Altoona Mirror, February 18, 2001

Altoona Mirror

February 18, 2001

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Issue date: Sunday, February 18, 2001

Pages available: 144

Previous edition: Saturday, February 17, 2001

Next edition: Monday, February 19, 2001 - 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 18, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania 2001 SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2001 newsstand IN WORLD Iraq vows to retaliate after allied attack nj IN LIFE Altoona native snowboarding his way through life Growing pains for NASCAR Accelerated popularity has created a new set of challenges for auto racing. BY CORY GIOER Mirror Sports Staff NASCAR's popularity surged in the United States faster than Dale Earnhardt drives at Daytona without restrictor plates. Almost as quickly, though, some of that growth has taken a pit stop. Hundreds of thousands of loyal fans will attend races this year, but one local business owner said the sale of race memorabilia has hit the brakes. "It's reached its peak and started down- said John Bollman, owner of J's Sports Collectibles, a NASCAR store in Saxton. "They made too much stuff and changed paint schemes too often. It dis- courages a lot of people from buying." Today's Daytona 500 marks the opening of the 2001 Winston Cup season. It's gen- erally considered the most exciting time of the year for NASCAR followers, many of whom shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy items related to their favorite drivers. NASCAR's growth since 1990, Fox [Sports reported, measures at 59.6 percent, the most among the major 'sports. The NHL was second at. 38.1 percent, followed by the NBA NFL (7.8) and Major League Baseball NASCAR may have grown faster than the NFL since 1990, but a comparison of :tns two circuits' television contracts shows a different trend. The NFL, like NASCAR, has an eight-year television rights deal, but football is worth bil- lion, compared to racing's million. "A few people come in to watch [races on but it's not like football sea- said Joe Merva, kitchen manager at Zach's Sports Spirits in Altoona. "We're usually full [for and people stay two or three hours to watch the games. Please see AS ALTOONA K6K5I MIRROR .INSIDE: This year's race looks to be more exciting than in 2000. Also, Daytona 500 capsules and how race officials have increased their focus on safety. See stories on Pages C1.C6 Plus, USA Weekend features a pull-out 2001 Find the area's best NASCAR coverage inside the Altoona Mirror. 9TH DISTRICT CONGRESS Sinister, the sequel Son wins GOP nomination in bid to succeed his father Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec Retired U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster (right) wipes away tears as he is overcome with emotion moments after his son BUI (left) clinched the Republican nomination for the 9th Congressional District seat Bud Shuster recently vacated. Bill Shuster received 69 of 133 votes in the first round to win the nomination. Hallmark Republican issues on platform BY ROBERT IGOE Staff Writer candi- date Bill Shuster's platform includes many traditional GOP issues, including tax cuts and local control of education. Shuster also said that work must con- tinue on improving health care, prescrip- tion drug reform and strengthening Social Security. "We must act now to strengthen Social he said. "The greatest risk today is not acting. Social Security is in real trouble. We need to do the things to correct it. "Health care is also a priority of ours. Public health should be reformed based on personal choice and on a competitive marketplace. We need to let patients and doctors make the choices on the care they need, not insurance companies." Shuster said he favors individual investment accounts for Social Security. Such accounts could give those planning for retirement a better return on their money than the current Social Security program. He also said the federal employ- ee health benefits plan is a good model for such reforms. Please see A9 MORE INSIDE Most of the losing .candidates say it's time to get to work. After a nasty battle, Republican rivals must find a way to work together to retain the 9th District seat. PAGE AS COMING MONDAY What lies ahead on the campaign trail for Bill Shuster and Democratic nominee Scott Conklin. BY ROBERT IGOE Staff Writer HUNTINGDON After being named Saturday the Republican nominee to fill the Pennsylvania 9th Congressional District seat formerly held by his father, Bud Shuster, Bill Shuster hugged his dad.. He was no doubt hoping that some of the magic that helped his father hold the seat for 28 years will rub off. Maybe he was hoping it will help him defeat Democrat Scott Conklin in a special election May 15. After embracing his son, the elder Shuster, who was reduced to tears of joy by the news of his son's win, said the new GOP standard-bearer in the 9th District will continue to help "build the future" for the dis- trict. "I'm Bud Shuster man- aged to say before collecting him- self. Regaining his composure, he promised that "the delegates made a great choice. He's going to be a builder. He's going to keep building up this area. He's a positive builder." Bill Shuster did not address the entire delegation after his win, but he was eager to thank his support- ers meeting, the younger Shuster "Ithihkth'is proves that our democratic system is the strongest in the world. "There can be turmoil, there can be disagreements; but in the end, we can come together as Republicans, and we will go on to defeat the Democrats." Party officials hope the nomina- tion, which was awarded at the Republican miniconvention at Juniata College's Brumbaugh Science Center, will be the end of the controversy surrounding the nomination process. The weeks leading up to the mini- convention featured allegations of abuse of power and attempted strong- arm tactics thrown at each other by Bill Shuster and Blair County Republican Party Chairman John H. Eichelberger Jr., as well as an llth- hour threat that called into question the legitimacy of the appointed dele- gates in Huntingdon County. But in the end, Eichelberger said that he was willing to work to help elect Shuster. "We thought it could come out like Eichelberger said. Please see A9 INSIDE Pennsylvania, where coal long has reigned as king, ".could see broader use of solar, wind and similar 'green' sources of electricity under a new legislative proposal. PAGEA7 High fuel prices and lower fuel stockpiles helped create utility bills that hurt the pocketbooks of consumers this year. PAGE E1 Demand for fuel assistance heats up From Mirror staff and wire reports Nearly 5 million households, about a quarter more than last winter, are having serious enough problems meeting winter heating costs that they've asked for government help, according to a nationwide survey. "Prices soar, temperatures plummet and poor families are left out in the said Mark Wolfe, director of an association that represents state low- income energy assistance officials. Locally, the problem is just as intense. "We're being inundated with requests for said Allan Robinson of the Blair County NEED HELP? For more information on assistance with heating bills: Blair County 946-7365 Bedford County 623-6127 Cambria County 533-2253 Huntingdon County 643-4098 Centre County 765-1551 Community Action Agency, which runs a number of programs to assist low-income families with home heat- ing costs. "We're astounded by the number of people." Reports from state offices show that so far this year, the number of house- holds nationwide seeking help has increased by 1.1 million, a 26 percent jump over last winter. In some states, the number of applicants nearly has doubled and is likely to go still high- er, officials said. The federal government has dis- tributed billion to the states for heating assistance, and money is available, Wolfe said. But he expressed concern that the state assistance funds will run dry in the weeks ahead as families begin get- ting their January and February heating bills. "We're talking about elderly, or dis- abled people, or a family with young. children, usually making less than per said Wolfe, director of the National Energy Assistance Directors' Association. "We're trying to encourage people to apply. We don't want people not to buy medi- cine or food to pay for heat." Residential prices for natural gas, home heating oil and propane have jumped anywhere from 40 percent to as much as double what they were last year. Please see A7 Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington II f, QBJWRY Subscription or home delivery questions: or (800) 287-4480 2 fjfpl Lottery numbers, A2 Mostly sunny, Forecast, B2 FINANCING 'tJ! 2002 Pennsylvania HouJS'eFurniture Dinine Rooms-Bedrooms-Sofas-Love Scats aitaisi40% Off Wall Systems Chairs Tables Accents mid up m 50% Off FAMOUS BRAND HIGH DUALITY FURNITURE TO 60% OFF Today Noon 4, Mon. Thru Fri. 9-9, Saturday QLOCAL Accidents Hospitals Obituaries Opinion Newsmakers A11 A11 AH AS B4 Outdoors Scoreboard Qura Astrograph Movies Puzzle Travel C9 i Stocks C8 CDs, rviutuals E4 D4 D3 D4 D6 mCOMMUitV Couples Q2 Yesteryear Q3 ;