This week in history, January 13-19


It’s a new year and new things are happening. We value every story, whether it’s in the past, present, or future. That’s why we’ve put together a weekly segment featuring significant events WTAJ has reported on over the years. Watch what’s happening on This Week in History.

January 13, 1996: A giant blizzard sweeps through Pennsylvania, dumping over two feet of snow in our area.

Due to the weather, school is let out early in Cambria County. Beth Bodenshatz’s three children take the bus home to find that their mother has been shot to death while they were at school.

The murder has yet to be solved.

January 14, 2000: The second wave of one of the largest drug busts on record takes place in Centre County. The sting brings in around 17 mid-level and street cocaine dealers in the area.

It’s part of a 26-month-long investigation by the Center County Drug Task Force and the State Bureau of Narcotics, which leads to over two dozen arrests in total.

January 15, 1995: The Penn State-Altoona campus throws a large celebration for Martin Luther King Day.

It’s the first year that the day is recognized by Pennsylvania as a national paid holiday. His legacy is honored by the community through music, guest speakers and a re-creation of the famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

January 15, 2019: Penn State University takes another leap towards justice by releasing a five-year report of hazing incidents that have taken place on its main and branch campuses.

January 16, 2010: The Bair Foundation’s Blair County branch office opens its doors to children orphaned by the massive earthquake in Haiti.

January 16, 2014: Sheetz is named by Fortune Magazine as one of the top 100 places to work in the country. Sheetz credits the way it treats its employees.

January 17, 1999: The first day of 16-year-old Jessica Holtemeyer’s trial begins for the murder of her 15-year-old classmate, Kimberly Dotts.

Dotts was brutally beaten by Holtemeyer and a group of friends in rural Clearfield. Holtemeyer is later found guilty of first-degree murder.

January 18, 1999: Former Hollidaysburg resident Kimberly Hricko is found guilty for the murder of her husband, Stephen Hricko, in the first degree.

Hricko poisoned Stephen and set his body on fire during a Valentine’s Day getaway trip.

January 19, 1996: Snow that came from the blizzard earlier in the week starts to melt, causing massive flooding in Central Pennsylvania and other parts of the state.

January 19, 1998: One of the most devastating fires to hit the city of Altoona is started by arson, leaving over 22 residents in need of shelter.

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