Friday, April 20, 2001

Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - April 20, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY RELIG80N: New study shows Amish groups continuing to thrive FREE INSIDE SPORTS; St. Francis University basketball player leaves school Bl________________ Penn State Altoona dance company Allied Motion to perform next week Dl Altomta UKrrnr Copyright 2001 FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2001 newsstand Judge orders firebug to jail Latest sentence could add up to a life term for arsonist. BY PHIL RAY StaffWriter HOLLIDAYSBURG Chris- topher M. Rodland of Hollidays- burg could end up spending the rest of his life in prison for a two- year arson spree that Blair County Judge Jolene G. Kopriva said "caused a great deal of pain and hurt." The judge's 15 te- Ito 41-year prison I sentence will be I added to a term of 19 years, 8 months ]to 45 years he I already is serving I for arson. His total sentence is 25 years, 2 months to 86 years. Rodland, 24, asked Kopriva not to add additional time to his origi- nal sentence because under Pennsylvania corrections policies, he won't get out of prison until he is 65 years old. "I will never be he said about his fate if additional jail time were added to his sentence. Kopriva was not moved by Rodland's plea nor his explanation that he didn't realize until after his arrest that setting fires was a seri- ous criminal offense. The judge said Rodland had total lack of insight about his crimes. According to a presentence report, he was anti-social. are extremely she said. has a criminal record that goes back to when he was 9 years old. He received treatment as not only for setting fires, but for sexual problems. ;At this point, Kopriva said there Is? little treatment can do for Rodland. "You were out of control and you have no insight into that. When you begin a criminal career at 9 years old and nothing took effect, that is a red Kopriva said. Please see AS Rodland LAW ENFORCEMENT Mirror photo by Jason Slpes Pennsylvania State Police Trooper David White aims a radar gun at traffic on North Juniata Street in Hollidaysburg. Municipal police want another gun to use Radar would make catching speeders easier, officers say BY TIFFANY SHAW Staff Writer Allowing municipal police departments to use radar to catch speeders could help offi- cers like Altoona Cpl. George Blsfline. He leads the city's speed enforce- ment teams that use VASCAR..Many officers view the system as cumber-" painted lines, bulky vehicle-mounted equipment and several extra officers standing by for pursuit., To them, using a radar gun, which only Pennsylvania State Police can use, would be much simpler. "With radar, you need only the gun. You can move and go anywhere. Nobody knows you're Bisthne said. "Radar would be more convenient and more efficient." Now officers have to employ the bright-white lines on the road or con- veniently placed trees or road cones for VASCAR, which works somewhat like a stopwatch. Please see A4 Targeting speed Some quick facts aboul radar: Radar is an acronym for Radio Detection and Ranging. Stationary traffic radars measure oncoming traffic; some models also measure passing traffic. Almost all radars can operate from a stationary position or a moving patrol car. Many radars only track one target at a time; some models can track and display two targets Ihe strongest which may be the closest or largest target and the fastest target in the beam. Most traffic radars have a relatively wide beam that easily covers several-lanes of traffic at a relatively short range. Detection range varies with radar and target reflectivity and may be as IQW as 100 feet or as high as 1 mile or more." A radar may track a distant, large target instead of a closer small tar- get without indicating to the officer which target the radar is tracking Statistics from CopFlaaer.com Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington II CONVENTION CENTER Workers scramble to finish Landscaping, parking garage and hotel won't be completed in time for the May 3 opening. BY KAY STEPHENS Staff Writer With less than two weeks to go, there's a lot of work to be done in preparation for opening the Blair County Convention Center. And not all of it will get done in time. "When we do open for the first convention, we won't have our landscaping in transportation super- visor Al Laich told the Blair County Convention Center Authority. "You'll have to use your imagination." But among the things that will go into place during the next two weeks is an additional turning lane off Plank Road at Convention Center Boulevard, a signal light at the same intersection, lights along the boule- vard and in the convention center's parking lot and guardrails around the site. The convention center must be ready to open May 3 for a ribbon cutting and the Allegheny Mountains Convention .and Visitors Bureau's annual membership and awards banquet. Vendors will be setting up that night for a convention beginning the next flay. "Two weeks and we'll be in authority- Chairman Rob Halbritter said Wednesday during the authority's monthly meeting. Halbritter's company, Mid-State Tool Supply Inc., is the first group to book the convention center for May 4 and 5. He said Wednesday that manufacturers will be setting up 110 booths, the most the convention center can accommodate. All rooms on the lower Door will be in use, he said. Please see AS Mirror phqlo by Jason Slpes Traffic was reduced to one lane on Old Route 220 Thursday as construction crews worked on Convention Center Boulevard. Local day-care providers fail to see aggression study finds BY WALT FRANK StaffWriter Local day-care providers dis- agree with a study that indicates the longer young children spend in day care, the more likely they are to be overly aggressive by the time they reach kindergarten. Principal researcher Jay Belsky of Birkbeck College in London presented the findings of the 10- year, 10-city federally financed study, the largest study of child care and development ever con-- ducted, Thursday in Minneapolis at a meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development "There is a constant dose- response relationship between time in care and problem behav- ior, especially those involving aggression and Belsky said. Belsky, a research psychologist who worked at Penn State University until two years ago, added that children who spend more than 30 hours per week in child care "scored higher on items like 'gets in lots of 'cruelty' and 'explosive as well as 'talking too 'argues a lot' and 'demands a lot of attention.' Please see A7 Area rec facilities reap windfall from Growing Greener program From Mirror staff and wire reports LATROBE With Earth Day only days away, Gov. Tom Ridge announced Thursday more than million in grants for 340 recre- ation and conservation projects in 63 counties statewide. The grants, made possible through Ridge's million Growing Greener program, are meant to protect open space, to sup- port community parks and recre- ation, to enhance greenways and to convert rails to trails. This is the state's largest ever environmental investment. "What better way to celebrate Earth Day and the success of Growing Greener than by announcing these grants. million for about acres of pro- tected open space and natural areas, 75 trail projects including 240 miles of water new and improved parks, 55 play- grounds and 11 swimming Ridge said. "We're making Pennsylvania even cleaner and greener." Parks and projects will benefit in Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon; Bedford, Clearfield and Centre counties. In Blair, 216 acres adjacent to the Fort Roberdeau Historic Site and Natural Area was purchased for Please see A12 Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 If I Lottery numbers, A2 Cloudy, possible showers, Forecast, A2 For 60 Months 2OO1 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2OO1 Jeep Cherokee .In llwi of Ends April 3O, 2OO1 Chrysler Plymouth fctp 1S4t HcaMitt Valley Mvd. Business i A11 WORLD a war of videos, Beijing showing its own tape of. fighter pilots flying to Chinese jets. PAGE C1