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Web site ready for some snow

January 18, 2008
The Altoona Mirror
Some notes from around and about the Mirror newsroom to help keep you abreast of what we’re doing and what we’re trying to do:

When I was growing up in Johnstown in the mid-1960s, school postponements were strictly a radio event.

You rolled over, tuned into WCRO-AM and listened intently while Charlie Tuna presented the list of coveted information.

This was before television decided to create additional advertising revenue streams by inventing the morning newscast.

Now you’ve got the alphabetized “crawl,” immediately sponsored by, of course, Seven Springs.

That’s taken an audience chunk away from radio, which has been forced to become more entertaining with two-person teams. Right, Charlie and Steve? (I’d mention Rog if I didn’t have to mention Dick).

Getting to the point — trust me, there is one: The Mirror is getting into the snow cancellation update business.

We can’t do it in the paper, but area schools have been alerted on how to report their postponements, and we’ll post them on This includes postponements and cancellations determined the day before.

Just one more service from your full-service newspaper.


Ah, the memories

The mention of the 1960s and high school brought back this memory: Westmont dismissed its junior high and high school students at 12:30 p.m. every Friday.

Still does.


Curtain call

The final broadcast by WWCP anchors Jim Penna and Sherry Stalley, along with weatherman Travis Koshko, took place Jan. 11.

This hour-long tribute had to be unique in TV history.

The trio focused on the highlights of their days with the station, which pretty much spanned the entire 16 years the station’s news existed. It was a fun watch, save some of the gory murders that were selected for inclusion.

While Koshko is moving on to an opportunity in Virginia, Penna and Stalley are remaining in Johnstown, and they were particularly moved. Both needed tissues as they struggled through extended closes.

Most farewells of this nature come when an individual departs and are much shorter; the fact that the station’s news team is being replaced by WJAC counterparts and former competitors understandably made it all the more difficult.


It’s a fivesome

Last week, I suggested that the winner of a golf match between two of the candidates for the Democratic nomination for the 72nd District to replace Rep. Tom Yewcic — either Sinking Valley Club pro David Kuhar or Berkley Hills course operator Dave Gehlman — “advances to Harrisburg.”

It has been correctly pointed out by Republican candidate Chris Voccio that the Democratic survivor, by poll or match play, still would have to win the general election in November.

And to be complete, two other Democratic entries, Frank Burns and Nick Molnar, have since joined the Democratic race.


Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or His blog, ‘‘once a sports guy,’’ can be found on

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