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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - August 16, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY LIFE: Altoona's own-Paul Winter will perform withf this7Boston Pops on PBS Dl SPORTS: Curve shortshop Shaun Skrehot promotedto Triple-A Nashville Bl WORLD: NATO approves deployment of troops to disarm Macedonian rebels Cl Copyright 2001 THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2001 newsstand Have fur, will travel: Reckless rodent stows away BY WILLIAM KIBLER StaffWriter Drive-thru bank tellers worry about robbers; plane and ship cap- tains worry about stowaways. Liz Leiden is a drive-thru teller who worried about a stowaway Wednesday. She learned about the unin- vited passenger with a shock worthy of a bank robber's holdup note. Modern stowaways may be dirt- poor, Third-World citizens who risk freezing in baggage compartments in hopes of a richer life. Leiden's stowaway, in a variation of the theme, is a dweller in dirt from a rural ceme- tery, where social life is dead. Perhaps he risked roasting in an engine compartment to get a taste of a livelier existence downtown. Leiden found him when a customer pulled up to her bank window. "He told me there's a groundhog up in my said Leiden, who was working the Bank kiosk alone. Her car was parked nearby. The groundhog wasn't in her pas- senger compartment; but as other witnesses who were out in the park- ing lot at the time attested, he climbed ontoa front tire and into her engine compartment. Other employees from nearby offices opened the hood and confirmed it: "Sure enough, there he was, snuggled in between the engine and some other Leiden said. One bank employee had a mop with him, and they poked the critter. The groundhog crawled down and under (he car and back up onto the right side of her back axle, Leiden said. So Leiden for city animal enforcement officer John lorio. But when lorio arrived, the groundhog had left. Please see A10 TOBACCO SETTLEMENT Hospitals consider spending options By .MICHAEL EMERY StaffWriter The money that Gov. Tom Ridge released this week to area hospi- tals as part of Pennsylvania's share of the national tobacco-set- tlement funds will help offset deficits for uncompensated care. the real boon could come from future provisions. Ridge this week released mil- lion to .reimburse hospitals for health care they provided that was not paid for by any public or prir yate insurance programs or com- panies. It marks the first major release of funds from Ridge's tobacco-set- tlement plan to make Pennsylvanians healthier. Overall, the state will be eligible for: billion paid in annual installments of million for the next 25 years. wi.The funding comes from an agreement 46 states signed with the major tobacco companies in 1998. "Pennsylvania's hospitals have an obligation to the people and communities they Ridge said. Please see A5 BIG MONEY c ,4 The following local hospitals are uncompensated care I 'payments from the state's tobacco funds' UPMC Bedford Hospital i. Tyrone Hospital ''Conernaugli Valley "'PhilipsburgArea iDubots Regional "'Blair ITS A DIR1Y JOB, BUT.. Mirror photo by Jason Sipes rherese Suba, 15, of Huntingdon sweeps bedding from walkways of the stable where cows are housed this week at the Huntingdon County Fair. Bovine fitting and showmanship were among the categories judged Wednesday. Please see story I PAGE AS IN POLITICS Democrats try to retool Blair efforts BY ROBERT IGOE Staff Writer Although Republicans have a sizable edge in voter registration in Blair County, the county's Democratic Party says it's not too late to make a difference in the November election and gain more footholds in the future...... The county's D'emocratic com- mittee and the Blair Bedford Labor Council conducted an informal meeting Wednesday- night at the council's hall. The organizations agreed that the Democratic Party is at a crossroads, and the party needs to focus on more feasible and worthwhile goals. "We need to stop trying to sell the idea of victory through voter Democratic State Committeeman Tom Healy said. "We need to sell our party's pro- grams and tell the voters what we are for and what we are against. If we get people behind our pro- grams, they will get behind us." Most agreed the committee needs a.major reorganization beginning with establishing which party vacancies need to be filled and finding the right people to fill them. "We need to know where our vacancies one member said. "We have to find out who we have in there who isn't active because thafs the same as having a vacancy." Healy asked all committee mem- bers to adopt one or two wards in the county and work to find people will- ing to serve on the committee and support the party. Once the organi- zation is in place, the committee can begin its efforts in earnest "We need to get some solid can- didates Healy said. fifi behind our 'programs, they will Tom HeJly Democratic State Commftteeman SJ Ridge expected to endorse Fisher for governor PAGE A6 "But we expect to attract good candidates when there is no have to get more organized and have a spokesman in legislative matters, someone who can present our views to the Healy again called for the resig- nation of committee chairman Robert "Whitey" Miller, who Healy said has not been active enough in committee activities, particularly during the recent elec- tion to fill the 9th Congressional District seat vacated by Bud Shuster. Although Shuster's son Bill won the election, Healy said the Democratic Party did not put enough support behind Democrat Scott Conklin, who lost by 11 per- cent of the including a loss in Blah- County. Miller could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. Please see A6 Not-SO-SITIOOth criminal: Suspect caught red-handed at ballpark BY PHIL RAY StaffWriter Nathaniel G. Lundy tried his best to be sneaky Saturday evening when he entered Blair County Ballpark's parking garage. He walked onto the garage's sec- ond-level deck and looked around. The coast was clear, so he gazed inside the front and rear windows of several vehicles and then he noticed a van sitting innocuously to one side. The window was rolled down. It was a hot day, and it was even hot- ter inside the garage sometimes stifling when mixed with the fumes of hundreds of idling vehicles com- ing or going from the game. 'Lundy, 22, of 814 First Ave. peeked in the open window, then stuck his head in. There he saw a Louisville Slugger baseball bat. Lundy checked the area once again. Confident that nobody was within eyesight, Lundy moved quickly, stuck his head and both arms into the van and snatched the classic baseball bat. With the Louisville Slugger in hand, like Mighty Casey struck out. The bat he tried to steal belonged to undercover Logan Township police officers, and the van he vir- tually jumped into was a surveil- lance vehicle. Lundy didn't have time to remove his head and arms before two officers leaped from the van and had him in custody. He was too stunned to offer resistance. Police rarely are so lucky, Logan police Chief Steve Jackson said. Lundy was charged with attempt- ed theft from a motor vehicle, pos- session of instruments of crime and possession of drug parapher- nalia. Lundy was carrying a spark plug, which may have been used to crack car windows, Jackson said. So the spark plug was considered an instrument of crime. Police also found tundy in pos- session of a syringe the basis for the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. Jackson said Sgt. Ron Heller decided to move the surveillance van into the parking garage Saturday after four vehicles were broken into the night before. It was hot, which is why the window of the van had been rolled down. As for the bat, it was placed on the front seat as bait, Jackson said: Jackson said LunHy is a suspect in a number of other thefts. Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray can be reached at 948-1468 or Itoonam irror.com. Subscr iption or hom o delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 Lottery numbers, A2 Partly cloudy, Forecast, A2 S H The Wine Spectator Savs: fiSS% Business Cornlcs___ Obituaries Opinion A9 A8 A11 A4 IS-sfc ''.szts Local_____ Scoreboard B4 Classifieds C3-12 Movies D3 D2 Night Life_____ Puzzles D5 Television D5 IM STATE Pittsburgh Sleelers fans will be able to drink a few: beefs while watching a game at Heinz Field, the stale Liquor Control Board, ruled Wednesday. PAGE A3
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