The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 4, 2013

McCort supporters gather

Group being formed to seek answers


More than 300 Bishop McCort students, alumni, parents and supporters came out in support of suspended Principal Ken Salem and to push for information about his removal.

“I think everybody that is here feels the same: Bishop McCort needs Ken Salem,” Richard M. DelSignore said, adding that the meeting was a good way to get organized.

The grass-roots effort was launched Friday as word spread that McCort’s board of trustees had placed Salem on leave. Although the trustees’ announcement gave no reason, Salem’s attorney noted Bishop McCort has recently been involved in a scandal involving Franciscan Brother Stephen Baker.

Organizers Timothy Burns and Bob McGowan said McCort supporters are organizing as a nonprofit to support the school. But the first order of business is to approach trustees for answers, they said.

“We don’t know,” Burns said. “We want to work together with the trustees. We encourage people to support the school. We just want some openness.”

Burns said the rally organizers don’t know, for instance, how trustees are selected.

Those attending the rally at Richland Township Fire Department on Scalp Avenue were asked to submit written questions and to sign up as members of the proposed organization, Friends and Family of Bishop McCort. Burns said he will serve as legal counsel to incorporate the nonprofit.

“This is not the night for us to come up and ask those questions,” Burns said. “We, as an organization, don’t have those answers.”

The new organization will work with trustees to open dialogue, McGowan said.

“We are really trying to minimize the rumors,” McGowan said. “We want to try to deal with facts. We are trying to provide a venue in which everybody in this room can be heard.”

Gap Barbin and Ryan Eckenrod represented current McCort students.

“We need to remember the power of prayer,” Barbin said. “Two things I have learned: There is power in numbers; and there is power in a person from Bishop McCort. This strength will guide us to the answers we seek.”

The focus will be on support for the school, Burns stressed.

“To be frank, we want Mr. Salem back,” Burns said. “But at the same time, we realize there is a bigger picture here. And that is the future of Bishop McCort.”


Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • LCB Wine1a Does state know when to say when?

    Booze sales on Sunday have proven so popular the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is breaking a state law limiting how many stores the system can operate on the first day of the week.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • mccord Gubernatorial hopeful wins mayor’s support

    Gubernatorial candidate Rob McCord has received an endorsement from Johnstown’s highest-ranking elected official.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    Here are the names of the 10 entrants that were chosen today-April 22, 2014.  If you see your name, call the Circulation Department at 814-532-5000 (#1) or 1-866-307-0905 to verify your information.

    April 22, 2014

  • reading night ‘Story Laboratory’ stirs kids’ interest in reading, science

    Mad scientists and Dr. Seuss characters were the stars Thursday as Conemaugh Township Area children helped concoct mysterious potions that bend the laws of physics and learned how french fries can drive you to work.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Republicans tout ‘right’ credentials

    All three Republican Party candidates in Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District race attempted to distinguish themselves as the person conservative enough to represent the state’s most conservative district in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday night.

    April 24, 2014

  • elder abuse 1 Calling attention to elder abuse

    As far as states with the oldest populations go, Pennsylvania hovers near the top, depending on which statistical report you read. Along with an ever-growing elderly demographic comes more instances of seniors being abused or cheated out of money.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cambria adds security to thwart copper thefts

    Would-be copper thieves, be warned: Anyone trying to steal copper wiring from any of the 17 towers that make up Cambria County’s 911 communications system will be caught on camera.

    April 24, 2014

  • Commissioners praise response to bomb threat

    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.

    April 24, 2014

  • Black fly program to target river corridor

    The Cambria County commissioners Thursday entered into an agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection that opens the door for the state to provide black fly suppression spraying.

    April 24, 2014

  • Inmate faces sex charges

    An Altoona man was charged with rape after authorities accused him of sexually assaulting another man while both were inmates at the Cambria County Prison.

    April 24, 2014


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads