Altoona Mirror, June 27, 2001 : Front Page

Publication: Altoona Mirror June 27, 2001

Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - June 27, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Life: Celebrate the Fourth of July with some star-spangled food ideas DI Altoona Mirror © Copyright 2001 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2001 500 newsstand NS files final defense with STB By Craig Williams Staff Writer Norfolk Southern Corp.’s final defense for closing the Hollidaysburg Car Shop arrived at the federal Surface Transportation Board offices late Monday. Representatives of the unions and the state say there is nothing new to justify the closure. The railroad was given two extra weeks this month to convince the board it is net' essary to move more than 300 jobs and permanently close the rail car repair and manufacture shop. Monday’s filing is expected to be the last in a exchange of responses that started in April. The latest was precipitated by an STB decision rendered in May asking the railroad to give stronger reasons why it must close the Hollidaysburg Car Shop. In April, seven affected labor unions and the state of Pennsylvania submitted a petition based on the supposition that statements made by railroad officials before the state House Transportation Committee, and through public advertisements and appearances during negotiations to divide Conrail in 1997 and 1998 are legally binding. “Our contention is that they didn’t say they were going to close the yard," said Nancy Beiter, lawyer for the STB. “Their contention is that they didn’t say they were going to keep it open either.” In this week’s filing, Norfolk Southern said no guarantees were given for the shop. The company also contends that despite efforts to bring in work, the economy is so flat that even private rail car manufacturers are laying off, and the Hollidaysburg shop already has lost the company millions of dollars. Please see Defense/Page A6 TNIARGUMENT “Since the split date [of Conrail), NS made substantial efforts, which went beyond those of Conrail, to insource additional work from other railroads and car owners. “Some of what we anticipated in our operating plan has not materialized. NS has had to fundamentally rethink its operations to right-size its physical plant to reflect the actual traffic and revenues on the expanded NS system since split date." FATAL CRASH Mirror photo by Jason Sipes A state police trooper (left) uses his hat to hold evidence collected in a fatal accident that occurred Tuesday afternoon on Route 22 in Yellow Spring. Timothy B. Weyandt, 54, of Huntingdon was driving on the shoulder of the road to pass a vehicle stopped in the eastbound lane, state police at Hollidaysburg said. Weyandt’s Ford Explorer, which had a trailer attached, traveled off the south berm and up a grass embankment. Weyandt swerved back onto the road, across the centerline and into the westbound lane, where his vehicle collided with a mobile crane driven by Ricky L. Donaldson, 47, Prospect. Weyandt was pronounced dead at the scene by Blair County deputy coroner Jeff Guyer. Donaldson was not injured. Both men were wearing seat belts, police said. Federal funds for Springs could dry up By Beth N. Gray For the Mirror BEDFORD — The Bedford County Planning Commission learned Monday that federal highway dollars earmarked for transportation enhancements at the Bedford Springs Resort appear to have been allocated to other projects across the state. Commission members, planning staff and county commissioners were attempting to find out why, when and by whose decision $18 million to $22 million in federal Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century money is going elsewhere. Retired U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, R-9th District, former chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure? Committee, had the money designated for an access boulevard and parking garage in a proposal to redevelop the National Historic Landmark resort. In a report to county planners, PennDOT listed $18.3 million in federal transportation money that is recommended for projects from Allegheny and Erie counties to Dauphin and Franklin counties. Shuster redirected the federal allocation before he left office in January, said Rich Kirkpatrick, PennDOT spokesman in Harrisburg. Neither Kirkpatrick nor local officials could explain how the information only came to light now. “It left us in a confused position,” county Planning Director Jeff Kloss said. Kloss and county Commissioner Dick Rice were not immediately able to contact Shuster’s son, Bill, who now holds his father’s former congressional seat, to learn more about the funding disbursement. A representative of Shuster’s Washington, D.C., office, however, said that the freshman Congressman was choosing not to comment until he can further research the issue. -....,^.^1^^. . Bud Shuster was unavailable for comment Tuesday. PennDOT’s central office in Harrisburg announced the reallocation, Planning Commission Chairman Tom Cunningham said. That’s not supposed to be the way it works, he said. Planning commissions are to recommend funding allotments to PennDOT. Please see Springs/Page A7 rn Report: Most Pennsylvanians satisfied with HMOs By Michael Emery Staff Writer The consensus among the 5 million-plus Pennsylvanians who get medical care through health maintenance organizations is that they generally are satisfied with the service, although coverage for certain surgical procedures varies widely, according to a report released today. Of the five HMOs available in the area that were rated in the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council report, Geisinger Health Plan scored highest in customer satisfaction ratings, with 70 percent of its members giving Geisinger the highest rating of 8 to IO. Another 25 percent of its members gave Geisinger a rating from 5 to 7. “We look at information all the time that measures the quality of Geisinger Health Plan as a way to evaluate how we are serv ing our members,” said Lisa Hartman, Geisinger spokeswoman. "We’re really pleased with the results of the PHC4 report because we want our customers to be pleased with what we’re doing. The report gives us concrete information on what we’re doing right, as well as what we can do better.” Geisinger also received high ratings in preventive health and wellness and disease management. Preventive care and wellness and disease management are initiatives that distinguish HMOs from traditional health insurers, so high ratings in those categories are particularly important. “One of the selling points of HMOs is that they can help patients avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital through better preventive and primary care,” said Marc P. Volavka, PHC4 executive director. But while the study suggests HMO plans are successful at preventing hospitalizations through regular primary care, it also revealed disparities in the acute care for serious conditions such as breast cancer and chronic neck and back pain. For instance, though treatment guidelines for chronic back and neck pain remain undefined and surgery is not always an option, the rate of patients who Please see HMOs/Page A5 Regatta non grata Raystown tourism event vanishes without much of a wake Mirror file photo by Kelly Bennett Speedboats race along Raystown Lake during the Raystown Regatta in this June 1999 file photo. The regatta has been gone for two years, but it doesn’t seem to be missed. By Kevin Ott Staff Writer HUNTINGDON — There was no professional boat racing on Raystown Lake last year. But there still was a regatta. Derek Grubb got together with six friends, and they held their own race — with gas-powered, remote-controlled boats. Grubb didn’t win, but he had fun anyway. Two years after it’s been gone, it’s still too soon to tell where the Raystown Regatta is going. The regatta, a weekend-long professional speedboat race held at Raystown Lake, is in its second year of nonexistence. But any kind of hole it left in Huntingdon County’s tourism economy doesn’t seem to be gaping. The event disappeared in 1999 after a three-year run when the Raystown Country Visitors’ Bureau, the official tourism promotion agency of Huntingdon County, went belly up financially. In 1999, the county hosted its last regatta. In just four years, the race had become a staple of summer at Raystown, drawing 40,000 people not only to the lake but also to restaurants, hotels, gas stations and convenience stores around the county. Grubb manages the Days Inn in Huntingdon, one of the biggest hotels in the area. Last year, he predicted that, after that final regatta, he wouldn’t see much of a drop in business over the first weekend in June, when the event was commonly held. He was right. Please see Regatta/Page All TIMELINE 1996 — Raystown Regatta debuts. The event is televised on ESPN2 and Fox Sports cable channels. 1997 — Cursed at first by bad weather, attendance picks up by Saturday and increases 50 percent from the previous year. 1998 — Top 10 country music acts perform at the regatta. 1999 — Aluminum can recycling premiers at the regatta, but this was to be its final year. 2000 — Event is cancelled. u SiMttMMSIiBKnHNMMM MMMMH DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 22910 00050 BIG FOUR 5    2    4    5 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mix of sun, clouds, 88° I Forecast, A2 Hd^DS^om We're white-hot! Altounu mirror I THE GREAT COMBINATION I 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 □ local QJ NATION Business A9 Classifieds C3-14 Movies A4 Obituaries A13 Opinion A8 □ ura [I SPORTS PBM# Comics D5 Community news D2 Local B4 Puzzles D4 Scoreboard B5 Television D4 V INSIDE IN WORLD President Bush pressed Ariel Sharon Tuesday to move forward on a U.S.-backed Middle East peace plan, but the Israeli prime minister said violence must end first. PAGE Cl 'I rn'    * ;

  • Ariel Sharon
  • Bud Shuster
  • Derek Grubb
  • Dick Rice
  • Jason Sipes
  • Jeff Guyer
  • Jeff Kloss
  • Lisa Hartman
  • Marc P. Volavka
  • Nancy Beiter
  • Rich Kirkpatrick
  • Ricky L. Donaldson
  • Timothy B. Weyandt
  • Tom Cunningham

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Publication: Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

Issue Date: June 27, 2001

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