Altoona Mirror, December 29, 2001

Altoona Mirror

December 29, 2001

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Issue date: Saturday, December 29, 2001

Pages available: 76

Previous edition: Friday, December 28, 2001

Next edition: Sunday, December 30, 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 29, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania TV MIRROR LISTINGS FOR NEXT WEEK'S PROGRAMS FREE INSIDE STATE: UPMC CONSIDERING SELLING INSURANCE SUBSIDIARY PAGE A6 Central vs. Williamsburg highlights busy schedule page Which improvements add QJ most value to your home Altaotra Copyright 2001 SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2001 500 newsstand Court: Jubelirer can Jubelirer BY ROBERT Icon Staff Writer Robert C. Jubelirer has the state con- stitution's blessing to serve as state Senate president pro tern and as lieu- tenant governor, Commonwealth Court ruled. The court issued its ruling Krirlay in response to a lawsuit filed by state Rep. John Lawless, D Montgomery. Lawless argued that Jubelirer's suc- cession to the state's second-highest position represents a conflict of inter- est and violates the separation of pow- ers required under the Pennsylvania Constitution. "I feel quite said Jubelirer, R-Blair. "I am very appre- ciative of this opportunity to move on with my duties without this cloud hanging over me. It's unfortunate that this took so much taxpayer money to settle, but Lawless decided to be vin- dictive and file this suit." Jubelirer became lieutenant gover- nor in October after former Gov. Tom Ridge resigned to accept a position as director of homeland security under President Bush. Under the state constitution, Ihciv Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker became gov- ernor and Jubelirer became lieutenant governor. Senate legal counselors said because Jubelirer succeeded to the post and was not appointed or elected, he was able to hold both offices. In its 6-1 majority opinion, the court reiterated that the constitution is clear in that it requires Jubelirer to step down from his Senate position only if he were to become governor. "We do not discount the genuine concerns raised in [Lawless'! President Judge Joseph Doyle wrote. "Nonetheless, wo believe that such arguments, in a situation where the constitutional provision is clear, are not for the courts, but rather are prop- erly addressed to the General Assembly Please see A4 THE ECONOMY new reports raising hopes BY JEANNINK AVKUSA The Associated Pi-ess WASHINGTON Home sales climbed, orders for many big-tick- et items posted gains and con sumer confidence rebounded, the latest batch of economic data showed Friday. The reports raised hope that belter days may be ahead for the ailing economy. New-home sales soared by 6.4 percent in November, the largest increase in almost a year, helped out by mild weather and low mort- gage rates, the Commerce Depart- ment reported. Sales of previously owned homes rose by 0.6 percent in November to a rate of 5.21 million, setting the stage for a possible record year, the National Association of Realtors said in another report. Although a big drop in demand for military planes pushed down orders for costly manufactured goods last month by 4.8 percent, many other big-ticket items posted gains, another Commerce Depart- ment report showed. But in the most encouraging eco- nomic news of the day, consumer confidence rose sharply in Decem- ber after three months of dramatic decline as the erosion of the econo- my and job market appeared to begin leveling off. The New York-based Conference Board said its Consumer Confi- dence Index rose to 93.7 this month from a revised 84.9 in November. Anals'sts were expecting a reading of 83. The index, based on a monthly survey of about U.S. house- holds, is watched closely because consumer confidence drives con- sumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the nation's economic activity. All three reports raised hopes that the recession, which started in March, may be bottoming out. Virtually all of the weakness in orders for durable goods items expected to last at least three years in November came from a 57.9 percent drop in new orders for air- planes, mostly stemming from slackened demand for defense air- craft and parts, the government said. DEUVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 9-16-7480 or (800) 2874480 m resident rOt walks through newly fallen snow on 17th Street in Altoona Friday. While the area has had only a dusting of snow so far, it is possible some heavy storms may hit this winter, a National Weather Service meteorologist says. Meanwhile, the recent cold spell has allowed area ski resorts to make snow and open their slopes. Please see stories I PAGE A11 Mirror photo fay Kelly BenrveU BARRY BENDER CASE suspending doc's license Bv MARK LEBEUPINGKH Staff Writer Embattled Tyrone physician Barry L. Bender has a new legal hurdle to overcome that. could come before a Blair County court judge as early as Monday morning. The Slate Board of Medicine last week suspended Bender's privi- lege to practice medicine in Penn- sylvania. The suspension comes in the wake of criminal char- ges filed against the physician, who is affiliated with Tyrone Medical Associates. "On Dec. 18, 2001, the Pennsyl- vanin State Board of Medicine ordered the Tem- porary Suspension of Barry L. Bender, License No. MD-036965-L. of Tyrone, Blair accord- ing to a statement issued Friday by the Pennsylvania Department of State. Defense attorney 'Thomas M. Dickey said he will file a request for an injunction in Blair County Court of Common Pleas to stop the suspension. "It's all based on unfounded alle- Dickey said. "He has not been convicted of anything. You're still innocent until proven guilty. "We believe this will cause him irreparable harm by suspending him Cor this period, oven if it's for a couple of weeks. !f a jury acquits him, the harm and damage has already been done. "This suspension is based on what's merely written on paper. They don't know the witnesses. Nobody has evaluated them." Bender, 57, of 1054 Pennsylvania Avc., Tyrone, received the suspen- sion notice Dec. 24, Dickey said The suspension will last until at leasta Jan. 11 preliminary hearing before the State Bureau of Profess- ional and Occupational Affairs, which will determine whether the case moves forward or the suspen- sion is lifted. In the interim, Bender won't practice medicine at Tyrone Hos pital or its affiliate, Tyrone Med- ical Associates, hospital Chief Financial Officer Daniel Ashcroft said. "They took his license, but I have been given no reason Ashcroft said. "We're obligated to follow our bylaws and the laws of the state. He cannot practice medi- cine until it's decided by the state." Bender's patients will be seen by other doctors at Tyrone Medical Associates. If the board decides the suspen- sion should continue, it will con- tinue until a full hearing by the board. The board could suspend or revoke Bender's license. Please see A3 Terrorist attacks turned previous news into trivia review By DAVID CRARY The Associated Press President Bush was in Florida, promoting plans to boost reading skills. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared "war on bureaucracy" at the Pentagon. Health groups were busy on the eve of "National 9-1-1 Day" meant to raise awareness about heart attacks. That was Sept. 10. By late the next morning, America was a changed land, counting its dead and beginning to fashion a new set of heroes, vil- lains, fears and preoccupations. Much of what happened in the first 36 weeks of the year sudden- ly seemed distant or trivial. A few weeks earlier, news media had declared "The Summer of the Shark" after a handful of grisly attacks along the Atlantic Coast. Please see A10 Seeking some normalcy, Americans trudging on COMING SUMDftY: Attacks swamble Bush's goals, make war against terrorism Ills top priority Uv DAVID FOSTER The Associated Press There is no pill to undo evil, no magic word to resurrect the good old days when jetliners didn't turn into bombs and anthrax didn't come in the mail. Since Sept. 11, America has struggled to find a new normal, one that could wrap itself around the sharp edges of terrorism and war. We tried a thousand ways to adapt: We flew less and prayed more. We hoisted flags and draped holiday greens in red, white and blue. We canceled trips to Las Vegas and went to grandma's house instead. We gave blood, wrote checks to charity and dusted off atlases to find Kabul and Jalal- abad. We cried. Please see A10 BIO FOUR 6 7 ,3 7 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly cloudy, showers, Forecast, A2 t 946-7480 or 800-287-4480 Start that gift subscription loday. Business Movies Obituaries Opinion Local Scoreboard A7 AS A11 A8 B4 (La NATION Classifieds C3-12 War on terrorism C2 Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4 INSIDE IN WORLD Shoe-bombing suspect Richard C. Reid underwent a rigorous body check and hnd to remove his shoes (or special screening before boarding an El Al plane this past summer. V PAGE Cl ;