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Altoona Mirror: Sunday, May 27, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - May 27, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                INSIDE TODAY LIFE: Hot destinations for summer vacations for the whole family Dl USA WEEKEND; Dinosaur fascination feeds off discoveries FREE 8NS8PE SPORTS: Altoona junior wins state high jump gold in Shippensburg Altomta Ultrmr Copyright 2001 SUNDAY, MAY 27, 2001 newsstand the AGONY of ECSTASY: The trendy club drug produces a sense of euphoria in dance-crazy kids, but it has a dark side few consider before they start popping the brightly colored pills. Worried it might make its way to Altoona? It already has. BY MIA ROHART StaffWriter Although it stffl plays second fiddle to heroin and OxyContin, the drug Ecstasy has made its way into Altoona. The drug, a powerful stimulant with hallucinogenic qualities, often is associ- ated with dance parties called "raves" and drug enforcement officials say it is so readily available that teens can buy it at school and on the street corner. "It's not underground says Jason, a 17-year-old from Altoona. "You can ask someone's grandma, and they'd probably know where to get it." The Mirror agreed to withhold the last names of Jason and other teens inter- viewed for this story. "Ecstasy is just as readily available in Altoona as it is in downtown State says Scott Merrill, a narcotics agent with the state attorney general's office. While Ecstasy is marketed to kids as a feel-good drug with few side effects, drug abuse specialists say the little pills are anything but harmless. Short-term side effects can include dehydration, hypertension, confusion, depression and anxiety..But now med- ical experts, including scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, say that chronic abuse of Ecstasy appears to produce long-term damage to serotonin- containing neurons in the brain. Please see A10 ATAGIANCE What: Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Street names: Ecstasy, XTC, X, Adam, Clarity, Lover's Speed. Chemistry: Similar to the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. Elfects: Can produce both stimulant and psyche- delic effects that last about 3 to 6 hours.' Side effects: Confusion, depression, sleep prob- lems, anxiety and paranoia. The stimulant effects of MDMA, which enable users to dance for extend- ed periods, also may lead to dehydration, hyperten- sion and heart or kidney failure. Long-term damage: Chronic use can produce long-lasting damage to the neurons that release serotonin and consequent memory impairment. WASHED OUT Mirror pholo by Jason Sipes High water laps at the base of the Farber home on Spring Meadow Drive Saturday in Cross Keys. The Farber family looks out at what was their yard and driveway. Flash floods wreak havoc in Cross Keys BY WILLIAM KIBLER AND KEVIN OTT Staff Writers CROSS KEYS The toy basket- ball hoop and picnic bench that Debby Maurer and her daughter Holly bought for Holly's young daugh- ter are made of plastic but not because ..they're supposed to float. But float they did Saturday night in :the Cross Keys Village mobile home court. Torrential rams flooded Spencer .-.Creek near the complex. Mother and daughter watched as the girl's toys floated away, then watched some more as the bottom of their home slowly was overtaken by water. Eighteen adults and four children were evacuated from their homes at Cross Keys Saturday night, Allegheny Township Assistant Fire Chief Mark Loose said. Some went to the homes of relatives outside the flood zone. Others were sheltered at the Duncansville Community Center, which authorities opened when they realized an evacua- tion was necessary. Four to 5 inches of rain poured down early Saturday evening, wreaking havoc in Duncansville, Altoona and Be'llwood. Flash-flood warnings were issued by the National Weather Service from early evening until 10 p.m. Police closed roads in the Cross Keys area, where the mobile home park apparently took the brunt of the flood- ing. "It was like one minute there was no water, and then the next minute there was 3 feet of Holly Maurer said. Soon after the rain began, Debby Maurer said golf-ball-sized hailstones started pommeling her home. By 11 p.m., mother and daughter had made arrangements to stay at a neighbor's home on high ground and were watch- ing the damage unfold. The Cross Keys Village was hit hard when the creek from Carson Valley flooded its banks and coffee-colored water covered the street running par- allel to the creek. The first call came into the Duncansville fire hall about p.m., Loose said. He and his crews responded to calls in Maple Hollow, Carson Valley, Burns Avenue, Sugar Run, Foot of Ten and Cross Keys. Two residents' private bridges were washed out. Several roads, including Route 764, were closed at various times during the evening. A gas leak erupted in the mobile home park, but it happened underwa- ter and posed no immediate danger, Loose said. At one point, Loose was scrambling to find two children whose parents had reported them missing. Later, the chil- dren were found to be with grandpar- ents. As Loose spoke to other emergency workers on his radio while standing in the flooded streets of Cross Keys, a woman staggered through the rushing water with her dog on a leash. Before anyone could get to her, she fell and hurt her knee the only injury of the night, he said. One resident, Esther Young, was heading to the shelter with her dog in hand. She made her way down the ramp, hiked up her jeans and was helped onto a brush truck. Please see A12 DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 BIO FOUR 7 0 4 2 Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Partly sunny, Forecast, A2 Now In FIORE' MEMORIAL. DAYS SALE? 'PAYMENT FREE UNTIL NOV. ZO011 FREE INTEREST! Nothing Down, No Monthly Payments, Free Interest til Nov. 2001. Then beflln Easy Payments, No Penalty, No Accrual. If Ii.-tloncc paid Offr'you sllll rocsiue FiREE INTEREST unpaid FflWrUS BBANh HIGH .OFF'. TODAY NOON-4, MEMORIAL DAY 1O-4 W TUES.-FRI. 9-9, SAT- f3 LOCAL Hospitals Obituaries Opinion Politics O NATION Newsmakers Strange brew A13 A13 A8 A4 B2 B3 V' Refund checks coming BY JIM ABRAMS The Associated Press WASHINGTON Americans will reap the benefits of the tax cut as early as this summer when the Treasury Department begins send- ing out refund checks. For many, though, the big rewards from the tax package are years in the future. As a first installment, individuals would get up to a Bush claims his biggest refund this year, victory PACE A7 while single par- --------------------------------ents would re- ceive up to and married couples up to That reflects the first year of a new 10 per- cent income tax rate on the initial of an individual's income, or for married couples. It is a consequence of the desire of lawmakers to get money back in taxpayers' hands as quickly as possible to restore vigor, in the sagging economy. Please see A7 Shuster Lake considered Alaska lawmaker wants to name Raystown Lake after Bud Shuster. From Mirror staff and wire reports HUNTINGDON Aw, go jump in the Shuster! That's how tourism and government offi- cials in Huntingdon County are reacting to a bill that would rename the state's largest lake Raystown Lake after retired U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster. U.S. Rep. Don Young, the Alaska Republican who succeeded Shuster as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, offered the bill House Resolution 1955 Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported in Saturday's editions. "I appreciate all that Bud Shuster's done, but Raystown Lake is a focal point for our said Alexa Cook, a Huntingdon County commissioner who, like Young and Shuster, is a Republican. "That is how they recognize our area. People don't even .recognize the name Huntingdon Cook said, referring to the region that locals call Raystown Country. Please see A3 Outdoors Scoreboard Astrograph Movies Puzzle Travel C9 Stocks C8 j CDs, Mutuals E4 BCUSMRD fjJ COMMUNITY MMS D4 03 i D4 Couples 06 Yesteryear 03   

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