City man accused of false fire alarm
A Johnstown man was jailed Thursday after police said he called 911 with a false report that a city bar was on fire.
Police charged Mitchell Roy Hopkins, 35, of Jacoby Street, with false alarms to an agency of public safety, false reports, disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment.
Police alleged that Hopkins, also known as Sonny, called 911 at 1:18 a.m. to report that a bar in the 1000 block of Bedford Street was on fire and there were people still inside. Police and firefighters arrived and found no flames.
Officers later identified the caller as a man named Sonny.
The bartender said she had earlier thrown out a man named Sonny for harassing female customers, police said. Officers found a man fitting his description on Bedford Street and took him into custody.
Hopkins denied making the phone call, police said.
Hopkins was arraigned by District Judge Leonard Grecek of Roxbury and sent to the Cambria County Prison.
Troopers find meth lab in Twin Rocks
TWIN ROCKS – State police said Thursday that arrests are pending following their discovery of a methamphetamine laboratory on Station Road in Twin Rocks just before 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Police said that the laboratory was positively identified by a state police laboratory team.
City farmers markets set to reopen
The Downtown Johnstown Farmers Market, sponsored by 1st Summit Bank and Tammy V. Watt Nationwide Insurance Agency, will be held at Central Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays from today through Oct. 25.
The West End Farmers Market will be held at the SeniorLIFE parking lot, 401 Broad St., from 3 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays starting June 11 and running through Oct. 22.
Vendors will offer fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, cheeses, meats, whole grain breads, herbs, spices, freshly popped kettle corn, flowers, dyed yarns, soaps and lotions.
On June 7, the downtown market will feature its free giveaway of a reusable grocery tote with purchases totaling $10 or more.
Chef demonstrations and musical performances will be held in the Central Park gazebo. Demonstration dates are to be determined.
For more information, call Josh Summits at 533-2045.
Car wash to benefit Johnstown K9 corps
The West End Improvement Group will hold a car wash to benefit the Johnstown Police Department K9 Corps on Saturday.
The fundraiser will begin at 9 a.m. at Fairfield Avenue Auto Exchange, 271 Fairfield Ave.
Donations will be accepted.
Run/walk will aid Cambria City facility
Friends of the Steeples will hold a 5K race/fun walk on Sunday.
The event will start at the Grand Halle, located in the Cambria City section of Johnstown. Registration will begin at 8 a.m.
The cost is $20 per person.
Proceeds will be used to purchase tables and chairs for the Grand Halle.
For more information, call Rose Howarth at 535-2499 or Marie Mock at 539-0181.
DA questions defendant in triple murder case
GREENSBURG – An Indiana County man on trial in the killings of his mother, sister and elderly aunt testified Thursday that the deaths left him so emotionally distraught that when questioned about them he forgot he had a girlfriend.
Kevin Murphy, 52, of Conemaugh Township acknowledged his statement wasn’t true under cross-examination by Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck. Murphy said he was so shaken by the killings he simply forgot about his romantic relationship when questioned on April 23, 2009 – the day his relatives’ bodies were found inside his auto glass shop.
Peck raised the question to suggest Murphy avoided mentioning his girlfriend because she was the motivation for Murphy to kill his mother, 69-year-old Doris Murphy; his 43-year-old sister, Kris Murphy; and his aunt, 81-year-old Edith Tietge.
Murphy has denied the killings, but Peck contends Murphy shot his relatives because they disapproved of his relationship with the married woman.
A jury will hear closing arguments today.
Bones, clothing found on Huntingdon property
HUNTINGDON – A prosecutor said crews have found bones and clothing on land in Warriors Mark Township owned by the former father-in-law of a woman reported missing in 1999.
Kenneth Leighty, 65, has not been charged in the disappearance of his former daughter-in-law, Sherry Leighty. The Altoona man remains jailed on charges he fought with Altoona police who tried to speak with him about the case last month.
Huntingdon County District Attorney George Zanic said forensic experts are examining the bones.
Trial ordered in shooting of deer from store lot
BLAIRSVILLE – A Westmoreland County man who allegedly shot a deer near a busy Wal-Mart parking lot on the first day of rifle season last year was ordered to stand trial on reckless endangerment and state game charges after a hearing Wednesday in Blairsville.
Arcangelo “Angelo” Bianco Jr., of Derry Township, spotted a deer in the parking lot Nov. 26, fired several shots, then ran to the side of the Burrell Township store where workers were loading tractor-trailers, wildlife conservation officers contend.
Bianco allegedly continued shooting at the fleeing deer, and he eventually retrieved it from a woman’s yard on the other side of a highway.
Among other things, authorities contend Bianco violated a state “safety zone” law by firing a weapon within 150 yards of an occupied structure and
didn’t have a hunting license.
City man accused of false fire alarm
- Local News
- District Deaths April 21, 2014
Halfway house inmates can ease back into society
Prison life can be a time warp.
When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.
Crime board took aim at house
Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.
Homicides linked to center
Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
Volunteers helping to spruce up community
Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.
Hartzok targets income disparity
Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.
Schools rise to leadership challenge
Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.
Student’s photos win awards
A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.
JIM SIEHL | Music to my ears
Seldom has $15 produced such a high level of entertainment as it did a few weeks ago when I found myself in the second row just left of center keeping back the tears once again during my third live performance of “Les Miserables.”
Bye, bye, Easter birdies
Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.
- More Local News Headlines