Altoona Mirror, December 5, 2001

Altoona Mirror

December 05, 2001

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Issue date: Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Pages available: 80

Previous edition: Tuesday, December 4, 2001

Next edition: Thursday, December 6, 2001 - Used by the World's Finest Libraries and Institutions
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Publication name: Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - December 5, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania NATION: U.S. POSTAL SERVICE ENDS YEAR WITH A BILLION LOSS PAGE Cl of lights Hanukkah coaching Alt00na Copyright 2001 WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2001 500 newsstand Shooting suspect jailed before Brown BY MAIIK LEBKRFINGKH Staff Writer The man arrested Tuesday in connec- tion with the weekend shooting of a Logan Township woman has a check- ered past with Blair County authorities. Altoona police arrested Orville David Brown of 314 Third St. in connection with Sunday night's shooting of Ashley Johnson. Detective Cpl. Rob Archey said Brown is charged with criminal attempt at homicide and four counts each of aggra- vated assault, simple assault and reck- lessly endangering another person. He also was charged with firearms not to he possessed by a felon. Johnson, 18, was listed in stable con- dition Tuesday at Altoona Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said. Johnson was shot in front of the Polir Global Recycling building on the 200 block of Fifth Avenue late Sunday as she talked with friends who were sit- ting in a car. After an arraignment Tuesday evening, Brown was lodged in Blair County Prison. This isn't the first time Brown has been an inmate at the county lockup, Brown moved to Altoona from New York City in October 1998 and appeared on the police radar screen two months later. He was arrested Dec. by the Blair County Drug Task Force on charges of possession, criminal attempt to deliver and possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine. Please see Shoot A5 CAMBODIA ADOPTION Family will stay away for holiday BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer A Hollidaysburg couple has made plans to spend Christmas in Cambodia so they can carry on their fight to retain custody of the young Cambodian they adopted in October. Jeff and Karen Fleming were given formal notice Friday that the U.S. Immigration and Naturaliza- tion Service intends to deny a visa to their newly adopted daughter, who they named Isabel Chompa Fleming. The 2 'A -year-old has been in the Flemings' custody since the first -week of October, but the Flemings can't bring her back to their Hollidaysburg home unless the U.S. government grants the child a visa. Their attempts to bring Isabel to the United States ran into a road- block when the American Embassy in Phnom Penh and the INS, based in Thailand, launched an investigation into backgrounds of children adopted by 12 American couples. During Thanksgiving week, U.S. Ambassador Kent Wiedmann released information that an ille- gal network was procuring babies for couples from the West by steal- ing them or purchasing them from their parents. Wiedmann said the children did not meet the definition of an orphan under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Blair County attorney Joseph Cavrich, who has served as spokesman for his law partner, Jeff Fleming, and Karen Fleming, called the comments by the ambas- sador an "outrage." He said when the Flemings received the government's notice of intent to deny the .visa, there was no mention that Isabel was being denied because there was proof she was stolen or sold by her parents to unsavory characters. Cavrich could not reveal details of the reasons listed by the INS because of confidentiality con- cerns. "I will tell you in the most absolute terms there is nothing in the notice of denial of any specific evidence the children (adopted by the American couples] were bought or he said. Piease see All WATER STREET CONSTRUCTION JNE'i AC- sT'- 'V S3s 11 v i- Mirror photo by Jason Sipes Traffic on Old Route 22 passes under the bridge being constructed as part of the Water Street improvement project. Mother Nature speeds up work Bv MIA ROHAKT Stuff Writer WATER STREET If the warm, dry weather continues, motorists may be able to drive on a new section of road connecting routes 22 and 453 before Jan. 1. "If Mother Nature holds a bit, 1 think we can get traffic up on that new said Frank Slezak, project manager for construction ser- vices for R.L. Kimball Associates Inc. The two-year, million project is sched- uled to bo completed by fall. Work is about 60 percent finished. Renovations will be made in the spring on Old Route 22, part of which will be transformed into a dead-end street, and the old bridge will be dismantled. The project received 80 percent of its funding from the federal government and 20 percent from the state. Routes 453 and 22 will be made safer with a signal light. Turning lanes have been created, and a large piece of the hillside has been carved away to make Route 22 wider, PennDOT spokesman Asbury Lee said. "From a safety standpoint, we looked at it and wondered what we could Lee said. The blind intersection has been the site of many serious accidents. Please see A6 DANA GATES MURDER Victim died from beating BY MAHK LKHKHUNGER Staff Writer BEDFORD A weapon other than a firearm was used to kill Dana Gates at her Schellsburg Road home in Bedford County, Blair County's coroner said Tuesday. Coroner Patricia Ross said Gates died from "massive blunt force trauma to the head." She said gun- shots or fists were not the cause. "Yes, there had to be some kind of Ross said. Police won't say what the weapon was or whether it also was used to beat Gates' fiance, Lorin Burket, 31, in the head to the point he was critically injured. Lt. Ivan H. Hoover, commander of the state police barracks in Bedford, said only that Burket suf- fered blunt force trauma to the head. He wouldn't say whether investigators have taken the mur- der weapon into evidence. Hoover said no firearms were involved. During a news conference Tues- day at the Bedford barracks, Hoover refused to say whether police have a suspect in the murder and attempt- ed murder. He only said police were looking for a third party. "We have several leads, and we are pursuing he said. The barracks' commander said a burglary was committed in the commission of the crimes. More than 200 pieces of evidence have been gathered so far as techni- cians from the Troop G Forensic Services Unit and the state police crime lab at Green sburg have spent the last several days combing the crime scene, Hoover said. Eight criminal investigators from Troop G also have been assigned to the case. "I'm not going to discuss a lot of what is he said. Burket Gates DtVElOPHlHTS Latest developments in the Bedford murder case; A weapon was used to kill I Gates "'v Gates died from massive blunt force trauma to ttis Gales was found silting on a home Friday, Lorlri Burtet is'unde'f stale" police guard I A state poltca'hellcopter'crew i toot aertarphofograptis of the' .crlrriiJ 'scene. More than 200 pieces of evidence have been processed Police say there's ho Inf cation this was a "total random t 1 violence." Burket remains in Altoona Hospital under state police guard. Burket's condition report is under wraps at police request. The troop- er is there to protect Burket and to alert authorities of his condition, Hoover said. Please see All Mirror photo by Jason Sipes The house where Dana Gates' murder and Lorin Burket's beat- ing took place remained secured by police Tuesday. 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