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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - December 27, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania IN BUSINESS: RETAIL OUTLOOK REMAINS BLEAK DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS ► PAGE A7 page rn Altoona mirror © Copyright 2001THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2001 50$ newsstand ■■■■ For retailers, black and gold equals green■ Steelers merchandise sales nearly as hot as the Steelers themselves. By Robert loot Staff Writer Seconds after the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Baltimore Ravens ll days ago, players donned shirts and hats celebrating the team’s First AFT' Central Division championship since 1997. It turns out that fans are equally anxious to get their Steelers merchandise. “If it has the Steelers on it. it has been Hying out the door,” says Keith Cron, manager of Shenk & Title sporting goods store at the Logan Valley Mall "It’s been pretty steady all year, but it’s picked up since they clinched their division When we get them, we sell a lot of jerseys and championship T-shirts, but hats have been the big sellers.’’ At the Station Mall. Ken Partner, coowner of JR Sports, says selling cham pionship gear is not a problem for him. “It’s just been flying,” he says. “As a matter of fact, I had to place more orders today. We just got a shipment in on Friday, and now we have three hats left. That s it. “A lot of it is corning from people who are probably buying themselves a jersey for the first time. They usually don’t clinch this early, so a lot of people are excited and they’re anticipating a great finish." Please see Gold/Page A3 IN SPORTS ■ Commentary: Bengals woes continue ■ Wrestling column: New high school wrestling rules get mixed reviews. PAGE Bl Blair workers could lose pay By Phil Ray Staff Writer Blair County court-related employees who left the courthouse before normal closing hours Christmas Eve face the possibility of losing a half-day’s pay, even though President Judge Thomas G. Peoples gave them permission to close their offices early. The squabble Monday left a sour taste in the mouth of many courthouse workers upset that such a confrontation would occur before the celebration of a religious holiday. Blair Commissioner John J. Ebersole is just as upset with Peoples. Ebersole said the judge has no right to set courthouse hours. In fact, Ebersole said it was a violation of the union contract between the county and its court workers, represented by the United Mine Workers of America. Union spokesman Michele Clark responded Wednesday that the union contract does not address the action and reaction by Peoples and Ebersole, respectively. Ebersole has made it clear that as far as he is concerned, any worker who left the courthouse early Monday afternoon, as per Peoples’ memorandum, would end up losing a half-day’s pay unless they had vacation time or comp time to cover those hours. The commissioner said unless he takes this position, the county could owe additional vacation and comp time to those workers who already scheduled the day off. Peoples was not available Wednesday for comment, but early Monday he decided court employees could knock off early to prepare for Christmas Eve and Christmas. Hie judge has allowed employees to go home early prior to Christmas in the past. His memorandum said offices such as domestic relations, adult and juvenile parole and probation, costs and fines, the court administrator and district justices, were to close their offices at noon. Around 9:30 a.m. Ebersole learned of the judge’s memorandum. He countered with his own, stating that “any employee departing early on 24, Dec., 2001, unless taking vacation, sick leave or compensatory time off, will not be paid for this time off as a result of early departure.” Please see Pay/Page A3 STARS, STRIPES. SHADOWS Ifflflgillg cameras aid crews The Associated Press Sgt. Joe Chenelly (left) of Rochester, N. Y, with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, climbs down from the shattered windows of the Kandahar airport terminal after he and Sgt. Thomas Michael Corcoran of Ocala, Fla., with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, hung a US. flag. / Pages Cl, C2 By Mark Leberfinger Staff Writer TYRONE I n the old days of firefight ing, search-and-rescue operations were very dangerous and time-consuming as firefighters had to crawl on their hands and knees and search each room of a house if someone was inside. The old ways still are used but are enhanced through modern means. Modem technology -— a thermal-imaging camera helped the Tyrone Fire Department locate a Tyrone woman trapped Monday inside her third-floor apartment. Christine D. Lacombe, 37, remained in critical condition Wednesday at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, a hospital spokesman said. For Tyrone, it was one of the first times the camera detected a person inside a structure, the borough’s fire chief said Wednesday. The hand held camera used by a firefighter allows rescuers to see through thick smoke such as the conditions encountered Monday in the Lincoln Avenue apartment building fire. Otherwise, firefighters would have had to rely on their sense of touch and hearing to rescue the woman, Tyrone fire Chief James R. Beckwith said. "It is a very good piece,” Beckwith said. “It narrows things down real quickly. The camera first picked up the dog in front of the woman first, and she [LacombeJ was right there.” The camera picks up any heat from the person or animal and then projects its outline on a screen. In addition to locating people still inside a structure, the camera can also detect “hot spots” hidden ft It didn’t replace us having to crawl around in the buildings; we still need to to that. Gerald Bimle, deputy chief 99 from sight. “You can actually see where the heat of the fire is located,” Beckwith said. Tyrone firefighters have been using the thermal-imaging camera for about a year after its purchase by the Blazing Arrow Hook and Ladder Company, Beckwith said. The technology runs between $15,000 to $25,000. Since 1998, at least six Blair County fire departments, including the city of Altoona, purchased the imaging cameras. Altoona has four cameras, one on each of its fire engines. Altoona Deputy Chief Gerald Bimle said the cameras are very important but do not replace the firefighters or their work. “It didn’t replace us having to crawl around in the buildings; we still need to do that,” Bimle said. “Instead of searching the entire room by hand, we can perform a quicker search.” Please see Cameras/Page A3 Power problem zaps Mirror, shifts printing out of town CHANGES Because of continuing electrical problems, the Altoona Mirror went to press at 6 pm Wednesday, too early to include lottery results, stock market listings or early sport scores. Those features will return in Friday’s paper. ■■■■ By Walt Frank Staff Writer Wednesday’s edition of the Altoona Mirror became the first since the newspaper’s founding in 1874 not to be printed in Altoona. Because of major electrical problems in the Mirror’s press room, pages were shipped Wednesday morning to Williamsport to be printed at the Sun-Gazette, a sister newspaper Bi-*    1§H of the Ogden Newspapers Inc.-owned Mirror. Printing the Mirror off-site was a very unusual situation. “We’ve had delays and late deliveries before, but due to the multiple problems, this is the first time we have printed off-site to my knowledge,” said Daniel N. Step, circulation manager. “This is a very rare and unfortunate situation.” “This is the first time in my 30-plus years of publishing a newspaper that something like • vl    ' DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 22910 00050    4 > LOTTERY Because of electrical problems at the Mirror, Wednesday’s numbers will be published in Friday’s Mirror. WEATHER Partly sunny, flurries, 23° ■ Forecast, A2 » /" "'N HdT-ADS.com We 're white-hot! GBxmsmaAltoona mirror 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 Q LOCAL Business A7 Comics A8 Obituaries A11 Opinion A6 |?| SPORTS That’s racin’ B6 Scoreboard B5 'ti this has happened,” said Edward W. Kruger, publisher. The electrical problems meant the thousands of Mirror subscribers did not find a newspaper waiting for them when they awoke Wednesday morning. Some were upset while others were understanding. Please see Printing/Page A3 INSIDE □ nation Classifieds C3-12 War on terrorism C2 □ UFI Movie menu D3 Night life D3 Planner D2,3 Up & Coming DI IN NATION India, Pakistan planning fresh diplomatic moves. PAGE Cl afety issues consume NASCAR after driver’s death Mirror photo by Jason Sipes A 12-2 start has Terrible Towels twirling in Western Pennsylvania. ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the Altoona Mirror