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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archive: December 7, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - December 7, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                RELIGION HANUKKAH CELEBRATES HISTORIC VICTORY FREE INSIDE NATION: TWO DEAD IN INDIANA FACTORY SHOOTING PAGE Cl Despite big retailers still struggling A9 How to deal with the stress of the holidays page Dl Altoona Copyright 2001 QUEEN CRIMES Police restate: No gun utilized BY MAKK LEEEKFINGER Staff Writer police at Bedford said again Thursday that a firearm was not used in the crime that led to the murder of Dana Gates and the attack on Lorin Burket. "It was not the result of a gunshot Sgt. Daniel Kratiss said. Krauss' statement comes a day after Lt. Ivan Hoover refused to comment about a court affidavit that conflicts with a statement he made at a Tuesday news confer- ence that no firearm was used. A sworn affidavit police filed Nov. 30 when seeking a search war- rant states that Altoona Hospital officials told state police Burket suffered a gunshot wound to the face and head. Krauss said police didn't have the luxury of waiting for conclusive evidence when they told District Justice Erika McVicker of vS'chells- burg on the day of the murder why they needed to search the Schells- burg Road home of Gates and Burket. Krauss said Thursday afternoon in a telephone interview that it first appeared a firearm was used in the crime that killed Gates and critical- ly wounded liurket, but police need- ed a search warrant to verify that and protect what evidence they could uncover at the scene. "In regards to the type of injur- ies, it first appeared as if one or both were suffering from a gun- shot Krauss said. "We would have needed to know where to look for the projectile if there was one. We needed the search warrant to verify that." Krauss was asked why the hospi- tal would tell police that Burket suffered a gunshot wound, infor- mation that is part of the search warrant application. "We're relying on information from the medical he said. "I don't know what exposure they had to those types of wounds." Krauss said his experience has been that a gunshot wound coidd appear externally as blunt force trauma but may be a differenct injury upon further investigation. Please see A12 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2001 500 newsstand Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett Jeremy Refiner of New Enterprise can be seen through a skylight as he works on f he roof at the Days Inn on Pleasant Valley Boulevard Tuesday. Warm temperatures are great for construction, bad for skiing Below is a comparison of the actual high temperatures this year versus the normal high temperatures for this time of the year: Normal 'HI If IK Hill I Wi Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington II BY REGINA MAZZOCCO Far the Mirror 1 ith temperatures reaching the 70-degree mark this week, some local business owners are heading to work with an unseasonable amount of spring in their steps. "If I could go through the winter with no snow and no rain, I'd be said Ron Harkless, owner of Harkless Construction Inc. in Hollidaysburg. Warm weather, including Wednesday's high temperature of 73 degrees, has significantly extended the productive season for Harkless and other construction businesses. Without obstacles like frozen ground and frigid tempera- tures, workers are completing projects faster, said John Degenhavtlt, co-owner of J B Builders in DuncansviUe. "The colder it is, the slower you're able to he said. The warm temperatures will give way to colder ones next week. According to AccuWeather, the high for Sunday will be 39 degrees, which is normal for this time of year. "It will feel like the dead of winter since we are getting used to the 70-degree AccuWeather meteorologist Scott Unman said. "It's been so warm." Homan said a large area of high pressure off the East Coast and a cold front in the West are combining to produce the unusually mild weather. Please see A9 WAR ON TERRORISM fr- Pages C1, C4 Taliban ives up BY KATIIY GANNON The Associated Press KABUL, Afghanistan The Taliban agreed Thursday to surrender Kandahar, their last bastion and birthplace, if their warriors were not punished and safety was guaranteed to leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, who once vowed to fight to the death. America said it would not accept any deal allowing the cleric to go free. The promise to give up the city and begin handing over weapons as early as today marked the final col- lapse of the militant movement that imposed strict Islamic rule on Afghanistan for five years. Personal rivalries among anti-Taliban leaders and the fate uf Omar still could wreck the fragile agree- ment. The head of the new Afghan transition govern- ment, Hainid Karzai, refused to say whether Omar would be arrested as Washington has demanded. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the United States would not stand for any agreement that lets the Taliban leader go free and "live in dignity." Pakistani intelligence officials, speaking on condi- tion of anonymity, said radio intercepts had picked up no communications by Omar in three days and that lie appeared to have lost contact with senior Taliban commanders. "It seems that the final collapse of the Taliban is now upon said British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Bush's closest ally in the war. "That is a total vindication of the strategy that we have worked out from the beginning." Please see A3 The Associated Press Afghan refugees from Kandahar enter a U.N. camp set up at the Afghan-Pakistani border in Cliainan Thursday. Improved Pa. test scores earn for Irving Elementary BY JAY YOUNG Staff Writer Irving Elementary School stu- dents told the state education sec- retary Thursday that they're proud of their school. Secretary Charles Zogby said he is too and gave thestudentsa cash reward for their efforts. "When they were in fifth grade last year, they did a bang-up job to win you that Zogby said of the sixth-graders sitting on the COMING DEC. 16: A complete list ol area school awards and a look al how Irving Elementary succeeded school's stage in front Zogby of their peers. Zogby was in town to name the McAuline Heights pro- gram at Irving Elementary a Gover- nor's School of Achievement. Seventeen schools received a cash award for boosting state math and reading test scores by at least 50 points per year for three years. Principal Patrick Labriola credit- ed the school's faculty and students for endorsing the school philos- ophy, which is driven by a contract signed by parents whose children are selected to attend classes there. The money is a portion of the million in performance funding grants awarded Thursday to schools Please see A12 PEARL HARBOR: 60 YEARS LATER Hawaii survivors reflect on Dec. 7 and Sept. 11 Hughes BY JAMS L. MAGIN The Associated Press HONOLULU Just eight minutes passed from when the duty officer woke Clark J. Simmons from his bunk on the USS Utah until the ship sank from Jap- anese torpedoes Dec. In that time, the 20-year-old mess atten- dant scrambled to the deck, jumped into Pearl Harbor and swam to safety on Ford Island. INSIDE: Columnists offer thoughts on date of PAGE A8 SATURDAY: Local ceremony pays tribute to survivors, victims Nearly 60 years later, Simmons watched from the living room window of his Brooklyn, N.V., apartment as a hijacked jet flew into the second tower of thc.World Trade Center. Please see A4 DEUVERY t Subscription or home delivei-y questions: 946-74M or (800) 287-4480 "22910'00050' BIO FOUR t i I Lottery numbers, A2 .WEATHER, Partly sunny, Forecast, A2 Chrysler Plymouth Jeep 1549 Pleasant Valley Blvd. Altoona, PA 943-6167 Credit approval required. Laredo Sport not eligible. L! LOCAL Business Hospitals Obituaries Opinion Local Scoreboard I 1 A9 All All A8 B4 B5 y] NATION Classifieds C6-12 Movies C5 03 ura, i Comics D5 Communiiy news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4 IN SPORTS Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward's blocking is garnering attention throughout the NFL, including from some players' wives. PAGE B1 .1   

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