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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archive: January 22, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - January 22, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                Nation: Study: Drivers can suffer high-tech overload Cl Life: Scrapbooking trend is sweeping the nation Dl Copyright 2001 INSIDE TODAY COVER STORY: Where kids can go for fun during the winter Shuster leaving to hurt Amtran BY WILLIAM KIBLER Staff Writer The upcoming retirement of U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, R-9th District, already is hitting home. Area agencies are beginning to gear down and change directions in expectation of heavier loads and rougher going when Shuster retires. Amtran decided last week to I change the focus of a feasibility study on moving its office and I garage from near Mansion Park to I a new location because it wouldn't be feasible without the kind of money Shuster routinely got for local projects, Amtran General Manager Eric Wolf said. "We've just had it really easy for a really long he said. "He took good care of Pennsylvania transit." Now Amtran will concentrate on figuring out how to live with what it has. Both the garage and offices are cramped. Buses sit outside, and Business Development Director Tom Klevan's office is along one wall of the conference room. .iThe cheapest .answer for the garage problem might be a shed roof along the Mansion Park side of the building, which is sheltered from the wind, he said. ultimate answer for the space problem may be an addition on the end of the building farthest from Logan Boulevard, said. There's also the possibil- ity of reconfiguring space inside. Amtran has been dependent on Shuster for special-project money. It has paid most recently for four big new buses and a shelter at Logan Valley Mall. .-.There's money already commit- ted for improvements at the termi- nal in the Altoona Transportation Center, radio system changes and Please see A3 MONDAY, JANUARY 22, 2001 BUSINESS SPRING TIME! Mirror photo by J.O. Cavrich Betty James, retired president of James Industries, plays with the toy that made the family company famous. James will be inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame next month. Slinky makertionpred with induction into hall of fame BY TIFFANY SHAW Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG The matriarch of one of the country's favorite toys for the past 50 years win be inducted into a national. hall of fame. Millions of Slinkys are enjoyed by children around the world, and now Betty James will enjoy a place among the toy industry's elite. James, the retired president and chief execu- tive officer of James Industries, will accept her place in the Toy Industry Hall of Fame early next month. More than 250 million Slinkys made from tons of wire have been sold since James Industries was founded in 1845 in Philadelphia. Betty James became sole owner of the com- pany in the mid-1950s. She moved operations to Hollidaysburg in 1964 while taking care of her six children. James Industries was purchased in 1998 by POOF Products Inc. of Michigan. Slinky was commemorated in 1999 when the U.S. Postal Service released the Celebrate the Century series. Slinky was chosen as one of 15 stamps to recall the events and people of the 1940s. "I'm delighted. I'm absolutely thrilled. I never expected she said. "I'm thrilled for Slinky and me both." James will join 40 other toy magnates in the How many have been sold world- wide? More than 250 million How much wire does It take to make a Slinky? 63 feet What are some of Slinky's film credits? "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls" "Demolition Man" "Other People's Money" "Hairspray" "Toy Story" Source: National Toy Hail of Fame Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington II hall of fame with a celebration Feb. 10, three days before her 85th birthday. The hall of fame was established in 1984 by Toy Manufacturers of America Inc. to honor individuals who have had a profound impact on the toy industry. Please see A3 500 newsstand Blair asked to construct new prison Despite cramped conditions, officials say it's unlikely a new jail will be built soon. BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG A watch- dog group member has suggested that the time has come for Blair County to construct a new prison, but Commissioner John Ebersole said that won't happen "for a long time." The give-and-take about a new prison came last week when Mary Burgoon of Hollidaysburg, a mem- ber of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, attended a meeting of the Blair County Prison Board. Burgoon is part of a group that goes into the prison monthly and moves cell to cell listening to what inmates have to say. The society members then attempt to resolve problems. Burgeon's latest trip to the prison around the holidays was less than satisfactory, not so much because of what the inmates said to her but because of what she observed. "The crowded conditions You can't breathe in she said. "That place has looked bad for months, especially the large show- er room." She said the jail's condition is having an effect on the inmates, adding they are "just disgruntled people." They have little to do. "They just sit. They don't do any- she said. The prison's acting warden, Lawrence S. LaVelle, said there is an ongoing painting program. Commissioner John Eichelberg- er Jr. said county prison board members "are constantly looking at improvements." The county prison also has many programs for inmates. For instance, as of Thursday, the num- ber of inmates on work-release stood at 32. Prison counselors said that 12 inmates are enrolled in high school equivalency degree courses. Another 15 attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and 23 attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings. The problem may be the number of inmates in the prison, Burgoon said. A state inspection report dated Jan. 5, 1999, indicated that the prison was over capacity, with 207 inmates in the facility and 16 housed in other institutions. Please see M Altoona Housing Authority appeals evaluation score BY WILLIAM KIBLER Staff Writer The Altoona Housing Authority is appealing what it feels is an unfairly low score on a U.S. Housing and Urban Development evaluation for fiscal 2000. Despite the appeal, the authority plans to tighten its in-house inspections to prevent low scores in the future, especially on safety. The Public Housing Assessment System originally gave the author- ity an 86.8 percent out of 100, putting the authority in the "stan- dard" category, more than seven points lower than last year when it was a "high performer." The appeal already has restored two points deducted for a late sub- mission because the authority got the required materials in on time, Executive Director Dan Earrell said. The authority also hopes the appeal will reverse several other "fife-safety' deductions." Most deductions were for "pretty mundane said Jim Cassidy, acting director of HUD's Public Housing Office in Pittsburgh. HUD cited the authority for bars on the windows of the community room at Fairview Hills, a fire extin- guisher reportedly out of date, at least one smoke detector without batteries in a resident room and book shelves placed in front of bal- cony doors in a resident's room, Farrell said. HUD didn't like the bars on the windows because it could have pre- vented someone using the win- dows to escape if there was a fire. But a city inspector had no prob- lem with them because there were fire doors just a few feet away, Farrell said. Please see A4 GOLDEN GLOBES Executive produc- er Darren Starr (center) is sur- rounded by cast and crew of HBO's "Sex and the which won for best comedy television series. Please see story, Page C3. The Associated Press Mill Run project to reinforce banks BY WILLIAM KIBLER Staff Writer Mill Run is troublesome because it floods streets, yards and basements when it rains long and hard. A proposal for a project to restore and protect its banks in Altoona and Logan and Allegheny townships won't help much when the big rains come, officials said. But it will make the stream friendlier to the environment and to wildlife, look better to residents and be more efficient at drain- ing the watershed. Those benefits are good enough for Tom Rice, who lives at the corner of Browning and Coleridge avenues. He came to a public meeting on the pro- ject at temporary City Hall Thursday to learn about the proposal. "It's a step in the right said Rice, who doesn't get water in his house from the creek, but his sewer sometimes backs up when Mill Run overflows and overloads storm sewers in the area. But it's not a flood-control project, offi- cials told him. "You can't expect not to have flooding if it's really going to he said. Rice is one of 13 property owners who by Thursday afternoon had signed authoriza- tions for workers to come onto their land to do the project. Workers are seeking such authorizations from 36 residents. The proposal is not the grand lion flood-control project also planned for Mill Run, a project that the state Department of Environmental Resources plans to study next summer. Please see A4 ,r DBJVOT Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7' 4 Lottery numbers, A2 Mostly sunny, C2 Altnona .THE GREAT.COMBINATION] Call us today...Make money today. Ask for 'HE CJKKAT COMKINATION of M iRUOK C1 ,ASS1 EDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) Q LOOM. Business Hospitals Obituaries Opinion Local Scoreboard AS A7 A7 A6 B6 Q MOWN Classifieds C3-8 Comics D5 Community news 02 Shortcuts D3 Television D4 IN SPORTS Catcher J.R. House, atop prospect of the Pittsburgh Pirates, could be playing for the Curve this season PAGEB1   

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