Friday, May 11, 2001

Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - May 11, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY RELIGION: Local artist creates icons for St. Therese Catholic Church FREE INSIDE SPOUTS; Pens edge Sabres in OT to win Game 7 of Eastern Conference semis 3i LIFE: Having asthma and being active: Get the facts at free workshop May 19 Dl Copyright 2001 Police find evidence in Somerset BY TIFFANY SHAW Staff Writer Several more pieces of evidence in a murder investigation were found in Somerset County where police said two suspects tried to conceal them. The investigation continues into the murder of Shari Jackson of Hollidaysburg, whose body was found early Monday morning in a wooded area of Snyder Township. The coroner ruled Jackson was beat- en in the head with a baseball bat before her throat was slit and her body set on fire. Police arrested Kristin Edmund- son, 20, of Duncansville and Marie Seilhamer, 19, of Ashville less than 12 hours after the body was found still on fire in the woods off Janesville Pike. Both women are charged with murder and conspiracy. Scott Custer, 23, and Amanda Speicher, 20, both of Boswell, were arrested Wednesday night and charged with helping Edmundson cover the body with branches and a mattress Sunday. Custer is accused of then setting Jackson's body on fire. Investigators recovered a knife, a sheet and bloody clothes from a loca- tion near Boswell, Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman said. Speicher told police she and Custer threw the items into a dump Monday. Although Jackson would have died from a massive head wound apparently inflicted with the base- ball bat, her throat then was slit with the box-cutting knife. Gorman believes the knife found was the same weapon. He said the bat was not recovered at the same site. The sheet apparently was used to cover Jackson's body when it was taken in the back of a pickup truck from a secluded area of Clearfield County several miles away to the woods in Blair County. Please see A12 7th Street Bridge design revealed BY WILLIAM KIBLER Staff Writer It was the perfect setting for a meeting on the proposed replace- ment of the blue-painted, rust- splotched, high-trussed Seventh Street glass-walled hall- way in Altoona Hospital, six floors up, overlooking the span's western approach. At the meeting Thursday, PennDOT revealed to nine public officials and seven residents its preliminary design for the mil- lion project that should begin in spring 2003 and end in late summer 2004. On the hospital side of the tracks, the bridge will touch down in much the same three-pronged con- figuration as it does now, with a ramp to Howard Avenue, a ramp to Chestnut Avenue curling under that and a ramp to the left tying in with 10th Avenue. But on the Pleasant Valley side, the bridge will extend beyond the current touchdown point on Eighth Avenue and instead go to Seventh Avenue so it doesn't exceed slope standards, given the need to make the roadway about 3 feet higher than the current bridge for railroad clearance. Officials began talking about the need for a Seventh Street Bridge fix in 1986, but the project was delayed when PennDOT and rail- road officials..butted heads over clearance. Eventually the railroad lowered the tracks to get the clear- ance it needed for double-stacked Please see A12 Uttrr0r FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2001 newsstand NORFOLK SOUTHERN BOARD MEETING David Goode, Norfolk Southern Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer, speaks to a crowd gathered June at the Juniata Locomotive Shop. Norfolk Southern and CSX Corp. each staked a claim to Conrail. If things continue as is, Goode and Norfolk Southern plan to close the Hollidaysburg _________ Car Shop Mirror file photo Sept. 1. REDUCING EMPLOYMENT THEN Quotes from David R. Goode, Norfolk Southern president, June "Together, I see no limits what- soever in what we can do." "With the help of everyone here, we'll make sure we continue to be the best railroad in the world. I want to amaze the world at how good this company can be." "I feel very confident that every- thing, will work normally. Things will be Just fine." Norfolk Southern's president is .necessary NOW Goode Quotes from Goode to the company's shareholders Thursday: "We need to concentrate on our core business activity moving freight and we are consolidating or disposing of under utilized or redundant facilities." "I can tell you that closing facilities is not a popular activity, and our efforts are meeting resistance. But we will persevere because our obligation to you as investors and to our employees is to move forward with sound business decisions to benefit the enter- prise." "Employee productivity measured both by oper- ating revenue per employee and ton-miles per employ- ee is at its best level in five years. That's a necessi- ty for us to offset wage increases and fuel costs." BY Lois CALIRI For the Mirror NORFOLK, Va. The president of Norfolk Southern Corp. told share- holders Thursday that it's impor- tant for people to understand that changes have taken place in the nation's economy. To adapt to those changes, sometimes you have to reduce employment. "I can tell you that closing facilities is not a popular activity, and our efforts are meeting David Goode told about 200 shareholders. "But we will per- severe because our obligation to you as investors and to our employees is to move forward with sound business decisions to benefit the enterprise." The statement came at the company's annual shareholders' meeting and one day after Pennsylvania and railroad unions filed latest request with the Federal Surface Transportation Board to block Norfolk Southern's plan to close the Hollidaysburg Car Shop Sept. 1. In addition, union officials and workers are anxiously awaiting a decision on the future of the locomotive shop in Juniata. "We're on the said Raymond McMullen, general chairman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. He said he fears Norfolk Southern will back out of its com- mitment to Altoona. "I wish you people would get the mon- key off our back in said share- holder D.J. Casey, 56, who worked for 25 years as a pipefitter in an Altoona loco- motive shop. "We're looking at all our Goode replied. Laid-off employees who were close to retirement have said they have invested their lives in the railroad. They said they are victims of mistakes made by Norfolk Southern when it took over part of Conrail. "People who are getting laid off are stockholders of the said John Kilmer, president of the National Conference of Firemen Oilers. Goode, during a press briefing after the: shareholders' meeting, said he could not speculate on whether he would have laid off employees or closed shops if Norfolk Southern had not bought parts of Conrail. Please see A9 Candidates need to meet ballot qualifications to run BY ROBERT IGOE StaffWrtter To start with, an election needs candidates. Simple enough logic, but how does one become a candidate? It starts with a phone call to the county director of elections, such as Blair County's direc- tor Janice Blair. "First, the person has to contact our she said. "When they come in, we give them their peti- tion and an information packet that tells them how to circulate and file their petitions. The dates for submitting those petitions and all necessary paperwork are advertised locally." To qualify as a ballot candidate, there are a cer- tain number of signatures that must be obtained from registered voters within the election area and from the appropriate party, as well as filing fees (see chart Page But besides the signatures, the candidates also are required to complete a loyalty affidavit in which they promise to abide by the laws and the Constitution and campaign finance reports, unless the candidate feels that he or she will not spend more than in the campaign, in which case the person can submit a campaign finance waiver. The next step for many candidates is the draw- ing for ballot position. For many candidates, their position on the ballot is as vital as the starting position for a race car driver. "Some candidates think that if they're in the first position, they have a better chance of Blair said. "Others prefer to be at the end. A lot of them think that if they're in the middle, they can't Please see A4 Ffojectr. (Vote EDITOR'S NOTE It's one of the basic freedoms that our country was founded upon, yet it's taken for granted to the point that many people don't participate in this rite of democracy or fully understand the process. It's voting. This series is intended to help educate all of us about the workings of our democracy. COMING SATURDAY: The ballot Ballot question prompts Democrats to file lawsuit BY MICHAEL RACE capitolwire.com HARRISBURG A seemingly innocuous ballot question in next week's primary election has sparked a last-minute court fight between Senate Democrats and Republicans led by Blair County's Sen. Robert Jubelirer. At issue is a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution designed to prevent a senator from continuing to represent a district if vhis residence is excluded from the district during the once-per-decade reapportionment process. CallitPecora'sLaw. The constitutional amendment was inspired by former Sen. Frank Pecora. He was a Republican back in 1992 when his Pitts- burgh district was moved 300 miles away to suburban Philadelphia in the I reapportionment [process. Pecora's fellow Republicans, who had a strained rela- tionship with him, hoped he would retire. Instead, he moved across the state and across the aisle, becoming a Democrat and costing the GOP majority control on the Senate. Republicans have sinced regain- ed control, but to prevent a repeat of Please see A4 Jubelirer MUVRRY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 BMHWR 9 3 4 Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Partly sunny, rain likely, Forecast, A2 CJ Business All NATION FBI turned over of Timothy McVeigh's 01 Local B4 j f5 Community news Comics D2 D5 team. The documents may prompt a request for a stay, McVeigh's attorney said. I (AGEC1