The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

May 7, 2014

VIDEO | McGinty takes aim at blight: Gov. candidate pitches plan in Johnstown

— Johnstown has hundreds of blighted properties, a growing drug-related crime problem and a financial albatross of a pension obligation.

And it is not alone.

Many municipalities across Pennsylvania face similar problems.

On Tuesday, Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Katie McGinty announced her plan to address the blight issue during a visit to Johnstown, where she also spoke about crime and pensions.

“I’m proposing a plan that would reinvest in our downtowns, support municipalities with dollars and cents to clean up abandoned areas, take initiatives to support new greenways and parks, but then also address a key issue that municipalities face and that’s pension funds and the cost of those funds, providing support to reduce the cost, consolidate and enable a better return for taxpayers through those funds,” McGinty said during a news conference held at Somerset Trust Co. on Market Street.

She proposed a $300 million bond initiative with the money to be used for dealing with blighted and abandoned properties, developing green spaces and parks, and helping municipalities attract private-sector investment. Money would be allocated through loan guarantees and community-focused grants.

Her pension proposal could potentially generate up to $3.5 billion by improving investment income, redirecting some existing funds to strengthen stressed pensions and placing a temporary surcharge on the foreign fire and casualty tax.

Last week, McGinty called for spending $8.5 million over three years to hire 1,000 new police officers throughout the commonwealth. Distressed municipalities such as Johnstown would have 100 percent of their costs for the new officers covered during the time period. She also wants to invest in technology upgrades, bulletproof vests and police consolidation studies.

“We know that our streets also need to be safe. I’ve also proposed a significant increase in community policing,” said McGinty.

“Through the initiative I announced last week, we’d put another 1,000 police officers on the beat, on our streets, working in communities together with religious leaders, with local organizations, with youth leaders, so that they can become part of the community and help stop some of the crime waves we have seen taking root in our communities.”

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • PennDOT contractor arraigned on $3.6M theft charge

    A Department of Transportation contractor stole $3.6 million in public funds by billing the state for work that was never done, state prosecutors said Thursday in what they described as an ongoing corruption probe of PennDOT’s southeastern Pennsylvania district.

    July 31, 2014

  • Police: Women stole thousands from elderly sisters, used money to show St. Bernards

    Two western Pennsylvania women have been charged with stealing thousands of dollars from two elderly sisters and using the money to attend dog shows.

    July 29, 2014

  • Intervening neighbor’s death now ruled homicide

    The Allegheny County medical examiner says a neighbor who died after he intervened in a fight between a couple next door is the victim of homicide.

    July 29, 2014

  • Housing police: Naked women slashes 3 in melee

    Allegheny County Housing Authority police were trying to identify a naked woman who allegedly slashed or stabbed three other women in an apparent lovers’ quarrel at a public housing complex.

    July 29, 2014

  • Police: Rescued boys never mentioned drowned teen

    Police say two teens who were rescued from a jetty in Presque Isle Bay in Erie last week, and two others who were with them, never mentioned a fifth boy who drowned and whose body wasn’t found until Saturday.

    July 29, 2014

  • 2 arraigned, denied bail in deadly Philly carjacking

    Two men accused of carjacking a woman in north Philadelphia and plowing into a family selling fruit on a street corner, killing three children, have been ordered held without bail.

    July 29, 2014

  • PennDOT pushes ‘Yellow Dot’ vehicle stickers

    It’s the car sticker that could save your life.
    PennDOT’s “Yellow Dot” program has been around for several years, said Daniel Zakraysek, coordinator of the Cambria Allegheny Regional Highway Safety Network.

    July 28, 2014

  • Remembering elephant’s rampage

    The circus elephant paced the landing outside the Jaffa Mosque in Altoona.
    Police formed an uneasy line around the perimeter of the venue’s lawn, rifles at the ready.
    It was a cloudy, cold day in April 1993, and Tyke the elephant had just run around the circus ring, slapped a baboon and burst through a building’s front door, tearing off part of the wall above the door.

    July 28, 2014

  • State briefs 7/29/2014

    July 28, 2014

  • 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


Do you think pet obituaries should be included with death notices?

Yes, my pet is considered a member of the family.
No, pet obituaries are inappropriate.
Pet obituaries should be placed on a different page in the newspaper.
     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads