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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archives Dec 12 1999, Page 1

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - December 12, 1999, Altoona, Pennsylvania Altoona Mirror a copyright 1999 sunday december 12, 1999 $1.50 newsstand. Tyrones on top of the world the championship game wow Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett Tim dry to played the hero saturday. By Jim Lane Mirror sports editor Hershey a the Community of Tyrone today is basking in the glow of a state football title. The towns beloved Golden eagles Are the Pennsylvania interscholastic athletic associations class a state champs. Tyrone became the first team from Blair county As Well As the first from District 6, to win a football Crown when it rallied for two second half scores to beat mount Carmel 13-6 saturday at Hershey Park stadium. A winning a state championship is something you dream about and everybody shoots for a coach John Franco said. A realistically its such a difficult goal to reach but we Felt this group had a shot and if we had a shot wed find a Way to the eagles found a Way after trailing 64 at the half Tyrone got the Lead in the third Quarter when defensive end Tim dry returned an interception 30 Yards for a touchdown and Scott Gummo kicked the extra Point. An outstanding performance by the defense enabled Tyrone to maintain its slim Lead until Jesse Jones 91-Yard to Jaunt a the longest in Pisa state championship history clinched it in the closing seconds. A it was just a great game a great game a Jones said. A a in a so Happy right Jamal Owens the Only remaining Tyrone player from the eagles 25-6 loss to mount Carmel in the 1996 final at mansion Park came up with a big interception in the fourth Quarter that led to Jones game clinching run. A it shows Central Pennsylvania has a Bunch of Good teams a Owens said. A no one gives us much credit and they done to respect us so we showed a it Hasni to hit me yet a Erie Latchford said a but what a great feeling. Wow a the aftermath wooo Hook by Kevin Ott staff writer Tyrone a if Victory has a language it is the car Horn. Not a second passed Here saturday night when the air Wasny to filled with the beep beep Beebe keep of the jubilant throng of Tyrone area High school Golden Eagle football fans honking their horns. Not a second passed when those horns weren to nearly drowned out by the screams of shivering devotees who lined the streets. Please see aftermath Page a12 t Tyrone football Jim lanes game Story tyrones title Victory hinged on two big plays. Neil Rudel commentary there a no doubt what brought the Gold Back to Tyrone a defense. Page cute highs and lows. It Flaa championship notebook. Page c2� victims wrestling with questions of blame remorse. Rocked in Lakemont settlement negotiations with Gas company continue. Editors note one year after a massive Gas fuelled explosion shattered the dead of night quiet in Lakemont the Altoona Mirror is revisiting its award winning coverage of the event. Staff writer William Kibler focuses on the emotional toll the tragedy has taken on blast victims dozens of whom have been in therapy for depression and anxiety. By William Kibler staff writer some of the 55 Lakemont explosion victims who have been in therapy with psychologist Michelle Arbitell started in a state of depression and anxiety but lately have moved to anger. They probably be angry if it had been a Tornado or Hurricane that wrecked their Homes and blasted their peace of mind. A a but this could have been prevented a Arbitell said. The former Boardwalk pizzeria exploded when an electric space Heater touched off Gas that had poured in through an uncapped pipe for 35 hours destroying seven Homes three apartment units and five businesses severely damaging 16 other Homes slightly damaging 40 others and slightly hurting six people. Someone Cut the former oven Supply pipe to scavenge a fitting then stuffed die end with a rag the previous april when pizzeria owner Michael Derensis transferred his business to the Meadows intersection. Two Days before the blast a Peoples Gas co. Serviceman turned on the Gas to prepare for a car rental Agency to move in. The rag might have held up the flow temporarily fooling the Serviceman into thinking the system was tight with a near Zero meter Reading. He came next Day to Check out an odor of Gas report at the meter of a House next door testing along a Gas main near the Street punching holes in the ground for his probe finding nothing. But he did no to go onto the pizzeria property. The blast happened the following morning at 3 ., when the night chill tripped the Heaters thermostat. Never identified authorities never publicly identified the Serviceman. In a january report that still stands the Gas company cited the Serviceman for failing to follow procedures for turning on the Gas and checking out the odor report. One was not capping a Cut Utility room pipe with a line valve in the off position which did no to leak. Another was turning on Gas without a working appliance hooked in though the Serviceman tried and failed to Start a rooftop Heater. A third fault wus failing to Tell the neighbor who called in the odor report the next Day that he Hadnot found anything. But neither failure caused the explosion. Please see toll Page air a give me $100 million to go through it again id say no Way in Lakemont blast victim Susan Heininger top photo by . Cavrich Bottom photo by Kelly Bennett the rubble from the Gas explosion at the former Boardwalk pizzeria last december top photo still litters the vacant lot where the building stood. Counselor recovery process is Long involved by William Kibler staff writer a a recovering from the Lakemont explosion is like recon a vering from the death of a loved one said psychologist a a Michelle Arbitell who has treated 55 of its victims. A trauma is construed. As grieving for losses a she said. A these people have lost so much. Not just their Homes and buildings but also their sense of safety and feeling of being not they Are mourning that she said. Please see recovery Page air Arbitell at a glance a look at the dec. 10, 19%, explosion that rocked Lakemont by the numbers 3 A time the explosion occurred 70,000 a number of cubic feet of Gas that leaked from an uncapped pipe into the building 35 a number of hours the leak went undetected before the Gas was ignited destroyed 7 Homes 3 apartment units 5 businesses severely damaged 16 Homes slightly damaged 40 Homes injuries 6 people were slightly Hurt in counselling 55 victims litigation 54 families have hired Philadelphia lawyer Robert Kosseff to sue Peoples Gas co. For damages. Inside a a insurance Money can to replace memories for one displaced family. A a depth of problems surprised victim but she so still a a proximity to blast no trouble for Veteran policeman. A a Church has gained spiritual strength from tragedy. Page a9 Sheetz May drop tobacco billboards by William Kibler staff writer Sheetz inc. Will decide monday whether to comply with a request by the state attorney general to take Down its tobacco billboard advertisements. 2 the company has 36 billboards statewide touting tobacco prices at Sheetz convenience stores without promoting individual brands said Louie Sheetz vice president of marketing. A we have a problem with what the attorney general Mike Fisher says a said Sheetz who nevertheless added that to company respects the position of Fishers retail Legal medical committee which i working out implications of a multistage settlement with tobacco companies. Based on accusations that tobacco makers were marketing to children and peddling an addictive substance the settlement Calls for elimination of tobacco billboards and commercial pressure to make retailers Eli i. Nato them also. 2 a from our standpoint we Are not in violation a because the ads Arentt Brand specific Sheetz said. A a in a not sure the agreement even meant to keep retailers from advertising in a no branded Fishers request was a a cordial and threatened no penalties for not complying Sheetz said. Fisher threatened enforcement action recently against the Eastern Pennsylvania Wawa convenience store Chain before Wawa agreed to remove tobacco billboards according to news reports. But Wawa a ads were More specific citing the a no. I Brand a Marlboro Sheetz said. Please see tobacco Page a12 Mirror photo by Gary m. Baranec a Sheetz billboard advertises cigarettes on pleasant Valley Boulevard. 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