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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - July 6, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY REL80I0N; Water Street church prepares meals for highway workers FflEE 8POHTS; Jennifer Capriati's Grand Slam hopes dashed at Wimbledon Hi__________ LIFE: Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts hosts arts, food and entertainment 01 Aitanna UKrror Copyright 2001 Judge denies dealer bond Sentencing in selling drugs in school zone sends woman to state institution immediately. BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer Zelda Jean Graham, a 41-year old mother of two, became the first Blair County resident to be sent to a state correctional institution for selling drugs in a school zone an area within feet of Wright Elementary School. Graham of 1114 17lh Ave. burst into tears Thursday when Blair County Judge Norman IX Callan refused to set her free on bond pend- ing the outcome of an appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Callan has allowed sentenced defendants go free while their cases are appealed to a higher court, but Blair County Assistant District Attorney Richard ConsiglKvpointed out to Callan that defendants who have been sentenced to more than two years in prison arc not entitled to fbond while their cases are on appeal. The judge agreed and told Graham she must go to prison immediately! Graham asked for a few days to get her affairs in order, but Callan replied that she had since April, when she was convicted by a Blair County jury of conspiracy and pos session with intent to deliver. Blair County Assistant Public Defender Mark Zearfaus, Graham's attorney, said he will challenge Graham's two- to four-year manda- tory sentence she received for sell- ing crack cocaine within a school zone. Zearfaus argued (hat Graham was not informed that prosecutors would be seeking the two-year mandatory sentence for school zone sales until after a jury con- victed her. Please see A4 FRIDAY, JULY 6, 2001 newsstand Survey first step for action _] For more survey results, soo Page A5 Comparing trie responses of Ebensburg residents and business leaders on key issues from a survey conducted by borough Garbage Township Airport Businesses r I L r _ 55% remain as is n 29% exclusive hauler, residential hills 11% exclusive hauler, pay through 43% share services, K- 59% share services, examine consolodaLion examine consolodation n 17% share services, 16% share services, no consolodalion no consoloda.ion 15% remain 8% remain separate entities separate entities 24% not sure 10% not 39% no borough 41% no borough funding funding B 39% not sure H 27% not sure 20% continue local 29% continue local funding funding mon on pie chstts indicates, did nol respond. Mirror graphic by Tom Washington II Borough searches for ideas BY MIA ROKART AND JAY KNARH Staff Writers The borough recently collected and assem- bled responses to a survey, sent out in April, in which borough resi- dents answered questions about everything from sidewalks and truck traffic to their willingness to consid- er sharing services or even consoli dating with Cambria Township. The survey was the first step in a new community action plan, accord- ing to Community Development Director Nicole Wood, who organized, distributed and analyzed life survey. "We're going to come up with a plan based on what the residents toltl us needed to be done and what that they were unsatisfied Wood said. One portion of the survey sure to be reviewed and revisited are the statistics on shared services and the consolidation of Ebensburg Borough and neighboring Cambria Township. Consolidation, a word once consid- ered.taboo by many of the small municipalities seeking to maintain Mirror plioto by Gaiy M. Baranec Kids pla3' street hockey Thursday at Memorial Field at Marion and Triumph streets in Ebensburg. their individual identity in the region, has since become a feasible option in the face of declining popu- lations and increased competition among the commonwealth's nearly municipalities for federal and state funding. According to the survey, 43 per- cent of Ebensburg residents are in favor of sharing services and at ieast considering consolidation. The survey also shows 59 percent of the businesses in Ebensburg are in favor of the same measures. Cambria Township residents were not surveyed. In the wake of Barnesboro and Spangler's thus-far successful consol- idation into Northern Cambria Borough on Jan. municipali- ties such as Franklin borough near Johnstown are taking a serious look at the benefits of consolidation. Ebensburg Mayor Charles Moyer says many more questions need to be answered before Ebensburg and Cambria Township sit down to dis- cuss consolidation, but that the sur- vey shows many in the borough feel it's worth talking about. "It's a topic that arises Moyer said. Please see A5 Food stamps cut back Single recipients who are able to work could lose eligibility. BY KAY STEPHENS Staff Writer Some Altoona residents arc expected to lose tlieirfood stamp eligibility during the coming year because the city did not secure another waiver tuider federal rules. Those affected will he food stamp recipients judged as able-bodied Altoona adults with no dependents ami minimal" or no work.-Thoso who work at least 20 hours a week can continue to qualify for food stamps. The change took effect June 1 but will be phased in during the coming year, when recipients arc up for a review of their benefits, said Robert Lena, director of the Blair County office of the state Department of Public Welfare. "It's not going to Vie a massive across-the-board type of Lena said. No estimate was available on how many Altoona residents would be affected. "Only those able-bodied people without dependents are included, so it won't affect anyone who's head of a household who has Lena said. "Pretty much, I think we're looking at the single individuals who are able to work, and they'll only be impacted if they're not working 20 hours." Altoona is one of four cities and eight counties that the slate Department of Welfare recently told to begin terminating food stamp eligibility of needy able-bodied adults without dependents. The other cities were Erie, Reading and York, and the counties were: Columbia, Fulton, Lackawanna, McKean, Northumberland, Susquehanna.Tiogaand Venango. While Congress in 1996, as part of a budget balanc- ing measure, imposed restrictions to limit food stamp distribution, Altoona residents were among those exempt from restrictions because the city was considered an area that lacked sufficient jobs. In the latest review of economic conditions, howev- er, the state Department of Public Welfare decided! that able-bodied Altoona adults receiving stamps no longer would be exempt froni the work requirement. That's likely to force some to take part- time minimum wage jobs. Those who do so before a review of their benefits will continue to receive food stamps, Lena said. Berry Friesen, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center, said that removing Altoona, as well as other cities and counties from (lie federal exemption, stirs concern. His agency is a private, nonprofit anti-hunger group dedicated to seeing that Pennsylvanians have enough to eat. Please see A 7 HOMEMADE CANNON DEATH Ruling to file charges expected next week BY PHI i. RAY Staff Writer Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman said Thursday that a decision could be made next week if charges will be brought in connection with the Tuesday night death of a 9- year-old struck with a piece of pipe when a homemade cannon exploded. Kyle Dolan of Wilmington, Del., was visiting a Logan Township resi- dence, 723 Pottsgrove Road, and was part of an Independence Day eve cel- ebration when a piece of the pipe broke off the cannon's wooden base and 120 feet where it hit Dolan, 9, in the face. He was killed instantly. The pipe was about 3-feet in length and an inch wide. The 15-year-old who made the can- non and fired it talked to the deceased youth's father, Kevin Dolan, Wednesday. The teen-ager apologized to the father, and Kevin Dolan replied, "He faced rip to what happened. 1 told him not to forget my son and turn this into something good from here on according to a report in the Wilmington News-Journal. Please see A7 Hemp-fueled car makes pit stop in area Mirror photo by J.O. Cavrich People admire the hemp-fueled Mercedes Benz that was displayed at the Kmart parking lot and Sinking Valley Fairgrounds. BY RoiiEiiT Icon Staff Writer AiVother battle for the legal- ization of industrial hemp in the United States- kicked off Thursday in Altoona. Citizens Action Group spon- sored a visit by Solution to Pollution's hemp-fueled Mer- cedes Bonz, which was on dis- play at the Kmart parking lot and the Industrial Hemp Festival at the Sinking Valley Fairgrounds. In a time when the country's energy situation is an everyday concern, the organization is touting the dies el-engine vehi- cle as an example of what can be accomplished through the legalization of industrial hemp, which was one of the nation's biggest rash crops until it was abolished in the 1930s by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. The car arrived in Altoona from the starting point of Washington, D.C., where it began a journey to demonstrate the viability of hemp oil fuel. Kellie Siglar said hemp also creates a similarly clean fuel that would work in gasoline engines. Hemp advocacy groups say that besides a fuel that cuts lution by 90 percent, hemp, would require 6 percent of the county's farmlands to produce the nation's energy, paper and textile needs, produces better quality cloth and paper with far less pollution as well as food products. Please see A12 DELIVERY Subscription or home deliveiy questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 BIG FOUR o f I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly sunny, Forecast, A2 2002 JEEP LIBERTY 4 WHEEL DRIVE NOW IN STOCK! Chrysler Plymouth Jeep 1549 Pleasant Valley Blvd. Altoona, PA 943-6167 LOCAL Business Movies.. Obituaries Opinion 01 SPORTS Local Scoreboard A9 A4 A11 AS B4 NATION Classifieds C5-12 0UFE Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4 INSIDE NATION Amtrak looks beyond passengers in pursuifof revenue. PAGE C1
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