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Articles written by Eric Shields


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  • State Treasurer's Visit to the Cove

    ERIC SHIELDS, Herald Correspondent|May 30, 2024

    Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity, Retired Secretary of Agriculture Sam Hayes and Executive Vice President of Penn Ag Industries Association Christian Herr visited Renaissance Nutrition in Roaring Spring. “When I travel around the state because we have 67 counties, of which 48 are rural —I always like to say that we have more cows than people in Bradford County,” Garrity said, who is a Bradford County native. Because of this, it has allowed her to understand how important agriculture is...

  • Blair County: A People's History Premieres at Mishler Theater

    ERIC SHIELDS, Herald Correspondent|May 30, 2024

    On April 18, the Blair County Arts Foundation hosted the Blair County Historical Society for the grand premiere of Blair County: A People’s History. This film traces the cultural influences of the county through interviews, reenactments, photos and archival footage to tell stories of the past. Executive Producer Julia Plummer Schokker said that her job was to find the money and to find the director. “I had very few requirements for the director — one he had to be local and would be a great...

  • Claysburg Hall of Fame to Honor Those Who Stayed in Town and Those Who Returned

    ERIC SHIELDS, For the Herald|Apr 4, 2024

    The Claysburg Hall of Fame has announced the induction of its 10th class on Saturday, April 13, at the Claysburg-Kimmel High School Auditorium. The ceremony begins at 3 p.m. with a reception following. The public is invited to attend. The dress is business casual. This year’s inductees are Dahl Bowser, Lynn and Janice Crist, Brent Miller and Dolan Mosser. Bill and Suie Burket will be receiving the Pioneer Award. Dahl Bowser Retired Master Sergeant Dahl E. Bowser enlisted in the U.S. Army a...

  • C-K Resumes Productions with 'Camp Rock'

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Mar 21, 2024

    Claysburg-Kimmel will present the musical “Camp Rock” at the high school auditorium on Saturday, March 23, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 24, at 2:30 p.m. The show is based on the Disney movies Camp Rock 1 and Camp Rock 2. It is about a group of kids at a music camp for the summer. There is a rival music camp across the lake that they do battle with. Theatre advisor and show Director Maria Leppert said that this is the first show that the school has done since 2011. She said that the district wan...

  • Claysburg Rotary Presents 'Hee Haw' March 15 and 16

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Mar 14, 2024

    The Claysburg Rotary is presenting its 21st “Hee Haw” show at the Claysburg Kimmel High School auditorium at 7 p.m. March 15 and 16. The comedy variety show offers jokes and skits and singing and dancing. Performing on Friday evening are Will’s Mt. Cloggers, Mt. City Grass, Becky’s School of Dance, Marshal Neff, Lauren Albright Hall, Cindy John and Ridge Hershberger. On Saturday night, there will be the Horseshoe Cloggers, Country Traditions, Shining Stars Twirl and Dance, Marty Walters...

  • Central Continues to Ramp Up Theater Productions

    ERIC SHIELDS, Columnist|Feb 29, 2024

    After a hiatus, Central High School is putting on a production of “Bye Bye Birdie,” a musical comedy set in the 1950s, according to show Director Rachel Wagner, who is also a first-grade teacher in the school district. Tickets can be purchased online at centralhigh.booktix.com or at the door. The play will be presented at Central High School Thursday. Feb. 29, through Saturday, March 2, in the high school auditorium at 7 p.m. Wagner said that the school chose the show because of the music and th...

  • Off Pitt Street Theatre Winter and Spring Events

    ERIC SHIELDS, For the Herald|Feb 1, 2024

    The Off Pitt Street Theatre (OPS), located in downtown Bedford, has announced its winter and spring events. On Feb. 5, the group will offer its monthly writing club, “Monday Muse” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Feb. 17, OPS will host the “Bad Romance”show with five headlining performers, and in line with the group’s theme for February. At the end of February, OPS will hold auditions for the eighth annual Winners Showcase. The top two winners of the annual script-writing competition will be produced. Auditions will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on...

  • Brian Gates Found Success by Putting 'Passion Before Profit'

    ERIC SHIELDS, Hollidaysburg Correspondent|Jan 18, 2024

    Hollidaysburg businessman Brian Gates grew up in a small area “up the mountain,” as the local saying goes. His father was a hard-working entrepreneur who worked all kinds of odd jobs. Gates, who is an International Protection Specialist, said, “That gave me a lot of drive, watching him work. Things like that. He also taught me how to dream. You really want to be able to do something instead of saying that ‘I wish I could do that’, say ‘How can I do that?’ or ‘How can I achieve that goal?’ Mos...

  • Chimney Rocks Star Continues to Shine

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Dec 28, 2023

    Have you ever wondered how the star came to be up on top of Chimney Rocks? Shining brightly every Christmas season, the star that overlooks the borough of Hollidaysburg has an interesting story. Between 1960 and 1964, the Hollidaysburg Jaycees was formed and local businessman Richard Meadows was elected to be the first president. One of the first projects that they discussed doing was something for the community that everyone could appreciate. One of the topics that came up was putting a star...

  • Hollidaysburg Library's Talking History: Dr George Walker

    ERIC SHIELDS|Dec 28, 2023

    Hollidaysburg native Dr. George Walker was a local dentist and founder of the Blair County Chapter of the NAACP. Chairperson of the African American Heritage Project of Blair County Harriett Gaston spoke at the Hollidaysburg Library’s Talking History Lecture Series in early December about Dr. Walker. Walker was a native son of Hollidaysburg and was very much involved in the Civil Rights in the Commonwealth of PA. “We need to realize that he was very much into the Civil Rights,” Gaston said. At the end, though, his rights were violated becau...

  • John Eicher Presents The Industrial Revolution

    ERIC SHIELDS|Dec 28, 2023

    John Eicher presented The 19th Century Industrial Revolutions during part four of his eight part series “Modern Western Civilization (1500-present) From Dawn to Decadence to Disillusionment” at the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library earlier this month. It is the processes that created the entire built environment that we live in and the technologies that were produced during that time. Eicher wanted the audience to understand that the 1800s was the era that saw the idea of the development of progression, the idea or often assumption that the...

  • Claysburg Community Theatre Presents 'The Sound of Music'

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Nov 30, 2023

    Claysburg Area Community Theatre presented "The Sound of Music" on Nov. 17 and 18 at Claysburg-Kimmel High School. This classic story follows Maria, who leaves the abbey where she's studying to be a nun to become the governess for Captain Georg von Trapp's seven children. The story that follows is one of love, growth, family, struggles and very real fears in the pre-WWII era. Director Dan Crist said that he hoped to show the playoff between the Austrians and the Germans, as the audience is...

  • Eicher Presents on Nationalism

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Nov 30, 2023

    Dr. John Eicher presented part three of his eight-part lecture series Modern Western Civilization (1500 to present) From Dawn to Decadence to Disillusionment in early November. This portion of the lecture series was titled "Nationalism, an Invented Tradition." Eicher talked about Nationalism and how it is a relatively recent concept in western history, only maybe about 200 years old. It was actually invented by people. There are a few specific things that feed into the growth of Nationalism....

  • Arts Council Teaches Stained Glass Painting

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Nov 30, 2023

    The Hollidaysburg Arts Council presented A Stained Glass Christmas Workshop in early November. Board member and instructor Theresa McKeegan said that the class teaches stained glass art, a paint medium that looks like leaded glass once dry. "We are doing ornaments using Christmas themed ideas or they can use some geometric ideas," McKeegan said. This is the second stained glass workshop and the first ornament class. Board member Jill Bulman said that the council does adult workshops, children's...

  • Eldred Presents on Charles Dickens' Visit To Hollidaysburg

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Nov 30, 2023

    Charles Dickens, his wife and George Putnam, the traveling secretary, passed through Hollidaysburg during the canal era. Dickens set out on his first two tours of America in an attempt to change international copyright law, as his books were very popular in the United States, but he wasn’t making any money from them. Author Keith Eldred presented the story of Dickens’ journey through Hollidaysburg at The Hollidaysburg Area Public Library’s history hour earlier this month. Eldred said looking at how difficult it was travel back then, we shoul...

  • Claysburg Native Inducted Into Semi-Pro Baseball Hall of Fame

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Nov 22, 2023

    Claysburg native Dick Lingenfelter, along with 42 other Blair County natives who played semi-pro baseball were inducted into the National Semi-Pro Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this month at the Blair County Convention Center. Lingenfelter began his baseball career, playing in The Blair County Twilight League in 1953. When the Twilight League disbanded, local Claysburg teams joined The Greater City League. He started out as a catcher, but quickly moved into the pitching position. During his...

  • Fall, Winter Events to be Hosted by Historical Society

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Nov 9, 2023

    Kate Rimbeck from the Historical Society announced the fall and winter events taking place at the Baker Mansion. On Nov. 15, the society will have the final installment for the year of its lecture series featuring “Altoona in Photos 1968-1971 Part II: AHS Railroad Areas Before Urban Development” by Dr. Michael Farrow. This event will be held at the Hawthorne Building, Penn State Altoona Campus at 7 p.m. A tree lighting ceremony will take place on Nov. 17. This will be the lighting of the outside tree, according to Rimbeck. “Our Christmas tours...

  • Smail Presents Iron Furnaces to Genealogical Society

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Nov 9, 2023

    Author Byron Smail addressed the monthly meeting of the Blair County Genealogical Society to speak on about his book "Iron Furnaces of the Cove." Smail said that he wanted to get the history out there for the people of the Cove and their ancestors who worked those furnaces and mining. "There wasn't a whole lot of information on them," Smail said. "Curiosity made me want to look into it." Smail did this and tried to piece together how those in the furnaces and mining worked, how they were run...

  • ACE Award Posthumously Honors Hoover

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Nov 9, 2023

    The Blair County Chamber of Commerce held its annual Farm-City dinner at the Freedom Township Fire Hall in East Freedom on Nov. 1. Chairman of the Farm-City Committee Joe Diamond started off by saying, "We are paying tribute to a special family member of the Farm-City Committee family who, along with her family, helped showcase the agriculture industry here in Blair County." He was referring to the late Stacy Hoover, recipient of the 2023 ACE Award. "I knew Stacy for 27 years. She knew that she...

  • 'United We Can' Luncheon Featured a Hero

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Nov 2, 2023

    Attendees of the last United We Stand luncheon of the fall had a chance to listen to a real hero. Retired PA State Trooper Tim Strohmeyer is a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving in the Gulf War during Operation Desert Storm and is a State Police Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recipient. He is also the 2013 International Police Officer of the Year recipient, awarded by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. On Dec. 21, 2012, a man named Jeffrey Michael decided that he was going to...

  • Hoover Presented with Lifetime Achievement Award

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Nov 2, 2023

    The Blair County Chamber of Commerce held its 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award for Business Excellence on Monday, Oct. 23. This year's award was presented to Dan Hoover from Roaring Spring Blank Book and Spring Cove Container. The dinner was created 22 years ago. "This is essentially an event where we present the Lifetime Achievement Award for Business Excellence for the year to somebody in the business community, who has done very significant positive things for our business community over a...

  • Miss Pennsylvania Speaks at 'United We Can Lecture' Series

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Oct 26, 2023

    Miss Pennsylvania 2022 Alyssa Bainbridge recently spoke at the United We Can luncheon to help raise awareness about mental health and substance abuse disorders. Her message is success doesn’t just happen. According to Bainbridge, people assume things come easy to others. “The reality is that I had to try four times,” Bainbridge said. “It took several years before I could achieve that dream (of becoming Miss Pennsylvania). With failures and setbacks along the way, I didn’t give up. I didn’t give up fighting. I used those times where I didn’t be...

  • 'What Goes Up Must Come Down': Lecture Series Continues

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Oct 26, 2023

    The second in an eight-part lecture series was presented at the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library earlier this month. Professor John Eicher continued his series on Modern Western Civilization (1500 to present) From Dawn to Decadence to Disillusionment. His presentation "What Goes Up Must Come Down" featured the period from 1750 to 1830, which includes the Enlightenment, Napoleon and the Romantic Movement. Building on the lecture series themes of abstraction, bureaucracy and control, which...

  • Farm-City Dinner to Honor Agriculture Community

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Oct 26, 2023

    The Blair County Chamber of Commerce and the Farm-City Committee will hold its annual Farm-City dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Freedom Township Fire Hall in East Freedom at 6 p.m. The evening starts off with a milk punch reception with the dairy princess. The family-style dinner will start at 6:30 p.m. Event Coordinator Jennifer Fleck said that every year at the dinner, the Farm-City Committee honors somebody with the Blair County Agriculture Community Excellence (ACE) Award. This year, they are posthumously honoring Stacy Hoover. The awar...

  • Bedford Chamber Recognizes Local Businesses

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Oct 12, 2023

    The Bedford County Chamber Annual Dinner and Awards Celebration took place recently at the Bedford County Airport. Chamber Director Kellie Goodman Shaffer said that the Chamber Awards Celebration is the Chamber's signature celebration of business of the Bedford County region. It is one of the two major award ceremonies; the other - the Hall of Fame - is held in spring for businesses that have been in business for 25 years or more. There are 16 fall awards. They are given for a variety of areas...

  • Canoe Creek Ranger: Park is for Everyone

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Sep 28, 2023

    Resource Ranger at Canoe Creek State Park James Effinger spoke recently during the history hour at The Hollidaysburg Area Library. Effinger focused on the park's ability to supply different enjoyment for different people. Different groups are coming that didn't come before. After a spike during COVID, the park saw less people, but they are now seeing more people than ever using the park for different things. For example, disc golf is extremely popular. There isn't a day at the park, where...

  • Former Steeler Speaks at 'United We Can' Opener

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Sep 28, 2023

    Former Pittsburgh Steeler Rocky Bleier spoke at the season opener of the United We Can Luncheon on Sept. 21 at The Casino at Lakemont. Bleier's message to the almost-capacity crowd was no matter what obstacles that you may face in your life, don't give up. Instead, find a solution and overcome. Bleier emphasized that it is easy to quit at times, but you never know when that turnaround point is going to be. Bleier said that he thinks that the biggest takeaway received should be to not giving up....

  • Altoona Basketball Court Honors Cove Native

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Sep 21, 2023

    Re-dedication of the Donald E. Witherspoon Memorial Basketball Court in Altoona took place on August 24. Witherspoon, a lifetime member of Blair County NAACP and longtime president, was born in Roaring Spring and graduated from Claysburg-Kimmel High School. He passed away on Dec. 26, 2020. The court was originally revitalized in 2011 under Witherspoon's leadership. Last year, the first dedication was held, and the court was renamed in his honor. This year, the re-dedication brings with it a new...

  • Blair County Sports Hall of Fame Announces Inductees

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Sep 21, 2023

    When the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame holds its 20th induction ceremony on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at The Blair County Convention Center, there will be five individual inductees and one team inductee. Artie Fink Jr. Artie Fink Jr. will be the first golfer and bowler inducted into the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame. "It kind of came as a shock. I am one of only three people in Blair County who has played in a USGA Event for Golf," he said. Fink won close to 100 tournaments, both...

  • Recovered Stolen Weapons On Display at Baker Mansion

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Sep 7, 2023

    It was a cold day in 1973 when Blair County residents opened their newspapers and discovered there was a story featuring the Baker Mansion and The Blair County Historical Society. Chairman of the Board for The Blair County Historical Society Jim Lowe said that normally, that would be a good day. However, that day, it wasn’t good news. The discovery was made that somebody had broken into the mansion the previous evening. Their mission was clear: they removed a number of valuable antique r...

  • Dr. Eicher Holding 'Entertaining and Unexpected' Lecture Series on Modern Western Civilization

    ERIC SHIELDS, Hollidaysburg Correspondent|Aug 31, 2023

    Dr. John Eicher, associate professor of history at Penn State Altoona and current US National Endowment for Humanities Fellow, will present an eight-part lecture series titled "Modern Western Civilization (1500-present) From Dawn to Decadence to Disillusionment" beginning Sept. 13 at the Hollidaysburg Public Library. This is a lecture series that covers all of what historians refer to as the Modern Era - the Reformation and the Renaissance in the 1500s up until the present. The series is meant...

  • Plummer Schokker Presents on Local Heroes

    ERIC SHIELDS, Hollidaysburg Correspondent|Aug 24, 2023

    Local historian Julia Plummer Schokker (shown right) presented an homage to the WWII veterans, the local heroes, both alive and those killed in action during the war. The presentation, which took place on Aug. 16, had a special focus on the memorials to WWII. This was the first part in a series of lectures covering multiple wars and multiple memorials. Plummer Schokker said there are so many memorials around town, and all you see on a memorial is a name, sometimes the unit and maybe the date tha...

  • African American Heritage Festival Held in Altoona

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Aug 3, 2023

    This year's African American Heritage Festival was held on Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30. This is the second year of the event after Paige Lightner reintroduced the festival last year. Lightner said that organizers put together a lot of educational entertainment as well as an African American Drum Ensemble, soul and funk bands, a children's corner and food trucks. Lightner explains the origins of the festival. "About 20-plus years ago, my father, godfather, Harriett Gaston and Rev. Paul...

  • Blair Co. Historical Society July Speaker Series Features Talk On Underground Railroad in Area

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Jul 27, 2023

    Community Historian Harriett Gaston spoke to a capacity crowd at the Railroaders Museum for the Blair County Historical Society's Speaker Series. She said that she was hoping to find, share and document the history of African Americans in this community of Blair County and beyond. "I want to show what I have found makes the evidence (of the Underground Railroad) that has been put out there before me." Gaston hopes that people will know that the underground railroad did exist in this county and...

  • Genealogical Society Hears from Genealogist on Her Ancestors from Ireland

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Jul 27, 2023

    Professional Genealogist Mary Kircher Roddy from the National Genealogical Society made a stop at July's meeting of the local branch. She talked about her research on the Bradley family, her ancestors. Rev James Bradley was pastor at St. Patrick's in Newry for 51 years, from 1832 to when he passed away in 1883. "I used him to figure out all about the siblings and where they came from in Ireland. I was really just interested in my great-great grandfather's brother. At first, I didn't know there...

  • RS Native Makes Sculpture Honoring Brian Morden Foundation, Families Dealing With Childhood Cancer

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Jul 20, 2023

    After the late Dawn Morden lost her son Brian to cancer, she established the Brian Morden Foundation in 2003. With this, she began Altoona Gold Ribbon Game at Mansion Park. At this game, everybody wears ribbons and raises money for families affected by childhood cancer. David Beach, a Roaring Spring native and owner of Fox Chapel Iron Works, was approached shortly after Dawn passed last June. "I actually never got to meet her," Beach said. "The board of the Brian Morden Foundation came to me...

  • County Mourns Loss Of Billy Sweet

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Jul 13, 2023

    Billy Sweet passed away at the end of June, and leaves behind a lifetime of service to Blair County. Sweet was an active fireman for over 45 years at Claysburg and vice president of the Blair County Chapter of the NAACP for many years. "He wore a lot of hats. He was a firefighter, VP for awhile, Fire Police Captain for while..." Travis Finnegan from the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company said. "The NAACP's successes in Blair County would not have been possible without the added contributions of...

  • County Mourns Loss Of Billy Sweet

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Jul 13, 2023

    Billy Sweet passed away at the end of June, and leaves behind a lifetime of service to Blair County. Sweet was an active fireman for over 45 years at Claysburg and vice president of the Blair County Chapter of the NAACP for many years. “He wore a lot of hats. He was a firefighter, VP for awhile, Fire Police Captain for while…” Travis Finnegan from the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company said. “The NAACP’s successes in Blair County would not have been possible without the added contributions of Bill Sweet,” NAACP Andrae Holsey said. Sweet’s son...

  • Central High School's Marah Goff Wins an Issac Award for 'Footloose' Performance

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Jul 6, 2023

    The Isaac Awards recognized Central High School at the annual awards ceremony that was held in May. Central's drama program was nominated for best dance for its title number "Footloose." Izzy Boyer, who played Rev. Shaw Moore, was nominated in the category of best featured actor. He was one of the leads of the show. He is a freshman. Freshman Marah Goff was nominated for and won best supporting actor in a female role for her role as Rusty. Rachel Wagner, director of Central's production of...

  • Blair County Genealogical Society Hosts Discussion on Highland Hall

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Jun 29, 2023

    Blair County Genealogical Society hosted a talk about Highland Hall at the May meeting. The hall is a good example of a public building created by a group of citizens who wanted to have a an educational institution. It has lasted for more than 160 years and it is still in use. Genealogical Society member and presenter Margaret Skriesath said that she hoped that the crowd understood the different uses of the building and how it continues to be an important place in Hollidaysburg. It all started...

  • Blair County Business Hall of Fame Induction Held on June 15

    ERIC SHIELDS, Hollidaysburg Correspondent|Jun 22, 2023

    On June 15, the Blair County Chamber of Commerce held their 2023 Business Hall of Fame and Awards of Distinction ceremony. This year, the two businesses inducted into the hall of fame were Greenwood Pools and Spas and Shoe Fly Stores. Greenwood Pools and Spas was started in 1960 by Clae and Norma Colyer. Clae wanted an in ground swimming pool in his backyard and discovered that there was no one in town to do this. Therefore, he did his research, found the materials and built his pool himself....

  • CACT Performs Clue

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Jun 22, 2023

    Claysburg Area Community Theater presented Clue on Friday, June 16, and Saturday, June 17, at the Claysburg-Kimmel High School auditorium. Director Maria Leppert said that the show is based off of the Parker Brothers board game. Viewers had to try to figure out who was the murderer as the bodies piled up. She said that the audience got a lot of laughs and they were able to use their detective minds to figure out who did it. "I think that it is important to keep the arts alive because it keeps...

  • Blair County's Fallen Soldiers' History Discussed

    ERIC SHIELDS, Hollidaysburg Correspondent|Jun 22, 2023

    Blair County's Fallen Soldiers were honored with a retrospective at the Railroader's Memorial Museum on May 17. James Lowe, chairman of the Board of Directors for Blair County Historical Society, talked about the veterans of Blair County from WWI through the War on Terror, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and never had the opportunity to enjoy the coming home celebrations and welcome home that so many other soldiers did. Lowe said that he has discovered that a lot of these...

  • Hoenstine Awarded Blair Co. Sports Hall of Fame Scholarship

    ERIC SHIELDS, Hollidaysburg Correspondent|Jun 15, 2023

    The Blair County Sports Hall of Fame held its 2023 Scholarship Luncheon on Wednesday, June 7. The two scholarship recipients were Jeff Hoenstine of Central High School and Lydia Worthing of Bellwood Antis High School (shown). Hoenstine left his mark not only on Central High School but in the Pennsylvania record books. He owns the state record for most career touchdown passes (146) and most career touchdown passes in a single season (57 in 2021). In total, he threw for more then 10,000 yards,...

  • Portage Railroad Subject Of Duncansville Historical Society Meeting

    ERIC SHIELDS, Hollidaysburg Correspondent|May 25, 2023

    The Old Portage Railroad was the subject of May’s meeting of the Duncansville Historical Society. Amateur historian Donald B Miller talked about the rise and fall of the Old Portage Railroad. March 21, 1824, a board of Canal Commissioners were appointed. Surveys of routes over the Allegheny mountains were completed in December 1824. In February of 1826 construction of “Public Works” were authorized by legislation. On Nov. 21, 1829, Civil Engineer Mencure Robinson reported on his survey. In 18...

  • Dinner Held for Distinguished Alumni of HASD

    ERIC SHIELDS, Hollidaysburg Correspondent|May 25, 2023

    The Hollidaysburg Area School District Alumni Association honored this year’s distinguished alumni at a dinner held on Feb. 11 at the U.S. Hotel. HON. STEPHANIE MARTZ 2023 Distinguished Alumnus The Hon. Stephanie Martz, a 1987 HAHS graduate, is the chief administrative officer and general counsel of The National Retail Federation, where her responsibilities include managing the organization’s in-house counsel department as well as NRF’s policy positions on a variety of issues such as payments and intellectual property. Martz came to NRF in 20...

  • Smith Presents for 'United We Can'

    ERIC SHIELDS, Hollidaysburg Correspondent|May 25, 2023

    The last United We Can luncheon of the year welcomed former professional basketball player Tyler Smith. Smith spoke about his basketball career that took him all over the world. However, his main goal was to try to share something positive with the young people who were in attendance. "There is so much negative stuff that we think, we feel and we absorb through our social media and our culture," Smith said. "I want to share with them, things are always going to be hard. Life is hard, but when...

  • Jake Webb Hall Of Fame And Museum Opened in the Name Of Bodybuilding Champion

    ERIC SHIELDS, Hollidaysburg Correspondent|May 25, 2023

    When Jake Webb looks around at the museum that holds his memorabilia and collection that showcases his career, the former bodybuilder sees more than that. "I have a chance to look at my life," Webb said. The Jake Webb Hall of Fame and Museum was opened this past October and is located on Rte 764 in Duncansville next to Progressive Martial Arts and Fitness Center. Owner Rocco Alianiello said, "I wanted to pay tribute to that man." Alianiello added that Webb was so far ahead of his time in...

  • Typhani Russo Presents at United We Can Luncheon

    ERIC SHIELDS, Hollidaysburg Correspondent|Apr 27, 2023

    Bookworms Against Bullies was the featured subject at the latest United We Can Luncheon. Author and Bookworms founder Typhani Russo (shown) shared her experiences with bullies. She also explained what bullying is and how to prevent it. Russo shared that she was bullied from a very young age. It started in elementary school around fourth grade. She said that it all started with the sideways glances and whispering behind her back. Every year, while in elementary school, it got worse. People began...

  • Off Pitt Street Theater Expands to Johnstown, Ready for Upcoming Events

    ERIC SHIELDS, Correspondent|Apr 6, 2023

    Off Pitt Street Theatre in Bedford is in the process of expanding its operations to the Johnstown area. “I happened to be in Johnstown last October,” Director Dawn Ziviello said. “I was in at a coffee shop called Classic Elements on Main Street and I struck up a conversation with a lovely lady named Michelle Adams not knowing that she was on the board of trustees of The State Theatre renovation project. We got to talking and a week later I met with the executive director of the project. We are moving toward becoming their resident theat...

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