The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 21, 2013

Local News in Brief | Tribune-Democrat reporter earns Keystone Press Award

— A Tribune-Democrat reporter captured first place in the special project category at the 2013 Keystone Press Awards for newspapers with a circulation between 20,000 and 39,999.

Dave Sutor won for his four-part project titled “After 20 years as a distressed city ... what has changed?”

The series discussed how the city of Johnstown has changed from when it entered into the commonwealth’s distressed status two decades ago.

More than 4,400 entries were received from 138 newspapers in the Pennsylvania News Media Association.

Entries in 29 categories across seven circulation divisions were judged by journalists in Illinois.

The winners will be recognized May 18 in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Press Conference.

Teens charged with damaging school district property

CONFLUENCE – Two Somerset County teens are accused of causing $8,904 damage to Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District property.

State police in Somerset said Adam Joseph Nickelson, 18, of Confluence, and Casey Lee Elliot, 19, of Addison, drove a vehicle onto school property on Turkeyfoot Road in Lower Turkeyfoot Township and damaged the grass on March 2.

Nickelson, the driver, was charged with trespass by motor vehicle.

Elliot, a passenger, was charged with criminal trespass.

He had been previously had been told to keep off school property, troopers said.

Police: Copper ground wires stolen from utility poles

INDIANA – Borough police are looking for the person who stole copper ground wire from numerous utility poles on several streets in the Third Ward.

Police said the thief cut the wire into appropriately 7-foot lengths between 3 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Some utility solicitations ‘questionable,’ lawmaker warns

State Rep. Frank Burns, D-East Taylor Township, is advising local residents to do their homework before agreeing to switch electricity suppliers.

At a time when deregulation has allowed Pennsylvania utility customers to choose electricity suppliers at no cost and with no contract necessary, “questionable door-to-door and telephone solicitations” are occurring in several communities, Burns said.

“Everyone should be diligent and know what to do to protect oneself from these aggressive scammers,” he said.

Burns said utility companies normally don’t make door-to-door visits unless customers call them for it.

If solicitors show up, ask for identification and then call the company to verify if they have salespeople in the area, he said.

Suppliers only need account information, such as a Penelec account number, to make a switch to a new supplier, he added.

The same applies to phone calls, Burns said, suggesting that residents also ask for company information, terms and other conditions – and to not feel pressured to make a switch.

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