The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 26, 2012

IN BRIEF | 11/26/12

Staff and wire reports

Santa’s horses spooked at resort

BEDFORD – A tree-lighting ceremony and Christmas parade at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort Sunday was interrupted when a horse-drawn sleigh crashed, injuring the driver and prompting Mr. and Mrs. Santa to jump off.

The driver, Ernie Alwine of Misty Haven Carriage of Davidsville, was taken to Memorial Medical Center for injuries to his face, sustained when he fell under the sleigh.

State police at Bedford reported that the 4:30 p.m. crash occurred when two horses hooked up to the sleigh were startled when a band started playing Christmas music.

Mr. and Mrs. Santa, who were sitting in the sleigh, were able to jump once the horses were forced to slow down by a Springs employee operating a vehicle in front of them, state police said.

The woman, identified only as Mrs. Santa, sprained an ankle and was treated at UPMC Bedford Memorial Hospital.

Alwine, whose injuries were not life threatening, was entrapped and dragged several hundred yards by the spooked horses.

The tree-lighting ceremony was able to continue.

Pub holding toy drive

Chillies Pub is holding a toy drive for needy children through Dec. 15. Residents are invited to drop off new or gently used toys at the Cover Hill fire hall, Daisytown fire hall or Chillies Pub at 900 Bedford St.

The pub will host a Christmas party at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 15.

Volleyball team raises funds for cancer patients

Members of the Westmont Hilltop Volleyball Boosters presented a check for $1,652 to the Conemaugh Cancer Center.

Hayden Spangler and her teammates raised funds in memory of her father, Doug Spangler, who recently lost his battle with cancer.

All donations made to the Conemaugh Cancer Fund benefit local cancer patients.

Altoona man charged with dealing heroin

ALTOONA – Police said they arrested a large-scale heroin dealer who had just finished a seven-year prison stint for drug crimes. Altoona police and other law enforcement agencies had a hand in Sunday’s arrest of 28-year-old Brandon Thompkins.

WJAC-TV reported that police found more than 600 bags of heroin worth $18,000 inside an Altoona home. Thompkins had been released from prison just two months ago.

Thompkins is jailed on $50,000 bail.