Altoona Mirror, December 24, 2001

Altoona Mirror

December 24, 2001

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Issue date: Monday, December 24, 2001

Pages available: 110

Previous edition: Sunday, December 23, 2001

Next edition: Tuesday, December 25, 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 24, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania OUTDOOR TIMES THE STATE'S PREMIER PUBLICATION FREE INSIDE NATION: PASSENGER'S SHOE TESTS POSITIVE FOR EXPLOSIVES PAGE Cl How to protect children exploring the Internet The real deal about Santa Glaus Copyright 2001 r_ Program to assist released inmates BY MARK LEBEHKINGEH Staff Writer When Norman Johnston, the con- victed quadruple killer, escaped from State Correctional Instit- ution in Huntingdon in 1999, he only coultl steal older model cars. He didn't know how to deal with 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 ho started his prison stint of four life sen- tences. 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 cap- ture 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 A4 RE-ENTERING SOCIETY The state tias unveiled a new program to help released inmates successfully relurn to society anrj stay out of prison, The Community Orientation and Reintegialion program woiks in two phases: B Interviewing skills Dealing with workplace conflicts H Personal decision-making and problem-solving Refapse prevention Parenting Citizenship Source: Pennsylvania Department of Coffections, Pennsylvania Prison Society MONDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2001 500 newsstand CAMBODIAN ADOPTIONS Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett Santa joins other Pittsburgh Steelersfans 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 B1, B3 H A Hollidaysburg couple can bring their new daughter home, but there are strings attached. Bv Pun, HAY 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 South east 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 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 Camhodia, 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 investi- gate. The Flemings were adamant that their adopted daughter was an orphan, and they were unset by the INS' insinuation because U.S. gov- ernment officials could provide no information to suggest otherwise. The couple prepared a reply to the INS' notice of intent to deny a visa, and mat document was submitted during a 30-day appeal period. Late Friday night, however, a major break occurred in the- stand- off between the American couples and the INS. U.S. Attorney General John Mirror fila 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 moans the children will be granted admission to the United States, but with strings attached, said Fleming's law part- ner, Joseph W. Cavrich of Holli- daysburg, who has been aiding in the fight to bring the children to America. Cavrich was ecstatic this week- end when he said "all 13 families are coming home." Rose Fleming, Jeff Fleming's mother and a former Altoona resi- dent, said from her North Carolina home Sunday, "1 just want to get them home." She has 10 grandchildren, and she is eager to meet No. 11. 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 Christinas holiday. Please see A3 Cambria County to recoup millions in prison revenue 9 Taking other counties' inmates will help offset lost state funding. BY LINDA HUOKINS For the Mirror EBENSBURG Cambria County officials expect to collect 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 now agreement with Berks County offsets the loss of revenue from state prisoners who had been housed in Cambria for Die past couple of years, coun- ty 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 million toward the cost of building the jail four years ago. Please see AS Judge says Blair 'took' land to build convention center BY KAY STEPHENS StaffWritcr HOLLIDAYSBURG A Blair County judge has ruled that a woman is entitled to be consid- ered 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 II. Roland Miller to review what has hap- pened to Pepper Center's Spranklc Avenue property and to decide if compensation is warranted. Peoples dismissed objections from the Blair County Convention Center and Sports Facilities Auth- ority, which' maintained that a board of view should not be appointed because the authority had not condemned Center's property. Center's attorney, Harvey Pas- ternack of State College, con- vinced Peoples that because con- struction changed the property substantially, it was taken. "The court views the changes which have teen wrought upon the plaintiffs 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 com- mercial locale having none of the attributes of its original Please see A3 DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: M6-74BO or (BOO) 287-4-ISO if' BIO FOUR 5? 6 3, 2 Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER i Cold, chance of snow, Forecast, A2 The Perfect Gift 946-7480 or StarUhat gift subscription today O LOCAL Business Movies Obituaries Opinion NATION NFL Scoreboard AS A4 A7 A6 B2 B5 Classifieds C3-8 War on terrorism C2 03 LIFE Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4 IN BUSINESS On what was supposed to be trie biggest shopping weekend of the holiday season, consumers Hocked to the nation's stores but remained frugal. PAGE A5 ;