The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

May 14, 2013

In brief: Accident closes highway for a time

Staff and wire reports

SOUTH FORK — A section of Route 219 in central Cambria County was closed to truck traffic for more than three hours Tuesday after a wreck involving a coal truck and two cars, police said.

The truck was traveling in the southbound lane of the four-lane highway about

7:30 a.m. when it flipped near the South Fork Exit, spilling its load and causing the vehicles to crash.

One unidentified person was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown with minor injuries.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The highway was open to car traffic during the cleanup, and trucks were permitted back on the road around 10:30 a.m.

Worker injured on wind turbine

MEYERSDALE – A man working on a wind turbine was injured Tuesday when he was crushed by a “very large gear,” a Somerset County 911 official said.

The incident happened around 5:14 p.m.

Meyersdale First Assistant fire Chief Cory Albright said a work crew was replacing the motor on one of the turbines 250 feet from the ground when the motor somehow shifted, pinning the man.

Workers were able to free the injured man before firefighters arrived, he said.

“They loaded him into the crane bucket and brought him down,” Albright said.

The injured man, whose name was not available, was flown by state police helicopter to Cumberland Memorial Hospital in Maryland.

Meyersdale EMS also was at the scene.

Mom jailed for letting son carry roulette gun

BEDFORD – A Bedford County woman was sentenced to three weeks to a year in jail for allowing her 15-year-old son to carry a handgun with which a friend fatally shot a third boy during a game of Russian roulette.

Susan Bonner, 41, of Everett, was sentenced Monday in Bedford County court, where she had pleaded guilty in March to reckless endangerment.

Bonner’s son took the gun to a friend’s West Providence Township home, where it was used in a game of Russian roulette that resulted in the death of 15-year-old Neal Hammond during a July sleepover.

Charges against the shooter, 15-year-old Cole McConoughey, were resolved in juvenile court.

District Attorney William Higgins said Bonner was remorseful throughout the case.

Bonner was the only adult charged in the case after her son told police that she let him carry the revolver.

Candidates night set in Davidsville

DAVIDSVILLE – A Meet the Candidates Night be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the auditorium at Conemaugh Township Area High School, 300 W. Campus Ave.

Candidates scheduled to address their constituents include those running for township supervisor, auditor, tax collector and school director. Candidates for judge of election and inspector of election also are invited to be recognized.

The event is sponsored by the Conemaugh Township Friends for Meet the Candidates, a group that has conducted such forums prior to primary elections since 2005.

Community Strings to perform Thursday

DAVIDSVILLE – The Community Strings spring concert, an outreach program of Johns­town Symphony Orchestra, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at St. David’s Lutheran Church, 401 N. Main St.

Community Strings is a group of adults, in some cases beginners, who want to play in a string orchestral setting.

Community Strings was formed by the JSO in the spring of 2009, with players coming from as far away as Berlin and Loretto.

The evening’s program will consist of a “Musette and Minuet” by Bach, “Fantasia in F” by Rush, “Air for Strings” by Dello Joio and “Hallelujah” by Cohen.

Elizabeth W. Pile is director of the Community Strings and has been manager of the youth orchestra since 1998. She has been a violinist for Johnstown Symphony Orchestra since 1989 and symphony librarian since 2006.

Pile also has been a member of the Chamber Orchestra of the Alleghenies since its creation in 1999 and is a member of a freelance string quartet.

A goodwill offering will be accepted at the door.

For more information, call 535-6738 or visit

Buy-back roadshow coming to Richland

An Electronics Buyback and Collectors Roadshow will pay cash for electronics, gold, silver, coins and antiques from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to

4 p.m. Saturday at Comfort Inn & Suites, 455 Theater Drive, Richland Township.

Offers on clean, used modern electronics will be made based on market demand, condition, included accessories and original packaging.

Original packaging and accessories are not required to sell items, but premium prices will be paid to sellers who have the original packaging.

The types of items being sought include all toys made before 1965; silver coins made before 1964; war memorabilia such as swords, daggers, medals and helmets; paper currency; new and used musical instruments including vintage guitars; diamonds; all gold jewelry, broken and costume jewelry; and pocket watches.

This event is free to attend,  and there is no pressure to sell.

House calls also can be arranged.

For more information, call 217-732-1888.

Homicide charge dismissed in tot’s death

INDIANA – A district judge dismissed a homicide charge against a woman in the accidental drowning of her 13-month-old son in a bathtub.

Tonya Thomas, 25, remains charged in Indiana County with endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person.

Homer City District Judge Susanne Steffee ruled after a preliminary hearing Monday that there was insufficient evidence for the homicide charge.

Prosecutors accused Thomas of leaving her son, Ryden, in the bathtub along with two

siblings, a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old, on Feb. 2 at the family home in White Township.

Defense attorney Bradley Ophaug called the death “a tragic accident.”

Thomas, who is due to give birth shortly, declined comment.

Wesley Thomas, 24, earlier waived his right to a preliminary hearing on similar endangerment charges.

Ex-coach charged in sex with 2 players

ALTOONA – A former assistant soccer coach at Altoona Area High School has been charged with having romantic and sexual relationships with two players.

The defense attorney for Kyla Hollingshead, 24, of Altoona, told the Altoona Mirror the defendant maintains she’s innocent of charges of felony institutional sexual assault and corruption of minors.

Altoona police said that Hollingshead began the first alleged relationship with a

15-year-old player in October 2010, about two months after Hollingshead was hired at the school.

The second relationship allegedly began in October with a 16-year-old player.

Police said Hollingshead gave that girl a “promise ring” and threatened suicide if the relationship ended, which it did in late 2012.

Still, police said, Hollings­head sent the girl flowers and a Valentine card proclaiming the girl was the love of her life.

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

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