Archives for October 2017

Athlete Recruiting Seminar Coming to Altoona

A seminar called “Guiding the College-Bound Athlete” Intended for Athletes and Parents is coming soon to Altoona. It used to be that batting averages, points per game or yards per carry paved the way for sports stars. Nowadays, one more percentage is carrying more and more weight. It’s called the grade point average. The days of athletes dreaming to “Be like Mike” and parents’ dreams of having it pay for an education and a lucrative future for their child-student-athlete have vastly changed over the last generation or so. In fact, there is a lot more work to hitting a home run than just hitting home runs. A seminar to prepare parents and athletes for the recruiting road ahead — complete with all its bumps — will be held on Monday, November 6, 2017, 7:30 PM at the Altoona Area High School Auditorium.

PennDot comments on Registration Sticker

The state Department of Transportation wants drivers to know they don’t have to remove it to avoid being pulled over by out-of-state police. “A lot of people are choosing to remove them,” said PennDOT spokesman James May. “As long as you have your registration card, people are not required to remove their stickers.” Social media posts from police departments and lawmakers spread in recent days urging drivers to remove the stickers so police in other states would not pull drivers over. Pennsylvania stopped using the license plate stickers to denote up-to-date registration this year.

PA Gambling Plan

The Pennsylvania House is sending a just-unveiled plan to expand casino-style gambling to truck stops, online portals, airports and 10 new mini-casino sites to the desk of Gov. Tom Wolf.
The chamber approved it 109-72 on earlier today, as lawmakers hope to squeeze a couple hundred million more from license fees and gambling losses to help stitch together Pennsylvania’s deficit-riddled finances. The 470-page bill became public Wednesday evening and is packed with pet provisions for certain casinos or lawmakers. It quickly won Senate approval and House GOP majority leaders support it, although Wolf isn’t saying whether he backs it. Opponents warn it’ll cause an “explosion” of gambling and that it has numerous unforeseen consequences. Pennsylvania is already the No. 2 commercial casino state, netting $1.4 billion in taxes from the industry last year. It would make Pennsylvania the first state to allow both casino and lottery games online.

PA Medical Clinics Raided

A state college medical clinic was recently raided by federal investigators. Monday’s raid was part of a larger sweep of at least four other Advanced Urgent Care locations in the Scranton and Philadelphia regions. Unnamed souces saying there is an investigation into the company’s opioid prescription practices, which might cause or enable patient addiction. The report indicated the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI and U.S. Marshals are involved in the investigation. The founder and owner of the clinics, physician Mehdi Nikparvar, is allegedly the focus of the investigation. He has been in custody since September. A criminal complaint filed Sept. 1 at the U.S. Eastern District Court detailed his alleged false statements and threats to U.S. Marshals.

PA Death Penalty Report

The association of Pennsylvania prosecutors said Monday it sees some positives in a new report that found death sentences are more common when the victim is white and less common when the victim is black. The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association released a statement noting researchers found the death penalty is not disproportionately targeted against black or Hispanic defendants, a conclusion prosecutors described as a vindication of their evenhandedness in applying it. Penn State professor Jeff Ulmer, said the report did not delve into whatever role race may play in decisions to arrest, charge and convict people of first-degree murder.

Senator Eichelberger Town Hall Meeting!

Senator John H. Eichelberger will provide insight into the most recent developments at the Capitol during his upcoming Blair County Town Hall Meeting. Senator Eichelberger.  “I always appreciate the opportunity to hear about the current local and state issues that are most important to them.” Representative John McGinnis has a town hall scheduled from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM at the Altoona Area Public Library.  Senator Eichelberger’s town hall, which will be held a few miles away at the Central Blair Senior Center, is set to begin at 7 PM in order to accommodate anyone who may be interested in attending both. The open, informal forum is part of the Senator’s effort to make state government accessible for all residents of the 30th District. 

Governor Wolf Rejects Bill

Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday rejected a bill that he said would have increased costs and ended health care for needy people. Wolf says in his veto message the Republican-backed bill would not promote health coverage for older Pennsylvanians, those with disabilities or people with substance abuse disorders. Supporters say the legislation would have saved money and kept Medicaid affordable, and that work requirements have been successful in other states.
But opponents argue the bill also targeted dental, vision, mental health and behavioral health clinic-based coverage, as well as hospice care.

Eagles Star Donates all of his Game Checks this Season!

Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles donated his first six 2017 game checks to fund scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville, Va. Now, he’s giving his final 10 checks of the season to organizations that promote equal education.
Long signed a two-year, $4.5-million deal with the Eagles this offseason that will pay him a $1-million base salary for the season.
The veteran defensive end will also launch a campaign and partner with four education-based organizations in the three NFL cities he has played in: St. Louis, New England, and Philadelphia.

United Way Blair County Wins Blue Ribbon Award!

Family Resource Center at United Way of Blair County and of the Blair County Department of Social Services earned a prestigious endorsement by Parents as Teachers national center as a Blue Ribbon Affiliate, making it one of the top performing early education and home visiting affiliates within the international Parents as Teachers network. Being named a Blue Ribbon Affiliate affirms that Family Resource Center is a high-quality member of the home visitation and parent education field, . Families in the Blair County community are positively impacted by the services delivered by this program, which include home visits, group connections, child screening and connections to community resources, equipping parents with knowledge and resources to prepare their children for a stronger start in life and greater success in school. For more information, visit

Another Candidate for GOP Congressman

A fifth Democrat, and eighth candidate overall, has announced his run for a southwestern Pennsylvania congressional seat being vacated by GOP Congressman Tim Murphy.
Conor Lamb announced his candidacy Saturday. He recently resigned as an assistant U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh and is the nephew of Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb. This will be the first run for public office by 33-year-old Conor Lamb.
Murphy is resigning effective Oct. 21 after the anti-abortion lawmaker urged his former mistress to get an abortion.