Huntingdon Daily News, January 30, 1996

Huntingdon Daily News

January 30, 1996

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Issue date: Tuesday, January 30, 1996

Pages available: 21

Previous edition: Monday, January 29, 1996

Next edition: Wednesday, January 31, 1996 - Used by the World's Finest Libraries and Institutions
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Publication name: Huntingdon Daily News

Location: Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

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Huntingdon Daily News (Newspaper) - January 30, 1996, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania Huntingdon, Moum IInion, Orbisonia and Saxton 50c * * * * News l l ISDAV, J rn Federal reserve ready to cut interest rates to stir economy Built without permission Some 60 truckloads of shale were recently hauled to the Ames/BiLo Plaza in Smithfield Township to build a dike without the OK of local and state authorities. The some 1,500 tons were used to construct about a three-foot dike to the rear of the building and a nearly five-foot dike to the right of the Ames Plaza. Smithfield Township officials said they were not informed of the construction. State law requires a permit be issued by the Department of Environmental Protection for such a dike to be built in a flood plain. Officials say that was not done by the plaza's owner, the H.L. Libby Corporation. An inspector with DEP was scheduled to view the dike today. (Photo by Kimberly Free.) Mount Union parents, staff debate earlv-dismissal issues By TONI HANCOCK Daily News Staff Writer “I always assumed that my kid was safe in school but not anymore.” Parent Judy Miller expressed her concerns to the board of directors of Mount Union Area School District regarding the flood emergency on Jan. 19 during a busy monthly meeting on Monday night. She said her third grader, a student at the Shirley Township Elementary school, was dropped off at her home that Friday and there was no one at home. She was at work and her husband was not al home at the time. Miller noted she had given the school a phone number for emergencies. Superintendent Dr. Jerry Chinkle pointed out the district has a policy for non-weather related emergencies, such as no power or water, but the news media is always used for weath- J.C. Blair Hospital welcomes public to MU Medical Center An open house is planned al the Mount Union Area Medical Center on Sunday, Feb. 4, from 2 to 4 p.m. The community is invited to tour the facility to see the improvements recently completed at the building made possible from funds raised during the 1994-95 campaign. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet with J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital officials who will answer questions pertaining to the recent sale of the medical center lo the hospital. “The J.C. Blair family anticipates a great future for this medical center and for the Mount Union Community,” said Carl Felling, interim CEO. “This purchase will ensure the resi dents of the eastern end of Huntingdon County are provided with quality primary health care in their neighborhood,” he said. “The medical center is under new management. We continue to offer the same services, the same hours and we have tile same staff,” reports Felling. Tile medical center is staffed by Dr. William Depp-Hutchinson and Lisa Lugent, physician assistant. The certified physician assistant works with the physician to ensure that area residents get timely and complete medical care. Services ottered at the medical center include laboratory (Continued on Page 3) er emergencies. He said there is no way that every parent of the 1,500 students could be called. “We also depend on parents keeping informed of the weather conditions,” Dunkle said. He stressed the district a {ways considers the safety of the children foremost. He said that parents have the discretionary powers, at all times, to keep their children home if they do not think it is safe for bus travel. If the parents write a note, the excuse will be a legal one. Board member Dan Whitsel noted phone service was out of order for awhile during the morning hours ot the flood. However, the district did attempt to contact the parents of the kindergarten students when there was service, but 70 students were kept at the Mount Union Elementary School until someone could be reached. David Piper, business manager, pointed out the bus drivers are told “to make sure the child is in the house when taken home in an emergency situation and this is done.” Dr. Jane Karper, elementary supervisor, stated she was at the Shirley Township School during the flood. She said many of the teachers helped to make arrangements for the kids who were being taken home: “We were pulling together to help our students.” Dr. Dunkle stressed that the staff, administration and bus drivers were cooperative and all were “concerned for the safety of the students. Everyone is to be commended for working together in this disastrous flood which happened so fast." Lester Edgin, John Booher and other bus drivers in attendance said they did “their best” and many drove through water to get 90 percent cf the students home. The drivers noted many of the parents would have been upset if the children weren’t taken home. WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is ready to cut interest rates for a third time in less than a year amid widespread signs of economic weakness, many economists believe. And these analysts think a fourth rate cut before the end of March is entirely likely. But after that, the central bank could well sit on the sidelines for the rest of the year. “I think the Fed wants to get any easing done sooner rather than later this year so they don’t become embroiled in presidential politics,” said David Jones, chief economist at Aubrey G. Lanston & Co. in New York. The Fed’s key interest-rate panel, the Federal Open Market Committee, planned to review current economic conditions during two days of closed door discussions starting today. If the Fed does cut rates, it would announce that action on Wednesday. Shale dike constructed at plaza without DEP permit By GEORGE GERMANN Daily News Staff Writer The H.L. Libby Corporation constructed a shale dike around the com-pany’s Ames/BiLo Plaza in Smithfield Township without seeking any government permission. The question is, will they be forced to remove the tons and tons of shale? “He didn’t (Libby) say a word to us,” said Smithfield Township Supervisor Fred Rohland. The subject of the dike was expected to be a topic of discussion this morning at a township supervisors’ workshop. Rohland said tor the record he wanted to talk to the other township supervisors before making any other statement, but privately did not appear pleased with the construction of the dike in a flood plain without proper approval. Tile Ames/BiLo Plaza was hard hit during the recent flooding. Andy Patterson, of the Huntingdon County Soil and Conservation District told The Daily News this morning he was asked to look at the dike as a favor to the township supervisors and report to the state Department of Environmental Protection. While Patterson, said it will be “DEP’s call” what to do with the dike, he did say, “It is going to have to come down.” Patterson, said he conferred late yesterday with Dennis Hosier of DEP’s Harrisburg Regional office. Hosier was scheduled to meet with Patterson sometime today and inspect the shale dike at the Libby Property. Hosier said yesterday it would be illegal for anyone to build a dike of any kind in a flood plain without first getting a permit. (Continued on Page 2) The I'OMC, composed of Fed board members in Washington and presidents of five of the Fed’s 12 regional banks, cut interest rates twice last year, in July and December. Those reductions pushed the central bank’s target for the federal funds rate — the interest that banks charge each other on short-term loans — down to 5.5 percent. The funds rate had been doubled to 6 percent in seven rate hikes from February 1994 to February 1995 as the central bank sought to restrain economic growth in order to keep inflation under control. Not all economists are certain thai the Fed will cut rates this week. Some argue that it may wait until its March 26 session, especially since much of the government data it depends upon to steer the economy has been delayed, first by the budget shutdown and then by a severe snowstorm that hit Washington. But Lyle Grantley, chief economic consultant at the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington, said he believed Fed policy-makers will decide they have enough information on the slowing economy to act. A variety of statistics have shown that the all-important consumer sector slowed noticeably in the final three months of last year. “When you see growth this slow and you haven’t got any inflation problems to worry about, then all the ingredients are there for another easing,” Grantley said. (Continued on Page 3) DeHart’s ‘penalty’ case jury being selected in court The selection of a voir dire panel ot jurors to hear an unusual penalty case will continue today in a session of Huntingdon County Criminal Court in the Huntingdon County Courthouse. The court proceeding deals with the death sentence given to Robert Perry DeHart who was found guilty of first degree murder in Huntingdon County Court on Nov. 17,1983. DeHart was convicted for the murder of Terry Hatch, 40, of James Creek on March 25, 1983. The verdict was returned by a voir dire jury selected in Franklin County under a change of venire order and the trial was conducted in Huntingdon County. The same jury then deliberated and Axed the penalty tor the murder conviction as death. The Pennsylvania Supreme court at Armed the verdict and sentence in an appeal that followed the case but a subsequent apneal by DeHart led to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that the imposition of the death sentence was improper because of a typographical error on the verdict slip used by the jury. Consequently the high court remanded the case to Huntingdon County for the purpose of holding a sentencing hearing. A jury panel of 200 countlans were summoned to report yesterday ; morning and 145 responded to the roll call by»Edward Mansberger, prothonotary and clerk of courts at the opening of the session. Judge Stewart L. Kurtz welcomed the jurors and presided at the initial phase of the Monday session of court and then President Judge Keith B. Quigley of New Bloomfield, Perry County, presided when the jury selection process started. Judge Kurtz was district attorney and represented the Commonwealth at the DeHart trial in 1983. Attorney Lawrence L. Newton is representing the Commonwealth under appointment of the Huntingdon County District Attorney's ottice. DeHart is represented by Attorney Terry W. Despoy ot Altoona, who (Continued on Page 2) Buchanan, Forbes lead straw poll in Alaska (Continued on Page 3) Meet the staff An open house will be held at the Mount Union Medical Center from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4. The staff and representatives of J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital will welcome visitors. From the left are Tammi Krause, LPN; Lisa Lugent, physician assistant; Erin McClain, secretary; Shelby Williams, medical assistant; Dr. William S. Depp-Hutchinson; Cathy Wertz, secretary; Cady Kyle, office manager. Mount Union schools’ make-up days approved Mount Union School Directors approved the following weather make-up days for the 1995-96 school term at the regular board meeting Monday night: Friday, Feb. 16; Thursday, April 4, and Monday, April 8; Friday, May 31; Monday and Tuesday, June 3 and 4. The commencement day currently has been set for Thursday, June 6. Superintendent Dr. Jerry Dunkle noted there may still be more days off due to the weather. The calendar for the 1996-97 school year with scheduled snow days included was reviewed by the board. No action was taken at this time. Retail sales barely rose in December WASHINGTON (AP)—In its last economic report prior to a major Federal Reserve policy meeting, the government said retail sales edged up a scant 0.3 percent in December in a lackluster holiday shopping season. The Commerce Department said today sales totaled a seasonally adjusted $198.6 billion, up from $ 198 billion a month earlier. That was a smaller increase than November’s revised 0.7 percent gain. Sales in November originally were estimated to have advanced 0.8 percent. t Many analysts had expected a 0.6 percent increase in December. Sales had fallen 0.2 percent in October and 0.1 percent in September. The December activity boosted retail sales for the year to $2.3 trillion, 4.9 percent above those of 1994 and the smallest gain since a 0.6 percent advance in 1991 as the last recession was ending. Tile report was released as Federal Reserve policy makers prepared to open a two-day meeting to consider whether to cut short-term interest rates for a third time in seven months to stimulate the economy. The Federal Open Market Committee lowered the central bank’s federal funds rate from 6 percent to 5.75 percent in July and then to 5.5 percent in December. The rate is what banks charge each other for overnight loans. ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AF) — Pat Buchanan outlasted Steve Forbes for a narrow victory in Alaska’s Republican straw poll, while Bob Dole received barely half as many votes as the winner. Buchanan received 33 percent of the total, or 2,988 votes. Forbes was 168 votes back with 2,818 votes — or 31 percent. Dole got just 17 percent, or 1,565 votes. ‘‘It’s startling. This is just a phenomenal victory,” Buchanan said in a telephone interview from Davenport, Iowa, after the results of the Saturday-to-Monday balloting were determined early today. “What it shows is Pat Buchanan is the conservative who can beat Bob Dole and can defeat the multi-million-dollar campaign of Steve Forbes, with energy, issues and ideas. This is going to provide us with tremendous momentum.” Party leaders terminated the straw poll at midnight Alaska time with votes from 38 of Alaska’s 40 districts counted. Two districts, one covering Northwest Alaska and the North Slope, and the other in Southwest Alaska, did not report results. Party leaders estimated that they represented fewer than a hundred votes altogether. Among the trailing candidates, Alan Keyes received IO percent of the votes and Phil Gramm 9 percent. Keyes had 901 votes to 786 for Gramm. Lamar Alexander had 53 votes or I percent. Other candidates had less than I percent of the 9,172 votes. While Alaska’s vote is a tiny fraction of the national total, the early straw poll engineered by Anchorage radio commentator Fritz Pettyjohn drew attention — and several candidates — to the state. Forbes, Buchanan, Gramm and Keyes all made personal stops and (Continued on Page 3) Good Afternoon Ann Landers.................. ...........14 Classifieds..................... ......12,13 Comics........................... ...........IO Editorial........................ ........... 7 Horoscope..................... ...........13 News of Yesteryear...... ...........ll lObituaries...................... A People & Pastimes........ ........... 8 Sports........................... .......4,5,6 Teaser Today’s teaser is for outer-space buffs! Twenty-five years ago a news story reported that many Americans are bored by the nation’s space program.” But the Apollo 14 commander, a veteran astronaut, was anticipating the blast-off to...where? His name? Both questions answered in News of Yesteryear. Weather Tonight...snow...accumulating an inch or two. Low 15 to 20. Wind northwest 5 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 80 percent. Wednesday...variable cloudiness and cold. High in the lower 20s. Extended forecast; Thursday...chance of snow showers and cold. Low 5 to 15 above. High in Ute mid teens to mid 20s. Friday and Saturday...chance of snow and very cold. Low 5 below to IO above zero. High IO to 20. Lottery Here are the winning numbers selected Monday in die Pennsylvania State Lottery; Daily Number, 7-7-1 and Big 4,6-9-9-2. The winning numbers drawn Monday in the ‘‘Pennsylvania Cash 5” game were: 9,11,15, 32 and 36. ;