Altoona Mirror, May 11, 2001 : Front Page

Publication: Altoona Mirror May 11, 2001

Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - May 11, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY RELIGION: Local artist creates icons for St. Therese Catholic Church / INSIDE SPO Pens edge Sabres in PT to win Game 7 of Eastern Conference semis / LIFE: Having asthma and being active: Get the facts at free workshop May 19 / DIAltoona Mirror © 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 beaten in the head with a baseball bat before her throat was slit and her body set on fire. Police arrested Kristin Edmundson, 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 location 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 baseball 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 Evidence/Page A12 7th Street Bridge design revealed By William Kibler Staff Writer It was the perfect setting for a meeting on the proposed replacement of the blue-painted, rust-splotched, high-trussed Seventh Street Bridge — a glass-walled hallway in Altoona Hospital, sue 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 $6 million 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 configuration 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 loth 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 railroad officials butted heads over clearance. Eventually the railroad lowered the tracks to get the clearance it needed for double-stacked Please see Bridge/Page A12 FRIDAY, MAY ll, 2001 500 newsstand ■■■■I NORFOLK SOUTHERN BOARD MEETING Mirror file photo David Goode, Norfolk Southern Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer, speaks to a crowd gathered June 1,1999, 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 Sept. I. REDUCING EMPLOYMENT THIN Quotes from David R. Goode, Norfolk Southern president, June 1,1999: ■ “Together, I see no limits whatsoever 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 everything will work normally. Things will be just fine.” NOW Norfolk Southern’s president says closing is necessary 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 enterprise.” ■ “Employee productivity — measured both by operating revenue per employee and ton-miles per employee — is at its best level in five years. That’s a necessity for us to offset wage increases and fuel costs.” By Lois Caliri For the Mirror NORFOLK, Va. - The president of Norfolk Southern Corp. told shareholders Thursday that it’s important 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 resistance,” David Goode told about 200 shareholders. “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 enterprise.” The statement came at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting and one day after Pennsylvania and railroad unions filed their latest request with the Federal Surface Transportation Board to block Norfolk Southern’s plan to close the Hollidaysburg Car Shop Sept. I. In addition, union officials and workers are anxiously awaiting a decision on the future of the locomotive shop in Juniata. “We’re on the edge,” 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 commitment to Altoona. “I wish you people would get the monkey off our back in Altoona,” said shareholder D.J. Casey, 56, who worked for 25 years as a pipefitter in an Altoona locomotive shop. “We’re looking at all our facilities,” 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 company ,” 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 Closing/Page A9 Candidates need to meet ballot qualifications to run By Robert Igoe Staff Writer 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 director Janice Blair. “First, the person has to contact our office,” she said. “When they come in, we give them their petition 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 certain 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 A4). 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 $250 in the campaign, in which case the person can submit a campaign finance waiver. The next step for many candidates is the drawing 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 winning,” 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 Candidates/Page A4EDITOR’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 ■■■■MMI 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 his residence is excluded from the district during the once-per-decade reapportionment process. Call it Pecora’s Law. The constitutional amendment was inspired by former Sen. Frank Peeora. He was a Republican back in 1992 when his Pittsburgh district was moved 300 miles away to suburban Philadelphia in the reapportionment process. Pecora’s fellow Republicans, who had a strained relationship 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 regained control, but to prevent a repeat of Please see Question/Page A4 Jubelirer MMIHi ■MMM DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 *> 22910 0005P1 4 BIG FOUR 9    3    3    4 ■ Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Partly sunny, rain likely, 86° ■ Forecast, A2 Look Inside For OurNO TENTSALE! NOW TILL MAY 19,2001 Classified Section Chrysler - Plymouth - Jeep 1549 Pleasant Valley Blvd. Altoona, PA 9*1^67 TT □ local Q NATION Business A9 Classifieds C3-12 Hospitals Obituaries All AU □ LIFE Opinion AS El SPORTS Movies D3 Local B4 Community news Comics D2 D5 Scoreboard «5 Television D4 INSIDEIN NATION The FBI turned over thousands of document^ to Timothy McVeigh’s defense team. The documents may prompt a request for a stay, McVeigh’s attorney said. I    (AGE    C Project: ;

  • Amanda Speicher
  • D.J. Casey
  • Dave Gorman
  • David Goode
  • David R. Goode
  • Howard Avenue
  • Janice Blair
  • John Kilmer
  • Kristin Edmundson
  • Marie Seilhamer
  • Raymond Mcmullen
  • Robert Igoe
  • Robert Jubelirer
  • Scott Custer
  • Shari Jackson
  • Timothy Mcveigh

Share Page

Publication: Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

Issue Date: May 11, 2001

RealCheck