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Ebensburg Sheriff’s department announces K-9 fundraiser art festival returns to courthouse Vol. 159 No. 39

USPS 166680

Ebensburg, Pa.

By Ian Wissinger

of Mainline Newspapers

The Cambria County Sheriff’s Department recently learned that the sole animal member of its K-

Thursday, April 25, 2013

9 Unit, Alli, will have to retire after three years of faithful service. Alli’s declining health has made it so that he can not perform the duties expected of a K9 officer – from sniffing out nar-

By Ian Wissinger

of Mainline Newspapers

Spring is in the air, and Ebensburg is gearing up for its first organized community event of the calendar year – Art in Bloom. On Saturday, April 27, from 12 noon to 6 p.m., and on Sunday, April 28, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Cambria County Courthouse will host nearly 200 original pieces submitted by local artists. Five different types of media will be represented – paintings, drawings, original photography, dimensional art and mixed media. During the aforementioned times, spectators are welcome to peruse the exhibits – free of charge – and to witness the visual talents of amateurs and professionals alike that reside in the immediate area. Art in Bloom also marks Danea Koss’ first outing as Ebensburg Borough’s new community development director. Koss noted that she was impressed with the Art in Bloom committee’s level of preparation for the event. “It is very fortunate for me to get started with something that was already so well

The Cambria County Sheriff’s Department’s current K-9 unit, Alli, is retiring from law enforcement this month. The department has secured a grant to purchase a new K-9, but is still asking for community support for the dog’s supplementary costs. Submitted photo.

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cotics to working on patrol to tracking missing persons and generally being on-call 24 hours a day. As Alli returns to civilian life, the sheriff’s department has been seeking his replacement. Thanks to the federal K-9s for Cops grant, an award granted to only six sheriff’s offices in the United States so far in 2013, Cambria County can welcome a new unit on board this spring. Though grant money will cover purchase of the K-9 itself, additional costs such as maintenance, training and educational materials will fall on the shoulders of the department – items that were not budgeted for unfortunately. To make up for these funds, the sheriff’s department will be holding a fundraiser, on Sunday, April 28, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Central Cambria High School. The event will include a basket auction, bake sale and Tshirt sale, said Deputy Tracy

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Swope. Food, refreshments and activities for the kids will be available as well. “The [K-9s for Cops] grant was a dream come true for us,” Swope acknowledged, adding that Sunday’s fundraiser was originally designed to garner funds to purchase a new dog in the first place. “We planned on having a series of these fundraisers [to this end], but since we received the grant, we’re looking to raise money for supplementary costs.” Cambria County’s K-9 Unit is coordinated by Officer Steve Szymusiak, who had trained and worked alongside K-9 Officer Alli, and Hoss before him. These animals, typically of the German shepherd or Belgian malinois breed, are bred overseas, trained as “work” dogs and, after passing a series of tests, are imported to the United States, where they become involved in law enforceSEE K-9, PAGE 5A

CenCam authorizes tentative budget

SEE ART, PAGE 4A

By Ian Wissinger

of Mainline Newspapers

While Central Cambria School Board’s discussion on the evening of Monday, April 8 centered primarily around the fate of the former middle school, located at the corner of North Center Street and Highland Avenue, officials also took the time to address regular business, including a briefing from Superintendent Dr. Vincent DiLeo and a number of similar committee reports. First, DiLeo made a number of contract recommendations. He asked the board that it extend the district’s agreement with First Student transportation services for a three-year period. He also asked that the board approve Central Cambria’s share of the 2013-14 Admiral Peary Area SEE BUDGET, PAGE 3A

Despite the cold and windy weather, a group of youngsters and their parents took to the streets of the Ebensburg area Saturday to pick up litter for the “Great American Cleanup,” in honor of Earth Day. The event, which was a huge success, was organized by Kate Bender of Ebensburg. Participating in the cleanup were (front row, from left) Logan Thomas, Burke Niebauer, Evan Thomas, LeAnn Hessler, Landon Conklin, Chelsie Conklin, Heather Niebauer, Eric Danchanko; (second row) Kate Bender, Robin Thomas, E.J. Hessler and Rocco, David Schweitzer, Hayden Hessler, Ben Schweitzer, Dana Schweitzer, Daniel Schweitzer, Annaliese Niebauer, Kaylynn Lubert, Heather Lubert; (standing) Daric Danchanko. Mandy Koenigsberg, Bryce Hessler, Roy Bender, Dana Danchanko, Liam Danchanko, and Millie Schweitzer were absent from the photo. Submitted photo.

Locals clean up roads in celebration of Earth Day By Ian Wissinger

of Mainline Newspapers

Though public service announcements and in-school programs attempt to teach children about the value of Earth Day – observed on Monday, April 22 – and the implications of littering and not recycling, sometimes it takes a hands-on experience to truly appreciate a holiday that seems to be taken for granted in today’s age. Kate Bender, a Winterset resident, used to honor Earth Day by taking her children – now fully grown – out along local roadways

to pick up trash and debris, items that not only prove unsightly, but damaging to the environment as well. Though this family tradition has not been reprised every year, Bender said she wants to establish it as a regular event in the future, especially now that her grandchildren are involved. This year, with the availability of social networking sites such as Facebook, Bender decided to take her agenda a step further, creating an online group that invited local children and their parents to join in the cause of cleaning the local countryside. “I welcomed everybody; it was a public event. I

had already planned on taking my three grandsons,” she said. The response that Bender received was quite encouraging – over 20 children, including five girls from a local Girl Scout troop, plus parents, signed on for the proposed two-hour project. Because Earth Day fell on a Monday, the clean up was scheduled for Saturday, April 20, from 10:30 a.m. to shortly after noon. The crew worked on Winterset Road but also traveled to areas in the borough and township that Bender felt were especially clutSEE CLEANUP, PAGE 3A


Herald 04-25-2013