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Altoona Mirror: Tuesday, January 30, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - January 30, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                Nation: Talking' prescription bottles being tested Cl Life: 'James and the Giant Peach' at the Mishler Dl Copyright 2001 iMtrror TUESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2001 50( newsstand Former Miners Hospital donated The facility will be given to IMORCAM and transformed into a housing development. BY AUDREY BROTHERS-KONIOR For the Mirror HASTINGS It is a gift that will keep on giving. The former Miners Hospital building in Northern Cambria Borough will be donated to the Northern Cambria Community Development Corp., Miners Chief Executive Officer Dan Reaman announced Monday. "This is a very exciting Reaman said, pointing out that Miners fully supports NORCAM's ideas for an upcoming redevelop- ment project. Original construction of the for- mer hospital building began Jan. 31, 1906, and two additions were added to the Crawford Avenue structure one in 1952 and anoth- er in 1968. Reaman said the new hospital was constructed in Hastings to bet- ter accommodate the needs of all patients. The fate of the old-facility has remained now. "We are very excited to accept this NORCAM Pres- ident Jerry Brant said The two organizations have worked jointly for seven months to facilitate redevelopment of the 3- acre parcel into a modern, multi- purpose housing development to be entitled Campbell Place. The more than million under- taking is considered to be the largest of i.ts kjnd in northern Cambria County. The preliminary project design was completed by UpStreet Architects Inc. of Indiana, Pa. Plans call for a four-phase pro- ject. Phase 1, which could begin near the end of spring, is the demo- lition of the existing building. Phase 2 involves construction of 14 two-bedroom tpwnhouses on both the hospital site and on four lots located above Campbell Avenue that will be available for public purchase. Phase 3 consists of construction of a 12-unit hotel that will be built on the former hospital's parking lot. Phase 4 includes turning the for- mer nurses' dormitory, built in 1916, into a multiuse facility a portion of which will be converted into a transitional housing unit for victims of domestic abuse. Please see A4 HEALTHCARE Mirror photo illustration by Kelly Bennett and Tom Worthington II BAD MEDICINE Rise in malpractice insurance proves a tough pill to swallow BY WALT FRANK Staff Writer The rising cost of malpractice insurance is having an adverse affect on medical care in Pennsylvania. Doctors recently received their premium notices for 2001, and some found they were faced with increases of more than 200 percent, said Dr. Carol E. Rose, presi- dent of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. Rose and other society officials stopped in Altoona recently to discuss the situation with area doctors, who saw their increases range from a minimum of to a maximum of "The problem is doctors are not rich any more; managed care has given them a Rose said. "Many doctors are saying, 'Why should we do this It's not fun anymore when they have to worry if they can afford to take care of their patients anymore. Many are leaving Pennsylvania or retiring early." .Dr. Michael Moncman, an Altoona neurosurgeon, is faced with a 50 percent increase in his malpractice premium. He agrees with Rose but is not ready to get out of the medical profession. "It is riot as fun as it used to be, but I have never considered Moncman said. "I am still living my American dream. I always wanted to be a doctor." Dr. Augusto Delerme, an ear, nose and throat spe- cialist and president of the medical staff at Bon Family Hospital, said he's not ready to stop practicing. "If I would be early in my career and having a second career, I would consider quitting because of all of the said Delerme, who also is an attorney. "We are no longer seeing solo practitioners hang out their shingles like me because it is harder to compete." Because of the increasing costs, doctors who would like to add associates are unable to recruit new doc- tors because of the practice climate in Pennsylvania, Rose said. "I would like to retire someday and have someone here, but I may not be able to do Delerme said. "You have to make an attractive offer to bring in another physician, and it is becoming more difficult to do so because of the constraints." Doctors are putting off buying new equipment that they would like to buy and are holding off hiring addi- tional office personnel. Several said they are letting go of personnel, Rose said. Please see A4 BATTLING ADDICTION Pa. cost: per taxpayer Spending on alcohol, cigarette and drug abuse outweighs money spent on transportation, -education. BY BILL BERGSTROM The Associated Press billion, or 14 percent of its state budget, to deal with law enforce- ment, health and other problems stemming from drug, alcohol and cigarette abuse, a new study estimates. Such costs exceeded per capita in Pennsylvania, where the total topped both the billion spent on transportation and the billion spent on higher edu- cation, according to the study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. The percentage of Pennsylvania state spending attrib- uted to substance abuse was slightly above the national average of 13 percent, though per capita spending was below the average of Percentages ranged from 18 percent in New York to less than 7 percent in South Carolina, while per capita spending was as high as in the District of Columbia and as low as in North Dakota, according to the study released Monday. The report recommended increasing spending on pre- vention and treatment to keep addiction and substance abuse from consuming increasing shares of state dollars. A spokeswoman for Gov. Tom Ridge said his adminis- tration recognizes the importance of prevention. Please see A2 AHOY. MATEYS! Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Todd Ritchie talks to some fans Monday night during the Pirates' Winter Caravan's stop at the Logan Valley Mall. I PAGE B1 Infant boy drowns; second hospitalized BY TIFFANY SHAW Staff Writer Police in Blair and Bedford coun- ties are calling a baby's death and the near-drowning of another baby this weekend tragic accidents. An SVi-month-old boy died Sun- day afternoon at his home on Kitchens Road, Six Mile Run, Broad Top Township, Bedford County. An autopsy was performed Monday, and state police Sgt; Daniel Krause said there are no indications the case is anything but an accident. Police have not released how the child drowned. In a separate incident, a Juniata baby was hospitalized after he fell into a bucket of cleaning water Friday. Altoona police Lt. Mitchell Cooper said the 8- to 10-month-old boy was in his house when he apparently crawled to the bucket, which was unattended for a short period of time. Please see A4 DEUMKY Subscription or home I delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 IN MM 1 fH 5 Lottery numbers, A2 WEAKER Freezing rain, 45" Forecast, C2 Alanna Hartzok announces her candidacy Monday as the Green Party's nominee for the 9th Congressional District seat at The Dream Restaurant in Hollidaysburg. She is seeking the post being vacated this week by Bud Shuster. SEEKING stumors SECT Green Party nominee announces candidacy Mirror photo by Jason Sipes BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG Alanna Hartzok of Chambersburg announced Monday that she will be the Green Party's candidate to replace Bud Shuster, who retires this week after 28 years as a congressman for Pennsylvania's 9th District While the Republican and Democratic parties are struggling to determine who their nominees will be for the special election to fill Shuster's seat, the Green Party's steering committee nomi- Hartzok, a mental health counselor, an expert on taxes and, until Monday, a Republican. She proposed tax reform as a key toward greater wealth for area families. Hartzok said today's economy is anything but booming, adding that she sees the stress and anxiety that Please see A4 i I, We Pride Ourselves 111 on Being the Area's Very Best i l Because We Feel Our Customers ITALIAN VILLA Deserve Nothing Less. Business Hospitals Obituaries Opinion i QNMMN AS i Classifieds A7 A7 A6 GjUR C3-8 Local Scoreboard B4 B5 V Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4 IN BUSINESS The stowing economy is showing some effects locally PAGE AS   

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