Thursday, June 14, 2001

Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - June 14, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania FREE inside today's Mirror: Lights! Camera! Sfteiul! QVC lias grown from a a home-shopping TV novelty to an institution. Love is in the air A mother's personal reflections on one of the biggest days of her soil's life liis wedding. Also, every groom's worst nightmare Briclezilla. Spy gadgets aren't just for private eyes anymore. Modern technology makes snooping easy. Alt0mta mirror Copyright 2001 THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2001 newsstand Pet gator's time in Altoona may be scaled back BY WILLIAM KIBLER Staff Writer He has skin like supple leather, feasts on small animals and sleeps upside down when someone rubs his belly. He seems to be in heaven when he gets a shower, lives in his mas- ter's bedroom in a glass case and walks in the yard with a harness and muzzle. He's not a Fido, Rover, Fluffy or Spot. He's Gator. As in alli-Gator. Gator is the 5-foot-long pet of Michael Paltie, 28, of Broad Avenue and the reptile still is growing. Pattie says Gator is well-behaved and a "cool" pet, but he's caught the eye of local animal control officials and if Pattie's grandmother has her way, it'll soon be "see you later, Gator." The grandmother, Sandy McFarland, wants to put Gator in the terrarium in the back of her Lincoln Navigator and take him down to Florida, where there are fellow gators and room to roam. "It's she says. But Pattie, who keeps Gator on a lean diet in hopes of controlling his growth to postpone the inevitable, isn't so hot on the idea. He wants to keep Gator for a few more years. McFarland wants to take Gator to a gaming place run by Seminole Indians, where there is alligator wrestling or maybe to an alligator farm like Gatorland. He's not ready for the real wild yet, she says. Altoona animal control officer John lorio says there is no ordi- nance or state law prohibiting Pattie from keeping Gator here, provided Pattie keeps him under control, which Pattie says he can do with a leash. And Pattie has no intention of giving up the gator to lorio. "He's just like a dog to Pattie says, Pattie even gives the alligator showers. "That alligator lays there like he's in McFarland says. Please see A6 Mirror illuslralion by Tom Worthington II Teen-age tobacco measure backed Mirror staff and wire reports HARRISBURG plan to penal- ize minors for possessing tobacco or related paraphernalia cleared a House committee this week, but only after contentious debate about whether the proposal is too heavy- handed. Some members of the House Judiciary Committee said the bill proposed by state Rep. Stephen Maifland, R-Adams, could be inter- preted so broadly that teens could be cited for tobacco possession even if they don't smoke. The bill sets a fine for minors who violate the tobacco prohibition. The committee voted 15-7 in favor of the bill, which now goes to the House for a vote. Maitland said the goal of his bill is not only to curb tobacco use among young people, but also to crack down on the use of tobacco paraphernalia such as pipes and rolling papers that sometimes are linked to illegal drug use. In addition to outlawing posses- sion of cigarettes, cigars and smoke- less tobacco, the bill lists several smoking devices that would be ille- gal for minors to have, including "water "chillums" and "bongs." The devices are used to smoke drugs including marijuana, opium and hashish, and Maitland said such items commonly are sold in "head shops." "There's no reason for a minor to possess these Maitland said. Rep. Jerry Stern, R-Martinsburg, said that while he is not familiar with the bill, any efforts the state can make to limit access to tobacco by youths is worth looking into. Please see A5 Mirror photos by Jason Sipor Residents try to stay cool during season's first big heat wave high of 88 degrees drove WW residents to seek any relief possible. Lakemont Park and the Island Waterpark were bustling with people (above and Area swimming pools and water parks can expect to be busy over the next several days as temperatures are expected to stay in the upper 70s and rnid-80s through Saturday. No rain is in the forecast until Saturday evening. For more on the weather, please see Page A2. BATTLE OVER BOYER Judge must pick which court will hear case BY Pun. RAY Staff Writer JOHNSTOWN A federal district judge must decide who will settle key questions surrounding the future of Boyer Candy Co. Inc. Lawy ers for Boyer Chief Executive Officer Roger Ray buck have asked U.S. District Judge D. Brooks Smith to toss outa complaint filed by the former wife of Anthony Forgione, the former Boyer CEO who died March 23. Deborah Forgione has charged that Raybuck is misman- aging the company and not allowing her to assume the posi- tion of trustee for the trust that holds all of Boyer Candy's stock. As a trustee, Deborah Forgione could make key decisions affecting the company's future. Deborah Forgione, represented by Altoona attorneV Thomas Dickey, filed a federal lawsuit after her former bus; band's death stating that nobody was overseeing management of the company. However, the three grown children of Anthony and Deborah Forgione supported Raybuck and opposed their mother's lawsuit. Smith initially refused Dickey's request for an injunction that would allow Deborah Forgione to participate in compa- ny management decisions. Deborah Forgione asked Smith for access to company: records and appoint someone to oversee company But Smith said one issue needs to be resolved first Deborah Forgione have standing to sue Raybuck and Boyer Candy Co.? It must be decided if Deborah Forgione still is a trustee of, the Forgione Family Trust. She was in the early 1980s when the trust was formed, but Raybuck contends she resigned) and by doing so has no standing with the company today other than as a beneficiary of the trust. However, Deborah Forgione says she was forced to resignation letter when her marriage was on the rocks, but Please see A3 DEBUTS TODAY The Mirror's new weekly NASCAR page That's Racing debuts in Sports today on Page B3 with a story about Jeff Gordon finding his stride. A RACING FAN S DREAM The Altoona Mirror's got you covered this weekend: SATURDAY Speedway, the Mirror's monthly auto racing magazine, will be included free in Saturday's paper. It's tilled with national perspectives and local columns and content. MONDAY IIIWHUHI Mirror Sports Writer Cory fU fill Wt'kkfy !ll Giger and Photographer J.O. V WJfcM I n R o R Cavrich are hound for the Pocono Raceway this weekend to provide complete coverage from the Pocono 500; How is NASCAR faring in the three months since (lie death of Dale Earnhardt? Cory Giger will talk to fans, officials and drivers. Complete hehind-the-scenes coverage of the race. INSIDE: Judge rules Earnhardt autopsy photos can't he released Page C2 Violent crime declines 15 percent I for 2000, U.S. government reports BY DAVID Ho The Associated fress WASHINGTON Violent crime in the United States fell by a record 15 percent last year, the government reported Wednesday in a broad survey of victims. Some experts cautioned that the survey was weighted toward less serious offenses. Other government data indicate a seven- year decline in crimes such as rape and murder has leveled off. The 2000 result was the largest one-year drop since 1973, when the Justice Depart- ment began the annual survey of crimes Alloona area crime statistics for PAGE A3 reported firsthand by victims but not nec- essarily to police. The report excludes murders, the least frequent but best chronicled of major crimes. The Bureau of Justice Statistics' survey also found the rate of property crimes such as burglary and auto theft declined 10 per- cent from 1999. The bureau estimated there were 25.9 million violent and property crimes in 2000, nearly 3 million fewer than the year before and the lowest figure ever. In the first survey in 1973, the estimate was 44 million crimes. "The news appears much better than it really said James Alan Fox, a criminal justice professor at Northeastern Univer- sity in Boston. Fox said the survey is heav- ily weighted toward less serious crimes such as simple assaults, which can include pushing and shoving. "It's good news but not great he said. Please see A3 JESS DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions; 946-7480 or (800) 287-4-180 1 BKJKHJR ii-jj 9 9 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHEH Partly f-> I sunny, 'H Forecast, A2 Alinatut THE GREAT COivlBtNATIOM Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 El I, .-E rr. INSUE Business NATION the U.S. Supreme said it's illegal to sell possess marijuana for OSPORTS Nighf LiTe D4 use, the decision has little ellect in the eight states with medical marijuana laws. ci A