The Hampton Inn along Pine Ridge Road near Blairsville

The Hampton Inn along Pine Ridge Road near Blairsville offered a special message in the hotel’s window to truckers, travelers, visitors and others who keep the economy moving, according to Tiffany Fetterman, director of the sales, who said the hotel is “located at the gateway of Indiana County.”

Blairsville-Saltsburg School District is supporting area first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic with Personal Protective Equipment devices issued on 3-D printing equipment.

District administrators authorized Blairsville elementary teacher Linzie Strong to reach out to fire chiefs at Black Lick, Blairsville, Iselin-West Lebanon and Saltsburg departments to gauge their needs.

Superintendent Jeffrey T. Soles praised Strong as an example of teachers who “not only provide high-quality education for our students, but go the extra mile in supporting our community during these challenging times.”

Strong worked with Lori Baker, middle-high school counselor at the Saltsburg campus, to produce 78 devices, 24 each for Blairsville and Iselin-West Lebanon, 18 for Black Lick and 12 for Saltsburg.

District officials said the work required a commitment of two hours plus to print each face shield frame, along with the final assembly process requiring approximately five minutes.

Strong has been involved with the “Indiana County COVID-19 Avengers” group.

That group was organized and initiated by Brad Adams at Homer Center School District but includes members from the across the county, including both educators and community members with access to 3-D printers.

Funding came from a GE Initiative grant issued by the global GE Additive Education program, a five-year, $10 million effort focused on science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM education — with an eye toward building an ecosystem for additive manufacturing using 3-D printers.

“As a part of the grant, the district was awarded Monoprice Voxel 3-D printers plus the essential Polar Cloud premium account connecting the hardware to software,” said Regina Geesey, district director of student services.

“Also contributing to this process was Texas A&M Engineering department who provided the Autodesk Design CADD program for the face shield head gear through THINGIVERSE.com.”

There also was support from Burrell Township-based National Center for Defense Machining and Manufacturing as well as its America Makes operation based in Youngstown, Ohio.

“This is a clear demonstration of the good works that can occur when relationships between education and industry work collaboratively,” Soles said.

CAMP CADET CANCELED

The Pennsylvania State Police announced cancellation of upcoming youth camps, which had been scheduled throughout the spring and summer months, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The list includes the 2020 Indiana County Camp Cadet program, which had been scheduled for July 19-25 at Camp Seph Mack in Penn Run.

“Camp Cadet, the Commissioner’s Honor Camp, and Sunny Day Camp have deep roots in our department and are a source of pride for the personnel whose hard work and dedication make them possible every year,” said Col. Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “This decision was made with the health and safety of all attendees, staff, and community partners in mind. We look forward to resuming the programs in 2021.”

Despite the cancellation, state Trooper Cliff Greenfield, who directs the Indiana County Camp Cadet program, said a graduate scholarship opportunity continues, as was approved last year by the local Camp Cadet board of directors.

He said it is intended to assist recipients who seek careers in law enforcement and community service-related fields. Up to 10 $500 scholarships will be offered.

Applications can be obtained at www.indianacountycampcadet.org. Deadline for completed applications is Friday.

Across the state, PSP volunteers coordinate dozens of youth camps and events each summer, including 27 weeklong sleepaway Camp Cadet programs, for children ages 12-15; a Commissioner’s Honor Camp, for outstanding teens selected from previous Camp Cadet attendees; State Police Youth Week, in partnership with the American Legion and National Guard; and 12 Sunny Day Camp programs, which are one-day events for children and adults with special needs or disabilities and their families.

MORE BARBECUE AVAILABLE

Operation BBQ Relief returns to the lower parking lot of the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex this afternoon at 4 p.m.

Salvation Army Indiana commander Capt. Denise Martin said 375 families will be served boxes that contain two frozen meals and an assortment of breakfast items.

Today’s effort is the second of four weekly giveaways planned by the local Salvation Army.

Operation BBQ Relief is partnering with the Western Pennsylvania Division of The Salvation Army as well as the state’s Emergency Feeding Task Force to provide the foodstuffs.