Altoona Mirror, February 9, 2001

Altoona Mirror

February 09, 2001

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Issue date: Friday, February 9, 2001

Pages available: 78 - Used by the World's Finest Libraries and Institutions
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Publication name: Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 9, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Hoops: District 6 tournament pairings announced Life: Warning signs of heart disease can be subtle Dl Copyright 2001 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2001 newsstand Layoffs reflect change in tide BY MICHAEL EMERY Staff Writer In an economic changing of the guard, high-technology rapidly is replacing manufacturing. Two major Blair County busi- nesses fell victim to that changing of the guard this week. Combined, the two companies announced lay- offs Wednesday that will affect about 500 workers. will furlough tem- porarily 260 workers at its manu- facturing plant in Tipton. The workers, who will be called back to work March 5, are primarily sec- ond- and third-shift workers. Butterick Co. Inc. announced in a written statement that it had been bought by McCall Pattern Co. The two companies are longstanding manufacturers of patterns for home sewers. Local Butterick officials have refused to comment or return phone calls, but workers at the company's Beale Avenue manufac- turing plant said they were told the buyout would occur within 30 days. The Altoona plant, which has operated in the city since 1947, will close operations about four to six months thereafter. In all, about 250 local employees wfll be affected by the shutdown. "It's been a bad news week for Blair County said Jay Strawmire, marketing manager at Altoona Blair County Develop- ment Corp. "Economists call it the process of creative destruction when new business replaces old business. But when you're part of that old business, you're suffering the destruction, and it Strawmire said ABCD Corp. views the layoffs at and Butterick differently. is part of the growing industry of high-tech, which is struggling through temporary fluctuation, whereas Butterick is part of the declining interest in home sewing. "We understand that the CCOR layoffe will be temporary, and CCOR is part of the much more advanced and contemporary and growing high- tech Strawmire said. "We remain confident that CCOR will be able to rebound and come back strong. "Unfortunately, Butterick is a local business: that is part of a struggling Strawmire said. "Butterick is suffering because the total business of home sewing has eroded. Young people just aren't interested or involved in it nowadays. The industry has been on the decline for years." Please see A7 ROAD REPAIRS Mirror file photo PennDOT crews work on paving Old Route 220 in this 1999 photo. PennDOT officials said the new paving material Superior Performing Asphalt Pavements was used last year on just about all paving projects in Blair, Bedford, Cambria, Somerset, Huntingdon and Fulton counties with few problems. Paying method strikes pothole Highway officials investigating problems with Superpave; no local troubles reported Mirror graphic by Tom Worthlngton II MORE INSIDE There have been no clean-out-the- bread-shelves snowstorms this year but PennDOT has had more than its share of potholes. PAGEA5 How weather and traffic aid in the formation of a pothole. PAGEAS Bv PHIL RAY Staff Writer Millions of dollars worth of state highway projects will get under way this spring using a new roadway material that some highway experts are calling into question. But local PennDOT officials said the Superpave, short for Superior Performing Asphalt Pavements was used last year on just about all paving projects in Blair, Bedford, Cambria, Somerset, Huntingdon and Fulton counties with few problems. PennDOT's chief engineer Gary Hoffman said Tuesday that about 350 projects statewide have been done with Superpave. He said "cracking and unraveling have occurred prematurely in about 10 of the projects, mostly in the northwest- ern part of the state, and PennDOT wants to know why quickly. A task force has been formed that includes representatives of PennDOT, the Asphalt Institute of Lexington, Ky., the Pennsylvania Asphalt Pavement Association and several technical experts. All but one of the problem pave- ments are in the northwest quadrant of the state, Hoffman said. The task force will go to that area this week to begin its investigation into why Superpave failed on certain roads well before its time. "We expect to get more than three to five years of life out of a he said. Hoffman wants a preliminary report from the task force by the end of the month. The group's findings will be impor- tant because tens of millions of dollars worth of projects will get under way this spring, with about 65 percent of those slated to use Superpave. The potential Superpave problems came to light last week when Paul Schrenk, an engineer with Lane Construction Co. of Pittsburgh, spoke about "uncertainties, problems and concerns" with the new product at a highway seminar. Please see AS 9TH DISTRICT RACE Protests pepper meeting of GOP Blair County's Republicans select N. Dan Beck to appoint 28 delegates to miniconvention. BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer Blair County's top Republicans chose one of their .own Thursday night to select the 28 delegates who will attend next week's nominating miniconven- tion at which a candidate will be be named to run for the 9th District congressional seat. The meeting of the party's executive committee was explosive from beginning to end. Republican committeeman and former Blair County District Attorney Bill Haberstroh was escorted from the Hampton Inn meeting room by Logan Township police before the first word was spoken. Haberstroh protested that the I! executive board should make decision how to select the dele-1 gates at an open forum, behind closed doors. Once the doors were shut, I Haberstroh angrily exclaimed Haberstroh they were closed only because party Chairman John H. Eichelberger Jr. is a can- didate for the seat formerly held by Bud Shuster. "I'll eat my boomed Haberstroh if that wasn't thecase. Haberstroh joined two other protesters outside the Hampton Inn, committee member Bruce Kelley, an aide to State Senate President Pro Tern Robert C. Jubelirer, R-Blair, and committee mem- ber Josephine Landolfi. "We think we should have a.voice in selecting the person to represent us in said Landolfi, who left without a stir but after making her point: One of the front-runners for the seat is Shustef's son Bill, who earlier this week .called for Eichelberger to step aside and allow for an "open, fair, democratic process" in selecting the delegates. The feeling from the Shuster side is that Eichelberger already has stacked the deck behind closed doors and will have delegates named who will support his candidacy. Eichelberger denied any back room shenanigans and denied that the executive committee rubber' stamped a process that will enable him to control the appointment of the delegates by naming party Senior Vice President N. Dan Beck to appoint the delegates. Beck was selected by a vote of 17-2, with one abstention. Eichelberger abstained, not voting on the proposal to have Beck appoint the delegates because he is a candidate for the nomination. Behind closed doors, there was bitter dissent to the proposal to take delegates' selection out of the hands of the county's Republican committee, place it in the hands of the executive board and finally in Beck's hands. Please see A6 Logan Township OKs tax break on proposed business park land By KAY STEPHENS StaffWriter By a 2-1 vote Thursday night, Logan Township supervisors agreed to give up real estate and other taxes for 13 years from land targeted for a business and technology park. Supervisors Frank. Meloy and James Patterson agreed to desig- nate 194 acres above the pro- posed Logan Town Centre shop- ping area along Interstate 99, between the 17th Street' and Frankstown Road intersections, as part of a proposed Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone. If the zone is approved by other local taxing bodies and the state, then businesses locating there will pay no taxes through 2013. But they will provide jobs, which Meloy and Patterson said are needed based on recent lay- offs and news that Butterick Co. Inc. is closing its Altoona facility. "This community is hurting, and it looks like it's going to get Meloy said. Supervisor Diane Meling voted against designating the tax-break zone, explaining that she opposes the use of that land for light industrial busi- nesses. Please see A4 Coroner says attack on mom killed fetus BY PHIL RAY StaffWriter HOLLIDAYSBURG The unborn child of a Patton teen-ager died in November as the result of a beating administered to the moth- er, Blair County's coroner has determined. Patricia Ross said she had not made a formal ruling in the case because of the ongoing investiga- tion by Patton Borough Police and an assistant district attorney for Cambria County. Ross said the fetus's death was a homicide because the boy died of a lacerated liver. The blow that led to the death of the unborn child direct- ly hit the fetus, which was about 25 weeks into development. The mother had medical prob- lems of her own as a result of the beating, Ross said. Please see A10 mivny Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 6 H I Lottery numbers, A2 MATHER Cloudy, warmer, Forecast, C3 Q Q Classifieds of Thursday's Mirror was up to three by technical The Mirror 13 for the delay Community news i would like to thank our carriers and readers" their patience. ;