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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Saturday, July 14 2001

Name (and other) changes

Plant Closes Jeff Papalia has announced that Carol Ann, an apparel manufacturing plant he operates in Hastings, is closing permanently. Jeff is the grandson of the couple who operated the former sewing factory on Johnson Street in Nanty Glo. That plant closed in the mid eighties. Jeff and his father, Joseph Papalia, closed Jo-Ann Apparel in Ebensburg in 1993. All three plant closings are blamed on cheap foreign imports.

Name Changes Bob Simmers retired in the mid-'90s and sold his Ford Dealership on Chestnut Street in Nanty Glo. The new owners changed the name to Freedom Ford and continued at the Chestnut Street location until summer of 2000, when they moved to a brand new facility on Route 22 across from the Ebensburg Municipal Airport. (Webmaster's note: A Nanty Glo source reports that under company policy, Ford Motor Company required the move from "in-town" to "highway" before it would approve the franchise sale, giving Freedom Ford two years to complete the move after taking over. Other auto manufacturers also now prefer that dealerships be on major highways and impose similar conditions on franchise sales.)

What we used to know as Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital (CMVH) is now referred to as Memorial Medical Center. This name applies only to the campus on Johnstown's Franklin Street. As Jon reported, they did acquire Mercy/Good Samaritan Hospital. Windber and Meyersdale Hospitals have also been taken over and a number of outlying clinics opened, including the Ebandjieff Clinic in Nanty Glo. The entire network is called Conemaugh Health Systems. Incidentally, Doctor Michael Tatarko, director of the Ebandjieff Clinic, is a Blacklick Valley graduate and resident of Twin Rocks. Doctor Christopher Post, who also has Nanty Glo ties,,is on the clinic staff.

Memorial Medical Center recently under went a $21 million expansion on the property between the old facility and the Mercy/Good Samaritan Hospital, which it connects to via a skywalk over Osborne Street. Included in the expansion are a new emergency room and trauma unit that has a direct-access elevator to a heliport on the roof. Also new are state-of-the-art neo-natal unit and operating rooms. New parking areas are also part of the expansion. For additional information, click on http://www.conemaugh.org.

The former Lee Hospital on Main Street in Johnstown is now called UPMC Lee Regional. With the backing of the UPMC Health System, the downtown hospital can stay competitive with Memorial Medical Center. Like Conemaugh Health Systems, UPMC Lee Regional has outlying clinics. The closest one to Nanty Glo is in Ebensburg on Route 22. For additional information on UPMC Health System, click http://www.upmc.edu.

The former US National Bank, headquartered in Johnstown, recently changed its name to Ameriserv Financial. A Minnesota-based bank paid the Johnstown bank $300,000 so it could have exclusive rights to the name. Sharing the same name kept both banks from expanding beyond their local areas. An employee of Ameriserv reports that they hope to eventually have online banking.

Laurel Bank changed its name last year to PromiseStar Bank, accompanied with a costly advertising campaign. Now the news has come out that a Naples, Florida based bank has applied to takeover the PromiseStar Bank. If the regulating commissions approve this takeover, what was the Laurel Bank, then the PromiseStar Bank, will be the FNB or First National Bank.

For some years, residents of Barnesboro and Spangler have been voting on whether to combine the two boroughs. Finally, two years ago, a majority of citizens in the two communities voted to approve the merger. The name Northern Cambria, which is the name of the local school district, was chosen to identify the new town.

Those of us who date back to the early days of television remember that WFBG in Altoona and WJAC in Johnstown were our only choices for commercial television viewing. Several years ago, WFBG changed its name to WTAJ. The station advertises the acronym "TAJ" to mean "television for Altoona and Johnstown."

Here's a trivia question: What was the original meaning of the acronym WJAC? Hint: the "A" does not stand for Altoona.

Brave man

Three guys were talking in the pub. Two of them are talking about the amount of control they have over their wives, while the third remains quiet. After a while, one of the first two turns to the third and says, "Well, what about you? What sort of control do you have over your wife?"

The third fellow says, "I'll tell you. Just the other night my wife came to me on her hands and knees."

The first two guys were amazed. "What happened then?" they asked.

"She said, 'get out from under the bed and fight like a man.'"

Sent by David Caldwell

Graduation Speech

They walked in tandem, each of the 93 students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt. Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and moms freely brushed away tears.

This class would not pray during the commencement—not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it. The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.

The speeches were nice, but they were routine. Until the final speech received a standing ovation. A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then he delivered his speech—a resounding sneeze. The rest of the students rose immediately to their feet, and in unison they said, "God bless you."

The audience exploded into applause. The graduating class found a unique way to invoke God's blessing on their future—with or without the court's approval.

(By Tim Wildmon—retold by Alice Gray)

Sent by Julie Mastersons

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