Page 1

Ebensburg Borough Council moves forward with water plant contract

By Gina Bianucci

of Mainline Newspapers

The Ebensburg Borough Council was approached with a proposal for the borough’s wastewater contractor to take over operations of its water plant at the council’s Oct. 28 meeting. Borough manager Dan Penatzer said that Inframark, the borough’s current wastewater treatment plant operator, had submitted a proposal to assume responsibility of the water treatment plant in the same manner in which they operate the wastewater treatment plant. Services at both plants would be combined into a single three-year contract. The current contract with Inframark was allowed to expire two years ago, but the borough has continued the company’s services on a year-toyear basis. Originally, since the issue involved the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) matters, the council planned to meet in executive session to discuss the proposal. However, the council ended up discussing the issue openly. AFSCME did have issues with collective bargaining agreement, but those concerns had been adequately addressed prior to the meeting. When the borough had first contracted through Inframark, then called Severn Trent, the borough employees working at the sewer plant accepted positions with

them and became Inframark employees. Back in 2018, Inframark submitted a proposal to also operate the water plant in what was determined at the time to be two separate contracts, but they have since created a new proposal that is more attractive to the borough. “It’s becoming very hard to find certified operators, every plant is running into that [with both] water and sewer plants,� Penatzer said. “It’s difficult for us to keep up with the changing regulations.� Penatzer said that water and wastewater treatment processes are becoming more expensive, and the water plant requires more SEE CONTRACT, PAGE 8

November 7, 2019


Sydnee and Nolan LaPierre and Logan and Mason Anthony are ready for the annual Ebensburg Halloween parade Oct. 27. Photo by Kristin Baudoux.

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PAGE 2 - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - MAINLINE EXTRA

Ripley recalls Army service during the Cold War

By Kristin Baudoux

of Mainline Newspapers

The United States and the Soviet Union (USSR) had fought alongside each other during World War II to defeat the Axis powers. However, the relationship between the two nations became strained in the years after the war. The USSR’s expansion into Eastern Europe had many nations, including the United States, anxious about the rise of Josef Stalin and communist rule. This anxiety further increased during the Korean War, when the USSR backed the communist North Korean People’s Army, and during the “arms race” as both nations worked to develop ever-more-destructive weapons. During this time, the U.S. military heightened its presence both domestically and abroad, and Ebensburg native Lewis “Lew” Ripley Jr. was one of the men vigilant in his duties to protect American soil. After spending two years at Penn State studying for his bachelor’s degree, Ripley decided to join the Army. He attended basic infantry training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and completed advanced training at Fort Ord, California. Following his training, he became a member of the 53rd

‘It’s a maturing experience, being in the military’

infantry regiment attached to the 71st infantry division stationed at Fort Richardson, located just outside of Anchorage, Alaska. Ripley said his regiment was trained to fight on skis in the winter and would be considered a special forces unit today. The term special forces unit wasn’t adapted in the military until the Kennedy administration. “Our purpose was to be prepared to fight against any enemy who came across the Bering Strait from Russia,” Ripley said. While Ripley’s regiment did not see battle, the men spent their time preparing themselves for a possible invasion. He said days were spent continuously training for engaging in battle. Ripley recalls excursions north toward Fairbanks, where his regiment would spend days and nights in the field most of the time. Much like the famous dog sleds used in the arctic, men in the regiment found themselves pulling sleds loaded with equipment. Ripley said three men on skis would pull each sled, while a fourth man would work the brakes. “We were in place of the dogs,” he said. He said his regiment also

worked in conjunction with tank units, and if both units had to move fast, he and the others would find themselves hitching rides on the tank’s “fenders,” which he recalls as a dangerous and scary experience. Spending time in Alaska also prepared Ripley to handle extreme cold. He described much of Anchorage’s weather as pleasant, but unlike Pennsylvania, where temperatures can sharply fluctuate, Alaska’s weather tends to remain steady, especially when heading further inland. “Once it [the temperature] goes down, it stays down,” he said of Alaskan weather. While out in the field, Ripley experienced temperatures that could drop as low as -70 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below -30 degrees are considered dangerous. “We had to get used to extreme cold weather,” Ripley said. As part of their training, members of the regiment had to learn how to breathe properly to avoid injuring their lungs from breathing the frigid air. “When it was only -10 or -20, we thought it was warm,” he said. Besides the extreme tempera-

tures, Ripley also had to adjust to the amount of sunlight each season. Due to Alaska’s proximity to the Arctic Circle, Alaskans spend most hours of the day in darkness during the winter, and most hours in sunlight in the summer. Ripley said he found himself sleeping with a pillow over his head in the summer to block out the late-night sunlight. Ripley also remembers the good times he had while stationed in Alaska. He recalled seeing the aurora borealis and having his first legal drink in Alaska, since he turned 21 while stationed there. Ripley also earned extra money as a tailor while in the Army, and was able to send most of the money he earned back home. “I don’t do my own tailoring now,” he joked. He did say that being in the military is an experience unlike any other, since a diverse group of soldiers come together to accomplish the unit’s goals. “It’s a maturing experience, being in the military — associating with people from all walks of life,” he said. After spending two years in the Army attaining the rank of Private First Class and earning a

few awards, including the National Defense Service Medal, Ripley returned home and finished his bachelor’s degree at Bucknell University. He then earned his law degree from Duke University, and has practiced law in his hometown ever since. While many folks his age enjoy relaxing in retirement, Ripley continues to keep busy. Along with his law practice, he and his wife, Jeannette, own and operate The Noon-Collins Inn, and he is the landlord for several rental properties. He is the treasurer of the Cambria County Historical Society, president of the Bethel Baptist Church Association and a member of Summit Lodge 312. He also enjoys keeping up with his fellow classmates from the Ebensburg-Cambria High School class of 1952. Ripley also took a moment to reflect upon his time he served. He said most Korean War veterans simply came home from the war and went back to everyday life. He was thankful that Korean War veterans, and all veterans, are being recognized for their service. “All veterans deserve the recognition that they are now being given,” he said.

Commissioners talk Blacklick Creek AMD abatement By Kristin Baudoux

of Mainline Newspapers

The Cambria County Commissioners, at their Oct. 24 meeting, approved an agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation, authorizing the condemnation of property in Blacklick

Township. According to county solicitor Bill Barbin, DEP is starting a $15 million acid mine drainage abatement project along Blacklick Creek. A chemical addition plant, to be located just south of Vintondale Borough, will collect samples from three boreholes that run into the stream and discharge fur-

ther upstream. The commissioners’ role in the project is to grant access to DEP and agree to cooperate with the project. The area in question consists of about 10 acres of ground upstream from the plant. According to Barbin, once the acid mine drainage abatement project is completed,

3.2 miles of Blacklick Creek will be cleaned and fishing habitats will be restored. He also said the plant will be staffed 24/7 with a three member crew. President commissioner Tom Chernisky brought up the creek’s proximity to the Ghost Town Trail and its added recreational SEE AMD, PAGE 17

MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - PAGE 3

New highway work zone speed enforcement in place PAGE 4 - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - MAINLINE EXTRA

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

On Nov. 1, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) began a twomonth pilot period for the new statewide Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) program to improve safety for drivers and highway workers, reduce work zone speeds and change driver behavior. “The Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program isn’t about issuing violations, it’s about saving lives,� said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “Last year, 23 motorists were killed in a Pennsylvania work zone. Through this program, we are urging motorists to slow down and pay attention while driving, especially in work zones where roadway conditions can change on a daily basis.� AWZSE was created by the state legislature as Act 86 of 2018 for a five-year period. During the twomonth pilot program, automated

Owner of the vehicle responsible for violations

speed enforcement units using “LIDAR� and automated cameras will be deployed in a number of active work zones on Pennsylvania’s highways. During the two-month pilot program, no citations will be issued. According to a joint press release about the program issued last week, the three agencies indicated that “Pennsylvania’s AWZSE program uses vehicle-mounted systems to detect and record motorists exceeding posted work zone speed limits by 11 mph or more using electronic speed timing devices. AWZSE systems are only operational in active work zones where workers are present. Once enforcement begins, registered owners will receive a warning letter for a first offense, a violation notice and $75 fine for a second offense and a violation notice and $150 fine for third and subsequent offenses. These violations are civil penalties only; no points will be assessed to driver’s licenses.� The owner of the vehicle is liable for penalties imposed by an

AWZSE violation. The law, which enacts civil penalties, can hold the owner responsible for the actions of the vehicle’s driver even if the owner is not the driver or not in the vehicle at the time of the violation. The automated speed enforcement will be done using LIDAR, which is a speed measuring device that determines target range and speed based on the time-of-flight of laser light pulses reflected off a target. Traffic cameras equipped with the system will capture the license plate of the offending vehicle. Despite popular notions, the polarized license plate covers sold to block traffic cameras from capturing license plate numbers do not prevent traffic cameras designed to defeat the polarization filter. Additionally, it is a violation of Pa. Vehicle Code to block the view or identification of a license plate. The radar detectors sold to give advance warning to a driver of a PSP trooper using radar to measure traffic speed for enforcement also will not detect LIDAR, since

LIDAR uses laser technology. Work zones covered by automated speed enforcement must have at least two appropriate warning signs conspicuously placed before the automated speed zone. At least one sign must indicate if the automated speed enforcement is active or not active. There must also be a sign marking the end of the automated speed enforcement zone. Additionally, the information identifying the location of the automated speed enforcement system will be posted on the PA511 website. “When a crash occurs in an active work zone, it’s just as likely to result in death or injury to a driver or passenger inside that vehicle,� said Pa. Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “This program is about protecting everybody’s safety. If not for these workers in an active work zone, I ask you to slow down for yourself and other travelers.� In 2018, there were 1,804 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania, resulting in 23 fatalities, and 43

percent of work zone crashes resulted in fatalities and/or injuries. Since 1970, PennDOT has lost 89 workers in the line of duty and the Pa. Turnpike has lost 45 workers since 1945. The legislature designated that once the AWZSE program is in effect, the money collected from violations will be distributed to help further traffic enforcement and safety education. Of the money collected in the first three years, 45 percent will go to the PSP. That percentage will be further divided, with 55 percent going to recruit new PSP troopers, and for training and equipment. The remaining 60 percent will be divided up, with 15 percent going to PennDOT and PTC for traffic safety and education programs. The remaining 40 percent will go the Motor License Fund for distribution by the legislature. The legislature will consider how successful the program is when it becomes time to renew the legislation for the AWZSE program.

Jackson Twp. Supervisors approve liquor license transfer to Sheetz By Allie Garver-Byers of Mainline Newspapers

At the Oct. 31 Jackson Township Supervisors meeting, a public hearing was held in regard to the transfer of Restaurant Liquor License No. R-11911 into Jackson Township because Sheetz, at 115 Pace St., had applied for it. Sheetz attorney Mark Kozar was present at the meeting on behalf of the company and requested that a resolution be passed by the supervisors to allow the transfer of the license into the township pursuant to 47 P. Section 461 (b.3) in the Pennsylvania

Liquor Code. After a few public comments on how selling alcohol works at Sheetz and the consumption of it on the premises, Kozar clarified several items. He explained that if an individual is drinking inside Sheetz, there is a two beer limit. Later in the regular meeting, John Wallet made a motion to approve Resolution 0419, which approved the transfer of the liquor license from the Colonial Inn in Northern Cambria to the Sheetz in Jackson Township. Eric Dreikorn seconded the motion. The supervisors also approved Resolution

05-19, approving and authorizing the submittal of an application for fiscal year 2019 funds under the Pennsylvania Community Development Block Grant program. During the public comment portion of the meeting, Dave Tucker said that he wanted to publicly withdraw his name from a petition brought to the supervisors in regard to Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Fairview and Merlo. Lisa Crynock, who was speaking on behalf of herself and her husband, Rob, wanted to publicly withdraw the entire petition. Rob Crynock presented the petition at a prior meeting.


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Both individuals said that the issues they had brought forth at a previous meeting regarding noise emitted from CPV, among other problems, have been resolved. Tucker and Crynock thanked the supervisors for help in the matter. Chairman Bruce Baker announced that a Veterans Day Program will be held Monday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. at Veterans Park adjacent to the senior center. Col. Marty Kuhar will serve as the special guest speaker and the Menoher VFW Post 155 Honor Rifle Team, as well as other groups and individuals from the community, will be in attendance at the ceremony.



Gallitzin • 886-8451

DCNR releases preliminary strategic report

MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - PAGE 5

Recommendations include major changes for park system

By Jack Thompson

of Mainline Newspapers

Pennsylvania is known across the country for its beautiful parks, fishing and other outdoor activities. Our region is home to Prince Gallitzin State Park (PGSP), which attracts tens of thousands of local residents and visitors to its events each year. The state park system is managed by a branch of government called the Pa. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). State parks also provide a significant amount of education, safe forms of recreation, free festivals and other opportunities for all wishing to take part. Most opportunities at state parks funded by tax money and are given at no direct cost to the public, and DCNR leaders strive to keep feebased services affordable for all. According to a release by DCNR, the state park system is allocated less than two-tenths of 1 percent of the state’s general fund. In other words, less than onefifth of one penny of every tax dollar goes toward strengthening our park system. Over the past several years, leaders in DCNR have been collecting data on Pa. residents’ feelings on the best way to utilize the budget granted by the state. The data was gathered via printed, telephoned and webbased surveys completed by approximately 17,000 Pa. residents. On Oct. 29, a conference

detailing the preliminary findings and possible future strategies was held at the PGSP main office. The meeting was led by PGSP manager Jess Lavelua and assistant manager Tim Yeager. Present also were other DCNR leaders, members of PGSP’s dedicated volunteer group Friends of Prince Gallitzin and residents. The meeting was also recorded for broadcast news. Like many government programs, handling the financial strain in the ever-tightening budgetary climate poses considerable challenges for our state leaders, park rangers and associated park staff. Volunteer groups work hard to help lessen the load on the overtaxed park staff, but continuing difficulty with aging infrastructure and unpredictable state funding weighs heavily on our rangers and other stewards of public lands. The information gathered through the surveys was organized into five different subsets and used to formulate preliminary plans on ways to help the park system better serve Pennsylvanians and other visitors. The full summary is quite extensive and publicly available by contacting the park or DCNR. Interested residents were encouraged by DCNR representatives to examine the findings and provide feedback on the report, including residents who were not able to attend the

October meeting. Feedback will be taken online on the official DCNR website, and residents are also able to mail written comments to the DCNR headquarters in Harrisburg. The public comment period ends in midDecember. Following that, a finalized report will be released in summer of next year and staff groups will begin working to develop the implementation plans for each recommendation laid out in the final program. The data gathered almost certainly required an untold amount of time and effort to procure, organize and parse. Though the investment in the initiative was likely quite high, the surveys allow DCNR to better understand what its constituents wish to see on public lands. Almost all of the approximately 17,000 respondents agreed or strongly agreed that state parks should continue to emphasize healthful outdoor recreation activities, and a vast majority agreed that parks should provide a quiet, natural and “wild” experience. Respondents were much more split on matters like ATV trails, resort-like structures and camping vacation packages. Most agreed that parks showing signs of overuse should limit participation to more manageable levels, but that could prove to be difficult and/or unpopular. Other conservation efforts and maintenance programs would likely help to reduce the effects

of over-utilization, particularly during high impact periods like the Fourth of July. In terms of recommendations for outdoor recreation activities, DCNR’s preliminary suggestions point toward enhancing landscape-level partnerships to further connect parks with other publicly owned land. They also intend to enhance water-based recreational activities, general trail systems and accessibility for water-based recreation. Another portion of the survey centered around the expansion of overnight accommodations. Respondents were in high agreement that parks should designate areas for quiet, wild and remote camping experiences, and that current levels of accommodation are appropriate.

In the near future, DCNR intends to renovate campgrounds for better privacy, accessibility, sustainability and safety in a situation-specific manner. There is a significant push to increase full-service campsites to 20 percent of all state sites. Currently the number is about 5 percent. They also intend to slightly increase the number of of electric-only sites available across the commonwealth. The surveys also found that Pennsylvanians are very strongly in agreement that more effort and resources should be directed to managing water quality, conserving native habitats, enlarging park boundaries and supporting SEE DCNR, PAGE 8

Carrolltown Borough sets stormwater, sewer workshop date PAGE 6 - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - MAINLINE EXTRA

council and the municipal authority. During borough manager Lonnie Batdorf’s report, he noted that the stormwater project is done with the exception to a small amount of paving. The project included a bunch of snags related to elevation. The PennDOT boxes were not compatible in certain spots because of their height, so concessions had to be made. Batdorf reported that

By Jack Thompson

of Mainline Newspapers

The Carrolltown Borough Council held its monthly meeting Nov. 4. The group heard its routine reports, including on the completion of the municipal authority’s portion of the ongoing work throughout the borough. A date was also set for the workshop on drainage and sewage to be held in January with both the

Tunnelhill Borough talks speed humps, enforcing ordinances By Gina Bianucci

of Mainline Newspapers

Tunnelhill Borough Council members discussed the possibility of getting speed humps and asking Laurel Municipal to enforce their ordinances at their Nov. 4 meeting. Council member Ken McCloskey spoke about getting speed humps on the side roads in Tunnelhill. He said many children have moved into the neighborhood and the borough council does not want anything to happen to them. According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, speed humps are parabolic vertical traffic calming devices, intended to slow traffic speeds on low volume, low speed roads. Speed humps are three to four inches high and 12 to 14 feet wide, with a ramp length of 3 to 6 feet, depending on target speed. Speed bumps, by comparison, are more aggressive traffic calming options and are not as wide as a speed hump. Speed humps can also be used as a walkway. The speed humps can be seen at the Logan Valley Mall and in Hollidaysburg. Council president Mike Taddei said that cars need to start slowing down. Although he thinks it’s a good idea, he doesn’t know what the costs will be. Council member Larry Bem said that he can give McCloskey the engineer’s phone number to discuss the issue. The engineer is SEE HUMPS, PAGE 12

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the drainage boxes are working to performance specifications. A small amount of municipal paving remains on the roster for the new sewage line on Richard Street. PennDOT is now at work with the 219 corridor project throughout the borough. Batdorf also reported that a tree in front of the municipal building was damaged in a recent storm. The wind was strong enough to split the tree down the middle, meaning the tree is likely to die and will need to be dealt with sometime soon. During chairman Luke Baker’s report on streets and related issues, he mentioned that a stream cleanup is scheduled for the end of the month. He also

noted that the ongoing effort to schedule a workshop with the municipal authority was finally scheduled following the council meeting in January. An agenda will be put together beforehand, but the groups have noted an interest in discussing issues with the sewer and drainage systems. The meeting is a public meeting and will be advertised. During a report on equipment, Batdorf reported that the bucket on the borough-owned backhoe is split. The damage isn’t new, but the split has been welded so many times that there is no longer an easy way to fix it. Because the bucket is designed in modular pieces, Batdorf tentatively plans to cut off the damaged area with a

torch and reattach a new bottom. Councilman Drew Thomas reported that Legion Park is officially winterized and closed for the year. Finally, the council announced that the tentative budget for 2020 is complete and will go out for advertisement in the immediate future. The park budget is also complete, and is essentially zeroed out. The budget is pretty tight, so there is discussion about possibly raising taxes by a mill to remove some of the pressure. An increase is not currently planned, and will be discussed in January. The council went on to discuss personnel matters. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Dec. 2.

MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - PAGE 7





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PAGE 8 - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - MAINLINE EXTRA


volunteer groups that help to maintain public lands. DCNR preliminarily recommends increasing professional staff levels, managing light pollution, determining threats to state watersheds and habitats, increasing data management services (GPS and mapping) and a host of other conservationist efforts. Part of DCNR’s mission is to preserve public lands and our publicly shared natural resources “in perpetuity,� so it is not surprising that the department wishes to invest heavily in various forms of conservation. Strikingly, the plan includes a suggestion to dedicate a minimum of 2 percent of available budgetary funds for land acquisitions and associated issues. Land management has long been a major concern for the park system, and the hope is that a larger share of the budget could go toward enhancing boundary management, protecting and expanding outdoor recreational opportunities and establishing a “sustainable boundary goal for each state park.� Another major concern for all parks, including PGSP, is rehabilitation and repair of infrastructure like dams, pumping plants, sewer facilities and energy systems. DCNR recommends assessing buildings and systems and determining how to fund the renovation of those determined to be mission critical. The department would also like to reduce energy consumption by 25 percent and use



staffing than what the borough is capable of providing. The council members were given documents at the meeting pertaining to current expenses Inframark would assume under the proposed contract. The Inframark contract would cost the borough $289,820, and the water costs Inframark would be assuming on the borough’s behalf would be $232,000. The borough’s net costs to operate the water plant would be about $57,000. The contract would also include a 2 percent annual increase, and the borough would remain responsible for the water distribution and sewage collection systems. An expense the borough would save on is the cost of an operator position the borough agreed to create last year. The position has remained vacant due to of a lack of certified operators. The borough has already acknowledged that the plant is understaffed, but is unable to find an applicant who has the necessary public works skills and water treatment certification. The costs for the new position are spread across not only the water fund, but also the sewer fund and general fund as well. Under the contract with Inframark, the borough wouldn’t need to fill that vacant position. While the water costs would increase by $57,000, the costs in the general fund would decrease by $15,500 and in the sewer fund by $27,300. The net increase in costs to the overall

entirely renewable resources like solar for 50 percent of total park energy expenditures by 2030. Yeager said that it would be difficult, but possible and important, to dramatically revolutionize park energy utilization in such a short time. DCNR also recommends committed fees for certain state park services that could go toward repairing highly stressed water distribution systems and similar infrastructure. The report also recommends various methods of improving program offerings and in-park experiences, expanding access and inclusion to park services, assessing more than 125 state park concession operations, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing park staff diversity. The recommendations laid out in the preliminary report are subject to change after the public comment period. Importantly, many of the recommendations are park and situation specific and may not apply to PGSP completely or at all. In closing, Yeager and Lavelua voiced a desire for the community to provide feedback on the report so that DCNR can better serve the needs of its constituents. Residents who would like to know more about the report can contact PGSP or DCNR headquarters to obtain a copy for perusal. The information is dense but accessible, and the public comment period gives residents a rare opportunity to directly impact the way tax dollars are utilized on a public service that benefits us all.

operating fund is estimated to be less than $15,000 including taxes and benefit line items. The net increase without these items would be less than $11,500. Penatzer said that if it made sense to contract with Inframark to operate the sewer plant, it also has to make sense to contract out the operation of the water treatment plant. He mentioned that the water treatment plant is the most important public service the borough provides. “If there’s an error in sewage treatment, at worst, it can result in environmental damage or a fish kill,� Penatzer said. “And while I don’t mean to minimize the importance of that, an error in water treatment puts us at risk of a public health emergency.� Penatzer said that both systems have to operate correctly and that there is no room for error, which is why it is important to have both treatment plants operated professionally to comply with regulations. Penatzer also provided a list of the contract’s additional benefits. For instance, the borough can assure the continuity of oversight through some upcoming retirements, an adequate level of certified staffing at the plant and knowing workers will be available during long periods of paid time off and weekends. Inframark also will institute a preventive maintenance program. Currently, under the borough’s management, the employees just waited until something broke to fix it. Inframark will provide the borough with a report every month

for the plants and bring industry professionals and engineers for problem solving issues. The borough would not have to pay extra for those engineers or professionals. Penatzer also said that if the council members choose to seek a competitive proposal with another company at the conclusion of the contract, they will be in a much better position to define the joint operation and list the details in its requests for proposals. Other vendors would also have a better understanding of the services the borough is looking for. Council member Dave Kuhar asked about the number of plants Inframark manage. Penatzer said Inframark manages about 5,000 plants in the United States. Council member Scot May said that from the public safety standpoint, the costs are too small of a number to be an issue. Council member Theresa Jacoby asked if the term of the contract can be shorted. Penatzer said Inframark has already created an affordable proposal and that the company is investing a lot of time and commitment into the plant for the contract and would not be able to make adjustments. Following the discussion, the council approved a motion to grant tentative approval to the proposal. The council has not advertised their budget yet because of the contract and the changes it would create. The changes will be made for the 2020 budget.




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MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - PAGE 9

Jackson Water Auth. approves documents for line relocation PAGE 10 - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - MAINLINE EXTRA

By Allie Garver-Byers of Mainline Newspapers

For several months now, the Jackson Township Water Authority engineers have been working on the logistics and pricing of a water line relocation along State Route 271 due to a culvert project being done by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). At the Oct. 22 water authority meeting, EADS Group engineer Pat Mulcahy had an update on that project for the board members. “[Engineer] Stephanie [Buncich] gave me a copy of the cost sharing request let-

ter that needs to go to PennDOT for the water line relocation,� said Mulcahy. “I would need a motion to have Walter [Ditchcreek] and John [Wallet] sign the letter and also the resolution requesting the 75 percent reimbursement from PennDOT.� Board member Robb Piper asked what the total cost is on the project. According to Mulcahy, the project hasn’t been bid out yet, so he can’t give a specific number. He added that the authority will be responsible for 25 percent of the total project cost. “I think [when] we looked at it, it was like $120,000,� said Mulcahy.

Wallet made a motion to execute the documents for the water line relocation project. Piper seconded the motion. Moving on to foreman Fred Meier’s report, he said that a main line leak was repaired on Adams Avenue in front of the Jackson Township Senior Center. “It was a 2 inch cast line that was snapped in half,� said Meier. According to Meier, the pumping was up last month and he believes it was because of that line. “I think it was probably leaking prior to that,� said Meier. He said that work was done at the pump station on Pike Road, also known

as the George Wyse pump station. “We rebuilt the one check valve in there a couple months ago, and we finally got the other one rebuilt this week,� said Meier. “[The] plans are to find out how they’re working once they’re working, then we can take that other motor out of there.� Meier explained that once the motor is taken out he can look at it and see if that is why the breaker keeps kicking at the pump station. During officer manager Deb Buksa’s report, she announced that the December meeting will be one week earlier and take place Dec. 17 rather than Dec. 24.

on a list and try to demolish as many buildings as possible with the available money. The restriction on Act 152 is that a municipality or a non-profit must own the building before it can be demolished using the funds. Three years ago, the borough bought the two-and-a-half story wooden residential structure through a judicial tax sale in hopes of having it demolished. At a future meeting, the council will determine what to do with the property. The most likely options are to sell the property in an attempt to put it back into taxation or keep the property to use as a green space. In the second step forward in the battle against blight, the borough successfully bid for the old Starlight Hotel at 828 N.

Railroad Ave. for $908.70. The blighted three-story wood-frame building was once a busy stopover for rail travelers during the town’s heyday. The borough has been battling the owners since 2017 over the blighted structure. At one point the owners, Arthur Gaunt and his mother Bernice, had to be evicted from the property due to its dangerous condition. At a hearing in the Court of Common Pleas in November 2018, the court ordered the Gaunts to pay fines until the structure was demolished. No fines have been paid to the court. Frustrated by the Gaunts’ lack of action and the increasingly deteriorating condition of the building, the borough worried about the safety of pedestrians and vehicle traffic, particularly school buses

turning the corner onto Lee Street. At the Nov. 4 council meeting, the discussion focused on budgeting for the demolition. Typically, the redevelopment authority will provide up to $25,000 to demolish commercial buildings under Act 152. The size and age of the building make it costly to demolish. The building is in such bad condition that the council is worried about it collapsing. The building’s condition was aggravated by the former owners who stripped reusable material from the building. It would take at least two or as many as four years before the building demolition could be funded by Act 152 money.

Portage Borough’s blight fight takes steps forward By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

The fight against blight took two steps forward at the Portage Borough Council meeting Nov. 4. The blighted property at 1007 Conemaugh Ave. has been demolished using the county’s Act 152 funding through the Cambria County Redevelopment Authority. Act 152, now in its third full year, is funded by a $15 fee on deeds, mortgages and other documents filed through the county’s recorder of deeds office in the courthouse. Act 152 funds the demolition of approximately 8-12 blighted structures a year. The fund is administered through the county’s redevelopment authority, which puts the buildings







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Friday, August 9 • Buccaneers • W 30-28 Saturday, August 17 • Chiefs • W 17-7 Sunday, August 25 • at Titans • W 18-6 Thursday, August 29 • at Panthers • L 25-19


Sunday, September 8 • at Patriots • L 33-3 Sunday, September 15 • Seahawks • L 28-26 Sunday, Sept. 22 • at 49ers • L 24-20 Monday, September 30 • Bengals • W 27-3 Sunday, October 6 • Ravens • L 26-23 CONTEST RULES

1. Complete the coupon on the following page by guessing the winning team and the total number of points you think will be scored in the STEELERS VS. BROWNS and enter the guesses in the spaces provided on the coupon.

2. Enter one of the participating advertisers on these contest pages in the space provided to redeem your coupon should you be the contest winner. There will be one $25 contest certificate given away each week.

Sunday, October 13 • at Chargers • W 24-17 Sunday, October 20 • Bye Week Monday, October 28 • Dolphins • W 27-14 Sunday, November 3 • Colts • W 26-24 Sunday, November 10 • Rams • 4:25 p.m. Thursday, November 18 • at Browns • 8:20 p.m. Sunday, November 24 • at Bengals • 1:00 p.m. Sunday, December 1 • Browns • 4:25 p.m. Sunday, December 8 • at Cardinals • 4:25 p.m. Sunday, December 15 • Bills • 1:00 p.m. Sunday, December 22 • at Jets • 1:00 p.m. Sunday, December 29 • Ravens • 1:00 p.m. 3. Clip and forward the coupon to: ‘Steelers Football Contest,’ c/o Mainline Newspapers, P.O. Box 777, Ebensburg, PA 15931.

4. All entries must be received at the Mainline Newspaper office by 4 p.m. Thursday, November 18. No purchase necessary to participate. All entries must be original (no photocopies). Must be at least 18 years of age to enter. One coupon per person. 5. In the event two or more contestants correctly pick the winning team and total number of points, one winner will be randomly selected and awarded the winning prize.

Vinatieri’s miss gifts Steelers fourth win

MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - PAGE 11

By Calem Illig

of Mainline Newspapers

Things were looking pretty bleak for the Pittsburgh Steelers with just over one minute remaining in the game Nov. 3 against the Indianapolis Colts. Up by only two points, the Colts lined up for a 43-yard field goal that could have potentially won the game. Even worse, veteran Adam Vinatieri was lined up to take the kick, and he was on the heels of a game-winning field goal just one week prior. As the crowd began to pack it in, the unimaginable happened. Vinatieri’s kick sailed wide left as Pittsburgh snuck away with a 26-24 victory. “It is great to get a win versus a winning team,� Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “That team had been in a bunch of close games and won a lot of them. It’s good when you can be in a game against a team that is used to winning in close games and pull it out, so we are thankful for that.� An early interception by Kenny Moore II got Indy trending in the right direction to open the game. The Colts embarked on an eightplay, 28-yard drive that culminated with a 28-yard field goal from veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri to put Indianapolis on the board first. A Trey Edmunds run of 45 yards

on the first play of the ensuing possession got the Pittsburgh offense on the right track. The Steelers advanced the ball right up to the goal line on first down with a powerful run by Jaylen Samuels, but the offense stalled. Edmunds was stopped well behind the line of scrimmage on second down, and quarterback Mason Rudolph’s pass was nearly intercepted. The drive ended in a 21-yard field goal from Chris Boswell. “We have some things to fix, obviously, red zone execution and so forth. But we will address it and address it with the win,� Tomlin said. “It is good to be .500 at the turn like we talked about early in the week given where we have come from. It’s going to still be a while. We will work forever trying to get that September stench off of us, but that is life in this thing, and I appreciate the effort and fight.� The Colts quickly responded. Quarterback Jacoby Brisset was injured on a first-and-goal pass attempt, but veteran backup Brian Hoyer stepped in and filled his role to perfection. Hoyer connected with tight end Jack Doyle for an 11-yard score to reclaim the Indianapolis lead. Following a broken drive by Pittsburgh, the Colts seemed to be pushing toward the end zone late in the half. All of that was halted by Minkah Fitzpatrick. He jumped in

front of Hoyer’s pass and returned the ball 96 yards to the house for the score. That play was the secondlongest regular season interception return in franchise history. Martin Kottler holds the regular season record with a 99-yard interception return against the Chicago Cardinals in 1933. “I was just reading the quarterback,� Fitzpatrick said. “He looked right first, then he looked hard left, shoulders turned and everything, so I just started drifting that way. He let go of the ball and I went and got it. “ It didn’t take long for the Colts to respond. Indy quickly drove down the field and scored on a 14-yard passing connection between Hoyer and receiver Zach Pascal. Cam Heyward blocked the extra point attempt. Boswell connected on a 51-yard field goal with no time remaining to close out the first half. Pittsburgh claimed its first lead of the game in the third quarter. A long drive aided by a roughing the passer penalty ended in a 7-yard touchdown reception by tight end Vance McDonald. Pittsburgh’s next possession had the opposite result. Pinned at their own goal line, Rudolph was sacked in the end zone by defensive end Justin Houston for the safety. “Whether we’re moving the ball down the field, or whether we’re

getting the short field due to their turnovers. I think we’re right there,� Rudolph said. “I think we got good schemes; it’s just a matter of getting the ball into the end zone.� The Steelers quickly made up for it. On the free kick, Ola Adeniyi jarred the ball loose out of Chester Roger’s hands and Johnny Holton quickly scooped the ball up. Boswell eventually nailed a 33-yard field goal to make it a 5-point game. “We just have to go out there, no matter how many times we’re on the field or how many times the other team gets the ball or how many points are on the board, we’ve just got to go out there and execute at a high level,� Fitzpatrick said. “That’s what defenses are meant for. If they don’t score, they don’t win. We can kick one field goal and if they don’t score any points, we win. We’ve got to go out there and do our job next week and stop them.� But Indy forced a fumble of their own. Marvel Tell III stripped the

Steelers contest winner

This week’s winner of the Steelers Contest is Linda Beiswenger of Gallitzin. She correctly guessed that the Steelers would defeat the Colts. The total points scored was 50 and her guess matched exactly with 50 points. Linda will redeem her gift certificate at Stager’s Store.






rs., Nov ember 1 8 8:20 p.m .

COUPON FOR GAME OF THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18 1) Guess the winning team of the featured game: _____STEELERS VS. ______BROWNS

2) Guess the total points that will be scored in this game: _____ TOTAL POINTS

All entries must be received at the Mainline Newspaper office by 4 p.m. Thursday, November 18.

3) Should I win the $25 gift certificate, I would like to redeem my certificate at: ______________________________________ (List business from these pages)



ball out off Jaylen Samuels’ hands at the 30-yard line, and Houston jumped on the loose ball before it could trickle out of bounds. Rogers also made up for his earlier blunder. On a fourth-and-two play, he caught Hoyer’s pass in the end zone to recapture the Colts’ lead. On the 2-point conversion try, the pass attempt to Doyle was incomplete as the Steeler deficit remained at one. Boswell’s make of 26 yards and Vinatieri’s miss solidified the final score. “We knew that. We knew that we had to be accurate, fast, and quick decision-making down there to give ourselves a chance,� Rudolph said. “In times we were and in times we weren’t. We’re going to get back to the drawing board and make corrections. Move forward.� The Steelers now shift their attention to the Los Angeles Rams at home Nov. 10. The game starts at 4:25 p.m. and will broadcast on Fox.





Cresson, Lilly fire companies join together to protect their future PAGE 12 - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - MAINLINE EXTRA

By Gina Bianucci

of Mainline Newspapers

Cresson Volunteer Fire Company and Lilly Community Volunteer Fire Company will officially be one corporation under the name Keystone Regional Fire and Rescue effective Jan. 1, 2020. Representatives from both companies said they were primarily entering this partnership for staffing and financial reasons, and will encompass eight municipalities: Cresson Borough, Lilly Borough, Sankertown Borough, Cresson Township, Munster Township, Washington Township and portions of Gallitzin and Allegheny townships. Cresson Fire Company president Dave Fulton and Lilly Fire

Company president Paul Sklodowski said that they have been keeping the municipalities up-to-date at every step of the process. “It is a joint venture to enhance what we have,� Fulton said. Sklodowski said that since equipment prices continue to increase, having a partnership with Cresson will allow both fire companies to fundraise together and eliminate duplicate services, such as not bringing as many fire trucks to a scene if there are already one or two there. Fulton and Sklodowski said they wanted all the municipalities to support this venture. After multiple meetings and routine updates being provided the various municipalities, all of them have

indicated their support for the partnership to move forward. Both men said that although the companies are merging, nothing will change for the residents in the municipalities they serve. The fire companies are combining everything, but will maintain both stations and equipment in both towns. They also will be able to provide extra volunteers if they need the help during an emergency or even at a fundraising event. Fulton and Sklodowski said that it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit volunteers for their stations, and this hardship has played a major role in forming their partnership. According to them, a volunteer firefighter usually stays at his or her station for

state-wide partner of the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES). Portage Area Ambulance Association was commended for collecting data on OHCA to measure outcomes and improve the quality of care and save lives. In 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborated with Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine to develop

CARES, an OHCA surveillance registry to help communities increase survival rates, according to the national CARES website Numbers for the CDC show that every year 300,000 cases of OHCA occur in the United States. Of these numbers, two-thirds are treated by EMS providers. Survival rates of OHCA are generally low,

Portage Area Ambulance Association receives CARES award

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

On Oct. 31, the Portage Area Ambulance Association received the Pennsylvania CARES Award. The ambulance association received the award for demonstrating a commitment to saving lives by strengthening the links in the “out-of-hospital cardiac arrest� (OHCA) data. Pennsylvania CARES is the



from Stiffler McGraw, the firm that designed them in Hollidaysburg and Altoona. The borough also received a letter from Laurel Municipal Inspection Agency about three properties in violation of the borough’s ordinances. Laurel Municipal gave the council an update about the progress these property owners have made so far. However, in the letter, Laurel Municipal asked the borough what they should be advised to do. This upset the council because the council members believe that Laurel Municipal should know what the borough wants them to do. Taddei said that the borough has no jurisdiction over what Laurel Municipal says. The borough also believes that the properties Laurel Municipal said are being worked on have shown little to no progress. Bem asked secretary Cathy Kent to write a letter to Laurel Municipal explaining that they need to enforce the borough’s ordinances better, and that he would hand deliver the letter to the agency. Mayor Le Hritz said that



The borough council is currently in the budget planning process for 2020 and will try to find additional funds to divert from other projects if the borough decides to demol-

partnership includes a dissolvement clause that will allow the fire stations to separate after a period of time if they decide to. As populations in the area continue to dwindle, and interest in volunteering decreases, regionalization is becoming more common. Although boroughs and townships provide financial support to both Lilly and Cresson, the municipalities do not have the tax base to provide the amount supplied to places such as Johnstown to pay staff. Regionalization aims to combat these issues while continuing to provide service to the communities these organizations serve.


Bem should stay and see the representative sign a receipt before he leaves that states that Laurel Municipal read the council’s letter. The council approved a motion to write a letter and deliver it to the agency. In other business, the borough received word from solicitor Greg Neugebauer regarding the person who started the Universal Life Church. Neugebauer said that the borough has no ordinance against it and no zoning ordinance, therefore the owner can host the church on his property. Last month, a resident asked if there was a borough ordinance to prevent that person from creating the church. Bem asked police chief Gerry Hagen about speaking to a resident about cleaning up their property. A retired resident from Coupon wants to open a store where Tunnelhill Market used to be, however, the market is beside a home that is not properly cleaned and he wants to report it. Hagen and Bem both said that they will speak to the resident. If nothing happens, they will report the property to Laurel Municipal.

ish the building before Act 152 funding is available. In other matters, no bids were received for the sale of the borough’s 22 snowflake utility pole Christmas decorations. The borough purchased

an average of five years. Combining the stations will allow them to continue to provide a volunteer fire company in the future and worry less about dwindling membership. According to Fulton and Sklodowski, some towns, such as Cassandra and Wilmore, have lost their fire stations because they could not get the staffing they needed. Fulton said that attorney Bill Barbin has donated a lot of time with his services to help the fire companies with the legalities in forming the partnership, which has taken about three years to complete. And, in the event that the partnership doesn’t work, the

new decorations for this year and placed the old snowflake decorations out for bid as a lot of 22. The borough will readvertise the decorations and look at placing the notice on one or more internet sale sites.


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MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - PAGE 13


Matthew R. Decort

Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc. 532 Main St., Portage



FIREPLACE INSERT: Burns wood/ coal. $200. 4 Studded Tires: 215 70 R15. Asking $200. 2003 Dodge Caravan: Has salvage title. New battery. $550. 814-344-8585. FIREWOOD: Hardwood split. Uncut logs available. Call between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. 948-8579. SKEBECK COAL: High heat, low ash, clean burning, West Virginia, nut and pea coal. Hard coal available. 814-341-7435 or 674-8169.


ATTN SFU/ MOUNT STUDENTS: TW Rentals now accepting applications for summer, fall 2019. $450/ per student per month. Applications available in office. Hours 11-3, MWF or call for info 814-241-8384 or 616570-1269. CRESSON: 2nd floor, 1 bedroom, stove and fridge included. $600 with all utilities included. 814-736-4142. NORTHERN CAMBRIA: 1 bedroom. apartment. Includes all utilities and appliances. 814-322-2925.

Thursday, November 7, 2019 • Page 14


EBENSBURG: 2nd floor, 2 bedroom apt. $600/ month, water, sewer, & heat included. Off-street parking. No pets. Call John 931-7800. (Realtor Owned).

EBENSBURG: 2nd floor, 3 bedroom, studio, spacious living room. 2 bath, kitchen, utilities and appliances included. No pets. 814-472-9354. EBENSBURG: Illig Properties. Apartments and townhomes in Ebensburg and surrounding areas. Call or text 814-626-8830 or visit our website; for availability.

MARKET STREET COMMONS IN JOHNSTOWN: 1-2 bedroom apartments available. Utilities included. 814-536-6122 for details. Equal Housing Opportunity.

NANTY GLO: 1 bedroom, 2nd floor. All utilities included. $550/ month. No smoking/ pets. References, and security deposit required. 814-2427773.

EBENSBURG: One bedroom, 2nd floor and two bedroom, 1st floor. Call 472-7850.


NEAR PATTON: 2 bedroom apartment. Heat included. $600. 931-3095, 943-2009. CRESSON: 1 bedroom apartment. No pets. 886-2377, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. NORTHERN CAMBRIA: 2 bedroom apartments. Heat, water, garbage, sewage included. 948-8392. NORTHERN CAMBRIA: 2 bedroom, 1st floor, Handicap accessible. Everything included except electric & water. No pets. 814-951-3976.

NORTHERN CAMBRIA: Available now! Spacious 3 bedroom, 2nd floor on Philadelphia Ave. Close to downtown, washer/dryer hook-up, no smoking/pets. Must have references. $600/month. Includes heat, water, sewage, garbage. One month security deposit required. Lang Real Estate and Tax Service. Call 814-8868111.


RENT/ OWN: Cherry Tree, $325/ month, plus deposit. 2 bedroom homes. No pets. 814-743-5291.



LORETTO: 2 BR townhouses, furnished or unfurnished. Utilities included. $875 per month. Call 814-2148384 or 616-570-1269.


EBENSBURG: Indoor. 1199 Wilmore Rd. Friday/ Saturday, 10 to 4. Nov. 89, 15-16.

INDOOR SALE: 109 Sumner Street, Cresson. Friday, Nov. 8, 8-6 and Saturday, Nov. 9, 8-1. MUNDYS CORNER: 1114 Pike Rd. 15942. Downsizing, toys, jewelry, candles, Christmas, quilt books, Steelers, households, miscellaneous. Nov. 8, 9 to 5, Nov. 9, 9 to 1.


CAREGIVERS AGENCY: Background check and TB test required. All shifts. EOE. 814-266-5337. AIDES, COOK: All shifts. Apply within at Rebekah Manor in Ebensburg, Northern Cambria, Portage. 814-4726868.

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WAITRESS & COOK: Beaver St. Cafe, Hastings. Apply within.

MECHANIC: Auto or heavy truck. 814-344-8500. Call 84.

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DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS for intellectually disabled adults. Competitive hourly wage. Part-time and full-time available. All shifts. 814-410-6197. EOE. JUST LIKE HOME IN CRESSON: 506 Gallitzin Road, Cresson, is currently seeking applicants for part time first shift, weekends, 7-3, part time second shift 3-11 and 4-9 p.m., part time third shift 11-7. Applicants must enjoy working with the elderly, pass drug test, and criminal background, have GED or high school diploma, willing to work some weekends. Please apply within at 506 Gallitzin Rd., Cresson, PA 16630. 814-8840186. Ask for Jackie or Sandy.

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COUNTER SALES/ STOCKER: Various hours including evening & weekends. Apply within. Dial Beer, 115 Main Street, Portage.







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Vintondale Borough Council talks police department, quads

MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - PAGE 15


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Classified Deadline: Tuesday at 10 a.m. Only $7.00 for the first 10 words. 50¢ per word over 10 words.

By Allie Garver-Byers of Mainline Newspapers

At the Oct. 17 Vintondale Borough Council meeting, council president Pam Palovich said that an officer needs to be scheduled on duty in the mornings to watch Plank Road and Main Street. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need somebody here in the morning,â&#x20AC;? said Palovich. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The way them people fly down through town during the week [is ridiculous].â&#x20AC;? Police chief Harry Reger said he would like to hire a third officer, which will help with the scheduling, especially for the morning shift. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have somebody who is very interested, and he



but implementing the â&#x20AC;&#x153;chain of survivalâ&#x20AC;? is crucial to surviving an OHCA, according to a press release from Pennsylvania CARES. Prior to the development of the CARES program, there was no way to measure how effectively EMS providers were activating the chain. With the data collected through the CARES program,

is a good officer,â&#x20AC;? Reger said. Currently, there are two officers in the borough and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to cover all of the shifts that need covered. Councilman Kevin Olsavsky asked if Reger could create a rough draft schedule of how it would work if there were three part-time officers in the borough and a schedule with only two parttime officers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[Then] we can weigh the differences and evaluate, is this [three officers] going to be better?â&#x20AC;? said Olsavsky. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The budget for the police is fixed, so we have to operate within the limits of that budget.â&#x20AC;?

EMS can measure performance and improve emergency cardiac care and save lives. The data collected is used to help strengthen the collaborative effort between 911 centers, first responders, EMS agencies and hospitals that improve OHCA survival rates. Portage Area Ambulance Association is one of 64 communities that participate in CARES to help increase OHCA survival rates.

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According to Pennsylvania CARES, â&#x20AC;&#x153;EMS agencies in Pennsylvania learn more about their system performance through de-identified aggregate statistics at the local, state or national level and discover promising practices that could improve emergency cardiac care. Cardiac receiving hospitals enter patient outcomes into CARES, which will enable Pennsylvania communities to identify out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates for the first time.â&#x20AC;? Paramedics and EMTs of Portage Area Ambulance Association respond to over 1,300 emergency calls a year, along with dedicated volunteers of the Portage Volunteer Fire Company, Summerhill Township Volunteer Fire Company and Blue Knob Volunteer Fire Company to provide the best possible care to area residents and visitors to the area, according to Terry Sloan, Portage Area Ambulance Association director of operations.

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Penn Cambria teacher helps students focus with flexible seating PAGE 16 - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - MAINLINE EXTRA

By Gina Bianucci

of Mainline Newspapers

A Penn Cambria teacher has jumped into the flexible seating trend at the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primary school. Second-grade teacher Angela Gibbons, who has taught four different grade levels over 22 years, saw that it was becoming more difficult to get students engaged. However, after installing flexible seating in her classroom, she found that not only were students happier, but she also found herself to be happier and less stressed out as well. Flexible seating provides comfortable seating for students to help them maintain focus in the classroom. Her classroom offers over 30 seating options for the 17 students in her class.

Flexible seating has been a trend for several years at schools, but over the last few years, Gibbons said she noticed her students having a harder time concentrating on schoolwork. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I needed to make a change,â&#x20AC;? Gibbons said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t control the curriculum in the school, but I knew that I can control the setup of my classroom.â&#x20AC;? Gibbons started the project during the summer on DonorsChoose is a nonprofit organization that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects. The funding period lasted until Oct. 26, and she received the final seating pieces Oct. 30. Family and friends donated to her cause, and the website matched the funds raised.

According to Gibbons, since acquiring the flexible seating, her students have been rarely disciplined, seem kinder and more gracious and have a higher level of communication toward each other. Although other teachers at Penn Cambria have used flexible seating on smaller levels, Gibbons decided that if she were to do it, she wanted to go all in. Gibbons had a systematical approach to her project. She had her students sign a contract at the beginning of the school year. The contract stated how they could use the seats and the rules for using the seats, such as not being able to sit with the same students all the time. The contract also states that she has the power to move students if she needs to, but Gibbons said

she has moved a student only once this school year. She said a problem teachers may be experiencing is that students are learning in a fast-paced environment stimulated by technology. Both she and Penn Cambria Primary principal Joe Smorto want students to know that it is OK to sit down and relax to do work and change the attitude toward school. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everybody is different,â&#x20AC;? Gibbons said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Flexible seating promotes this because it adapts to each studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs.â&#x20AC;? According to Gibbons, her students are thankful for the new seating options, and their parents have left her messages expressing how their children have never been happier in school.

Student-wide free lunch, breakfast big hit at Blacklick Valley By Allie Garver-Byers of Mainline Newspapers

Since receiving free breakfast and lunch for all students in the

Blacklick Valley School District this year, the school board asked if business manager Bethany Peracchino could report back to them with the number of students who have been taking advantage of the program. At the September meeting, Peracchino said that she didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have exact numbers because it was still too early in the school year to have the numbers. During the Oct. 23 meeting, Peracchino had the meal count numbers for the board members. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Right now, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m using just the August and September meal counts because weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still in October, so I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have them all yet,â&#x20AC;? said Peracchino. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But just in the short amount of August and all of September, breakfast and lunch total additional meals served in those two months compared to last year, 5,851 meals.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crazy,â&#x20AC;? said board member Angela Villa. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m glad people are taking advantage of it.â&#x20AC;? Moving on, high school principal Laura Fisanick gave a brief report on happenings in the building. One item that Fisanick had was the effect the school-wide positive behavior program is having on the students. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is our third year,â&#x20AC;? said Fisanick. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The first year was planning, this is our second year of implementation.â&#x20AC;? She said that on Oct. 25, the students who had no infractions yet this year were able to enjoy a movie. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What I thought was great, 200 students have no infractions,

two-thirds of our kids have no discipline, no infractions, no late to classes.â&#x20AC;? Fisanick said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So I think that speaks very highly of the culture that we promote here.â&#x20AC;? Elementary principal Ron Rhoades had a few updates for the board members as well, including one that involved a Veterans Day program. Rhoades said that he asked fifth- and sixth-grade social studies teacher Terry Albright to â&#x20AC;&#x153;come up with something for Veterans Day.â&#x20AC;? According to Rhoades, Albright and fourth-grade teacher Gina Kokoski have taken the lead and have planned a program on Nov. 7 at 1:30 p.m.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The other one, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to improve the math program and I know this is something small, but in my eyes itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very big â&#x20AC;&#x201D; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Math Facts,â&#x20AC;? Rhoades said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Teachers have taken the lead to develop standards for each grade level that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to try to achieve by the end of the year.â&#x20AC;? He said the reason this is a priority on his list is because in multiplication, if students donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know their math facts â&#x20AC;&#x153;there are over 13 different skills, in mathâ&#x20AC;? that students canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t perform well. Rhoades said that at the next board meeting, he will have more information on how the math standards will be moving forward.

By Allie Garver-Byers

According to Rager, by midOctober the pantry had already received back 204 bags and there were still two weeks left for the bags to be returned. Rager said that in a lot of cases, the individuals filling the bags will include additional items, such as a recipe for pumpkin pie. According to Rager, he plans on copying that recipe and including it in all of the boxes of food distributed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People keep asking for more bags,â&#x20AC;? said Rager. He said that even before the bags are handed out, he will get phone calls asking if it will be happening again. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People look forward to this,â&#x20AC;? Rager added. This year, the food pantry will also be supplying turkey breasts, eggs, milk and potatoes, along with other fruits and vegetables received from Produce to People out of Pittsburgh. Rager said that getting

involved with Produce to People has been a great opportunity for the local food pantry. Every month the pantry will receive between 2,000 pounds and 4,000 pounds of fresh produce. He explained that the season depends on which produce is received, but since it is fall, the Interfaith Community Food Pantry will see an influx in fruit. During the distribution, Rager said that people are very â&#x20AC;&#x153;appreciativeâ&#x20AC;? of what the food pantry hands out, especially at this time of year. The pantry also received Thanksgiving food donations from the Blacklick Valley School District, Jackson Elementary and Cambria County Christian School. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It means a lot to us to get all this food,â&#x20AC;? said Rager. The food pantry is always accepting food donations, and Rager said they are always in need of soup and fruit.

Interfaith Community Food Pantry sees surge in donations

of Mainline Newspapers



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With the holiday season impending, the last few months of the year can be stressful for many families. One of the big stresses many will face is the need for food, particularly the specialty foods that many see as a necessity for Thanksgiving. Luckily, for many families throughout the area, the Interfaith Community Food Pantry, located in Nanty Glo, has stepped in to help. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always nice around the holiday, people are in a giving mood,â&#x20AC;? said Dave Rager, who is in charge of the food pantry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every year it gets bigger and bigger.â&#x20AC;? Back in October, the food pantry sent out 600 large brown paper bags to local churches and ministeriums for the parishioners to fill with the items requested, mainly foods that can be used for Thanksgiving.



In other police matters, Reger asked if council had decided on whether officer Ted Divis could be promoted to assistant chief. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good officer and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very knowledgeable,â&#x20AC;? said Reger. By making Reger assistant chief, he will be able to get into the system, which he cannot do now, according to Reger. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It basically just gives him more power,â&#x20AC;? Reger added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Presently, only one officer is permitted to log in to do the state reports,â&#x20AC;? said Marines. The promotion would be in title only, there will be no pay raise for Divis. Marines made a motion to promote Divis to assistant chief. Olsavsky seconded it. An issue that council has been facing for

some time now is quads and dirt bikes riding down Plank Road and the Ghost Town Trail. Palovich suggested bringing the Game Commission in to help with the issue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re having out of town people coming down here,â&#x20AC;? said Palovich. This was suggested at a meeting several years ago, but was voted against at that time. Palovich said that she can contact Seth Mesoras, of the Game Commission, and have him put up cameras on borough property, for example by the soccer field and the levees. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He [Mesoras] is permitted to monitor the perimeters of the town without the police,â&#x20AC;? said Marines. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That is a benefit because these guys [police officers] canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be on the trail.â&#x20AC;? Council gave Palovich permission to contact the Game Commission and set up their patrolling of quads and dirt bikes.



benefits. “It’s a win for everybody,” Chernisky said. Moving on, the commissioners approved hiring Brittany Blackham as the full-time grant facilitator for the commissioners’ office effective Nov. 12. Blackham previ-

MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - PAGE 17

ously worked for state Rep. Frank Burns’ office as a grant writer and will replace the position vacated by John Dubnansky. “Mr. Dubnansky did a great job, he processed a lot of grants for both the county and local municipalities,” Barbin said. “We don’t want to step back from that.” Chernisky said that while the grant writer

works for the county first, the grant writer’s services are often offered to county municipalities, school districts and other governmental bodies for help in obtaining grants. “John Dubnansky was very successful in that, and the game plan is to continue that momentum,” Chernisky said.

Commissioner Mark Wissinger said Blackham will continue to work with Dubnansky in his current position as Johnstown’s economic development director. “It should be a good coordination here,” Wissinger said.

PAGE 18 - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - MAINLINE EXTRA

Lilly’s Chad Pysher serves country and community

By Gina Bianucci

of Mainline Newspapers

Veterans Day honors all those who have served in the military, and is a moment to recognize and honor these veterans. Veterans like Lilly’s Horace “Chad” Pysher, who served both his country and his community, are part of the fabric of America that helps to make it what it is today. Pysher is the commander of the Lilly American Legion and has been a member for 22 years. Pysher was drafted in the Army in 1970 during the Vietnam War. He served with the Third Infantry Division in Wurzburg, Germany as a Personnel Management Specialist until 1972. His actual job though, was operating a printing press that printed orders for soldiers to move units. After the Army, Pysher moved to Lilly in 1972 and went into the mining business. However, after an eight-and-a-half year break, Pysher was compelled to join the Pennsylvania Army

The military is not about yourself, it’s about helping others fight for our country National Guard. He joined the Company C, 2nd Battalion, 112th Infantry in 1981. As a member of Company C, Command Sgt. Maj. Pysher served as a squad leader, antiarmor section/squad leader, 81 millimeter mortar, section sergeant and platoon sergeant. In 1991, he transferred to Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 112th Infantry as the Intelligence Sergeant for the S-2 section, and in 1992, Pysher became First Sergeant of Headquarters Company. In 1993, Pysher was promoted to Sergeant Major and assigned as the Command Sergeant Major of 2nd Battalion, 112th Infantry and in 1995, he was selected as the Command Sergeant Major of the 56th Brigade. In 1998, Pysher was selected as the 7th Command

Sergeant Major of the 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized). He was mobilized and deployed as the SFOR 12 Task Force Eagle Command Sergeant in 2002. After his deployment, Pysher served as the Acting State CSM for Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2004. In 2004, he was assigned as the Senior Army National Guard Enlisted Advisor and G3 Exercise Sergeant Major for I (US) Corps in Fort Lewis, Washington. Pysher was then assigned as the 2nd Brigade Command Sergeant Major in 2005 when he was mobilized and deployed to Ramadi, Iraq until 2006. He continued to serve on active duty in support of the 2nd Brigades transformation to modularity until his retirement in 2009. “I was very fortunate to be

selected for those other positions,” Pysher said. “I just wanted to get to First Sergeant.” During his tenure and through retirement, Pysher said he has had opportunities to speak to Gold Star families at the Division Shrine in Boalsburg during Armed Forces weekend. He said that it is difficult to speak to these families because of the sacrifice the soldiers gave for the country. “The military is not about yourself, it’s about helping others fight for our country,” Pysher. Pysher has won several awards and received many honors during his tenure in the military. He graduated from the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. His awards include Legion of Merit (2nd award), Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal

(with four Oak Leaf Clusters) and the Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster). He also received the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal. He has the National Defense Service Medal (with two Bronze Stars), the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with Bronze Hourglass and the M Device and Numeral 2). He also has the NCO Professional Development Ribbon (with Numeral 4), the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon (with Numeral 4), the NATO Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge and other various state awards. Pysher lives in Lilly with his wife Barbara and has three children. He is originally from New Brighton, Pa.

MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - PAGE 19

Thank you to all those who served













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