Johnstown

Andrew Harnik / AP

Sixty-nine charges were announced against a Johnstown pediatrician accused of sexually assaulting patients and members of his family starting in the 1980s and through this year. Similar charges were filed against 70-year-old Johnnie Barto in January, March and April.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro said many of the assaults took place under the guise of medical treatment at Barto's Cambria County practice. Shapiro said sometimes parents were in the room, but Barto would position his body to block their view of the abuse.

World War II-Era Planes To Touch Down In Johnstown

Jun 11, 2018
Ross D. Franklin / AP

The deep, ominous rumble of a Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber's four engines, a sound that echoed throughout the Pacific Ocean during World War II, was heard again on Monday in the skies above Richland Township.

"Fifi," one of only two B-29 Superfortresses in the world that still fly, touched down on Monday afternoon at John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport, as did two other World War II-era aircraft belonging to the Commemorative Air Force, a Texas-based nonprofit dedicated to preserving and showing historical aircraft at airshows.

‘Critical Moment’ For Firms Amid Retirements, Opioid Crisis

Jun 4, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

For the first time since the recession hit a decade ago, the demand for workers is steady.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Steel mills and coal mines once powered the economy of the Laurel Highlands. Amid the collapse of those industries, some Cambria County residents are looking to build jobs around clean energy to help revitalize the region.

Screengrab via video posted on Twitter / Rob Tornoe/Philly.com

Representatives from four Pennsylvania stations owned by media conglomerate Sinclair Broadcast Group are declining to comment on a controversial promo issued by the company's television news stations across the country, including three in the state.

Johnstown Flood: McCullough’s ‘Lucky Break’ Launched Career

Mar 24, 2018
AP

By the 1960s, interest in the 1889 Johnstown Flood was waning.

Historic Blacksmith Shop In Johnstown To Reopen As School

Jan 13, 2018
Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

From the 1860s until the 1990s, the powerful, industrial sound of metal striking metal - minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade - sounded throughout the blacksmith shop by the Conemaugh River in Johnstown.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A wood-plank bridge crosses the Stonycreek River in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and leads to the lower boarding platform of the city’s incline. A red car on a steeply angled track whisks passengers 500 feet up a hillside. The short ride offers sweeping views of the city, and the quickest way to understand Johnstown’s sewer problem.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

A widely-shared Politico article used Johnstown, Pa. as a lens to showcase the loyalty of President Trump’s supporters one year after his election. But local residents are balking at the portrait of Johnstown that emerged from the story. 

Fred Vuich / AP

Federal prosecutors have taken over the case of a National Guardsman who allegedly threatened Vice President Mike Pence before his visit to Pennsylvania for the annual observance of the Flight 93 crash on Sept. 11.

State prosecutors have dropped terroristic threat and disorderly conduct charges now that prosecutors in Johnstown have charged 22-year-old William Robert Dunbar with threats against the vice president. The charge against the Berlin man carries up to five years in prison.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

In Southwestern Pennsylvania, there’s a congressional district that looks like a hammer.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

A regional bank is paying $720,000 for naming rights to a Pennsylvania hockey rink made famous in the cult hockey comedy "Slap Shot."

The deal means the building will now be known as 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial.

The 67-year-old arena was home to the defunct Johnstown Jets, a minor-league team whose fictionalized exploits were the focus of the 1977 Paul Newman film. The team was called the Charlestown Chiefs in the movie.

The Johnstown Tomahawks play in the junior league North American Hockey League.

Mary Altaffer / AP

A former Pennsylvania police officer who was found unconscious of an apparent overdose at the station has been charged with stealing drugs seized as evidence and hammering a hole in the wall of the secured evidence room.

Former Johnstown officer William Slisz was arraigned Thursday on charges including burglary and evidence tampering.

State police say Slisz began stealing heroin from a temporary evidence locker in 2015 and later stole from the secure room. They say he then lost access to the room and crawled through the ceiling into a colleague's office to get the key.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Johnstown City Council was supposed to vote Wednesday to adopt an amended recovery plan in order to stay in Act 47, Pennsylvania’s assistance program for financially distressed communities. The vote was tabled.

This month marks Johnstown’s 25th year in the program; the city wouldn’t be able to cover its expenses without the tools the program provides, such as being able to restructure debt and collect a higher local services tax. So why the hold-up?

PA Internet News Service

A drug ring that sold nearly $10 million worth of heroin and cocaine in Altoona and Johnstown is no longer operating following a bust on Monday.

Police arrested 16 people as part the “Dragon Heroin Pipeline,” which officials say were running drugs from Philadelphia to Blair and Cambria counties.

David Wilson / Flickr

Johnstown’s city council last week authorized the administration to collect outstanding city loans made to businesses, an important piece of attracting new economic development to the area.

Federal dollars allowed Johnstown to make the original loans, which funded job training and secured office space, among other things. They were meant to be part of a revolving fund, said city manager Arch Liston. Historically, he said, the city hasn’t been great at calling those loans in, which means there’s less money to help new businesses.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Over the years, Pittsburgh's City Council has tried to encourage social change through legislation. That includes the executive order signed Friday by Mayor Bill Peduto committing the city to ideals set forth in the 195-nation Paris climate agreement, which President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from on Thursday

Johnstown Area Third Fastest Shrinking City In The US

Apr 12, 2017
Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

Johnstown has taken the bronze medal in a race no one wants to win  — the country's fastest shrinking cities. The Johnstown metro region, which includes all of Cambria County, lost 5.5 percent of its population since 2011.

According to the research group 24/7 Wall Street, that's the third fastest rate of decline after Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and Farmington, New Mexico. 

Johnstown City Manager Arch Liston was surprised to hear that the city was so far down the list — but the numbers didn't shock him. 

Chris Sloan / Flickr

 

The Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has agreed to take more steps to protect children from sexual abuse. 

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

If you drive into Johnstown from the west, it’s hard to miss the flower boxes that line the streets. The boxes were originally made for a citywide celebration that has been long forgotten — but since 2006, the West End Improvement Group has been keeping them filled for the neighborhood all summer long.

“We started with 13 flower boxes that we had asked businesses in the West End to kind of adopt and take care of,” said Rose Howarth, who runs the all-volunteer organization.

Good News For Our Listeners In Johnstown

Aug 24, 2016
Jeff Swenson

To our listeners and members in Johnstown, PA:

Over the last several months, you may have experienced difficulties with WESA's signal in Johnstown, due to technical issues with our equipment there.

We have been working throughout the summer to address this, and I am happy to report that yesterday, our Engineering team restored a clear and stable WESA signal to Johnstown. The solution required an investment in new technology and some time to install it, but if you tune to 100.5 fm now, I think you'll find a dramatic improvement in our service to you. 

Nati Harnik / AP

 

Noelle, who is in labor at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, tells a nurse that she isn't feeling right. Then her water breaks. The nurse checks the monitors and realizes that the umbilical cord has prolapsed. This is an obstetrical emergency.

Noelle has had this emergency — and others — thousands of times in the past three years that she has been in the simulation lab at Conemaugh. Noelle Birthing Simulator, made by Gaumard Scientific Co., Florida, is a full-size mannequin used to help nurses, residents and physicians practice real-life emergencies.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

Ride-hailing service Uber is expanding its reach in Pennsylvania.

The San-Francisco-based company says it will begin operating in the seven-county region surrounding Pittsburgh, including Washington, Greene, Westmoreland, Indiana, Armstrong and Butler counties Thursday evening.

The expansion also includes DuBois, Gettysburg, greater Williamsport, Johnstown and Altoona.

Company officials said the service will now cover 90 percent of residents in the state.

Uber allows people to use a smartphone app to book and pay for a car service.

Office of Attorney General

 

Three ex-leaders of a Franciscan religious order were charged Tuesday with allowing a friar who was a known sexual predator to take on jobs, including a position as a high school athletic trainer, that enabled him to molest more than 100 children.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 FM WESA

A report commissioned by one of the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority Board members found a lack of proper internal controls and a deeper investigation is needed into the governance systems that allowed a former executive director to extort contractors for his personal gain.

“We cannot keep running this as it is,” said JRA board member Mark Pasquerilla following the release Tuesday of his report produced by the law firm of K&L Gates. “As Johnstown moves into the new century and tries to get things done, we have to represent a progressive attitude on governance.”

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

The loss of residents in Johnstown has had an impact on the city’s churches resulting in some having to close their doors. Finding a new use for these buildings has become the mission of the Steeple’s Project. Dave Hurst, project manager for the Steeples Project and Teresa Stoughton Marafino, president of 1901 Church, Inc. a nonprofit formed to save the churches joined us for conversation recorded in the Grand Halle of Johnstown’s Cambria City Cultural District. 

Johnstown Is Hockeyville USA, Today, Tomorrow, Forever

Sep 29, 2015
Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 fm WESA

When the Pittsburgh Penguins take the ice against the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening at the historic Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, PA, the experience will be anything but ordinary.  The match, along with several other special events, represents the small town’s contest win and the designation as “Hockeyville, USA.”   

“I don’t think we’ve ever seen this town with this kind of buzz,” Johnstown Tomahawks play-by-play announcer Rick Hull told Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer.  “People are so happy and it’s just a celebration of Johnstown hockey in general. I don’t think anything could pull the plug on that.”

Cambria County War Memorial Arena Receives Much-Needed Upgrades

Sep 29, 2015
Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 fm WESA

Along with national bragging rights, winning the designation of Hockeyville USA brings with it $150,000 dollars to upgrade the local hockey venue, which in the case of the 65-year-old Cambria County War Memorial Arena was much needed.

“There have been probably been about 20 plus years or so since any real substantial upgrades have happened at this building,” said Johnstown Tomahawks Director of Media and Communications, Chad Mearns. “These improvements came at a very crucial time for this city, at a crucial time for this building. Pretty much any direction that you look, even if you don’t realize it, you see something that has some sort of change, some sort of improvement this summer.”

Triumph Books

After being named Kraft's first-ever Hockeyville USA, the Cambria Country War Memorial Arena will see the return of a decidedly different hockey legend. 

While Dave Hanson enjoyed a 10-year career as a professional hockey player, he is perhaps most well known for playing one of the Hanson brothers from the classic 1977 sports comedy Slap Shot.

Filmed in Johnstown, Slap Shot was based on the Johnstown Jets in an era where violence was a major selling point for many minor hockey leagues. Hanson fit nicely into the league.

Johnstown's Economic Forecast: Green And Growing

Sep 28, 2015
Marcus Charleston / 90.5 FM WESA

Following the devastating flood of 1889, Johnstown quickly rebounded and began to grow. The region has been bouncing back from a series of set backs ever since.  The city has seen more floods, the near-demise of the steel industry and the gutting of military contracts, just to name a few.

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