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Altoona Mirror: Tuesday, October 23, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - October 23, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                PRIZE: PICK 15 W1NNER31N THE MIRROR'S FOOTBALL CONTEST AND WIN PAGE B3 Copyright 2001 TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2001 newsstand DJwill review murder charges By PHIL RAY Writer (.Homicide charges against Kristin M. Edmundson, 20, of Duncansvffle and Marie L. Seilhamer, 19, of Ashyille RD1 will return to District Justice John Greene for another preliminary hearing Blair County Judge Jolene G. Kopriva in a ruling made public Monday also ordered separate tri- als for the two women if Greene reapproves the homicide charges in the murder of Shari Lee Jackson ofHollidaysburg. M. Dickey, Seilhamer's attorney, applauded the separate 'trial ruling. "I felt stronger about this matter for severance than any case I've ever had Dickey said. Seilhamer wouldn't stand a chance for a fair trial without sev- erance, he said. ...Dickey said both rulings by Kopriva were crucial to the defense cases of Seilhamer and He said it would have been easy for the judge to reject both defense requests for separate ..trials and a new.preliminary pro- ceeding to keep the cost of the cases down. "I have to give her credit, in over 20 years, I never got a separate trial. 11 am really Dickey said. Edmundson's attorney, Terry Despoy, was not available for com- ment Monday. .Kopriva's ruling sends the homi- cide case back to Greene for review, meaning nothing further will occur on the cases until Greene conducts a new preliminary hearing. concluded in June that l there was enough evidence to try the :pair in the Blair County Court of Common Pleas, but Dickey and Despoy contend the preliminary Bearing was flawed because the cause of death was established when ;glair County Coroner Patricia Ross presented a report written by Dr. Sara Lee Funke, a forensic patholo- gist from Allentown. Please see AS Mieror photo by Jason Siper Michael Jordan swoops in from the side to block'a shot Jiim at Monday's NBA exhibition game between the Washington Wizards i ml and the Philadelphia 76ers at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College. I PAGE Bl WAR ON TERRORISM: More coverage on Pages A6, A9, C1 Mail sites increase caution By WALT FRANK StaffWriter It's business as usual at the Altoona Processing and Distribu- tion Facility, despite numerous scares surfacing at postal facilities across the country after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "Thus far, we haven't had any Altoona Postmaster Charles S. Burford saifl. "We are on a heightened alert. We are watching things that come through, anything that could be suspicious mail." Security at the facility in the Strawberry Meadows development hasn't been increased because it always has been tight. Anyone entering the building needs a security badge. About! million pieces of mail are processed daily at the facility, which serves 114 area post offices covering a multicounty region including Blair, Clearfield, Bedford, Centre and Cambria. The 215 workers have been issued gloves, but most are not wearing them because only a few touch the mail, Burford said. Postal officials are keeping a closer eye on things at the down- town Altoona post office, but it is business as usual. "We are not permitting anyone in the mailroom unless they have a badge and anything over 12 ounces has to be Burford said. post office hasn't expe- rienced any problems like Trenton, N.J., where two postal workers tested positive for anthrax skin infections last week. .The Trenton postmark was dis- covered on anthrax-contaminated letters mailed to NBC's newsman Tom Brokaw and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D. "We want our customers to know irDishcdnsville in this December 2000 photo. the risk is very minimal in Altoona, butweareheretqpreventitveryget- ting into the mail Burford i Security was increased, but business as usual at North Amerr lean Communications Inc., a direct mall facility uvDuncansville that employs about 550 workers. NAC president Rob Herman said he could not go into details about added security. Please see AS Jubelirer requests court toss lawmaker's lawsuit BY MICHAEL RACE capitolwire.com for Lt. Gov. Robert C. Jubelirer are asking a state court to dismiss a lawsuit Died by a fellow lawmaker who wants to ciust the Blair County Republican from his Senate seat i.In papers filed Monday in Commonwealth :'Court, Jubelirer's attorneys claim Rep. John Lawless, R-Monfgomery, and two other plaih- tiffs fall to state a sufficient claim for their suit and lack legal standing to bring it '..Lawless claims Jubelirer is violating the .state constitution by serving as both lieu- tenant governor and Senate president pro tern simultaneously. His lawsuit asks the court to declare Jubelirer's Senate seat vacant and order a special election to fill it Jubelirer, who has served for years as .the Senate's president pro tempore, ascended to the lieutenant governor's job after Gov. Tom Ridge Designed Oct. 5 to head the federal Office; of Homeland Security. Ridge's departure moved Lt Gov. Mark Schweiker into the governor's chair. ''.-'While Lawless argues Jubelirer is violating constitutional separation of powers by serving in both posts, Jubelirer's lawyers say 'their client has "no choice but to simultane- .fpusly serve as lieutenant governor when that position Is vacant." The preliminary objections filed Monday on Jubelirer's behalf argue the state Constitution does not "hermetically seal" the branches of government from one .The objections also'claim Lawless, and his fel- low "plaintiffs Charles A. Pasca) Jr., of Armstrong County and Joseph H. Wiedemerpf Altoona -r- lack standing to "sue because only the Senate can declare a Seriate seat Vacant or expel a member. The two sides are in agreement on, one legal issue. Both want thecourtto cpjis ider the case .quickly. suit asks for expedited considera- tion of the case in Commonwealth Court, in }he hopes it might be decided before Jubelirer's 15- month tenure as lieutenant governor ends in January 2003. Jubelirer also seeks a quick res- olution, albeit for different reasons. "This litigation public and has the potential to distract government officials from the performance of their duties at a time when the people need to feelsecure in their government and in its Jubelirer's lawyers argue. They want the case to be argued before the court in December, when the j udges are sched- uled to hear oral arguments in Harrisburg. Blair supervisor settles ethics suit BY KAY STEPHENS Staff Writer DUNCANSVTLLE A Blair Town- hip supervisor has paid a fine to settle a dispute with the state Ethics Commission, over sending township vehicles to his business for in commiss ion conclude d that David E. Burchfield'Sr. uninten tionally violated the state Kthics Act by approving invoices'or signing checks when he should have abstained. It also concluded he technically violated the act by allowing repairs at his trucking and salvage business on Route 764 when that work should have gone through a public bidding process. Burchfield and h'is wife own 82 per- cent of The Burchfield Organization Inc., which does truck and auto sales along with service and salvage jobs. Burchfield contends he did nothing wrong and made no profit on the trans- actions. "I did'it as a favor township and to save the taxpayers' Burchfield said. The agreement between Burchfield and the Ethics Commission is similar to a plea bargain, said Vince Dopko, chief counsel for the commission. The 3 I did ft as a I township arid to save two parties came to an agreement on the dispute to keep the matter from pro- gressing into another review and possi- ble higher penalty, he said. The wording in the order, referring to the violations as unintentional or technical, indicates the commission believed "there was no showing of pre- meditation or Dopkb said. Since the finding, Blair Township no longer sends township vehicles for repairs to The Burchfield Organization. Burchfield, who became treasurer in 1999, no longer holds his position. Those duties were turned over in June to township secretary George Harley. In its 19-page report, the commission explains that it investigated Burchfield on the allegation that he was using his public office for personal benefit. Before Burchfield became supervisor in January 1998, the township had some police vehicles, but no road crew vehicles, repaired at Burchfield's busl- all township police not warranty to business for service'iand repairs, with bills between January 1998 and September 2000 adding up to TheVtownship also sent' road crew vehicles to Burchfield's for repairs during that same period, pay- ing N Burchfield said that is because his business offered the lowest prices for typical servi.ce body work. The commission noted Burchfielcl; either in his capacity as township supervisor or treasurer, signed numer- ous checks to pay those bills. Burchfield also responded to thg commission's inquiry by explaining that in 1998, two months after becom? ing a township supervisor, he askro solicitor Frederick Gieg if his businesd could continue doing township wprk.g Please see AS Subscription or home .delivery questions: 916-7480 or (800) 287-4480 Lottery numbers, A2 Cloudy, rain possible A2: HOT-ADS.com We re white-hot' 11 THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us mon'ey today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 94ft-7iM7 Business A7 Hospitals A9 Obituaries A9 Opinion A8 Local roundup Scoreboard Classifieds Movies Comics Television C4-10 C4 D5 Dear Abby_______D2 D2 02 With bridges Irrj Allegheny County 377 bridges In Ihi proper, Pittsburgh Sy almost has more than any other city. "'M   

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