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Altoona Mirror: Saturday, February 24, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 24, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                Nation: Feds expanding probe of Clinton pardons Life: Making the most of smaller living spaces Dl Copyright 2001 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2001 newsstand Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich Jackie Schneider, a junior from Canal Fulton, Ohio, examines a display at St. Francis University commemorating Black History Month. BLACK HISTORY MOKIH Readings, songs bring races together BY KEVIN OTT Stuff Writer HUNTINGDON Around p.m. Friday night, Denique Conner was listening to Lenny Kravitz and preparing herself to read a Soujourner Truth poem in front of dozens of friends and students. "You know, I didn't even know this guy was black until I saw his she said of Kravitz. That blurring of racial lines would color her whole evening. Conner was a reader at Juniata College's sixth annual "Lift Ev'ry Voice" program, where students read and sing selections by African-American poets, musi- cians and novelists. She also is one of only a handful of African-American students at Juniata, where the enrollment is about The irony of the situation dozens of white students gathering to speak of black power and mourn the hardships of the black experi- ence in lost on her. "At first, I definitely thought it was going to be something of a she said. But then she saw the readers practicing. She saw the students pouring their guts into the words of Langston Hughes and Leadbelly and Toni Cade Bambara. She saw how much it meant to them, to try to understand what it means not to be white and middle- class and privileged. Stephanie Rynkewitz, another reader, knows that as a white woman, she'll never be able to appreciate fully the emotion that went into James Weldon Johnson's "Fifty which she read at the program. But she also knows that she and Johnson aren't totally foreign to each other. "In order to get the emotion across, I had to find out what it meant for she said. "We can kind of understand it, and take it for its value as literature." For Beth Superka, who read two Langston Hughes poems, it was hard to find her voice within Hughes'. Please see All BATTLING BARN BLAZE F. Mirror photo by Jason Sipes ireflghters from five southern Blair County companies worked to contain a barn fire Friday morning on Route 867, about 9 miles outside Roaring Spring near Bakers Summit. The barn was considered a total loss. I PAGE A2 Schools claim state funding will fall short From Mirror staff and wire reports Tom Ridge is promising more education aid for all of Pennsylvania's 501 school dis- tricts for the next school year. But some administrators at both ends of the economic scale said the increases would not keep pace with mounting expenses. Ridge is increasing basic educa- tion aid funding by 4 percent, from nearly billion to more than billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1. All school districts would see an increase of at least 2 percent, although individual dis- tricts would see increases up to 29 percent. In Blah- County, Claysburg- Kimmel and Williamsburg Community school districts would garner the largest percentage increase in funding at 2.8 percent. Hollidaysburg Area and Spring Cove school districts would receive 2.4 percent increases in funding, while Bellwood-Antis and Altoona Area would receive 2.2 percent increases. Tyrone Area would get a 2.1 percent increase in funding. One drawback for smaller school districts in Ridge's proposed bud- get is the absence of Small District Assistance. In the spring of 1995, Ridge implemented SDA to address the needs of small, rural schools. In budgets spanning the last six years, school districts with less than enrollment in grades K- 12 could qualify for SDA funding. Please see A12 BLAIR'S SHARE Proposed basic education funding for Blair County schools in 2001-02: School district_______________2000-01 (undine______________% increase Altoona Area Bellwood-Antis Claysburg-Klmmel Hollidaysburg Area Spring Cove Tyrone Area Williamsburg 2.2 2.8 2.4 2.4 2.1 2.8 Soume: State Department of Education Prison terms given to drug traffickers BY PHIL RAY SiaffWriter Clyde Blair Jr. of Altoona, a link in a Philadelphia-to-Altoona heroin ring, was sen- tenced Friday to I serve a minimum of five years in a state correctional I institution. In sentencing the I 22-year-old Blah-, Judge Norman D. Callan approved a plea bargain nego-' tiated by prosecu- tors, Blair County assistant dis- trict attorney Wade- Kagarise and Pennsylvania deputy attorney Patrick Leonard, and Blair's attor- ney, Shawn Cohen of Hollidaysburg. Blah- could serve as many as 12 years in state prison. Blair He also was fined Callan ordered that. Blair be taken to the state prison at Camp Hill as soon as sheriffs deputies can transport him. Kagarise said Friday that Blair and four others were a major part of a conspiracy to transport large amounts of heroin sold by a Philadelphia street gang to Altoona. He said Blair, Heather Beasom, Cory Gates and Anthony Fella- baum, all of Altoona, and Carmen Rodriguez of Philadelphia were to be tried together for operating a corrupt organization that dealt in heroin. Blair, Gates and Beasom all have entered guilty pleas, Kagarise said. Gates received a 5-year mini- mum sentence in state prison, while Beasom has entered into a plea agreement under which she will serve 11J4 months in prison. Please see A7 TOUGH TAKEDOWN Mirror photo by Jason Sipes Jarrett Musselman of Claysburg-Kimmel High School (left) takes Dan Miller of Tyrone Area High School backwards and out of bounds during tournament action Friday night at Tyrone. For coverage, please see Page Bl. DUNCANSVILLE Change in billing hikes water rates BY JON FLECK For the Mirror DUNCANSVILLE Some resi- dents received quite a shock when they opened their latest water bills. The borough recently switched from flat-rate billing to an actual usage charge, causing a surprising increase in many cases. "There are a lot of unhappy peo- said Charlene Davis, the bor- ough's water and sewer billing clerk. "The phones have been ring- ing off the hook with people calling about their bill." Residents such as Renee Hughes, Carol Shoenfelt and Raymond Koonsman all have seen substan- tial increases in their water bills. "We can't understand how it could jump that said Shoenfelt, who saw her bill jump from to "I wouldn't mind paying a couple dollars more, but they doubled ours." Hughes, whose bill tripled, not only has complaints about the bill, but she also said the water quality is very poor. "How can they charge these out- rageous bills when you can't even drink the she asked. All three, along with some friends and neighbors, think the meters are the problem. "This is Koonsman said. "The meters must be no good or something." For years, residents paid a fee of regardless of how much water they used. Please see A5 DiUVCTY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 3 0 0 I Lottery numbers, A2 Partly cloudy, Forecast, C2 o Altoona [THE__GREAT COMBBNATSON Call us money today. Ask for GKKAT COMBINATION of rvmniOR CLASSIFIEDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 QLOCAL Business Hospitals Obituaries Opinion QSPORTS Local Scoreboard HNOTON A9 i Classifieds C3-14 A13 A13 _ AS i ID UFE i Comics D5 I Community news D2 B4 i Movies D3 B5 i Television D4 television programming for the upcoming week.   

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