Archives for November 2015

Fire Chief Reminds Residents About Safe Use of Space Heaters

With the arrival of colder weather, Altoona Fire Chief Tim Hileman is reminding residents about the safe use of space heaters, the second leading cause of house fires. He says keep anything that could burn at least 3 feet away. He also says to make sure you have properly installed and working smoke alarms, practice a fire escape plan and, in event of a fire, never run back into a burning house.


Black Friday is here and bargain hunters are jamming stores in search of deals. Some shoppers started lining up early Thursday morning at the Logan Town Center, where the Best Buy opened at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. There were also lines outside the Logan Valley Mall, where the J.C. Penney store opened at 3:00 Thursday and stayed open all night.

Shoppers are out in force today across the region … and also online. More people than ever are doing holiday shopping on mobile devices. For the first time, more shoppers are expected to visit retailers’ websites on their smartphones than on desktop or laptop computers or tablets.

Wold Speaks Out On Trooper Shooting

Governor Wolf yesterday afternoon, spoke with Trooper Patrick Casey of Troop K in Philadelphia by phone while he recovered with his family by his side at a Philadelphia area Hospital. The Governor thanked Trooper Casey for willingness to serve and put himself in harm’s way. Trooper Casey was in good spirits and spoke with the Governor about the upcoming holiday. The Governor was glad to hear that Trooper Casey believes he will be able to be home with his family for Thanksgiving, and after the conversation, released this statement to the press…

PENNDOT Urges Safe Travel

As Thanksgiving approaches, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Secretary Leslie S. Richards is urging drivers to take steps now for a safe holiday travel period and winter season….

Cabbie Stiffed Out Of $325. Rider Behind Bars

A man who tried to rip off an Altoona cab driver for $325 is behind bars. 28 year old Scott LeComte, according to police, hired a taxi in Harrisburg for a ride to Altoona. However, once the cab pulled up to his parents’ house on 20th Street, LeComte took off running, and without paying. The cab driver called Tracy LeComte, LeComte’s mother, before he drove her son all the way from Harrisburg. She told the driver during that call, that she would pay the fare when they arrived. After LeComte jumped from the cab and ran, the driver called police when he realized he was stuck with the $325 tab. At first, LeComte’s mother denied to police, that she had even spoken with the cab driver, but that changed when the driver pulled her phone number up on his cellphone. LeComte turned himself in to Altoona Police, and is now behind bars, on $10,000 bail. His mother, Tracy LeComte, was first charged with theft of services, but that charge was dropped after she said she spoke with the taxi driver but denied telling him she would cover the cost of the ride to Altoona.

Altoona Man to Stand Trial on Rape Charges

An Altoona man accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl that he was supposed to be transporting for medical careearlier this month waived his preliminary hearing in Allegheny County Court Thursday. A judge reduced 26-year-old Scott Weimer’s bond reduced from half-a-million to $200,000. Weimer was arrested November 2nd on charges including statutory sexual assault.

Bomb Threat At Tyrone

In Tyrone, a bomb threat on Thursday, disrupted classes in the Tyrone Area School District. A call came in around 11:30 yesterday morning, but police and school officials decided that it was not credible, so instead of an evacuation of all students and staff, the district went into what is referred to as an “administrative lockdown”. A sweep of all schools was done by police, using bomb-sniffing dogs, and the lockdown was lifted just before the end of the school day, when students were dismissed as usual. The threat is under investigation, and therefore, not a lot of details have been released. Both police and school officials say that any real threat was mimimal in yesterday’s incident. The threat was communicated over the district’s website, on Twitter, and through the use of automated telephone calls, which notified parents and the public, but the vagueness of the information caused concern for some parents as word got out that it was a bomb threat, but students remained inside.

State Lawmakers Question Governor’s Position on Syrian Refugees

Blair County State Representative John McGinnis is expressing concern that Governor Wolf says he will continue to welcome Syrian refugees into Pennsylvania. A letter to Wolf, signed by McGinnis and over 130 other state lawmakers, says the governor’s decision places the welfare of individuals who live thousands of miles away above the welfare of the Pennsylvanians he was elected to serve.

As public concern continues to grow over the Syrian refugee plan, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey is explaining the rigorous vetting process that faces potential candidates. Casey says applicants go through several in-person interviews, security checks by multiple agencies, health screening and are required to provide significant documentation. The process takes over a year. Casey says the U.S. Government prioritizes admitting the most vulnerable Syrians, particularly female-headed households, children, survivors of torture and those with severe medical conditions.

Get Smart about Antibiotics Week

November 16 through November 22 has been proclaimed by Governor Wolf as “Get Smart about Antibiotics Week” in Pennsylvania. Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine…

For more information about the Get Smart Program and Get Smart about Antibiotics Week, visit

Canadian Pacific Moves To Buy Norfolk Southern

Canadian Pacific has said it intends to make a bid for Norfolk Southern, which owns the tracks that pass through Altoona, in order to create a much larger transcontinental railroad. According to published reports, Canadian Pacific did not disclose the terms of the offer made on Tuesday, but the company did say the offer includes a “sizable premium in cash and stock” to Norfolk shareholders. Norfolk’s board and legal advisors will evaluate the offer. Additionally, the deal would face significant regulatory hurdles. Canadian Pacific operates in Canada and the United States, where it has a line from Chicago to the Gulf Coast, across Iowa and connects to its Canadian operations through Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In Canada, the railroad offers service from Halifax on the East Coast to Vancouver and Prince Rupert on the West Coast. Virginia-based Norfolk Southern operates 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, mainly east of the Mississippi River.