Barb: Deteriorating living conditions, notices of foreclosure, a pending sheriff’s sale, and now, past-due electric bills and 30-day shutoff warnings from Penelec. How much more can be thrown at the residents of Hilltop Place in the Prospect section of Johnstown? The troublesome developments all stem from financial woes faced by Hilltop’s owner, Hill Estates LP of Florida. Hill reportedly owes nearly $2.8 million on its mortgage.

Laurel: Mark your calendars. It looks as if the area has another bona fide summer day of events to look forward to annually. Thousands of people obviously enjoyed last Sunday’s Airport Cruise-in/Fly-in at John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Richland Township, followed by Flashlight Drag at Ebensburg Airport. The cruise-in/fly-in, sponsored by Flood City Corvette Club, just gets bigger and better. The old-fashioned drag racing was sponsored by an Allegheny County group. Considering Sunday’s success, it’s hard to imagine another race wouldn’t be scheduled for 2007.

Barb: It’s a story that’s all too common. An 11-year-old girl was bitten last month by a dog, reportedly a pit bull, in the Cambria City section of Johnstown. According to reports, the attack was without provocation. The dog’s owner has been fined $300 for failing to confine the dog to her property, and faces a Sept. 20 hearing on an additional charge of harboring a dangerous dog. Animal owners have a responsibility to take good care of their pets and also to make sure the animals are not a danger to people and other animals. Unfort unately, the very few who aren’t responsible create problems for those who are.

Laurel: Despite dry weather since late July, the Johnstown Riverfest last Saturday celebrated the resurgence of our area waterways. Held at Festival Park downtown, the daylong event brought attention to the Stonycreek, Little Conemaugh and Conemaugh rivers. There were nature walks, demonstrations and the ever-popular “Anything That Floats Regatta.” Congratulations to the sponsors, volunteers and participants. An educational event truly can be fun-filled.

Barb: Come on. Champagne, fried king prawns and business class airline transportation. No wonder taxpayers go bonkers. We expect criminal suspects to be handled fairly – after all, they’re innocent until proven guilty – but the royal treatment offered JonBenet Ramsey murder suspect John Mark Karr last weekend went way overboard. Karr, while being flown to the United States from Thailand, was wined and dined the entire trip, even clinking glasses with an investigator who was escorting him. Heads should roll in this episode.

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