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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - April 20, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY _New    study    shows    Amish groups continuing to thrive / Hi t INSIDE SPORTS. St. Francis University basketball player leaves school /ll_ LIFF Penn State Altoona dance company Allied Motion to perform next week / DIAltona Mirror © Copyright 2001 HHH firebug to jail ■ Latest sentence could add up to a life term for arsonist. By Phil Ray Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG - Christopher M. Rodland of Hollidaysburg could end up spending the rest of his life in prison for a two-year arson spree that Blair County Judge Jolene G. Kopriva said “caused a great deal of pain and hurt.” The judge’s 15V2-to 41-year prison sentence will be added to a term of 9 years, 8 months to 45 years he already is serving I for arson. His total sentence is 25 years, 2 months to 86 years. Rodland, 24, asked Kopriva not to add additional time to his original sentence because under Pennsylvania corrections policies, he won’t get out of prison until he is 65 years old. “I will never be released,” he said about his fate if additional jail time were added to his sentence. Kopriva was not moved by Rodland’s plea nor his explanation that he didn’t realize until after his arrest that setting fires was a serious criminal offense. The judge said Rodland had total lack of insight about his crimes. According to a presentence report, he was anti-social. “You are extremely dangerous,” she said. Rodland has a criminal record that goes back to when he was 9 years old. He received treatment as a juvenile, not only for setting fires, but for sexual problems. At this point, Kopriva said there is little treatment can do for Rodland. “You were out of control and you have no insight into that. When you begin a criminal career at 9 years old and nothing took effect, that is a red flag,” Kopriva said. Please see Arson/Page A5FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2001 LAW ENFORCEMENT 500 newsstand Rodland Mirror photo by Jason Sipes Pennsylvania State Police Trooper David White aims a radar gun at traffic on North Juniata Street in Hollidaysburg. Municipal police want another gun to use Radar would make catching speeders easier, officers say By Tiffany Shaw Stuff Writer A flowing municipal police ll departments to use radar to ■ ■catch speeders could help officers like Altoona Cpl. George Bistline. He leads the city’s speed enforcement teams that use VASC AR. Many officers view the system as cumbersome — requiring painted lines, bulky vehicle-mounted equipment and several extra officers standing by for pursuit. To them, using a radar gun, which only Pennsylvania State Police can use, would be much simpler. “With radar, you need only the gun. You can move and go anywhere. Nobody knows you’re there,” Bistline said. “Radar would be more convenient and more efficient.” Now officers have to employ the bright-white lines on the road or conveniently placed trees or road cones for VASC AR, which works somewhat like a stopwatch. Please see Radar/Page A4 gspee Some quick facts about radar ■ Radar is an acronym for Radio Detection and Ranging. ■ Stationary traffic radars measure oncoming traffic; some models also measure passing traffic. ■ Almost all radars can operate from a stationary position or a moving patrol car. ■ Many radars only track one target at a time; some models can track and display two targets — the strongest which may be the closest or largest target and the fastest target in the beam. ® Most traffic radars have a relatively wide beam that easily covers severaNanes of traffic at a relatively short range. Detection range varies with radar and target reflectivity and may be as low as 1(X) feet or as high as 1 mile or more. * A radar may track a distant, large target instead of a closer small target without indicating to the officer which target the radar is tracking. Statistics from CopRadar com Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington ii CONVENTION CENTER Workers scramble to finish ■ Landscaping, parking garage and hotel won’t be completed in time for the May 3 opening. By Ray Stephens Staff Writer With less than two weeks to go, there’s a lot of work to be done in preparation for opening the Blair County Convention Center. And not all of it will get done in time. "When we do open for the first convention, we won’t have our landscaping in place,” transportation supervisor Al Laich told the Blair County Convention Center Authority. “You’ll have to use your imagination.” But among the things that will go into place during the next two weeks is an additional turning lane off Plank Road at Convention Center Boulevard, a signal light at the same intersection, lights along the boulevard and in the convention center’s parking lot and guardrails around the site. The convention center must be ready to open May 3 for a ribbon cutting and the Allegheny Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau’s annual membership and awards banquet. Vendors will be setting up that night for a convention beginning the next day. "Two weeks and we’ll be in there,” authority Chairman Rob Halbritter said Wednesday during the authority’s monthly meeting. Halbritter’s company, Mid-State Tool & Supply Inc., is the first group to book the convention center for May 4 and 5. He said Wednesday that manufacturers will be setting up 110 booths, the most the convention center can accommodate. AU rooms on the lower floor will be in use, he said. Please see Center/Page A5 Mirror photo by Jason Sipes Traffic was reduced to one lane on Old Route 220 Thursday as construction crews worked on Convention Center Boulevard.Local day-care providers fail to see aggression study finds By Walt Frank Staff Writer Local day-care providers disagree with a study that indicates the longer young children spend in day care, the more likely they are to be overly aggressive by the time they reach kindergarten. Principal researcher Jay Belsky of Birkbeck College in London presented the findings of the 10- year, 10-city federally financed study, the largest study of child care and development ever conducted. Thursday in Minneapolis at a meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development. “There is a constant dose-response relationship between time in care and problem behavior, especially those involving aggression and behavior,” Belsky said. Belsky, a research psychologist who worked at Penn State University until two years ago, added that children who spend more than 30 hours per week in child care “scored higher on items like ‘gets in lots of fights,’ ‘cruelty’ and ‘explosive behavior,’ as well as ‘talking too much,’ ‘argues a lot’ and ‘demands a lot of attention.’ Please see Aggression/Page A7Area rec facilities reap windfall from Growing Greener program From Mirror staff and wire reports LATROBE - With Earth Day only days away, Gov. Tom Ridge announced Thursday more than $30 million in grants for 340 recreation and conservation projects in 63 counties statewide. The grants, made possible through Ridge’s $650 million Growing Greener program, are meant to protect open space, to support community parks and recre ation, to enhance greenways and to convert rails to trails. This is the state’s largest ever environmental investment. “What better way to celebrate Earth Day and the success of Growing Greener than by announcing these grants — $30 million for about 9,000 acres of protected open space and natural areas, 75 trail projects — including 240 miles of water trails —160 new and improved parks, 55 play grounds and ll swimming pools,” Ridge said. “We’re making Pennsylvania even cleaner and greener.” Parks and projects will benefit in Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon, Bedford, Clearfield and Centre counties. In Blair, 216 acres adjacent to the Fort Roberdeau Historic Site and Natural Area was purchased for $250,000. Please see Recreation/Page A12 t. 4 DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7 "*22910*00050 4 BIG FOUR5    0    H    3 ■ Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Cloudy, possible showers, 59° ■ Forecast, A2 For 60 /^Months 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2001 Jeep Cherokee In lieu of rebate. Ends April 30, 2001 Chrysler - Plymouth - Jeep 1549 Pleasant Valley Blvd. Altoona, PA 943-6147 -    In    lieu    of    rebate Sjz/h 0L0CAL Q NATION mmM Business A9 Classifieds C5-12 Hospitals All Obituaries AU Opinion AG 03 LIFE 0 SPORTS Comics D5 Community news D2 Local B4 Movies D3 Scoreboard BS Television D4 IN WORLD In a war of videos, Beijing is showing its own tape of U.S. fighter pilots flying close to Chinese lets. PAGE Cl J J ;

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