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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 23, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Nation: Snowstorm causes 116-car pileup near D.C. Cl Ufo: Altoona doctor uncovers breast cancer link DIAltona Mirror © Copyright 2001FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2001 50$ newsstand Car shop’s closing has regional economic impact By Craig Williams Staff Writer Pat Miller was ready. Though he admits he isn’t a crystal ball gazer, solid common sense led the deputy director of the Altoona Blair County Development Corp. to plan ahead and add the Hollidaysburg Car Shop to the state’s latest tax abatement program in an effort to attract new businesses.When the Hollidaysburg Car Shop closes, about $57 million will be lost in the local economy. But now, with Norfolk Southern Corp. committed to abandoning the shop, ABCD must refocus their marketing efforts as the economic impact of the loss of work spreads far beyond the midwinter shadow of Brush Mountain falling on the vacant rail yards. “As soon as the governor [Tom Ridge] announced the second round of Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone designations in December, and it coincided with the first announcement of the plant closing in November, it made all the sense in the world to include the car shops,” Miller said. Late last year, when Norfolk Southern first hinted they would close the shops, ABCD Executive Director Martin Marasco estimated the economic impact would go way beyond losing jobs. Marasco said for every dollar in lost wages, the community would lose another $4. In current terms, that means a total loss of about $57 million to the local economy. But responding to economic adversity is what ABCD is all about. Miller saideven if the plant hadn’t closed, the tax incentives, which include real estate and corporate income tax abatements, could help to attract new developers to the facility, something the railroad admitted it has failed to do. “We felt if we leaked the KOEZ designation, it would help the railroad to entice other companies to the land, which is Please see Impact/Page A9 DALE EARNHARDT: 1951-2001 Funeral director offering tribute By Robert Igoe Staff Writer An Altoona funeral director is offering area NASCAR fans a chance to pay tribute to Dale Earnhardt. Fans can visit Jones Funeral Home, 1222 13th Ave., today and Saturday, where they can sign a memorial book that will be sent to the Earnhardt family to share condolences and prayers. Earnhardt, 49, was killed Sunday during a crash on the final lap at the Daytona 500. -“Dale Earnhardt is my idol,” said Bob Jones, owner of the funeral home. “He was my driver. Winston Cup racing will never be the same. ■ Thousands gather in Charlotte church to mourn / Page Bl “When I’d tune in on Sundays, I’d always be looking for the black No. 3 car to see where it was running.” For much of his career, that car, Earnhardt’s trademark, was at or near the front of the pack, posting more than 70 victories and seven Winston Cup championships. That kind of success inspired a loyalty that few athletes in history can match. “He was just the best driver ever,” said Sonya Wible of Tyrone, who visited the funeral home Thursday. “He was a great person.” That loyalty inspired Altoona NASCAR fan Marsha Cox to suggest the memorial service to Jones. “I heard on the radio that a funeral home in Cumberland, Md., was doing it for him,” Cox said. “When I did, I decided to ask Mr. Jones if he was interested in staging this, and he agreed.” The book will be in one parlor, wjiere it is surrounded by mementos of Earnhardt, including photographs, flowers, balloons and souvenirs of his career. Please see Tribute/Page A14 JAFFA SPORTS SHOW Mirror photo by Gary M Saranac Bob Sarp from the Philadelphia area shows Jon Bartley of Altoona a Marlin 45-70 double anniversary limited edition rifle that will be raffled off during the Jaffa Sports Show. Outdoor oddities IF YOU GO # Expo exhibits range from unique to bizarre By Kevin Ott Staff Writer On a table in the basement of the Jaffa Mosque is a bladed weapon. It sits among several of its cousins, but it stands out: It’s held in the fist like brass knuckles, and a curved blade juts out from the flat part of the fist. You can’t help but wonder what you’d do with it. “Whatever you want,” jokes Joseph Ghallager, owner and operator of Big G Knives, which maintains one of about 250 booths at the Jaffa Sports Show. At the show, it’s easy to get lost in the guns and ammo and bows and arrows and taxidermy and fishing rods — everything you’d expect to see at an outdoor expo. But tucked among the camouflage and steel, a few eye-catchers sit quietly. Big G offers dozens of hunting and carving knives, some with impressively long blades. Behind the counter, there are knives for the serious collector. One has the head of one of the creatures from “Alien” on its hilt. Another is a replica of the double-sided throwing weapon Wesley Snipes used when he played a vampire hunter in “Blade.” There are mock samurai swords and bodkins made to look like Medusa. There are daggers for display, knives that weigh too much to be used for anything other than show. Do people buy a lot of them? “As a rule, no,” he says. “You don’t usually sell them because people don’t want to shell out the cash.” The “Blade” weapon costs $165. Others are comparable. Please see Oddities/Page All What: The 19th annual Jaffa Sports Show Where: Jaffa Mosque, Broad Avenue, Altoona When: noon to 9 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday Admission: $3.50 for ages 13 and older, $1 for children ages 4-12 and free for children under 4 with an adultDIGITAL DISTRICT Computer coverage coming to Cove■ A total of $4 million will be used for improvements during the next two years, Gov. Tom Ridge announced. By Michael Emery Staff Writer ROARING SPRING - The Spring Cove School District rolled out the red carpet Thursday as Gov. Tom Ridge announced Spring Cove is one of Pennsylvania’s first Digital School Districts. One of three winners in the state competition, Spring Cove will receive up to $4 million during the next two years for technology improvements. Carlisle Area and Quaker Valley school districts also were selected. “These will be the first digital school districts in the nation,” Ridge said in the student-packed middle school auditorium heavily decorated with red and white balloons. “Together, they will teach us powerful new ways to make sure all our children learn — and to help our communities to learn with them. Each district will be a dynamic model of 21st century education.” The governor said the challenge for the digital school districts is to utilize technology to help students better attain the best possible education. Superintendent James W. Scott thanked Ridge for providing the district with a huge opportunity, and he said Spring Cove plans on putting the project in motion as soon as the money is released. “You’ve also given us some great challenges,” Scott said. “Thanks to this wonderful initiative, we are on the threshold of something truly exciting.” Spring Cove’s partnership with Penn State University and Schoolwires Inc. of State College laid the groundwork for the grant. A plan was drafted to “make learning available anywhere, anytime, at your fingertips,” Scott said. Specifically, Spring Cove will enable each student to gain access to the best educators in the world. Technology will allow students to have their work immediately analyzed and critiqued by other students, teachers, college professors, corporate executives or anyone worldwide. In addition, distance learning will provide access to classes taught anywhere in the world. Parents will have the ability to interact with their children’s teachers as well as monitor their children’s activities. Please see Cove/Page A12 Al Roker extends olive branch to green mascot By Kevin Ott Staff Writer SDK, now it’s over. For real this tithe. |ovial TV weatherman Al Roker finally apologized for his unprovoked assault on Altoona Curve mascot Steamer Thursday in an early morning televised appearance. «■ J would never call anyone’s (Biscot ‘stupid’ that looked like a $g, green, pregnant Gumby,” he said. sorry, very H'T’m so Steamer. So sorry.” Roker called Steamer “stupid” on national television in front of millions of people on Roker Groundhog Day, when the kelly-hued mascot appeared on “The Today Show” along with other mascots from Pennsylvania. Please see Ollve/Page All INSIDE 11IDAV Induction shines spotlight on quiet Catholic cardinals From Mirror staff and wire reports ROME —■ They belong to a tiny group of elderly elite, these “princes” of the Roman Catholic Church known as cardinals, who lead a faith that has I billion believers worldwide. Among them, one might eventually become pope. This week, Pope John Paul II — in church parlance — “created” 44 new cardinals by granting them their red hats, bringing to 184 the number of men comprising the College of Cardinals, where the average age is 71. Bishop Joseph V. Adamec of the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese noted three of the new cardinals are from the United States - Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, D.C., Edward Michael Egan of New York City and Jesuit Father Avery Dulles, professor at New York’s Fordham University. Cardinals have been the sole electors of the pontiff for nearly 1,000 years. For centuries, they have chosen from their own ranks, locked away in a secret conclave. Please see Cardinals/Page A6 DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7 lC2291 0 00050** 4 BIG FOUR 8 0 0 Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly sunny, 39° Forecast, C3 □ local Business Movies A9 ATO Obituaries A13 □ life Opinion A8 □ sports Comics Community Local B4 Puzzles Scoreboard Q NATION Classifieds C5-14 Television D5 D2 D4 D4 INSIDE IN STATE Police in suburban Pittsburgh arrested a man wanted in the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old child. PAGE A10 I    A ;

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