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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 7, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Nation: New study finds television is getting sexier GI Lit©: Show your love by planning a romantic dinner 01Altoona mirror © Copyright 2001WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2001 500 newsstandDealers’ assets seized, used to fight drugs Mta'f far Make Assets seized by area counties in the last two |S|| agt JI0-*03 $82,335 ■ 1997-98 Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington ll By Tiffany Shaw Staff Writer When drug dealers are busted by police, they can be carrying a large amount of cash, driving a vehicle or dealing out of a house. So what happens to the profits of crime? Those earnings are turned around to fight the same drug trade that won them in the first place. The Pennsylvania Legislature passed the Controlled Substances Forfeitures Act in 1988, allowing the state attorney general and local district attorneys to seize and keep drug dealers’ assets after a civil law process. ■ Police try to obtain $8,000 of dealer’s money / Page A5 “They [legislators! felt that you can’t benefit from your ill-gotten gains,” said Kevin Harley, spokesman for Attorney General Mike Fisher. Drug dealers may own fancy cars and houses but shouldn’t be using them to facilitate crime, he said. Across the region, nearly $63,000 was seized in 1998-99, with the majority of assets in Cambria and Blair counties. “Basically, law enforcement can seize the assets of someone who obtained those assets through the proceeds of the illegal sale of drugs,” Harley said. Other property, such as a vehicle or house, can be seized if it is proven that drug dealing occurred there, he said. The seized money must be spent on drug law enforcement, drug education programs or the state witness protection program. Local law enforcement officials support the forfeiture act as a way of raising more money for fighting drugs and as a deterrent. “It’s sort of ironic using money illegally made through drug sales recycled into preventing drug sales,” said Rod Miller, field supervisor of the Cambria County Drug Task Force. Please see Assets/Page A5 9TH DISTRICT Offices remain open for residents By Robert Igoe Staff Writer The boss may be gone, but it’s still business as usual for 9th District residents on Capitol Hill. While a successor to Pennsylvania’s 9th District Representative Bud Shuster will not be selected until May 15, constituents still can obtain help with executive government issues in the interim. The offices of the 9th Congressional District remain open. Shuster’s staff members remain on the payroll and are prepared to serve the needs and answer questions from district residents under the supervision of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. While the district will not have voting representation in Congress until a successor takes office, the staff still offers a variety of services. Those that have cases pending through the office will continue to receive assistance for those cases, while those without pending cases still may petition the office for information and assistance with their concerns. The office also is available to take opinions of proposed legislation or policy, but it cannot offer a position or opinion on such matters. The 9th District is one of two congressional districts vacant, the other being California’s 32nd District, which covers part of the city of Los Angeles. That district became vacant Dec. 8 with the death of Rep. Julian Dixon. The State Democratic Committee is expected to formally approve Centre County Commissioner Scott Conklin as their candidate Saturday, while the Green Party will support Alanna Hartzok. The Republican State Committee is expected to select their candidate at a miniconvention at Juniata College Feb. 17. Mirror Staff Writer Robert Igoe can be reached at 946-7458or [email protected] “It’s encouraging that while we continue to cut taxes and encourage programs that create job growth, we can focus on the needs of everyday people.” — Rep. Lynn Herman R-Philipsburg “Little ventured, little gained. The budget flails at minnows and ignores the sharks.” — Rep. Bud George D-Houtzdale “The governor’s budget address is the beginning stage, a lot like the first pitch of a baseball game. There is still a long way to go.” — Rep. Jerry Stern R-Martinsburg RIDGE’S BUDGET PROPOSAL The Associated Press State lawmakers’ opinions divided along party lines By Robert Igoe Staff Writer ll reatness within Reach” was I ■ the theme of Gov. Tom Ridge’s \A proposed 2001-02 state budget address before a joint session of the Pennsylvania Legislature Tuesday, but “put people first” is the concept that came out of it, Republican lawmakers said. Democrats, however, had a differ ent perspective. The $20.8 billion general fund budget is highlighted by sharp increases in spending for education and early childhood, as well as further tax cuts for businesses and working families. House Majority Leader John M. Perzel called the budget “sensible, balanced and common sense” and is in favor of its advances for helping Pennsylvanians. “Look at some of what we have done since 1995,” he said after Ridge’s address. “Nearly $10 billion to improve the lives of millions of women, children and families. “We are among the nation’s leaders in helping people. We put people first. That’s not me bragging. It is the view of of organizations like the United Way, which evaluates states on how much they help people. They call it the caring index. Please see Mixed/Page A3 Plan gets mixed reviews Gov. Tom Ridge raises his hands in the air as he talks with children from the Scranton State School for the Deaf seated in the state House in Harrisburg Tuesday. Ridge recognized the group as he was delivering his budget message before a joint session of the state Legislature. At right is House Speaker Matthew Ryan, R-Delaware. Development boosts Huntingdon revenue By Kevin OTT m Staff Writer HUNTINGDON — More than $11.5 million in new development was charted in Huntingdon County over the last year, signaling advanced growth and bringing in thousands of dollars in tax revenue to the county and its school districts. Marv Reifsteck of Huntingdon County Assessment Services announced Tuesday that the county would gain $69,409 from property taxes on new structures built between Feb. I, 2000, and Jan. I. Those dollars come from multiplying the property values by a predetermined ratio of 40 percent and then by the county millage rate of 15 mills. Please see Revenue/Page A7MORI MONEY Total tax dollars from new development in Huntingdon County: ■ Huntingdon County — $69,409 ■ Huntingdon Area School District — $119,368 ■ Mount Union Area School District — $24,102 ■ Tyrone Area School District — $20,280 ■ Juniata Valley School District — $29,427 ■ Southern Huntingdon County School District — $45,298 ■ Tussey Mountain Area School District — $28,232 Postal service looks to stick on another stamp price hike WASHINGTON (AP) - Just a month after higher stamp prices took effect, the U.S. Postal Service, facing massive losses, is considering another rate boost that could result in higher prices next year. The post office reportedly is facing losses of up to $2 billion this year despite the price increase that took effect Jan. 7, which included raising a first-class stamp a penny to 34 cents. While approving that increase, the independent Postal Rate Commission rejected or scaled back several other requested price hikes, cutting expected income by $1 billion. At the same time, mail volume has dropped because of the poor economy, further reducing anticipated income. The postal board of governors ordered the agency’s management Tuesday “to begin preparing a rate case as soon as possible to ensure the continued financial viability of the Postal Service,” board Chairman Robert F. Rider said after a board meeting in San Antonio. Rider’s statement said the governors "unanimously voiced disappointment” at the commission action and noted the board asked the independent commission to reconsider. DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7    22910    0005C^ BIG FOUR6l 3    5    2 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly sunny, 410 ■ Forecast, C3 HOT-ADS.dom We’re white-hot! Altnona iMtrrnr THE G«EAf COMBJNATION j 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) 946-75.47  1' □ local Business A9 Hospitals All Obituaries All Opinion A6 | | SPORTS Local B4 Scoreboard BS QNAT|0N Movies C2 Classifieds C4-12 CD UFE Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4 INSIDEIN SPORTS Penn State’s football team picked up verbal commitments Tuesday from Pittsburgh’s Thomas Jefferson lineman Tyler Reed and State College quarterback Chris Garner. PAGE Bl ;

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