Wednesday, October 3, 2001

Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - October 3, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY 76ers open camp at Bryce Jordan Center Bl NATION: Fed cuts interest rates to a 40-year low Cl Fruit offers a harvest of opportunities page Dl Altoona flltrror Copyright 2001 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2001 500 newsstand Michigan-AItoona band bond ends on sour note By JAY YOUNG .StiiffWriter The bridge between the Altoona Area School District and the University of marching band was burned by administrators in Ann Arbor, Mich., in the name of saving money, Big Ten program surprised Altoona late last week by canceling its scheduled appearance Friday at Band Blast. "This has everything to do with not hav- Wolverines band director says if money was the reason behind canceling this weekend's trip. Michael Hailhcock, Michigan director of university bands, said Tuesday. The district coordinated housing for the visiting 275-member band and resched- uled the highly anticipated Erie Prep game for Saturday so Mansion Park would be available for the event. Despite Michigan's no-show, the event will go on as scheduled. Haithcock said he was ordered by uni- versity brass to bring out of the red the program he took over Sept. 1. He replaced a director who left the program in April. The only way to make up the difference was to cancel the band's football game trip to either East Lansing, Mich., or State College, Haithcock said. Since Michigan State is one of the school's biggest rivalries, the Michigan athletic department decided they could handle the Nittany Lions without the assistance of their nationally renowned marching band. Haithcock claims the Penn State trip would cost the band or more than the funds available. The prior agreement to perform in Altoona wasn't part of the decision process. "With all due respect, that is not some- thing I was at liberty to think Haithcock said. "I know everyone in Altoona is disap- pointed, and I'm equally disappointed to have to had to make the call." Please see A7 ALTOONA HOSPITAL Trauma center may not ensure financial health BY WILLIAM KIBLER Staff Writer Although it became a trauma center this week, the financial future of. Altoona Hospital isn't any more certain than last week when it abolished 90 jobs after los- ing money. Hospital officials say the center will recoup the capital investment in about three years and become a ijijoney-maker by bringing in badly rinjured patients and enhancing the hospital's prestige and mar- ketability. 'With a mostly rural coverage area stretching from Maryland to New York through the middle of the state, the hospital will get many blunt trauma cases from vehicle, industrial and farm acci- dents, and most of the victims will cariy insurance, officials said. Altoona will contrast with inner- city hospitals, which treat a high percentage of trauma from gun and knife wounds on poor victims who mostly are uninsured. inner-city hospitals almost "without exception lose millions of, dollars per year, said Kathy O.'Donnell of the American College of Surgeons in Chicago, which accredits trauma centers nation- wide, although not in Pennsylvania. Cook County Hospital in Chicago "hemorrhages treating everyone who comes through its doors, she said. But community hospitals like Altoona's should at least break even, especially if they; are close to freeways. f) But running a trauma center is expensive, said Cheri Rinehart of the Hospital Healthsystem 'Association of Pennsylvania. It's costly to have qualified staff around the clock and high-tech equipment. -Trauma centers also must abide by, mandates, conduct accredita- altoonahospital CENTER FOR MEDICINE tion-agency surveys and maintain a registry of patients to provide the required training and education and to administer it all, Rinehart said. It costs an additional million per year on average and it shows up in the uncollectable debts file. Trauma center hospitals carried 46 percent of all uncompensated care in Pennsylvania hospitals, Rinehart said, but they average operating margins that are 24 per- cent lower than other hospitals. Making ends meet is a problem for all trauma centers, said state Rep. Ron Buxton, D-Harrisburg, who, with state Rep. Curl Schroder, R-Chester, has introduced legisla- tion that would provide million for the state's trauma centers to be distributed by the Department of Health. "The information we have is that they don't make Buxton said. But Kym Salness, chairman of emergen cy department at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, said hospitals don't enter trauma to make money but to serve the com- munity better. "The whole hospital kind of rises to a higher level of care and sophis- tication and Salness said. Please see A7 RAILFEST2001 Mirrorfile photo by Kelly Bennetl A train chugs by the Alto Tower Switch House in this photo from Oct. 5, 2000. Vintage diesel locomotives from the 1950s will lead the way on excursion rides Saturday and Sunday during Railfest 2001. 2001 IF YOU BO Whal: Railfest 2001 When: 9 a.m. lo 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Where: Ttie Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum, Horseshoe Curve, Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site and Staple Bend Tunnel; Norfolk So'Jlhern Juniata Locomotive Shop equipment display Parkiny: Lots at the Juniata shop will be available for Railfest packing. Parking will tie free. Cost: per day tor adults. for children ages 5 to 18. An excursion ticket lor a train trip around Ihe Korseshoa Curve Is to ride Ihe private Kitchi Gamrni coacti. Also available is a weekender pass, tyhlch includes a two-day pass and an excursion tick- et Cost Is for adults and for children. For tickets: Call 946-8034 Vintage locomotives, private cars featured BY WALT FHANK Staff Writer Vintage diesel locomotives from the 1950s will lead the way on excursion rides Saturday and Sunday during Railfest 2001. The E8 classification locomotives, which often were seen in their Pullman green paint while assigned to the Juniata-based Conrail Business Train, recently were returned to their Pennsylvania Railroad red paint scheme. They will appear at Railfest as PRR 5809 and 5711, their original designations. "They are stunning to look at; they will knock your socks off. There.isn't anyone who won't be said R. Cununins McNitt, executive director of the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum. Railfest 2001, sponsored by the museum, in cooperation with Norfolk Southern Cprp., Amtrak and The Juniata Terminal Co. Inc., will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Please see A14 Couple's charges dismissed; boy's statement disallowed BY PHIL RAY StaffWriter HOLLIDAYSBURG Child abuse charges filed nearly a year ago against a Claysburg couple were dismissed after a judge barred the use of the only substantial evidence against them a statement by the 2-year-old Involved. -Blair County Judge Jolene G. Kopriva dis- missed charges of endangering the welfare 'of a child against the mother, Tammy J. Povich, 23, and her boyfriend, Gerald Smith, 27. The beating allegedly took place in a Claysburg apartment building Sept. 11 or 12, 2000, when the boy was spending the weekend with his mother. The child's father, who has custody of him, noticed bruises on the child's face and buttocks when he returned from his visit. Please see A5 Police, welfare workers taught idiosyncrasies of investigations CHILD ABUSE BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer Child abuse investigations are very different from other cases, Altoona Detective Sgt. Terry Lingenfelter told fellow officers Tuesday. Lingenfelter said children often are too young or injured to take the witness stand. Sometimes they don't want to talk about their experiences, particularly to adults, and they clam up or revert to baby talk. It may take years before they are malure enough to tell their stories in court. Court procedures are strict, Lingenfelter said. Children's statements can be presented to a jury but not until a judge determines there are valid indicators that the children are telling the truth. For instance, if a child says things to please the adults around him or if he were under pres- sure from an adult to tell his story in a particu- lar manner, the child isn't allowed to testify, and his statements won't go to the jury. Please see AS Subscription or home delivery questions: or (800) 287-4480 I BWFOWJ tottery numbers, A2 Mostly sunny, Forecast, A2 HJtrror 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) 946-7S47 Business Hospilajs Obituaries Opinion Local Scoreboard A11 A13 A13 A8 in B4 B5 Classifieds Movies C6-14 C5 Comics D5 Community news D2 s________D4 Television D4 BUSINESS Alter joining with one ol Ihe larflest information techno logy com pa n 185 In ths nation.sewing Ilia Insurance' and medical Industries, 41 lobs at Home Health offices In LakeiTionl have been cut. PAGE At 1