The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 8, 2013

Local briefs 5/9/2013

Lightning damages 2 Richland Twp. homes

Lightning from a thunderstorm damaged two homes in the 200 block of Coldren Street in Richland Township late Wednesday afternoon.

Lightning hit the first home, splintering a roof joist, then jumped to a home at the rear of the property, starting a stove on fire, said Richland Assistant Fire Chief Tim Shaffer.

Firefighters extinguished the stove fire, he said.

Que release valve problem solved

A torque adjustment apparently was all that was needed to get the Quehmahoning Reservoir’s whitewater release valve back in order. A Somerset County contractor determined that settings needed to be adjusted on mechanisms used to open and close the valve, Cambria Somerset Authority Manager Earl Waddell said Wednesday.

Waddell said the valve has been tested since with no issues.

The valve stopped working Saturday during a multiphase process required to close it. The problem forced the authority to cancel a planned whitewater release the following day.

Casting foundry closing at month’s end

WHEMCO plans to close its Johnstown Specialty Castings plant at the end of the month. The company is a worldwide supplier of heavy industrial metal parts for power plants and shipbuilding.

WHEMCO announced in March that the plant would close later this year and laid off 36 out of more than 100 workers. Other workers have been laid off since, and about 40 remain who are working to close the plant.

Company officials said the plant’s work is being moved to another, more efficient, plant in Midland, Beaver County. WHEMCO and the Harvard Investment Group of Florida bought the plant from the former Johnstown Corp. in September 2005.

Ex-workers steal $16G with bogus returns

INDIANA – Two former workers at a Lowe’s home improvement store were guilty of creating many unhappy returns for their employer, state police said.

The accused are Joseph Chunkala, 21, of Penn Run, and David Cochran, 21, of Indiana.

Troopers from the Indiana barracks allege the men stole more than $16,000 by faking return receipts at the White Township store and pocketing the cash. Since February, the two allegedly created roughly 80 bogus return receipts, which they used to generate refunds worth $16,349, which police said the men pocketed.

The men were each arraigned on a charge of theft Wednesday.

Both are scheduled for a preliminary hearing Monday.

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Local News
  • 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.

    April 19, 2014

  • 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.

    April 19, 2014

  • 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.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota 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.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna 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.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA 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.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl 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.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender 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.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Eggert Columnist Photo Travelogue of terror features Johnstown area

    A historic week will surround the venerable Silver Drive-In come the beginning of May.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

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