In the News

Agreement Reached to Move Hockey Rink

September 19, 2013
JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY – An agreement has been reached to help protect a couple of popular recreation facilities, one of which activists have been working to save for nearly 10 years.

Supporters of the historic Roxbury Bandshell say they are excited about the future with a big problem about a nearby hockey rink has been resolved.

It was before work got underway to renovate, repair and restore the Roxbury bandshell that recreation officials in the Johnstown area built ...

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Fire patrol members in dispute with Tyrone, Three were removed but still have control of building, vehicle

By Phil Ray ( , The Altoona Mirror
February 15, 2013

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Three members of the Tyrone Fire Patrol have no legal right to serve as members of the borough fire police, according to a ruling Wednesday by Blair County Judge Timothy M. Sullivan.

Nearly two years ago, Borough Council removed Ralph Stimer, Eugene Zimmerman and Thomas Fetters as fire police officers after passing an ordinance establishing eligibility standards and training requirements for the volunteer corps of fire police.

Fire ...

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Small pool of attorneys qualified to handle death-penalty cases

By Phil Ray ( , The Altoona Mirror
January 21, 2013

HOLLIDAYSBURG – When Blair County President Judge Jolene G. Kopriva appointed attorneys to represent Aaron Wilson Dishong on what likely would be a capital case, she was surprised to learn there were only two Blair County attorneys outside the Public Defender’s Office who were qualified to try a death penalty case.

The office had a conflict that prevented it from representing the 62-year-old Dishong, an East Freedom resident charged ...

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Convicted killer wants case reviewed, Supreme Court 2011 ruling reason for man’s request

By Phil Ray ( , The Altoona Mirror
December 7, 2012

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Another former Blair County resident who is serving life without parole for a murder committed when he was young has asked for a review of his case and a possible new sentence that would permit him to eventually be freed from prison.

Lee I. Green, who was convicted for a 1978 murder, has spent the past 34 years behind bars. This week he sent a one-page letter ...

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Inmate waits on high court, Former juvenile defendants seek new sentences

By Phil Ray ( , The Altoona Mirror
September 25, 2012

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Blair County judges have started to review a series of murder cases in which juvenile defendants were automatically sentenced to life without parole, which the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year declared unconstitutional.

President Judge Jolene G. Kopriva met late Monday afternoon with Deputy District Attorney Wade Kagarise and defense attorney Tim Burns to discuss whether Leonard Bocchicchio of Altoona, jailed for murdering a 75-year-old proprietor of ...

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Lawyers intrude in PA cases

The Altoona Mirror
September 4, 2012

The Blair County criminal justice system is under attack.

It is coming from the federal government, specifically through the federal public defenders’ office in Pittsburgh.

Federal defenders sat in Blair County Court on Thursday to observe a hearing on Andre Staton’s request to represent himself in his post-conviction appeal of his conviction for the 2004 murder of Beverly Yohn.

Gov. Tom Corbett recently signed a death warrant for Staton, but the warrant has been stayed by a Blair ...

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Johnstown Hockey Rink Will Stay In Roxbury Park

August 29, 2012

JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY— City Council will have the final approval on a proposed move, but it appears a hockey rink will remain in Roxbury Park.

The Bandshell was built back in 1939, officials with the Roxbury Bandshell Preservation Alliance felt a rink was to close it.  After three proposed moves, Bandshell Solicitor Tim Burns said they believe they come up with a cost savings solution.

“The hockey rink will remain in the park,” said Burns.  “We just think it ...

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Roxbury rink plans rolling

By: Dave Sutor for the Tribune Democrat
August 11, 2012

— The Roxbury Park roller hockey rink might not be moving too far away from its current home after all.

Earlier this week, during a Johnstown City Council meeting, the Roxbury Bandshell Preservation Alliance proposed relocating the venue to a spot 30 to 35 feet away from where it is now.

The group previously sought to rebuild the rink on a hillside in the park and later in Hornerstown near Sandyvale ...

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Rink May Be Relocated

By: Danielle Krout for We Are Central PA
May 31, 2012

JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY— The Roxbury Bandshell Preservation Alliance is hoping that a rink that sits just a few yards away will be relocated.

“It was first proposed to move the rink up on Roxbury Hill but homeowners raised some concerns,” said Tim Burns, solicitor for the Roxbury Bandshell Preservation Alliance.  “We began looking elsewhere and it was suggested to the area next to Sandyvale Cemetery.”

A number of residents are concerned ...

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Killer asks for DNA testing in his case

By Phil Ray ( , The Altoona Mirror
May 12, 2012

HOLLIDAYSBURG – William D. Thompson, who is serving consecutive life terms for killing an elderly Altoona couple during a robbery, wants DNA tests performed on two hunting knives found at the scene of the murders.

Thompson, 30, is incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Coal Township, Schuykill County.

He filed a post-conviction petition last fall to challenge the effectiveness of his attorneys during the 2007 trial where he was ...

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