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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - October 29, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY GftNteT; Test your smarts and win cash by picking the winner of next week's race SPORTS: Jeff Burton wins the Checker Auto Parts 500 for second consecutive year Bl iWtranr Copyright 2001 MONDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2001 newsstand Chambersburg rebuilds after Army depot leaves BY CRAIG WILLIAMS Staff Writer As the Keystone State struggles to rebound from a 50-year exodus of heavy manufacturing, many small communities struggle with the same problem: enticing the region while sustaining a devastated economy. Beyond income lost, workers' lives are in turmoil. Many of those left jobless must choose between life in their hometowns or a move to the city. For years, communities leaned on a big employer, but the jobs moved. Locally, the railroad's parental influence was the defining feature of a city founded on transportation. It is evident the railroad industry is running out of steam as Norfolk Southern Corp. closes the Hollidaysburg Car Shop, and the work force at the Juniata Locomotive Shop is the smallest ever. If misery loves company, Blair Countians can take solace in the fact that commun- ities statewide are struggling with the same problems. Chambersburg, a small community two hours away and a work force of also put its eggs in one basket in the form of Letterkenny Army Depot. Taking up an entire township, the depot was built at the beginning of World War n as one of the U.S. Army's largest materials depots on the East Coast. Letterkenny drove the local economic boom for 50 years, employing more than workers in many well-paying jobs. Then the unexpected happened: The Soviet Union collapsed, and there wasn't a need for an elaborate system of Army depots. Jobs were cut and work was consolidated. With the closing of the depot, jobs were lost. Slowly, other major manufact- urers followed. The clothing factory employing more than closed. Two food-processing plants took another 250 jobs with them, and a major carton manufactur- er facility folded with an additional loss of 400 jobs. Before it was over, Chambersburg permanently lost more than jobs. The tax dollars began to dry in the 1990s. In Congress's base realignment program, Letterkenny, once the headquarters for all U.S. Army depots, was reduced to less; than one-fifth its size. Please see A10 NO COMIC RELIEF Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett Baltimore Comedian Loniiie Davis performs at Uriah's Pub in Altooiia. Comedians have stayed away from humor about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. while the country heals. Gomedians avoid terrorism in routines By: WILLIAM KIDLER Staff Writer What's the difference between a terror- ist and a comedian? They're both lying low now, but the comedian is aftaid to bring out his bes t s tuff. The Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and anthrax scares everyone's mind, but many comedi- arjs'are pretending it isn't happening. for a few major comics starting to broach the subject gingerly, comedians are staying with other topics the wife, the kids, the traffic because audiences aren't ready yet, said Joe Miller, a New York City comedi- an and booking agent who was in the area last week for a gig at Uriah's Pub in Altoona. Comics in recent times have gotten away with extreme stuff; audiences were in stitches after a comic cut the head off a JFK doll, pub owner Ken Caldwell said. But that wouldn't have gone over right after John P. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. It's the same with AIDS, Miller said. That was off limits at first, but it has become a fit comic subject with time, he said. It's still too early for terrorism. Miller spoke recently with comedian Chris Rock, who has lots of terrorism material but nowhere to deliver it. People are touchy, and comics should stay away from terrorism, Uriah's customer Bill Shearn of Connecticut said. Caldwell warned performers they won't get paid if they bring it up in their routines. Please see A10 Retailers still selling cigarettes to minors A state survey showed 28 percent of stores sell tobacco products to teens. BY MASK LEBliRFINGEIl Staff Writer One out of four retailers sold cig- arettes and other tobacco products to minors in a recent random state survey. That number is down, but state health officialsare concerned. The state Health Department reported Thursday that about 28 percent of retailers inspected dur- ing random, unannounced visits over the last four months illegally sold tobacco to minors. The Health Department this year made 20 inspections of Blair County retailers 15 of which passed the inspections, while five were cited for illegal sales to minors. "By the skin of our teeth, Penn- sylvania still meets federal require- ments for the number of illegal tobacco sales to minors by retail- ers, so we are not in danger of los- ing federal drug- and alcohol-treat- ment monies this Health Secretary Robert Zimmerman Jr. said in a written statement. But the secretary is not happy about the new statistics. "The numbers are coming down, but they're not where we want them to spokesman Richard McGarvey said. "We're still trying to educate the stores about not sell- ing tobacco products to minors." Sheetz Inc. is working to stop the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors. Dan McMahon, Sheetz executive vice president for operations, said his company provides training to prevent the sales. "We understand our obligation and take it very he said. Sheetz requires new employees to sign off on an understanding of its policy concerning illegal tobac- co sales. Employees also are: prompted to ask for identification if a tobacco sale is scanned into a register. "They see the date of birth that makes a person legal to purchase tobacco he said. "They must consciously press 'OK' to make the sale." Sheetz officials also take 18-year- olds into the stores to see if they are carded. "We review the policies on a reg- ular basis and have a progressive, discipline policy for McMahon said. To conduct inspections, the Health Department sent teens super- vised by adults into retail stores to purchase tobacco products. Please see A10 [if COMING TUESDAY J. niTlie Altoona Mirroi will publish a special eight-page section Joe Paterno's career. The section'will include and analysis from Neil Rudel and a special full-color, for it in Tuesday's Mirror. Township researching cost of new police dog By KAY STEPHENS StaffWriter Logan Township's B-year-old police dog is ready to retire. Chief Steve Jackson said. But the dog's plans could hinge on the township's 2002 budget adoption. The cost of a new police dog is estimated between to That money must survive the annual budget adoption process, which concludes in December. Logan Township supervisors Chairman Frank Meloy told Manager Bonnie Lewis last week to include the cost of a replacement The to dog in the proposed budget. "If we can get money to offset the cost, then Meloy said of pur- chasing another police dog. Lewis will refine the estimates used to calculate the 2002 revenue and expenses in the next two months, leaving supervisors to bal- ance the budget Tentative adoption is slated for November, when the numbers should offer a clearer pic- ture of whether tn.e township can hold to 13.5 mills of real estate taxes. Last year, supervisors reduced taxes from 15.5 mills to 13.5 mills, and Lewis said she's attempting to work with the tax rate to balance the budget. She estimates the township will have about to at the end of 2001 to carry into 2002. As for a new police dog, Lewis said she contacted the state associ- ation of township supervisors and asked about officers soliciting donations to buy a police dog. She said the association advised against it. Supervisor Jim Patterson said he believes other municipalities have solicited funds or became involved in efforts to raise money to buy police dogs. Solicitor Larry Clapper said nothing prohibits that but acknowledged the association's position. 'It's more of a he said. Supervisor Diane Clapper opposed having a township officer solicit money for a new dog. Please see A9 Subscription or home delivery questions: or (800) 287-4-180 I Lottery numbers, A2 Mostly nnytJW" Forecast, A2 THE GREAT COMBINATION I Call us today.. .Make money today. 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