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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - January 10, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Sports: BG girls pull away from Bellwood, 55-37life: A look at kitchen gadgets that make cooking easier DIAltoona mirror © Copyright 2001WEDNESDAY, JANUARY IO, 2001 50C newsstand Police issue 37 warrants in area’s latest drug sweepRaid nets 20 arrests By Tiffany Shaw Staff Writer nore than 20 people were arrested early Tuesday morning as the West Drug Task Force led a sweep of suspected drug dealers. Arrest warrants were issued for 37 suspects in Blair County after a six-month investigation into street-level dealers in Altoona. Most of the charges were related to selling crack cocaine, which could be a positive sign in the overall war on drugs, state Attorney General Mike Fisher said. “This is a good indication perhaps the heroin we’ve seen in the prior year... [that] those prior arrests helped restrict and dry up that market,” Fisher said. Heroin has been the target of the drug task force for the past year with several widespread raids of suspected dealers. “There is an indication some of the heroin sources have dried up,” Fisher said. One of the pointers is the spreading problems with OxyContin, a prescription drug that when used incorrectly can simulate the effects of heroin. In some areas, as the heroin supply dwindles, addicts turn to illegal uses of OxyContin, Fisher said. Although heroin may be on the way out in some circles, the arrests Tuesday point to other drugs still prevalent in Blair County. “We will not quit till all the drug dealers are off the streets,” Fisher said at a press conference with Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman and a selection of local police chiefs and law enforcement officials. Those law enforcement officers continue to praise the attorney general’s task force for its use of funding and manpower in local investigations. “I don’t know what we’d have done without the cooperation from these organizations,” Altoona police Chief John Treese said. “Here in Blair County, we have an outstanding working relationship,” Fisher said. He called the drug task force in Blair “one of the best operated drug task forces across the commonwealth.” Task force members from local police departments, the county sheriffs department, state police and Fisher’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigations picked up suspects early Tuesday across Altoona and outlying areas then took them to the Frankstown Armory, where the suspects were fmgerprinted and photographed. Please see Raid/Page A6 Mirror photo by Tiffany Shaw Law enforcement representatives lead drug suspects through processing at the Frankstown Armory after their arrests Tuesday morning. OxyContin becoming hot commodity in drug world By Phil Ray and Kevin Ott Staff Writers State Attorney General Mike Fisher acknowledged Tuesday that the prescription painkiller OxyContin has emerged as a heroin substitute in this part of Pennsylvania. OxyContin has joined heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine and marijuana as drugs commonly being sold by dealers in the city. Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman said users don’t have to go to Philadelphia to get a supply. They can get it at a doctor’s office or a pharmacy. The drug produces feelings of sedation and euphoria, along with lowered inhibitions, said Dr. Rob Lewis, who works in the emergency room at Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital. It’s just as dangerous as heroin, he said, as it lowers the user’s breathing rate. A number of OxyContin users have found their way into Lewis’ ER. “The thing that brings them in to see us is that it [the drug] has a Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich A suspect is taken in Tuesday to be processed at the Frankstown Armory. profound respiratory depressant effect,” he said. Used normally as a pain reliever aimed at chronic pain in specific areas of the body, OxyContin is no less addictive than heroin, he said. Someone affected by OxyContin might look like someone affected by heroin, said Dr. Matthew Boudhard of the Altoona Hospital ER. “They may, depending on their tolerance, look just like a normal person,” he said. Please see Drug/Page A6 SEEKING SHUSTER’S SEAT Conklin Corman toss hats into ring By Robert Igoe Staff Writer The plot thickens in the ongoing political soap opera surrounding the soon-to-be-vacant 9th District seat in the U.S. House. At least three Centre County officials and a longtime Clearfield County state representative said they are considering competing for their party’s nod in a special election to fill the seat that will open when Bud Shuster retires Jan. 31. On the Democratic side, state Rep. Camille “Bud” George has acknowledged he is eyeing the spot along with Centre County Commissioner Scott Conklin. On the already crowded GOP side, state Sen. Jake Corman and Centre Commissioner Connie Lucas also are interested. The Democrats apparently are moving quickly to get | behind a single nominee. Democratic committee leaders from the ll counties that comprise the district have scheduled a closed-door meeting for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Huntingdon County Courthouse to discuss the nomination. Blair County Republican Committee Chairman John Eichelberger Jr. said the GOP chairmen are talking among themselves, but no organized meeting has been set to discuss their nominees. The committee representatives for each party will choose a nominee at a miniconvention, and those noipi-nees will square off in a special election. The date of the special election will be set by Gov. Tom Ridge within lo days of Shuster’s departure. Huntingdon County Democratic Committee Chairman Elmer Bolinger said it’s too early to speculate on who his party’s candidate will be, but Thursday’s meeting may help decide that. “I really would hate to answer too many questions at this point about the election,” Bolinger said. “I don’t feel that I have any answers, not until at least we meet on Thursday.” But most of the speculation on the Democratic side has centered on state Rep. Jeff Coy, whose 89th District covers Cumberland and Franklin counties. Coy, who has served as the Democratic Caucus Secretary since 1995, has served in the state House since 1982 and is a member of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Ethics and Rules Committees. Please see Ring/Page A4 George Lucas Local brothers show off talent in contest By William Kibler Staff Writer It’s the turn of the 20th century. Big, strong farm boys with town-wide reputations based on swagger and massive shoulders became national myths when the new sport of football gave them an opportunity to show just how powerful they really were. Now it’s the turn of the 21st century. But three quick-thinking, pragmatic farm boys from Sinking Valley, who old 4-H mates knew could take almost any broken thing and make it work, have the Learning Channel’s “Junkyard Wars’* to affirm their reputations. The Long brothers — Greg, Brian and Terry — have moved through the brackets in this year’s improvisational building contest, participating in an eight-team U.S. tournament and an international championship being broadcast this winter. Their first of several appearances on TLC will be broadcast at 9 p.m. tonight. “Growing up, we always thought we were pretty good at this stuff,” Please see Contest/Page A5 Sisters record banner day at Pa. Farm Show By Michael Emery Staff Writer HARRISBURG — Charann Foster has never missed a Pennsylvania Farm Show in her life. She attended her first when she was just ll days old. A week and a half ago, on New Year’s Day, she celebrated her 16th birthday, and she made it a sweet 16 Tuesday at the farm show by winning the state championship in showmanship. The Juniata Valley High School student also showed the Holstein junior champion in the junior divi sion and the reserve junior champion in the open division. In addition, her 12-year-old sister, Samantha, showed the Swiss junior champion in the junior division and the open division. All in all, it was a good day for the Fosters’ Globe Run Farms in Petersburg. “Our farm has done very well here — we’ve been competitive, but we’ve been down a little bit the last couple of years,” Charann Foster said. “Now we’re coming back and hitting the big times again.” Please see Show/Page A9 Mirror photo by Mike Emery Charann Foster, 16, of Petersburg proudly displays her Holstein cow and the plaque she won for showmanship. DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7    22910    00050    4 ll    rf BIG FOUR6    17    9 ■ Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly sunny, 36° ■ Forecast, C3 T Hd^DS^om We're white-hot! III ll III ll in ~ wirijli• nlTITI irr-'^r iiiiWMiiaiMMtTarr^^ Alumna Mirror [THE GREAT COMBINATION! Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and IIOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 I i i ll (M U MMM □ LOCAL Q NATION Business A7 Classifieds C3-10 Crime A9 Obituaries A9 Qlife Opinion A8 fp SPORTS Comics DS Movies D3 Local B4 Puzzles 04 Scoreboard BS I Television D4 INSIDE IIN NATION Citing controversy over an illegal immigrant harbored in her home, Linda Chavez has withdrawn her name as Labor Secretary candidate. ;

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