Laurel: We wish Dr. Bruce E. Duke III a long, healthy and happy retirement. It’s certainly well-deserved after having served our region as a general surgeon for nearly four decades. Just last year, Dr. Duke received the prestigious local Apollo Award voted on by the recipient’s peers, co-workers and other professionals. He is a Westmont Hilltop graduate and served his internship at Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital. He later served 11 years in the Navy medical corps. He’s long been active in medical, community and sportsmen’s groups. His daughter, Dr. D’Arcy Duke, has been one of his surgical partners and continues with Valley Surgeons Inc. Thank you, Dr. Duke.   

Barb: Another bad feature of the Internet: Police in Washington, Pa., say a tall tale of sorts has led them to discover an online service that has been selling fake IDs to dozens of young people. The IDs even include holographs and other security features found on state drivers’ licenses. However, police were alerted last Saturday night when several young people tried to buy beer and other alcoholic beverages from a beer distributor. The tip-off was a fake Pennsylvania driver’s license that says one of the purchasers was 54-feet tall instead of 5-feet, 4-inches tall. Not real smart on the youth’s part, either, after paying an estimated $100 for the ID.

Laurel: Here’s a great program for young anglers, but nobody will laugh if Dad or Mom pick up a few tips, too. It’s Cambria County’s annual Family Fishing Program, which will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 30 at Duman Lake County Park off Route 271 in Barr Township. “Kids will learn basic fishing skills like knot-tying, casting, baiting the hook and removing fish from the hook,” Fred R. Smith, county physical plant director, said. There’s only one catch: Adults must bring a child and children must bring an adult to learn and fish together. The county partners with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to provide the program. Participants can register through April 25 by going online to fishandboat.com/calendar.htm.

Barb: A 29-year-old man received a broken jaw when his girlfriend shot him as they played a version of blindman’s buff – with a gun, authorities said. According to Dauphin County prosecutors, the man’s 20-year-old girlfriend, with her eyes closed, held the gun as the man moved about the room. When he would say the word “gun,” she would pull the trigger. Apparently, the gun wasn’t totally empty. Charges have been filed – and for more than stu- pidity.

Laurel: A lot of diners were smiling this week as Ebensburg-area restaurant Off The Rak returned to business – with expanded hours. It probably would have been easy for owner Bob Kolar to call it quits after a major fire ripped through the structure last fall. “I would not want to go through it again,” he said on Monday, adding that “the entire atmosphere is completely different” at the refurbished restaurant. Among the new features is a chill rail to keep patrons’ beer cold. Off The Rak is located along the New Germany Road in Cambria Township. Welcome back, Bob and staff.

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