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Altoona Mirror: Thursday, December 27, 2001 - Page 1

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   Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - December 27, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania                                IN BUSINESS: RETAIL OUTLOOK REMAINS BLEAK DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS PAGE A7 safety issued consume NASCAR after driver's death jUto0na mirror Copyright 2001 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2001 newsstand For retailers, black and gold equals green Mirror pholo by Jason Sipes start has Terrible Towels twirling in Western Pennsylvania. Steelers merchandise sales nearly as hot as the Steelers themselves, BY ROBERT IGOE Staff Writer Seconds after the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Baltimore Ravens 11 days ago, players donned shirts and hats cele- brating the team's first AFC Central Division championship since 1997. It turns out that fans are equally anx- ious to get their Steelers merchandise. "If it has the Steelers on it, it has been flying out the says Keith Cron, manager of Shank Title sporting goods store at the Logan Valley Mall. "It's been pretty steady all year, but it's picked up since they clinched their divi- sion. When we get them, we sell a lot of jerseys and championship T-shirts, but hats have hcen the big sellers." At the Station Mall, Ken Partner, co- owner of JK Sports, says selling cham- pionship gear is not a problem for him. "It's just been he says. "As a matter of fact, I had to place more orders today. We just got a shipment in on Friday, and now we have three hats left. That's it. "A lot of it is coming from people who are probably buying themselves a jer- sey for the first time. They usually don't clinch this early, so a lot of people arc excited and they're anticipating a great finish." Please see A3 IN SPORTS B Commentary: Bengals woes continue. Wrestling column: New high school rules get mixed reviews. PAGE 81 Blair workers could lose pay Ilv PHIL RAY Staff Writer Blair County court-related em- ployees who left the courthouse before normal closing hours Christinas Eve face the possibility of losing a half-day's pay, even though President Judge Thomas G. Peoples gave them permission to close their offices early. The squabble Monday left a sour taste in the mouth of many court- house workers upset that such a con- frontation would occur before the celebration of a religious holiday. Blair Commissioner John J. Ebersole is just as upset with Peoples. Ebersole said the judge has no right to set courthouse hours. In fact, Ebersole said it was a violation of the union contract between the county and its court workers, represented by the United Mine Workers of America. Union spokesman Michele Clark responded Wednesday that the union contract does not address the action and reaction by Peoples and Ebersole, respectively. Ebersole has made it clear that as far as he is concerned, any worker who left the courthouse early Monday afternoon, as per Peoples' memorandum, would end up losing a half-day's pay unless they had vacation time or comp time to cover those hours. The c ommissioner said unless he takes this position, the county could owe additional vacation and opmp time to those workers who already scheduled the day off. Peoples was not available Wednes- day for comment, but early Monday lie-, decided court employees could knock off early to prepare for Ghristmas Eve and Christmas. "The judge has allowed employees to go home early prior to Christmas in. the past. memorandum said offices such as domestic relations, adult arid juvenile parole and probation, costs and fines, the court adminis- trator and district justices, were to close their offices at noon. -.Around a.m. Ebersole learned judge's memorandum. He countered with his own, stating that "any employee departing early on 2001, unless taking vaca- tion, sick leave or compensatory time off, will not be paid for this time off as a result of early departure." Please see A3 The Associated Press Sgt. Joe Chenelly (left) of Rochester, N. Y., with the 15th Marine Expedi- tionary Unit, climbs down from the shattered windows of the Kandahar airport terminal after he and Sgt. Thomas Michael Corcoran of Ocala, Fla., with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, hung a U.S. flag. I PAGES C1, C2 Imaging cameras aid crews HY MARK LEHEHFINGEU Staff Writer TYRONE In the old days of fire- fighting, search-and-rescuc opera- tions were very dangerous and time-consuming as firefighters had to crawl on their hands and knees and search each room of a house if someone was inside. The old ways still are used bu t are enhanced through modern means. Modern teclmology a thermal- imaging camera helped the Tyrone Fire Department locate a Tyrone woman trapped Monday inside her third-floor apartment. Christine D. LaCombe, 37, remained in critical condition Wednesday at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, a hospital spokes- man said. For Tyrone, it was one of the first times the camera detected a person inside a structure, the borough's fire chief said Wednesday. The hand-held camera used by a firefighter allows rescuers to see through thick smoke such as the conditions encountered Monday in the Lincoln Avenue apartment building fire. Otherwise, firefight- ers would have had to rely on their sense of touch and hearing to res- cue the woman, Tyrone fire Chief James R. Beck with said. "It is a very good Beckwith said. "It narrows tilings down real quickly. The camera first picked up the dog in front of the woman first, and she [LaCombe I was right there." The camera picks up any heat from the person or animal and then projects its outline on a screen. In addition to locating people still inside a structure, the camera can also detect "hot spots" hidden It didn't replace us having to crawl around jn the y 'Gerald Bimle1, deputy from sight. "You can actually see where the heat of the fire is Beckwith said. Tyrone firefighters have been using the thermal-imaging camera for about a year after its purchase by the Blazing Arrow Hook and Ladder Company, Beckwith said: The technology runs between to Since 1998, at least six Blair County fire departments, includ- ing the city of Altoona, purchased the imaging cameras. Altoona has four cameras, one on each of its fire engines. Altoona Deputy Chief Gerald Bimle said the cameras are very important but do not replace the firefighters or their work. "It didn't replace us having to crawl around in the buildings; we still need to do Bimle said. "Instead of searching the entire room by hand, we can perform a quicker search." Please see A3 Power problem zaps Mirror, shifts printing out of town Rv WAIT FRANK nf theOerten Inn-numprl Mirrnr. this has hannnnpd'1 sairi PfUvnrH W_ TCrnp-pr CHANGES Because of continuing electrical problems, the Altoona Mirror went to press at 6 p.m. Wednesday, too early to in elude lottery results, stack market listings or early sport scores. Those features will return in Friday's paper. BY WALT FRANK Staff Writer Wednesday's edition of the Altoona Mirror became the first since the newspaper's found- ing in 1874 not to be printed in Altoona. Because of major electrical problems in the Mirror's press room, pages'were shipped Wednesday morning to Williamsport to be printed at the Sun-Gazette, a sister newspaper of the Ogden Newspapers Inc.-owned Mirror. Printing the Mirror off-site was a very unusu- al situation. "We've had delays and lato deliveries before, but due to the multiple problems, this is the first time we have printed off-site to my said Daniel N. Slep, circulation manager. "This is a very rare and unfortunate situation." "This is the first time in my 30-plus years of publishing a newspaper that something like this has said Edward W. Kruger, publisher. The electrical problems meant the thousands of Mirror subscribers did not find a newspaper waiting for them when they awoke Wednesday morning. Some were upset while others were under- standing. Please see A3 Subscription or home delivery questions: 9-16-7480 or (800) 287-4480 Because of electrical problems at the Mirror, Wednesday's numbers will be published in Friday's Mirror. WEATHER Partly sunny, flurries, Forecast, A2 Altnmta iEtrrnr I THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fox us at (814) 946-7647 13 Business Comics ____ Obituaries Opinion That's racjn' Scoreboard A7 A8 Aii A6 B6 B5 "f Ijg NATION j Classilicds C3-12 War on terrorism C2 Moviejnenu _ D3 Night life D3 Planner Up Coming D1 IN NATION India, Pakistan planning fresh diplomatic moves. PAGE C1   

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