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M AI NLI NE newspapers

Ebensburg man’s art featured in Mt. Aloysius gallery Vol. 163 No. 25

USPS 166680

Ebensburg, Pa.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Since 1853

Newsstand Price 75¢

(814) 472-4110

32 Pages

By Joshua Byers

of Mainline Newspapers

Ebensburg native Jeff Koss spent his life mining, and when he retired he found an abundance of free time on his hands. His wife, Sally, decided to provide him with something to do and purchased a paint-bynumbers set for her husband. The rest is history. “I got hooked on it and I enjoy it,” Koss said. Now, 30 of his paintings are hanging in the Wolf-Kuhn Gallery of the Mount Aloysius College campus in an exhibition titled “The World I See.” Visitors to the gallery will see a number of subjects in Koss’ work in vivid hues from across the spectrum. There’s farm fields and autumn scenes, underwater worlds and winter countrysides. Koss explained that he doesn’t SEE GALLERY, PAGE 3A


On Jan. 31, Bishop Carroll’s student council and junior and senior class officers visited the Ebensburg Senior Center to play a special game of bingo with the seniors as a way to reach out to the community. Photo by Amber Stich.

State court rules congressional map illegal

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

5 going on 100

Cambria Elementary students in Miss Warner’s class, including Liam Williams, Sophia Gabbett, Skyla Chappell, and Reese Perrone, dress up like they are 100 years old for the 100th day of school Feb. 2. Photo by Megan Riner.

Woman advocates for state centers to remain open By Joshua Byers

of Mainline Newspapers

Last July, House Bill 1650 was presented to the state with the intention to close the four remaining state-run care facilities for residents with intellectual dis-

abilities by 2023, including the Ebensburg Center. Upon closure, those cared for in the centers would be transferred to “a home and community-based support system,” according to the bill. However, not everyone thinks this is such a good idea. Mary Wills, whose sister-in-law has been living in the Ebensburg Center for the last 57 years, believes the decision to close these centers and move all the residents to what she calls “group homes” is a horrible idea. “When moving clients from

[the] Ebensburg Center where they have lived for 60 or more years, with their medical and mental disabilities — a big change in lifestyle can cause major stress and possible death due to new workers that do not understand the clients’ needs,” Wills said. Ever since the announcement last year that the center was facing threat of closure, Wills has been attempting to prevent it from happening. She said she petitioned visitors at both the American Legion Cambria

County Fair and PotatoFest as well as other public events. Wills has also been to Harrisburg to speak to legislators about her concerns for the residents who are currently in need of the intense care of a state-run center. According to Wills, H.B. 1650 has been “sidelined” for now, but the battle isn’t over. The author of the bill, representative Kerry A. Benninghoff, of Bellefonte, cited budgetary issues SEE ADVOCATE, PAGE 3A

The term “gerrymandering” has been in the news frequently the past couple of weeks, especially on the court battles involving the 2012 Pennsylvania congressional map. The issue has been subject to two court rulings this month. The first ruling, 2-1 by a federal panel of judges on Jan. 10 in Philadelphia, stated the map did not violate the United States Constitution. Attempting to use the Election Clause as basis for overturning the map was an approach the majority of the judges rejected. The third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals chief judge stated, “The structural change plaintiffs seek must come from the political process itself, not the courts.” On Jan. 22, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the state’s congressional map. In a 5-2 decision, the court determined the congressional map violated the state constitution and ruled that the Republican legislators unlawfully sought partisan advantage. The state court ruling gives the legislature until Feb. 9 to draw a new map. The uncertainty on the congressional map leaves some prospective candidates unsure of which congressional district they live in to meet the residency requirements to run for SEE MAP, PAGE 8A

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