Altoona Mirror, May 12, 2001

Altoona Mirror

May 12, 2001

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Issue date: Saturday, May 12, 2001

Pages available: 84

Previous edition: Friday, May 11, 2001

Next edition: Sunday, May 13, 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) - May 12, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Sports: Penguins face NHL's defending champs Bl Look for comfort, quality in outdoor furniture Dl iltmir Copyright 2001 SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2001 SOt newsstand Panda's Bar extinct after deal Owner Frank West can keep deli but must sell his liquor license Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranoc Protesters hold picket signs in favor of Panda's Bar outside the Blair County Courthouse in Hollidaysburg Friday. BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG An agree- ment struck late Friday afternoon closed the controversial Panda's Bar in downtown Altoona for good. The agreement between Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman and bar owner Franklin J. West allows West to reopen his adjoining delicatessen, which has been closed since April 30. On that day, President Judge Thomas G. Peoples granted a tem- porary injunction, padlocking West's business at 1211 nth St. The judge granted the unusual injunction after reading state- ments by Panda's Bar neighbors and nearby businessmen com- plaining that the bar was a haven for violence, drug deals and per- verse behavior. Judge Jolene G. Kopriya listened to several hours of testimony Fri- day to determine if the injunction closing Panda's Bar should be lift- ed. After several residents and busi- ness people testified, the handwrit- ing was on the wall, Gorman said. The case against the bar was strong, and it seemed likely that the district attorney's office and the Pennsylvania State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Agency were well on their way to proving the bar was a nuisance. If a judge upheld that finding, Panda's Bar would be closed for a full year, during which time West likely would lose his bid to renew his liquor license. By late Friday, West, through his attorneys, Arthur and Sean Cohen, attempted to reach an agreement with Gorman, assistant prosecutor Brandi Hauck and state police attorney Stanley Wolowski. The agreement closes Panda's Bar and eliminates the possibility that the location would again be used as a bar. West will be allowed to operate his deli and can sell Panda's liquor license. But the new owner cannot use it within a one-mile radius of Panda'sBar. West has a May 24 liquor license renewal hearing before the state Liquor Control Board, an agency separate from the state police bureau. A recommendation will be made that West be allowed to retain his license in order to sell it. The agreement doesn't prohibit West from applying for another liquor license, but he will not be able to open a new bar within a one-mile radius of the Panda's Bar location. Please see A10 Baumhammers jury decides on death sentence BY CHARLES SHEEHAN The Associated Press PITTSBURGH An unem- ployed immigration lawyer was sentenced to death Friday for killing five people in a racially motivated shooting spree in subur- ban Pittsburgh last year. It took the jury less than three hours to sentence Richard Baum- hammers, 35, two days after find- ing him guilty of five counts of murder in the series of shootings April Prosecutors maintained Baum- hammers, who is white, selected his victims because of their ethnic backgrounds. Baumhammers showed no expression as the verdict was read. He nodded slightly to his parents as he'was led from Judge Jeffrey Manning's courtroom. Baumhammers' lawyers, who lost an insanity defense at the trial, asked jurors to spare his life, sayine his mental state made it impossible for him to control his actions. Under Pennsylvania law, the jury only could sentence Baum-hammers to death or life in prison without parole. Defense attorney James Wymard had asked the jury to consider whether Baumhammers' condi- tion mitigated his crimes. "In our society, it is not your func- tion to administer revenge. It is your function to administer jus- Wymard said in his closing arguments Friday. "It is not justice to kill someone who is mentally ill." He said the jury was resorting to eye-for-an-eye justice. Timothy McVeigh execution put on PAOE C1 "I think it is sad. We will have to 'live with it until his Wymard said. "I'll tell him this is the end of Round 1, and we will come back for Round 2." Baumhammers becomes the 241st person on Pennsylvania's death row. Allegheny County deputy assistant district attorney Ed Borkowski called i.5 witnesses dur- ing the penalty phase of the trial, most of them friends or family. Baumhammers of the people Baumhammers was convicted of murdering in the two-county rampage. None of the witnesses was asked whether they believed Baumham- mers should be executed but sim- ply described their lost friends and relatives and the impact on their lives. On Friday, Zerta Lee, whose 22- year-old son, Garry Lee, was killed outside a karate studio in Aliquippa, said she wasn't neces- sarily in favor of the death penalty for Baumhammers but trusted in a higher power to decide. "At first I thought about the death penalty, but then I wanted to go for life in she said. "I wanted him to suffer. I wanted him to feel what we're feeling." THE WALL THAT HEALS Area residents flocked to The Wall That Heals when it first arrived in Altoona as a traveling exhibit in May 1999. One year after it made a permanent home on the grounds of the Van Zandt VA Medical Center, veterans officials say the memorial has become a place for people to remember and honor fallen heroes. A place to reflect Mirror file photo by Cavrich As first anniversary nears, officials feel Vietnam wall has found its niche here BY WILLIAM KIBLER Staff Writer Thursday was beautiful, a day to inspire little girls to gather flowers. John Kotuk was on the grassy grounds of the Van Zandt VA Medical Center at The Wall That Heals, trying to regather from his memory of 30 years ago the names of fellow soldiers and sailors in Southeast Asia. Among them, always the memory of a little girl with a basket of flowers walking toward him as he fingered ah M-60 machine gun atop an armored personnel carrier. In a few minutes, he's going to walk, from the Wall to the hospital to discuss post-traumatic stress disorder because he's begun to think that might have been his problem all these years. Please see A12 Voting methods vary among counties within 9th District Project {Vote BY ROBERT IGOE Staff Writer The 2000 presidential election will long be remembered for proving hcfw you vote can be as important as whom you vote for. The results were delayed for a month while Florida election officials attempted to determine the legality of thousands of votes. George W. Bush held a lead that dropped at times to less than a thousand during recounts. In dispute were punch card ballots in sev- eral counties. Some were determined to be marked improperly, which resulted in their Tyrone voters picking nominees for mayor, PAGE A7 Antis to vote on bottle club issue in Tuesday's PAGE A7 disqualification. The majority of those votes were believed to be for Bush's opponent, Al Gore. In the end, a final recount determined that Bush was indeed the winner. But the elec- tion sent many states scrambling to evalu- ate their own election methods to avoid Please see A7 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 SUNDAY: Election officials, voting officers GOP race heating up for Logan supervisor BY KAY STEPHENS StaffWriter An incumbent Logan Township supervi- sor is being challenged by a local business- man in Tuesday's primary election for the GOP nomination to become supervisor for a six-year term. Republican voters will have a choice between Frank J. Meloy, Altoona RD 5, an assistant superintendent with the Altoona Area School District, and Joseph P. Merilli, 350 Oriole Drive, Hollidaysburg RD, a vice president with Link Computer Corp. While Democrat- ic voters have no choices for Logan Township supervi- sor on their bal- lots, any candidate receiving the great- est number of valid write-in votes of more than 10 can be on the fall election ballot. Please see A7 Meloy Merilli MUVEUr Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 BMFMIR 1 4 5 4 I Lottery numbers, A2 Alinnna Itttrrnr Cloudy with showers, Forecast, A2 THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS andHOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 QLOCAL Business Hospitals Obituaries Opinion Local Scoreboard i [a NATON A9 I Movies C2 A13 Classifieds C3-14 Ai3 i AS HUM I Comics D5 i Community news D2 B4 Puzzles D4 B5 Television D4 SPOTUGHTON... HUNTINGDON COUNTY: Juniata College's "Language in Motion" program helps teach high school students. PAGEA4 ;