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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archive: February 28, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 28, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                Hoops: BG, Williamsburg girls advance to finals Bl Ltfc: Altoona chef brings fine dining into your home Dl Altoona Hfirror Copyright 2001 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2001 newsstand Time proves killer's enemy The statute of limitations runs out on crime family member seeking a new trial. BY PHIL RAY StaffWriter HOLLIDAYSBURG An Altoona man who played a part in an organized crime family that operated locally in the 1970s and early 1980s will not have his life sentence reduced, a Blair County judge has ruled. Judge Jolene Kopriva decided that Preston Ryan, now 43, missed the'opportunity to challenge the sentence imposed on him in 1986 for killing a city man who was labeled as a police informant by crime family boss John Verilla. Ryan recently asked Kopriva for a new trial because he believed when he was'sehtenced for murder that life in prison did not mean he actually would spend his remain- ing years behind bars. He challenged his sentence after U.S. District Court in Johnstown and the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled that a col- league of Ryan's, Scott Brunner, was entitled to a new trial because he entered guilty pleas based on the presumption he would be paroled eventually. Kopriva fesentenced Brunner last year to 20 to 40 years for killing the alleged police informant. Shortly after Brunner was resen- tenced, Ryan requested his sen- tence be vacated and that he be granted a new trial for the same reasons. He based his claim on newly dis- covered Brunner's original sentence was faulty. Kopriva determined that Pennsylvania's General Assembly has placed time limits on requests for courts to re-exam- ine cases. Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman argued that Ryan should have challenged his sen- tence no later than 1997, according to the state-imposed time deadlines. He didn't file his appeal until 2000. Please see All PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS PRIME-TIME PITCH Bush hoping to sell tax cut plan down the center of aisle BY TOM RAUM The Associated Press WASHINGTON President Bush can't rely solely on Republican votes for his budget's centerpiece tax cut, and his speech Tuesday night put his persuasive and political powers to a crucial test in courting Democratic and moderate support. ANALYSIS While Democratic leaders rushed to try to put their own stamp on the tax issue, there was little doubt the president, with his tightly controlled agenda, already had begun to nudge the closely divided Congress his direction on his trillion tax cut. Offering a direct appeal to Democrats, Bush asserted, "Let us agree to bridge old divides. But let us also agree that our good will must be dedicated to great goals. Bipartisanship is more than minding our manners; it is doing our duty." Please see A19 The Associated Press President Bush address a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill Tuesday. WUT THE PROPiSAL MUMS CUBBEMUBXCQDf; to to to to and up to to to ,650 ,650 to and up. Married-Joint Filing to to to to and up TAX to to to and to to to ,650 and to to and Soutce: The President's Agenda for Tax Relief Area leaders, residents like what they hear BY ROBERT IGOE StaffWriter. With every vote at stake in the closely divided Congress, President Bush made his case to lawmakers Tuesday to pass his budget plan, which includes a large tax cut. Pennsylvania lawmakers' reaction to the includes a tril- lion tax cut over 10 years, mostly fell along party lines; several members wanted more details. "It's a good said U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. "It cuts taxes, reduces the debt and makes a strong statement against growing the size of government." Please see A19 Professor challenges euthanasia philosophy Controversial speaker addressed a crowd at Penn State Altoona Tuesday. BY KEVIN Orr StaffWriter Quietly and with little fanfare, Princeton philosopher Peter Singer presented the notion Tuesday that society needs to re-examine its attitude toward the sanctity of life. Singer, an advocate of making euthanasia available to ter- minally ill and vegetative patients, was the subject of sever- al letters addressed to Penn State Altoona, where he gave his lecture to a crowd of about 200 Tuesday night. Some area residents wrote letters in opposition to Singer being part of the institution's Distinguished Speakers series. The same thing happened at Princeton University when Singer began work there as a professor in July 1999. Singer began his lecture in the Adler Athletic Complex by appealing {o what he termed public reason: "An he explained, "in which we can address each other... as part of a conversa- tion, we can have irrespective of religious premises." The traditional ethics rounding the sanctity of life, Singer said, demand that we do not terminate innocent human nnt make life-or-death decisions based on ouFfnagments of the value of someone's life. Yet many people regularly do that in cases of brain death, he said, when they decide to cut off loved ones from respira- tors and other medical devices that keep them alive. Accepting a person is dead when their brain ceases- to function is common, and medical practice generally keeps with that notion; when a person is being kept alive only by machines, it is acceptable, however grim, to turn off those machines. "It's the one thing in which there's been a significant amount of consensus in he said. But the contradiction between our beliefs and our actions holds, he said, and if we're serious about sticking to the tra- ditional ethic of the sanctity of life, we also should stick to ia definition of death that doesn't include brain death. That also would mean not harvesting organs for transplant froji victims of brain death. Further, Singer said, there are situations not falling under the definition of brain death in which it would be acceptable to end an individual's life. In some cases, vegetative patients are not brain dead but doctors know they never will recover, as when brain stem functions allow a patient to breathe on his own. Please see AID Singer said then are situations not falling under the definition of orain death in which it would be an life. Lawmakers view tapeofSexFaire BY MARTHA RAFFAELE The Associated Press few minutes of titillating videotape made Tuesday's legislative hearing on Penn State University's funding the only one in recent memory requiring a parental advisory for public-access television viewers. The nearly four-hour House Appropriations Committee hear- ing featured a five-minute video of highlights from a student-run sex education fair and much lengthier sparring between lawmakers and university President Graham B. Spanier over whether the Feb. 3 Sex Faire violated community standards. About 150 people packed into the hearing room, while another 30 gathered around a television mon- itor that carried the proceedings into the Capitol rotunda. Signs that read: "Parental discretion is advised for this video" were taped to the set. The videotape, shown by Rep. John Lawless, R-Montgomery, offered glimpses of "orgasm on a grid of words describing body parts and sexual acts anatomically correct gin- gerbread cookies and a bikini-clad woman with the words "This is my body, sexually and politically" written on her back. Please see A1G ASHES TO ASHES Mirror photo by Jason Sipes Officials of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, 1313 13th Ave., Tuesday burn palms from last year's Palm Sunday in preparation for Ash Wednesday. Thousands of area Christians will observe the first day of the Lenten season of repentance today. Tax breaks backed for acreage in Blair BY KAY STEPHENS StaffWriter HOLLIDAYSBURG Blair County commissioners added their endorsement Tuesday to pro- posed tax breaks on 580 acres to spur development, the last local endorsement needed before seek- ing the state's approval. Commissioners John J. Ebersole, John H. Eichelberger Jr. and Donna D. Gority voted to grant tax exemptions on parcels in six areas for the next 13 years through the Keystone Opportunity Expan- sion Zone program. The proposal to create tax-break zones as prepared by the Altoona Blair County Development Corp. moves to the state level, where a Blair Township to discuss KOEZ for Springs PAGE AS decision is expected by the end of March. Local municipal and school district officials also have voted in favor of giving tax breaks on the acreage. Commissioners said if the pro- gram brings development, they won't complain about the loss of tax revenue through 2013. "Some of these parcels have been on the books for Eichel- berger said. He likened the idea to putting a private company in charge of man- aging the Altoona-Blair County Airport. Please see A20 Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 4 0 9 Lottery numbers, A2 Sunny and brisk, Forecast, AS rn Mirror [THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us today.. .Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASS1FI EDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 Business Hospitals Obituaries Opinion Movies Scoreboard A15 A16 A16 A12 B8 B7 V QiunoN Classifieds C8-20 Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4 OH BABY Vote in the Baby oil Year Contest sectisjf- inside today's nevipaoef, You could be onejm five lucky entrants tqfvvin a one-year free subscription to the Altoona Jtorror.   

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