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Morgan, James A., 94, of Everett, died Wednesday at UPMC Bedford Memorial Hospital. Arrangements by Akers Funeral Home Everett. Obituary in Saturday’s edition.


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AP
Juul halts US sales of popular mint-flavored e-cigarettes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Juul Labs said Thursday it will halt U.S. sales of its best-selling, mint-flavored electronic cigarettes as it struggles to survive a nationwide backlash against vaping.

The voluntary step comes days after new government research showed that Juul is the top brand among high schoolers who use e-cigarettes and that many prefer mint.

“These results are unacceptable,” said the company’s CEO K.C. Crosthwaite, adding in a statement that the company must “earn the trust of society.”

Underage vaping has reached what health officials call epidemic levels. In the latest government survey, 1 in 4 high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the previous month, despite federal law banning sales to those under 18.

Under fire for its alleged role in sparking the vaping craze among teens, Juul has made a series of concessions to try and weather a crackdown from local, state and federal officials. It stopped selling popular fruit and dessert flavors in stores last year, and last month, stopped selling them online, too.

Earlier, the company replaced its CEO and pledged to stop advertising its products. For years, Juul has argued that its e-cigarettes are intended to help adult smokers switch to a less harmful nicotine product. But its early marketing campaigns were mainly on social media and featured young, stylish models. The company subsequently shuttered its Facebook and Instagram accounts.

After halting mint sales, Juul will only sell menthol and tobacco flavors. Mint and menthol accounted for nearly 60% of the company’s retail sales in the past year, according to data compiled by Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog.

Fruit, candy, dessert and other flavored e-cigarettes have been targeted because of their appeal to underage users. Federal health officials are expected to soon release plans for removing most vaping flavors from the market, and Juul has said it will support and comply with that government policy.

In September, President Donald Trump said the flavor ban would include mint and menthol flavors. However, no details have yet been released, leading vaping opponents to worry that the administration is backing away from its original plan.

Representatives for those groups immediately criticized Juul for not also pulling its menthol flavor.

“If they really wanted to keep the kids away they would also get rid of menthol,” said Meredith Berkman of Parents Against Vaping E-Cigarettes. “We hope the administration will understand that too — they should be taking menthol off the market.”

Mint and menthol have often been treated interchangeably by vaping researchers.

But a new study released Monday suggests menthol doesn’t have the same appeal as mint. The study found that mint was the most popular flavor among Juul users in 10th and 12th grades and the second-most popular among middle-schoolers. In contrast, less than 6% of teenagers across all grades preferred menthol. The study by University of Southern California researchers was based on a survey that included 1,800 Juul users.

Flavors have been banned from traditional cigarettes in the U.S. since 2009, except for menthol.

San Francisco-based Juul is the best-selling e-cigarette brand in the U.S.

The privately held company has been besieged by legal troubles, including multiple investigations by Congress, federal agencies and several state attorneys general. The company is also being sued by adults and underage Juul users who claim they became addicted to nicotine through the company’s products.

E-cigarettes typically heat a solution that contains nicotine, which makes cigarettes and e-cigarettes addictive.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


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Top of the Morning

Bedford Borough will begin the annual collection of loose leaves on Monday, weather permitting.

To facilitate collection by workers, most property owners and tenants should rake their leaves directly onto the edge of the street, adjacent to the curb/edge of the street. Only property owners and tenants whose lands are located near to and upstream of a stormwater catch basin or are located in an area prone to street flooding after severe rainstorms are to place loose leaves along the curbing/edge of the street but not on the street. Tree/shrub limbs, grass, flower/garden plants, rocks, blacktop, garbage, and rubbish, etc., should not be mixed in with the leaves as these items become lodged in the leaf vacuum hoses and cause unnecessary downtime. If bagging leaves, do not use plastic bags. Only leaves placed in recyclable paper bags will be collected. The public also is advised that it is illegal to burn leaves or any other material on the streets. Collection is to continue through Nov. 27, weather permitting.

The Municipal Authority of the Borough of Bedford said work will begin on the sanitary sewer improvements Monday.

Weather permitting, beginning Nov. 11 and continuing for approximately 10 months, work will begin to install the 2019-20 Water and Sanitary Sewer Improvement Projects. Motorists may experience traffic delays in various areas throughout the borough during the construction period. Vehicle operators should be alert to altered traffic patterns, construction equipment, and workers during the aforementioned times. For current information and updates, including construction schedules, areas of current construction and maps of the project areas, visit the Bedford Borough website at www.bedboro.com or Facebook page under “Bedford Borough – Bedford, PA.”


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Ed's marks 65th anniversary Sunday

Generations of faithful customers and employees have kept family-owned Ed’s Steak House a mainstay at the Bedford Interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike for more than six decades.

Now operated by the third generation of the McDevitt family, who founded the popular restaurant 65 years ago, Ed’s is celebrating its anniversary on Sunday.

In a display the family set up to mark the birthday, a guest sign-in book reflects the sentiments of 60-plus years of operation. Customers wrote that they’ve been longtime patrons and plan to remain so.

“A lot of stories like that — ‘I’ve been stopping here since I was a kid,’ ” said Kim McDevitt, paraphrasing customers’ comments.

She and husband, Jason, are the chief operators of the restaurant.

Jason’s parents, Tom and Kathy McDevitt, handed over the reins some years ago, but they still work at Ed’s: Tom three days and week and Kathy, two to three.

“I still work three days a week because I enjoy working with my son,” said Tom, who just turned 71.

Jason said there are plenty of challenges, keeping up with equipment and technology chief among them.

But aside from that, Jason, who graduated from Penn State with a degree in restaurant, hotel and institutional management, said the best part of operating the restaurant is simply the people Ed’s serves.

“It’s just being with all the customers and seeing them every day. And every day is so different so there’s never a boring day.”

The important cog in the operation is the staff, the McDevitts said.

In their display are photos of Doris Long, 22-plus years as a bartender; Diane Riegel, 27 years as a sever/hostess; and Patsy Turner, 35 years as kitchen manager.

“Lots of people who work here are over 10 years, and the people who work here are the biggest asset,” Jason said. “It’s all about the people that work here.”

“It’s definitely a team effort to do this every day,” Kim said. Ed’s employs more than 50 workers.

Ed’s was founded by Tom’s parents, Ed and Ruth McDevitt.

Ed’s first job was working for the chef at the Bedford Springs resort in the late 1930s or early 1940s. He would go on to other restaurant/food service endeavors.

Ed had owned the Town Tavern in downtown Bedford at the spot where the Landmark restaurant is today.

Tom, who had worked in the family business and earned a hotel, restaurant and institutional management degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, joined his dad as a partner in 1971. Three years later, Ed retired, and Sam Slick, who had joined the business as manager in 1960, became Tom’s business partner. The collaboration of the McDevitts and Sam and wife, Elizabeth, would last until Slick retired in 2000.

Through the years, celebrities have stopped, including Joe Paterno and his team on their way back from West Virginia.

There have been plenty of tales from the restaurant, but Kim said she is looking forward to hearing customers’ recollections Sunday during the official celebration.

“We’ll be on hand to hear any stories,” she said.

Jason’s hoping for a big turnout Sunday. Ed’s is offering most of its dessert menu for free with a purchased meal. Also, customers may enter a drawing for a $65 Ed’s gift card and children can enter to win a plush toy animal.

Ed’s will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday and is open each Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. each Saturday. The eatery is closed Mondays.


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AP featured
Secret Service study: School attackers showed warning signs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most students who committed deadly school attacks over the past decade were badly bullied, had a history of disciplinary trouble and their behavior concerned others but was never reported, according to a U.S. Secret Service study released Thursday.

In at least four cases, attackers wanted to emulate other school shootings, including those at Columbine High School in Colorado, Virginia Tech University and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The research was launched following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The study by the Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center is the most comprehensive review of school attacks since the Columbine shootings in 1999. The report looked in-depth at 41 school attacks from 2008 through 2017, and researchers had unprecedented access to a trove of sensitive data from law enforcement including police reports, investigative files and nonpublic records.

The information gleaned through the research will help train school officials and law enforcement on how to better identify students who may be planning an attack and how to stop them before they strike.

“These are not sudden, impulsive acts where a student suddenly gets disgruntled,” Lina Alathari, the center’s head, said in an Associated Press interview. “The majority of these incidents are preventable.”

The fathers of three students killed in 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, attended a media conference Thursday in support of the study.

Tony Montalto, whose daughter, Gina Rose Montalto, died, said the research was invaluable and could have helped their school prevent the attack.

“My lovely daughter might still be here today,” he said. “Our entire community would be whole instead of forever shaken.”

Montalto urged other schools to pay attention to the research.

“Please, learn from our experience,” he said. “It happened to us, and it could happen to your community, too.”

Nearly 40 training sessions for groups of up to 2,000 people are scheduled. Alathari and her team trained about 7,500 people during 2018. The training is free.

The Secret Service is best known for its mission to protect the president. The threat assessment center was developed to study how other kinds of attacks could be prevented. Officials use that knowledge and apply it in other situations, such as school shootings or mass attacks.

Since the Columbine attack, there have been scores of school shootings. Some, like Sandy Hook in 2012, were committed by nonstudents. There were others in which no one was injured. Those were not included in the study.

The report covers 41 school attacks from 2008 through 2017 at K-12 schools. They were chosen if the attacker was a current or recent former student within the past year who used a weapon to injure or kill at least one person at the school while targeting others.

“We focus on the target so that we can prevent it in the future,” Alathari said.

Nineteen people were killed and 79 were injured in the attacks they studied; victims included students, staff and law enforcement.

The Secret Service put out a best practices guide last July based on some of the research to 40,000 schools nationwide, but the new report is a comprehensive look at the attacks.

The shootings happened quickly and were usually over within a minute or less. Law enforcement rarely arrived before an attack was over. Attacks generally started during school hours and occurred in one location, such as a cafeteria, bathroom or classroom.

Most attackers were male; seven were female. Researchers said 63% of the attackers were white, 15% were black, 5% Hispanic, 2% were American Indian or Alaska Native, 10% were of two or more races, and 5% were undetermined.

The weapons used were mostly guns, but knives were used, as well. One attacker used a World War II-era bayonet. Most of the weapons came from the attackers’ homes, the investigators reported.

Alathari said investigators were able to examine detailed information about attackers, including their home lives, suspension records and past behaviors.

There’s no clear profile of a school attacker, but some details stand out: Many were absent from school before the attack, often through a school suspension; they were treated poorly by their peers in person, not just online; they felt mistreated; some sought fame, while others were suicidal. They fixated on violence and watched it online, played games featuring it or read about it in books.

The key is knowing what to look for, recognizing the patterns and intervening early to try to stop someone from pursuing violence.

“It really is about a constellation of behaviors and factors,” Alathari said.

The attackers ranged in age but were mostly young adults, seventh-graders to seniors. More than three-quarters initiated their attack after an incident with someone at school.

In one case, a 14-year-old shot a classmate at his middle school after he’d been mocked and called homophobic names. The attacker later reported the victim made comments that made him uncomfortable, and they were the final straw in his decision to attack. Seven attackers documented their plans, and five researched their targets before the attack.

Thirty-two were criminally charged, with 22 charged as adults. Most took plea deals. More than half are incarcerated. A dozen more were treated as juveniles. Seven killed themselves, and two were fatally wounded.

Alathari said the report shows that schools may need to think differently about school discipline and intervention.

The report does not weigh in on political topics such as whether guns are too accessible or whether teachers should be armed.

She said their goal is to make schools a safer place where no more attacks occur.


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Veteran entrepreneurs to be highlighted in tour

EVERETT — Ryan Decker said his new business, Last Line, actually began by happenstance when he made an olive green T-shirt that was actually a mistake.

The T-shirt actually became popular with those who saw it, and Decker began making similarly adorned hooded sweatshirts, jackets, hats and more.

The name for his new business comes from the military mindset: that it’s the last line of defense.

Decker’s soon-to-be-opened business at 108 E. Main St., Everett, and Black Valley Farm, 9048 Black Valley Road, West Providence Township, where Army Reservist Joe Capricci is interning through a program called “Troops to Tractors” will be stops on a tour conducted by Startup Alleghenies on Veterans Day to highlight the veterans who are starting their own businesses.

Startup Alleghenies, which connects existing and potential entrepreneurs with coaches to help them utilize economic development resources, will be touring a six-county area Monday to acknowledge veteran-owned businesses. The visits will be live-streamed to help highlight the contributions of veterans as entrepreneurs.

Debbi Prosser, director business-development for Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission, said veterans are making a significant impact on their economies through businesses they operate. Currently the commission’s entrepreneur coaches are working with 11 veterans who own startups.

Decker’s Last Line hasn’t officially opened yet but he has a storefront that is attracting customers.

At first he was making T-shirts, but when requests came pouring in for hooded sweatshirts and baseball caps, he had them made in bulk, he said. The word spread from there. For instance, he recently made “Volley for Vets” T-shirts for the Northern Bedford game against Claysburg-Kimmel.

The clothing is helping to support his personal initiative for veterans. He’s using a portion of the sales to support the building of “tiny homes” on his family farm in Fulton County where, with the help of Cogans’s Construction, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, may find a retreat.

“There was all that ground down there wasn’t doing anything,” Decker said. And in January, he came up with the idea to build small homes for veterans who gave so much to their country, he said. “It’s time to start treating people the way they should be treated.”

He also collects clothing at his store to give away free to others in need: clothing of all sizes, toys, and other items.

“I’ve had so much help from the community,” Decker said. He wanted to help others who have helped him daily with his PTSD and the “dark place” he was before he started his business.

“The apparel line came from a mistake I printed for one of my friends, and now I have a clothing line,” he said.

At Black Valley Farm, south of Everett, Joe Capricci is working through his paid internship through Troops to Tractors, part of the state’s Veteran Farming Project.

Farm owner Alana Foor has welcomed Capricci’s help as she attempts to run the farm and its product lines and raise four children. In fact, he will be crucial in the farm’s next step.

Foor plans to open up a shop on Main Street in Everett in the summer of 2020.

Capprici’s unique internship will end in August of 2020 but he will be a part of the operation of the shop — which will offer the farm’s pork, lamb and poultry products plus other items.

“Joe will continue to partner with me outside the program when it’s completed,” Foor said.

Black Valley raises industry-honored kunekune pigs as well as poultry and lamb, all raised on pasture in a sustainable manner. Foor also produces broths, handcrafted soaps and other niche items.

Foor said the farm has been able to benefit from Capprici’s training as an Army engineer, first on active duty, and now as member of the Army Reserves.

“You get to bring on another set of capable hands,” through the program, Foor said.

Capricci’s internship is 4,000 hours over two years. The state Department of Education signs off on the sites for the Pennsylvania Veteran Farming Project.

Trexler said veterans bring their unique training to a business such as discipline and the mindset that “failure is not an option.

“I think they make for a phenomenal entrepreneur, he added.”

Decker, a 2007 Everett Area High School graduate, was in the Air Force for six years, wanting to serve as his grandfather, Joe Foor, had in the Navy. A survival equipment specialist, he served one deployment in Qatar and taught land and water survival.

He was discharged in 2013 as a senior airman.

Now, he and his dog, Bubba, are sharing their store and their experiences with other veterans.

“They come into my shop and that’s the best kind of therapy. The veterans in this area, I can’t thank those guys enough,” Decker said.

As he gears up to open his doors, which should happen in the near future, Decker’s work to assist others with his donation center and “tiny house” initiative, have attracted the attention of a the Pennsylvania Academy of Physicians who chose him as the local nonprofit they will promote during their conference at Omni Bedford Springs Saturday. Decker will be selling his apparel and items through the day until about 8 p.m., he said.

“I can’t take any credit for it,” Decker said. “If it wasn’t for the community’s support, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. Everyone rallies around a good cause. I’m just the one doing it right now.”

For more information on Black Valley Farm, visit blackvalleyfarm.com. For more information on Last Line, visit the Facebook page. Decker plans to have an internet site, also.

To watch the Startup Alleghenies’ livestream of the visits Monday to regional veterans’ business operations, visit the agency’s Facebook page.