State Prison Inmate to Stand Trial for Trying Murder Troopers

A state prison inmate must stand trial on charges that he tried to murder two Pennsylvania state police troopers in a plot to steal their unmarked cruiser and drive back home to Philadelphia. A judge issued the ruling Tuesday during a hearing for 20-year-old Simere Alford. Authorities say Alford tried to commandeer a state police car driven by Trooper Jeremy Leasure on June 24 as Leasure and Trooper Allison Goswick neared the entrance to Pine Grove state prison in White Township. They say he grabbed one of the trooper’s guns and fired two shots. The car soon crashed and both troopers were injured along with Alford. But all have since recovered.Alford faces numerous counts, including attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault. He has said he wasn’t trying to kill the officers.

John Joyce Fundraiser

Rep. John Joyce is holding a fundraising event with Rep. Jim Jordan of Oho in attendance. Jordan will be a featured speaker at the dinner hosted by the Republican Committees from Blair, Huntingdon and Bedford Counties. The dinner taking place Monday September 16th at 6pm at the Altoona Grand Hotel. Tickets are $25 dollars per person and can be purchased in Blair County by calling 300-0575 or emailing

Attempted Hijacking in Allegheny Township

According to a report from Allegheny Township Police, they are looking into an attempted hijacking. On Tuesday, the driver of an On-Time delivery truck was approached by two black males on Theatre Drive just off of Route 764. Officials say the two suspects walked up to the truck on both sides. The man on the driver’s side brandishing a handgun…it was at that point that police say the driver sped away and was not injured. The investigation is ongoing…authorities say if you have any information about the case, call Allegheny Township Police.

No Takers for Latest PA Casino Expansion Attempt

Lack of interest has thwarted Pennsylvania’s latest casino expansion attempt.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on today received no bidders for a casino license auction ordered by lawmakers as part of an aggressive gambling expansion launched by a cash-hungry state government. Pennsylvania is already the nation’s No. 1 state in tax revenue from casino gambling. But lawmakers in 2017 authorized the auction of 10 mini-casino licenses to help plug a budget hole. The first five auctions raised $127 million. Today’s auction was the gaming board’s second unsuccessful attempt to auction a sixth license, and there are to be no further auctions under current law. The auction was limited to owners of Pennsylvania’s full-size casinos. Minimum bids were set at $7.5 million and potential locations were limited to parts of northern and central Pennsylvania.

Curve Manager Ryan Released

Michael Ryan will no longer be the Altoona Curve manager. Ryan recently gained his 500th career win as a manager within the Pirates’ system. Ryan won 221 games as the Curve manager and his team went 69-71 this season. Ryan’s club made the playoffs the previous two seasons and won the Eastern League in 2017. Pirates director of minor league operations Larry Broadway. “Michael is exploring opportunities with other organizations and we support his efforts. We appreciate Michael’s efforts and who he is as a person and wish him well.”

Norfolk Southern Workers Moving On

News still reverberating today about a second round of layoffs for Norfolk Southern at the Altoona shop. Less than four months after 50 employees were layed off at the Juniata locomotive shop, 100 more workers have been released. All of them told they will have the opportunity to apply for positions elsewhere in the company. Altoona Mayor Matt Pacifico released a statement yesterday about the layoffs saying, he “was disappointed to learn that Norfolkd Southern has chosen to furlough 100 additional workers.” Pacifico said, “i feel company officials were not forth-coming when asked about future layoffs during last week’s visti to Altoona with members of the Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee.” The mayor says his though are with those employees and their families as they begin this difficult period of transition.

Altoona Police Gala Tickets on Sale Now

Tickets are now on sale for the Altoona Police 2019 Because We Care Foundation Annual Gala! It’s their most anticipated evening yet! Get your Night Amongst Heroes Masquerade Gala Tickets. It’s The Because We Care Foundation’s fourth annual fundraising gala. Tickets include buffet dinner featuring foods from around the world, beer and signature cocktails, dancing, entertainment and more. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit The Because We Care Foundation and the Fraternal Order Of Police Mountain Lodge #8. Please note that all ticket purchases are final. No refunds will be given.

Another Round of Local Layoffs from Norfolk Southern

in a release from Stephen McKnight, President of Altoona Blair County Development Corporation, it has been confirmed that Norfolk Southern has laid off 100 more employees at the Juniata Locomotive shop in Altoona. This comes after the company laid off employees in May of this year. Furloughed employees will have the opportunity to apply for positions elsewhere at Norfolk Southern.

Sen.Judy Ward Appointed to Dairy Commission

Senator Judy Ward (R-30) has been appointed to serve on a newly created commission that is focused on addressing the challenges facing Pennsylvania’s dairy industry. The Dairy Future Commission was created in order to study current and future issues affecting the dairy industry and to offer recommendations to promote and strengthen the industry. The bill that created the new panel was approved in June as part of a package of bills to support Pennsylvania agriculture as a whole.

Rachel’s Challenge on Wednesday

On Wednesday, September 4, the Altoona Area School District will host a Rachel’s Challenge Live Community event at the Altoona Area Junior High School at 1400 7th Avenue, beginning at 7:00 PM. Rachel Joy Scott was the first victim in the 1999 Columbine School shooting. Rachel’s Challenge exists to equip and inspire individuals to replace acts of violence, bullying, and negativity with acts of respect, kindness, and compassion. Through her example, Rachel’s Challenge is making a positive impact in the lives of millions of people every year. For more information, please contact Paula Foreman, Community Relations Director at 814-946-8424.