Here is a look at the top stories of local interest published in The Indiana Gazette during the week of Oct. 13-19.
SUNDAY, OCT. 13
The Indiana University of Pennsylvania football team, once ranked seventh nationally, was stunned, 42-16, Oct. 12 by Slippery Rock in a game where IUP gave up 676 yards of total offense, including 449 yards passing, both records against IUP. This weekend, the Crimson Hawks (5-2) lost again, 36-30, against Edinboro. The defense, which had been giving up just 6 points per game through the first five contests, have allowed a combined 78 points in the last two weeks.
MONDAY, OCT. 14
Local firefighters received a few lessons in fighting high-rise fires over the weekend at IUP’s McCarthy Hall. The training session was organized by the Indiana Fire Association, and instruction was provided by On Scene Training Associates and the New York City fire department.
TUESDAY, OCT. 15
Indiana Area School District Superintendent Dale Kirsch is recommending that the school district reconfigure its four elementary schools rather than close one and send the fifth-graders to the junior high school. Kirsch made the recommendation during a school board meeting Monday, suggesting that the school board narrow its focus to two specific scenarios. The board is expected to vote Oct. 28 on possible grade realignment.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 16
Real estate taxes in Indiana Borough will apparently remain the same in 2014 and there will likely be no increase in user fees to support next year’s general fund budget. Preliminary budget numbers show expenditures of $6,063,802 and revenues of $5,643,249. An anticipated $500,000 surplus at the end of this year will be used to balance next year’s spending plan.
THURSDAY, OCT. 17
A Harmony Area High School student was killed and three of her classmates were injured in a traffic accident Tuesday in Clearfield County. According to state police in Punxsutawney, the accident occurred at 3:41 p.m. as the four were traveling south on Westover Road in a pickup truck. Police said the driver was speeding down the road, and the truck crossed into the opposing lane. It then went off the road and struck a tree before rolling over twice. It was not clear who had been driving.
Three of the students, all girls, were flown to UPMC Altoona. A fourth student, also a girl, was taken by ambulance to the hospital. One of the four, who was identified as Autumn Mulhollen, 16, of Westover, died at the hospital.
FRIDAY, OCT. 18
For the first time since the formation of the state system, IUP is not the largest of Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities. That distinction has gone to West Chester University, whose enrollment surpassed IUP’s by nearly 850 students this fall. State system officials presented their annual systemwide enrollment tally at a board of governor’s meeting Wednesday. The tally shows that West Chester’s enrollment grew by 2.8 percent to 15,845 students. Meanwhile, IUP’s enrollment dropped 4.2 percent to 14,997 students.
SATURDAY, OCT. 19
Blairsville Borough is looking to expand its Elm Street district to include most of the borough’s eastern side, a move that would give residents in that area access to state money for exterior home improvements. As it is, residents who live to the east of the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks that cut the borough in two have been shut out of the faade improvement program — a condition of eligibility is that property owners must live in an Elm Street district. Blairsville’s Elm Street district now covers the western side of the borough, ending at the railroad tracks.