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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 24, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Nation: Feds expanding probe of Clinton pardons Life: Making the most of smaller living spaces DI Altoona Mirror © Copyright 2001    SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2001    500    newsstand BLACK HISTORY MONTH Readings, songs bring races together Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich Jackie Schneider, a junior from Canal Fulton, Ohio, examines a display at St. Francis University commemorating Black History Month. By Kevin Ott Staff Writer HUNTINGDON — Around 7:30 p.m. Friday night, Denique Conner was listening to Lenny Kravitz and preparing herself to read a Soujourner Truth poem in front of dozens of friends and students. “You know, I didn’t even know this guy was black until I saw his video,” she said of Kravitz. That blurring of racial lines would color her whole evening. Conner was a reader at Juniata College’s sixth annual “Lift Ev’ry Voice” program, where students read and sing selections by African-American poets, musicians and novelists. She also is one of only a handful of African-American students at Juniata, where the enrollment is about 1,200. The irony of the situation — dozens of white students gathering to speak of black power and mourn the hardships of the black experience in America — isn’t lost on her. “At first, I definitely thought it was going to be something of a sham,” she said. But then she saw the readers practicing. She saw the students pouring their guts into the words of Langston Hughes and Leadbelly and Toni Cade Bambara. She saw how much it meant to them, to try to understand what it means not to be white and middleclass and privileged. Stephanie Rynkewitz, another reader, knows that as a white woman, she’ll never be able to appreciate fully the emotion that went into James Weldon Johnson’s “Fifty Years,” which she read at the program. But she also knows that she and Johnson aren’t totally foreign to each other. “In order to get the emotion across, I had to find out what it meant for me,” she said. “We can kind of understand it, and take it for its value as literature.” For Beth Superka, who read two Langston Hughes poems, it was hard to find her voice within Hughes’. Please see Races/Page All BATTLING BARN BLAZE F Mirror photo by Jason Sipes irefighters from five southern Blair County companies worked to contain a barn fire Friday morning on Route 867, about 9 miles outside Roaring Spring near Bakers Summit. The barn was considered a total loss. I Page A2 Schools claim state funding will fall short From Mirror staff and wire reports HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Ridge is promising more education aid for all of Pennsylvania’s 501 school districts for the next school year. But some administrators at both ends of the economic scale said the increases would not keep pace with mounting expenses. Ridge is increasing basic education aid funding by 4 percent, from nearly $3.8 billion to more than $3.9 billion in the fiscal year that starts July I All school districts would see an increase of at least 2 percent, although individual districts would see increases up to 29 percent. In Blair County, Claysburg-Kimmel and Williamsburg Community school districts would garner the largest percentage increase in funding at 2.8 percent. Hollidaysburg Area and Spring Cove school districts would receive 2.4 percent increases in funding, while Bellwood-Antis and Altoona Area would receive 2.2 percent increases. Tyrone Area would get a 2.1 percent increase in funding. One drawback for smaller school districts in Ridge’s proposed budget is the absence of Small District Assistance. In the spring of 1995, Ridge implemented SDA to address the needs of small, rural schools. In budgets spanning the last six years, school districts with less than 1,500 enrollment in grades K-12 could qualify for SDA funding. Please see Funding/Page A12 BLAIR S SHARE Proposed basic education funding for Blair County schools in 2001-02: School district____2000-01    funding     %    increase Altoona Area Bellwood-Antis Claysburg-Kimmel Hollidaysburg Area Spring Cove Tyrone Area Williamsburg Community $30,595,214 $5,032,861 $3,707,829 $9,545,224 $6,177,181 $7,414,983 $2,406,837 2.2 2.2 2.8 2.4 2.4 2.1 2.8 Source: State Department of Education Prison terms given to drug traffickers By Phil Ray Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG - Clyde Blair Jr. of Altoona, a link in a Philadelphia-to-Altoona heroin ring, was sentenced Friday to serve a minimum of five years in a state correctional institution. In sentencing the 22-year-old Blair, Judge Norman D. Callan approved a plea bargain negotiated by prosecutors, Blair County assistant district attorney Wade Kagarise and Pennsylvania deputy attorney Patrick Leonard, and Blair’s attorney, Shawn Cohen of Hollidaysburg. Blair could serve as many as 12 years in state prison. Blair He also was fined $5,000. Callan ordered that Blair be taken to the state prison at Camp Hill as soon as sheriffs deputies can transport him. Kagarise said Friday that Blair and four others were a major part of a conspiracy to transport large amounts of heroin sold by a Philadelphia street gang to Altoona. He said Blair, Heather Beasom, Cory Gates and Anthony Fella-baum, all of Altoona, and Carmen Rodriguez of Philadelphia were to be tried together for operating a corrupt organization that dealt in heroin. Blair, Gates and Beasom all have entered guilty pleas, Kagarise said. Gates received a 5-year minimum sentence in state prison, while Beasom has entered into a plea agreement under which she will serve llh months in prison. Please see Prison/Page A7 DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7    2^2910    00050    \ f    md BIG FOUR 3    0    10 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Partly cloudy, 39° ■ Forecast C2 ft*TOUGH TAKEDOWN Mirror photo by Jason Sipes Jarrett Musselman of Claysburg-Kimmel High School (left) takes Dan Miller of Tyrone Area High School backwards and out of bounds during tournament action Friday night at Tyrone. For coverage, please see Page Bl. DUNCANSVILLE Change in billing hikes water rates By Jon Fleck For the Mirror DUNCANSVILLE - Some residents received quite a shock when they opened their latest water bills. The borough recently switched from flat-rate billing to an actual usage charge, causing a surprising increase in many cases. “There are a lot of unhappy people,” said Charlene Davis, the borough’s water and sewer billing clerk. “The phones have been ringing off the hook with people calling about their bill.” Residents such as Renee Hughes, Carol Shoenfelt and Raymond Koonsman all have seen substantial increases in their water bills. “We can’t understand how it could assai Altomm mirror THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us today...Make money today. Ask for [KEAT COMBINATION KHOR (^LA88I1 (EDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 r of EJ LOCAL 0 NATION Business A9 Classifieds C3-14 Hospitals A13 Obituaries A13 Opinion A8 0 LIFE j~] SPORTS Comics D5 Community news D2 Local B4 Movies D3 Scoreboard B5 Television D4 jump that high,” said Shoenfelt, who saw her water/sewer bill jump from $54 to $102. “I wouldn’t mind paying a couple dollars more, but they doubled ours.” Hughes, whose water/sewer bill tripled, not only has complaints about the bill, but she also said the water quality is very poor. “How can they charge these outrageous bills when you can’t even drink the water?” she asked. All three, along with some friends and neighbors, think the meters are the problem. “This is ridiculous,” Koonsman said. “The meters must be no good or something.” For years, residents paid a fee of $20 regardless of how much water they used. Please see Rates/Page A5 MMMNBKkfe INSIDE A complete listing of television programming for the upcoming week. ;

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