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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archive: October 31, 2001 - Page 1

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Publication: Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - October 31, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                THE HALFTIME SHOW: AREA HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BANDS STRUT THEIR STUFF D2 Favorite meals lose weight Copyright WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2001 newsstand DA race a heated debate of past experience Dave Goiman Enhanced services for victims BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer Issues in the race for Blair County district attorney haven't changed since the primary election in May. Incumbent Dave Gorman, 43, says his term in office has been punctuated by unprecedent- ed prosecution of tlrug dealers and a proactive approach toward crime beyond the courtroom. Gorman says his opponent, Robert S. Donaldson, 45, of Hollidaysburg is inexperi- enced ........having been a lawyer for only two years and never having tried a criminal case. Donaldson says of the Gorman adminis- tration: "I think there is just poor perfor- mance in the office." He says Gorman has taken a secondary role in prosecuting cases, assigning his assistants to try major cases. He refers to the homicide trial of William Wright III of Altooha, convic ted in 2000 of first- degree murder and sentenced to death. That ease was fried primarily by Richard Consiglio, a part-time assistant in Gorman's office. As to the experience issue, Donaldson says lie spent more than 20 years in business before going to law school. He was the chief operating officer of ProSource Distribution Services of Miami, a billion food distribu- tion company with thousands of employees. Please see A12 Bob Donaldson Spent 20 years in business WAR ON TERRORISM: Pages A11.C1 Bomb targets Taliban BY STEVEN GUTKIN Th e Associa ted Press CHARIKAR, Afghanistan An American bomb blasted huge plumes of smoke feet into the skies over Afghanistan's front lines Tuesday in an unusually mighty airstrike. The Pentagon said U.S. forces were with the northern oppo- sition and directing fire against the Taliban. The opposition alliance deployed hundreds of crack troops near Taliban lines north of Kabnl, the first tangible sign of preparations for an assault on the capital. Early today, U.S. fighter planes dropped three large bombs on camps used by Arab fighters in Sapora region near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, according to the South Asian Dispatch Agency. Fighters responded with anti-air- craft guns. There vyas no immedi- ate word of casualties. :The United States acknowledged it had uniformed military person- nel in coordinating airstrikes with the opposition. A senior opposition official said such coordination will increase in com- ing days and that alliance forces were planning a major offensive to wrest the strategic northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif from the Taliban. "There is coordination in all Abdullah, the foreign min- ister of the Afghan governinent-in- exile, said in an interview with Associated Pi-ess Television News. U.S. jets pounded Taliban posi- tions in the Balkh region around Mazar-e-Sharif Tuesday, in strikes that an opposition spokesman called relentless. "They hit very important positions of the spokesman Ashraf Nadeein said. Witnesses also said they saw a U.S. plane drop a bomb Tuesday at the front lines, about 25 miles north of Kabul, creating a mush- room cloud that billowed at least feet into the air. Witnesses called it the biggest bomb to hit the area in 10 days of American bom- bardments on the front lines. Despite the U.S. aerial attacks, the opposition alliance has made rio advances against the'ruling militia. The opposition has com- plained the U.S. strikes wei-e not intense enough. The United States launched the air campaign Oct. 7, aiming to pun- ish the Taliban regime for refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden, whose al-Qaida terror network is blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. Please see A16 TRACKING THE PARANORMAL Mirror illustration by Tom Worthinglon El 'Ghost hunters' attempt to prove existence of entities with science BY WILLIAM KIHLKH Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG There haven't been lodgers at the U.S. Hotel for decades, but Ihe Paranormal Research Foundation will tell you that doesn't mean there aren't residents. These residents no longer sign a guestbook, which makes it hard to keep track of them, and some behave so abom- inably they'd get tossed from most establishments. But the foundation puts up with the challenge and misbe- havior in its mission to document what those hotel inhabi- tants are up to. Ghosts? The foundation members believe in them and want to help justify that belief to the world, scientifically. By indulgence of the owner, who runs a bar-res I aurant on the first floor, they resort frequently to the 166-year-old, three-story building, reportedly one of the most haunted places in Blair County. Foundation members met there one recent Saturday night with infrared cameras and tape recorders to capture the orbs of light and snippets of speech they believe are evi- dence of "entities." It is evidence that suggests the over- looked intensity of daily life, echoes of old passion and boredom, things forgotten by the world, but not really lost. The instruments capture the data, but the foundation's most valuable tool is quiet Al Brindza of Indiana County, organization co-founder, retired steelworker and possessor of a matter-of-fact manner that belies his psychic sensitivity. It's a sensitivity that attracts ghosts, allowing him to feel their presence and sometimes see them as orbs or full- blown personal apparitions. He's not a world-class psychic, but he's the best they have, and they use him hard. He's their ghost magnet. Without him they'd be reduced to aiming their cameras at vacancy much more often. They also take care of him as they would a precious scienlific instrument. For ghost hunting is hard on him. The ghosts need electric energy to show themselves to people, and they seem to draw it from sensitive ones like Brindza, said foundation member Scolt Crownover, who records orbs by video but remains a self-admitted "psychic brick." At least twice during the Saturday night session, Brindza returned to the first-floor "silualion room" shaken and debilitated after solicitous fellow members helped him from the far-more-haunted upper floors, as if he were an invalid. The second time, he sal head down for almost 10 minutes, oppressed with the sensation that a smelly, griz- zled man was Irying to choke him. Please see A3 Blair mulls Curve option Commissioners at odds on pursuing the purchase of Altoona baseball team. BY KAY STKI-HENS Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG Blair County commis- sioners are in a position to demand a chance to buy the Altoona Curve baseball learn before the owners sell the team to a group headed by a Pitlsburgh attorney. A clause in a 1998 contract signed by commis- sioners and Curve owner Robert Lozinak spells out that if the baseball learn is to be sold, the county would have the first chance to buy it. The contract also states thai' if the county declines the purchase and the learn owner negotiates a deal with anolher buyer, the coun- ty gets a chance to review the pending sale and to decide again on buy ing the team for the same terms and conditions. Plans for selling the Curve were announced two weeks ago and are heading into a process mat will need approval by Douhle-A baseball organiza- tions. The sale is to be wrapped up in the spring. After Tuesday's weekly commissioners meet- ing, Blair County Commissioner John J. Ebersole had solicitor Michael Dorezas review the clause in the 1998 contract enti tling Ihe coun- ty to first option on purchasing the Curve. Dorezas said afterward that the clause puts the county in a position to consider buying the team. But Ihe decision on exercising that option or how hard lo push for exercising that option rests with the commissioners. Ebersole said he'd like a chance to review all the information about the team before deciding if the county should or should not buy it. "It's hard to Ebersole said. "I don't nec- essarily want the baseball team, but I wouldn't mind looking at what's all involved." For inslance, if die team could generate rev- enue for the county, then Ebersole asks how the county could turn down the chance lo find an additional way to genet-ate revenue. County Commissioner John H. Eichelberger Jr. said Tuesday that he had no interest in hay- ing the county buy the baseball team. He said the county doesn'l have any business operating a baseball team lhal can allracl private owner- ship. "If we were in a situation where we were in jeopardy of losing the team and it was very suc- cessful, then it might be a Eicheiberger said. Commissioner Donna Gority said she thinks the county should proceed through the process outlined in the contract. Please see A18 Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-74 80 or (BOO) 287-4-180 1.1 I.-. BMFOUR 'j j 1 Lottery numbers, A2 EJ. Mostly cloudy, 56" Forecast, A2 Altomta Mirror THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us today...Make money today. 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