Altoona Mirror, December 23, 2001

Altoona Mirror

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - December 23, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania . USA WEEKEND GWYNETH PALTROW SPEAKS FREE INSIDE BUSINESS: CONGRESS SCRUTINIZING 401 (K) PLANS ► PAGE El Cream of the crop it, .A    ..JA-      I.    dfti,    -    ■    - Altoona’s Riccio, B.C.’s Schilling highlight all-star team Altoona native carves niche in stained glass © Copyright 2001SUNDAY December 23, 2001 $1.50 newsstandAltoona Mirror 2 Blair raises above normal ■ Wage increases approved for chief clerk, director of personnel for 2002. By Ray Stephens Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG - Two county employees will receive higher* than-average raises in 2002 that Blair County commissioners have approved. While most county union and nonunion employees, in addition to elected officials, will receive raises between 3 percent and 4 percent, commissioners approved a 13 percent increase for Chief Clerk Terry Wagner and an 8 percent raise for Director of Personnel W.T. Williams. Commissioner John J. Ebersole worked on the proposed changes approved this month by the salary board. Ebersole wasn’t at that salary board meeting, but Commissioners John H. Eichelberger Jr. and Donna D. Gority and Controller Richard J. Peo reviewed and approved the new salaries. The action increased Wagner’s base salary from $43,360 in 2001 to $49,010 in 2002, and it increased Williams’ base salary from $48,213 in 2001 to $52,070 in 2002. Ebersole acknowledged the raises for Wagner and Williams were above the typical yearly increase, but he said the pair was deserving because they have taken on additional work, they work beyond normal hours and have saved the county money. Til justify it to anybody,” Ebersole said. Wagner manages the county worker’s compensation program, saving the county about $15,000 to $20,000 it was spending to have the program administered, Ebersole said. Williams’ workload has expand ed to handle tasks and personnel matters that otherwise might require an attorney, Ebersole said. Please see Raises/Page A5 AGRICULTURE ASSISTANCE mr * J¥. ’ •'* I cf ,• k , '1 Warn' Mirror file photo by J D Cavrich Mike Burket of Burket-View Farms makes a second cutting of alfalfa July 27 in Morrisons Cove on Piney Creek Road. Drought-stricken farmers can apply for financial help By Michael Emery Staff Writer Brent Lowmaster said this summer’s drought had a significant effect on crop production at his Cambria County farms. Hay and corn production each were down about 40 percent. “The drought hit us hard, but just a couple of miles down the road in Loretto, farmers had enough rain,” Lowmaster said. Jerome Carl of Dysart said his farm was fortunate to get rain when it was really needed, although the overall shortfall of rain did hurt some crop production. The sporadic nature of the summer drought in central Pennsylvania has left many area farmers in need of federal low-interest emergency loans available in 58 of 67 counties. Please see Farmers/Page A3 “We've been dealing with this [forI four years. I don't know that there is any great headway to be made. ” - PI AA President Wally Blucas Jubelirer, Cashman lay blame ■ Each claims the other is responsible for the problems facing the state athletic association. Jubelirer By William Kibler Staff Writer The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association should follow through on a proposal to dissolve itself if it can’t muster the initiative to dismiss its top management, state Sen. Robert Jubelirer, R-Blair, said Saturday. PIAA Executive Director Brad Cashman said board President Wally Blucas made a last-resort proposal out of sheer frustration. Ifs the result of four years of persecution by lawmakers led by Jubelirer, Cashman said. Blucas said the organization isn’t measuring up to expectations of lawmakers, who continue to pressure it on deficits, stakeholder representation and accounting practices. “We just can’t be doing what we’ve been going through for the last four years,” ne said. Jubelirer, who serves as state senate president pro tem and lieutenant governor, said the organization “desperately needs new leadership” to replace the team led by Cashman. He called Cashman a free-spending, arrogant czar who controls everything, is accountable to no one and who runs a good-old-boys network he created by hand-picking board members. If it continues to exist and fails to cashier Cashman, the PIAA may end up dissolved anyway in about a year for failure to comply with about 20 General Assembly directives for reform, Jubelirer said. The PIAA ran for 84 years, and everything was fine until the high school football championships moved from Altoona to Hershey in 1998, triggering Jubelirer’s wrath, Cashman said. Since then, investigations and probing, poking and damaging comments by lawmakers have mad(' it hard to get and keep volunteers the organization needs. Cashman says the organization has done its best to comply with lawmakers’ directives, and it plans to continue to do so. Under encouragement from lawmakers, the PIAA added voter representation for more stakeholders, such as school boards, superintendents and representatives from male and female sports. But it hasn t been possible to do everything. A broad-based oversight committee created by the General Assembly wants two parents to have a seat on the PIAA board, and the board twice has proposed that, but the membership — consisting of 1,360 high and middle schools, represented by their principals — has rejected it, which kills the measure, Cashman said. “I think we can work through some of those things,” Cashman said. The board will consider parents as advisers until enough time passes to reintroduce the proposal to make them full-fledged, he said. Cashman shouldn’t have the chance to help, Jubelirer said. He has no confidence in the organization as long as Cashman is at the helm. To continue with Cashman means continuing in selfdestructive, irresponsible, financially reckless old ways, he said. Please see PIAA/Page A5 CHRISTMAS IN WARTIME: THEN AND NOW Clergy wonder if America has spiritual strength By Richard N. Ostling The Associated Press At Christmas in 1941, new Roman Catholic convert Avery Dulles was in his first days as a civilian U.S. Navy worker, having just quit Harvard Law School. He would receive an officer’s commission that eventually led to battles in the Mediterranean and a bout with polio. Philip Hannan was a young priest, celebrating Christmas Mass in Bgdtimore before volunteering as an Army chaplain. While serving with paratroopers in Europe, he narrowly escaped from German bombings twice. G. Thompson Brown, a Davidson College student, took a holiday break with other children of missionaries. But it was an anxious Christmas because Japanese troops had put his parents under house arrest in China. After the Army swore him in on graduation day in 1942, he went to work deci phering enemy codes. Lyle Schaller was on break from the University of Wisconsin. In his hometown of Lime Ridge, Wis., the preachers and populace aggressively professed patriotism, partly because most were of German descent. Schaller soon left school to enlist, and he was taught aerial gunnery at a base in western Texas. All four were to become Christian patriarchs. Dulles, now 83, was named this year as the first U.S. theologian in the College of Cardinals. Hannan, 88, was the longtime Catholic archbishop of New Orleans. Brown, 80, was a noted missionary to South Korea and head of a Presbyterian foreign mission board. And Schaller, 78, became a valued consultant to thousands of troubled Protestant congregations. Please see Clergy/Page A8 Cardinal Avery Dulles, 83, poses with a portrait of himself when he was a Navy officer during World War II in his office at Fordham University. The Associated Press DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7-2291 O'001 5 BIO FOUR | 7    2    0 I Lottery numbers. A2 WEATHER Cloudy, rain likely. 45° I Forecast, A2 m «. KUGA* aw. Ntw Ytir*» la It EAVE 30%'B0% ; rn mums rn rn to Interest! to Mlrfe/mt! It Oom Fermi! Start Law Payments la 2003 With ho Interest ROCKERReS^f Penalty Or Take A Cash Discount!!!    Rey sssaSALE $299 □ LOCAL Hospitals Obituaries Opinion Politics P NATION A9 A9 A7 A4 Strange Brew B3 War on terrorism B2 ) 0 SPORTS Outdoors Scoreboard E ura Astrograph Movies Puzzles Travel C9 C8 D4 D2 D4 D6 Q BUSINESS Stocks    E2,3 CDs, Mutuals    E4 Q CLASSIFIED QI COMMUNITY NEWS Couples Yesteryear 02 03 ;

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