Altoona Mirror, February 8, 2001 : Front Page

Publication: Altoona Mirror February 8, 2001

Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 8, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Basketball: Penn State men defeat Michigan Life: SAMA Altoona exhibit features Rau photos DI By Robert Igoe Staff Writer Tempers are flaring again between congressional candidates Bill Shuster and John Eichelberger Jr., this time over how Blair County delegates will be selected for the upcoming miniconvention to select a Republican nominee for the vacant 9th District seat they are seeking. At issue is whether delegates will be picked by a vote of committee members or appointed by the county chairman. Shuster, the son of retired U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, and Eichelberger, a Blair County commissioner and head of the county GOP, are two of a handful of Republicans battling for the right to face Democrat Scott Conklin in a May 15 special election. “I am deeply concerned about the conferee selection process in Blair County,” Shuster said at a Wednesday press conference. “It is unclear as to when we will elect conferees. We do not know who will chair that [Blair County] meeting. John Eichelberger stated weeks ago that he would step aside if he were a candidate. At this late date in the process, he is still in full control of the county Republican committee.” “It was his father that put us in this situation,” Eichelberger responded when contacted after the press conference. “He was the one who decided to retire in the midst of his term, and now there are rules we have to follow in order to name a candidate. Please see Selection/Page A5GOP officials questioning tribute timing By Robert Igoe Staff Writer A major tribute dinner for retired U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster may see a few empty seats. But it isn’t the menu or the $50 a pop ticket price that could keep key GOP leaders away — ifs the timing. At least that’s according to two area county GOP committee chairmen:    Blair County’s John Eichelberger Jr. and Franklin County’s Allen Twigg. Both are upset that the Lincoln Day Dinner, scheduled for Friday in Harrisburg, is honoring Shuster one week before party chairmen and conferees from the 9th Congressional District, which Shuster represented in Congress since 1972, are expected to meet at Juniata College to announce their candidate for the May 15 special election to fill that seat. Shuster’s son, Blair County automobile dealer Bill Shuster, is one of the candidates for that nomination, and both Eichelberger and Twigg feel the timing of the dinner gives the younger Shuster an unfair edge. Please see Timing/Page A5 Mirror file photo Above: In this September 1999 photo, Ron Ferguson checks the color for a catalog project being printed at Butterick Co. Inc.’s Beale Avenue plant. At left: Workers walk in the parking lot during a shift change at the facility Wednesday. Butterick announced that its Altoona plant is closing. Mirror photo C-COR.net sends home 260 workers until March By Walt Frank Staff Writer TIPTON — C-COR.net officials announced Wednesday the temporary furlough of 260 workers at its manufacturing facility here. The furloughed workers, who will be called back to work March 5, are primarily second- and third-shift workers and a few first-shift workers, Director of Investor Relations Sally Thiel said. The workers will receive benefits during their time off the job. Thiel said the furloughs are necessary because of reduced and delayed capital spending by C-COR.net’s customers. “Some have indicated they are not ready to start ordering yet,” Thiel said. Please see Layoffs/Page A7 What to do Karen Carstewsen, site administrator at the Altoona Unemployment Compensation Service Center, recommends taking the following steps if you are suddenly left without a job. O © © Call the center at 946-7224 to file a claim or you can file a claim through the unemployment compensation Web site wwwdti.state.pa.us./UC Once your claim is created, you must call the PA Tefiadaims System every two weeks to claim yqti benefits. It you are looking for another job, you should contact the Bureau of Employer and Career Services at 946-7185 or check the career link Web site at www.pacareerlink.state.pa.us. Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington llits facility in Altoona From Mirror staff reports The Butterick Co. Inc., recognized worldwide for its clothing patterns and locally for its impact on the Blair County economy since the 1940s, could not survive its distressing pattern of declining business. As a result, Butterick officials announced Wednesday to staff members that the company was bought by McCall Pattern Co., a fashion design company based out of Manhattan, Ran., effective within 30 days, according to employees. The Butterick plant, which has operated since 1947 in its 200,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on Beale Avenue, will close its operations about four to six months thereafter. In all, about 250 local employees will be affected by the closing. Some local workers may have the option of moving to the McCall plant in Kansas, a distribution and manufacturing plant similar to the Butterick plant in Altoona, although Butterick administrators did not confirm that speculation. Administrators refused to comment Wednesday, saying instead that a press release would be forthcoming today. A spokesman for McCall also ' refused to comment. Local workers were “all in pure shock” after the announcement, said Dot Walter, a Butterick employee for 40 years. “Right now, we haven’t even had a chance to let it sink in,” Walter said. “This announcement came totally unexpectedly,” said Sandy Marra, who has worked at Butterick for 35 years. “This company has been like a family to everybody here,” said David Gracey, a 31-year veteran at Butterick. “The average person working here has been with the company between 30 and 40 years. “We sometimes fight like a family, but if we could, everyone here would pull together to do whatever we could to keep this company — this family — going.” Edward Charles, president of Butterick’s union, UNITE Local 1071P, said, “We’re all devastated, from the plant manager on down.” Please see Butterick/Page A7Bedford libraries fall victim to county’s budget slashing By Beth N. Gray For the Mirror BEDFORD — Bedford County’s 2001 allocation to its four libraries is being slashed by 39 percent, county commissioners said Wednesday at a grim budget reorgani-zational meeting. In addition, most contributions to nonprofit service organizations are being eliminated, and a I percent cut in outlays or a I percent gain in revenues is being mandated of all county departments. The action was necessitated when Judge Daniel Howsare last week turned down the commissioners’ request for a 3.45 mill real- estate tax increase and instead allowed a 2.25 mill boost. Commissioners need to lop $300,000 in outlays from this year’s budget, Chairman David Thompson told department directors. Thompson admitted to “a lot of reservation” in cutting $50,000 from the previous allocation of $128,000 to libraries at Bedford, Everett, Saxton and Hyndman and to the bookmobile. Commissioner Dick Rice said he soul-searched over the matter. But both said the cuts had to come from somewhere. Library system Supervisor Leslie Rock forecast “major cuts” in library services or materials. The funding reduction will result in a loss of up to $200,000 in state aid, which is pegged to local support, Rock said. Please see Libraries/Page A6 | DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7    '22910    00050;    a > • BIG FOUR 0    3    0)    4 Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly cloudy, 46° ■ Forecast, C3 ITALIAN VILLASecurity Blue drops its rates on premiums in 17 counties PITTSBURGH (AP) Subscribers to the standard Security Blue plan in Blair, Bedford and Cambria counties will see their health insurance rates drop. The plan, run by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, said Tuesday that the monthly rate for a standard plan in Bedford, Blair and Somerset counties will drop from $56 to $45. The rate in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties will drop from $57 to $48. ■■MI The rate cut will be higher in three northwestern Pennsylvania counties where subscribers will pay 28 percent less each month for their health insurance. In Erie, Mercer and Crawford counties, rates will drop from $102 to $73 per month. The plan uses Medicare health-maintenance organizations. There are 157,706 Security Blue subscribers in western Pennsylvania. The northwestern counties had such a big drop because Erie was reclassified as a metropolitan area, which justified a larger payment on behalf of its patients, said Denise Grabner, a Highmark spokeswoman in Pittsburgh. The insurer is receiving a 2.9 percent increase in funding this year from the U.S. Health Care Financing Administration under the federal Benefits    Improvement    and Protection Act. The Security Blue plan also had strong financial results last year, allowing it to cut rates, Grabner said. We Pride Ourselves on Being the Area’s Very Best Because We Feel Our Customers Deserve Nothing Less. □ LOCAL Q NATION Business A7 Classifieds C3-10 Comics A4 Obituaries A9 Opinion A8 0 UFE fj SPORTS Movies D3 Night Life D4 Local B4 Planner D2 Scoreboard B5 Television D5 INSIDE IN NATION A middle-aged accountant with a history of mental illness fired several shots outside the White House Wednesday and then was shot by the Secret Service. PAGE ClAltoona mirror © Copyright 2001 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2001 50C newsstand 9TH DISTRICT RACEDelegate selection at issue Two area companies are laying off more than 500people. ECONOMIC DOWNTURN Butterick ill close ;

  • Allen Twigg
  • Bill Shuster
  • Bud Shuster
  • Daniel Howsare
  • David Gracey
  • David Thompson
  • Denise Grabner
  • Dick Rice
  • Dot Walter
  • Edward Charles
  • John Eichelberger
  • John Eichelberger Jr.
  • Karen Carstewsen
  • Leslie Rock
  • Ron Ferguson
  • Sally Thiel
  • Sandy Marra
  • Scott Conklin
  • Tom Worthington

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Publication: Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

Issue Date: February 8, 2001

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