Altoona Mirror, August 8, 2001 : Front Page

Publication: Altoona Mirror August 8, 2001

Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - August 8, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY SPORTS: Thomas wins City League marathon / Bl BUSINESS: Microsoft heads to high court / AllAltoona mirror© Copyright 2001    WEDNESDAY,    AUGUST    8,    2001    50$    newsstand Sheriff deputy put on leave ■ Officer suspended with pay in connection with inmate’s escape from Altoona Hospital. By Phil Ray Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG - A Blair County sheriffs deputy has been placed on administrative leave until an investigation into an inmate’s escape from Altoona Hospital is completed. Sheriff Larry D. Field confirmed Tuesday that the deputy, whose name was not released, was on leave with pay. Blair County Prison inmate Michael David Black, 26, of Altoona escaped during the early morning hours of July 27 from the hospital, where he was being held under sheriffs guard. Defense attorney Theodore Krol said Black has provided details of his escape since being captured, including possible wrongdoing by the deputy. “There is a pending investigation by the state police,” Krol said. The state police investigator was not available for comment late Tuesday. Krol said Black has talked to police about leaving the hospital. “He is attempting to cooperate as to the specifics of his leaving the hospital,” Krol said. “I can’t tell what he said.” There have been arguments in the past about whether the sheriff or county commissioners have the power to discipline deputies. But Commissioner John H. Eichelberger Jr. said Tuesday that the commissioners know nothing about this situation. Eichelberger didn’t even know Field placed a deputy on administrative leave. Field refused to say why one of his deputies has come under scrutiny. “Until we come to some semblance there, I just don’t feel I should say anything,” Field said. According to Field’s initial report, Black apparently feigned sleep by placing his head under the covers of his hospital bed. BEDFORD COUNTY FAIR Mirror photo by J O. Cavrich Amanda Stanton, 12, of Everett works with Maggie, a Guernsey calf, during judging of the junior calf competition Tuesday at the Bedford County Fair. TODAY 9i.m. — Livestock judging all day; hog carcasses on foot, open class sheep, market steers 9 a.m. — Draft animal log pulling 4 p.m. — Midway rides open 6 p.m. — Junior market hog judging 6:15 p.m. — Antique tractor parade 6:30 p.m. — Demolition derby, grandstand Exhibitors struggle to keep animals cool in hot weather By Beth N. Gray For the Mirror BEDFORD — Dog days don’t hold a candle to hog days — those hot, close climates when hogs do what they do best — lie around in a cooling wallow. There are no wallows at the Bedford County Fair, but livestock exhibitors are employing whatever comfort measures they can to keep their animals free from heat stress during the weeklong event in which temperatures are forecast in the 90s. Please see Fair/Page A12 City overtaxed residents, pair claim in lawsuit BUCHANAN MURDER Dad says he knows who did it By William Kibler Staff Writer The father of a deaf man murdered in Juniata thinks he may know who is responsible. Bob Buchanan ——i isn’t saying who it is. hut bu Im'Ih'Yus knows who fits    ■ the description mr* w ^ floated by police ii IM Monday of a man wk rT*? W seen at the home of his son Randy    ^ just before his r. Buchanan death June 21. Buchanan thinks police know the identity of the man, and the man knows he’s wanted. Buchanan thinks the case will break this week. “If this thing works out, it’s over,” he said Tuesday from his gun shop on Second Street. The shop is around the comer from his son s apartment, where Randy’s girlfriend found the beaten body. The wanted man’s description came from a passerby who saw Randy and another man together before Randy’s death, Buchanan said. There’s a “very good possibility” that the man police described is the killer, Buchanan said. “That person was the last one seen with him [Randy],” Buchanan said. “If that person isn't the murderer, that person sure enough knows who the murderer is.” Based on the evidence, the mur der happened within minutes of the sighting, he said. Buchanan doesn’t know how or when police came in contact with the witness. Police are asking for the public's help in cementing the identification of the wanted man. He is described as a white male in his mid- to late 30s who knows sign language. He is 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet IO inches tall, weighs 190 to 200 pounds and has brown hair and glasses. He was wearing a blue shirt at the time. Police want to know if anyone saw a person who fits that descrip tion in the area of the apartment at 116 N. Seventh Ave. at the time of the killing or if anyone knows a person who fits this description. Just because the suspect knows some sign language doesn’t mean he’s deaf, Buchanan said. “A lot of hearing people learn signs because they associate with deaf people,” he said. Buchanan is on edge about the case. “I’m nervous and jittery because I want this guy caught," he said. “I don’t want this thing to go back into the woods and die.” The police description also brings a specific person to mind for Leslie Kelly, who works with local deaf people. But like Bob Buchanan, Kelly didn’t identify the person she had in mind, either. Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler can be reached at 949-7038 or bkiblerigjaltoonamirror.com. Please see Leave/Page A4 •    The    Associated    Press letsy Smith enjoys the relief a garden hose brings from the lot, humid weather while playing Tuesday with her brother ud a friend outside her home in Watertown, Wis. By William Kibler Staff Writer Two former Altoona officials sued the city Tuesday for allegedly overtaxing residents $3 million since 1997 by disguising general revenues as recreation taxes. Former controller Stu Duncan and former city Recreation Commission chairman Bill Schirf charge that the city has illegally exceeded the state’s 30-mill limit for general purposes for five years. They claim the city improperly designated expenses formerly handled in the general fund as recreational. Current city officials, and those in office when the practice started, counter that it is legal to charge about 6.5 percent of the cost of administration, maintenance, police, fire protection and community development to recreation. That amount reflects the 6.5 percent of the city that is open or recreation land. Duncan and Schirf are asking the court to stop the practice, not refund the $3 million. If they win, the city could be forced to cut its police and fire payroll, diminishing services to residents, former Mayor Ray Volta said. In 1996, Volta was mayor when then-Finance Director Henry Bucci — who was formulating his first budget — proposed diverting the general millage to recreation to give the city some revenue cushion beyond the restrictive 30-mill limit. The concept of the charge-off is bogus, Duncan said, and the execution is faulty because the council overstated the percentage of recreation and open land. Duncan cited a Blair County Planning Commission table, which indicates Altoona’s open space, park and recreation area is 2.62 percent — not 6.5 percent — of the total land area. Please see Suit/Page A9 ■■■■■■■■■■■■■MHM ooooBucks □ local □ nation Business AU Classifieds C4-14 Movies A4 Obituaries A13 mm -, Opinion A8 P SPORTS Local B4 Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Scoreboard 1 Television D4 INSIDE IN NATION Three researchers told a meeting of scientists Tuesday that they are unswayed by stories of medical risk or by ethical objections and soon will try to clone human beings. ,,    Pf    Cl Heat sends residents to hospitals for help By Tiffany Shaw Staff Writer The summer heat crossing the country is sending some local residents to the hospital. Dr. Wafa I, Rizk, a specialist in emergency medicine at Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital, treated six people Monday night for heat-related illnesses. Rizk believes that’s the tip of the iceberg as temperatures in central Pennsylvania will continue to swell this week. The hot weather isn’t sparing anyone. The deadly heat wave that sent the mercury soaring in the Midwest and Plains settled along the East Coast Tuesday, straining power grids and sending thousands indoors away from the stifling, soggy misery. “If we worked a horse in this heat, we’d go to jail,” construction worker David Stacey said in Harrisburg, his black T-shirt soaked with sweat. “But we don’t really have a choice. We’ve got to be outside.” Please see Heat/Page AIQ DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions; 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 22910 00050 WEARIER Mostly sunny, 93° ■ Forecast, A2 BM FOUR 5    4    7    9 I Lottery numbers, A2 ;

  • Bill Schirf
  • Bob Buchanan
  • David Stacey
  • Henry Bucci
  • John H. Eichelberger Jr.
  • Larry D. Field
  • Leslie Kelly
  • Michael David Black
  • Ray Volta
  • Stu Duncan
  • Theodore Krol
  • William Kibler

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Publication: Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

Issue Date: August 8, 2001

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