The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

February 12, 2013

In brief: Windber OKs study of regional police

WINDBER — Borough officials here voted unanimously Tuesday night to study the feasibility of a regional, independent police force.

Windber council voted to return a letter of intent to Paint Township Police Chief Rick Skiles, who is seeking a study by the Department of Community and Economic Development on the matter.

“This is a good thing,” Windber Mayor Simon “Red” Ohler said.

“We should keep moving forward with it.”

Skiles plans to send the request on behalf of all six communities his department serves. The others are Paint Borough, Paint Township, Benson Borough, Central City and Scalp Level.

Scalp Level, like Windber, already has approved sending the letter to proceed with the study.

The free study will not require any of the communities to follow recommendations, local leaders have said.

Lawyer: Client remorseful for theft

The attorney for an Air Force veteran says his client is remorseful about stealing $4,000 from Chapter 587, Somerset County Vietnam Veterans of America.

Lorrie Sue Fisher of Friedens pleaded guilty Monday in Somerset County Court to stealing the money while serving as the chapter’s bookkeeper for two months in 2010.

The money was taken from a fund used to buy flowers for veterans’ families after a loved one died, but some was earmarked for a memorial that was installed at the county courthouse last year. The memorial plans had to be changed because of a lack of funds.

Fisher will be sentenced April 11.

Indiana County man killed in reality show

An Indiana County man was among three people killed Sunday when their helicopter crashed while filming a reality television show in southern California.

Michael Donatelli, 45, of Indiana, an Army Special Forces veteran, who had served four tours of duty in Iraq, was going to display his military skills on the show, which was in production for the Discovery Channel.

In addition to Donatelli, the pilot and cinematographer were killed in the accident.

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Local News
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  • Refinancing could lower Richland School District's debt by $2.2M

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  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

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