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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archive: January 25, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - January 25, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                Sports: Hollidaysburg's Appleman reaches milestone Life: Local metal band to be featured on TV show Altoona iMtrror Copyright 2001 THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 2001 newsstand Black GARDNER BLACK CASE Schools file suit against lender BY PHIL RAY StaffWriter HOLLIDAYSBURG One of the world's largest investment banks, which deals with billions of dollars annually, has become part of the John Gardner Black fraud case in which 50 Pennsylvania school dis- tricts lost million in bond I money. Lawyers repre- Isenting the school I districts, includ- ling Tyrone Area ]in Blair County, I filed a lawsuit this 1 week in the Blair 1 County Court of Common Pleas against New York- based Lehman Brothers Inc. The lawsuit against Lehman Brothers has made six separate charges of fraud, negligence, mis- application of entrusted property, violation of the Pennsylvania Securities Act, civil conspiracy and improper conduct in conspira- cy with others. Bit by bit, the school districts' lawyers have followed the trail of money from Black's Tyrone-based investment businesses to Mid- State Bank in Altoona to various lawyers and investment advisers. Rich Finberg of Pittsburgh and David A. Gradwohl of Philadel- phia, attorneys for the school dis- tricts, have reached an end point. Gradwohl said Wednesday that FBI reports indicate that Lehman Brothers may be involved in Black's scheme to use school funds to invest in highly volatile and risky securities. The FBI conducted the investiga- tion that resulted in Black's guilty plea to fraud last year in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh. Black is serving a 41-month jail term. In reviewing FBI Interviews with witnesses, the school dis- tricts' lawyers found that an attor- ney employed by Lehman Brothers, identified as Philip Becker, raised questions as to whether it was legal for Black, through his Tyrone companies Devon Capital Management Inc. and Financial Sciences Management Inc., to use school funds to buy highly risky Collateralized Mortgage Oblig- ations, or CMOs. The lawyers contend it wasn't legal and that Black knew it. Please see A4 NORFOLK SOUTHERN LAYOFFS FOGGY FUTURE Second reprieve appears unlikely for Hollidaysburg BY KEVIN OTT Staff Writer In November, when Norfolk Southern Corp. announced it would eliminate jobs, U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, R-9th District, called the company out on the carpet, citing a little-known agreement between Congress and Norfolk I Southern's chief executive officer I that employment in the area i would remain stable. This time, such a demand may not be so easy. The rail giant announced this I week that jobs would be I eliminated by the end of the year, I but officials declined to say which jobs would be cut or where. Shuster "The board [of directors] con- cluded, as management recom- mended, that we needed to take firm and timely action to bring our resources in line with the real- ities of today's market, so that we can provide the best returns from bur Norfolk Southern CEO David Goode said. Please see A9 Mirror photo illustration by Tom Worthington II Company officials won't elaborate on upcoming actions BY CRAIG WILLIAMS StaffWriter Norfolk Southern Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer David Goode said even though there are 10 railroad-owned facto- ries, shops and administrative operations ear- I marked as redundant on the lat- est round of company cuts, every facility throughout the company will be scrutinized closely for potential downsizing, elimina- tion or realignment. Goode told investors Wednesday that Norfolk Southern is committed to as I many cuts as it takes to make the Goode company profitable again after announcing that company divi- dends are down 70 percent to 6 cents per share from a high of 20 cents per share last month. "It's clear to us we have more than enough capacity to maintain our he told stockholders. Please see A9 Seeking seat Conklin selected The state committee is expected to approve the Democratic nominee for 9th Congressional District seat. BY ROBERT IGOE StaffWriter HUNTINGDON One half of the race for the 9th Congressional District seat is set. On Wednesday, the chairmen of the 11 county Democratic committees that are part of the 9th District named Centre County Commissioner H. Scott Conklin as their candidate for the race to fill the congressional seat being vacated at the end of this month by retiring Bud Shuster. Conklin was selected from a pool that also included attorney Stacey Brum- baugh, physician Jack Shocker, invest- ment manager Mark Stevenson and developer Stephen Weidemer. Please see A3 Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett Congressional hopeful John Eichelberger Jr. (cen- ter) announced his candidacy Wednesday flanked by his son, Johnny, and his wife, Charlotte. Eichelberger will seek seat BY KAY STEPHENS StaffWriter County Commissioner John H. Eichelberger Jr.'said he is entering a 9th District gressional race with several good Republican candidates. And by no means should anyone think the race is just between him and Bill Shuster, son of the retiring U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster. Eichelberger, who announced his candidacy Wednesday at the Blair County Courthouse, acknowledged that Blair Countians may be focusing on him and Shuster. But that's irot the case outside Blair. "Outside the county, there are a lot of people interested in other Eichelberger said. Please see A3 St. Francis initiates renovation project BY MIA ROHART Staff Writer LORETTO St. Francis University will spend million during the next 20 years to build, renovate and expand the campus, the Rev. Christian Orav'ec, presi- dent of the college, announced Wednesday. Projects will include construct- ing a new science and technology center, adding and renovating the Pine Bowl outdoor athletics com- plex and constructing a new dining hall. Tuition costs will not rise as a direct result of the construction, although yearly increases in tuition are commonplace among colleges and universities, Oravec said. St. Francis is raising funds con- tinually, and the university also is looking into federal and state grants for the project. Please see A12 Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich The Rev. Christian Oravec, president of St. Francis University, explains the upcoming campus renovations. Antis zoning won't be placed on ballot BY WALT FRANK StaffWriter BELLWOOD It appears Antis Township residents won't get a chance to decide whether zoning should be adopted in the township. Township supervisors voted Jan. 18 to ask Blair County com- missioners for permission to place a referendum question on the Nov. 6 ballot. But a local government special- ist said that's not going to happen. "Zoning is considered to be an advisory question, and Common- wealth Court has ruled that county election boards have no legal authority to place nonbinding questions on the Ken Johnson said. Johnson is a local government policy specialist with the Governors Center for Local Government Services, which rep- resents 13 counties including Blair. Please see A4 Muvnrr Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 0 5 If 0 Lottery numbers, A2 Snow flurries, Forecast, C3 11. We Pride Ourselves j I ,y on Being the 1A Area's Very Best Because We Feel Our Customers ITALIAN VILLA Deserve Nothing Less. Classifieds C4-12 Comics C2 Business A9, A10 Hospitals "All Obituaries A11 Opinion A8 tram I Movies 03 i Nightlife D4 Local B4 j Planner D2 Scoreboard B5 I Up and coming 01 IN NATION The last two convicts who escaped from a Texas prison last month surrendered in Colorado after a television interview PABE C1   

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