Altoona Mirror, May 22, 2001

Altoona Mirror

May 22, 2001

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Issue date: Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Pages available: 56

Previous edition: Monday, May 21, 2001

Next edition: Wednesday, May 23, 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 22, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania IJFE: PERFORMERS LINED UP FOR DELGROSSO'S PARK SUMMER CONCERTS Dl Copyright 2001 TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2001 newsstand Ruling offers hope for rail shop KEY PASSAGE "It appears that there is at toast a third choice: To require NS to keep the shops open at least at present capacity fora significant period of time beyond Sept. 1, which given conflicting positions on the record as to whether they can operate profitably will give NS and affected parties a mom extended opportunity to ascertain if the shops cahbe operated profitably under any scenario." HIGHLIGHTS Surface Transportation Board ruling Monday'finds some merit in union and state officials arguments to block closing of Hollidaysburg Car Shop and requires Norfolk Southern to show why the board should not cancel the proposed shutdown. U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., was among those who supported keeping' shops open. One member of the three-person panel filed a dissenting opinion, backing the railroad's position that business conditions have changed since the takeover of Conrail was approved by the STB. BY WILLIAM KIBLER Staff Writer The federal government Monday put the burden on Norfolk Southern Corp. to explain better why it wants to close the Hollidaysburg Car Shop. "This is a very, very blue-sky rul- state Rep. Rick Geist, R- Altoona, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said of the Surface Transportation Board's decision. The decision shows the board isn't satisfied with Norfolk's justifications for not honoring assurances made while seeking approval for acquiring part of Conrail in 1998, Geist said. Officials relied on those assurances in granting approval. Now the railroad must come up with something new, and Geist has no idea what that might be. "It now puts the onus on Norfolk Southern said Geist, who has joined with other officials and workers to save the shop's 375 jobs and million annual payroll in a petition to the STB. Retired U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster also was pleased with the news and men- tioned the STB's decision while speaking Monday night at a dinner in his honor at the Blair County Convention Center. Having said the assurances were projections, not promises, Norfolk Southern disagrees with the STB order, which violates precedent, NS spokesman Rudy Husband said. puts] the STB in the position of directly managing a railroad busi- ness and potentially harming the health of a rail system for the sake of a single facility, regardless of eco- nomic he said. "Nonetheless, we will provide the required additional information and will argue to the STB that we must maintain our ability to make busi- ness decisions that reflect current economic, operational and business realities." The huge shop, with a big excess capacity, is losing million per year; the company said. The unions said the shop is at least marginally profitable, with enough work to last into 2002. Please see A4 WHATS NEXT The Surface Transportation Board gave Norfolk Southern until June 11 to explain further its decision to shut down the Hollidaysburg Car Shop. Other interested parties will have until June 25 to file replies with the STB. TRIBUTE DINNER Mirror photo by Jason Sipes U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th District, talks to his father, former Rep. Bud Shuster, via satellite from Washington, D.C., to the Blair County Convention Center Monday night. Salute to Shuster Former U.S. representative takes home praise, a treadmill BY KAY STEPHENS Staff Writer At the pomp-studded tribute Monday night for retired U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, they not only gave him dinner, but they also gave him a chance to work it off. The event, with three local speakers offering praise and compliments on behalf of the 400- plus dinner guests, spurred Shuster each time to get up from his front-row seat and shake hands or give the speaker a hug. And when it was Shuster's turn to speak, he did a slight jog to the podium. But the real chance to work off dinner, including a dessert in the form of a chocolate Republican elephant, came afterward. Shuster and his wife, Patty, went home with a treadmill and golf cart, courtesy of the dinner spon- sors and guests. While Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, last week called Shuster a polarizing influence, Monday night's dinner was packed with well-wishers who sang his praises, supplemented with videotape or broadcast pre- sentations with well-wishers who weren't there. Shuster's son Bill, sworn into Congress last week as his father's successor, made a speech live from Washington, D.C., that was broadcast on a large projection screen while dinner guests ate filet mignon. Please see A8 Hundreds gather to pay tribute to longtime local congressman BY ROBERT IGOE Staff Writer Retired U.S. Rep. E.G. "Bud" Shuster received one last great hurrah Monday night from a crowd of more than 400 well-wishers in the facility known to some as "The House That Bud Built." Before the night was over, the ballroom in the Blair County Convention Center where Shuster was honored with a gala banquet officially was named in his honor. Businesses froth Crown American Realty Trust to New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co. Inc. joined political and com- munity leaders in honoring Shuster, who served as the 9th Congressional District repre- sentative from 1972 until February. "This is a wonderful night and a great Shuster said. "It's important to emphasize that all of the things I accom- plished were accomplished because we worked together in a positive way. Had it not been for Gov. [Tom] Ridge, [state Senate President Pro Tern Robert] Jubelirer [R- Blair] and all of the local com-, munities, we would not have achieved all of the things we achieved." Please see A8 Firm proposes Springs Resort phased repairs BY BETH N. GRAY For the Mirror BEDFORD The Hersha Group of New Cumberland has a plan to restore the long-dormant Bedford Springs Resort. The development firm asked the Bedford County Redevelopment Authority Monday to designate it the new prime developer for Jhe resort. Hersha also wants the authori- ty's'go-ahead for a million restoration project, the first phase of which could open in a year. Authority members said they'll try to give the company an answer by mid-June. "We want to keep 100 percent of the historical nature of the proper- said Neil Sonne, the firm's spokesman. "We feel it is imperative the Bedford Springs remain as it is. To make it a destination, it needs something more than amenities. We feel the historical aspect is it." The property might be marketed to potential guests as "The Hotel of Sonne said. THE PROPOSAL The Hersha Group's million, first- phase plans for the Bedford Springs property: restoring all the buildings' exteriors; installing a new outdoor swirhming pool; trie.eroinenade over _v Shobers Run; adding a spa; refurbishing the hotel's ballroom and lobby; building a new restaurant and kitchen; only opening 40 rooms. Seven U.S. presidents stayed at the Springs hotel and President James Buchanan occupied it as his summer White House. Hersha's proposal asks the authority to help arrange a mil- lion- tax-free municipal bond to help finance the undertaking. Hersha's principals would invest million of their own funds. Please see A4 Late-night burglar faces more prison BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG An Altoona man who attempted to burglarize homes while the occu- pants were asleep will go to prison for 8 to 16 years. Clair Allen Ingram, 29, who already is serving 35 to 70 months in a state correctional institution for burglary and assault, decided to plead guilty during jury selec- tion Monday. Blair County Judge Jolene G. Kopriva approved his guilty plea in her chambers instead of in the open courtroom among 50 poten- tial jurors. Assistant district attorney Jackie Bernard said Ingram agreed to plead guilty to three bur- glaries, an attempted burglary and receiving stolen property. Ingram was arrested Oct. 23, 1999, by an Altoona police officer dispatched to a home on the 1100 block of Park Boulevard, Juniata. An alarmed neighbor noticed lights being turned on and off in the house across the street. The officer and others who arrived at the home were able to wrestle Ingram to the floor. Bernard said during that night, five homes in Juniata had been entered. In one case, the burglar was star- tled by the homeowner, who became alarmed when he saw Ingram crawling across his bed- room floor on his hands and knees. The man grabbed a shotgun, but the burglar fled, dropping his coat. Police found Ingram's blood inside one of the pockets of the coat. DNA tests indicated that there was about one in a billion chance that the blood inside the coat was not Ingram's. Please see AS Subscription or home delivery questions: or (800) 287-4480 8 9 9 5 Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Cloudy, showers, Forecast, A2 V-' Altoona iHtrror THE_GREAT CGMB8MAT8ON Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIF1 EDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 Q Business Hospitals Classifieds saw dramatic in infant mortality and child deaths between Comics 1 Community and 1998, according to a new report released today A3 'i ;