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Altoona Mirror: Monday, February 26, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 26, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                Sports: Dale Earnhardt remembered at Rockingham Life: Setting goals teaches kids character building Dl Copyright 2001 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2001 500 newsstand INSIDE TODAY COVER STORY: What etiquette is and how it says a lot about who you are. PSU fair prompts push for controls HARRISBURG (AP) When Penn State University President Graham Spanier makes his annual trek to Harrisburg this week to ask House members for more money to run the state's largest universi- ty, he likely will be talking about something else: students and sex. During Spanier's presentation to the Appropriations Committee Tuesday, seeking million more than the million Gov. Tom Ridge has proposed, state Rep. John Lawless, R-Montgomery, plans to show a 5-minute videotape featuring Penn State coeds talking about sex. Lawless has been campaigning for Penn State to stop allowing stu- dents'to run events such as the Feb. 3 Sex Faire. The event presented information about homosexuality, reproduc- tive health and safe sex in a man- ner that Lawless called porno- graphic. "I want their appropriation sus- pended until they demonstrate to the Legislature that there are some community standards being met that will prohibit this kind of Lawless said. Penn State, which has an enroll- ment of students, receives about one-third of its budget from the state, and university officials expect most legislators to oppose Lawless' demand for an interrup- tion of state funding. "I can't imagine anyone taking that suggestion univer- sity spokesman Stephen Mac- Carthy said. In November, Lawless demand- ed "immediate action" against Penn State over a festival with a name that included a vulgar four- letter reference to female anato- my. It featured self-defense work- shops, a lesbian performance artist and a singer-songwriter. Please see A7 MOVING UP In order to provide our readers with more coverage of national and international news, we have moved our weather package from the C section to Page A2. Beginning in today's Mirror, you'll find your weather forecasts on Page A2 each day. Coming soon: Daily pollen counts. DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 BAD BRIDGES Feds say more than 25 percent of nation's spans are substandard In 1967, a fractured beam caused the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River to collapse, killing 46 people. That tragedy ushered in a federal bridge inspection program. Spans under scrutiny Of the bridges inspected as of Aug. 31, 2000, 29 percent were deemed "deficient" by the government. A structure whether covered bridge or massive suspension span is rated based on the findings of inspectors, who look for general deterioration and design elements that may not be able to handle increases in traffic. Signs of a dated design Increases in traffic may have outpaced the load that the bridge was designed to carry. The vertical clearance of older bridges may be less than today's standard 16 feet, 6 inches. Today, railings are crash-tested, but older railings could give way to a crashing car. Approaching roadway may be too sharply curved, or widened too much 'to accommodate increased traffic flow. Inspectors use "snooper" trucks to visually check less accessible parts of the_ structure for general deterioration, such as rust buildup. Dragging a heavy chain across the road surface, inspectors listen for a hollow sound that indicates delaniinattoiv- Some crews now usei devices that detect heat differences. Like a wire that breaks when repeatedly bent. back and forth, beams and reinforcements can weaken under repetitive stress. Inspectors look for signs of fatigue, such as hairline cracks. On suspension bridges, cable tension is a good indicator of the forces acting on a bridge or whether its position has shifted. Divers may be used to check for underwater corrosion and scouring erosion of the riverbed around concrete piers. Judging a bridge's health Deterioration in the structure could show up as hairline cracks, or spelling, when concrete crumbles away from its interior steel reinforcement. SOURCES: Federal Highway Administration; Dave Pope, Wyoming Department of Transportation; Stan Woods, Wisconsin DOT; James O'Connell, New Ibrk State DOT J. Jurgensen; J. BY JONATHAN D. SALANT The Associated Press WASHINGTON More than a quarter of the nation's bridges are too weak, dilapidated or over- burdened for their current traffic, according to federal records that detail an American road system that hasn't kept pace with a booming economy. Dramatic stories of spans with falling concrete or weak supports abound across the country, even though the gov- ernment has spent billions on repairs over the last few years, an Associated Press computer analysis of the records found. School buses in Washington County in southwestern Alabama seeking to lower their weight used to have to stop at one end of a decaying bridge, let children off to walk across the span and pick them up on the other side. Now, the buses drive 15 extra miles per day to avoid the bridge altogether. "We said many times we ought to be ashamed of our- selves for letting that said Sonny Brasfield, assistant executive director of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama. In Louisiana, a bridge over Thompsons Creek was hastily put back in place, not rebuilt, after floodwaters washed it away. To compensate, officials put new limits on the weight of trucks crossing the span. "It would not make any structural engineer comfort- able to look at the state engineer Gill Gautreau said. And in Denver, softball-sized chunks of concrete rou- tinely break off the Interstate 70 viaduct near the city's coliseum. "It's just falling firefighter John Afshar said. "They clean up the mess pretty quickly." The AP computer analysis of Federal Highway Administration records found of bridges or 29 rated by the government as "defi- cient" as of Aug. 31. That's a slight improvement from four years earlier when 31 percent of bridges were deemed deficient. "Deficient" is defined as structures that either require repairs or are too narrow or weak to handle the traffic that must use the bridges to go from place to place. "There has been some improvement, but the numbers are quite high. There's certainly a long way to said Frank Moretti, research director for The Road Information Program, a transportation group funded by construction and manufacturing companies. Three states Hawaii, Rhode Island and Massachusetts report that more than half of their bridges are rated as deficient. Please see A8 Gallitzin will pay toward cost of Jackson Steet bridge replacement Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich Gallitzin and PennDOT are replacing the Jackson Street bridge near the borough building. BY LINDA HUDKINS For the Mirror GALLITZIN The bridge that carries Jackson Street traffic over double-stacked rail cars soon will be a cost of mil- lion after years of setbacks. And even though each delay came with a corresponding cost increase, borough officials entered into a bit of creative financing to protect taxpayers' wallets. Several years ago, a harvest of trees from borough-owned proper- ty brought some extra cash into municipal coffers, borough secre- tary Irene Szynal said. "We invested the money, and that should coyer she said of the or 5 percent, that the borough must contribute toward the total project cost. "There's no way in the world that we could have taken it out of the general she said. Funding for the project also includes or 80 percent, from federal sources and or 15 percent, from the state, said Dave Wolfhope, project manager for PennDOT. A construction cost of will be paid to Charles J. Merlo Construction of Mineral Point; Wolfhope said. The balance will pay for design engineering, utility replacement, inspection, railroad and right of way costs. Please see AS Logan Township will rename some streets, roads in March BY KAY STEPHENS StaffWrtter Logan Township Supervisor Frank Meloy has changed addresses four times and never moved once. But recognizing the benefits of unique addresses, Meloy and fel- low supervisors Diane Meling and James Patterson agreed to rename some township streets and roads, especially in Lakemont. Meling, who has been attending meetings with representatives from Altoona, the post office and the Blair County 911 Center, rec- ommended during Thursday's township supervisors' meeting that the township get started on renaming its streets in March. The effort is meant to help the 911 center, which dispatches emergency crews, as well as town- ship residents who complain about mixed-up mail and package delivery. Meling proposed holding a pub- lic meeting to give residents a chance to offer suggestions for new street names. But instead of that, Meloy and Patterson said they would prefer to give people an opportunity to offer suggestions, then schedule a public hearing to take comments before adopting an ordinance changing streets and road names. Meloy said that when the post office imposed address changes for his residence, he had no say in the matter. Please see A3 Mirror photo by J.D. CavricF Logan Township hopes to rename some streets such as Ninth Street in Lakemont to avoid confusion. Altoona also has a Ninth Street. NO rout 6 616 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Sunny and breezy, Foraj ast, A2 oreca Atoona mirror THE GREAT C0MB8MATION Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) S46-7R47 Q LOCAL Business Hospitals Obituaries Opinion Scoreboard Movies AS A7 AT AS B5 {jj NATION Classifieds C2-8 El LIFE Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4   

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