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Altoona Mirror: Wednesday, December 26, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - December 26, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                LOCAL: BELLWOOD TEEN'S EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT IS ALL WET PAGE A5 popularity of sport in area safe from food poisoning Copyright 2001 WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2001 newsstand 're off Shoppers rush back to stores for sales, returns INSIDE IN BUSINESS Small cable com- panies feel pinch. Architects honored tor design of area building. PAGE A9 BY CRAIG WILLIAMS Staff Writer It's over or is it? All the rushing around and buying gifts, the maddening crowds and the stress of trying to find that special pre- sent is just a memory. But now it's time for more rushing arouml to return unwanted gifts, to get in on the Christmas bargains, to buy discounted wrapping paper, to grab all those holiday decorations and lights on sale and to use those gift certificates that served as stocking-staffers. For the weary salespeople who are on the receiving end of all this clatter, the retail season isn't over until the spring clothes are hung on the racks with care. Before the raincoats can replace the parkas, there are customer returns to process, inventories to mark down, sales fliers to put out and more genera] mayhem as stores throughout the area rush to sell what is left of this year's merchandise. Tis the season of the after-Christmas sales and post-holiday bargains. "Our Christinas season has been strong, but our trucks are still pouring in with merchandise from our distribu tion said Brian Miller, execu tive team leader of the Target store on Sierra Drive. As the warehouses are emptied to make room for Gie next season of inven tory, Miller said stoves will offer deep discounts to move merchandise off the tin or. Please see A7 The Associated Press It's hack to the business of bargains today for shoppers. surface WlIJ.IAiH KlHl.EH Staff Writer Six area hospitals have 15 high-death rates not initially disclosed in a recent report released by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Coun- cil The new information appears on the group's Web site and was not part of an in 11 report' released -states wide last week that showed high death rales for four area hospitals in five treatment areas. The hospitals say the deaths don't reflect quality-of-care problems, rather tiny sample groups or an excess of very sick patients, many with do-not- resuscState orders. The council stands by its methods, saying it equalizes differences that oth- erwise would skew the numbers. Altoona Hospital doctors review every death, and they found no quali- ty-of-care problems with the deaths flagged in the report, hospital spokes- man Ron McConncll said. Bon Secours Holy Family Hospital's three high-death-rate categories in- volved a total of four deaths, all of which could have been expected, according to a'memo from Carol Crum, director of quality assessment. A death in the nutrition and meta- bolic deficiency category was an 83- year-old with cancer, Alzheimer's dis- ease and a do-nol-vesuscitate order. Two deaths in the seizure category were of patients severely retarded mentally and physically, both of whom arrived in respiratory arrest and both with chronic heart, liver and kidney disease, Crum said. Both died despite aggressive treatment. A death in the transurethral opera- tion category was a 78-year-old with bladder cancer, chronic renal failure, diabetes, heart disease and paralysis from an earlier stroke. J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital experts weren't available for comment on its three high-death categories, but spokes- woman Chris Gildea said she highly doubted if any of the deaths reflected a quality-of-care problem at the Hunt- ingdon hospital. UPMC Bedford Memorial Hospital's Dr. Marc Finder reiterated comments on the first report for the two addition- al high-death categories at his hospi- tal. The agency's statistical methods misinterpreted anomalies with some old and sick patients, placing them in a low-risk category and skewing the findings, he said. In one category, one patient died. "Ono death in six Finder said. "Come on." Please see A3 A The Associated Press U.S. Special Forces soldier adjusts a Christmas tree decoration at the military base in Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan Christmas morning. For a, look at developments in the war on terrorism, please see pages Cl and C2.' WAR ON TERRORISM Outside N.Y., firefighters deal different aftermath Locally, there's more awareness but no boost in funding, new volunteers. Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec Bob Whitefore checks equipment at the Excelsior No. 1 Volunteer Fire Company, Rellwood. By MARK LEBEKFINGER AND WILLIAM KIBI.ER Staff Writers Fire departments locally and nation- wide are seeing a.mixed response from the public in terms of donations and volunteers following the Sept. it ter- rorist attacks. For example: Donations to the South Media Fire Company in suburban Philadelphia are down about percent, said company Treasurer Bob Clancy, who has been with the fire company for about 45 years. '.'Everybody sent their money to New York and forgot about us." Firefighters-in Newport Beach, an affluent section of Orange County, Calif., never have needed to raise money but have found strangers pressing checks into their hands. The Newport Beach depart- ment, well-funded by the city, started a firefighters' fund and raised more than said Rich Thomas, head of the department. Locally, the effect of the attacks hasn't as dramatic. Excelsior Fire Company Chief David McCloskey of Bollwood said his depart- ment sent a lot of money to New York for their efforts' but hasn't noticed any more or less interest here. "We have 25 to 30 active he said. "It's been that way for a good period of time." The Martinsburg Fire Company may have collected more money but not more volunteers than otherwise would be expected, Chief Randy Acker said. Heather Schafer, executive director of the National Volunteer; Fire Council, said the organization dqes not have figures on how departments' outside New York City have fared with donations and September. y Please see A7 DELIVERY Subscription or homo delivery questions: 346-7'llM or (HOO) BIGfOUR 2 Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly sunny, cold, Forecast, A2 PAPER LATE Due to a major electrical breakdown on the printing press, today's Altoona Mirror was delayed by several hours. Wednesday's Mirror was printed at our Ogden Newspapers sister paper, Williamsport Sim-Gazette. The Mirror apologizes for the delay. Business Movies Obituaries Opinion A9 A7 A13 AS Fearless Forecast B2 Scoreboard B5 J3 NATION Classifieds C3-12 Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4 INSIDE J 'p OPINION Columnist Cal Thomas- says a recent decision by NBC to start accepting ads, for hard liquor wilt prove to be a big mislate. v PAGE A8   

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