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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archive: February 7, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 7, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                Nation: New study finds television is getting sexier Gl Show your love by planning a romantic dinner ilttror Copyright 2001 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2001 newsstand Dealers' assets seized, used to fight drugs 1997-98 1998-99 Clearfield Huntingdon Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington [I BY TIFFANY SHAW StoffWriter When drug dealers are busted by police, they can be carrying a large amount of cash, driving a vehicle or dealing out of a house. So what happens to the profits of crime? Those earnings are turned around to fight the same drug trade that won them in the first place'. The Pennsylvania Legislature passed the Controlled Substances Forfeitures Act in 1988, allowing the state attorney general and local district attorneys to seize and keep drug dealers' assets after a civil law process. Police try to obtain of dealer's money PAGE AS "They [legislators] felt that you can't benefit from your ill-gotten said Kevin Barley, spokesman for Attorney General Mike Fisher. Drug dealers may own fancy cars and houses but shouldn't be using them to facili- tate crime, he said. Across the region, nearly was seized in 1998-99, with the majority of assets in Cambria and Blair counties. "Basically, law enforcement can seize the assets of someone who obtained those assets through the proceeds of the illegal sale of Harley said. Other property, such as a vehi- cle or house, can be seized if it is proven that drug dealing occurred there, he said. The seized money must be spent on drug law enforcement, drug education programs or the state witness protection program. Local law enforcement officials support the forfeiture act as a way of raising more money for fighting drugs and as a deterrent. "It's sort of ironic using money ille- gally made through drug sales recy- cled into preventing drug said Rod Miller, field supervisor of the Cambria County Drug Task Force. Please see AS 9TH DISTRICT Offices remain open for residents BY ROBERT IGOE Stuff Writer The boss may be gone, but it's still business as usual for 9th District residents on Capitol Hill. While.a successor to Pennsylvania's 9th District Representative Bud Shuster will not be .selected until May 15, constituents still can obtain help with executive government issues in the interim. The offices of the 9th Congressional District remain open. Shuster's staff members remain on the payroll and are prepared to serve the needs and answer questions from district residents under the supervision of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. While the district will not have voting represen- tation in Congress'until a successor takes office, the staff still offers a-Variety of services. Those that have cases pending through the office will continue to receive assistance for those cases, while those without pending cases still may peti- tion the office for information and assistance with "their concerns. TEeioSice also is available to take opinions of proposed legislation or policy, but it cannot offer a position or opinion oil such matters. The 9th District is one of two congressional dis- tricts vacant, the other being California's 32nd District, which covers part of the city of Los Angeles. That district became vacant Dec. 8 with the death of Rep. Julian Dixon. The State Democratic Committee is expected to formally approve Centre County Commissioner Scott Conklin as their candidate Saturday, while the Green Party will support Alanna Hartzok. The Republican State Committee is expected to select their candidate at a miniconvention at Juniata College Feb. 17. Mirror Staff Writer Robert Igoe can be reached at 946-7458 or "It's encouraging that while we continue to cut taxes and encourage programs that create job growth, we can focus on the needs of everyday people." Rap. Lynn Herman "Little ventured, little gained. The budget flails at minnows and ignores the sharks." Rep. Bud George D-Houtzdale The governor's budget address'Is the beginning stage, a lot like the first pitch of a baseball game. There Is still a long way to go." Jerry Stem R-Martiroburj RIDGE'S BUDGET PROPOSAL Plan gets mixed reviews Gov. Tom Ridge raises Ms hands in the air as he talks with children from the Scranton State School for the Deaf seated in the state House in Harrisburg Tuesday. Ridge .recognized; the group as he was delivering his budget before a joint session of the state Legislature. At right is House Speaker Matthew Ryan, R- Delaware. The Associated Press State lawmakers' opinions divided along party lines BY ROBERT IOOE StaffWriter reatness within Reach" was I the theme of Gov. Tom Ridge's M proposed 2001-02 state budget address before a joint session of the Pennsylvania Legislature Tuesday, but "put people first" is the concept that came out of it, Republican lawmakers said. Democrats, however, had a differ- ent perspective. The billion general fund budget is highlighted by sharp increases in spend- ing for education and early childhood, as well as further tax cuts for businesses and working families. House Majority Leader John M. Perzel called the budget "sensible, balanced and common sense" and is in favor of its advances for helping Pennsylvanians. "Look at some of what we have done since he said after Ridge's address. "Nearly billion to improve the lives of millions of women, children and families. "We are among the nation's leaders in helping people. We put people first. That's not me bragging. It is the view of of organizations like the United Way, which evaluates states on how much they help people. They call it the caring index. Please see A3 Development boosts Huntingdon revenue BY KEVIN OTT v StaffWriter HUNTINGDON More than million in new development was charted in Huntingdon County over the last year, signal- ing advanced growth and bringing in thousands of dollars in tax rev- enue to the county and its school districts. Marv Reifsteck of Huntingdon County Assessment Services announced Tuesday that the county would gain from property taxes on new structures built between Feb. 1, 2000, and Jan. 1. Those dollars come from multi- plying the property values by a predetermined ratio of 40 percent and then by the county millage rate of 15 mills. Please see A7 MORE MONEY Total tax dollars from new devel- opment in Huntingdon County: Huntingdon Huntingdon Area School District Mount Union Area School District Tyrone Area School District Juniata Valley School District Southern Huntingdon County School District Tussey Mountain Area School District Postal service looks to stick on another stamp price hike WASHINGTON (AP) Just a month after higher stamp prices took effect, the U.S. Postal Service, facing massive losses, is consider- ing another rate boost that could result in higher prices next year. The post office reportedly is fac- ing losses of up to billion this year despite the price increase that took effect Jan. 7, which included raising a first-class stamp a penny to 34 cents. While approving that increase, the independent Postal Rate Commission rejected or scaled back several other requested price hikes, cutting expected income by billion. At the same time, mail volume has dropped because of the poor economy, further reduc- ing anticipated income. The postal board of governors ordered the agency's managementv Tuesday "to begin preparing a rate case as soon as possible to ensure the continued.financial viability of the Postal board Chairman Robert F. Rider said after a board meeting in San Antonio. Rider's statement said the gov: ernors "unanimously voiced dis- appointment" at the commission action and noted the board asked the independent commission to reconsider. JMUWKY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 I Lottery numbers, A2 Mostly sunny, Forecast, C3 HQT'ADS.dom We're white-hot! Altoona iHtrrnr I THE GREAT COMBJNAT80M Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 0 LOOM, i pi NttlOM Business A9 Movies C2 All I Classifieds C4-12 Obituaries All Opinion A6 0 UH QWOHTO 1 Comics D5 Community news D2 Local B4 j Puzzles D4 Scoreboard BS Television D4 it IK SPORTS Penn State's football team picked up verbal commit- ments Tuesday from Pittsburgh's Thomas Jefferson lineman Tyler Reed and State College quarterback Chris Ganter. PAGE B1   

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