5. Turkeyfoot bus accident
Robert Dodson Jr., 31, Duncansville, was killed and several students were injured during a violent collision between a tractor-trailer and a Turkeyfoot school bus March 14. The Pepsi truck was northbound on Route 281 in Middlecreek Township and crossed into the wrong lane, striking the bus head-on. Twenty-two students, bus driver Wilbert Kemp and teacher's aide Rich Edwards were on the bus. Six occupants were flown to Conemaugh Memorial Hospital in Johnstown and one student was flown to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Seventeen students were treated at Somerset Hospital and released.
On April 26 local emergency responders and representatives joined the Turkeyfoot school community in honoring students for showing admirable strength in the face of adversity.
6. Meyersdale council members charged
State police on April 10 charged six people for rigging bids for renovations to the former Meyersdale Community Building. On June 28 three former Meyersdale Borough council members and a contractor were accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for first-time offenders. They were: Franklin Edmunds Jr., Main Street; and Patricia Murray, Swan Point, Md., and Ricky Sechler, now deceased, formerly of Salisbury Street; and contractor Rodney Eugene Butler, Jackson Street, Garrett. The charges will be dismissed if each completes the ARD program.
All charges were dropped against former council member Thomas Deakins, Beachley Street, and Meyersdale businessman David Clapper, Duncan Street, both of Meyersdale.
7. Gamesa halts Shaffer Mountain wind plans
On June 12 Gamesa dropped a six-year fight for a Shaffer Mountain wind turbine farm. Dan Rosenberg, vice president of marketing and communications, said Gamesa permanently canned the proposal because of a combination of factors, including uncertainty surrounding federal policies. The announcement was cheered by opponents of the project, who organized shortly after the plans were revealed.