The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 21, 2013

In brief: Tips led to 3 arrests, city police say

Staff and wire reports

JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown police said the tips they received from Hornerstown residents about drug transactions they witnessed Thursday evening led to the arrests of three people on drug-law violations.

Those apprehended were Chelsea Lichty of Upper Yoder Township, Heather Pattillo of New Paris and Mekiya Shaw of Johnstown, police said.

A “significant amount” of heroin was found on the three, police said.

Troopers issue warning on telephone scam

SOMERSET – State police in Somerset are cautioning residents to beware of telephone scammers.

Someone recently called a Boswell resident and said her husband had won $5 million from Publishers Clearing House, but she needed to send $99 for shipping and handling.

When the woman asked for a return telephone number, she was given a Las Vegas number, but the caller ID showed the call originated from Jamaica.

“We would caution people not to respond when they get a telephone call, email or letter saying they won a contest they never entered,” state police Cpl. William Link said.

If you receive such a call, “just hang up,” he advised.

Ceremony to salute Iwo Jima flag raising

A remembrance ceremony for the 68th anniversary of the Iwo Jima flag raising will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Franklin Borough Building.

The guest of honor will be Mary Pero, sister of Sgt. Michael Strank, one of the men who raised the American flag on the island in the western Pacific during World War II, and the guest speaker will be Capt. Zachary Embers from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Unit based in Richland Township.

Three shots will be fired by the Conemaugh Valley Detachment 287 Marine Corps League, followed by the playing of taps.

Baby product testing, brunch planned

The first Macaroni Kid Baby Brunch will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at EcoKids Children’s Consignment Store at 2025 Bedford St. in the Oakland section of Stonycreek Township.

The free event is part of an initiative across the U.S. and Canada to get parents involved and obtain feedback on various products.

Among the items to be tested are two ExerSaucers valued at more than $100 each, organic food products from Happy Family and a mattress from Kolcraft Sealy featuring the company’s Crypton waterproofing and allergen barrier technology. Products from Evenflo and Dr. Smith’s also will be available for guests to try out.

The new products will be given to some of the attendees after the event.

Macaroni Kid is a free weekly e-newsletter that informs parents and families about events and activities in their area.

A link to RSVP to the Baby Brunch and a list of all products is available on the Macaroni Kid Johnstown/Laurel High­lands/Altoona website at www.

Crop insurance update scheduled

EBENSBURG – A crop insurance update sponsored by the Cambria County Farm Bureau will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the former Cambria County Extension Office meeting room at 499 Manor Drive in Ebensburg.

Representatives from the USDA’s risk management agency as well as some area crop insurance agents will attend.

For more information or to make reservations for the meeting, call Tommy Nagle at 934-2361 or Bob Davis at 312-6884.

St. Vincent de Paul seeks volunteers

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul will again partner with the Feinstein Foundation’s $1 million Challenge to Fight Hunger during March and April.

The Feinstein Foundation allots $1 million in grant money, which is divided among organizations that help to feed the hungry across the country.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society operates two Family Kitchens and food distribution warehouses in Altoona and Johnstown as well as food pantries in Altoona, Carrolltown, Ebensburg, Johnstown and Patton.

Anyone wishing to help with donations, fundraisers or food drives can contact a kitchen or pantry in their area.

Information: 539-4627.

Hospital program earns recognition

Memorial Medical Center’s new training program for psychologists working as part of the caregivers’ team gained recognition from a national organization.

The doctoral psychology internship program has been accepted by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers, which works to assist programs like Memorial’s find the highest quality applicants.

“This membership allows us to gain national recognition in recruiting new psychology interns,” said Raymond Horn­yak, clinical psychologist and internship training director.

The internship involves 2,000 hours of training with faculty supervision and mentoring. 

More information about the program is available online at

Couple jailed in tot’s bathtub drowning

INDIANA – An area couple has been jailed in the accidental bathtub drowning of their

13-month-old son.

The boy’s mother, Tonya Thomas of White Township, has been charged with criminal homicide and lesser child endangerment charges.

Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said she left little Ryden Thomas in the bathtub alone with his 2- and 3-year-old siblings. The woman told state police she relied on the 3-year-old to alert her if the younger siblings needed help, Dougherty said.

Wesley Thomas, 34, who wasn’t involved with bathing the children but was at home when the boy drowned Feb. 3, faces charges of child endangerment and reckless endangerment.

Online court records don’t list attorneys for the couple, who face a preliminary hearing Monday. They remained in the county jail on Thursday.

Verdict error results in resentencing

HOLLIDAYSBURG – A man serving a 31- to 82-year prison term must be resentenced because his verdict slip wrongly said he had supplied cocaine, not heroin, to a convicted central Pennsylvania drug dealer.

The Altoona Mirror reported Thursday that Michael Serrano, 36, of Philadelphia, must be resentenced within 90 days because of the Superior Court ruling that vacated the sentence imposed by a Blair County judge last year.

County prosecutors argued  the verdict slip mistake was nothing more than a harmless typographical error and that the charge on the verdict slip should have reflected that Serrano was accused and then convicted of supplying heroin.

But the Superior Court found the mistake resulted in Serrano’s conviction for a crime he didn’t commit – supplying cocaine.

State board OKs table games at Nemacolin

FARMINGTON – The state Gaming Control Board has approved 28 table games for the planned $60 million Lady Luck Casino at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Fayette County.

Nemacolin is one of two Pennsylvania resorts to be granted a casino license.

The casino, to be run by Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., is set to open this summer. It previously had been approved to have 600 slot machines. Wednesday’s vote by the gaming board means the casino will also offer 14 blackjack tables, two roulette tables, two craps tables and 10 tables for various kinds of poker games.

Casino officials said Lady Luck will employ 400 people.

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