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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archive: April 26, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - April 26, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                Sports: Lemieux vs. Hasek highlights playoff series 11 Life: ACT brings musical '42nd Street' to Mishler Dl Altmma iJKrror Copyright 2001 THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2001 newsstand PSLJ students, officials keep talking BY DAN LEWERENZ The Associated Press STATE COLLEGE Penn State University administrators said they would improve minority scholarships and provide space for the African and African- American Studies Department. But they said demands by black student protesters for more tenured black faculty would be harder to meet. Terrell Jones, vice president for educa- tional equity, and Rod Erickson, executive vice president and provost, met for more than an hour Wednesday afternoon with leaders of the Penn State Black Caucus, who since Tuesday have refused to leave the student union until their demands are met. Caucus President LaKeisha Wolf has received four death threats the latest last week and caucus members said the university has created an -environment conducive to racism by failing to embrace diversity. The caucus has demanded that Penn State make a diversity course part of the core curriculum, add more faculty to the African and African-American Studies Department, provide the department with its own office space, add more tenured black faculty overall and increase minori- ty scholarships. "There are some suggestions that were really good and some that we've already begun to university spokes-. man Steve MacCarthy said. "They had an idea for scholarships that's a really good idea. They want some autonomous space for their department, and that can be done; space can be found." But MacCarthy said curriculum changes would be more difficult, though, because those are managed by the faculty senate. MacCarthy said the Black Caucus has asked Penn State president Graham B. Spanier to unilaterally make the changes. "That's absolutely a faculty senate mat- ter the president can't do that, and you try to tell them that and they call you a MacCarthy said. Also, faculty hires are determined by research opportunities and enrollment, he said, not by the administration. Neither the administration nor the Black Caucus leadership would comment on the proposal during a midafternoon break or a second break Wednesday evening. Black Caucus members have remained in the student union building since Tuesday afternoon, when they met with Spanier after a planned rally and march fizzled. Please see A3 PERU PLANE CRASH Officials say pilot did not behave like a drug carrier WASHINGTON (AP) An American missionary plane shot down over Peru did not appear to be on a drug trafficking mission, U.S. officials said Wednesday. The plane flew deep into Peru's airspace instead of stick- ing close to the border area and took no other actions normally associated with drug flights. The CIA-sponsored plane that monitored the missionary air- craft decided to notify the Peruvian air force about the sin- gle-engine Cessna despite the crew's .belief that it probably was unrelated to drug smuggling. Within minutes, a Peruvian fighter plane opened fire on the Cessna, killing Veronica "Roni" Bowers, an American missionary, and her 7-month-old daughter, Charity. The crew aboard the surveil- lance plane was surprised when the Peruvian fighter attacked the suspect plane without a thorough check to identify it, officials said. Only about four minutes elapsed between the time of notification and the attack on the plane. The officials, asking not to be identified, said there were a number of reasons for believing that the flight was not on a drug mission. The plane was flying straight instead of taking eva- sive maneuvers and was not fly- ing low to the ground as drug courier pilots often do. Despite the exculpatory infor- mation, the surveillance crew decided to alert the Peruvian air force about the presence of the suspect plane because it lacked proof as to its true identity, the officials said. Established procedures call for Peruvian fighters that approach suspect planes to use hand sig- nals and send radio messages to make contact. One official said the surveillance plane expected the Peruvian interceptor to make a much more comprehen- sive check than it did before opening fire. The Associated Press Pilot Kevin Donaldson, attended by his wife, Bobbi, describes his ordeal of being shot down by the Peruvian air force from his bed at Reading Hospital. Deaths reflect danger missionaries can face BY TIFFANY SHAW StaffWriter The tragic deaths of an American missionary I and her young daughter in Peru have local I missionaries reflecting on the dangers of sharing their faith. The bodies of Veronica "Roni" Bowers, 35, and her adopted 7-month-old daughter, Charity, were returned to the United States early Tuesday. They were killed Friday when their plane was shot down by Peru's air force. Peruvian officials have said they thought the pontoon plane was smuggling drugs. Pilot Kevin Donaldson; 41, who spent time in Huntingdon County while growing up, was shot but survived the crash into the Amazon River. Bowers' husband, Jim Bowers, and the couple's 6- year-old son, Cory, also survived the crash. Most experts agree that security is an increasing concern for fhe U.S. Protestant missionaries working in Latin America. Particularly since World War n, Protestants have moved into remote terrain, where the main danger used to be medical problems. Locally, those who have worked to carry the Gospel message to South America said they didn't fear for their safety when they served. C. Duane Brooks of Altoona grew up in Brazil, where his parents still serve as missionaries in the jungle. His father, Peter Brooks, served as a pilot, rou- tinely flying his small plane from the interior to the Brazilian coast Peter Brooks had no problems with flying planes similar to Donaldson's through the brush country, which has no communication towers or radios except for what missionaries pro- vide. Brooks couldn't radio any flight plan until he was two hours away from toe coast or to feet in altitude, Duane Brooks said. "When he [Peter Brooks] took off in the interior, there were no towers. Flying was all by Duane Brooks said. Please see A14 HOLLIDAYSBURG CAR SHOP Leaders meet to strategize on marketing BY CRAIG WILLIAMS Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG Officials from Norfolk Southern Corp., the Altoona Blair County Develop- ment Corp. and the Governor's Action Team met Wednesday to decide how to sell the Hollidays- burg Car Shop property. Meanwhile, state Rep. Rick Geist, R-Altoona, was finalizing plans for today's hearing before the state House Transportation Committee in Harrisburg in his effort to keep the shop running. The sessions were held at the ABCD offices and later included a tour of the plant. Geist, who was invited to the sessions, said he couldn't make it. Though the sessions were closed to the public, invitations went out to several state and federal law- makers, though few said they could attend. Martin Marasco, ABCD execu- tive director, called the daylong sessions and review of the facility a first step in the marketing process. But it's still too early to specu- late on the fate of the plant, whose 300-plus workers refurbish, repair and remodel rail cars for Norfolk Southern and other com- panies. The shop is closing Sept. 1, and Marasco's group already has taken steps to make the property attractive to outside interests. This spring ABCD led a suc- cessful campaign to add the shop and surrounding land to a list of Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zones, under which local munici- palities and the state forgive real estate and corporate taxes to attract future developers. "This is a little synergy ses- Marasco said Wednesday afternoon in the ABCD parking MORE INSIDE The Transportation Workers Union responds to Norfolk Southern's reply. The agenda for today's hearing in Harrisburg. Norfolk Southern's earnings rise in first quarter. PAGE AS lot as he and railroad and Ridge administration officials boarded a bus for the next leg of their tour. "And there-is nothing concrete yet." Representing the railroad was Rudy Husband, who said attract- ing potential operators to the facility is a complicated process. "We've only just begun a subr stantive dialogue over how to best market the Hollidaysburg Husband said. "Though the railroad has talked to ABCD quite often since the February announcement of the plant closing, this is the first opportunity we have had to out- line the obstacles and challenges in marketing the facilities. "And this is the first time we have been able to meet with both ABCD and the Governor's Action Team and see what they can offer." Husband said progress is likely to occur in small increments. "This is a very complicated sit- uation that one meeting isn't going to he said. Because of the formative nature of the meetings, neither ABCD nor the railroad offered further details or an agenda. Mirror Staff Writer Craig Williams can be reached at 946- ror.com. Husband, wife die in Cambria blaze BY MIA ROHAHT StaffWriter EBENSBURG Residents on Ogden and Rorabaugh roads awoke to the sound of sirens early Wednesday morning when four fire departments responded to a blaze that killed two people. "I've never seen so many fire trucks coming up through neighbor Kim Bitter said. The Dauntless, Revloc, Jackson Township and Nanty Glo fire departments responded to a 911 call made by Cheryl Rorabaugh from inside the home on Rorabaugh Road, Cambria Township, around a.m. Crews were there until about a.m., Cambria County 911 Supervisor Chuck Pavlosky said. The fire originated from a faulty flue in the basement of Wayne and Cheryl Rorabaugh's home, Fire Marshal William Ray said. Please see A6 Mirror photo by Mia Rohart Fire damage can be seen in the kitchen area of the home where Wayne and Cheryl Rorabaugh died Wednesday. AM ED loses lawsuit over territory change BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG An AMED lawsuit challenging Blah- County's right to assign another ambulance service to cover the area around the convention center has been dis- missed. Visiting Clearfield County Judge John ReLUy was asked to hear the lawsuit, which involved the Altoona Mobile Emergency De- partment, Blair County commis- sioners and the county's 911 center. AMED leaders became upset in November when 911 center Director Jeff Fqrnwalt decided that AMED's service area would be redefined. The area around Wal-Mart, the Summit Tennis and Athletic Club, Parkview Condominiums, several restaurants and the convention center would be reassigned to the Duncansville Ambulance Service, Please see A7 Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 5 7 Lottery numbers, A2 Mostly sunny, Forecast, A2 HtiT-ADS.dom We re white-hot! QNMMN i Classifieds i j Movies Nightlife Planner 1 D3 D4 D2 NATION The Supreme Court considered Wednesday whether state curbs on cigarette ads are unconstitutional or regulatory overkill. PAGEC1 Altoona ITHE 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) Obituaries Opinion Local A13 A8 B4   

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