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(The Daily Herald/Joe Miller)  

For the fourth year in a row, the Tyrone Elks Club presented the Tyrone Area Food Bank with their ENF Gratitude Grant, designed to help local charitable activities. Jean Bressler, the Food Bank Treasurer, explained that the Tyrone food bank is one of the only area banks in operation during the summer. Pictured here presenting the check for $2,500 is Elks Officer Tyler Lucas (left) and Officer Dan McClain (right). Pictured center are Bressler and the food bank director, Jack Hoffer.

Council members honor local heroes, new and old

Members of the Tyrone Borough Council held their monthly council meeting last night, Aug 12, and heard a variety of public comments that ranged from honoring a 20 year old winning tradition to fund allocations and an ongoing debate over the Tyrone Hospital. Even before the meeting was called to order, however, the room was treated to a unique demonstration.

Tyrone’s new K-9 officer, Getro, and his handler, officer Traci Winters, preformed a demonstration to open the meeting. Before bringing the K-9 officer in, Tyrone Police Cheif John Romeo entered the council chambers and hid a jar filled with possible drug paraphernalia. The jar was hidden in the room and when Getro was brought in, he immediately went to work. Due to the humidity and heat, the rooms air conditioners and fans were working full tilt, giving the K-9 officer a bit of a challenge, but even through the swirling scent, Getro managed to find his target.

Knocking over the jar on multiple occasions, Getro got officer winters to the general area and indicated that there was something of interest. Officer Winters took over from there and explained that even through a draft, Getro had given them more than they needed. Based on the dog’s expertise, officers would be able to receive a search warrant, making their jobs easier.

After the demonstration, Officer Winters explained some of the logistics behind Getro’s training and how the K-9 unit will continue to evolve throughout his life. According to the officers, the average career for a K-9 unit is nine years and after two years, the department will be able to get him his own vest. Winters explained that the dog is still growing and waiting is necessary to ensure the exact fit.

After Getro’s exit, the meeting was called to order, the Pledge of Allegiance was said, and the Invocation was given by Pastor Peter Dittman. From there, roll call was taken and the meeting shifted to public comments.

Moving from a current hometown hero to a team that etched their names on the town forever, public comments began with a presentation by former high school football coach, Chuck Banas. Banas attended the meeting to ask Mayor William Latchford to take part in a celebration of 1999 PIAA State Champion Football Team, the Tyrone Golden Eagles.

Banas explained that this year marks the 20 year reunion of that undefeated season and told council members that they are pulling out all the stops for the celebration. Banas continued, at the August 30 Football game, there will be a special half time celebration that will include almost the entire team. Short of a few players who have current military obligations and members of the coaching staff with health issues, the whole team will be on the field at half time.

In his statement, Banas detailed the process of contacting the team, explaining that ten years ago, the calls were met by players asking for spare tickets to bring their girlfriends along. Now, twenty years since the championship run, many of those girlfriends have become wives.

“Jessie Jones, the tailback that had the 92 yard touchdown run that saved us from coming home with another silver ball, instead we brought home the gold,” Banas told those in attendance. Continuing his story, Banas explained that Jones’s wife was also in attendance that day, only supporting the Mt. Carmel Tornados. Somehow, Jones managed to marry the wife of the Mt. Carmel head cheerleader, who was at the game and rooting against him on that fateful day in 1999. Apparently Jones didn’t only leave an impression on the Tyrone fans with that impressive sprint, as Banas explained that Jones had a rough time meeting the parents of his wife, “When Jessie called me and told me about the first time he went down to meet met his wife’s mother and father, they hated him.”

For some additional background, Banas also explained to council members that, in 1986 the PIAA decided to unify Pennsylvania’s football programs into one state championship for all classifications. In the 33 years since, Tyrone is the only public high school in all of central Pennsylvania to win a PIAA state championship in football.

Due to the unique nature of the victory, Banas was at Monday’s meeting on behalf of the football team to ask the council to order a proclamation, solidifying the team in the official town record. Banas told the Mayor and members of council that PIAA has already given their blessing and will allow extra time during half time for the celebration.

After gathering a brief consensus from council members, Mayor Latchford was quick to agree to speak at the event, telling the crowd, “Sounds good. We will get the proclamation together and we will read it that night.”

Banas also explained that the team has been invited to the Bull Pen after the August 30th game to gather and catch up. At the game, the Tyrone Golden Eagles will face off against the Central High School Scarlet Dragons. As always, kickoff will be at 7:00 p.m. at Gray Veterans Memorial Field.

Bull Pen has soft opening

On Saturday evening, the newly remodeled Bull Penn Restaurant and Sports Lounge sponsored an invitational soft opening to have people come in and see not only the newly remodeled facility, but also try out a portion of the items that will be appearing on the new menu.

Many people over the years have taken that all so familiar walk from the parking lot in front of the Bull Pen into the restaurant itself. Therefore, nothing from the time of leaving the car to walking to the front door of the Bull Pen seemed the least bit different.

Then the big change was first noticed as you entered into the main door of the Bull Pen. A completely remodeled and much brighter interior was the first thing that greeted people as they entered into the Bull Pen.

The wait staff and members of the Russell family, the new owners the Bull Pen, were on hand to both greet and seat individuals as they walked into the the front area. When coming in customers could obviously see the big difference in the inside area. This improvements went from the ceilings to the new floor coverings.

Once seated, visitors were greeted again by a very smartly dressed waitstaff and were provided a trimmed down menu that was being offered and utilized for the soft opening that night.

Shortly before 7 p.m., the seating areas throughout the Bull Penn were pretty much filled and and the conversation concerning the remodeling, the soft opening, and the food that was being served were all being well received by those folks that in attendance.

When speaking with the new owners, they are looking at having the official opening of the Bull Pen to occur in the very near future. Most likely, within the next week or so. Definitely in time for the beginning of this year’s football season.

The Russell family are the new owners at the Bull Pen and have made great inroads throughout Tyrone with the remodeling of the downtown area as well as bringing into this area many new opportunities for employment with the new businesses that they have been creating.

While walking around after finishing a very good meal, The Daily Herald had the opportunity to ask those in attendance what they thought of the evening, the event, the newly remodeled Bull Pen, as well as the menu, even through trimmed down as part of the soft opening. At least a half dozen guests afforded two thumbs up to everything that they had seen, heard, and of course eaten during their evening as invited guests of the soft opening.

Harry Sickler, who has operated the Bull Pen for many years, was all smiles as he sat at his table waiting to be served a plate of ribs that he had ordered as part of the soft opening. “I am very happy tonight. I am looking forward to trying the ribs and also so happy that the Bull Pen will continue to be here in Tyrone for many more years to come,” Sickler said.

There will be additional information released by the new owners of the Bull Pen in the upcoming days. This information will include the date of the official opening of the Bull Pen and the newly established hours of operation as well. Look for the ads that will include all of this updated information in upcoming additions of The Daily Herald.

Tyrone man arrested on County Bench Warrant

Ryanlee Mitchell Bowman, 30, of Tyrone, was picked up and arrested by Tyrone Borough Police in the area of W. 10th Street and Washington Avenue. Tyrone Police were aware of the fact that Bowman had a County Bench Warrant issued for his arrest from Blair County for failure to appear for a preliminary hearing that was to be held before Magisterial District Judge Fred Miller in Tyrone. Police made contact with Bowman and confirmed that the bench Warrant was still active.

At this time, Bowman was arrested, searched, and was found to be in possession of suspected crystal meth, along with drug paraphernalia. Bowman was transported to the Blair County Prison by Blair County Sheriff’s Department on the County Bench Warrant.

Tyrone Police then filed additional charges on Bowman for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia through Magisterial District Judge Miller’s office in Tyrone.

The Blair County Bench Warrant was requested by MDJ Miller, due to the fact that Bowman had failed to appear for his preliminary hearing that had been scheduled before MDJ Miller.

According to the official police affidavit of probable cause, which was originally filed by Hollidaysburg State Police, Bowman was charged with the following crimes. That Bowman did possess, or use, with intent to use, drug paraphernalia, namely two hypodermic needles, one digital scale, one spoon, one clear glass pipe, and two plastic tubing pipes, for the purpose of planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packing, repacking, repacking, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance; DUI controlled substance, DUI alcohol or controlled substance; driving while operating privileges were suspended or revoked due to DUI; careless driving; fail to use safety belts for operator or front seat passenger.

The charges filed by the Hollidaysburg State Police resulted from an incident that occurred on May 19, when police responded to a report of two males passed out in a vehicle in the parking lot of Jean-o’s Pizza on East Pleasant Valley Blvd., Tyrone. One of the persons passed out was Bowman, who was seated behind the steering wheel of the vehicle. After several attempts, police were able to wake Bowman up, who at the time was confused and having trouble understanding what was going on. Bowman had difficulty keeping his eyes open and was unable to answer simple questions. Bowman did not know where he was and was slobbering.

At one point, Bowman told police that he was under the influence of the suboxone he had consumed prior to driving his vehicle to the current location. At this point, police indicated that Bowman was being aggressive and was not following commands. He was easily agitated and stated that police needed to let him go. At one point, Bowman allegedly tried to walk away from police.

At this point it was decided that Bowman would be placed under arrest and transported to UPMC Altoona for testing. Bowman was provided his chemical testing warnings once at the hospital and he agreed to submit to the test.

According to the official police affidavit of probable cause, on June 10, the official lab testing results were received by State Police. These results indicated the presence of the following: amphetamine, methamphetamine, lorazepam, and norbuprenorphine.

When Bowman failed to appear for his preliminary hearing, a hearing was held in his absence with all of the charges listed above were then held for court. The County Bench Warrant was then issued for Bowman.

Bowman is currently out on bail and awaiting his upcoming preliminary hearing on the above charges.

Portions of the information contained within this article were taken directly from the official affidavit of probable cause that were filed by the Hollidaysburg State Police.