at the Johnstown Senior Center, 550 Main St., downtown Johnstown. In addition, a free elder abuse clergy training seminar will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. April 25 at Moxham Lutheran Church, 500 Park Ave., Johnstown.

    April 15, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/16/2014

    April 15, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads