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Elizabeth Coyle / Gazette Photo/Elizabeth Coyle  

Richelle Collins of Pitt Street in Bedford, talks with her her 2-year-old son, Kal, as work continues Wednesday morning to tear down Bedford Fire Department’s station on West Penn Street, where the department eventually will see a 12,000-square-foot fire station.

Historical society prepares for Schellsburg Salute

The Schellsburg and Old Log Church Historical Society is getting ready for this year’s “Schellsburg Salute.”

The event will be at the Schellsburg Community Park on May 18 at 1 p.m., and will mark the second year of the Hometown Hero Banner Program.

The program started last year with 16 banners that honored 17 area service members or emergency responders. The banners have been have been hanging from selected light poles on Pitt Street in the borough.

Fourteen of those banners have been sponsored for another year and will remain in place. This year, 12 new banners will be hung.

The banners were purchased and sponsored by area individuals, families or groups to pay homage to those men and woman, deceased or living, who have dedicated so much for the community and the country. When the banners are taken down, they will be cleaned and returned to the purchasers.

This year banners will be hung to honor: Andrew Mowry of Schellsburg who is serving in the Air Force; Charles I. Bax (1897-1978) of Schellsburg, who served in the Canadian Corps during WWI; The Diehl Brothers, Robert W. “Bob,” who served in the Navy during WWII, Charles E. “Chap,” who served in the Army during WWII, Paul E. “Beet”, who served in the Army during WWII, James A. “Jim,” who served in the Army during WWII, and Stanley R. “Peewee,” who served in the Army during Korea; Harry Shimer Wayde of New Paris, who served in the Army during WWII; Jamie Boyd Ling, Sr. of Schellsburg, who served in the Marines during Vietnam; Lee E. Ellenberger, “Junior” of Schellsburg, who served in the Army during WWII and Korea; Ronald G. Gilbert of Johnstown who served in the Army during Vietnam; Sgt. Donald Phillip MacGregor from Fishertown, who served in the Marine Corps from 1955 to 1959; First Fire Truck 1955, Honoring Shawnee Valley Volunteer Fire Company and Community Auxiliary; Walter V. Weyant of Cessna, who served in the Army during WWII; William H. Dull, Sr. of Manns Choice, who served in the Army during WW II and Korea; William E. (Bill) Fenstermaker of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, who served in the Army during WWII.

The Hometown Hero Banner Program is a national movement being adopted by many communities. Stephanie Hills, secretary of the Schellsburg & Old Log Church Historical Society and banner program coordinator, said, “I am truly moved by the community involvement, from the sponsoring of the banners themselves, having volunteers to put them up, and generally connecting with excited and hardworking people to accomplish our goals.”

Judy Harrison, who sponsored her father, James Griffith’s, banner said, “I’m so proud of my dad and all his service that I definitely want his banner to continue to hang. I see that banner every day.”

Hills said that benefits of the program have been: “community pride, respect for those who have served and volunteerism and unity.”

“Many people not honoring a hero have assisted in one way or another to make the program and the ceremony successful. It is so hard to name all of the people, but even one person connecting me to another person who can assist or may be interested in speaking, or can play music ... the list goes on and on,” she said.

Hills added that numerous visitors have commented on how much pride the town’s banners display and how the program had brought various organizations that work to promote and benefit Schellsburg and surrounding areas together to support each other’s organizations.

At this year’s ceremony, along with the individual tributes, the Fort Bedford Honor Guard will participate, the Fishertown Community Band will provide patriotic marches, and John Topper will sing some of his favorite patriotic music. Those attending are asked to bring lawn chairs and are also reminded that parking is limited in the lot at the park. Light refreshments will be provided.

In the event of inclement weather, the “Schellsburg Salute” will be held indoors at the Shawnee Valley Fire Hall.

Suit: Practice, hospital covered for pedophile pediatrician

A Cambria County pediatric practice knew that one of its physicians was a threat to molest young patients but did nothing to protect them, and in fact took steps to shield the longtime staffer before he was finally arrested and pleaded guilty to sexually abusing dozens of children, according to a civil suit filed Wednesday.

Laurel Pediatric Associates in Johnstown knew at least two decades ago that Dr. Johnnie Barto’s patients were in “serious danger,” but continued to allow him to treat — and molest — children, explaining away parents’ complaints about his sexual misconduct, the suit said.

Barto, 71, was sentenced in March to an effective life term for sexually assaulting 31 children, most of them patients. Prosecutors said he spent decades abusing patients in the exam room of the pediatric practice.

Five former patients of Barto, including two sets of siblings, are seeking unspecified money damages from Barto, Laurel Pediatric and Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, a hospital where he had privileges.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said they represent nearly 40 former patients of Barto, and they said the number continues to grow. More lawsuits are planned.

“We’re really just getting started,” said attorney Sarah Klein, a former gymnast who was one of the first known sexual abuse victims of former national team doctor Larry Nassar. “There’s a massive problem in the medical community here and in other places, and we’re going to insist on change that makes children safe.”

A woman who answered the phone at Laurel Pediatric said “no comment” and hung up. In a statement, Conemaugh, which is owned by Tennessee-based Duke LifePoint Healthcare, called Barto’s conduct “reprehensible” but noted he wasn’t an employee. “We dispute any allegations of wrongdoing on the part of DLP Conemaugh Memorial,” the statement said.

State authorities had a chance to stop Barto in 2000, when he appeared before the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine on administrative charges that he molested two young girls in the 1990s. But regulators threw out the case and allowed him to keep practicing medicine, saying the allegations were “incongruous to his reputation.”

Barto was a beloved pediatrician in Johnstown — and an elected school board member — with hundreds of supporters who refused to believe he was a pedophile.

After the medical board cleared him, Barto felt “invincible,” he later told authorities. Barto went on to violate at least a dozen more young patients before his arrest in January 2018.

Given the allegations, Barto’s colleagues were “on notice that Barto presented an unreasonably high risk of harm to his minor patients, and yet through silence, acquiescence, denial, and misrepresentation they failed to act in any way to protect Barto’s minor patients,” the suit said.

Two of the health providers who allegedly minimized patients’ complaints about Barto — pediatrician Dr. Elaine Confer and nurse practitioner Bradley Callihan — still work at Laurel Pediatric, according to the practice’s website.

After Barto molested an 8-year-old girl and her 10-year-old brother at Laurel in October 2016, the suit said, the children’s mother confronted Confer, their regular pediatrician. Confer “confirmed that she had been informed previously about Barto’s inappropriate conduct with children,” and promised “they would speak with him again about his ‘odd bedside manner,’” the suit said. The suit said Confer did nothing.

Nearly a decade earlier, Barto, Callihan and an unidentified office manager met with the parents of a 16-year-old girl who had accused Barto of performing unnecessary breast and genital exams. The suit said Callihan and the manager claimed Barto was merely being “thorough” and that the girl’s parents would be “singing (Barto’s) praises if he had discovered a lump.”

Messages were left at home phone listings for Confer and Callihan seeking their comment on the allegations.

J. Scott Applewhite  

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., leads his panel on a hearing about executive privilege and congressional oversight, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Man dies in Broad Top Twp. farming accident

A Broad Top Township man working on farm equipment was crushed Wednesday afternoon after it fell on top of him.

Bedford County Coroner Rusty Styer said he was dispatched to the Six Mile Run residence on Longs Run Road, where he pronounced Robert E. McCartney III, 68, dead at 2:47 p.m. of asphyxiation due to crushing injuries.

A call was received to 911 at 1:18 p.m. for the farming accident. Six Mile Run ambulance responded along with a medic from Hollidaysburg ambulance’s station in Martinsburg.

Styer said McCartney was working on a brush hog, hooked to a tractor. McCartney had been working under the brush hog when a jack kicked out, Styer said.

The coroner said McCartney suffered crushing injuries to his upper torso. The manner of death was ruled accidental, Styer said.

Top of the Morning

Traffic will be restricted on West Street in Bedford Thursday morning.

Bedford Borough said traffic will be restricted to one lane between Pitt and Penn streets from 8 a.m. until noon due to construction and work by UGI. Motorists are asked to use caution in the area during construction.

Shawnee State Park will host the “Magically Electric Show.”

The show will be 7 p.m. May 26 in the Historic and Interpretive Center located in the main office. The free presentation will highlight the issues, technology and stumbling blocks of dealing with electricity. For information on park programs, call Outdoor Programming Services at 733-4892. If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, contact the park office.

The Bedford Elks 73rd 73rd annual Youth Fishing Rodeo will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. June 6.

The fishing event will be held at the Bedford Elks. It is open free of charge to children ages 5 to 12. Registration begins at 5 p.m. There are four age groups — 5-6, 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12. Children should bring rods and bait. They must be accompanied by a parent or adult age 18 or older. Prizes will include fishing and sports equipment. Coupons for treats will be handed out. For more information, call 623-9714, ext. 307.

Bedford County Humane Society will host the annual Furrie Scurry on Sunday.

The walk will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Dr. William R. Newman Adoption Center, 182 Bohn Road, Bedford. Donation is $15 per walker. Dogs must be leashed. Prizes will be awarded for individual and team fundraising. Refreshments will be provided. Registration form is available online at Call 623-8968 in advance to walk a shelter pet.

AP featured
Less fat, more fruit may cut risk of dying of breast cancer

For the first time, a large experiment suggests that trimming dietary fat and eating more fruits and vegetables may lower a woman’s risk of dying of breast cancer.

The results are notable because they come from a rigorous test involving 49,000 women over two decades rather than other studies that try to draw health conclusions from observations about how people eat.

Healthy women who modified their diets for at least eight years and who later developed breast cancer had a 21% lower risk of dying of the disease compared to others who continued to eat as usual.

However, that risk was small to start with and diet’s effect was not huge, so it took 20 years for the difference between the groups to appear. The diet change also did not lower the risk of developing breast cancer, which was the study’s main goal.

Still, doctors say the results show a way women might improve their odds of survival.

“Patients are eager for things that they can do,” said Dr. Jennifer Ligibel of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. “It really suggests that changing your diet, losing weight, exercising, could actually be a treatment.”

She had no role in the study, led by Dr. Rowan Chlebowski of Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He gave results Wednesday in a telephone news conference held by the American Society of Clinical Oncology ahead of its annual meeting later this month.

“We need to take this very seriously” because of the quality of the study, said Dr. Lidia Schapira, a breast cancer expert at Stanford University and spokeswoman for the oncology society. “What we eat matters.”

The results come from the Women’s Health Initiative, a big federally funded study that previously overturned longtime advice on hormone therapy for menopause symptoms.

The diet part of the study enrolled 48,835 women ages 50 to 79 without breast cancer in the 1990s. At the start, they were getting one third of calories from fat. One group was given regular counseling sessions and told to limit fat to 20% of calories and to eat more vegetables, fruits and grains. The rest continued their usual eating habits.

The group aiming for low fat missed the target, but cut fat intake to 24% after one year and about 30% after eight years — still lower than where they started. Fat intake in the comparison group stayed about the same.

The study previously showed that there were fewer deaths from all causes among women in the lower fat group who later developed breast cancer. Now, after 20 years, there’s also a difference in deaths from that disease. However, only 383 women died of breast cancer, so the benefit in absolute terms was small.

Was it trimming fat or increasing vegetables, fruits and grains that helped?

“Diet is complicated. If somebody is eating more of one food, they’re eating less of another,” and it’s hard to say which change is doing what, Ligibel said. Eating too many starchy foods isn’t good either, and researchers now know that the type of fat matters, and that some fats such as olive oil are better than others.

“Our view of diet has evolved since this study was designed,” she said.

Ligibel is leading a study to see whether losing weight improves survival for women with early-stage breast cancer. Chlebowski is working on another study to see whether women who are obese or have certain other health risks get the biggest benefit from trimming dietary fat. Results from this study suggest they might.


Marilynn Marchione can be followed at @MMarchioneAP


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.


(Obituary on Page A7)

Cottle, Carla Jean, 81, of Raystown Road, Hopewell, died Tuesday at UPMC Altoona. Obituary in Saturday’s Gazette. Arrangements by Akers Funeral Home Inc., Everett.

Kyper, Michael C., 69, of Adamsburg.