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Altoona Mirror: Tuesday, January 2, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - January 2, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                Sports: Coverage of college bowl games Life: Robert Pennington named Man of Distinction Dl Copyright 2001 TUESDAY, JANUARY 2, 2001 newsstand Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett Kristian James Loalas was the first area baby born In 2001 at Nason Hospital, Roaring Spring. His par- ents are James Loalas (left) and Carrie Thompson. First 2001 baby born at Nason BY KEVIN OTT StaffWriter ROARING SPRING Carrie Thompson and James Loalas first met on the way to a New Year's Eve party before the clock struck midnight Jan. Exactly three years later, they rang in the first minutes of 2001 at Nason Hospital as Thompson gave birth to their first son. "We told him to wait until New Loalas said, laughing, after all was'said and done. Kristian James Loalas popped his tiny head into the world 22 minutes after midnight Monday. Kristian may just be the true millennium baby, since the 21st century officially starts in 2000, contrary to what last year's celebrations may have indicated. But more important to Carrie Thompson, and James Loalas'is the fact that they have a son. Kristian is their first child. The couple plans to have one or two more; they'd also like to have a girl. Siblings are important to both parents since Thompson loved growing up with brothers and sisters and Loalas had none but some- times wished he had. Besides being Blair County's first baby of the new mil- lennium, Kristian also has the benefit of being every moth- er's dream: His birth took just 15 minutes after just a few hours of labor. Thompson's contractions began early Sunday, but they were light and infrequent. Obstetricians at Nason told her she could go home until they became more pronounced. "We just sat around and she said. "Once he was ready, he came." through the holidays knowing they could have a baby at any minute had a surreal quality to it, said Loalas, who was still getting used to his new son Monday night. Family members have swarmed their home over the past few months with Christmas presents, baby gifts and New Year's wishes. "It almost seemed like it was a he said. "Sometimes it felt like we weren't even pregnant. It was too good to be true." Then they got to the hospital. Four hours and eight pounds later, they knew it was true. Now they have a hopeful future planned. "He's going to be a Philadelphia Eagles Kristian's mother said. "He's going to be a his father added. They say so because of Kristian's extra-large hands and feet, noticeably bigger than most newborns. They'll understand, though, if he wants to play for the Dallas Cowboys. "I'll forgive Loalas said, smiling. "He's my first son." Mirror Staff Writer Kevin Ott can be reached at 946-7457 or TMNSPORTATION Lawmakers in 'training Pennsylvania legislators travel to Europe to learn about high-speed rail's benefits Courtesy photo high-speed_rail train whizzes by a boarding station in Germany. State Rep. Rick Geist, R-Altoona, led his House Transportation Committee on a tour through Europe to observe the train's usage. Diary excerpts reflect train's speedy, yet smooth traveling One of the guests who traveled to Europe with state Reps. Rick Geist, R-Altoona, and Jerry Stern, R- Martinsburg, was Stern's son, Jason. While on the trip, Jason Stem kept a journal of his experiences and thoughts as he toured Europe at more Own 250 mph on some of the fastest trains on Earth. What follows are some excerpts of his journal in which Jason describes the trip, which he cart sum up in one word: "impressive." "Recently I was privileged to travel to several different coun- tries with an esteemed group of individuals to tour European high- speed rail. They say first impres- sions leave the most impact, and my first impression of these super- fast trains amazed me. "All of these high-speed trains were fast, yet smooth at the same time. Besides having a comfortable ride, these high-speed trams cut travel time down greatly." Day 2 "Around 10 a.m., we boarded the I.C.E. [Inter City Express] train from Frankfurt to Hamburg This is my first ride on a high-speed rail system. "The first thing that impressed me was the speed that the train was traveling and yet the ride was very smooth. Even at high speeds, my bottle of water that sat in front of me was not shaking at all. "Later that day we had the opportunity to tour the I.C.E. train shops. It was very interesting to see how many inspections and checks they make to ensure the safety of the passengers and people who live along the tracks." Please see AS How trains fly' Magnetic forces levitate the train above the track and propel it forward, faster than 240 mph. Train Guidance magnets keep train laterally on Levitation magnets attract the train toward the guideway. The train is pulled forward by a traveling magnetic field in the guideway. Sources: Transrapid; Atlanta and Chattanooga Maglev AP BY ROBERT IGOE Staff Writer State Rep. Rick Geist, R- Altoona, promises to contin- ue the fight to bring high- speed rail to Pennsylvania and to; see it benefit the Altoona area. Geist, who spent a week in Europe with members of his House Transportation Committee; returned with a glowing report ptt the progress being made in the the technology that millions of Europeans throughout the continent every; year can be successful in Pennsylvania. Before leaving for Europe, Geist made every member of the com-'; mittee ride an Amtrak train to show them what passenger rail is like in the area.'-' "Imade sure that most of my the Amtrak from PhiUijIelphia to Harrisburg so We! compare the two Geist said. "Those Amtraks just toss you all around. It's very uncomfortable and not very When compared with the Transrapid 08, a magnetic tion train that is the vanguard of German rail, Geist said it's easy to see the and off the train. "The ride itself was not the most he said. "The tech- nology is so awesome that you don't realize that the train is mov- ing so For the people there for the first time, it was impossi- ble to try to describe. Everyone in our trip left as visionaries. "The real thing tills time was not riding it. It was whe'n we went to the observation deck; it was misty and raining. The train comes at you, goes to your left, goes around a curve and.comes back on a straightaway, so you get to observe it here, and you walk across and three minutes later, it's here. "It comes at us going through the switch at 120 mph. When it. comes back around, it's coming past at 250 mph. Its the most awe- some demonstration of speed I caij imagine. You see it coming, then it's behind you. And when you're riding it, there's no feeling of Geist said. Geist said a passenger can place" a glass of water on.a table and notice no movement. State Rep. Jerry Stern, R- Martinsburg, who went with Geist, said he was equally impressed. "I was really Stern said. "My eyes were opened to the possibility of things that can hap- pen here in the field of transit. It was worthwhileta f. allowing us to see the and innovation of European senger transportation by rail. Please see AS INSIDE TODAY Seniors Mirror Because of the New Year's holiday, the January edition of Seniors Mirror appears in today's paper. This month's cover story deals with seniors who reap the rewards of volunteerism. Area musician realizes dream by playing with Yes drummer BY MICHAEL EMERY Stqff Writer It's not only God that works in mys- terious ways. Sometimes it's the rock 'n' roll gods, too. And when Joe Skyward is pulling the strings... well, the sky is the limit when it comes to mysterious ways, rock 'n' roll and just about anything else. Just ask Harold Hayford, an Altoona musician who climbed his stairway to rock 'n' roll heaven this Christmas season, thanks in large part to his old friend, Joe Skyward formerly known as Joe Howard when he attend- ed Altoona Area High School in the mid-1970s. As high school friends, Hayford and Skyward shared a love for music. After high school, they journeyed sep- arate paths pursuing their musical interests. Please see A6 Altoona musician Harold Hayford who plays keyboards and bass, poses with Yes drummer Alan White during a benefit concert in Seattle. Courtesy photo Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 8 Lottery numbers, A2 Cloudy, chance of flurries, Forecast, C2 Altnnna Mirror THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of Ml BROll C1.ASSIFIEDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) Hospitals Obituaries Opinion NFL Scoreboard A4 AS AS A3 QJNHMN Classifieds C3-8 I Comics D5 i Community news D2 Puzzles Television D4 D4 NO STOCKS Because of the New Year's Day holiday, the stock markets were closed Monday. Look for Tuesday's trading results on the business page inside ,v Wednesday's Minjf.   

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