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MAI NLI NE newspapers

Vol. 164 No. 4

USPS 166680

Ebensburg, Pa.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Since 1853

Newsstand Price 75¢

(814) 472-4110

28 Pages

Central Cambria board, teachers still in contract negotiations By Allie Garver

of Mainline Newspapers

Supporters back teachers in droves at Sept. 10 meeting

Teachers, former teachers, students and residents rallied together at Monday night’s Central Cambria School Board of Directors meeting to criticize the board on not reaching a contract with teachers. The meeting quickly turned to standing room only, with overflow in the hallway, as several individuals were ready to speak on the teachers’ behalf. The teachers are working under an existing contract and receiving last year’s wages, although the union authorized a strike in July. The current fouryear contract expired June 30, with the negotiations beginning last December. The sticking point between the teachers and the school board is salary and benefits.

Dan Kane, an Ebensburg resident and retired coal miner and union officer, wanted to show his “strong support” for the teachers and their requests. “They need a fair and decent contract,” said Kane. Kane said that over the last 32 years, he has negotiated hundreds of wage agreements and he would have never “dreamed of putting the progress in negotiations on social media or in the media.” “That is an unfair labor practice and you couple that with the failure to move at all, you’re going to wind up getting yourselves in trouble.” Kane requested that the teachers be given a fair contract, and one that they can live on. “They deserve a living wage [and] they deserve good benefits,” Kane said.

Kevin O’Brien, another concerned resident, said that he and other parents and taxpayers want answers. “This is our school, not your school as the board, ours,” said O’Brien. According to O’Brien, the taxpayers fund the teachers’ and administrators’ pay, the staff, the building, and countless other school-related items with tax money. “I implore you, the adults, to act as such and to come to a compromise that suits all sides,” said O’Brien. “But most importantly, one that benefits our children of this district. I implore you to put ego aside.” O’Brien said that what both sides have done to “sabotage” each other is against all ethics, achieves nothing and causes embittered feelings. “All of these issues cloud the real issue

at hand, which is giving these teachers a fair contract,” said O’Brien. But, O’Brien also had another issue regarding the district’s former superintendent, Vincent DiLeo. “Why are we reading in the news that our former superintendent was dismissed for fraud and, yet, no charges were filed?” asked O’Brien. “We, the people, have been defrauded, and on your watch.” O’Brien said that he has asked about this issue since last year, and has yet to receive an answer. He requested that the board send out a letter to the taxpayers enlightening them on the matter. “I want to know why we’re paying a potential criminal’s pension,” said O’Brien. SEE CONTRACT, PAGE 3A

The American Legion County Fair, Sept. 2-8

Brenna Wright, Cooper Fisk, Aubree Wright and Haylie Wright enjoy the events and games on the midway during the American Legion County Fair Sept. 3. Photo by Amber Stich.

Julia Farabaugh shows off the trophy and ribbon she won for dairy beef junior showman at the American Legion County Fair. Photo by Kristin Baudoux.

Carrolltown Borough deals with New Cambria County record rainfall, flooding issues Arts and Heritage Festival this weekend Borough working on stormwater study

By Amber Stich

of Mainline Newspapers

On Tuesday Sept. 4, the Carrolltown Borough Council members were scheduled to hold their regular meeting, but due to a lack of a quorum, the meeting could not begin. The members in attendance did, however, hear some concerns from residents who gathered for the meeting in a general infor-

mational session where no action was taken. The residents expressed their concerns about the flooding happening during recent rain events, which had caused not only damage to external property, but also flooded basements and damaged homes. Resident Bruce Kirsch spoke about his and his neighbors experiences on Mill Street Extension below the Cambria Heights Elementary School, noting that their basements had almost 4 feet of water in them due to water backing up in the pipes of the storm system. Kirsch said the pipes currently installed in that area are ill equipped to handle the amount

of water that feeds into them. He said if the pipe was replaced with one with a larger diameter, it would solve the issue. Borough manager Lonnie Batdorf addressed Kirsch’s concerns, saying he and the council members understand the volume of water the residents are seeing. That road leads to the town’s sewage treatment plant, which has also experienced damage due to the flooding in that area. “In the 15 years I’ve been here, this is the first time I’ve see it backed up to this degree,” Batdorf said. “This year has been the wettest year I have ever


By Allie Garver

of Mainline Newspapers

A goal of the Laurel Highlands Historical Village (LHHV) is to bring attention to the wide variety of heritage in Cambria County. With that goal in mind, the LHHV will be hosting the first Cambria County Arts and Heritage Festival Sept. 15 and 16 at Duman Lake County Park. “Years ago we talked about unifying Cambria County and preserving our heritage,” said LHHV executive director Ronald Shawley. Though the area has a strong background in coal mining and steel mills, Shawley wants to show that there is more to the county than just that history. “We want to showcase the county in a better light,” Shawley said. According to Shawley, he knows people who have “paid big money” to come to the area for recreation, but the residents can sometimes take for granted what they live close to. After a discussion with the county commissioners, the Laurel Highlands Historical Village decided to hold what Shawley is callSEE FESTIVAL, PAGE 5A

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