The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 24, 2014

Commissioners praise response to bomb threat

EBENSBURG — Two days after a bomb threat closed the Cambria County Courthouse for half a day, officials handed out accolades to those who pulled off an efficient search and quick apprehension of the alleged perpetrator.

County commissioners at their meeting Thursday recognized a wide range of authorities who executed what was called a nearly seamless evacuation, search and arrest.

The cooperation and teamwork displayed Tuesday is indictive of the county at all levels, Commissioner Thomas Chernisky said.

“This is not uncommon, getting things done in a very short period of time,” Chernisky said.

The commissioners boardroom was filled with some of those who participated in the evacuation and search of the courthouse and the detention and arrest of Stephen Jablonski, the Johnstown man charged with making the threat.

“Within 10 minutes they found out who this guy was and they had him under surveillance,” Ebensburg police Chief Terry Wyland said. “We were able to identify him, get him under surveillance and interview him. It all went like clockwork.”

The quick identification came about in large part through the efforts of the county sheriff’s department and in particular Deputy Tracy Swope, who posted photos of Jablonski and a woman who may have been his accomplice on Facebook as soon as they were available.

“Within five minutes we had so many hits and we knew who the guy was,” Wyland said. “We all just worked together as one big team. It was just basic police work.”

The woman seen with Jablonski has been named as a person of interest by authorities, but no charges have been filed against her.

“Hopefully it will deter anyone from doing something like this again,” he said.

The effort and success were not happenstance, President Commissioner Douglas Lengenfelder said of efforts by Ron Springer, the county’s director of emergency services, and others.

“When you have something that operates this smooth, it means these professionals have taken the time and energy to make sure it does,” Lengenfelder said.

Kathy Mellott covers the Cambria County Courthouse for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/kathymellotttd.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • fire_23 Investigators seek cause of West End fire

    The cause of a five-alarm fire early Monday at a vacant structure in the 500 block of Dorothy Avenue in Johnstown’s West End has not been determined, according to city fire officials.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richland seeks loan for roof, HVAC work

    Richland Township’s plans to replace the municipal building’s roof and heating and air conditioning system will cost nearly $600,000, Solicitor Gary Costlow said.

    July 22, 2014

  • Undocumented children already arriving in state

    An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border is spilling over into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Auditor cites flaws in gas drilling regulation

    Strained by limited resources and the rapid expansion of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, environmental regulators have failed to adequately monitor well safety or to provide clear and timely information to citizens, the state auditor general said Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Driver in fatal DUI crash will serve jail time

    A Vintondale man was sentenced Tuesday in Cambria County court to serve 16 to 32 months in the county jail for a 2011 alcohol-related crash that killed a woman.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 22, 2014

  • Reade Twp. water projects receive funding

    Three water treatment systems in Cambria County will receive financial assistance from the state Department of Environmental Protection to remove acid mine drainage from nearby waterways.

    July 22, 2014

  • stoystown Tractor Fest Antique tractors chugging toward Stoystown fest

    A display of a whole lotta horsepower and pulling contests will highlight the 14th annual Antique Tractor Festival.
    Sponsored by Stoystown Lions Club and Laurel Highlands Antique Power Club, the event will be held July 31 through Aug. 3 at the Lions’ park, one-half mile east of Stoystown on Route 30.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Irish dance school wants to set toes tapping in Cambria County

    If you ever wanted to learn to dance an Irish jig, now is your chance.
    Kenny Cavanaugh School of Irish Dance, based out of Milford, Pike County, is expanding into Cambria County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Paterno son, other former assistant sue Penn State for $1M

    A son of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has sued the university over his dismissal from its coaching staff two years ago, saying he has been unfairly linked to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

    July 22, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads