Altoona Mirror, March 21, 2001

Altoona Mirror

March 21, 2001

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Issue date: Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Pages available: 118

Previous edition: Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Next edition: Thursday, March 22, 2001 - Used by the World's Finest Libraries and Institutions
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Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - March 21, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Nation: i: Advocates push for 'granny cams' Cl Lite Get more from the foods that you eat Dl Altonna Hltrr0r Copyright 2001 WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2001 newsstand Wall Street disappointed with cut BY MARTIN CRUTSINGER The Associated Press WASHINGTON The Federal Reserve delivered a half-point of interest-rate relief to the ailing economy Tuesday, citing "substantial risks" of pro- longed weakness and signaling it would take further action if needed to stave off recession. The size of the reduction disap- pointed Wall Street, which had been looking for a bigger cut, and investors sent stock prices down again. But private economists emphasized that the central bank had sent a strong message that it would do whatever was needed to avoid a recession. The latest reduction in the federal funds rate brought this key benchmark for short-term loans down to 5 percent after earlier half-point cuts Jan. 3 and 31. The cuts since the beginning of the year marked the most aggressive rate reduction effort in IB years since the Fed under Paul Volcker as chairman slashed rates by 1.75 percentage points in the last two months of 1984. "We're teetering on the edge of a recession and today's action by the Fed is a significant move toward pulling us back from the said economist Jerry Jasinowski, the president of the National Association of Manufacturers. Still, Wall Street was not happy. Investors had been hop- ing rates would be cut by a big- ger 0.75 percentage point, believ- ing such a move was needed to boost badly shaken confidence after the Dow Jones industrial average suffered its worst sell- off in 11 years last week. The Dow, which had been trading around the level at the time of the Fed's mid- afternoon announcement, fell 238.35 to its lowest close in two years. The Dow now has lost over the past eight trading sessions and is down 17 percent from its record high in January 2000. The technology- heavy Nasdaq dropped 93.74 to close at down more than 63 percent from its record close in March 2000. Please see A4 "If this economy tanks, he's going to get a lot of the blame lor it. And he should." economist Lawrence Chimerin Analysis Doubts threaten Greenspan's reputation as economic mastermind. PAGE Cl RAPE CHARGES State worker going to trial BY LINDA HUDKINS For the Mirror CRESSON A Duncansville man will face trial on charges he raped a woman in a building at the State Correctional Institution, a district justice ruled Tuesday. The 29-year-old woman, during a preliminary hearing Tuesday, said she was raped by John Henry Williams Jr., 36, of Duncansville. Williams sat silently while listen- ing to graphic testimony of a sexual encounter that allegedly occurred between him and the woman in a building at State Correctional Institution at Cresson in the pre- dawn hours Jan. 4. He never spoke, but his legal team and a delegation of supporters said it was an affair gone sour. Based on the woman's testimony, District Justice Charity Nileski bound the case to county court for trial. Williams is charged with rape, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and invol- untary deviant sexual assault. Afterthehearing, defense attorney Jerome Green conceded that a sexu- al encounter did occur between the two state prison employees but that it was with the woman's consent Green elicited testimony that she did not tell her husband of the inci- dent for six days. The woman testi- fied that she contacted authorities a few days after that. Cambria County prosecutor Lisa Swope countered that defendants in rape cases typically claim consent occurred and that victims often hesi- tate for a while before filing charges. Williams remains on suspen- sion, pending the outcome of the charges. The woman is on volun- tary unpaid leave. Green said his client has sold his house, can't afford to buy food for his children and is getting help from his family. "I think his life.has already been Green said. The woman said in the days after the incident, she was subjected to teasing and retaliation by co-work-. ers. The night of the alleged incident, prison workers attended a going- away party at a restaurant near the prison to celebrate Williams' promotion from sergeant at the Cresson prison to lieutenant at the new Pine Grove state prison for young offenders in Indiana. The woman testified that Williams approached her a num- ber of times during the party to ask if she was mad at him before ask- ing her for a ride home. Please see A4 BATTLING COLD SYMPTOMS Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich Dr. Pradip Swain (left) examines Daniel Lee of Altoona at Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital emergency room. Antibiotics may not be answer From Mirror staff and wire reports Doctors should not prescribe antibiotics for most colds, coughs and sore throats because they don't help, and overuse is making them less effective against other infections, the nation's second- largest doctors' group said. For most healthy adults, the best treatment for bronchitis, most sinus infections, colds and coughs are over- the-counter cold remedies, according to the American Academy of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine. The group announced the new guidelines in response to growing concerns that overuse of antibiotics AT A GLANCE Average cost of visit to emergency room: Average length of flu or cold symp- toms: 7 days Average low-cost antibiotic: per pill Number of viral symptoms helped by antibiotics: 0 Source: Dr. Pradip Swain, Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital helps germs become resistant to drugs. "Reducing antibiotics resistance really takes a societal said Dr. Ralph Gonzales of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. "If we can lower our total antibiotic consumption by 20 or 30 percent, we can show an effect in changing the rate of prevalence in these resistance organisms." Experts have warned for a decade that overuse of antibiotics is helping germs become resistant to drugs, first to penicillin, then to newer antibiotics. But for local doctors and nurses who see children in the emergency room with flu or cold symptoms everyday, the question is not how to treat the patient, but what to say to a parent that expects some kind of action. Please see A4 Increased security expected BY KAY STEPHENS AND PHIL RAY Staff Writers j HOLLIDAYSBURG Efforts will be made to tighten security measures at the Blair County Courthouse in light of Monday's bomb threat, com- missioners said Tuesday. But beyond tightening measures, commissioners J. Ebersole and John H. Editorial: Figures Eichelberger Jr. said they're tell the value not inclined to take any addi- of screenings tional actions such as perma- Pftoe AS________nently restricting access via one door. "You can't make it a Fort Knox or anything close to Ebersole said at the weekly commissioners' meeting. The commissioners evacuated the courthouse Monday after a caller said her son, responsible for "the bombing over the was on his way to the courthouse with a bomb. On the weekend of March 10 and 11, someone tossed several Molotov cocktails onto the roof of District Justice Elizabeth Doyle's office, about a block from the courthouse. Eichelberger said the commissioners will insist that secure areas of the courthouse be kept secure, that access doors are closed and locked when employees go in and out of the building after hours, that employees wear identification badges and keep an eye out for suspicious activities or people. Eichelberger said the county spent a lot of money on security measures when building the courthouse addition, finished in 1999. Those measures include cameras to monitor hallway activities and locked access to the office of Judge Thomas G. Peoples. Because of Monday's bomb threat, access to the courthouse Tuesday was restricted to one door on the Allegheny Street side of the courthouse. Sheriff deputies David Summers and William Eichenlaub were stationed inside to use a metal detector to scan visitors for weapons. By the end of the day, the deputies had stopped one man from taking a gun into the courthouse and con- fiscated brass knuckles and pocket knives, which they held for visitors until they left the courthouse. Please see A12 SPRING IS IN THE AIR Daffodil Days volunteers Carrie Lingenfelter (left) and Cindy Eckenrode organize daffodils Tuesday at the Frankstown Armory. Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett INSIDE TODAY the Mirror's new quarterly magazine, makes its debut appearance included FREE in your Mirror today. Sports Bishop Guilfoyle Lady Marauders are one win away from a trip to Hershey for PIAA state championship. Staff Writer Philip Cmor looks at tonight's game against Kennedy Christian. PACE B1 Penn State men aren't satisfied with two wins in the NCAA Tournament. After a visit to PSU, Neil Rudel tells us why. PAOEBI 9TH DISTRICT RACE Candidates to debate; number remains open BY ROBERT IGOB Staff Writer Democrat Scott Conklin extended the challenge to Republican Bill Shuster to meet him in a series of debates. Shuster accepted the chal- lenge. Green Party candidate Alanna Hartzok and candidate John Kensinger want in on the action, too. Now it's merely a matter of setting a date for when the candidates for the 9th Con- gressional District seat in Washington will square off. "If you can get my oppo- WEBSITES For 9th District Candidates: Scott Conklin: Alanna Hartzok: John Kensinger: Bill Shuster: nent to Conklin said at a recent appearance in Altoona, "I'll be more than happy to do it. I said I'd Please see A12 Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 no raw 2 7 Lottery numbers, A2 Rain; snow possible, Forecast, A2 Altoona mirror THE GREAT COMBINATION 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 Business Obituaries Opinion A11 A13 AS QNOTON Movies C2 Classified CS-14 Qure Local Scoreboard Comics D5 i Community news D2 B4 Puzzles D4 B5 I Television D4 STATE High court hears case on refining prison lawsuits. ;