Altoona Mirror, July 18, 2001

Altoona Mirror

July 18, 2001

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Issue date: Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Pages available: 80

Previous edition: Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Next edition: Thursday, July 19, 2001 - Used by the World's Finest Libraries and Institutions
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Publication name: Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - July 18, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY S: Lynnette Williams Award given 11 Mellon sells retail banking Italian cooking is -a way of life for a Cambria native Altmma iKtrrnr Copyright 2001 Final pleas made to STB Federal regulatory panel is expected to rule within 30 days on car shop closing. BY CRAIG WILUAMS Staff Writer At least six politicians, unions or industry trade groups beat Mon- day's deadline for lobbying the Surface Transportation Board on its pending decision regarding Norfolk Southern Corp.'s plan to close the Hollidaysburg Car Shop Oct. 1. The three-member panel of feder- al regulators likely will rule in about 30 days on whether the Virginia railroad giant can pro- ceed with plans to idle the massive rail ear repair facility and more than 350 local workers. Bud Shuster lets his word stand on PAGE A9 Local and state union officials and politicians data) closing the shop would violate promises Norfolk Southern marie to get reg- 'ulatory approval on its takeover of the former Conrail system. Norfolk Southern claims those promises actually were good-faith projections that'have been soured by a slowing economy. An earlier STB ruling indicated the panel was leaning toward keep- ing the shop open and required Norfolk Southern to make further arguments why itshould be closed. Those who filed position papers Monday on the railroad's final argument include: State Senate President Pro Tern Robert C. Jubelirer, R-Blair, and state Rep. Jerry Stern, R- Martinsburg, who strongly urged the STB to keep the car shop open; The Association of American Railroads, whose members include the nation's Class 1 freight rail- roads The group did not take an offi- cial position on the closing but urged the STB to weigh carefully the difference between commitments and projections, which are "gooc faith but nonetheless AES Eastern Energy, an Ar lington, Va.-based power company that supported Norfolk Southern and said an order to "continue the money-losing operations at Hqll idaysburg would directly conflict with the board's guiding princi Please see A3 WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 2001 500 newsstand A CLEAN START FOR INMATES Mirror photos by J.O. Cavricli Bedford County Prison inmates were baptized on the west beach at Shawnce State Park west of Bedford Tuesday afternoon. Above (from County Commissioner Ira Claycomb, Gary Boor of the Spring Meadow Family Worship Center and Meryl Musselman baptize an inmate. Below: Sheriff's deputies stand guard as inmates exit vans at the park. Please see story, Page A5. "El Manas Choice Lakemont blast suit dismissed Judge determines pizza shop owners have been paid for damages incurred. BY PHH, Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG A Blair County judge lias dismissed the last remaining lawsuit from the 1998 natural gas explosion of the Boardwalk Pizzeria in Lakemont. Judge Hiram Carpenter ruled that the owners, Michael and Patricia DeUensis, already have been paid for the damages. The ruling was made just days before a jury was to be selected to hear the DeRensises' case against Peoples Natural Gas Co. and Consolidated Gas Co. of Pitts- burgh, which provided natural gas to Lakemont. In Carpenter's opinion, filed Monday in the Blair County Court of Common Pleas, the DeRensises have been paid more than in insurance money and for the land at 320 Logan Blvd., where Hie pizza shop was located. The value of the property was which means the DeRen- sises have been compensated for their financial losses, Carpenter ruled. The legal action brought by the DeRensises1 attorney, Alexander J. .lamiolkowski of Pittsburgh, also asked for punitive damages from the gas companies. Punitive dam- ages would award the plaintiff money above the actual financial loss to punish the gas company for the negligence that caused the explosion. DeRensises have] been compensated in full outside the context of a litigation; there is no legal basis to go Carpen- ter wrote. "Put another way, punitive dam- ages cannot be imposed unless some compensatory damages are capable of being awarded." Jamiolkowski said Tuesday afternoon that his clients are con- sidering appealing Carpenter's ruling to the Pennsylvania Superior Court. They have until Aug. 13 to file. Please see A4 PflVING JURORS WORE Leaders say Blair can't afford hike By KAY STEPHENS Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG Blair County taxpayers cannot afford much of a pay raise for jurors, county commissioners said Tues- day. While juror pay hasn't changed in 20 or more years, John J. Ebersole and John H. Eichelberger Jr. said they would prefer to see the state cover the cost of a unified court system. Jurors would be paid through that system. If state legislators pursue an increase in juror pay without a unified court system, it will be up to the counties to figure out how to cover a pay increase. At the Blair County Courthouse Monday, Judge Thomas G. Peoples urged a panel of jurors selected to Ebersole Eichelberger hear a criminal trial to contact their legislators and ask them to support a bill to raise the amounts jurors are pain. State legislators have talked about increasing juror pay to per day plus reimbursement for toll charges and parking fees and dou- bling the mileage reimbursement. Please see A3 Perm State boosts tuition, fees by 7.9 percent 20D1-02 tuition tuition Computer fees Student activity fee 'NOTE: Figures am tor in-s 13 te undergraduate BY PETER JACKSON The Associated Press HARRISBURG Trustees of Perm State University approved its biggest tuition increase in a decade Tuesday, along with fee increases that will boost the cost of under- graduate enrollment by nearly 8 percent in 2001-02. The action will increase yearly charges at the University Park campus in State College by for freshmen and sophomores who are Pennsylvania residents and by for resident juniors and .seniors. In March, the trustees voted to increase separate room-and-board charges in 2001-02 by 7.9 percent, or per year, for a double room and the most popular meal plan, At Tuesday's meeting in the Philadelphia suburb of .Abington, trustees rubber- stamped a plan unveiled Monday by Penn State President Graham Spanier, who said the higher tuition and fees arc needed to off- set state funding that is less than expected ami to cover critical costs such as salary increases and capital improvements. In addition to tuition increases, two fees that all Penn State students pay will increase next year. A fee that covers unrestricted access to university computer facilities and the Internet will increase from this year to next year. The student activity fee, which ranges from to depending on the campus, will increase by The tuition increase is the steepest since 1991-92, when tlie increase was 8.9 percent. It is higher than the 6 percent tuition increase that the governing board of the State System of Higher Education approved for the 14 state-owned universities Friday, but Penn 'State officials said it is smaller than the average VO percent increase for Big Ten colleges. Please see A7 DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-'M80 BKJFOUR 9 4 W) 7 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly cloudy, Forecast, A2 Mirror oooooo oo.oooo Bucks O LOCAL Business Movies Obituaries Opinion QJ SPORTS Local Scoreboard A11 A4 A13 A6 B4 BS H NATION Classifieds C4-14 HUFE Comics OS Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4 INSIDE IK NATION More than 180 computers, at least one containing classified material, are missing (torn the FBI along with about 449 weapons, ofticials said Tuesday. PAGE C1 ;