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Borough council honors local hero

| Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 8:17 a.m.
Deborah A. Brehun

Ligonier Borough Council presented a recognition plaque to one of two men who acted bravely last year when they stopped a gunman from firing additional shots inside a Ligonier bar in July 2011.

Kirk Haldeman, an insurance agent who lives in Ligonier was honored Monday night and praised for the act of courage. Michael Ledgard could not attend the meeting and will be recognized at a future council meeting.

“These two men are heroes in the true sense of the word,” said Robert Helterbran, council president.

Haldeman said he just couldn't think to do anything else at the time.

“My only thought was that I had to stop him.” said Haldeman.

The incident occurred when Stephen P. Fromholz, 41, of San Antonio walked into Fat Daddy's Place with an assault rifle following an argument and shot and killed Donald Holler, 65, of Cook Township.

Haldeman and a friend, Michael Ledgard, stopped at the bar to eat after their golf match was rained out. The pair rushed the gunman and held him on the floor until Ligonier Borough Police Chief John Berger arrived on the scene.

“I could not wait to be able to honor them,” said Chief Berger. “We just had to wait until the trial was over.”

Fromholtz was found guilty of first-degree murder in September and sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison.

“That individual was a dangerous man. He had knives, pistols and an assault rifle,” said Berger. “When he came back in the bar with the deadliest weapon, this gentlemen and his friend tackled him and held him on the floor causing a round to go off into the floor. They saved many lives that night.”

Ledgard could not attend the meeting and will be recognized at a future council meeting.

Council also recognized Charles Stahl for his many years of dedicated service to the borough and the community while serving as a school guard during football games.

“We just want to recognize him for what he has done for us,” said Berger.

Berger said he remembers Stahl serving as a guard when he was a young student at Ligonier Valley.

Stahl will also serve as parade marshal during the Fort Ligonier Days parade Saturday.

In other business:

• Council voted to table a decision to place a FedEx drop box at the corner of West Main and Walnut streets pending more information.

• Councilman Sam St. Clair said minor repairs will be completed to the Town Hall roof this year before winter, but noted other items needed to be addressed next year.

• Council is in the process of revamping the Fort Ligonier Days ordinance for 2013.

All departments involved in the Fort Ligonier Days said everything was in place with plans for a safe, incident-free event.

The borough will observe Halloween Trick-or-Treat night 5 -6 p.m. Oct. 31.

Deborah A. Brehun is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-238-2111 or