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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archive: March 13, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - March 13, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                Nation: Teen sentenced to life gets clemency hearing SAMA showcases work of 600 local students Dl Copyright 2001 TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2001 newsstand Drug case declared a mistrial Latest dismissal t marks five incidents in Blair County courts since January 2000. BY PHIL RAY StaffWriter HOLLIDAYSBURG A drug case tossed out by Judge Hiram Carpenter Monday was the latest in a string of mistrials that have plagued Blair County courts. Carpenter had warned Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman not to ask questions that implied 47-year- old William L. Reeseman of Altpona gave a I police informant JOxyContin sever- Gorman tlmes 17- Reeseman was charged with only one sale, and the judge wanted the trial to focus on that incident. But when the informant indicat- ed that Reeseman had provided the prescription drug on more than one occasion to deliver to other addicts, Carpenter declared a mis- trial. "The judge felt I encroached on an area I should not have encroached Gorman said after the jury was sent home. Gorman said the judge was wrong. Gorman will reschedule the Reeseman case for another trial, and defense attorney Ed Zang will ask that charges be dismissed because of prosecutorial misconduct.. The drug case makes five mistri- als declared in Blair courts since January 2000. Two weeks ago, the Pennsylvania Superior Court over- turned a ruling by Judge Norman D. Callan that dismissed charges of theft and assault against Larry Walls of Altoona, who allegedly was caught breaking into an auto- mobile. The Superior Court ruled that the prosecutor did not intentional- ly attempt to mislead the jury and reinstated the charges. Judge Thomas G. Peoples declared a mistrial in the case in May after Walls' statements, obtained after he told police he did not wish to talk to police, had been presented to the jury. Please see AS Manager: Records request too vague BY WILLIAM KIBLER AND JAY YOUNG Staff Writers The city of Altoona didn't honor a citizen's request for financial documents recently because the request was too vague, too broad and would have required too much work to fulfill, the city manager told City Council Monday. It's been more than 35 days since Altoona resident Bob Cassarly submitted a written request to view "the list of payments or invoices paid by the city of Altoona during the month of July 2000." The request was made as part of a six-month Mirror investigation in which only 42 percent of area government agencies complied with the Pennsylvania Right to Know law, which guarantees the public access to open records. It might have taken four man- days to compile the requested list of all bills paid in July from 10 different accounts in multiple buildings, City Manager Joe Weakland said. Please see AS VANDALS HTT DISTRICT JUSTICE'S OFFICE Fire damages roof Mirror photos by Jason Sipes Troy Spigelmyer (left) and Randy Spigelmyer of TRS Roofing, WUliamsburg, pull a sheet of rubber roofing over the damaged roof of District Justice Elizabeth Doyle's office on Union Street in Hollidaysburg. County security concerns flare lip after building burns Another view of the damage at District Justice Elizabeth Doyle's office. Molotov cocktails thrown on the roof caused about damage over the weekend. BY PHIL RAY Stuff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG Molotov cocktails tossed over the weekend onto the roof of the building used by District Justice Elizabeth Doyle caused dam- age and ignited a controversy among county employees over security in the courthouse and its related facilities. When employees arrived at Doyle's offices at 311 Union St. at 8 a.m. Monday, they noticed a bottle of gasoline lying behind the building, police said. They thought nothing of it, but upon entering the two- story structure between the courthouse and the county prison, the smell of gasoline and kerosene was evident. Police and firefighters were called. An inspection revealed that someone had tossed six bottles of accelerant onto the roof of Doyle's building. Hollidaysburg Detective Sgt. Thomas O'Leary said Monday that the plastic, 2-liter bottles were plugged with paper towels and contained rifle shells. Although none of the bottles on the roof had been lit, O'Leary speculated that the perpetrators had set at least one bottle on fire because an area of the roof about 12-by- 15 feet had been scorched. Aside from that one area of the roof, the building had not caught on fire. Please see A8 Bombing accident kills five during U.S. military testing BY JOHN DONNELLY The Boston Globe WASHINGTON A U.S. Navy pilot, on a nighttime training mis- sion Monday over the northwest- ern desert of Kuwait, dropped a 500-pound bomb that missed its target and killed four Americans and a New Zealand military observer, the Pentagon said. Five others were injured. The training accident, coming only three weeks after U.S. and British jets fired on Iraqi central command radar sites, brought new attention to the dangers fac- ing U.S. servicemen in maintain- ing no-fly zones over the northern and southern regions of Iraq. There were no immediate indi- cations that the deadly accident would greatly influence the Bush administration's ongoing review of its Iraq policy, however. Pentagon officials said a single- seat Hornet jet, flying from the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, was on a routine training mission over the Udairi bombing range in Kuwait, about 28 miles south of the Iraqi border. In such training runs, a person on the ground will give a pilot nine different identification points for a target, often illuminating it with smoke or white phosphorous and then give final the pilot "cleared hot" before the bomb is dropped. It was not clear late Monday whether the person on the ground gave the wrong coordinates or the pilot aimed at the wrong target. Please see A8 Bomb accidentally dropped during 2_ SAUDI I S km ARABIA N____.........___V TURKEY IRAQ'-, IRAN Mediterranean Sta.-7_ s "l 0 J SUDAN SAUDI ARABIA' x i S sooifn SOURCES: Joint Chiefs of Slaff, AP Democrats giving Conklin little help BY CLAUDE R. MARX The Associated Press WASHINGTON National and Pennsylvania leaders in the Democratic Party have shown lit- tle enthusiasm for helping the campaign of Scott Conklin, their party's nominee in the special elec- tion to replace former U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster. The 9th District that Shuster rep- resented from 1973 until resigning last month is heavily Republican. The Democrats are focusing on races next year that they believe Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 MB FOUR 8 4 6 9 I Lottery numbers, A2 Cloudy, showers, Forecast, A2 Altoona Mirror We're white-hot! I THE GREAT 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) 946-7547 DLOCAL Business Hospitals Obituaries Opinion QJNMION Local Scoreboard AS i Classifieds A7 j A7 I _ A6 j LJUR I Comics D5 I Community news D2 B4 I Puzzles D4 B5 Television D4 they have a better chance of win- ning, party offi- cials said. Conklin, chair- man of the Centre County comm- issioners, will face GOP nominee Bill Shuster, the for- mer congress- man's son, in the May 15 special election in the south central Pennsylvania district. Please see A8 C3-8 Conklin Blafc BusinfessT Mirror to remain competitive in hosting events.   

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