Laurel: The Berlin Brothersvalley High School boys basketball team didn’t quite reach the top of the mountain, but the Mountaineers had an amazing season nevertheless. Berlin fell in overtime Thursday to Nativity BVM, 51-47, in the Class A state championship game at the Giant Center in Hershey. Under Head Coach Tanner Prosser, the Mountaineers went 27-2 this season and 55-3 over the past two seasons. Seniors Elijah Sechler and Abe Countryman led the way for Berlin. Congratulations also to the Forest Hills girls and Portage boys, who reached the state semifinals, and all of the other fine local teams this season.
Barb: Johnstown police say a road-rage incident in the city led to a “shootout” in broad daylight Wednesday in Moxham, with one person hospitalized. Interim Chief Chad Miller said two vehicles were involved in the initial Hornerstown neighborhood altercation, and one of the groups drove around town and eventually tracked down the other vehicle. Gunfire was exchanged at the intersection of Ohio Street and Linden Avenue, and one resident told The Tribune-Democrat a bullet struck his house. Local schools were locked down after the incident.
Laurel: We add our voices to those saluting Marcus Simms, a 6-year-old from Johnstown’s West End who led a cleanup effort along the popular Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail. Marcus attends Greater Johnstown Elementary School. A dogwood tree was planted near the trail Wednesday in his honor, and Cambria County leaders thanked him for his efforts. “Marcus is in kindergarten and he’s a leader already,” Cambria County President Commissioner Thomas Chernisky said. Marcus said he goes on hikes and bike outings on the trail with his family, adding: “I wanted to keep the earth safe.”
Barb: Christopher D. Casamento, 42, a former University of Pittsburgh employee, has been indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of stealing nearly 14,000 pieces of personal protective equipment and selling them on eBay. The feds say he took N95 respirator masks, surgical face masks and particulate respirator masks from Feb. 28, 2020, to March 22, 2020, and shipped to buyers in other states. The indictment alleges he made nearly $19,000 selling the items. “Mr. Casamento had an obligation to make sure there was enough PPE to keep students and staff at the University of Pittsburgh safe,” FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent Michael Christman said. “Instead, he chose to line his pockets.
Laurel: Former Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine was confirmed this week by the U.S. Senate to serve as the nation’s assistant secretary of health. She is the first openly transgender person to win Senate confirmation to a federal position. Levine had been Pennsylvania’s top health official since 2017, leading the state through the COVID-19 response. She now will oversee Health and Human Services offices and programs across the country. Her appointment comes as many states are attempting to roll back medical care options for transgender individuals or to enact limitations on their participation in sports.
Laurel: The Showcase for Commerce will be back in 2021, with organizers announcing this week plans for a late-summer defense industry expo in Johnstown. The Showcase is set for Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at various locations, according to leaders with Johnstown Area Regional Industries and Cambria Regional Chamber. The expectation is that virus restrictions will have eased to the point that in-person networking can take place. “I think being one of the few events this year relative to the defense sector, I’m really thinking we’re going to have a pretty good showing,” JARI President and CEO Linda Thomson said.
Barb: Police blame texting for a serious crash Sunday on U.S. Route 219 north of The Galleria. Adams Township police Officer Lee Hill said a sport utility vehicle traveled off the road, rolling and ejecting the driver, who was taken to a hospital. “He’s lucky to be alive,” Hill said. A second person suffered minor injuries. Police found heroin, syringes and other drug paraphernalia in the overturned vehicle, which caught fire.