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Altoona Mirror: Tuesday, August 14, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - August 14, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                INSIDE TODAY SPORTS; Guy Lahdolfi wins Mansion Park title Bl NATION: Energy misled FBI in Lee spy case Cl Balancing the ifWjsfjS- cia! lessons 1 Copyright 2001 TUESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2001 newsstand State trooper cited in bicycle case Ehredt BY WILLIAM KIBLER Staff Writer A state trooper was ordered-to pay a traffic citation Monday in the case of a teen cyclist who died after striking the bach of the trooper's pickup truck after dark June 9. District Justice Patrick T. Jones dis- missed an illegal parking charge against trooper Richard J. McEldowney because the law doesn't apply in resi- dential areas like Juniata Gap, where 14-year-old Charlie Ehredt hit the which investigators say occu- pied 3 feet of the traveling Vane. But McEldowney's attorney, Tom Farrell, failed to convince Jones to dis- miss a citation for failure to have flashers on, despite an argument that if the truck was legally parked the flashers weren't necessary. The court levied in fines and costs against McEldowney for the flasher violation and for an inspection sticker that had expired nine days before (lie accident. After the summary trial verdict, family members arid several friends surrounded McEldowney as If to shield him from others in the hot, cramped courtroom, and McElctowney left the premises by a back exit. Asked if justice was done, assistant district attorney Brandi Hauck said it was a hard question, given the youth's death. She said she and the police laid out the case as best they could. Ehredt's grandfather Charlie Ehredt said, "I'll have to think about when asked the same question. The youth's uncle, Gene Ehredt, con- cluded what happened in court wasn't enough last evening as he worked on a memorial for his nephew next to St. Therese of the Child Jesus Catholic Church in Fairview. The police' investigation centered on whether McEldowney had activated his flashers before the accident, which he told police at the scene he had done. Please see A10 "It's embarrassing to be part of the human race when you hear what some people will do for a bobbing-head doll." Tim Hunter, author of "Bobbing Head Dolls 1960-2000" LOSING their HEADS From eBay to ballparks, those collectors are going nuts over the latest retro craze in dolls. u Yo p e BY MICHAEL EMERY Stuff Writer ou can grow up to be a Major League Baseball player. You can become an all-star. You can be enshrined into the Major League Baseball Hall bf Fame. But you've never really made it until your image is on a bobble-head doll. The bobble-head doll phenomenon again is a smash hit at ballparks nationwide. Tonight, the Altoona Curve baseball team is giving away Adam Hyzdu bobble-head dolls to the first fans 14 years old and younger. It's the Curve's third and final bobble-head promo- tion this season. .Earlier this summer, the Curve had doll promo- tions for Manager Dale Svemn and team mascot Steamer. The Steamer doll night July 3 attracted a record crowd at Blair County Ballpark, and the Steamer bobble-head doll was featured on CNN. Curve Manager Dale Sveum received a phone call from Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker, who offered to trade Sveum a Bob Uecker bobble- head doll for a Dale Sveum bobble head-doll. Mirror photo by Jason Sipes The Adam Hyzdu promotion is a highly anticipat- Bobble-head dolls, such as this Adam Hyzdu figure that will be handed out ed event. at tonight's Altoona Curve game, have become a hot commodity across the A10 nation as the latest collectors'' craze. Donaldson dividing up Democrats BY PHIL RAY StaffWriter Havin g an avid Republican on the November ballot as a Democrat for district attorney has created a buzz in Blair County's political circles. Some Democrats don't know what to make of the situation. Blah- County attorney Robert S. Donaldson lost the Republican nomination in Dave Gorman by a vote of to But Donaldson of Hollidaysburg won on the Demo- cratic side as a write-in candi- date, '121 to 398, as the Democrats failed to put up a candidate. Days after the primary. Donald- son said he was not sure if lie would accept the nomination, but he paid the fee hi June and took the loyaltyv oath, conditions that a write-in winner must fulfill to be on the fall ballot. Friday afternoon, Donaldson sent out a news release stating he will be a candidate, but .he stopped short of committing to acampaign. "At this juncture, we are not ready to commit to a full-fledged Donaldson said. "We expect to make a more formal com- mitment in the next couple of weeks." Donaldson said he will not change his party registration to Democrat, even if he decides to run Donaldson BY THE NUMBERS Blair County's registration figures as ol the May 200 J primary (the latest figures Republican Democrat .Other________ Total full throttle. But if the past is any indication, party affiliation may not be very important. In 1979, Oliver E. Mattas lost the Republican nomination for district attorney to William Haberstroh, but like Donaldson, he won the Democratic _ nomination. Mattas, remaining a Republican, won hi the fall. Democratic state committeeman Tom Healy said Monday that Mattas had a lot of Democratic sup- port. He doesn't know if Donaldson does. "If he wants to run as a Democrat, that's his option. As far as him getting Democratic sup- port, I don't Healy said. Donaldson has not spoken to Healy about obtaining support, but Healy loft the door open for Donaldson. The longtime Democratic leader said there will be a meeting Wednesday night among Demo- crats and labor leaders to revital- ize die Blair County Democratic Party. Please see A10 Faulty ignition settlement could cost Ford Si billion BY DAVID KRAVETS The Associated Press HAYWARD, Calif. A pro- posed settlement that could cost Ford Motor Co. as much as bil- lion prompted a judge to a class-action trial Monday on claims that faulty ignition switch- es caused millions of cars and trucks to stall. Superior Court Judge Michael Ballachey met privately with attorneys before confirming that settlement talks are ongoing. He sealed the meeting's tran- script and slapped a gag order on attorneys. Four months ago, the judge ordered Ford to recall as many as 2 million vehicles in California. Under the settle- ment deal described Ballachey by-attorneys Sunday, Ford woul d offer not a recall but a warranty extension that could cover as many as 5 mil- lion vehicles nationwide; owners would be reimbursed for replac- ing ignition switches. "I think this is basically a win for said Jeff Fazio, a lead attorney in the class-action ease against Ford. "It could have been years before the cars were fixed, but with this it could come soon." Ballachey said Ford misled gov- ernment inspectors and was living in an "Alice in Wonderland" dreamland by denying defective Please see A7 OHTHEBULLOT Voters in 35 districts set to decide on OAT A list of local school districts that have scheduled a Nov. 6 referendum on whether they should eliminate the occupation assessment tax in exchange (or increasing the local earned income tax: BLAIR COUNTY Tyrone Area CENTRE COUNTY Bald Eagle Area Bellefonte Area State College Area INDIANA COUNTY Blairsville-Saltsburg .Marion Center Area Purchase Line Source: Pennsylvania School Boards I Association I BY MARTHA RAFFAELE The Associated Press HARR1SBURG Voters in about one-third of the school dis- tricts that collect an occupational assessment tax will decide in November whether to eliminate the tax in exchange for higher local income tax rates, according to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. The 110 school districts that have the tax, which assigns an amount to a resident's job category, were allowed to schedule a referendum on repealing it under a bill passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Tom Ridge in June. Thirty- five had met Wednesday's deadline to do so. Districts in which voters agree to repeal the occupation tax would increase the local earned income tax to make up for the'lost revenue under the new law. "The occupation tax has never been a tax that those school boards have wanted to levy, but it has been the only alternative to higher Please see AS Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 2874480 'J. I Lottery numbers, A2 Partly sunny, Forecast, A2 The Magazine... 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