Laurel: Duane McCallum is offering local kids free meals at his pizza shop in Johnstown’s Woodvale neighborhood. The Apollo’z Pizza owner said he was inspired to act when seeing children count pennies to get something to eat. He will share free meals – two slices of pizza and a drink – on Monday and hopes to make the program a monthly gift to the community. “It really struck my heart,” he said. “... The children are really suffering, and I wanted to do something about it.”
Laurel: A new $900,000 trust will support scholarships for nursing students at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson. Veronica “Bernie” Kubica, an Altoona native, Air Force veteran and registered nurse, passed away in July. But she had established the fund because she wanted to leave a legacy in nursing at a small, private school.
Laurel: Westmont Hilltop High School Assistant Principal William Aurandt represented the region Wednesday as a panelist on the Sandy Hook Promise Virtual Rally for Student Safety in Pennsylvania. Aurandt discussed his district’s efforts to combat violence with programs such as “Start with Hello” and “Say Something.” A 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, claimed 26 lives, including 20 children. “It’s an honor to be a part of something that you know is going to keep children safe,” Aurandt said.
Barb: A false bomb scare forced the closure of a Cambria Township department store on Sunday. Police said a note was found claiming that a bomb was inside the Walmart Supercenter. Shoppers and staff were cleared out of the store so police and a bomb dog could complete a search. No device was found and the store was reopened after about 21/2 hours.
Laurel: Pennsylvania Highlands Community College will launch two new sports programs – golf and women’s softball – this fall. Penn Highlands will have seven athletic options, with the new programs joining men’s basketball, eSports, cross country, bowling and women’s volleyball. The school is a charter member of the National Junior College Athletic Association and is part of the Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference.
Laurel: Flags are flying high above Sargent’s Stadium at the Point in Johnstown for the first time in a decade, city officials said, thanks to the arrival of the Mill Rats franchise, which will begin play in the 16-team Prospect League in May. The yellow flags are eight feet wide – easily visible from nearby Route 56. Johnstown Fire Department employees used a ladder truck to place the flags high above the stadium’s “Screen Monster” left-field fence.
Barb: A former financial adviser was sentenced last week to more than 17 years in federal prison for luring clients into high-risk investments that cost some clients their life savings. Anthony Diaz, who has been living in Florida, was sentenced at the Scranton office of the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania. Diaz earned millions on the investments, and told the judge: “I believed in the products I sold. I did not create a scheme to intentionally hurt people.”
Laurel: Eco Safe Sanitizing, of Johnstown, is donating foggers and a sanitizing agent to all 40 fire departments and 20 emergency medical service agencies in Cambria County. Company President P.J. McGowan, who presented some of the items Tuesday at Richland Township Fire Department’s station, launched the spinoff of his Beauty Lawn business as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The donated items have a combined value of more than $22,000. Eco Safe has been working with school districts, universities and businesses to provide a process to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Laurel: Johnstown Christian School students participated in a Feed the Need event last week, packing 1,500 meals for area residents and 8,500 to be sent to families in Haiti. Kindergarten teacher Patti Miller served as volunteer packing coordinator. Students in all grades – decked out in hair nets, masks and gloves – worked in 45-minute shifts in the gymnasium preparing the meals. Junior Mary Hostetter said she and other students were “so excited for this opportunity.” Great project.