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Articles written by Cati Keith


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  • Retiring Batzel was an 'NBC First' AD and Coach

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 29, 2024

    After 30 years, Jeff Batzel will be retiring as an athletic director at the end of 2024, with his time spent at Northern Bedford and Everett school districts. Batzel is an NBC alumnus, and a lifelong resident of the district residing in the Yellow Creek area. “My father was the first AD in the school’s history, and I am the third,” he said. Ryan Cherry will be taking over the position and will be the district’s fourth athletic director in 60 years. “That is pretty interesting and...

  • Why Do We Need a Leap Year?

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 29, 2024

    The creation of the calendar and why the leap year exists is a story of trial and error, according to James Lowe, board chairman of the Blair County Historical Society. From his research, he found that the first calendar year was created in 753 BC by Romulus with only 10 months and 304 days, plus an undefined winter period. This was eventually modified to include 12 months with a total 354 days with no fluctuating winter period. “Since the actual time for the Earth to orbit the Sun is 365.224...

  • Church Service Disruptor 'Getting Help He Needs'

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 22, 2024

    Local police departments gave an update on an individual who was disrupting services in churches in the Cove and a few others in the area. Chief Kerry Hoover of the Martinsburg Police Department said that the departmeint is not releasing the man’s name, but said the man causing the disruptions was having medical or mental health problems. “The incident has been addressed and there is no further threat,” Chief Hoover said. Hoover said Sunday patrols have been added as a precaution in Martinsburg Borough and Huston Township and police are...

  • RS Borough Moving Forward with New Five Points Lights

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 22, 2024

    Roaring Spring Borough Manager Lisa Peel gave an update on the Five Points Traffic Light project (which began earlier in February) at the most recent borough council meeting. “Right now, we are waiting on Penelec to come out and approve where we would like to put the electric meters for the traffic lights,” she said at the council’s monthly meeting on Monday night. Changes were made because the original plan had the traffic lights wired back into the borough building as the current ones are. But with the possibility of moving the borough...

  • Traditions Offers The Cove More than Family-style Food

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 22, 2024

    Traditions has been a part of the Cove community since 2007, offering a place to dine and also experience the Pennsylvania Dutch traditions of the area. Restaurant Owner Tyler Zimmerman, who has been there since the restaurant opened, said the retail store was opened in 2003 by Marcus Zimmerman. He said the store was opened as an opportunity in the area to provide the essentials of food and clothing that people needed while also creating jobs. “We have created a lot of jobs for a lot of...

  • Martinsburg Borough To Divide Up Balance Of Trooper Fund

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 15, 2024

    Martinsburg Borough Council approved dissolving the Trooper Landon Weaver Fund and splitting the remaining funds between Cove Christmas Love and the Martinsburg Food Pantry. During borough council’s monthly meeting on Monday, Feb. 5, Mayor Richard Brantner, Sr. talked about what the borough would do with the fund during his report. Trooper Weaver was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 30, 2016, while investigating a protection from abuse (PFA) order violation. Brantner, Sr. said he did not...

  • Woodbury Man Takes His Time with Paintings

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 15, 2024

    At 91 years old, Herbert Houp of Woodbury, a Korean War veteran, is a testament to a life well-lived, marked by dedication, craftsmanship, and a passion for painting. He served in the Korean War from 1953 to 1954, where he drove tanks. “I got out on Christmas Day,” Houp said. When he returned home, he went to work at the Blank Book Company in Roaring Spring where he spent 11 years operating a ruling machine that added lines to paper. Houp’s career took him to Martinsburg Cove Building...

  • Brewery Backing Iditarod Try

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 8, 2024

    A Martinsburg native and Central High School graduate, is set to embark on the Iditarod 2024, Alaska’s iconic sled dog race commencing on March 2. Jeff Reid is a retired Navy SEAL, and is finding support from his hometown and family, particularly from Spring Dam Brewing Co. in Roaring Spring. Owner Anita Baker, his mother-in-law, is committed to help him and her daughter Jeri achieve their dreams. Baker said that the brewery is collecting donations and organizing fundraisers to offset the expe...

  • Former Cove Resident Writes Devotional Book

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 8, 2024

    A former Cove business woman and pastor recently published a devotional book. The book titled “Simply, Good Morning and Shalom” written by Millie Baker, is a year-long devotional with an extra section at the end for special days that have no set date. “Each thought I send out — now to over 100 people — begins with a greeting of good morning and ends with a blessing of Shalom — a wish for inner peace,” she said is how the book got its title. Baker said the devotional is meant to...

  • Martinsburg Community Fund Making Push To Reach 2024 Goal of $45,000

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 8, 2024

    A local volunteer organization that has been around since 1947, is continuing to help different causes within the community. The Martinsburg Community Fund, which many might know from the thermometer in front of the Hometown Bank at the corner of North Market and East Allegheny Streets, is an annual fund drive. Randy Stoltz has been chairman of the volunteer organization for more than 20 years and said that there are eight members on the board. “It is a unique thing – it gives an opportunity...

  • Groups Working to Improve Cove's 'Decent' Internet Connectivity

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 1, 2024

    In the quest to improve internet connectivity in the Cove area, Dwayne Zimmerman, owner of Crowsnest Broadband, talked about the challenges faced by residents and solutions presented to deal with varying levels of service across the region. He said that the service quality in the Cove area is “decent,” but varies significantly depending on the location. There is an AT&T cell tower at the northern end of Clover Creek and another near Smith Transportation. T-Mobile has one tower in Fredericksb...

  • Creps Road Bridge Closing Was Based on Safety, Officials Say

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 1, 2024

    The North Woodbury Township supervisors have put out a notice that the Creps Road Bridge would be closing. According to the notice, it was a decision made by Blair County and PennDOT. Since this is a county bridge, the supervisors said they had no input in closing the bridge and directed questions to the Blair County commissioners. Amy Webster, Blair County commissioner, said the bridge was closed on Jan. 24, due to “structural deficiencies.” She said there is a short detour in place, but...

  • Cove Community Theater Offers Escape Rooms, Mysteries

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 1, 2024

    Fallon Smith, manager of the Cove Community Theater, recently discussed the theater’s recent endeavors and upcoming projects with the Herald. The theater, located in a converted church building in Loysburg, has been a hub for various performances for five years, including escape rooms and murder mysteries. Their most recent attraction, “Escape the Hop Soda Shop - Escape Room,” transported participants from a modern-day day diner to the 1950s, and participants were given the challenge of finding their way back. The experience, which took...

  • State Rep. Candidate Brings his Message of Change to M-burg Voters

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Feb 1, 2024

    Scott Barger, in his bid to be the state representative for the 80th District, is taking the opportunity to connect with constituents through his “Bagels with Barger” tour. The 80th District includes Blair County and part of Huntingdon County. The Restored Grounds coffee shop in Martinsburg was the second stop of six for Barger recently. Barger is challenging incumbent state Rep. Jim Gregory, R-Hollidaysburg, in the upcoming 2024 spring Primary Election. Barger is seeking the nomination to...

  • N. Bedford School District Sticks with Local Bus Service After Residents Speak Up

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Jan 25, 2024

    During the recent Northern Bedford County School Board of Directors meeting, many community members showed up to support Leidy Transportation in hopes that the district would choose to renew its contract with the bus company. Community members Brittany Hall, Bill Imler, and Kassi Leidy voiced their opinions during the public comment session of the meeting. The result was that the school board approved a five-year transportation contract with Leidy Transportation LLC, spanning the 2024-25 through 2028-29 school years. The contract, with an 8-1...

  • Rodeo Clown Gives E. Freedom Boy a Piece of his Dream

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Jan 25, 2024

    Daniel Miller, 14, of East Freedom, had his dream come true at the First Frontier Circuit Finals Rodeo held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex Jan. 11-13. Keith Isley, a rodeo clown, played a big part in turning Miller’s aspirations into reality. Daniel’s mother Delsa Miller said her son was born with only a 50 percent chance of survival. She said there was a hole in his diaphragm which allowed his intestines to go up through that space and fill his chest cavity, where the lungs were...

  • N. Bedford 'Unplugs' Students and Teachers for a Day

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Jan 25, 2024

    Northern Bedford County Middle and High Schools implemented an “unplugged day” where laptops, computers, cellphones, email, smartboards, and other internet-connected devices were off-limits to raise awareness about the impact of technology on students and staff. Middle school Principal Kendra Pritchett said the only exceptions were landline phones, copy machines, and essential security equipment. “We found that a lot of the things we do on a daily basis, we had to figure out a different wa...

  • Cove Veteran Handcrafts Sturdy Wooden Canes

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Jan 18, 2024

    A resident of the Cove, Fred Gutshall, 76, often receives compliments on the handcrafted canes he uses in public. “They ask where did you buy it — and I say I made it,” he said. “They are just amazed.” Canes like the one he uses are personally made using materials he finds in the woods, and can take up to two years to finish just one. Gutshall files the wood to take out the notches and create a smooth surface for each cane. “It takes a lot of work,” he said. The hobby was inspired...

  • Roaring Spring Library Expands Its Seed Library

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Jan 18, 2024

    Roaring Spring Community Library’s Seed Library program was created to promote gardening and food security, according to director Michelle McIntyre. The program serves residents of Blair, Huntingdon, and Bedford counties. All seeds are free. Residents of these counties may select their orders from a form, and pick up their seeds at the library of their choice. Stephanie Fulcher, program organizer, said they have over 30 varieties of lettuce and tomatoes, 20 varieties of hot and sweet peppers,...

  • Local Schools Win Grants For Ag Curriculum Projects

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Jan 18, 2024

    Some local schools received portions of the PA Farm Bill grants which totaled nearly $500,000 to prepare for the next generation of success in agriculture. Spring Cove School District was awarded $7,493 to go towards updating their agriculture curriculum, Hollidaysburg Area School District received $7,500 for their Tiger Victory Garden, and Williamsburg Community School District got $7,500 for overhauling small gas engines. “I am very excited about receiving the grant money so the students will have opportunities for more hands-on experiments...

  • Student Art to be Displayed in Two Locations

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Jan 18, 2024

    The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (SAMA) will continue its tradition of celebrating the area’s talented young artists with the return of Artists of the 21st Century, the museum’s 26th annual student art exhibition. Student artwork will be displayed at SAMA Altoona from Jan. 26 until April 7, at SAMA Bedford from Feb. 2 until April 14, and at SAMA Ligonier from February 16, 2024. This exhibition is sponsored by the Sigma Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa International Honorary Organization for Women Educators. The opening reception for SAMA...

  • Leadership Blair County Youth Program Gives Students Community, Volunteer Experiences

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Jan 11, 2024

    Leadership Blair County Youth Program, of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce is cultivating leadership skills among local high school students. The program is an extension of the adult version which started in the early 2000s, according to Chamber representative Brittany Mayer. She said it is gaining popularity among 10th grade students because of the exposure to various facets of their community. "The students really took charge of it this year," Mayer said. Designed to showcase the career...

  • Bedford Humane Society Flooded With Animals and Volunteers After More Than 90 Dogs Are Rescued

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Jan 11, 2024

    Pennsylvania State Police and humane societies in the area rescued more than 90 dogs that were found in a home on Old Route 220 in Bedford County in late December. On Dec. 30, Pennsylvania State Police were called to a home along Old Route 220 for a report of animal cruelty. When the officers arrived at the home, they noticed an overpowering smell of dog feces. While they heard dogs barking, no one was home at the time. Officers returned to the home on Dec. 31., at this time they made contact with an 82-year-old male and 62-year-old female who...

  • Central Student Publishes First Book

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Jan 11, 2024

    A senior from Central High School just published her first book after spending many years developing the story while also staying on top of school work and club responsibilities. Julianna Myers, 17, of Roaring Spring, is the author of the book "Metal Heart" which was officially published on Dec. 19, 2023. The original story started when she was in fifth grade and was inspired by a game she played with her friends called "space aliens." At first, the story was about humans versus aliens, but...

  • Well-Known Horticulturist Passes Away After 31 Years With Penn State Extension

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Jan 4, 2024

    A well-known horticulture educator with the Penn State Extension who passed away early in December is being remembered by the people who worked with him locally and across the state. Thomas G. Ford, 63, of Duncansville, was a commercial horticulture educator for 41 years, with 31 of those being with the Penn State Extension. Joe Diamond of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau said he was a valuable resource to those in the agricultural community who produced fruits and vegetables. “Tom did a...

  • NB Bands Together to Support Two Students Diagnosed With Cancer

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Jan 4, 2024

    Two students at Northern Bedford County Middle School are fighting cancer and their community has stepped up to help them during this difficult time. After experiencing cyclical fevers and through diagnostic testing, TJ Helsel, 13, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma on Nov. 15, 2023, a cancer that attacks the lymphatic system. Quinton Morrow, 14, was diagnosed with Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT), a cancer that affects the spine and brain, on Dec. 17, 2023. The Northern Bedford...

  • Central Students Take a Hack at Cloud Technology

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Dec 28, 2023

    Students from Blair, Bedford, and Cambria counties, including students from Central High School, explored the world of cloud technology during the Major League Hacking’s Global Hack Week, hosted by South Hills School of Business and Technology. With about 100 students in attendance, the event aimed to provide interactive STEM sessions and foster interest in technology careers. “Our students had a great experience at the event,“ Kayla Wheland, a business and computer information technology teacher at Central, said. She said there were mult...

  • AAA Presents Awards to Eight Local Police for Traffic Safety Efforts

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Dec 28, 2023

    Traffic safety is important all year round, especially during the holiday season when there are more people out on the roads and not always great weather conditions. Eight police departments in Blair County were honored by AAA East Central on Thursday, Dec. 14, for their dedication to increasing traffic safety and education. The four local departments that won the Platinum Awards included Blair County Sheriff's Department, Duncansville, Hollidaysburg, and Pennsylvania State Police Troop G....

  • Martinsburg Family Uses Decor To Raise Funds for Humane Society

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Dec 28, 2023

    Ron and Jaynne Bowers on Oakdale Road have been decorating their yard for Christmas to collect donations for the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society for several years, and it has expanded to homes across the street. "It started with just one or two things about 15 years ago," Jaynne said. In 2008, the first year, they collected $130, and that amount increased steadily over time. "During the pandemic, all of a sudden, our totals jumped up dramatically," she said. They thought $880 in 2019 was gre...

  • Williamsburg Native Dies in Tragic Murder-Suicide

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Dec 28, 2023

    On Tuesday evening, a Greenwood couple died in what appears to be a murder-suicide, as reported by Logan Township Police Chief Dave Hoover. In the basement of their residence on the 600 block of South Dartmouth Lane, Blase Raia fatally shot Brooke (Zimmerman) Raia in the head before turning the handgun on himself. The call for police assistance came at 7:30 p.m., and state police were called in to process the scene, collecting evidence and providing support to the Logan Township Police Department. This incident is believed to be the result of...

  • Spring, Stone Manors Facing Rent Increase Due to Water Issues

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Dec 21, 2023

    In a community meeting held on Tuesday, Dec. 12, residents of Spring and Stone Manors came together to discuss the escalating water issues affecting the lives of about 192 people who live in the parks. Spring Manor resident Mark Fiddes said the meeting was attended by about 60 people, mainly residents who gathered to address a letter from Mobile Realty, the owner of both trailer parks, which announced a rent hike. “The issue started at the beginning of the month when we all received letters about the owner raising the rent,” he said....

  • Medical Experts Say Respiratory Illnesses Just Starting

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Dec 14, 2023

    Local health experts gave a snapshot of what they are seeing in doctors offices and hospitals in regards to flu, COVID-19, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases. As the seasons change and the ongoing challenges of respiratory illnesses persist, medical experts agree that they are seeing a lot of the usual this time of year. Dr. Matthew Bouchard, affiliated with UPMC Altoona and Bedford, reported that flu cases are currently mild, with very few positive cases. “We tend to see an increase in flu cases over the holidays,” he said. Dr....

  • Women's Health Services of Roaring Spring to Provide Care in Wake of Nason Closure

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Dec 14, 2023

    Women's Health Services of Roaring Spring officially opened on Dec. 7, which is filling a void for a much needed resource in the Cove community. "We discovered that there was a significant need for the female population for timely visits to a gynecologist," Dr. Stephen Bisacco of the practice said. He understood that the public was upset that the gynecology department at Nason Medical Center closed. After that, some people had to travel 45 minutes or more to get a routine examination, Bisacco...

  • Possible Closure of Jugtown Bridge Concerns Residents

    CATI KEITH, Staff Writer|Dec 14, 2023

    Residents of the neighborhood near the Jugtown Bridge between East Freedom and Claysburg, have growing concerns over the future of the structure as county officials decide its fate. Bridge 73, which spans over the Beaver Dam Creek, connects Everett and Mountain Roads with about 40 residents living across the bridge. Debra Miller, a resident, said the community has unanimously agreed that they need a new bridge. The addition of a cul-de-sac would cut off their access to Everett Road and Dunnings...