The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

September 13, 2013

Local and state briefs 9/14/2013

Vehicle damages REA substation

Officials of REA Energy Cooperative Inc. are investigating a vehicle crash that damaged the co-op’s Belsano substation on Thursday.

REA released a statement Friday saying consumers may have noticed a momentary service interruption.

Consumers served by the substation are receiving power supplied by the Strongstown substation until further notice, the statement said.

REA Energy is a full-service distribution electric cooperative serving more than 22,000 members in Cambria, Blair, Indiana, Westmoreland, Clearfield, Jefferson and Armstrong counties.

An REA spokesperson was unavailable Friday night.

Police: Woman stole from soccer boosters

A Blair County woman is accused of stealing $1,934.32 from a soccer club.

State police in Hollidaysburg charged Joanna Lynn Bartek, 38, of Roaring Spring, with two counts of forgery and one count of theft.

Troopers said Bartek forged someone’s name on two checks for the Dragons Soccer Club Boosters of Roaring Spring.

She will appear in court at a later date.

Blood drive supports cancer awareness

The American Red Cross and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are partnering on a blood drive in support of Blood Cancer Awareness Month and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

The drive will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Richland Township fire hall on Scalp Avenue.

For each person who donates at the drive, the Red Cross will contribute $1 in support of the organization’s team in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s local Light the Night Walk that will be held Oct. 5 at Pitt-Johnstown.

For more information, call (800) 733-2767 or visit

Man who shot girlfriend released

An Indiana County man who admitted shooting his former girlfriend with a 12-gauge shotgun has been released from jail after a judge accepted his insanity plea.

John Reome, 43, of Commodore, was found not guilty by reason of insanity during a nonjury trial Thursday before Indiana County Judge Thomas Bianco. Psychiatrists agreed the defendant was insane at the time of the January 2012 shooting.

Reome told the judge that his parents intend to take him to Florida for mental health treatment.

District Attorney Pat Dougherty said legislators need to revisit the mental health laws that allowed Reome’s release.

Reome admitted he shot 40-year-old Billie Jo Varner as she walked into the home she had shared with him. She recovered, but says she still suffers chronic pain.

Black airmen honored at Pittsburgh airport

Western Pennsylvania men who served in an all-black World War II unit have been honored with the Tuskegee Airmen Recognition Exhibit at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The Pittsburgh region is believed to be home to roughly 100 men who served in the 332nd Fighter Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps. The group of more than 900 pilots trained at Tuskegee institute in Alabama, and about a third of those pilots escorted bombers in the war’s European theater, disproving the notion that black pilots were inferior to whites.

Thursday’s ceremony marked a week of celebrations that will also include the play “Black Angels Over Tuskegee,” which debuts today at Pittsburgh’s Byham Theater, and a memorial dedication to Tuskegee Airmen in the city’s Sewickley Cemetery on Sunday.

Suburb nixes law on keeping chickens

The commissioners of a Westmoreland County bedroom community have rejected a push by some residents to allow them to raise small flocks of chickens in the backyards of their suburban lots.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the North Huntingdon commissioners nixed the idea 5-1 Thursday night.

Gayleen Fisher argued against the measure, saying having “backyard chickens is regression. This is a progressive community with average-sized suburban lots.”

But supporters say raising chickens in urban and suburban areas is a trendy, smart and progressive idea that’s becoming increasingly popular.

Tiffany Alchof supported the ordinance and said, “Chickens are much quieter than dogs, kids, lawnmowers, motorcycles and the Norwin Band” – the local high school’s marching unit.

The commissioners voted against the ordinance largely due to constituent complaints and concerns about enforcing the measure.

Mom gets 14-50 years for abusing twins

A Washington County mother accused of locking up her 6-year-old twins and nearly starv­ing them has been sentenced to 14 to 50 years in prison.

Judge Katherine Emery said Friday that the case of 26-year-old Roxanne Taylor of New Eagle is one of the worst that she’s presided over.

Prosecutors charged Taylor with aggravated assault, child endangerment and other crimes after one of the malnourished children was found wandering outside wearing only a shirt and a filthy diaper on a cold morning in February 2012.

Taylor said she has worked on her GED classes in jail and hopes one day to contribute to society and get a job.

The children’s father, Edward Buckholz, is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

Decision expected on fate of ferry

Local officials are expected to decide next week whether to sell a Monongahela River ferryboat following suspension of service two weeks ago due to financial concerns.

The ferryboat Frederick was propelled along a steel cable between Fredericktown in Washington County and East Fredericktown in Fayette County. Service was suspended due to dwindling ridership and increased operational costs.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 18, 2014

  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cawley Lt. Gov. Cawley pushes jobs plan during Johnstown visit

    Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley got to see firsthand many of the training tools used by Hiram G. Andrews Center students on Thursday and took some time to promote a program called Jobs for All, part of Gov. Tom Corbett’s JOBS1st PA agenda.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • home VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man

    One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
    In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Toomey & Shuster Bill would help identify unclaimed remains of veterans

    The cremated remains of an estimated 47,000 veterans are stored throughout the United States, sometimes in nothing more than nondescript metal canisters on shelves.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • million Lucky Seward man finds ticket to riches

    People often play the lottery and dream about the things they would do if they won the big one.
    That dream came true for Karl Kadi of Seward, who won $1 million on a $20 Max-A-Million scratch-off lottery ticket.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farrish, James State police make another drug bust on turnpike

    A Pittsburgh man was jailed Thursday after state police said they found about $120,000 in suspected heroin during a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sisco, Ryan James & John Patrick Two brothers charged in beating at bar

    Two Johnstown brothers were jailed Wednesday after police said they beat a man so badly he suffered a concussion and may end up blind in one eye.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • path of flood Path of Flood entries due

    Anyone interested in participating in Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s  Path of the Flood Historic Half Marathon and 5K race will need to get in gear before the April 30 registration deadline.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling fees should fund education, Democrats say

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 17, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads