Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - April 6, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania
INSIDE TODAYRELIGION: Community of faith fighting to feed the region’s hungry. / FREE INSIDE
SPORTS Virtual unknown leads Masters; Tiger lurks a few strokes behind. /_ LIFE: lf you want happy feet this exercise season, start with properly sized shoes. / DIAltoona Mirror
© Copyright 2001FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 2001
■ Information about the group is available at www.fca.org.
By Mia Rohart
EBENSBURG — Junior Renee Shaffer was in homeroom when another student, who has been involved with drugs and violence, began asking her about God.
The Central Cambria cheerleader didn’t mind; she and the other student athletes looking to form a chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes hope that their faith may inspire others.
“Not all of us bring guns to school,” sophomore Jessica Tsikalas said. “Some of us bring God,” interjected Shaffer during a discussion about the group.
Lindsey Showalter, a junior cheerleader, said the students are trying to spread the word to other students who may be interested in joining the group.
Guidance counselor and head football coach Ken Bussard approached some students with the idea after finding information about the organization at a clinic in Hershey.
"Kids are looking for answers. None of us are perfect, and kids have a lot of temptations out there,” Bussard said.
Sophomores Jessica Aurandt and Tsikalas decided to work on forming the group as their senior project, a requirement for graduation. Aurandt, who plays volleyball, and Tsikalas, involved with soccer and track, wanted a senior project that would carry on after they graduated.
Tsikalas hopes the support of the group will make it easier for students to discuss their faith openly.
Junior Katharine Rummel, a soccer and basketball player, said the group, approved at a recent school board meeting, will be a good way to bring Christian students together.
Senior Molly Foster, a cheerleader, hopes that potential “Huddle Coach” Bussard will bring the positive calming influence of the group to the football team,
Please see Group/Page A12
A MATTER OF DEGREES
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Mike Thompson, 16, waits for traffic trying to cross 17th Street Thursday.
Warming weather brings safety concerns with it
By Robert Igoe Staff Writer
With the weather preparing to break the 70-degree mark with plenty of sunshine this weekend, area children are looking forward to a whole new spectrum of activities, which unfortunately can bring a whole new spectrum of dangers with them.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,906 pedestrians were killed in 1999, with ll percent of the fatalities occurring to the 14-and-under age group. In
addition, 193 children were killed as a result of bicycle accidents.
The great majority of these accidents can be prevented.
“They are all preventable,” said Sherry Turchetta, coordinator of the Blair County Safe Kids Coalition. “Our goal is to get that message out to parents so that they understand the hazards and how to protect their children from them. With the warm weather, we see an increase in injuries because there
Please see Safety/Page AIQ
Better safe titan...
Always wear your helmet while bicycling or inline skating.
Don’t wear your bike helmet on the playground, climbing trees or at other types of play.
When crossing streets, remember to look left, right, then left again before you step off the curb Don't play, walk or bicycle along railroad tracks.
Before riding your bike, do a quick maintenance check of the bike, including brakes, tires, air pressure, chain, handlebars and loose parts.
For motorists:___________________ _______
Slow down and pay attention when traveling in neighborhoods and near parks, schools and playgrounds.
Be alert for bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians — they’re harder to see.
Watch for kids at play — children on foot and on bikes are unpredictable and may dart out into Remember that longer daytime hours mean children may be outside playing longer than usual.
Source The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
Mirror graphic by
Progress made in plane talks
■ U.S. takes conciliatory tone. China insists on formal apology.
By Bob Deans and Julie Chao
Cox News Service
WASHINGTON — Choosing conciliation over confrontation, President Bush pressed China Thursday in an around-the-clock diplomatic offensive aimed at resolving the spy plane standoff before it sends U.S.-China relations into a potentially perilous tailspin.
Administration officials made clear that progress was in sight but success not yet assured.
“There’s been significant optimism,” a senior defense official said.
Bush avoided threatening China with economic, political or diplomatic sanctions as the impasse over the Navy EP-3E surveillance plane and its 24 American crew members lurched toward its sixth day.
Instead, he offered his “prayers” to the family of the Chinese pilot whose fighter jet collided with the spy plane, and then plunged into the South China Sea.
“I regret that a Chinese pilot is missing, and I regret one of their airplanes is lost and our prayers go out to the pilot, his family,” Bush told several hundred newspaper editors attending a Washington conference.
It wasn’t clear, though, whether Bush’s expression of regret after a similar written and oral declaration Wednesday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, would satisfy Chinese President Jaing Zemin’s call for a formal apology, a demand the White House has rejected.
Later in the day, Jaing called again for the United States to apologize and spoke of the importance of a diplomatic settlement.
“I want to say with emphasis that the leaders of China and the United States must manage this issue to the maximum interests” of our relations, Jaing told reporters in Santiago, Chile, at the start of a six-nation tour of Latin America.
“American planes come to the edge of our country, and they don’t say excuse me. This sort of conduct is not acceptable in any country,” Jaing said.
■ Bush offers “prayers" to family of Chinese pilot.
■ Chinese speak of importance for settlement.
■ Negotiations intensify, frustration exceeds.
U.S. officials declined to characterize the state of ongoing talks. They made clear, though, that negotiations had intensified, and they set a public tone indicating that frustration over the situation was exceeded, for the moment at least, by the prospects for progress.
“The message to the Chinese is we should not let this incident destabilize relations,” Bush said. “We’re working all diplomatic channels to effect our priority. There are discussions going on, and we’ll continue to do so. My mission is to bring the people home.”
Talks continued Thursday in the two capitals. Chinese Ambassador Yang Jiechi met with Deputy Secretary of State Richard Annitage in Washington, while U.S. Ambassador Joseph Prueher met twice with Assistant Foreign Minister Zhou Wenzhong in China.
Still, Beijing sent mixed public signals.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi showed a public face of tough talk and acknowledged that Chinese officials have questioned the detained U.S. crew members. China called the Navy air crew “lawbreakers” and said the 21 men and three women would remain in China for questioning.
Away from the microphones, though, Chinese diplomats stepped up talks with their American counterparts behind closed doors.
And Chinese authorities took steps to quell a small anti-American demonstration near the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. The effort was in sharp contrast to the government’s approach two years ago, when officials urged on tens of thousands of Chinese who ringed the Embassy with protests against the accidental U.S. bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.
Judge rules evidence sufficient for trial
By Phil Ray Staff Writer
HASTINGS — District Justice Michael Zungali ruled Thursday that there is enough evidence to try Elmer Westover on charges of first-degree, second-degree and third-degree murder, burglary, aggravated assault and simple assault.
Westover remains in the Cambria County Prison without bail. He will be arraigned May 22 in the Cambria County Court of Common Pleas. At that point,
Cambria County assistant district attorneys Gary Jubas and Gary Costlow must inform Westover if the prosecution intends to seek the death penalty.
Westover of Mentcle, Indiana County, admitted to state police in February that he killed Andrew Fenchock, a 66-year-old Emeigh man 21 years ago, not for copper or money as police claim, but in self-defense after, he said the man attacked him.
Please see Trial/Page A12
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$4 million Cambria transit project on tap
A $4 million transportation facility could be headed to a site near Carrolltown.
By Audrey Brothers-Konior
For the Mirror
CARROLLTOWN —The Cambria County Transit Authority is moving ahead with a $4 million plan to build an operations and maintenance facility on the site once targeted for a community park.
A transit authority official said the project eventually could create a few dozen jobs.
A borough official said if the deal goes through, the proceeds could jumpstart the stalled park project.
Borough Council voted this week to offer the land —15 acres near the junction of routes 11049 and 219 and appraised at $68,000 — to CamTran. The group’s board of directors still must give the deal final approval at its April 20 meeting.
Irving Cure, executive director of CamTran, with headquarters in Johnstown and a rural office in
Patton, said he’ll recommend the board approve the deal.
He said that six other sites for the facility have been reviewed previously with Carrolltown remaining the top choice.
“We can promise that we’ll be a good neighbor,” Cure said.
Pending the board approval and environmental and historical testing, CamTran’s plans call for the construction of a 30,000- to 35,000-square-foot building that would accommodate all the personnel and work from the Patton site.
“Carrolltown is the primary center of our [rural! trip origins,” said Cure, adding that fixed route, shared route and disability services are available through CamTran.
Please see Project/Page AIQ
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Mirror Sports Writer Cory Giger sets the scene from Erie where the Altoona Curve will open their 2001 season tonight.
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