Monday, September 10, 2001

Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - September 10, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania STEELERS MONDAY GAME: Steelers drop season-opener, 21-3 Hi NOTEBOOK: Jags' WR Smith has big day B6 Tips for buying age-appropriate toys Altoona iHtrr0r Copyright 2001 MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2001 newsstand Appeals post awaited Altoonan expecting nomination to 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. BY WALT FRANK Staff Writer Chief U.S. District Judge D. Brooks Smith is expected to be nom- inated to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by President Bush as early as today. Bush's nomination of Smith, 49, of Altoona is anticipated as early as this week, the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette reported during the week- end. "The appointment of Judge D. Brooks Smith to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is said state Senate President Pro Tern Robert C. Jubelirer, R-Blair, a close friend and one-time law partner. Smith, contacted at his home Sunday, said he did not wish to com- ment at this time because he has not received any official notification. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said he hoped the announcement would be made soon. have been advocating very strongly on Ills behalf. I think he'd be' a good addition to the he said. said he was happy for his Mend's possible nomination. is a great appointment I am so happy for Jubelirer said. "He close a friend as I have. We've been very close' for a lot of years." "After his nomination, Smith must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, a process that could take several weeks. -Smith became chief judge of the district court in January and sits in Pittsburgh and Johnstown. Smith, a federal judge since 1988, has served as chief judge since January, replacing Judge Donald Zjggler in that role. By statute, the chief judge serves a seven-year term. Smith started his law career in Altoona with the firm Jubelirer, Carothers, Kricr Halpern and later became a managing partner there. During his years in private prac- tice, he also served as an assistant district attorney in Blair County and a special assistant attorney gen- eral of Pennsylvania. In the early 1980s, he helped lead a grand jury investigation into orga- nized crime in Blair County. After serving as district attorney from 1983-84, he was appointed judge in Common Pleas Court in 1984 and was elected to a full term the next year. In 1987, he was appointed administrative judge of the court. Staff writer Walt Frank can be reached at 946-7467 or wfran irror.com. story The X Games bring extreme sports mainstream atten- tion. Local teen-agers reflect on the changing face of sports in this month's Altoona Mirror Teens Page. Mirror photo by Jason Sipes David Ban; a 19-year-old Penn State Altoona student, draws a crowd of observers as he soars off one of the ramps while in-line skating at Mad Lines Indoor Skatepark near Altoona. Barr of Philadelphia is one of a legion of young adults taking their love of extreme sports to the edge. 'His efforts are sponsored by K2, a snowboarding company. Open records plan offered From Mirror staff and wire reixjrts HARR1SBURG Gov. Tom Ridge this week- end offered a proposal for making state and local government records more accessible to the pub- lic, although the measure dispensed with some tools sought by proponents. Ridge said the plan would revise the state's 44-' yearold public records law by defining the fur-: nishing of records to the public as a basic respon- sibility of government placing deadlines on pub- lic officials to fulfill information requests and making the law applicable to electronic docu- mentation. Text of Gov. Ridge's Right to Know pro- posal PAGE A10 "It's the right thing to do, and I believe my bill strikes the balance we need to actually get some- thing Ridge said. "These reforms expand access to public records, but without disregard- ing legitimate concerns in the General Assembly about privacy and the orderly opera- tion of government" Open records advocates consider Pennsyl- vania's current Right to Know Law one of the weakest in the nation. It assumes that a govern- nient record can be kept from public view unless specifically designated by law as open for inspection. The law applies to records ranging from police logs to minutes of government meetings. A coalition representing the state's newspaper publishers and other media organizations praised Ridge for pursuing a "long-needed but it took issue with how the proposal defines public records and sets deadl ines for gov- ernment officials. The proposal keeps the current definition of an open record intact, while amending some of the procedures used to obtain public information. "Under this proposal, Pennsylvania would continue to have probably the narrowest defini- tion of public records in the the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association and other groups said in a joint statement. "This means that citizens will be denied access to information that they could get if they lived almost anywhere else or requested it from the federal government." The proposal leaves (he burden on citizens to prove to the government that it has a right to informal ion. Most states have adopted the federal' Freedom of Information Act philosophy, assvun-, ing all recoixis are open unless they meet specific criteria. The proposal does not contain some items sought by open-records advocates, including an independent state office that would hear appeals; of disputes over records requests. Instead, a member of the public would appeal the dispute to the head of the agency involved in the request who would have 30 days to make a final determination. Please see A10 Hayes: Pa. produce 'Simply Delicious' Bv MICHAEL EMERY Staff Writer BELLWOOD When Sam Hayes, Pennsyl- vania's secretary of agriculture, visited the Bellwood-Antis Farm Show this weekend, he made a point of visiting the "Pennsylvania Produce... Simply Delicious" exhibit by seventh- Shd eighth-grade students in the Beliwood-Antis School District j The artwork was Hayes said. Hayes visited two local fairs Friday. He also visited Claysburg Community Days Fair earlier in the day. The Bellwood-Antis and Claysburg fairs are two of the 114 community fail's that are held in Pennsylvania annually, Hayes said. The "Pennsylvania Produce Simply Delicious" program has been called successful since its inception four years ago. The Department of Agriculture stalled the program in 1997 as a means of pro- moting Pennsylvania produce. The program has grown to include more than Hayes 600 growers and retailers statewide. Through the Simply Delicious program, stores and retailers in Pennsylvania agree to sell Pennsylvania-grown produce before selling fruits and vegetables grown out of state as long as there is sufficient quantity and quality of Pennsylvania-grown fruits and veg- etables. Hayes said he is confident of the quantity and quality of all Pennsylvania-grown produce. "Like the slogan says, Pennsylvania produce Please see A5 BLAIR COUNTY ASSOCIATION FOR THE BLIND Golfers wear eye patch in benefit tournament By MIA Ron ART Staff Writer LAKEMONT Linette Beck had an interesting golfing experience Friday. She played the game wearing an eye patch to help raise awareness about blind people. "It's an eye-opening Heck said with a chuckle. "It makes it a different game. You have to concentrate another golfer, Yvonne Gentry, said. Beck and her husband are close friends with Stephen Mielnik, who Please see AID IDEUVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 94B-7480 or (800) 287-4480 BMJFOUR 8 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEAKER Showers likely, Forecast, A2 Aitimtta THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 _____or fax us at (814) 940-7647_____ SH LOCAL Business Hospitals___ Obituaries__ Opinion NFL roundup Scoreboard A5 A9 A9 A8 B2 B5 NATION Classifieds C3-10 Comics ____ D5 Community news D2 Dear Abby_ _ D4 Television D4