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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archive: January 11, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - January 11, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                Basketball: PSU defeats Buckeyes in Columbus Life: Styx's Tommy Shaw enjoys hitting the road Dl Alt00tra mirror Copyright 2001 THURSDAY, JANUARY 11, 2001 newsstand GOVERNMENT STUDY FINDS: Traditional diets a towor 3pear (best BY PHILIP BRASHER The Associated Press WASHINGTON When it comes to dieting, forget the fads. While requiring more effort, the traditional moderate-fat programs similar to those advocated by the American Heart Association and Weight Watchers are the healthiest for dieters and a proven way to keep pounds off, according to a gov- ernment review of diet research. Some popular diets, such as the high-fat programs that allow peo- ple to eat lots of meat hut little bread, aren't adequate nutritional- ly and more research is needed on their long-term effectiveness and impact on health, the report said. "In sum, all popular diets, as well as diets recommended by govern- mental and nongovernmental organizations, result in weight loss. However, it is important to note that weight loss is not the same as weight the report said. The review is to be released today at a meeting in which the department will consider ideas for a long-term study of diet programs. The study will be conducted by the department's network of human nutrition laboratories. Such research "is long overdue, given the problems that the coun- try is facing in terms of said Cutberto Garza, a professor of nutrition at Cornell University. "Trying to find effective treatment programs is absolutely crucial." .One in four Americans is obese, and more than 60 percent of the population is overweight, accord- ing to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, who organized a debate between the nation's leading diet experts last year, said some pro- grams remain popular in part because there isn't enough known about their effects and that it's tune for the government to sort out the conflicting claims. A spokeswoman for Robert Atkins, a promoter of a popular high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, agreed that more research is need- ed but said the government' is biased against programs like Atkins'. "The government is going to go out of their way to prove that their recommendations of the last 20 years are correct. It's the same old story. It's the same-old, low-fat pro- said Colette Heimowitz, director of education and research for Atkins Health and Medical Information Services. Please see A3 Ex-official says city overtaxed BY WILLIAM KJBLER Staff Writer A former city controller has filed a complaint with the state attorney general, alleging the city used a recreation assess- ment to overtax residents by million since 1997. But state offi- cials said it's not an uncommon practice, and the question of whether it's legal likely will have to be decided by the courts. The city has exceeded the state's 30-mill limit on general fund prop- erty tax by disguising the excess as Duncan recreation funding, said accoun- tant Stu Duncan, which are senti- ments echoed by Bill Schirf, for- mer chairman of the Central Blair Recreation Commission. The city has done no wrong, Altoona officials said, pointing to annual audits performed by the state and a local firm. They justified the excess recre- ation millage by charging it to cover a percentage of costs in many departments, reflecting the percentage of playground and open space in the city. "I don't think the claim [by Duncan] has any validity at Mayor Tom Martin said. The state attorney general's office has no jurisdiction hi the case because it doesn't mediate Please see A3 Top cop stops A look back at the career of Altoona police Chief John Treese Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec Altoona police Chief John Treese, shown in his office, is retiring after 40 years in law enforcement and serving as head of Altoona's department since 1997. BY TIFFANY SHAW Staff Writer Over the past 40 years, John Treese has seen a lot of changes in the way police officers do then- work. When he joined the Altoona Police Department Feb. Treese had one week's training on foot patrol and one week in a; squad car. Then he was given a gun and a nightstick and told to walk the beat. In those days, there were no communications radios, only call boxes along the route for emergencies. There was no intensive police academy to learn the intricacies of police work, only on-the-job training. But Treese, like many other young officers, took what he was given and made the best of it He worked on the street for years before rising through the ranks of the department until he was appointed chief in August 1997. In just 3 Yi years as the top cop in Altoona, Treese gained the admiration of many law enforce- ment officials across the county while nurturing the careers of others. Please see A3 Successor set to be promoted from inside BY TIFFANY SHAW Staff Writer Searching for a new Altoona police chief won't take City Manager Joe Weakland very far from home. According to Pennsylvania's code for third-class cities such as Altoona, a police chief must be appointed from within the depart- ment. As head of the city's employees, Weakland hopes to hire the new chief by the tune John Treese's retirement takes effect March 1. Weakland said he's sure there are several qualified candidates for the position in the Altoona Police Department. He's looking for good manage- ment and communication skills and a thorough background in criminal justice. "I am sure we will be able to find a qualified Weakland said. He declined to comment on any specific candidates for the job but said he has plenty of time to review them since Treese gave a notice so far in advance. Treese said he would offer help Please see A3 The" Treese file Name: John F. Treese Born: Altoona Education: Graduated from Altoona Catholic High School in 1957. Attended Penn State University and Delaware University tor administrative and supervisory courses in police management. Military: Served in the Marine Corps from 1957-60..... Personal: Married Carol Porta in September 1961.Tlie couple has one son, Patrick, who is married to the former Kelly Riley. Two grandchildren: Michael, 9, and Kaylin, 7. Career. joined the Altoona Police Department in February 1961; promoted to Altoona police captain in October 1984 as commander of operations; appointed police chief in August 1997. Achimments: assisted in forming the Altoona Drug and Crime Commission from 1998-99; served on the committee for Blair County Crime Solvers; member of the Board of Blair County; member of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association; member of the Central Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. Controversies: Police officer Anthony Panagoplos admitted to stealing drugs from a City Hall evidence room in 1998. A city police officer was accused of mistreating an elderly motorist during a traffic stop in conjunction with the 1998 Tour de Toona. No charges were filed In the high-profile Incident, although a civil lawsuit is pending in federal court. Quotable "He's very knowledgeable in all aspects, not just administration. He's been wonderful to work for." Capt Janice Freehling was a cop's cop and always fair. When you were around him, you sort of had the feeling... he was definitely one of the good County Sheriff Larry Reid "He was a tough, no-nonsense chief, fair and honest. Respected, I believe, by the police departments certainly by me." Mayor Tom Martin. "I know he'll be missed. He's been a very good rudder, for the depart- ment." Township Police Chief Christopher Cohn. "He is recognized as a good, solid police officer. He's guided the city through some rough times. They had a really good leader." Township Police Chief Steven Jackson Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington I! Four underage girls (from left) Holly Ours, 12; Diana Monac, 15; Savannah Monac, 14; and Jessica Lincoln, 14; are paying the price for getting caught smoking by holding these signs at various locations. Teens subject to shame for smoking The Associated Press NEW BRIGHTON standard warnings that parents give about smoking weren't enough for Tony Monac and his girlfriend, Sandi Lincoln. As part of their punishment, their teen-age daughters spent three hours Sunday standing outside the New Brighton Middle School, about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, wear- ing bright 'green signs that read, "I got caught smoking. Ain't I a And they'll do it at different locations every Sunday this month. Monac has two daughters: Diana, 15, and Savannah, 14. Lincoln has one daughter, Jessica, 14. Monac said he decided to pun- ish the girls when he found a note from one of their 12-year- old girlfriends that mentioned having to buy cigarettes. Monac and Lincoln both smoke, but they said they would not tolerate their chil- dren smoking because it is dan- gerous and illegal for those under age 18. At first, he made each girl sihoke eight cigarettes in a row, then, write.'a 10Oword essay on the stupidity of smoking. Then Mpnac copied an idea he saw oh-a television talk show and gave the girls a choice: being grounded for a month or enduring four Sundays of shame. The girls picked the shame. On Sunday, some passing motorists honked at the girls, some threw cigarettes at their feet or shook cigarette packs in their direction. Others just laughed as Mdnac and Lincoln watched nearby to make sure the kids were safe. Mostly, the girls said they felt cold, bored and embarrassed. "I felt very Jessica Lincoln said. "Don't smoke because you might have to stand on the cor- Savanna Monac joked.: "We're laughing about it all now, but we took this very sert Sandi Lincoln said. "We want other parents 'to know there is something yjiu can do to stop your kids fr6m smoking. You don't have to beat them. But you can stop it." 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