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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - January 10, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Sports: BG girls pull away from Bellwood, 55-37 Bl Life: A look at kitchen gadgets that make cooking easier Copyright 2001 WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2001 newsstand; Police issue 37 warrants in area's latest drug sweep Raid nets 20 arrests JtUJJ TTl Mi BY TIFFANY SHAW StaffWriter I ore than 20 people were arrested early Tuesday morning as the West Drug Task Force led a sweep of suspect- ed drug dealers. Arrest warrants were issued for 37 suspects in Blair County after a six-month investigation into street-level dealers in Altoona. Most of the charges were related to selling crack cocaine, which could be a positive sign in the overall war on drugs, state Attorney General Mike Fisher said. "This is a good indication per- haps the heroin we've seen in the prior year... [that] those prior arrests helped restrict and dry up that Fisher said. Heroin has been the target of the drug task force for the past year with several widespread raids of suspected dealers. "There is an indication some of the heroin sources have dried Fisher said. One of the pointers is the spreading problems with OxyContin, a prescription drug that when used incorrectly can simulate the effects of heroin. In some areas, as the heroin supply dwindles, addicts turn to illegal uses of OxyContin, Fisher said. Although heroin may be on the way out in some circles, the arrests Tuesday point to other drugs still prevalent in Blair County. "We will not quit till all the drug dealers are qff the Fisher said at Blair County District Attorney Dave Gormto and a selection of local police chiefs and law enforcement officials. Those law enforcement officers continue to praise the attorney general's task force for its use of funding and manpower in local investigations. "I don't know what we'd have done without the cooperation from these Altoona police Chief John Treese said. "Here in Blair County, we have an outstanding working relation- Fisher said. He called the drug task force in Blah- "one of the best operated drug task forces across the commonwealth." Task force members from local police departments, the county sheriffs department, state police and Fisher's Bureau Of Narcotics Investigations picked up suspects early Tuesday across Altoona and outlying areas then took them .to the Frankstown Armory, where the suspects were fingerprinted and photographed. Please see A6 Mirror photo by Tiffany Shaw Law enforcement representatives lead drug suspects through processing at the Frankstown Armory after their arrests Tuesday morning. OxyContin becoming hot commodity in drug world BY Pm, RAY-ANDKEVW OTT StaffWriters State Attorney General Mike Fisher acknowledged Tuesday that the prescription painkiller OxyContin has emerged as a hero- in substitute in this part of Pennsylvania. i OxyContin has joined heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine and mari- juana as drugs commonly being sold by dealers in the city. Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman said users don't have to go to Philadelphia to ply. They can get it at a doctor's office or a pharmacy. The drug produces feelings of sedation and euphoria, along with lowered inhibitions, said Dr. Rob Lewis, who works in the emer- gency room at Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital. It's just as dangerous he said, as it lowers the user's breathing rate. A number of OxyContin users have found their way into Lewis'ER. "The thing that brings them in to see us is that it [the drug] has a Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich A suspect is taken in Tuesday to be processed at the Frankstown Armory. profound respiratory depressant he said, Used normally as a pain reliever aimed at chronic pain in specific areas of the body, OxyContin is no less addictive than heroin, he said. Someone affected by OxyContin might look like someone affected by heroin, said Dr. Matthew Bbudhard of the Altoona Hospital ER. "They may, depending on their tol- erance, look just like a normal per- he said. Please see A6 SEEKING SHUSTER'S SEAT 4 more toss hats into ring BY ROBERTIGOE StaffWriter The plot thickens in the ongoing political soap ppeti surrounding the soon-to-be-vacant 9th District seat in U.S. House. At least three Centre County officials and a longtjqn Clearfield County state representative said they are cw. sidering competing for their party's nod in a special elei- tion to fill the seat that will open when Bud Shuster Jan. 31. On the Democratic side, state Rep. Camille "Bud" George has.acknowledged he is eyeingthe spot along with Centre County Commissioner Scott Conklin. On the already crowded GOP side, state Sen. Jake Corman and Centre Commissioner i Connie Lucas also are interested. The Democrats apparently are mov- ing quickly to get behind a single nomi- nee. Democratic com- mitiee leaders from i the 11 counties that comprise the district have scheduled a closed-door meeting for p.m. Thursday at the Huntingdon County Courthouse to discuss the nomination. Blair County Republican Committee Chairman John Eichelberger Jr. said the GOP chairmen are talking among themselves, but no organized meeting has been Set to discuss their nominees. The committee representatives for each party .wilt choose a nominee at a miniconventiqn, and those noM-; nees will square off in a special election. The date of yap special election will be set by Gov. Tom Ridge withirRO days of Shuster's departure. K Huntingdon County Democratic Committee Chainnair Elmer Bolinger said it's too early to speculate on who party's candidate will be, but Thursday's meeting help decide that. ..-Jj "I really would hate to answer too many this point about the Bolinger said. "I don't ipt that I have any answers, not until at least we Thursday." -iCJ But most of the speculation on the Democratic side has centered on state Rep. Jeff Coy, whose 89th District coveig Cumberland and Franklin counties. -w? Coy, who has served as the Democratic Caucus Secretary since 1995, has served in the state House singe 1982 and is a member of the House Agriculture and RujSl Affairs, Ethics and Rules Committees.' Please see A4 ;gS George Lucas Sisters record banner day at Pa. Farm Show BY MICHAEL EMERY StaffWriter has never missed a Pennsylvania Farm Show in her life. She attended her first when she was just 11 days old. A week and a half ago, on New Year's Day, she celebrated her 16th birthday, and she made it a sweet 16 Tuesday at the farm show by winning the state championship in showmanship. The Juniata Valley High School student also showed the Holstein junior champion in the junior divi- sion and the reserve junior cham- pion in the open division. In addition, her 12-year-old sis- ter, Samantha, showed the Swiss junior champion in the junior divi- sion and the open division. All in all, it was a good day for the Fosters' Globe Run Farms in Petersburg. "Our farm has done very well been competitive, but we've been down a little bit the last couple of Charann Foster said. "Now we're coming back and hitting the big times again." Please see A9 Mirror photo by Mike Emery Charann Foster, 16, of Petersburg proudly displays her Holstein cow and the plaque she won for showmanship. Local brothers show off talent in contest BY WILLIAM KIBLER StaffWriter It's the turn of the 20th century. Big, strong farm boys with town- wide reputations based on swagger and massive shoulders became national myths when the new sport of football gave them an opportunity to show just how pow- erful they really were. Now it's the turn of the 21st cen- tury. But three quick-thinking, pragmatic farm boys from Sinking Valley, who old 4-H mates knew could take almost any broken thing and make it work, have the Learning Channel's to affirni their reputations: The'; Long brothers Grjsfc' Brian and Terry moved through the brackets in this year's improvisational building contest, participating in an eight-team U.S. tournament and an international championship being broadcast this winter. Their first of several appear: ances on TLC will be broadcast at 9 p.m. tonight. "Growing up, we always thought we were pretty good at this Please see AS OBJWRT Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 i. I Lottery numbers, A2 Mostly sunny, Forecast, C3 Q We're white hot! 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