Altoona Mirror, April 11, 2001

Altoona Mirror

April 11, 2001

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Issue date: Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Pages available: 72

Previous edition: Tuesday, April 10, 2001

Next edition: Thursday, April 12, 2001 - Used by the World's Finest Libraries and Institutions
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Publication name: Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - April 11, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Sports: Curve chock up their second-straight win Bl Altoona native helps to feed film cast, crew Dl Copyright 2001 WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2001 newsstand Sales suffer 3ring ump BY ANNE D'INNOCENZIO The Associated Press Until earlier this year, Sue Crowgey, a 40-year-old mother of four, was a regular at the restau- rants and malls around her North Carolina town. But the slowing economy and volatile stock market have scared her. "I rummage through my closets and ask myself, 'What do we actu- ally said the Sanford, N.C., resident, who was spotted check- ing out sketches on the side- walk in New York City. The market downturn and the rash of layoffs are hurting consumers' willingness to spend. "I've given up eating out and now eat macaroni and cheese and frozen pizza." "I'm Crowgey said. She said her investments are dwin- dling, and her oldest child is going away to college. Crowgey has joined a wave of consumers who are pulling back on their spending. The market downturn and the rash of layoffs are hurting con- sumers' willingness to spend. And that's causing headaches for stores. Even discounters, which typical- ly weather economic slowdowns better than full-priced stores, are getting bruised. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, already has said that same-store sales in March may fall below the projected 3 percent to 5 percent increase. Target Corp., which operates Mervyn's, Target Stores and Marshall Field's, and Kmart Corp. also are seeing March sales falling below expectations. Most retailers will report their March sales figures Thursday. "This is going to be a very dismal year for said Carl Steidtmann, chief economist at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. To spur sales, many stores are offering deeper-than-usual dis- counts on spring merchandise. Gap Inc. is offering cotton shirts, marked down from And Brooks Brothers is offering off on spring suits. Please see A7 HEALTH CARE _ Mirror file photo by Jason Slpes Dr. Edward Stankiewicz reviews a chest X-ray with a nurse in the radiology department at Miners Hospital In Hastings. PLUG PULLED Altoona dissolves affiliation with Miners Hospital Parting ways Fast facts about Altoona Hospital and Miners Hospital: Location: Hastings Beds: 49 2000 admissions: Average occupancy rate: 48% Location: Altoona Beds: 354 2000 admissions: Average occupancy rate: 96% Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington II BY WILLIAM KIBLER Staff Writer Altoona Hospital has cut Miners Hospital loose after a three-year affiliation and million in support that enabled Miners to build a new hospital in Hastings. Altoona is losing money because of low insurance reim- bursements, a worker shortage and high-priced drugs, and it can't afford the Miners outreach anymore. Miners now is looking for another hospital to affiliate with and to supplement some informal agreements it has. Miners won't cut back patient services because of the breakup, said Ray Ponchione, chairman of the Miners board of directors. In fact, the breakup eventually should enhance services in departments to which Altoona was unable to add, such as orthopedics, Ponchione said. The forces that led to the breakup aren't isolated. Declining revenues are straining lots of affiliations between stronger urban hospitals and weaker rural ones, said Rick Wade, spokesman for the American Hospital Association. Often lifesavers for rural institutions, affiliations were attractive to both sides at first because they increased patient flow for urban hospitals and gave access to special- ists and sophisticated equipment for rural ones, Wade said. But deficits are forcing the bigger hospitals to concen- trate on their core missions. "And jettison the things they don't like to he said. In many cases, it doesn't look good for rural hospitals, Wade said. Please see A6 Boyer battle erupts Former wife of candy maker Anthony Forgione has filed suit against chief financial officer. BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer The estranged wife of deceased Altoona candy maker Anthony Forgione has charged that the com- pany's chief financial officer "may be attempting some form of hostile takeover" of the Boyer Candy Co. She has asked the courts to appoint an overseer. Financial officer Roger Raybuck, who refuses to allow Deborah Forgione on the premises of the 17th Street plant, said Tuesday that he has dedicated him- self to carrying on the business despite the March 23 death of the company's longtime president. Raybuck said that since the death of 55-year-old Anthony Forgione, the company has obtained two new contracts and he has hired 70 second-shift workers, bringing the work force to 225. "I intend to keep it going until somebody forces me to do something said Raybuck, a 10-year Boyer employee and friend and confidante of Anthony Forgione. Deborah Forgione was a trustee of the Forgione Family Trust, which is comprised of 400 shares of the company's stock. Raybuck said she resigned as trustee when she and her husband separated in the early 1990s. Deborah Forgione counters that she was forced to resign "under duress." That difference of opinion has resulted in a six- year court battle in Florida. Now that her former husband is deceased, Deborah Forgione is trying to regain her hold on the company, claiming in her lawsuit that Raybuck has taken control and that nobody is overseeing how the company's money is being spent. Please see A6 Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett Boyer Candy Co. employees take a break out- side the plant on 17th Street. Despite the tur- moil over the company's ownership, produc- tion is thriving. Pa. Game Commission extends doe hunting season to 2 weeks HARRISBURG (AP) The Pennsylvania Game Commission approved sweeping changes to hunting regulations Tuesday, giv- ing hunters two weeks to hunt doe. The new regulations create a simultaneous two-weeklong buck and doe season for the upcoming season that begins after Thanks- giving. Past laws allowed only three days of doe hunting. "Game officials are calling the changes to hunting laws a historic effort to thin the state's deer herd. Game officials approve elk hunt in Pa. PAGE A3 The new regulations are intend- ed to decrease the deer population by 5 percent, commission spokes- man Jerry Feaser said. Past laws had created an unhealthy breeding cycle, he said. "Our objective is to bring the deer herd into a better balance, a more natural breeding Feaser said. "That means more bucks of a breeding age class com- peting for breeding rights." Feaser said bucks in the past had been' overhunted, and those larger bucks that would'secure breeding rights naturally were being hunted first. Game officials hope the new rules prompt hunters to be more selective in the deer they hunt. Only one deer out of 100 reaches the age of 4, Feaser said. There have been some oppo- nents to the new rules, including state Rep. David Levdansky, who calls himself an avid hunter. Please see A3 Local lawmakers secure grants to save Bedford library system BY BETH N, GRAY For the Mirror BEDFORD "We're back in a relieved Bedford County Library Supervisor Leslie Rock said upon hearing that a funding cut will be restored. County commissioners Chair- man David Thompson announced Tuesday that two grants from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, arranged by state Senate President Pro Tern Robert Jubelirer, R-Blair, and state Rep. Dick Hess, R- Bedford, will make up the shortfall that threatened to close temporari- ly library operations at Bedford, Everett, Saxton and Hyndman. Commissioner Dick Rice said the intervention came on the legisla- tors' initiative. "They knew about the court rul- ing on the budget. Jubelirer and Hess came to the Thompson said. When the county common pleas court trimmed the commissioners' designated 12.9 mill tax levy on real estate to 12.05 mills, officials were forced to carve about in expenses from the 2001 budget. Libraries suffered the hardest, as commissioners cut from an expected contribution to the libraries. The shrunken contribution would affect state aid to the libraries, which is calculated based heavily on local government support. The reduction could have elimi- nated state aid for the institutions in two years. Please see A4 Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 MUM Lottery numbers, A2 Chance of showers, Forecast, A2 We re white-hot1 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) 946-7tfr? Business AS, 7, 9 Hospitals A11 Obituaries All Opinion AS B4 T Local Scoreboard BMBON Classifieds C3-12 Quit Comics Movies Puzzles television DS D3 D4 D4 IN NATION The mother of the former Perm State lacrosse player mauled to death by two dogs has filed a wrongful death suit against the dogs' caretakers. PAGE C1 ;