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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archive: June 29, 2001 - Page 1

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Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - June 29, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                INSIDE TODAY LIFE: Actor Jack Lemmon being remembered for his style, versatility P3 SPORTS: Curve's Kevin Haverbusch promoted to AM Nashville Bl SATURDAY: Meet the class of 2001 in the Mirror's graduation tab iKtrrnr Copyright 2001 FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2001 newsstand MEETING ON TRACK Federal legislators will come 1o Blair County July 16 lor a field hearing about Norfolk Corp.'s decision to close the -Hollidaysburg Car Shop. The Railroad Subcommittee of the U.S. House Transportation and Inliasltucture Committee will convene at 11 a.m. at the Slair .County Convention Center. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th District, a member of the transportation committee, said the session will locus on the Surface Transportation Board's impending ruling on Norfolk Southern should be required to keep the shop open. The hearing originally had been set tor mid- iJune but was delayed by scheduling problems. Stock ownership eyed for shop BY CRAIG WILLIAMS Staff Writer Norfolk Southern Corp. officials arc proposing to sublease the Hollidaysburg Car Shop to a newly created corporation of shop employees through a stock owner- ship plan, according to a filing this week with federal regulators. Although one local politician thinks the idea has merit, a spokesman for one of the shop's unions says workers aren't even considering the plan, focusing instead on keeping the facility open through the ongoing lega! battle before the Surface Transportation Board. State Rep. Richard Geist, R-AHoona, who has spearheaded efforts to keep the 375 jobs and million in annual payroll in Hollidaysburg, said the shop's poten- tial is apparent to anyone with vision. "The braintrust of Norfolk Southern and the unions really should be looking at Hollidaysburg facility as a stand-alone company even if it is a subdivision of said Geist, who chairs the state Transportation Committee. "It looks like it would be a good [prospect for a] employ- ee stock ownership But a union official says employees are focusing on the present and keeping the shops operating under the current arrangement. "We are still exploring how to keep the shops said Tom Lutton, president of the Transport Workers Union, the largest labor union in Hollidaysburg. Several rail labor experts have specu- lated that the STB may rule to keep the shop open for a specific period of time to better measure its profitability prospects. The employee ownership scenario was one of several new pieces of information buried deep inside the 45-page document that the railroad company filed this week, in trying to persuade the STB to allow it to proceed with its plans to close the shop Oct. 1. The STB required the filing after the railroad announced plans to close the shop and state and union officials Please see A9 Mirror photo by Jason Sipes arthsuit performs the last song of its set Thursday on the main stage. Earthsuit, a band that mixes rock, reggae, jazz, rap and Creole into their sound, is one of the many bands performing at the Christian celebration Creation 2001 near Mount Union. See story and photos I PAGE A10 RELIGION: St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church celebrates 150 years INSIDE TODAY Pa. child-care worker checks placed on hold BY GEORGE STRAWLEY The Associated Press HARRISBTJRG A new state policy that critics said months ago should not wait will not be in place next week after all. Democrats are blaming the Republican administration and the administration is citing delays caused by pending legislation. The state Department of Public Welfare had said that in July it would begin regular criminal background checks of small child- care providers those that receive state payments for looking after three or fewer children. But a DPW spokesman said this week that the checks are not expected to begin until the end of the year. The department needed six more months after pending legislation forced it to delay implementation of the background checks earlier this year, the spokesman said. "The department basically is doing said Sen. Allyson Y. Schwartz, D-Philadelphia. "They do not want to do child abuse back- ground checks anyone." Schwartz called the delay a "fail- ure of the department to protect children." The computer record checks, similar to those already performed on employees of larger, licensed child-care facilities, became a political issue earlier this year A Department of Public Welfare spokesman said this week that the checks are not expected to begin until the end of the year. after Democrats pressed the Ridge administration to make them mandatory. Without the checks, lawmakers said the DPW risked spending tax- payer money to pay for baby-sit- ting services by convicted crimi- nals who may be a threat to chil- dren. They said the state should auto: matically bar anyone with a crimi- nal record from receiving state money for the services. DPW spokesman Jay Pagni said the agency had expected to begin the checks earlier but delayed the start of the program because lawmakers were discussing leg- islation outlining how they should do it. Such a bill could have ended up changing procedures that the agency already had put in place', thus wasting money if the depart- ment acted prematurely, he said.' "We're moving forward with what we said we'd do. Please see A4 Route 56 project to make road safer Mirror staff reports PLEASANTVILLE Mark Grisetti's family has been'touched twice by the specter of tragedy on Route 56. He's hoping that, with improve- ments to the road planned by PennDOT, it won't touch anyone pise anytime soon. Grisetti's wife survived a head- on collision along a treacherous stretch of the road four years ago. The other driver, a 17-year-old boy, died in the crash. ;In November, his grandniece died when the parked car she was in was hit by a garbage truck. Work is about to begin on a pro- ject to cut away a portion of a hill- side just east of the notoriously dangerous Route 56 intersection with Chestnut Ridge Market and Dunning Creek roads. C.H. D. Enterprises Inc., New Stanton, contractor for the project, began setting up-opera- lions this week. Work will begin after the Fourth of July. PennDOT officials said the con- tractor will concentrate first on installing a drainage pipe under Dunning Creek Road, along with constructing a detention pond between the road and the creek. Please see A10 Mirror graphic by Tom Worthinglori II Software giant's enemies will have another chance BY HIAWATHA BAY The Boston Globe It's a measure of Microsoft Corp.'s legal plight that Thursday's ruling in its land- mark antitrust case could he chalked up as a victory. After all, the company got out of the courtroom in one piece. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit threw out a plan by U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson to break up Microsoft into two separate companies. It rejected Jackson's view that Microsoft illegally attempted to ANALYSIS monopolize the browser market. But the appeals court strongly affirmed Jackson's ruling that Microsoft holds a monopoly in computer operating systems and used its monopoly power to crush competitors. The court even declined to vin- dicate Microsoft's favorite argu- ment that tying an Internet browser to an operating system is a perfectly legal product inno- vation. The same court had ruled in Microsoft's favor on this point in 1998, but the judges said that the previous ruling didn't apply in this case. The court sent this part of the ruling back to the district court level to be re-examined. So Microsoft's enemies get another chance to prove this part of their case. If they do, the dis- trict court might resurrect Jackson's breakup plan or some- thing like it. Besides, Microsoft's most important new product in years the forthcoming Windows XP Please see A12, DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 045-7480 or (800) 287-4480 KEBBsasHaffisassseassssoffiasffiis BIO FOUR 9 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly sunny, Forecast, A 2 .U..JT ..i.. mi. 2001 CHRYSLER IS HERE! Chrysler Plymouth Jeep 1S49 Pleasant Valley Blvd. AHoona, PA 943-6167 ;Q LOCAL Business Hospitals Obituaries Opinion QJ SPORTS Local Scoreboard A9 All All A8 B4 B5 Q NATION Movies Classified C4 C4-12 Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 television D4 INSIDE" IN NOTION State efforts to ban tobacco advertising playgrounds and schools' violates both federal law and free-speech rights, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday. PAGE Cl   

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