- 121 Bedford Co. homes without clean water
- Johnstown man deemed sexually violent predator, sentenced to prison
- Police continue investigation after two men hit, killed on I-80
- State education funding highlighted in Cambria Co. hearing
- Shuster-lead US House committee looking into roadside survey
- Somerset Co. teachers settle gender bias suit
- Johnstown man sentenced for sexually assaulting girl
- Two struck, killed by truck in Clinton Co.
- Pitt-Johnstown Baseball Team Helping Dream Come True
- Church to host yard sale for Hollidaysburg fire victims
- High number of complaints recorded by Pa. officials
- Businesses: Break-ins too similar not to be related
- Centre Co. seeing spike in abuse case reports in recent week
- Man facing more than 1,000 child sex abuse counts will head to trial
- Police investigating bar burglary in Cambria Co.
- Local groups providing fish frys on Fridays until Easter
- Two more arrested in connection with meth lab
- Blair Co. housing assessment not done in 56 years
- New designation added to PA license for veterans
- Police: Woman allegedly steals $2,000 from Hidden Valley Ski Shop
- Cambria Co. fire company could see closed doors
- Kindness board helps pay it forward in Centre Co.
- Residents learn about sinking of Confederate submarine
- Injured trooper shares his road to recovery
- Johnstown area road project to start this month; trees to be removed
- Pa. Attorney General's Sandusky case costs nearing $100K
- Flames destroy house in Bedford Co.
- One injured in train-car crash in Somerset Co.
- The 15th Penn State University president dies
- Penn State plans to upgrade on-campus housing
- Man who shot dog files appeal
- Boy Scouts no longer receiving funding from Walt Disney Company
- Dr. Seuss' birthday celebrated by elementary students
- Crews battle Bedford Co. house fire
- CASA in need of volunteers
- Ukrainian students speak about unrest in homeland
- Is this the end of student created holiday State Patty’s Day?
- Blood drive held to at Centre County elementary school
- Experts warn about potency of new pain pill Zohydro
- Failed burglary attempt caught on camera
- Poll: Majority in Pa. favor legalizing medical marijuana
- High electric bill complaints continue to grow
- Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board modifies pricing regulations
- Penn State student assaulted in sleep
- Police: Teenager caught with more than 100 counterfeit credit cards
- Area DJ Porky Chedwick died
- Barn catches fire early Sunday morning
- Shuster attends commissioning of USS Somerset
- Woman catches herself on fire now staying in burn center
- Domino's delivery driver robbed
- Shoppers hit stores for gear before snowstorm
- Fire crews save home after chimney fire in Clearfield County
- Friends and Famers Co-op host membership celebration
- Man attempts to shoot victim with shotgun
- Man dies after kayaking accident
- Two arrested after drugs sold to undercover officer
- More than 300 people without water in Bedford Co.
- USS Somerset commissioned Saturday
- Man requires surgery after alleged assault
- Man assaulted in Centre Co. night club
- Penn State students hold day of service
- Police: State Patty's Day arrests drop
- Wood pellet demand rises as supplies run low
- 15th annual Chainsaw Rendezvous
- UPMC nurse and nurses union agree on contract
- Students learn dance to raise money for playground
- Centre Co. dispatch center up and running
- 'Heroin: Our Town's Addiction' - A WJAC-TV special
- 7 kilos of raw heroin seized on PA Turnpike
- Neighbors rush to help after woman catches fire
- Two decades later, search continues for missing Centre Co. woman
- Police investigating pharmacy robbery in Bellefonte
- Several displaced after fire tears through Blair Co. block
- Family, Penn State, working together to remember former player
- UPMC Altoona, nurses union reach tentative contract agreement
- Son of man who shot trooper in Jefferson Co. facing drug charges
- Fire crews battle flames at Somerset Co. building
- Navy preparing to commission USS Somerset
- Centre Co. man facing more than 1,000 child sex assault charges
- Penn State students providing alternative activity on 'State Patty’s Day'
- Utility company warns of scammers in Blair County
- Zoning board approves Mine 37 cleanup project
- Thousands generated from lodging tax, distributed to Somerset businesses
- 'Heroin: Our Town's Addiction' - A WJAC-TV special
- New charges filed against Johnstown homicide suspect
- Polls in Blair Co. to have handicap access by November
- Ice jam causes flooding concerns in Clearfield County
- Emergency officials attend annual training
- Local care facility expands its services
- Residents learn how to purchase tax-delinquent properties
- Penn State again paying bars to stay closed on 'State Patty's Day'
- Boalsburg fire company asking community to adopt hydrants
- Jackie Robinson film shown in honor of Black History month
- Officials: Thieves fooled with radios, put public in danger
- Heroin: A story of grief and hope
- Teller accused of stealing $30K from Centre Co. bank
- Police investigating fatal crash in Bedford Co.
- Community and schools coming together to help DuBois fire victims
- State College Schools considering longer elementary school day
- Broken turbine has engineers seeking answers
- Somerset Co. mobile food bank provides meals from a trailer
- State College restaurants treat THON dancers to dinner
- Sinkhole discovered on Penn State campus
- Centre County leaders meet with Lieutenant Governor
- Heart for Homeless gives those in need a place to go during the day
- Cambria Co. man charged in connection with deadly hunting accident
- CamTran reroutes buses because of damaging potholes
- Children find handgun in snow, immediately run to tell mom
- DuBois Country Club dealing with devastating fire
- Man arrested following Bedford Co. standoff
- 2 arrested for delivering heroin in Altoona
- Morning blaze injures 4 firefighters, destroys DuBois Country Club building
- 1 of 2 gas wells sealed in Green Co. after fatal blast
- Firefighter injured battling Elk Co. blaze
- Man accused of assault jumps into river to elude police
- Jay Paterno kicks off lieutenant governor campaign
- Morning blaze at DuBois Country Club
- Children playing in snow find handgun
- Local teams gathered to honor the annual Brad Wess Memorial
- Veterans Memorial Ambulance asks for communities help
- Accident on I-99 shuts down southbound lane
- Fire crews shut down roadway in St. Marys due to structure fire
- Special locks on doors stopped burglars from getting inside of home
- THON weekend wraps, organizers calling a success
- Final total raised for THON revealed
- Southern Cameron County without water until late Monday
- Community honors 69th Iwo Jima anniversary
- Annual Jaffa Sports Show kicked off Friday
- Annual Heart Ball held Saturday
- Second annual Guns and Hoses game
- PSU Football team and volunteer fire company host Make-A-Wish event
- Altercation leads to man getting stabbed in Johnstown bar
- Man sentenced after shooting his own dog
- Police: Two arrested after 3,000 bags of heroin found
- Fatal accident kills 18-year-old from Centre Hall
- Surveillance video released of alleged assaulter on East Beaver Avenue
- Penn State board of trustees could see seven seats eliminated
- Natural gas pumping station to be built in Johnstown
- Center for abused children opens in Centre County
- Variable-rates to blame for high electric bills
- THON weekend kicks off at Penn State
- McCort board intends to sue attorney over unfounded claim
- Nurse accused of stealing credit cards from patients
- Spiking electric bills eyed by Pa. regulators
- Pa. Supreme Court won't revisit gas drilling case
- USS Somerset arrives in Philadelphia for commissioning
- Vehicle cleanup continues following chain-reaction crash in Clearfield Co.
- Two arrested with heroin after Johnstown traffic stop
- THON gets underway today
- Mother of slain 2-year-old speaks out as killer's execution warrant is signed
- Armed police in schools varies by district, but legislation may change that
- Some students go hungry when school is canceled
- WWII Veterans reunited with medals 6 decades later
- Area superintendents dealing with significant amount of snow days
- Jay Paterno announces plans to run for lieutenant governor
- Gov. Corbett signs execution warrant for man who raped, killed girl in 1988
- Deputy coroner killed in Somerset Co. crash
- Icy conditions lead to 50-vehicle pile-up in Clearfield Co.
- Clearfield Hospital treats patients following chain-reaction crash
- Former PSU admins again asking for cases to be dismissed
- Cleanup continues following vehicle pileup in Clearfield County
- Accident shuts down Interstate 80 in Clearfield County
- Snow accumulation causes risks with storm drains
- Local animal group looking to expand
- State looking for owners of unclaimed property
- Two arrested in State College area burglary spree
- Penns Valley AD accused of stealing from athletic funds
- UPMC, nurses union resume contract talks in Altoona
- Furnace fire damages Somerset Co. home
- Sentencing delayed for Elk Co. pastor and wife accused of child endangerment
- Bryce Jordan Center to close for repairs this summer
- Icicles create danger for residents
- Devastating fire keeps former residents optimistic
- Drivers aggravated after long winter with potholes
- THON organizers execute evacuation plan
- Local volunteer fire department, borough buildling hit by burglars
- Penn State names 18th president
- Summer flights to begin between State College and Atlanta
- Gas well fire now out in southwestern Pa.
- Penn State University picks new president
- Correction on story about Elk Co. well site investigation
- Space heater catches basement on fire
- Local program helps keep students off streets
- Victims unable to call police for help after home invasion
- Police: Woman assaulted Sunday morning in laundry room
- Penn State expected to name new president today
- Area parents raising money for handicap accessible playground equipment
- Fire displaces two people from Cambria Co. home
- Hundreds of breast cancer survivors attend pink zone game
- Hundreds of families enjoy Spikefest
- Lacrosse coming to Johnstown area
- Penn State board of trustees expected to announce next university president
- Man goes missing on Valentine's Day
- Townships low on salt due to storm in the south
- Fire in Elk Co. breaks out Sunday morning
- House fire in Cambria Co. tricky to get to after large snowfall
- New PSU president to be named Monday
- Weather in Johnstown caused multi-vehicle accident
- Penn State students compete in engineering contest
- State College Borough digs out after snowfall
- Huntingdon Borough declares snow emergency
- More details on woman who killed Bellefonte man
- Catholic schools merging into one building
- Playing in snow piles not safe for children
- Woman scammed out of almost $2,000 after wanting to buy puppy
- Weather conditions causes 100 car pileup
- Bus carrying 13 students crashes on busy roadway
- Johnstown man charged with violently shaking infant daughter
- Valentine's Day can be depressing for those in and out of love
- Harsh winter taking a toll on plow truck drivers
- Program to help GPS track autistic children
- New law could help parents with autistic children get GPS devices
- Altoona nurses rallying at UPMC headquarters
- Police continue to look for standoff motive
- Injection well fight packs township meeting
- Prominent pastor says he was robbed, injured at knifepoint
- Woman charged with third-degree murder in fatal 2012 crash
- Former Cambria Co. couple honored after 76 years of marriage
- PSU sorority at center of 'racially insensitive' photo shuts down
- Standoff ends in Cambria Co., 1 in custody
- UPMC Altoona nurses not being allowed back to work, despite strike ending
- Crews spend hours battling Centre Co. house fire
- Police on scene of standoff in Cambria Co.
- Somerset Co. man pleads to manslaughter charge in baby's death
- District VI basketball playoff sites announced
- Firefighters battle fire in Philipsburg
- Top leaders awarded Greater Johnstown Cambria County Business Hall of Fame
- Police: Still looking for missing hit-and-run driver who killed one
- Nurses strike ends at UPMC Altoona
- Heroin use is cutting deep into tax dollars
- Bob Costas out of Olympic coverage after reported pink eye
- Ferndale girl continues to battle brain cancer
- Firefighter unknowingly responds to parents' home
- Bishop McCort hires Richland's Fleming to lead school
- Losing weight can lead to cold, hard cash
- Child advocacy center now open in Centre Co.
- Altoona police continue to warn about vehicle break-ins
- 1 injured, 1 missing in western Pa. well fire
- State police taking over Ray Gricar disappearance investigation
- Crews battle house fire in Cambria Co.
- Rep. Sam Smith announces retirement
- Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Centre County seeking 50 mentors in 50 days
- Birds returned to the wild after break in severe weather in Centre County
- Accused Russian bomb maker heads to trial
- Special Olympics kicked off Sunday
- Cambria Co. business creates magnets for USA Olympic team
- Dozens injured in Bedford Co. bus crash
- DuBois community helps victims displaced by weekend apartment complex fire
- Tennessee man arrested after injuring frat members
- Bus accident injures about 20 people
- More than three dozen displaced after apartment fire
- Accident on 219 causes driver to go on middle barrier
- Accident knocks out residents' power for hours
- Freezin' for a Reason
- Pet rescued and no reported injuries after DuBois apartment complex fire
- Apartment building fire in DuBois sends residents to hospital
- Penn State holds annual farming conference
- Man threatens elderly couple with rifle
- Pitt's chancellor is announced Saturday
- Known thief steals from Penn Valley School's athletic events
- Machine Gun Preacher's home, business, warehouse raided by feds
- Experts weigh in on domestic abuse as reason for job termination
- Hundreds of bridges classified deficient in central PA
- More details released in capture of Cambria Co. homicide suspect
- Penguins Letang out indefinitely after suffering stroke
- Clearfield Co. group looking to restore WWI monument
- Police: Domestic situation sparks house fire
- Special Olympics getting ready to start
- Alleged Russian bomb-maker facing federal charges
- Man wanted in Cambria Co. captured in Virginia
- Blair Co. man arrested for allegedly dealing cocaine
- Agents break up drug ring based in Centre County
- Altoona bomb-making suspect to face federal charges
- National pharmacy chain CVS stops sale of tobacco
- Johnstown police K-9 fund halfway to donation goal
- AG Kane: Internal review of Sandusky case delayed
- Cambria Co. man pleads guilty to robbing bank
- Penn State football welcomes 2014 recruiting class
- Police arrest man accused of driving forklift through garage
- Man trying to thaw pipes catches home on fire
- Hearing continued for college student accused of making bomb in Altoona
- House fire breaks out in Clearfield Co.
- Shoppers prepare for winter storm
- Popular Johnstown DJ fired because of ex-husband's actions
- DEP: Johnstown sewer project a 'shining example'
- Search continues for missing Huntingdon Co. teens
- Worker killed in St. Marys explosion identified
- Municipalities do not have snow removal ordinances in place
- New 911 taxes to show up on phone bill
- Injection well to be placed in Elk County
- Ebensburg police officer fights rare form of brain cancer
- Fire crews battle shed fire in Huntingdon County
- Power crews prepare for possible outages throughout region
- Police: Child explains how mother shoots up heroin
- Truck explodes in Johnstown neighborhood
- Rt. 22 reopens in Cambria Co. after crash
- State police searching for two teenage girls
- Beer truck collides with utility pole, knocks wires down
- Police: Man threatens family with semi-automatic
- Centre County firefighters help one of their own after fire destroys family’s home
- Phil sees shadow; 6 more weeks of winter predicted
- Woman in Huntingdon Co. dies after brutal accident
- Police: Forklift stolen and severely damages residents garage
- Large water leak in Elk County
- Large quantity of heroin found on Turnpike
- Large drug bust in Johnstown Friday night
- Deadly heroin making it way to Somerset
- Preparations underway for Groundhog Day 2014
- Strange gas odor lingers in Bedford Township
- Indiana Co. woman found dead outside of her residence
- Police: Inmate abuses corrections officers at Jefferson County Jail
- Firefighters battles flames, cold in Somerset Co.
- Two taken to the hospital after van slams into pole in Clearfield Co.
- Train, utility vehicle collide in Clearfield Co.
- Woman accused of shooting home health nurse has court hearing- one year after incident
- Two cars collide; One hits a house in Huntingdon Co.
- Man busts through cemetery with car and breaks numerous tombstones
- Crews let house burn in Somerset Co.
- Federal government agency looking into Penn State's sexual harassment cases
- Police: Man stole $10,000 from memorial fund
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- Snowy roads may be to blame for traffic accident on Interstate
- Somerset Co. porch fires believed to be arson
- Clearfield Co. bank robbed at gunpoint
- Strange odor lingers in Punxsutawney
- PSU Altoona honors Martin Luther King Jr.
- Students learn driving safety and how to properly call for help
- Clearfield Vol. Fire Department honors fellow members' service
- Walmart gives $25,000 grant to Clearfield YMCA
- Teacher from Brockway nominated for National Teacher award
- Two walk away from crash after car lands upside down over hillside
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- Animal Welfare Council helping pets that are in the cold
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- Garage, vehicles destroyed in Elk Co. fire
Armed police in schools varies by district, but legislation may change that
Updated: Friday, February 21 2014, 03:36 PM EST
By: Jen Johnson
DUBOIS, Pa. -- Schools are traditionally thought of to be safe places, but recent, traumatic events have forced people to take a closer look at what can be done to avoid violence in the classroom.
Keeping students, teachers and staff safe is a priority for school administrators, but the way districts work to keep their students safe can be different. Two local school systems have recently took bold steps to avoid potential tragedies.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting shook communities across the United States to the core. The unthinkable, terrifying final moments of 20 children and half-dozen adults caught everyone's attention as a gunman moved through the building, killing those 26 people.
Some 345 miles away from Sandy Hook Elementary sits Wasson Elementary School in DuBois and Admiral Peary Vocational-Technical School in Ebensburg. Both schools have recently been involved in the guns-in-schools debate.
At Admiral Peary, an administrator disarmed a student who brought a gun into the building. At Wasson, armed school police officers are now patrolling the halls, something students there haven't seen before.
Wasson is one of seven elementary schools within the DuBois Area School District. Superintendent J. Mark Heckman said 400 children learn in the building alone.
"When we got the news of Sandy Hook, we realized that something could happen in a small area," Heckman said. "It could happen here too."
When a recent school vulnerability study revealed the need for more security within the elementary system, DuBois district leaders and the school board took action.
"We all believed that having an officer in the building would be a great way to build that armor for us," Heckman said.
DuBois already relied on a full-time school resource officer in its middle and high schools, but with the contract with DuBois city police set to expire at the end of 2013, school leaders explored their options to keep their children in all buildings safe.
DuBois city leaders proposed an hourly rate of $57.54 per full-time officer for the 2014 school year. The district ultimately hired retired Pennsylvania state troopers for less than half that, at $22.67 an hour per full-time officer.
The new deal also meant more armed officers, with some of them providing security at DuBois elementary schools for the very first time.
"Armed security is a visible deterrent," Heckman said. "When a student walks through the hallway and sees an officer with a gun, they know they're being protected. It also sends a message to the community that we have someone who is going to protect our students at all costs. It's a last resort."
According to the advocacy groups Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, since the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary there have been 44 school shootings nationwide.
There were 13 in the first six weeks of 2014 alone. That's the same amount of time DuBois school police officer Bill Tangren has been on the job.
"I've had at least once on every day that I've been here, at least one parent, and as many as five or six, who have thanked me for being here, and also told me how much better they feel dropping their children off," Tangren said.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, in February 2013, 234 school districts, charter schools, vocational-technical schools and intermediate units had employed one or more officers.
Of some 1,923 school security officers, school resource officers or school police officers in those buildings, 275 were authorized to carry a gun.
Some experts have pointed out that there was not one documented case of a multiple homicides in schools when an armed guard was present.
"It changes the climate," Heckman said.
More potential changes could be coming to the DuBois school officers in the coming days. One of DuBois school officers could be working full-time at Jeff Tech, a nearby vo-tech school in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, where DuBois sends students.
The cost of place the officer at Jeff Tech comes from a $40,000 state grant. If the grant is approved by the school board, Heckman said the district will then employ one part time and five full-time school police officers.
At Admiral Peary Vo-Tech in Cambria County, Executive Director Ken Jubas said his safety philosophy is a bottom-up approach.
"It comes down to communication," Jubas said.
At vocational schools, students use saws, knives, razor blades, even flammable gases when they learn in the classroom, Jubas said. There is great accountability of not only the tools, but also the kids.
"Staff need to be aware," Jubas said. "Is something wrong today? What's wrong with that kid? Ordinarily, he's fun and games, [but] is he quiet today? Are they talking in the corner? I believe that I've prevented more just by calling a couple kids in and saying, 'Hey guys, this is what I heard. What's up?' In most cases, when kids are planning fights, it's everybody else planning the fight. It's not even the two kids."
But last month was a first for Jubas, when on a Friday afternoon the school guidance counselor got a tip from a student that a 16-year-old boy from Blacklick Valley had a loaded gun in the building.
Within minutes, Jubas stepped inside the student's classroom. He kept it low key and pretended he needed student volunteers.
"I made some small talk with the students as I walked into the study hall and kind of located where he was and I talked to some of the students and said 'Who wants to participate in a survey?'" Jubas said.
The student willing volunteered to take part in the survey, Jubas said. Once isolated in his office, Jubas said the teenager told him that he brought the gun to school for protection. The student said he was fearful of being jumped by other kids.
"And I lift up his shirt and I'm like 'Oh, my God,' ya know, there it is," Jubas said. "None the less that it was loaded and it was loaded and ready to go."
Even though there were never any threats made to Admiral Peary students or staff, Jubas admitted it was a wakeup call.
"We let people indoors and we just point to the office," Jubas said. "Are we at our posts? Are teachers walking kids out to the buses? Are they supervising the hallways? Are they just making quick checks in the bathrooms?," Jubas said.
The 16-year-old student was expelled from school for a year and has a long road ahead of him, despite what he did was flat out wrong, Jubas said. He hopes the student will also turn this bad decision into a teachable moment.
"The last thing I ever want to do is deny a kid an opportunity," Jubas said. "He was a welding student, he did a great job, [and] he was a solid B student. He never had a problem here with discipline, [had a] great demeanor, [and is a] good kid. I hope we have the opportunity to educate him because he's worth saving."
While armed security guards may not be the best options for all school districts, some of our state lawmakers believe one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to protect our children and school staff while they're in school is through the use of retired law enforcement officers.
Retired police officers and state troopers often already have their own health care and pension benefits and many can retire relatively young, after 25 years of service.
A proposed bill, which is still in a general assembly committee, would provide school districts prioritized money if they hire retired law enforcement officers to serve as school police officers.