Altoona Mirror, December 24, 2001 : Front Page

Publication: Altoona Mirror December 24, 2001

Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - December 24, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania OUTDOOR TIMES THE STATE'S PREMIER PUBLICATION FREE INSIDE NATION: PASSENGER'S SHOE TESTS POSITIVE FOR EXPLOSIVES ► PAGE ClAltana iHtrror © Copyright 2001    MONDAY,    DECEMBER    24,    2001    500    newsstand ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ How to protect children exploring the Internet DI Program to assist released inmates By Mark Lkberfinger Staff Writer When Norman Johnston, the convicted quadruple killer, escaped from the State Correctional Institution in Huntingdon in 1999, he oily could steal older model cars. He didn't know' how to deal w ith the newer ones. He even had trouble when he went to the gas station. .Johnston didn t know how to pump his own gas into the cars he stole. Motorists didn’t pump their own gas in the 1970s, before he started his prison stint of four life sentences. Johnston also didn't know what a cell phone was, let alone how to use it. Instead, pay phones were Johnston's choice. His sightings at pay phones helped lead to his capture nearly three weeks after his escape. Even though Johnston was meant to be behind bars for the rest of his life, his misadventures in the outside world highlight a major problem, said William DiMascio of the Pennsylvania Prison Society. The longer one Is behind bars, the more pronounced the problems he or she will face on the outside — and the more likely he or she will wind up back in prison. Please see Program/Page A4REENTERING SOCIETY The state has unveiled a new program to help released inmates successfully return to society and stay out of prison The Community Orientation and Reintegration program works in two phases: ■ Interviewing skills ■ Dealing with workplace conflicts ■ Personal decision-making and problem-solving ■ Relapse prevention ■ Parenting ■ Citizenship Source: Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Pennsylvania Prison Society12 WINS OF CHRISTMAS Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett Santa joins other Pittsburgh Steelers fans in the stands at Heinz Field, waving his Terrible Towel and cheering the team on to victory against the Detroit Lions Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Steelers rack up their 12th win of the season and clinch a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs. I Pages Bl, B3 CAMBODIAN ADOPTIONS ■ A Hollidaysburg couple can bring their new daughter home, but there are strings attached. By PHH Ray staff Writer Isabel Chompa Fleming, the young Cambodian child adopted by a Hollidaysburg couple, has been granted admission to the United States on humanitarian grounds, ending a three-month confrontation between her new parents and the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Southeast Asia. Jeff Fleming, a Blair County lawyer, has spent all but a few days in Cambodia since early October. He came home for a brief period to resume his practice while his wife, Karen, remained in Cambodia with 2 ft-year-old Isabel. He returned to Cambodia early this month only to learn the INS intended to deny visas for Isabel and the adopted children of 12 other American couples in Cam bodia and Vietnam. According to a statement by Kent Wiedmann, U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, the INS was con cerned that an illegal network was improperly procuring children for adoption by U.S. families, serious charges the INS wanted to investigate. The Flemings were adamant that their adopted daughter was an orphan, and they were upset by the INS’ insinuation because U.S. government officials could provide no information to suggest otherwise. The couple prepared a reply to the INS’ notice of intent to deny a visa, and that document was submitted during a 30-day appeal period. Late Friday night, however, a major break occurred in the standoff between the American couples and the INS. U.S. Attorney General John Mirror file photo Blair County lawyer Jeff Fleming holds a photo of his adopted daughter, Isabel, in this November photo. Ashcroft granted humanitarian parole to the adopted children of the 13 couples involved. The move means the children will be granted admission to the United States, but with strings attached, said Fleming’s law partner, Joseph W. Cavrich of Hollidaysburg, who has been aiding in the fight to bring the children to America. Cavrich was ecstatic this weekend when he said “all 13 families are coming home.” Rose Fleming, Jeff Fleming’s mother and a former Altoona resident, said from her North Carolina home Sunday, “I just want to get them home.” She has IO grandchildren, and she is eager to meet No. ll. Meanwhile, the Flemings could not be reached for comment during the weekend. Rose Fleming said there could be delays in the trip home because U.S. government offices are closed until Wednesday because of the Christmas holiday. Please see Adoption/Page A3 The real deal about Santa Claus Children allowedCambria County to recoup millions in prison revenue ■ Taking other counties’ inmates will help offset lost state funding. By Linda Hudkins For the Mirror EBENSBURG — Cambria County officials expect to collect $2.8 million next year by housing inmates from other counties. County prison Warden Martin Kovacs said the county recently took in 30 female inmates from Berks County, where prisoners outnumber jail cells. The new agreement with Berks County offsets the loss of revenue from state prisoners who had been housed in Cambria for the past couple of years, county Commissioner Ted Baranik said. Once strapped for space, the state has added new prisons to its system in recent years, eliminating the need for additional housing units, he said. Cambria County houses 54 inmates for Butler County, Kovacs said. The county also reserves some space for federal immigration cases, as well as for the U.S. Marshal Service, which contributed $1 million toward the cost of building the jail four years ago. Please see Prison/Page A8Judge says Blair ‘took’ land to build convention center By Ray Stephens Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG - A Blair County judge has ruled that a woman is entitled to be considered for compensation after her property changed when the Blair County Convention Center and Convention Center Boulevard were built. The ruling by Judge Thomas G. Peoples calls for a board of view — composed of attorney James English, chairman, along with William Parsons and H. Roland Miller — to review what has happened to Pepper Genter’s Sprankle Avenue property and to decide if compensation is warranted. Peoples dismissed objections from the Blair County Convention Center and Sports Facilities Authority, which maintained that a board of view should not be appointed because the authority had not condemned Genter’s property. Genter’s attorney, Harvey Pas ternack of State College, convinced Peoples that because construction changed the property substantially, it was taken. “The court views the changes which have been wrought upon the plaintiff’s property as having the same impact as if the property had been removed from its woodland setting and transplanted into the midst of a heavily trafficked commercial locale having none of the attributes of its original setting,’’ Please see Land/Page A3 DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7 '22910 00050 'V    I BIG FOUR 5    6    3    2 ■ Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Cold, chance of snow, 34° ■ Forecast, A2 a Q LOCAL 0 NATION Business A5 Classifieds C3-8 Movies Obituaries Opinion A4 A7 A6 War on terrorism m UFE C2 (jj SPORTS Comics D5 NFL B2 Community news Puzzles D2 D4 Scoreboard B5 Television D4 INSIDEIN BUSINESS On what was supposed to be the biggest shopping weekend of the holiday season, consumers flocked to the nation's stores but remained frugal. 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  • H. Roland Miller
  • Harvey Pas
  • Isabel Chompa Fleming
  • James English
  • Jeff Fleming
  • Joseph W. Cavrich
  • Kent Wiedmann
  • Linda Hudkins
  • Pepper Genter
  • Ray Stephens
  • Ted Baranik
  • Thomas G. Peoples
  • Warden Martin Kovacs
  • William Dimascio
  • William Parsons

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Publication: Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

Issue Date: December 24, 2001

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