Laurel: Welcome to Johnstown, Mike Tedesco – who this week was introduced as the new president and CEO of the Vision Together 2025 initiative. According to a Vision press release, Tedesco was most recently executive director of the Spokane Tribe of Indians, where he was responsible for 515 employees and an annual budget of $66 million. William Polacek, chairman of the Vision Together 2025 board of directors, said Tedesco will assume the role by mid-March. “He’s extremely skilled, intelligent and creative in what he’s doing,” Polacek said.
Barb: The state is dealing with a shortage of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine because providers injected numerous people getting their first doses with a batch meant for second-dose use. The Department of Health said 100,000 people had their vaccinations rescheduled because of the mistake. The health department said vaccine shipments were not clearly labeled as first and second doses. Alison Beam, acting health secretary, said: “People need to be able to know that they’re going to get their second-dose shots.”
Laurel: President Tim Page, a volunteer firefighter for two decades, is conducting a fundraiser through his business, Page Bedding Mattress Factory Outlet, to support fire departments in the region. Customers who purchase Page Bedding products can designate a portion of the cost to a volunteer fire department of their choice through Sunday. Page noted that many departments had their fundraising curtailed by COVID-19 over the past year. “I’ve been hearing about struggles departments are going through,” he said.
Laurel: Westmont Hilltop School District is moving forward with a proposal to renovate the Price Field complex, home to the Hilltoppers football field and track. The project approved by the school board is not to exceed $6.5 million. Work will include the installation of artificial turf, an upgraded track and field facility, lights, bathrooms, a concession area, an upgraded press box and expanded spectator bleachers – as our Josh Byers reported. “These long-overdue upgraded facilities will be available not only for the students, but for all residents of the school district,” board President Rob Gleason said.
Barb: A paper mill in Roaring Spring, Blair County, that dates to 1866 is closing down, with owners citing the impact of the pandemic. As our David Hurst reported, parent company Appvion, based in Wisconsin, announced that it would shut the mill by April, putting nearly 300 people out of work. The current employment level is down from 470 just four years ago. Stephen McKnight, president and chief executive officer of Altoona Blair County Development Corp, told the Altoona Mirror that the company said COVID-19 restrictions had “wreaked havoc in an already volatile and competitive carbonless paper market.”
Laurel: Quemahoning Family Recreation Area will add more cabins and a new shower house while expanding parking areas, thanks to a project approved Wednesday by the Conemaugh Township supervisors. New playground equipment and a RV area are also in the plans, with funding available through the Cambria Somerset Authority. “On weekends in the summer, the park can be packed ... and parking gets to the point where you have to park quite a ways away and hoof it to the beach,” Jason Smith, Summer’s Best Two Weeks property director, told reporter David Hurst.