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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archive: October 20, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - October 20, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                SPEEDWAY: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO JEFF BURTON? FREE INSIDE top Guitfoyie vs. Bishop Carroll vs. Bedford .1 n m DuBoisvs.Hollidaysburg 54S teKSiisfesSsS-asa is-SK Altomra Copyright 2001 SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2001 500 newsstand WAR ON TERRORISM: More coverage on Pages A3, A4, A5, A13, C1 Offensive, defensive steps taken Altoona working to ensure safe water supply for customers. BY .WILLIAM KIBLER StoffWriter As terrorism continues to affect the United States, it's easy to imag- ine' the nation's drinking water systems are inviting targets. Thousands of people could be affected with one strike. Bill drinking water systems are easy mark, local and federal experts say. "The nation's water supply may seem to he a logical target for a ter- rorist Ronald Dick of the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center testified before a congressional committee earlier this month. "In reality, targeting the water supply may prove difficult." Officials who run the biggest local water system are concerned, and they've put their guard up, keeping with the national tighten- ing of security. But as the FBI said, water supply systems aren't terrorism incidents waiting to happen. Water isn't an efficient vehicle for dispersing terrorist devasta- tion, said John Anthony, executive director of the Altoona City Authority. The authority serves households in central Blair County; with 13 reservoirs supply- ing seven treatment plants. Please see A3 U.S. special troops strike Taliban targets in Afghanistan. BY MICHAEL HEDGES Houston Chronicle WASHINGTON A unit of elite Special Forces soldiers raid- ed a Taliban target in Afghan- istan Friday night in the first ground comhat involving U.S. troops during the war on terror- ism, an official said. There was no word on possible casualties in the raid, although two people were killed when a support helicopter prepared for a potential rescue mission crashed in neighboring Pakistan, the Pentagon said. The small-scale attack by U.S. Army Rangers marked a new and significant escalation in the nearly two-week military campaign against the Taliban regime that harbors Osama bin Laden's al- Qaida terrorist organization, which is blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. Details of the operation were kept secret until the Pentagon was certain all the troops had been extricated from Afghanistan. But one U.S. official said late Friday that the Special Forces completed their first ground operation in Afghanistan and have left the country, according to a Reuters report. Please see A5 ELKS SHOOTING Murder suspect will not get bail :Judge says 1998 amendment to state constitution will keep Richardson in prison. BY KAY STEPHENS .HOLLIDAYSBURG A Hunt- ingdon County man charged in the shooting death of an Altoona woman over the summer will remain in jail without bail. plair County Judge Thomas G. Peoples declined 'Friday morning to set bail for Lavclle Richardson, 24, of Mount Union, who is accused of killing 21-year-old Patience Ferguson outside Altoona's Aran- dale Elks Club July 21. Because the state constitution was amended in 1998 to deny bail to those facing life in prison, Peoples concluded he had no authority to set bail. Richardson's attorney, John Siford, told Peoples he should entertain arguments on whether lie .could set bail. Peoples gave Siford seven days to spell out why. Before 1998, the state constitu- tion guaranteed bail for all defen- dants except those charged with a capital offense or those considered to be a flight risk. In 1998, voters approved an amendment to eliminate bail for defendants charged with an offense punishable by life in prison or if the safety of any per- son or the community could not be reasonably assured. -Richardson faces first-degree homicide charges, and if convict- ed, he will be sentenced to life in i prison. j Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman said again Friday i that he is not seeking the death penalty in the case, in which Richardson is believed to have killed Ferguson unintentionally. Please see A14 Mirror photo by Jason Sipes auren works on an Excel problem on her laptop computer at Hollidayshurg Catholic School, The school is using wireless technology to improve its computer curriculum. See story on Page A10 with more Hollidaysburg-Duncansviile news. L Local judge awaits Senate confirmation Smith BY ROBERT IGOE StaffWriter WASHINGTON An Altoona man's quest for U.S. Circuit Court is still on track, but he will have to wait a while longer. The Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to hold a hearing on the nom- ination of U.S. District Judge D. Brooks Smith, who was nominated to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals by President Bush. The appeals court, based in Philadelphia, has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and the Virgin Islands. The court hears cases appealed from U.S. District Court. Smith, chief judge of the Western District of Pennsylvania, was one of 10 individuals whoin Bush nominat- ed to the federal judiciary branch Sept. 10. None has been confirmed by the Senate. In interviews, Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., has been critical of the delay, accusing Senate Judiciary Comm- ittee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., of playing political power Please see A14 CAR SHOP CLOSURE STB, NS oppose request for stay BY CHAIG WILLIAMS Staff Writer The federal Surface Transportation Board has joined Norfolk Southern Corp. in opposing a request to keep the Hollidaysburg Car Shop open until an appeal is heard in federal court. Last week, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Transport Workers Union asked :the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay on the shop's closure. The shop is to close Nov. 2, even though an appeal of an earlier STB decision allowing the closure has not made its way through the courts. If the circuit court grants the stay, the railroad would be required to keep the shop's jobs and equipment in place until all appeals have been exhausted, which could take months. Earlier this month, the STB agreed to allow Norfolk Southern to close the facility and transfer 250 jobs out of the area. The board found that although Norfolk Southern's management made statements during the takeover of Conrail that amounted to a contract, the commitments made were so vague that the railroad didn't break any specific promises. In response to the slay request, Norfolk Southern's legal counsel wrote: "The STB reasonably concluded that NS did not breach any prior commitments to continue operating [the Hollidaysburg Car Shop] when... owning to business conditions that had worsened considerably, HCS was not financially viable." Norfolk Southern also claims it is trying hard to sell the shop and its equipment. and the union argue that] if a stay is not granted, NS will dis- mantle or dispose of the HCS facilities while this appeal is pending and thereby make it impossible for effective relief to be granted even if this court invalidates the STB's lawyers for Norfolk Southern wrote. "There is no merit to this claim. NS is attempting to sell HCS as a freight car repair facility together with its physical plant and fixed equipment." Please see A14 or home delivery questions: or (GOO) 287-4480 Lottery numbers, A2 Partly sunny, Forecast, A2 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) 946-7547 Business Movies____ Obituaries Opinion High schools Scoreboard -_jAl AS A13 A8 8-1-4 B5 rp'Sotow' Classifieds C5 Comics Community news Puzzles Television -14 D5 D2 D4 D4 mi IN SPORTS Chuck Greenberg, the Alloona Curve's new majority owner, is in town lo meet the media and lour the facilities. PAGE B1   

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