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Altoona Mirror: Monday, November 19, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - November 19, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                KIDS MIRROR BE.A GOOD 'SCOUT FREE INSIDE NASCAR: JEFF GORDON WRAPS UP FOURTH WINSTON CUP POINTS TITLE >-PAGE Bl Stewart, defense helps Steelers avenge loss Altn0na IWtrror Copyright 2001 MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2001 STARRY NIGHT 500 newsstand T Mirror photo by Jason Sipes wo Leonids streak across the sky as they compete with light pollution from Cresson. Dust particles enter the atmosphere and burn, creating a meteor shower known as Leonids. The small group of in the left corner is the Pleiades star cluster. For story and more national news, see PAGE C3. Taliban offer Kunduz Seeking safety for bin Laden loyalists, last northern city stronghold to be surrendered. BANGI, Afghanistan The Taliban offered Sunday to surrender their last northern strong- hold if Arab and other foreign fighters loyal tq Osama bin Laden in the city are spared, an anti-Taliban commander said. The northern alliance, meanwhile, agreed to a conference on neutral ground to plan a multiethnic govern- ment. The offer to surrender Kunduz came after U.S. bombers unleashed their heaviest strikes so far on the city. Warplanes also wei-e report- ed in action near the Taliban southern strong- hold of Kandahar and areas of eastern Afghanistan where bin Laden is believed to maintain camps and hide-outs. In Washington, National Security Adviser Condole ezza Rice said the advances on the ground were reducing bin Lacleh's room to maneuver. "We think that the more that we arc stripping away his protection that we're beginning to harrow his possibilities for hid- Rice told CNN's "Late Edition." Secretary of Slate Colin Powell said the northern alliance had agreed to take part in U.N.-brokered talks with other Afghan factions about forming a new power-sharing govern- ment in Afghanistan. Please see A5 TALKING TURKEY Mirror photo by Jason Sipes giant turkey takes flight above Allegheny Istreet Sunday during Hollidaysburg's annual Winterfest Parade. The parade featured nine balloons. Officials expect decline in travel The number of Americans taking trips during Thanksgiving is to be down by 6 percent. BY WALT FRANK Staff Writer The number of Americans traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday is expected to drop 6 per- cent from last year, partially as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, travel officials say. A 6 percent drop isn't all that bad considering the circumstances, AAA Travel Vice President Sandra Hughes said. "With all the recent doom and gloom in the travel industry, a 6 percent drop is a definite improvement from the double-digit declines of the last two Hughes said. Aintvak's Northeast Corridor is gearing up for an expected record-setting Thanksgiving rider- ship. For the first-time, Amtrak is requiring reservations for most of its trains to better accommodate demand. Amtrak will add more than 40 trains in the Northeast Corridor this week. Locally, Amtrak isn't adding trains, but is adding passenger cars to the two eastbound and two vyestbound trains that stop in Altoona to pro- vide 130 extra seats per trip, said Mike Tsikalas, Amtrak station manager. Please see A10 TRANSPORTATION STATUS Amtrak prepares for record-setting ridership and Is requiring reservations attera surge In rail travel. 40 additional Amtrak trains will run in the Northeast Corridor this week. The Amtrak station In Altoona will see additional passenger cars on two'easlbouht) ancthvo. westbound trains, providing 130 extra seats per trip. AAA'estimates 34.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from homo: 30 million will go by motor vehicle and 4.6 million plan to go by airplane, train or bus. Williamsburg in need of recreational facilities BY MICHAEL EMERY Staff Writer WILLIAMSBURG If you're looking for recreation in Willianis- bui-g, you might have to hit the road literally. According to Mayor Dennis Ham- mel, youth are taking to borough streets and alleys to hang out and going to tennis courts to ride their skateboards and in-line skates because of a lack of recreational facilities. The consensus among borough officials is that there's a need for recreational facilities in Williams- burg. But two proposed recreation- al facility projects are in limbo because community support is lacking, Hammel said. Funding difficulties have delayed the Burg Side Skate Park project for 14 months. Renovations at Veterans Memorial Community Center in Catharine Township has been stalled because of residents' lack of response to a survey designed to help focus the scope of the project. Please see A5 Suit filed by state for 50 homeowners BY MARK LEBERFINGER StaffVi'riter Some area homeowners hoping to improve the value of their homes or trying to niake needed repairs with the help of a Pittsburgh-based con- tractor wound up with shoddy work or nothing done at all, the state says. Their complaints led to the state filing a lawsuit to stop what state Attorney General Mike Fisher called a home improvement and finance scheme by the contractor and three finance companies. The lawsuit contends the defen- dants primarily targeted lower- income consumers in 14 central and western Pennsylvania counties, including Bedford, Huntingdon, Cambria and Clearfield. The defendants allegedly conspired to defraud consumers by illegally obtaining home improvement con- tracts, financing debt consoli- dation loans for more than 50 home- owners. Fisher said the homeowners oth- erwise would not have been consid- ered qualified borrowers. Please see A7 Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 Lottery numbers, A2 Partly sunny, Forecast, A2 Altomra HQT-ADS.com We're white-hot! i THE GREAT COMBtMAYIQM 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) S46-7547 Business Obiiuaries_ Opinion p'-j A7 Classifieo's C4-10 AS i World news C4 A9 I A8 NASCAR contest Scoreboard B3 B5 Comics ________ D5 C om mun ity jiews D2 D4 _. Television   

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