Category: Local News

Roads Detoured During Storm Clean-up

As many as eight trees fell in Applewold Borough as the result of the recent severe weather activity in central Armstrong County, causing an emergency closure of a portion of Allegheny Avenue and Hickory Street Tuesday afternoon.

by Jonathan Weaver

Portions of Allegheny Avenue to Hickory Street were shut down yesterday in Applewold Borough so tree cutting crews could rid the intersection of debris.

According to Borough Council President (and East Franklin Township Fire Chief) Mark Feeney, about a half-dozen or more trees of different age fell in the small community yesterday along the popular roadway and near the Borough building.

Because of the number of fallen limbs and debris, Feeney said there was not enough time for Council to vote on the cleanup efforts and radioed Armstrong County’s Emergency Operations Center about the emergency road closure yesterday afternoon.

Two-way traffic was to have been restored by evening.

Trees reportedly fell into structures in the small riverfront community as well as along Ferne Drive in North Buffalo Township. No residents were injured during those incidents, but it kept volunteer firefighters and municipal road crew workers and other crews busy yesterday afternoon.

As well as in Applewold Monday afternoon, volunteer firefighters also responded to trees and wires down in North Buffalo Township, West Kittanning and Plumcreek according to Armstrong 9-1-1. As many as 1,000 customers lost electricity during the afternoon storm.

Temperatures will continue to average about 90 degrees during the remainder of the work week, leaving the potential for severe weather.

Crime Watch Introduced to County K-9

County Sheriff Deputy Theresa Gipson answers community questions Tuesday as she talks a little about her new partner – German shepherd K-9 “Blak.”

by Jonathan Weaver

A handful of local residents met Armstrong County’s K-9 “Blak” in a comfortable setting last night.

“Blak” and his handler – Sheriff Deputy Theresa Gipson – made a stop at the Manor Area Crime Watch meeting to explain their impact on the surrounding community.

“Blak” – a German shepherd from Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville (Mercer County) – returned from six weeks of academy training with Deputy Gipson May 2. He has met with several groups and school children, as well as chased suspects, since.

Deputy Gipson said “Blak” is trained on tracking, narcotics (such as methamphetamines, cocaine and heroin) and patrol.

“We’ve done a lot of narcotics work so far,” Deputy Gipson said. “Patrol work, we’ve gone out a few times but everyone’s given up so far.”

Deputy Gipson explained “Blak” was trained in narcotic detection by playing fetch with two toys. He is a ‘passive indicator,’ which means if “Blak” detects drugs, he will sit or lie down and wait for his handler.

“Whenever he goes to the smell, he knows ‘My toy is supposed to be around here somewhere.’ He thinks it’s a game,” Deputy Gipson said. “I’m the only one he listens to.”

Crime Watch President Dean Hutchison initially invited Deputy Gipson to spark interest in the group, but also was impressed with what he learned about the team.

Ford City Police Officer Michael Greenlee also attended the monthly meeting and answered resident concerns – such as about a Suboxone clinic that opened in downtown Ford City last week.

Manor Township Supervisor Don Palmer also attended his first meeting and announced his intention to be more involved, as well as to possibly offer more local opportunities this Fall to increase membership.