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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - December 9, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Altoona mirror © Copyright 2001 DECEMBER 9, 2001 $1.50 newsstand SHOPPING SEASON WAR ON TERRORISM ► Pages Bl ,2 Marines pursue terrorists ■ Afghan leader calls on people to join hunt for Osama bin Laden. Bv Kathy Gannon The Associated fress KABUL, Afghanistan Armed with photographs of wanted terrorists. U.S. Marines scoured the roads of southern Afghanistan Saturday for Taliban and a1-Qaida leaders who might have slipped out of Kandahar as the former rill ing militia abandoned its last stronghold. Kandahar was reported to be tense, with rival armed groups that replaced the Taliban jockeying for control of key parts of the city and occasionally exchanging gunfire. Talks were reportedly under way to sot up a civil admin istration and avoid an explosion of factional fighting. Tribal officials, speaking by telephone from Pakistan, said more than 200 Arabs loyal to Osama bin Laden still were holding out at the* Kandahar airport and refusing to surrender. Afghanistan’s new interim leader called on the Afghan public to join the hunt for bin Laden and supreme Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, whose whereabouts were unknown. And Pakistan sent more troops and helicopters to its border with Afghanistan to prevent Taliban or al-Qaida fighters from entering. “We will make sure we will get rid of terrorism. We want to finish terrorism in Afghanistan and in the world," said Hamid Karzai, the leader of the U.N.-backed interim council that will run the country for six months. Meanwhile, American warplanes bombed the remote mountains around the Tora Bora cave and tunnel complex where locals believe bin Laden, the prime suspect in the Sept. ll attacks, could be hiding. However, the bombing was far less intense than in recent days. Karzai, who takes office Dec. 22, said he was asking village elders to tell their people to help find bin laden and Omar. He pledged to deliver the two leaders to international justice “We* don’t know where Osama is. We are looking for him," Karzai told The Associated Press. "I am asking villagers around Kandahar to look around the clock and stop him or any Arab they may set.*.” The Marines were looking as well, patrolling key roads around Kandahar carrying photographs of “key terrorists,” spokesman Capt. Stewart Upton said at their base southwest of the city. Upton said they generally were leaving Taliban fighters who have blended into the civilian population alone. U.S. sailors and Marines in the Arabian Sea have searched about 200 vessels in the last two weeks for fleeing pro-Taliban fighters, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Lapan said. Pakistan’s chief spokesman, Gen. Rashid Quereshi, said the country had sent extra troops and helicopters to border posts to cut off possible escape routes. He denied speculation that bin Laden and Omar could have slipped into Pakistan. In Kandahar, rival factions — some under former governor Gul Agha and others under Kandahar powerbroker Mullah Naqibullah — took control of parts of the city, waiting for a tribal council to sort out a new administration. “Everything is ready for a com mission of tribesmen,” Karzai said. Please see Marines/Page A7 WORLD: IMMIGRANTS DEAD IN CARGO CONTAINER ► PAGE Bl WEEKEND CRUISE REACHES FOR 'SKY' FREE INSIDE The highs & lows of football season Ma J Mirror photo by Gary M. Ba ranee Erin Guida (right), a sales clerk at Kaufmann’s helps Donna Lacko of Cherry Tree Saturday at the Logan Valley Mall. Local sales trends surprise retailers By Craig Williams Staff Writer Every year, someone says the holidays have become too commercial. But this year, it seems downright American to participate in the free enterprise system as a cherished institution in a free society. By some estimates, nearly a quarter of the retail sector’s annual profits come from holiday gift giving. This year, sales figures at local stores are revealing a few surprising trends. First, despite the recent downturn in die economy, most local MORE INSIDE ■ The Christmas shopping season is turning out to be more gloomy for the nation’s retailers. PAGE A6 ■ Recession brings a blue Christmas for many. PAGE Bl ■ Woodworking is a family passion at Hill Top Woodcraft. PAGE El store managers said sales seem to be at least on par with last year. “The traffic is very consistent,” said Maggie Foster, store manager of Kaufmann’s Department Store in the Logan Valley Mall. “From a retail point of view, we are having a strong year.” Second, merchants said purchases seem to be geared toward staying home and forgoing December vacations. “Instead of traveling, they’re buying sofas,” said Thad Julian, general manager of Wolf Furniture Co. on Plank Road. Third, the hot colors are red, white and blue. “There seems to be a theme to Christmas sales this year,” Foster said. “We are selling a lot of flags and ornaments with the Stars and Stripes." According to number crunchers at the International Council of Shopping Centers, home furnish ings and furniture sales during the Thanksgiving holiday were up 5 percent over the same period last year. Music, video and home entertainment also saw a 9.8 percent increase during the same period. “Our popular items this year are the surround sound and home theater in a box,” said Todd Ake, assistant manager of Rex TV & Appliance on Orchard Avenue. “Entertainment systems are big around here because there isn’t much else to do.” Also selling locally is the practical gift of clothing, although apparel sales figures are down nationwide. Please see Sales/Page A6 more than for some Group wants to keep airport open By Linda Hudkins For the Mirror EBENSBURG — Small airplanes still buzz in and out of the borough-owned airport on Route 22, but the buzz in town is whether the airport should be closed. Some borough officials said taxpayers should not have to fund the Ebensburg Municipal Airport, which siphons $20,000 to $40,000 from municipal coffers each year. In a small borough where a mill of taxation nets only $16,000, the council voted last fall to disband the Airport Authority and file a request with the state’s Bureau of Aviation to close the airport. A newly formed group of residents wants to keep the airport open and expand it to accommodate corporate jets as well as for recreation and education, said Karen Corran, one of about 40 of the group’s dues-paying members. The Regional    Aviation Conservation and Recreation Association was incorporated in September, shortly after the council voted to leave the airport business, said Corran, a member of the now-defunct Airport Authority. “We would like to see this as a regional airport,” she said. “It has not been My developed as it could be.” She said the airport accommodates only small, privately owned planes. But she believes it could be expanded for corporate jets and used by businessmen who make short trips. “It’s a great training airport for beginner pilots” and could be developed into a training facility for various types of airplane industries, she said. If developed, the airport could play a role in the regional recreation and tourism industry because of the sense of adventure and the proximity to a rails-to-trails corridor, Corran said. Please see Airport/Page A5 Deer season hurt by weather By Craig Williams Staff Writer The deer rifle season was just too warm for hunters hoping for the colder weather that brings good tracking and helps preserve the meat on a freshly killed deer. It finally snowed a little Saturday, the last day of the season. Mountains and valleys throughout the region were dusted with winter’s blanket. The higher temperatures and changes in the hunting law that allows hunters to take doe concurrently with buck led to some meat going bad as butchers became Higher temperatures and changes in the hunting law led to some meat going bad. overwhelmed with orders. With the intention of limiting the doe population, hunters could buy licenses to kill both sexes of deer during the same two weeks. The three-day doe season last year was dovetailed to the end of buck season. Because of the concurrent culling, this year the season seemed more rushed, at least to workers at Gearhart’s Butchering near Canoe Creek State Park. Employees worked overtime to keep up with the harvest. “It would have worked other than all at once, and if it would have been colder weather,” owner Tom Gearhart said. “We have guys who do their own butchering. But where are you going to hang a deer in 60-degree weather? By the first Tuesday, we had hunters coming in who were turned away by other butchers.” Please see Deer/Page A12 *' DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 umn r* millq BIG FOUR 0    15    3 1 Lottery numbers. A2 WEATHER Partly sunny, 41° ■ Forecast, A2 ♦ Altoona mirror HOT-ADS.com We’re white-hot! [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 fax us at (814) 946-7547 □ LOCAL 0 SPORTS Politics A4 Outdoors C9 Hospitals ATO Scoreboard C8 Obituaries A10,13 Opinion Ail Q LIFE Q NAHON Astrograph D4 Movies D3 War on terrorism B2 Puzzle D4 j[J business Stocks    E2,3 CDs, Mutuals    E4 Q CLASSIFIED □ COMMUNITY NEWS World in a minute B4 Travel D6 * * Couples Yesteryear G2 G3 ;

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