Altoona Mirror, August 30, 2001

Altoona Mirror

August 30, 2001

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Issue date: Thursday, August 30, 2001

Pages available: 88

Previous edition: Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Next edition: Friday, August 31, 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) - August 30, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Sports; Area high school football overview Life: BCAF releases its Family Theatre lineup Dl Altnona iKtrrar Copyright 2001 THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2001 newsstand ErJmundson SeUhamer JACKSON MURDER Death 3enalty baseless BY PHTL RAY Staff Writer HOLLTOAYSBURG The attor- ney for accused killer Marie SeUhamer says there is no legal basis for prosecutors to seek the death penalty against his client in her upcoming murder trial. Altoona attorney Thomas M. Dickey is asking a Blair County judge to bar District Attorney Dave Gorman from seeking the death penalty against SeUhamer, 19, Ashville RD, and Kristin M. Edmundson, 20, Duncansville, who are accused of killing Shari Lee Jackson, 20. Gorman announced last month that he would seek the death pen- alty against both women, citing torture as a legal basis. Police said Seilhamer and Ed- mundson admitted they drove 'Jackson, an emergency medical technician from Hollidaysburg, to a wooded area near the Blair- Clearfield county line. SeUhamer beat Jackson with a baseball bat, whUe Edmundson slashed her throat with a box-cut- ting knife. ;'Police said Edmundson was angry at Jackson and felt she was interfering with Edmundson's rela- tionship with a third woman. .-The day after the murder, two friends of Edmundson Scott Glister, 23, and Amanda Speicher, 20 were charged with helping the women burn Jackson's body and dispose of evidence. Dickey argues that under state law, torture requires a perpetrator to go beyond a killing and do some- thing to inflict additional pain on the victim just for the sake ol inflicting pain. He argues that whatever hap- pened to Jackson involved hei death, not a separate act just to cause pain. v Gorman is seeking the death penalty to gain leverage over Seil hamer in hopes of obtaining a guilty plea to a lesser charge Dickey contends. Gorman disputes Dickey's claim saying it offends him. Please see A7 TEACHER DOUBLE FEATURE Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich Janet Yon, a second-grade teacher at McAuliffe Heights at Irving Elementary School, gives student Brandon Thompson his homework folder. Yon began the second year of the looping program Wednesday. At McAuliffe, looping' keeps kids with instructor for two-year cycle i: BY WILLIAM KIBLEH StaffWrtter t's a simple but powerful idea. Instead of getting a new teacher every 'year, students at McAuliffe Heights at Irving Elementary School have the same teacher two years in a row three teachers during six years. "Looping" may lack the instant glamour of other innovations practiced at McAuliffe Heights, such as tailoring teaching to seven types of intelligence. But at the Logantown school, linking years into pairs has become the setting for more trust, more confidence, less anxiety, quicker re-establishment of routine, less forced pacing of school work, faster inter- vention for problems and a broader perspective. On Wednesday, the first day of school, looping helped generate a shy, radiant smile on the face of sixth-grader Samantha Mealing. Teacher Linda Conway is in the second year of her loop with Samantha and her classmates. Conway is familiar'enough with Samantha to make a point about writing style. Please see A5 PSU traffic could keep police busy BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer STATE COLLEGE An expand- id Beaver Stadium, road construc- tion and a night kickoff could com- bine for a traffic nightmare for Saturday's Penn State University football game against Miami. Police are trying to prepare for the onslaught of tens of thousands of cars, vans, recreational vehi- cles, motorcycles and bicycles. Authorities are accustomed to football traffic, but night games are another story. Penn State has played six home night contests in its history, and there hasn't been a late-night game for eight years. "It's a little hard to anticipate this, the way the game falls at Penn State police Super- visor Dwight Smith said. "We haven't had a night game in quite a few years. We could have a trickle all day or they could come eight hours early." Authorities are pleased with the progress on highways leading into the Centre County region, but bet- ter roads are not yet a reality. Fans coming from Altoona, Wilkes- Barre, WiUiamsport, Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh will run into road construction and traffic tie-ups. Beaver Stadium's parking lots open at 9 a.m., and traffic could be reduced dramatically if fans arrive at a steady flow. However the scenario plays out, Smith and his 100 auxiliary police officers will be ready for the rush. Roads leading into the stadium, such as Park Avenue and Univer- sity Drive, will be switched to a one- way traffic pattern late Saturday COMING FRIDAY The Mirror's complete coverage of the Nitlany Lions' season opener against Miami Saturday night. morning. The game won't be finished until p.m. or midnight, and that creates another problem. The parking lots will be welUit, but there will be a rush of traffic as fans try to leave. "We will have exit lights on the roadways, but I think people have to be Smith said. Another unknown is how many vehicles there wUl be compared to past years. Because of the added seating at Beaver Stadium, atten: dance will jump by more than people, which could mean more vehicles. But PennDOT spokesman Chuck Yorks doesn't know if a bigger crowd necessarily means more vehicles. Please see A16 Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec Interstate 99 construction continues near Beaver Stadium in State College. At far right is the stadium's exit ramp from Route 322. Traffic is expected to be snarled at the site Saturday. House panel seeks compromise in updating Right-to-Know law BY MICHAEL RACE HARRISBURG Revising the state's 43-year-old open records law wiU require striking a balance between the public's right to know and personal privacy. 'just how delicate that balance needs to be was a topic of a work- shop Tuesday before the House State Government Committee. For more than 90 minutes, the committee discussed a bill spon- sored by state Rep. Charles Mc- nhinney, R-Bucks, to update the state's Right-to-Know Law, gener- ally considered among the weakest in .the nation. The measure is among several proposals being offered at the Capitol to revise the law. State Rep. Paul Clymer, R-Bucks, who chairs the committee, said lawmakers, the media, local gov- ernments and privacy advocates must find "that line of compro- mise" that will result in Right-to- Know revisions all sides can sup- port. >Please see A9 Cambria tightens regulations for transportation of inmates BY LINDA HUDKINS For the Mirror EBENSBURG Constables who transport Cambria County prisoners will work under a new set of rules imposed Wednesday by President Judge Gerard Long. Prompted by three escapes in the past year and a recent incident in which inmates were caught smuggling contraband into the prison, Long met with constables and district justices. He announced a new operating procedure that directs constables to transport inmates in cars equipped with barriers between the front and back seats. And rear doors in constables' cars must be disabled so inmates cannot open them from the inside. Prisoners must be handcuffed and in leg irons, Long said, and constables must begin wearing uniforms. To help constables comply, Long said the county will stock up on the required items. For example, he said three shirts, a jacket and a hat will cost for constables. Also, Long said each of the county's nine district court oEfices wiU phones or radios on hand for constables to use whUe transporting prisoners. Hastings District Justice Michael Zungali said constables, although .elected, operate as independent contractors. Please see A6 Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7 I Lottery numbers, A2 Mostly sunny, Forecast, A2 The Magazine. Says: Wine Spectator "Is One of the best Restaurants in the world for Wine Loiers" Aug. >KI B4 B5 Night IN NATION At least federal tax returns and payments involving million, either were lost or destroyed at a Pittsburgh processing facility. PAGE C1 ;