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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - July 3, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania SPORTS: Pete Sampras gets early ouster from Wimbledon /BlAltoona mirror © Copyright 2001TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2001 50C newsstand State may ban cell phone use while driving By Robert I (.ok Staff Writer In a legislative case of keeping up with the Joneses, many politicians and safety experts said it’s just a matter of time until Pennsylvania joins neighboring New York in banning cell phone use while driving. New York legislators last week passed regulations prohibiting the use of hand held cell phones while driving except in emergency situations. Violators face fines of $100 for a first offense. $200 for a second offense and up to $500 for subsequent offenses. State Sen. Joe Conti, R-Bucks, has gone on record as saying that the New York bill may speed up the passage of such legislation here. “There have been some proposals before,” said Jack Lewis, public relations director for the Pennsylvania State Police. “But they haven’t gotten very far. But with the new laws in New York, there will probably be some deeper consideration of the idea." But state Rep. Rick Geist, R-Altoona, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, wants to see more information on the issue before he votes on it. “Use of cell phones, like changing CDs while changing lanes or putting on make-up while driving, all fall under the category of inattentive driving,’’ Geist said. "So far, we haven’t found data that singles out use of cell phones as being more dangerous than any of these other factors. Right now, there are national and state studies on the matter that I’m waiting for before I can make a decision about any possible legislation.” Lewis agreed that there may be a lack of concrete information about the role cell phones play in accidents. “The old Department of Transportation accident forms did not contain information about whether a cell phone was being used,’’ he said. “But the new forms, which will be in use beginning this month, will have a checkoff area that can record that information.” Please see Phones/Page A6 Wrong number? Number of accidents in Pennsylvania from I February to December 2000 involving cars equipped with cell phones 12,239 Number of drivers who admitted using cell phones at the time of the accident 186 Source Pennsylvania State Ponce Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington ll Former Altoona man dies in crash ■ Past Bishop Guilfoyle standout killed in motorcycle accident in Ohio. By Phil Ray Staff Writer A former standout athlete from Bishop Guilfoyle High School died Sunday in a motorcycle accident that occurred near Warren, Ohio. Ronald Alvin Geis Jr., 27, graduated in 1991 from Bishop Guilfoyle, where he was known for his football prowess. He was the 65th recipient of the Joe F. Cohen Blanket Award, which traditionally was given to the individual on - the football ■ Please see obituary team who / Page A9    was not only - a good player, but also displayed perseverance, leadership and character. Geis’ football coach at Bishop Guilfoyle, Tom Irwin, said he had a great deal of charisma. "He had a gregarious personality,” Irwin said. Geis had another plus in his comer, Irwin said, an “extremely strong family.” He said the strength of the family will help everybody in the Bishop Guilfoyle community cope with the tragedy. Another former coach. Marty Georgiana, said news of Geis’ death spread quickly. “A terrible, terrible tragedy. It made me sick yesterday,” said Georgiana, who coached Geis as a running back. He described Geis as a “great kid.” “He was probably one of the toughest kids, one of the hardest hitters I’ve ever coached,” Georgiana said. “He was always laughing, always smiling. He would do what you asked him to do. It’s just a shame.” Geis’ mother, Zerelda, said Monday night that riding motorcycles was one of her son’s hobbies. Details of the accident were not available Monday. “He was very mechanically iriclined,” she said. And he liked to fish and hunt as well. After graduating from Bishop Guilfoyle, Geis played football for four years at Gannon University in Erie, where he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 1995. He was a graduate in electrical engineering and had associate degrees in robotics and microprocessors. He worked for D.I.O.D.O. Construction Co. of Cleveland and was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, his mother said. He is survived by a son, Michael Saclaro of Altoona; a brother, Joshua of Altoona; and five sisters: Janice Broadrick of Pittsburgh, Bernadette Paine in Ohio, and Pamela Caputo, Rachael Hosgood and Kristina Onkst, all of Altoona. Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray can be reached at 946-7468. A BREATH OF FRESH AIR Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett Fresh Air kids Ernest Leon, 8, and Imani Durant, 7, play on a trampoline at the home of their hosts. It’s a long way from the Big Apple to an old-time summer city kids. country times TO PARTICIPATE Additional host families are needed for the group of children who will visit the area Aug. 13 through 24. Anyone interested should call local Fresh Air Fund representative Nancy Cox at 239-5217. By Walt Frank Staff Writer The simple things in life are special to Fresh Air children. “The big deal this year is having a lemonade stand in front of the house,” said Bonnie Wareham, 816 Penn St., Hollidaysburg. “They are not allowed to do that at home.” Wareham, her husband, Rick, and daughters, Justine, 14, and Jordan, ll, are playing host to Comisha Rochford, 8, and her sister Sha-Asia Rochford, IO. for the next two weeks. The Warehams have many activities planned for their visitors from the Bronx — things like a trip to Lakemont Park, boating, camping in the back yard, swimming and more. Please see Kids/Page AIQ Boyer battle delayed ■ Lawsuits filed in Johnstown and Florida may be joined. By Phil Ray Staff Writer The ongoing court battle for control of Boyer Candy Co. Inc. has been delayed temporarily as the former wife of late Boyer owner and her attorney decide if the case should be heard in a Florida state court or the federal district court in Johnstown. Blair County attorney Thomas M. Dickey, who represents Deborah Forgione, former wife of the late Anthony P. Forgione, in her quest to become a voice in the company’s operation, said he has withdrawn an injunction request he filed earlier this year before U.S. District Judge D. Brooks Smith. Smith in turn has marked the Johnstown federal court case closed, but without prejudice, which means Dickey has the leeway to file a new lawsuit in Johnstown. “We need to join both cases, either here or there,” Dickey said. The quest by Deborah Forgione for control of Boyer Candy is floundering because a key part of the picture is tied up in Palm Beach County court in Florida. That case was filed in Florida because Deborah Forgione was living there at the time. Deborah Forgione in the mid-1990s challenged an attempt to remove her as trustee of the Forgione Family Trust, the financial mechanism that holds all stock of the Altoona-based candy company, known for its Mallo Cups. Deborah Forgione resigned as trustee, a position that would give her power over the operation of the company, soon after her 20-year marriage to the late owner ended. She contended that she was forced to sign the resignation letter, but that the resignation never took effect. For instance, she has produced communications from her husband indicating she was still the trustee after the alleged resignation. Anthony Forgione died in March, only days after a Florida judge granted the couple’s divorce. Deborah Forgione almost immediately challenged the company’s operation under former Chief Financial Officer Roger Ray buck, who became Anthony Forgione’s successor. Raybuck was a close friend of Anthony Forgione. Since Raybuck took over its operation, he maintains the company is doing well financially. Please see Boyer/Page A4 Orange cones mark the way for Fourth of July travelers By Tiffany Shaw Staff Writer Motorists hitting the open road for the Fourth of July will notice the scenery along the highways contains a lot of orange — but not on the trees. Work zone warnings will appear everywhere. “This is orange cone season,” PennDOT spokesman Asbury Lee said. “We’re at the peak of our construction season.” Since the Fourth is one of the year’s most heavily traveled holidays, and it coincides perfectly with Pennsylvania’s limited construction time, PennDOT tries to be understanding. Lee said PennDOT opens as many roads under construction during the holiday as possible to allow for extra traffic. “Where we can, we try to open work zones to additional lanes,” Lee said. But that idea doesn’t always work when construction closes a bridge, making the other lanes inaccessible. Similar projects are viaducts in Tyrone and the Johnstown area. A section of Route 219 entering Somerset County also will remain closed because the southbound lanes are ripped up for replacement. Drivers should watch carefully for traffic slowing in work zones and watch the speed limits as they fall in the zones, Lee said. Drivers also should leave extra distance for the vehicle in front of them in case it comes to a sudden slop. Across the country, 36 million residents are expected to travel for the Fourth of July, about the same number as last year, said Mary Lou Frank, auto travel manager for the AAA Blair County Motor Club. Of those travelers, 31 million will be in vehicles on the road, Frank said. Please see Travel/Page A4 DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7^ 22910 0005Q, a BIG FOUR 3    0    6    0 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly sunny, 76° ■ Forecast, A2 O LOCAL Q nation INSIDE Business A7 Movies C4 IN NOTION Hormone use may increase the risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women. 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