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View Sample Pages : Altoona Mirror, July 02, 2001

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - July 2, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY SENIORS: It's Christmas every day at the home of a Grazierville man / Test your NASCAR smarts, win cash by correctly picking the winners / in LIFE: Temper, temper! Tame your kids tantrums with a measure of consistency / DI •           _  .Altoona mirror © Copyright 2001MONDAY, JULY 2, 2001 SOC newsstand Hollidaysburg wants to invest in its future By Tiffany Shaw Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG - As borough officials and community members built and expanded many events and parks in Hollidaysburg in the past few years, the thought in the back of the council’s mind was — how can we make it last? Now, the borough has established an endowment fund to continue and maintain the good work for years to come. The Hollidaysburg Fund is the first municipal endowment established in Blair County, said Jodi Cessna, executive director of the Blair County Community Endowment. Teaching safety as a matter of course■ Police offering program to help residents brush up. By Tiffany Shaw Staff Writer How safe do you feel in your home at night? Are you really secure when you walk through a dark parking garage alone? Local police say that you can take steps to be safe and “Refuse To Be A Victim.” Altoona police are offering a new program to groups that discusses a number of safety steps for home, personal and vehicle safety. Community Services Officer Rick Johnson leads the four-hour seminar through a presentation and a follow-along workbook. “It’s a good program,” Johnson said. “I think as far as home safety and personal safety—it’s about as complete as you can get.” One of the most important things the course reminds is to be aware. Johnson recommends planning a personal safety strategy ahead of time and always being alert to possible dangers. “You won’t walk out of here bulletproof, but hopefully you will be more aware and know your options," he told a group recently at the Altoona YWCA. Carol Irwin of Altoona picked up safety tips from the program she plans to implement and do some things differently. “I’m going to be a little more careful. Sometimes you get lackadaisical,” she said. Irwin enjoyed the class because it brought to mind information she may have learned once but now brought it back to memory. “I think it really heightens your awareness. It makes you think about how you would act in certain situations,” she said. “It’s a good thing to have in the back of your mind.” Sheila Clowes, who attended the YWCA program, grew up with her family in law enforcement but appreciated hearing the common sense ideas of ways to be safe and learned some new things. Please see Safety/Page A5TO UMN MORI What: The next “Refuse To Be A Victim” program open to the public. Time: 9 am. Date: Aug. 18. Where: Riggles Gap Sportman’s Club. Contact: Altoona Officer Rick Johnson at 949*2489 or e-mail [email protected] Visit: The Altoona Police Department’s Web site at “It’s very exciting to have the borough come to us feeling this was something they wanted to do," she said of the borough’s long-term commitment to seeing its improvements maintained. “The borough, as well as other organizations in the Hollidaysburg area, have made some significant investments in what we call cultural resources,” Borough Manager Thomas Fountaine said. Those resources include the new Canal Basin Park. Chimney Rocks Park, the Hollidaysburg Area Arts Council and projects and festivals through the Hollidaysburg ICE CREAM BUSINESS Community Partnership. "The plan is to create long-term funding in order to create long-term money to provide a significant base for success of programs in the future,” Fountaine said. The fund’s money won’t be available for grants for about IO years, unless the body of the fund grows very' large quickly. Fountaine said. That will give the fund enough time to build before money for grants is withdrawn, he said. “It truly is a long-term project," he said. Please see Future/Page A3TO DONATE ■ Anyone can donate to The Hollidaysburg Fund in any amount. ■ Donations can be sent to: Blair County Community Endowment c/o The Hollidaysburg Fund 1216 11th Ave., Suite 310 Altoona, PA 16601 Checks blocking gun buys ■ Number of sales also down in 2000. ■ Analysts point to lowered crime rate. Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett Emily Claycomb scoops ice cream at Ritchey’s Dairy in Martinsburg. CUSTARD’S LAST STANDS Mom and pop shops hot summer stops By Craig Williams Staff Writer It’s been a long hot day, and you’ve worked hard. You deserve a treat. On your way home, temptation strikes. You know you shouldn’t because it will spoil dinner, but you just have to stop for something cold, something sweet, something that reminds you of your care-free days of youth — that all-American favorite — ice cream. And every summer, the many road side stands and dairy bars that dot the landscape of central Pennsylvania become the most popular places in town. Modem ice cream connoisseurs are a bit spoiled. Not only can they pick from hundreds of flavors — try blueberry cheesecake, a hot seller in Martinsburg — they can select from frozen treats without the calories, such as frozen yogurt, ice milks and shaved ices, in addition to sherbets, which are fruit juices with a little cream, and sorbets, which are frozen fruit juice mixtures. Please see Ice cream/Page A3 By Karen Gullo The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Background checks blocked 153,000 of the nearly 7.7 million prospective sales of guns last year, and fewer people tried to buy firearms in 2000 than in 1999, the Justice Department reported Sunday. Analysts attributed the decline to a drop in crime, which they said has led Americans to feel safer and less inclined to purchase guns. “These are the long-term positive repercussions of a lower crime rate,” said James Alan Fox, criminal justice professor at Northeastern University in Boston. “People see that streets are safer, and they are not as compelled to go out and purchase a gun.” Researchers, however, said the decline in applications does not necessarily mean that fewer guns were sold. In some states, people can purchase more than one gun from a single application. “Ifs not a measure of whether gun sales are up or down,” said lawrence Greenfield, acting director at the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. Between 1999 and 2000. there was an ll percent drop in the number of Americans who tried to purchase guns from federally licensed firearm dealers — from 8.6 million to 7.7 million. Almost all 19 states listed in the report as providing complete statewide data for applications and rejections in 2000 had declines last year; the largest were in Indiana (25.8 percent) and California (24.8 percent). Almost 58 percent of applicants rejected by state and local authorities had felony convictions or indictments, compared with 73 percent in 1999. The second most common reason for rejection was a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction or a restraining order. Those accounted for about 11,000 applications, or 12 percent of rejections. Background checks to see if prospective gun buyers have criminal Between 1999and2000, there was a 15.9 percent drop in the number of Pennsylvanians who tried to purchase guns legally. records have been required since February 1994 under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. Through 2000, the FBI or state and local police rejected 689,000 of nearly 30 million applications, or 2.3 percent. compared with the 2 percent rate of rejection last year, the report said. The checks are done electronically. The report showed that in 2000, the FBI processed 4.3 million applications and state and local agencies processed 3.5 million. State and local agencies did not approve 86,000, or 2.5 percent of applicants; the FBI rejected 67,000, or 1.6 percent of those who applied in 2000. Greenfeld attributed the difference to state agencies’ access to more detailed criminal history records than the FBI’s. “They may have other databases they check that the FBI couldn’t check,” Greenfeld said. Attorney General John Ashcroft said the report shows that the Brady law is working, but more needs to be done to prosecute people who try to purchase guns illegally. “While the Brady law has helped us stop convicted felons and other dangerous individuals from buying guns easily, violations of the law are not being prosecuted adequately,” Ashcroft said. Ashcroft recently announced several initiatives to improve the National Instance Background Check System, called NICS, and increase gun prosecutions. He cited FBI statistics showing that 217,000 attempted illegal gun purchases were referred for investigation, but only 294 people were convicted. 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