Friday, February 16, 2001

Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 16, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Hoops: Williamsburg's girls cap perfect season life: New procedure helps men with enlarged prostates Dl Copyright 2001 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2001 500 newsstand Altoona to se pcop ected BY TIFFANY SHAW Staff Writer The changing of the guard at the Altoona Police Department is really just a move from one office to another. Capt. Janice J. Freehling was named chief of police Thursday, the milestone of a 24- year career with the department, where she spent more than three years as the second in command. Although she was Altoona's first modern- era woman officer hired and now the first female chief, the gender issue was brushed aside by city officials. Police Chief John F. Treese, whose last day before retirement is Feb. 28, recom- mended Freehling as the best qualified per- son to lead the department. "I know it's being placed in the hands of an excellent new he said during a press conference Thursday. "She'll do an excellent job." "I've always been a person who doesn't believe male or female should be used as an adjective to describe a person's Freehling said. "I'm just proud to serve as a professional." Despite believing that gender doesn't mat- ter, Freehling becomes one of just a handful of women in the state who are municipal police chiefs. Please see A4 THE FREEHLING HIE Nmw: Janice J. Freehling Kit: 47 Bon: Altoona (dilation: Graduated from Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School in 1971; graduat- .ed from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of science degree in criminolo- I gyin1975. Pirtonil: Has a son Jason, 21. Cirwr: Worked as caregiver at the Blair County Juvenile Detention Home. Joined the Altoona Police Department in October 1976. Assigned to patrol duty. Promoted to corporal in 1983 and assigned as investi- .gator to the Criminal Investigation and Youth Services 'divisions. Promoted to sergeant in 1986 and assigned to third platoon of the Patrol Division, served as second 'in command. Moved to first platoon in 1987, where X she served as officer in charge. Promoted to lieutenant of patrol In 1989. Promoted to captain in 1997. AchiovBmBnfs: Served on committee to review and implement recommendations made by Altoona Drug and Crime Commission. Member of the Blair County Drug Task Force from <i 989-97. Chaired committee that worked with architects and "contractors in the design, construction and furnishing of new police building. Member of the task force that wrote the Blair 'County domestic abuse protocol. Antis nixes zoning plan BY WALT FRANK Staff Writer BELLWOOD Zoning is dead in Antis Township. Under pressure from residents, township supervisors voted 3 to 2 Thursday night to halt a zoning feasibility study being con- ducted by a Camp Hill consultant. After several of 50 residents who jammed the Bell Mansion meeting room voiced then- objections to zoning, Supervisor Ronald Gensamer made a motion to stop the study and "do away .with zoning" in the township. Gensamer, Raymond Amato and Vice Chairman Leo Matuszewski voted in favor of the motion, while Chairman Robert Walker and Robert Wigman voted against it. In June, supervisors hired Gannett Fleming Inc. to conduct the study. Please see A4 Freehling MUVMT Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 9TH DISTRICT CONGRESS CONVENTIONAL WISDOM Shuster tries to woo Eichelberger delegates to benefit Blair Who will be the 9th District survivor? Almost at the moment news of U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster's retirement first hit the headlines of the Altoona Mirror Jan. 5, jockeying began for the chance to fill Shuster's shoes in Congress. In the whirlwind days since, the region's Republicans have bick- eredfbrainstorrned, formed and broken alliances and taken one another to court. It sounds like it might make good television if it weren't so real. Their efforts will culminate Saturday morning when 133 delegates from 11 counties gather at Juniata College in a miniconvention to pick a GDP candidate to face at least three foes this fall. Here's a capsule look at where the race has gone and where it might conclude: How it works Total delegates: 133 (see breakdown graphic below) Needed to win: 67 (or simple majority if there are no-shows or abstentions) Method: The low vote-getter in each round is eliminated. Delegates committed to that candidate can make a different choice in the next round of votes. Convention glance Where: Brumbaugh Science Center Alumni Hall, Juniata College When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Candidate analysis Name: John H. Eichelberger Jr. Hometown: Duncansville Occupation: Insurance agency owner Strategy so far: Eichelberger has long cast himself as the anti-Shuster. He has slowly and meticulously built a power base in Blair County based in part on his opposition to the old- guard politics symbolized by Bud Shuster and his ally, State Sen. Robert Jubelirer. Foes say his strate- gy has been to stop Shuster first and try to get himself elected second. His position as chairman of the Blair County GOP might give him enough power to do both. To survive: The loss of the 18 Blair County delegates was a huge blow to Eichelberger's candidacy and to his ability to wheel and deal at the con- vention. Without all of Blair's dele- gates, Eichelberger will almost cer- tainly need to grab all Franklin County's 33 delegates. That's a long shot because Pat Fleagle's strong base almost assures Eichelberger will be eliminated first. Name: Pat Fleagle Hometown: Waynesboro Occupation: State Representative Strategy so far: Fleagle had the early advantage in the battle for dele- gates because his home county of Franklin has the most voles at the miniconvention with 33. With those votes in hand, Fleagle has kept an extremely low profile while Eichelberger and Shuster have slugged it out publicly. In fact, Fleagle did not officially announce his candi- dacy until two weeks ago. To survive: Fleagle's camp believes they enter the convention with 40 to 45 delegates. In a Shuster vs. Ffeagle showdown, all 28 Blair County dele- gates voting in a block could be deci- sive. But with those delegates now split in loyalty, it's unlikely an alliance between Fleagle and foes of Shuster can gain enough votes. In Fleagle likely will need to gain.some support from delegates from'counties such as Huntingdon, Clearfield and Centre. Name: Rick Geist Hometown: Altoona Occupation: State Representative Name: Bill Shuster Hometown: East Freedom Occupation: Auto dealer Strategy so far: Geist, a political ally of Eichelberger, has positioned him- self as a compromise candidate almost since the-beginhing of the process. He sent a letter to party offi- cials this week offering himself in that role. Like Fleagle, he's kept a low pro- file and for the most part stayed out of the line of fire between Bill Shuster and Eichelberger. To survive: There are some who believe the bizarre race for the GOP nod has turned out the way Geist planned. Tho final piece to Ihe puzzle would be a multiballot convention at which none of the other candidates can gain a majority. Under that sce- nario, Geist would step forward as a compromise candidate. Strategy so far: Shuster was one of the very few people in central Pennsylvapia who hadany inkling -that his woulcTresign his con- gressional seat. This gave him a slight jump in planning and prepara- tion for the race. The other candi- dates have accused the Shuster camp of .trying to strong-arm dele- gates on the coattails of his father's legendary power. But Shuster the son has been adamant that he plans to be his own man. To survive: After fighting to gain 18 of Blair's delegates, Shuster goes into the miniconvention with the broadest range of support, although he likely lacks the sheer number of delegates to grab the nomination quickly. To win, he'll need to claim the delegates who become uncommitted when the candidate of their choice is eliminat- ed during the voting process. Others who have expressed interest in the GOP nomination and who could get votes in early rounds Saturday: State Rep. Lynn Herman Centre County Commissioner Connie Lucas Joyce Haas, Centre County GOP committee David Bahr Fulton County Treasurer Bonnie Mellot-Keefer Mifflin County journalist Monte Kemmler Stephen Luhrs Les Pearce The delegates There will be 133 delegates to the miniconvention from the 11 counties that make up the 9th Congressional District Counties received delegates in proportion to the number of votes cast in each county for George W. Bush in the recent presidential election. Delegate totals for counties are shown at right: The challengers Aside from the Republican candidate, these names will be on the May 15 ballot for the 9th District seat in Congress: Scott Conklin, Democrat Alanna Hartzoh, Green John Kensinger II, Reform The sequel The eventual winner of the 9th District seat won't rest on his or her congressional laurels too long. It's likely many of (he same principals will be back on the scene early next year for the 2002 primary and general elections to fill the seat for the 2003 term. Before that happens, the upcoming reapportion- ment could change some of the dynamics of the district and the race. Stay tuned. Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington II By WILLIAM KIBLER Staff Writer Congressional candidate Bill Shuster thinks he'll have enough votes to win the Republican nomination Saturday in Huntingdon, but he wants rival John H. Eichelberger Jr. to help him do it in the first round. Two days after he bested Eichelberger 18 to 10 in a court-and-. committee melee for Blair's dele- gates to the 9th Congressional District miniconvention, he's asking Eichelberger to surrender those 10 votes so he can get the 67 he needs to prevail quickly against Pat Fleagle, his main opponent now. The gesture would begin to mend the division in the Blair County Republican Party over the Eichelberger-Shuster rivalry, Shuster said. "It would_ put me over the he said. "I believe it would be the first step in you and. I coming back togeth- he said as if to Eichelberger. Eichelberger was offended at the suggestion. "Why would people do something like Eichelberger asked. Blair committee members voted for him to represent them, and he plans to follow through, he said, adding that he still has a lot of support. However, having locked up votes in the mid- to high 50s range, Shuster said no other candidate but himself has a realistic shot. Eichelberger has 10 or 12 total votes instead of the 28 expected from Blair, and he csnrt.wini-- Shuster said. Fleagle may have about 40. So, Shuster said, it would be in Eichelberger's own interest, the interest of the entire Blair County Republican Party and that of county residents in general for Eichelberger to fold his tent and come into Shuster's. Releasing the delegates would be the honorable thing for Eichelberger to do, said Mike Long, a staffer for state Senate President Pro Tern Robert Jubelirer, R-Blair, a Shuster supporter. Shuster wants Eichelberger on his side because Eichelberger knows lots of people and has lots of infor- mation that would help in the gener- al election campaign. "For any party in any county, it's important for the party to be togeth- Shuster said. Tuesday's victory after a court hearing that nullified a pro- Eichelberger slate of delegates and threw it open to a full county com- mittee selection was huge, Shuster said. Even with all 28 Blair votes, Eichelberger wouldn't have been able to win, but he probably could have tipped the balance to Fleagle, Shuster said. Based on what he said after Tuesday's defeat, Eichelberger might have been willing. Eichelberger thinks a lot of Fleagle and would find it tough to support Shuster after what happened. And Eichelberger can refute the argument that having a congress- man at the other end of the district would be bad for Blair. Blair has a big population, and wherever the congressman is from, he'd need to give Blair due atten- tion, Eichelberger said. There's no question Bill Shuster has the most votes locked up, maybe even enough to win the nomination on the first ballot, especially if Eichelberger throws his votes over, said Allen Twigg, Franklin County's GOP chairman. Please see A7 i 2 2 3 I Lottery numbers, A2 Cloudy with rain, Forecast, C3 y Business Movies Obituaries Opinion Local Scoreboard A9 A3 "All A8 B4 B5 H NATION Classifieds C4-12 (TJUFE Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4