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M A I NLI NE newspapers

Vol. 159 No. 30

USPS 166680

Ebensburg, Pa.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Since 1853

(814) 472-4110

Wife’s gift of kidney could save husband

Newsstand Price 75¢

40 Pages

By Ian Wissinger

of Mainline Newspapers

Billy’s Boys Barbershop Quartet, an a cappella foursome comprising (from left) Phil Parlock, Owen Standley, Floyd Rousell and Mathias Oldham, spent much of the duration of Valentine’s Day delivering singing telegrams to unwitting recipients. At one point during last Thursday afternoon, the quartet visited Central Cambria High School, specifically the cafeteria, where Margaret Hassinger works. Margaret’s husband of 53 years, Dick, had asked the boys to perform a couple of love-themed numbers for Margaret during the high school’s lunch rush, which took the visibly stunned Ebensburg woman by surprise. Submitted photo.

Quartet offers unique Valentine’s Day surprise Hassinger receives singing telegram By Ian Wissinger

of Mainline Newspapers

What did your sweetheart get you for Valentine’s Day this year? For those celebrating this lovey-dovey holiday, some opt to go the traditional route and buy roses, a box of chocolates, a romantic and thoughtful greeting card for their significant other. For others, a night out alone, together, at a favorite restaurant (if you can beat the traffic) serves as the ideal celebration. Dick Hassinger, Ebensburg resident, has experienced 53 Valentine’s Days with his wife, Margaret, and has surely followed the holiday “protocol” listed above from time to time. But this year, Hassinger was inspired to do something different, and he enlisted the help of the Billy’s Boys Barbershop Quartet to make Feb. 14 a day that Margaret would never forget. But first, backtrack a few weekends. The Hassingers had embarked on a shopping trip to the Logan Valley Mall in Altoona, whereupon they encountered the a cappella music group for the first time. Billy’s Boys, a Cambria County outfit consisting of members Phil Parlock, Owen Standley, Floyd Rousell and Mathias Oldham, performed beautiful and stirring numbers to their food court audience, a fitting soundtrack for any environment. Margaret remarked how impressed she was by the vocal ensemble, and Dick began to formulate an idea – maybe he could get these Billy’s Boys to perform exclusively for his wife on Valentine’s Day, a personal

By Ian Wissinger

of Mainline Newspapers

Revelers, merrymakers, wine aficionados, unite! For the fifth straight year, the Ebensburg Rotary Club is hosting its everpopular Wine Time in the Mainline event. As advertised in

Mainline Newspapers, the social gathering, slated to feature six area wineries and over a half-dozen vendors, will unfold at the Young Peoples Community Center on Prave Street in Ebensburg on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 1-4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. While previous installments have proven successful in raising funds for the Rotary (which, in turn, donates money to the borough for renovation and beautification projects), event coordinator Becky DeYulis expects mostly a relaxed, low-key affair. “We’re offering the public an

Ebensburg Ambulance discusses purchase


By Ian Wissinger

of Mainline Newspapers

Margaret and Dick Hassinger, happily married for 53 years, on Valentine’s Day. Photo by Ian Wissinger.

Wine Time in the Mainline returns to Ebg. YPCC SEE SURPRISE, PAGE 4A

For 12 years, Mike Bracken of Ebensburg has lived with polycystic kidney disease, an incurable malady in which painful cysts grow on one’s kidneys, causing serious health complications and threatening one’s life. Polycystic kidney disease is genetically inherited; Mike’s father suffered from the condition during his lifetime, and Mike’s two sisters are currently grappling with the ailment, as well. “Eventually,” in worst-case scenarios, “the kidneys shut down,” explained Mike’s wife, Lorie. Though Mike Bracken has known of his condition for a lengthy period of time, it was not

opportunity to come in, sit down and sample a number of local wineries,” DeYulis said, noting that previous features such as the wine judging and “Wine 101” class have been eliminated from this year’s program in favor of a more streamlined approach. Returning wineries include Walnut Hill (Blairsville), Greenhouse Winery (Huntingdon) and Seven Mountains (Spring Hills) – last year’s winner, which also took the coveted “Best in Show” award at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in 2011. These sellers will be joined by newcomers Bee Kind Winery

(Curwensville), Wapiti Ridge (Punxsutawney) and Flickerwood Wine Cellars (Kane). DeYulis proceeded to explain the reasoning behind the adjusted timing and format of the event. Those who attended the fourth annual Wine Time last year may remember it coinciding with St. Patrick’s Day. “That was a bad idea,” the event coordinator noted. “We not only had to compete with [the holiday], but we timed it a weekend after [Blair County’s] Uncork the Alleghenies.” DeYulis reasoned SEE WINE, PAGE 4A

Last week, The MountaineerHerald ran a photo that unveiled Ebensburg Area Ambulance Association’s newest purchase, a patient transport ventilator, the second such apparatus obtained by the local service organization. While generous contributions from both the Ebensburg Moose Lodge 681 and Ebensburg VFW Post 4963 made this transaction a reality, the EAAA noted that it had also received a considerable grant from the Pennsylvania State Fire Grant Program. Barry Blake, Executive Director for the EAAA, took a few moments to answer questions about how the grant program helps local organizations, and how EAAA will benefit from the use of another patient transport ventilator. He also spoke of the association’s membership drive, which began in January and extends through May: Mainline Newspapers: How does an ambulance association file for a fire grant? Did you apply independently or file a joint application with Dauntless Fire Company? Blake: We file independently with the state fire grant program, designed by the state in this manner. The grant program is primarily set up for fire department assistance, but in recent years, they added EMS services to the program. SEE PURCHASE, PAGE 5A

Herald 2-21-13