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Altoona Mirror: Wednesday, January 3, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - January 3, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                Sports: Hurricanes down Florida in Sugar Bowl Life: Vegetarian dishes offer change of pace Dl Copyright 2001 Cambria sewer project on tap Reade, White townships will create an authority to oversee large sewage plan. BY WILLIAM KIBLER StaffWrUer FLINTON Reade and White townships will form a joint authori- ty tonight to administer creation of a sewer system to serve eight Northern Cambria County villages in the next few years. At a 7 p.m. meeting in Glendale High School auditorium, the town- ship supervisors will appoint three members from each municipality for a project that will alleviate pollution and encourage development around Blandburg, Glasgow, Hollentown, Van Ormer, Fallentimber, Flinton, Fiske and Beaver Valley. The project. will clean up Clearfield Creek, which runs between the township and is too contaminated to support life because of seepage from faulty sep- tic systems and direct sewer dis- charge, as well as acid mine drainage, White Township Supervisor Tracy Plessinger said. In allowing development now stymied because of poor soils mak- ing it hard to get septic permits, the system will add taxable homes and businesses to municipalities burdened with untaxable state park and gamelands. White Township has Prince Gallitzin State Park and both municipalities have gamelands, Plessinger said. It also will let young people build homes and start families in the area where they grew up, Plessinger said. The supervisors from each town- ship will appoint one member from each board, plus two other citizens from each municipality to create a six-member authority. Construction could begin in two years and take about a year if everything goes right. The authority will get about 60 percent of the money it needs through grants and the rest through low-interest loans through the Rural Utility Service, formerly Farmer's Home Administration. Please see A8 IF YOU GO What: Reade and White townships supervisors meeting to create a joint sewage authority When: 7 p.m., tonight Where: Glendale High School auditorium WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2001 newsstand Mirror illustration by Tom Wortrtington by Gary M. Baranec Council President Eva Wargo (left) and Mayor Gennaro Cantalupo stand next to the Northern Cambria sign on Route 219. Consolidated Northern Cambria getting along just fine one year later BY MIA ROHART StaffWrUer NORTHERN CAMBRIA It's pretty good behavior for a 1- year-old. Just a year after Barnesboro and Spangler consolidated into Northern Cambria Borough, things seem to be going pretty smoothly, said borough officials and resi- dents. Boroughs or municipalities that join can face many problems, said Shelley Houk, Director of Research for the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs. A chief worry is financial. They must consider the financial assets and liabilities of each borough. If the two boroughs have different real estate tax rates, one may see a tax increase or decrease. Another consideration to be made is whether new public buildings such as borough offices should be recon- structed in a central location, Houk said. The consolidation, which went into effect Jan. has not resulted in higher taxes for the bor- ough. Taxes were lowered in the south end of last year, council member Mary Ellen Tibbott said. The borough's budget for 2001 does not include a tax Increase, Tibbott said. Another common hurdle is com- munity pride, Houk said. People in a borough do not want to lose it as part of their identity, Houk said. An organization is being formed to increase pride in Northern Cambria and make living In the small town a lot more enjoyable. "We will hold a meeting to dis- cuss and plan activities and events we can have to make the year 2001 a lot of fun for the residents of the Northern Cambria said Cate Planisky-Himes, one of about six people spearheading a civic organi- zation for the town. Planisky-Himes encourages everyone to attend today's p.m. meeting at the Jefferson Building. "Everyone is invited to this meet- ing, not just residents living within the boundaries of the new borough. The community of Northern Cambria encompasses much more than the former towns of Spangler and Planisky-Himes said in a prepared release. "When we hold events, people from all over come to enjoy them." Residents seem to have adjusted easily to the jointure of Barnesboro and Spangler. "All it was was a change in name, as far as I've resident Nykee Petrunak said. The high school has been called Northern Cambria High School since the early 1960s, so Petrunak was used to identifying herself at sporting events or other events where multi- ple schools are represented as being from Northern Cambria. Lynn Rake said she was never bothered by the idea of consolidation. "I'm glad it she said. She said she hopes the consolida- tion will bring more money and more jobs to the area. She would like to stay in the area, and she wants her children to be able to stay also. Please see AS Delays plague hit case Altoona housewife seeks to have murder charge dismissed in alleged plot to kill her estranged husband. BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG The defense lawyer for an Altoona woman accused of plotting to kill her husband's girlfriend will ask for charges to be dismissed because she was not given a speedy trial. Blair County Public Defender Don Speice said Tuesday he will seek a hearing for the housewife, Carolyn Marie Burke. In 1999, Burke allegedly plotted with a friend and her friend's stepson to murder a Qunicy, Mass., woman who struck up a relationship with David Burke on the Internet According to the charges, Carolyn Burke believed her husband would return to her if the girlfriend, identified as Josephine Ho, was out of the way. However, the case became mired in legal complexities when one of the prosecution witnesses Christopher Chaplain, the stepson of Susan Chaplain, said he wanted to change part of the story he originally told police. He supposedly told police that Susan Chaplain helped arrange the murder-for-hire plot by placing him in contact with Burke, who was looking for a hit man and was intending to pay for the killing with her income tax rebate. City police charged that Christopher Chaplain was dri- ven to Burke's house April to pick up Chaplain stated he wanted to change his testimony to say that his stepmother did not know why he was meet- ing with Burke that day. When the possibility arose that he could be prosecuted for changing his original statement to police, Chaplain decided he wouldn't testify based on the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. Blair County District Attorney David Gorman asked Judge Norman Callan to grant Chaplain immunity from prosecution, a step that would force him to testify. When Callan refused, Gorman filed an appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court in January 2000. The state Superior Court now has ruled that an appeal was not in order, particularly since Chaplain was as not called yet as a witness and therefore had not refused to testify. "This court does not have jurisdiction to entertain the appeal." the Superior Court ruled. Speice now will seek a dismissal of charges against Burke on grounds that the year delay because of an improper appeal has deprived her of a speedy trial. A date has not been set for the hearing. Charges against Chaplain, whose case also was delayed by the snafa over Christopher Chaplain's testimony, have been dismissed because of a lack of a speedy trial. That dismissal is presently under appeal. Supreme Court rules indicate that a person who has been charged and is out of jail awaiting trial, must be tried within a year. Often the actual time between arrest and trial extends more than a year because the speedy trial dock stops tick- ing if the defense delays the trial by filing pretrial motions. The plot to kill David Burke's girlfriend was never carried out. Altoona police were alerted to the scheme and arrested Burke and Chaplain. Also, Christopher Chaplain, who supposedly was to arrange the hit, spent the he received from Burke on entertainment, then attempted to obtain additional money from her. Minor Staff Writer Phil Bay can be reached at 946-7468 Alleged poaching trip turns deadly Md. man accused of killing passenger after argument in Bedford County. BY TIFFANY SHAW StaffWrUer CHANEYSVTLLE A Maryland man was shot to death and another accused of murder after an attempted poaching and shooting Monday night in Bedford County. Charles Sullivan, 51, 400 Grand Ave., Cumberland, Md., is accused of murdering Michael Terrance McElfish, 56, Grand Ave., Cumberland, Md., after an argument in a rural part of Bedford County near the Maryland state line. Sullivan tried to blame the shoot- ing on the victim, a brief acquain- tance, after Sullivan's car became stuck in snow, according to the affidavit of probable cause. State police from Bedford were called to Beans Cove Road, about a mile north of the Maryland line, in Southampton Township around p.m. Monday. Sullivan A 911 call from a nearby house said someone had been shot. Troopers found McElfish dead from an apparent gunshot wound to the face in the front passenger seat of Sullivan's Volvo station wagon. Sullivan, who had walked to the house for help, was discov- ered where the car was stopped on the east side of the road. According to charges, Sullivan changed his story several times but agreed to give police a state- ment at the scene around 3 a.m. Sullivan said he knew McElfish for only four days and went to a Cumberland bar with him Monday night. Please see AS cable rates jump 4.8 percent in 2001 Northern Blair, Cambria counties will be affected by provider's increase. From Mirror staff and wire reports NEW YORK said Tuesday it would modestly increase its cable television rates even as it secured a big credit line arranged by some of the nation's largest banks. the largest provider of cable television in the country, said that rates for its roughly 16 million subscribers would go up by an average of 4.8 percent this year. That increase is higher than con- sumer inflation, which is running at an annual rate of 3.4 percent but is generally less than what customers faced last year. Locally, serves customers in parts of northern Blair County through its Tyrone system and most of northern Cambria County through its Cresson and Carrolltown systems. Last year, most customers of the former Tele-Communications Inc., now part of saw their rates increase on average by 6.3 percent Most customers of the former MediaOne Group, which has also been acquired by had average increases of about 5 percent last year. said the rate increase reflected higher costs, particularly increased payments to cable net- works for programming. said its fees to cable networks would increase by 10 percent this year, led by higher rates for sports programming. Both last year and this year, some customers with rate increases receive more chan- nels for their money. hopes to offer a new stock to track the cable unit this sum- mer. It plans to spin off the cable unit as an independent company some time in 2002. Tuesday's rate increase, however, appears to reflect the normal course of the cable business rather than any special factors brought on by the corporate restructuring plan. Please see A8 Muvnr Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 5 8 cf 1 Lottery numbers, A2 WIMMBt Partly I cloudy, 1 C2 Altoona iHtrror T-ADS.Qom We're white-hot! I THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GKKAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIES and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 D Business Movies Obituaries Opinion High schools Scoreboard AS AS A7 A6 B2 r QiwnoN Classifieds C3-8 EJUR Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4 IN NATION Bush completes cabinet nominations PAGE C1   

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