The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

February 28, 2014

Local and state briefs 3/1/2014

Fire injures woman at Johnstown home

An 82-year-old Johnstown woman suffered burns in a fire that started in her residence Friday morning.

Mary Homan was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, then transferred to a Pittsburgh hospital, a state police fire marshal in Ebensburg said. Her condition was not available.

Careless cooking is blamed for starting the fire, which began shortly before 7:30 a.m. in the kitchen area and spread throughout the first floor of the Bheam Avenue residence, the fire marshal said.

Westmont cancels musical benefit

A benefit for Westmont Hilltop High School’s musical production scheduled for tonight at The Grove in Westmont has been canceled due to a lack of participation.

Altoona man sentenced to 7-14 years for 1999 slaying

An Altoona man has been sentenced to seven to 14 years in prison in the 1999 slaying of his daughter-in-law.

Kenneth Leighty, 66, pleaded guilty in December in Huntington County to third-degree murder in the killing of Sherry Leighty, 23. Her body was found on his property in Warriors Mark Township in May after prosecutors offered the defendant a plea bargain.

Defense attorney Thomas Hooper read a statement at Thursday’s brief sentencing hearing in which Leighty expressed regret for the pain he had caused to relatives, The (Altoona) Mirror reported.

Altoona police said Leighty told investigators that he and the victim got into an argument that turned violent, and he struck her in the head with something.

He never told investigators what led to the argument.

Town to end police department in wake of chief flap

 A week after a Schuylkill County borough announced the departure of its polarizing police chief, officials have voted to begin the process to abolish its police department, The (Potts­ville) Republican-Herald said.

Former Chief Mark Kessler was the only officer on the Gilberton force. He reached a settlement that pays him $30,000 and allowed him to retire.

Gilberton officials suspended Kessler last year and tried to fire him after he posted videos of himself shooting borough-owned automatic weapons and cursing liberals and others.

State police now provide protection for the town.

Judge: Craigslist killing suspect will stay in prison

SUNBURY – A woman charged with her newlywed husband in the murder of a man lured to his death through Craigslist will remained locked up in a state prison while she awaits trial.

Judge Charles Saylor rejected 19-year-old Miranda Barbour’s request to be transferred back to Northumberland County Prison, The Daily Item of Sunbury reported Friday.

Warden Roy Johnson had sent Barbour to the Muncy state prison for women last week, saying the international attention to her recent claim to a newspaper reporter that she killed more than 20 people had disrupted security at the county lockup. Investigators have found no evidence to substantiate her claim.

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State News
  • TSA finds gun, ammo in Pittsburgh airport carry-on

    The Transportation Security Administration says it found a pistol and ammunition in man’s carry-on bag as he passed through security at Pittsburgh International Airport.

    July 28, 2014

  • Youth pastor fired, jailed after teen-sex charges

    A youth pastor has been fired by a western Pennsylvania church and jailed on charges he performed sex acts with a 15-year-old girl in their church building.

    July 28, 2014

  • Luksik, Peg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray. Johnstown resident Peg Luksik, who twice ran for governor as the Constitutional Party nominee, knows what it's like.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scaife remembered for strong convictions

    At a weekend memorial service, publisher Richard Mellon Scaife was remembered by the archbishop of Washington as someone who had the courage to stand “for things that mattered.”

    July 27, 2014

  • DePasquale Auditor: More Marcellus Shale well inspectors needed

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the past century.
    But boom times in the Marcellus Shale are bringing online thousands more wells that use a complicated process requiring more careful oversight.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Strained relationship between Corbett, Legislature not new

    Poking and prodding the Legislature to act on pension reform, Gov. Tom Corbett urged lawmakers to shorten their summer break and come back to the Capitol early.
    It’s a modest victory. The House will return to session Aug. 4, instead of the middle of September. And there’s little hint that lawmakers intend to knock themselves out trying to satisfy the governor.

    July 26, 2014

  • Wolf: Wealthy should pay more to cut school taxes

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf would make a centerpiece of his first budget proposal an increase in income taxes on Pennsylvania’s higher-earners to help expand the state’s share of public education funding in exchange for a dollar-for-dollar reduction in local property taxes levied by school boards.

    July 26, 2014

  • Penn State Abuse 27 Son: Joe Paterno afraid of wrongly accusing Sandusky

    Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno told his son the day after his firing that he hadn’t informed the coaching staff about allegations Jerry Sandusky may be a child molester because he was unsure whether they were true, Jay Paterno writes in a new book.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • State in Brief | Two guns found at alleged hospital shooter's home

    Authorities found two more guns at the home of a man suspected of fatally shooting his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist in suburban Philadelphia before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back.

    July 26, 2014

  • Woman raising stink about people using backyard near turnpike as a rest stop

    A Pennsylvania woman says she can see drivers who pull off the side of a highway relieving themselves near her backyard, and state police have been asked to increase patrols.

    July 23, 2014


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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