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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - January 3, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Sports: Hurricanes down Florida in Sugar BowlLife: Vegetarian dishes offer change of pace DIAltoona Mirror © Copyright 2001WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2001 500 newsstand Cambria sewer project on tap ■ Reade, White townships will create an authority to oversee large sewage plan. By William Kibler Staff Writer FLINTON — Reade and White townships will form ajoint authority tonight to administer creation of a $13-million sewer system to serve eight Northern Cambria County villages in the next few years. At a 7 p.m. meeting in Glendale High School auditorium, the township supervisors will appoint three members from each municipality for a project that will alleviate pollution and encourage development around Blandburg, Glasgow, Hollentown, Van Ormer, Fallentimber, Flinton, Fiske and Beaver Valley. The project will clean up Clearfield Creek, which runs between the township and is too contaminated to support life because of seepage from faulty septic systems and direct sewer discharge, as well as acid mine drainage, White Township Supervisor Tracy Plessinger said. In allowing development now stymied because of poor soils making it hard to get septic permits, the system will add taxable homes and businesses to municipalities burdened with untaxable state park and gamelands. White Township has Prince Gallitzin State Park and both municipalities have gamelands, Plessinger said. It also will let young people build homes and start families in the area where they grew up, Plessinger said. The supervisors from each township will appoint one member from each board, plus two other citizens from each municipality to create a six-member authority. Construction could begin in two years and take about a year if everything goes right. The authority will get about 60 percent of the money it needs through grants and the rest through low-interest loans through the Rural Utility Service, formerly Farmer’s Home Administration. Please see Cambria/Page A8IF YOU GO What: Reade and White townships supervisors meeting to create a joint sewage authority When: 7 p.m., tonight Where: Glendale High School auditorium Mirror illustration by Tom Worthington 11/Photos by Gary M. Baranec Council President Eva Wargo (left) and Mayor Gennaro Cantalupo stand next to the Northern Cambria sign on Route 219. Consolidated Northern Cambria getting along just fine one year later By Mia Rohart Staff Writer Northern Cambria - it’s pretty good behavior for a 1-year-old. Just a year after Barnesboro and Spangler consolidated into Northern Cambria Borough, things seem to be going pretty smoothly, said borough officials and residents. Boroughs or municipalities that join can face many problems, said Shelley Houk, Director of Research for the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs. A chief worry is financial. They must consider the financial assets and liabilities of each borough. If the two boroughs have different real estate tax rates, one may see a tax increase or decrease. Another consideration to be made is whether new public buildings such as borough offices should be reconstructed in a central location, Houk said. The consolidation, which went into effect Jan. 1,2000, has not resulted in higher taxes for the bor ough. Taxes were lowered in the south end of last year, council member Mary Ellen Tibbott said. The borough’s budget for 2001 does not include a tax increase, Tibbott said. Another common hurdle is community pride, Houk said. People in a borough do not want to lose it as part of their identity, Houk said. An organization is being formed to increase pride in Northern Cambria and make living in the small town a lot more enjoyable. “We will hold a meeting to discuss and plan activities and events we can have to make the year 2001 a lot of fun for the residents of the Northern Cambria area,” said Cate Planisky-Himes, one of about six people spearheading a civic organization for the town. Planisky-Himes encourages everyone to attend today’s 6:30 p.m. meeting at the Jefferson Building. “Everyone is invited to this meeting, not just residents living within the boundaries of the new borough. The community of Northern Cambria encompasses much more than the former towns of Spangler and Barnesboro,” Planisky-Himes said in a prepared release. “When we hold events, people from all over come to enjoy them.” Residents seem to have adjusted easily to the jointure of Barnesboro and Spangler. “All it was was a change in name, as far as I’ve noticed,” resident Nykee Petrunak said. The high school has been called Northern Cambria High School since the early 1960s, so Petrunak was used to identifying herself at sporting events or other events where multiple schools are represented as being from Northern Cambria. Lynn Rake said she was never bothered by the idea of consolidation. “I’m glad it happened,” she said. She said she hopes the consolidation will bring more money and more jobs to the area. She would like to stay in the area, and she wants her children to be able to stay also. Please see Consolidated/Page A8Delays plague hit case ■ Altoona housewife seeks to have murder charge dismissed in alleged plot to kill her estranged husband. By Phil Ray Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG — The defense lawyer for an Altoona woman accused of plotting to kill her husband’s girlfriend will ask for charges to be dismissed because she was not given a speedy trial. Blair County Public Defender Don Speice said Tuesday he will seek a hearing for the housewife, Carolyn Marie Burke. In 1999, Burke allegedly plotted with a friend and her friend’s stepson to murder a Qunicy, Mass., woman who struck up a relationship with David Burke on the Internet According to the charges, Carolyn Burke believed her husband would return to her if the girlfriend, identified as Josephine Ho, was out of the way. However, the case became mired in legal complexities when one of the prosecution witnesses Christopher Chaplain, the stepson of Susan Chaplain, said he wanted to change part of the story he originally told police. He supposedly told police that Susan Chaplain helped arrange the murder-for-hire plot by placing him in contact with Burke, who was looking for a hit man and was intending to pay for the killing with her income tax rebate. City police charged that Christopher Chaplain was driven to Burke’s house April 14,1999, to pick up $1,000. Chaplain stated he wanted to change his testimony to say that his stepmother did not know why he was meeting with Burke that day. When the possibility arose that he could be prosecuted for changing his original statement to police, Chaplain decided he wouldn’t testify based on the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. Blair County District Attorney David Gorman asked Judge Norman Callan to grant Chaplain immunity from prosecution, a step that would force him to testify. When Callan refused, Gorman filed an appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court in January 2000. The state Superior Court now has ruled that an appeal was not in order, particularly since Chaplain was as not called yet as a witness and therefore had not refused to testify. “This court does not have jurisdiction to entertain the appeal.” the Superior Court ruled. Speice now will seek a dismissal of charges against Burke on grounds that the year delay because of an improper appeal has deprived her of a speedy trial. A date has not been set for the hearing. Charges against Chaplain, whose case also was delayed by the snafu over Christopher Chaplain’s testimony, have been dismissed because of a lack of a speedy trial. That dismissal is presently under appeal. Supreme Court rules indicate that a person who has been charged and is out of jail awaiting trial, must be tried within a year. Often the actual time between arrest and trial extends more than a year because the speedy trial clock stops ticking if the defense delays the trial by filing pretrial motions. The plot to kill David Burke’s girlfriend was never carried out. Altoona police were alerted to the scheme and arrested Burke and Chaplain. Also, Christopher Chaplain, who supposedly was to arrange the hit, spent the $1,000 he received from Burke on entertainment, then attempted to obtain additional money from her. Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray can be reached at 94&7468 or [email protected] poaching trip turns deadly ■ Md. man accused of killing passenger after argument in Bedford County. By Tiffany Shaw Staff Writer CHANEYSVILLE — A Maryland man was shot to death and another accused of murder after an attempted poaching and shooting Monday night in Bedford County. Charles Sullivan, 51, 400 Grand Ave., Cumberland, Md., is accused of murdering Michael Terrance McElfish, 56, 319^2 Grand Ave., DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 t 22910 0005,0    4 Cumberland, Md., after an argument in a rural part of Bedford County <{L- V near the Maryland state line. Sullivan tried to blame the shooting on the victim, a brief acquaintance, after Sullivan’s car became stuck in snow, according to the affidavit of probable cause. State police from Bedford were called to Beans Cove Road, about a mile north of the Maryland line, in Southampton Township around 11:30 p.m. Monday. Sullivan A 911 call from a nearby house said someone had been shot. Troopers found McElfish dead from an apparent gunshot wound to the face in the front passenger seat of Sullivan’s Volvo station wagon. Sullivan, who had walked to the house for help, was discovered where the car was stopped on the east side of the road. According to charges, Sullivan changed his story several times but agreed to give police a statement at the scene around 3 a.m. Sullivan said he knew McElfish for only four days and went to a Cumberland bar with him Monday night. Please see Trip/Page A8 AT&T cable rates jump 4.8 percent in 2001 ■ Northern Blair, Cambria counties will be affected by provider’s increase. From Mirror staff and wire reports NEW YORK - AT&T said Tuesday it would modestly increase its cable television rates even as it secured a big credit line arranged by some of the nation’s largest banks. AT&T, the largest provider of cable television in the country, said that rates for its roughly 16 million subscribers would go up by an average of 4.8 percent this year. That increase is higher than con sumer inflation, which is running at an annual rate of 3.4 percent but is generally less than what AT&T’s customers faced last year. Locally, AT&T serves customers in parts of northern Blair County through its Tyrone system and most of northern Cambria County through its Cresson and Carrolltown systems. Last year, most customers of the former Tele-Communications Inc., now part of AT&T, saw their rates increase on average by 6.3 percent. Most customers of the former MediaOne Group, which has also been acquired by AT&T, had average increases of about 5 percent last year. AT&T said the rate increase reflected higher costs, particularly increased payments to cable networks for programming. AT&T said its fees to cable networks would increase by IO percent this year, led by higher rates for sports programming. Both last year and this year, some customers with rate increases receive more channels for their money. AT&T hopes to offer a new stock to track the cable unit this summer. It plans to spin off the cable unit as an independent company some time in 2002. Tuesday’s rate increase, however, appears to reflect the normal course of the cable business rather than any special factors brought on by the corporate restructuring plan. Please see Cable/Page A8 BIO FOUR MMM 5) 8    4    I ■ Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Partly cloudy, 29° ■ Fo^cast, C2 Aumma mirror I THE GREAT COMBI NATION] Call us today...Make money today. Ask for Ti HJL GRfeAl ( C) JVI IJI IN ATIOIS of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and HO * VOS Phone (814) 946-7422  or fax us at (814) 946-|547_ □ LOC*!. 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