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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archive: July 31, 2001 - Page 1

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Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - July 31, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                INSIDE TODAY UFE; Keeping kids occupied on the road PI BUSINESS: Gardners shuts Blair stores A7 Pirates deal Schmidt and Vander Wai Alt00na Copyright 2001 TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2001 500 newsstand Teen charged in blast Cannon explosion killed a 9-year-old boy; 15-year-old accused of fireworks violation. BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG A 15-year-old boy whose homemade cannon blew apart and killed a young visitor from Delaware during a family Independence Day party July 3 will be charged in juvenile court with violating the Pennsyl- vania fireworks law. Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman said Monday that the pipe, stuffed with black powder and wadding, was used to shoot marbles. On the night that 9-year-old Kyle Dolan of Wilmington died, the galvanized pipe recoiled as it was fired, slipped under its bearings and trav- eled 40 yards through the air like a rocket, strik- ing Kyle in the head, killing him instantly. Kyle and his parents, Kevin and Shelley Dolan of Wilmington, were visiting a home on the 700 block of Pottsgrove Road, Logan Township. The investigation, led by Logan Township police Sgt Ron Heller, was complex because of a variety of circumstances. It is not illegal for someone, including a teen-ager, to purchase up to 50 pounds of black powder, Heller said. The black powder used in the homemade cannon came from a friend of the 15-year-old. Police were trying to determine whether the teen-ager was reckless or grossly negligent in his actions, a legal circumstance that would Justify serious charges. The investigation determined he was not. Heller and Logan Township police Chief Steve Jackson said the 15-year-old tried to take steps to limit the danger to the group at the out- door party by placing the cannon behind an old oak tree, Please see A4 Logan To-vynship police Sgt. Ron Heller displays the homemade cannon that killed Kyle Dolan, 9, of Wilmington, Del., while he was visiting relatives in Altoona July 3. Mirror photo by Bob Kasun FUEL ECONOMY Efficiency may come with price BY H. JOSEF HEBEHT The Assacia ted ness WASHINGTON Technologies exist to boost automobile fuel economy substantial- ly over the next 10 to 15 years but not with- out difficult trade-offs, including more traf- fic deaths, a National Academy of Sciences report concludes. The findings are expected to be pivotal in a congressional debate unfolding this week in the House. On Wednesday, lawmakers are to debate whether to increase the fuel economy requirements for cars and sport utility vehi- cles as part of a broader energy bill. President Bush has said ho wanted to await the academy's findings before decid- ing whether to seek tougher federal stan- dards for automakers. The academy report, a summary of which was obtained by The Associated Press, indi- cates cost-effective increases in fuel effi- ciency of cars and sport utility vehicles are achievable without dramatic reductions in vehicle size and weight. But the report concluded that selecting the appropriate fuel economy targets "will require uncertain and difficult trade-offs" among environmental benefits, vehicle safety, cost and consumer preferences for the types of vehicles they choose to drive. Opting not to recommend any specific increase in the federal standard, the report indicates that decision is best made by elect- ed officials. The federal corporate average fuel econo- my standard, or CAFE, requires cars to achieve 27.5 miles per gallon on a fleet aver- age. Light trucks, a category that includes SUVs and minivans, must achieve a fleet average of 20.7 mpg. The report indicated the federal CAFE rules, imposed after the oil embargo in the early 1970s, have been an effective tool in get- ting automakers to produce more efficient cars. This has saved an estimated 2.8 million barrels of oil per day, the panel estimated. But the panel said the shift to smaller, lighter cars also may have resulted in to additional traffic deaths. TOUR DE100NA 2001 Cyclist Tina Skelley is a blur as she founds the turn near the llth Avenue Tower during last year's Altoona Mirror Time Trials. Skelley, an Altoona Area High School graduate, competed as a member of the Altoona Bicycling Club. Over the whiter, she turned professional with the help of corporate sponsor Talgo America, coin, a Spanish maker of high-speed trains. Mirror file pholo by Jason Sipes Hundreds of volunteers still being sought for races Tear de 'Tocr BY TIFFANY SHAW Staff Writer Help still is needed for this year's Tom- de 'Toona. The event runs each year on about volunteers from the area, but this year that number is down significantly, race direc- tor Kirk Leidy said. But race officials aren't con- cerned yet because each summer is a struggle to meet the demand to fill volunteer positions, he said sometimes by several hundred people. Although prior recruiting sometimes is slow, the commu- nity doesn't let the race down in the end. "The people come out at the last Leidy said. Please see A5 COMING UP Today: Altoona Mirror Time Trial Whan: Pro men, 6 p.m.; Pio women, p.m. Where: Alloona Course map on Page AS Wednesday: Crown American Johnstown Circviit Road Hace When: Pro men. 9 a.m.; Pro women, 1 p.m. Pro cyclists gear up all year for the big event in Altoona BY JOHN HAKTSOCK Mirror Sports Stuff As one of the country's biggest stage races, Tour de Toona lias developed mas- sively since its modest inception in 1986. And many professional cyclists throughout the world now circle the week of Ihe Tour on their calendars and plan their trips io Altoona. For Altoona's Tina Skelley, an Altoona Area High School gradu- ate who has gone from cycling enthusiast to professional cyclist in a short period of time, Tour de 'Toona is one of the biggest races on her yearly racing agenda. "To do well in this race is defi- nitely one of our team's biggest goals this said Skelley, 26, who is a member of the Talgo Please see AS New push to legalize slot machines begins Wednesday The Associated Press CANONSBURG The newest push to expand legalized gambling in Pennsylvania begins in earnest Wednesday. That's when state Rep. Tom Petrone, a Pittsburgh Democrat, will hold a legislative hearing at The Meadows harness racetrack in Washington County on his plan to Expanded gambling will stay in forefront PAOE A8 legalize slot machines at the stale's four horse tracks. Anti-gambling groups already are gearing up to oppose Petrone's plan and a similar bill being pushed by state Sen. Tommy Tomlinson, a Bucks County Republican. "Like a zombie rising from the tomb, a casino gambling proposal is once again on the horizon in said Michael Geer of Pennsylvanians Against Gamb- ling Expansion. "And it's just as bad an idea as ever." Not so, Petrone says. Anti-gambling groups across the state blocked proposals to legalize riverboat gambling put forth in 1994 and 1995 by former state Rep. Frank Gigliotti, another Pittsburgh Democrat. Those efforts failed in part because Gov. Tom Hidge insisted on a statewide referendum on the idea first, and the gambling propo- nents balked, fearing they would lose the election. But some of the opposition was fueled by fears thai once riverboat gambling was approved, the boats and casinos would proliferate throughout the state. But Petrone said his proposal is designed only to help four race- tracks that already exist: The Meadows; Penn National near Grantville, Dauphin County; The Downs at Pocono, near Wilkes- Barrc in Luzerne; and Philadel- phia Pack in Bciisalcm. Petrone said the tracks can't compete with those in neighboring Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia, where slot machines already are legal. "A lot of Pennsylvanians make their living from the'horse racing Petrone said. "If it con- tinues to suffer and lose business to neighboring states, the liveli- hoods of these people will suffer." DEUVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-1480 or BK> FOUR 0 Cg 5 Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Partly sunny, Forecast, A2 Mirror oooooc poooooo Bucks H LOCAL Business Movies Obituaries Opinion Jy SPORTS Local Scoreboard A7 A5 A9 AS B4 fJ3 NATION Classifieds C3-1O JTJUFE Comics DS Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4 INSIDE IN NATION Unless people who use Microsoll's Windows 2000 or Windows NTIo run their computers help stop' a virulent worm, the Internet could be disrupted by tonight, if PIGECt   

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