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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - July 15, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania © Copyright 2001    SUNDAY,    JULY    15,    2001    $1.50    newsstand Altoona iiltrmr AMERICORPS Program not just for kids anymore By Kevin Our Skiff Writer When people think of Ameri- Corps, they think of crowds of teen-agers and twentysomethings digging holes or fixing trails. That is, if they think of anything at all. Most have never heard of it. If they have, they can’t spell it. They don’t capitalize the C. Or they leave the s off the end. Behind the scenes of local environmental and main street projects, that’s not the case. Dan Pryor is 32 years old and is challenging what people think about the Corps (as its members call it).    , He’s got a home of his own (he doesn’t live in a dorm); he’s in a long-term relationship (which means he’s not shipped to assignments all over the country); and he’s enjoying himself. AmeriCorps is a government-sponsored program that offers repayment of student loans, and usually a small stipend, in exchange for a year or two of community service. Often, its members are young, just out of or just entering college. But that’s changing. Pryor works with Allegheny Ridge Corp., partnering as Corps members often do with a local grass-roots organization. These days, he’s working on the Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg Greenway, a belt of forests, hiking trails and local businesses stretching between the two cities. He spends much of his time — not all of it — in his Duncansville office, on the phone, on the Web, doing research, making contacts. He’s achieved grant funding for ARC, but “I’ve been trying to form an alliance of trail and environmental units across the corridor,” he said. He wears his "grays” — an AmeriCorps uniform of sorts, consisting of a gray T-shirt and black pants — but not often. A biologist by trade, Pryor joined the Corps last year after graduate school. Please see AmeriCorps/Page A6 MUSEUM GALA Mirror photos by Gary M Baranec 4 bove: John Horne of Latrobe and Sarah Hall of New Florence examine an Andy Warhol silkscreen painting that was available for auction at a benefit Saturday night for the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. At left: Michael and Delores Colameco of Johnstown share a laugh with Ann Benzel. The event, which commemorated the 25th anniversary of the museum, was held at the St. Francis University Pine Bowl in Loretto. It featured cocktails, entertainment, auctions, dinner, dancing and fireworks. NORFOLK SOUTHERN HEARING Mirror Bucks INSIDE TODAY SPORTS: Questions abound for Steelers / LIFE: Juniata profs comic generates buzz / DI Locals set to skewer rail giant ■ Unions, politicians say they’ll show firm's broken promises, bad faith and double talk. By Robert Igoe AND RAY ECKENRODE Staff Writers With nearly 400 jobs and $19 million in annual payroll on the line, area union representatives and lawmakers are expected to launch their fiercest attack yet on railroad giant Norfolk Southern Corp. before a panel of federal legislators who will convene Monday in Blair County. The railroad subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hear local officials present a four pronged argument against the railroad’s plan to close the Hollidaysburg Car Shop Oct. I. According to documents obtained by the Mirror, those arguments will be: ■ the long-standing contention that Norfolk Southern is try ing to violate a series of promises and commitments it made to politicians, regulators and employees to maintain and enhance Blair County rail facilities; ■ that Norfolk Southern has not acted in good faith, neither in its operation of the facilities since tak ing them over from Conrail in 1999 nor during its handling of the closing of the Hollidaysburg facility; ■ that the closing should be considered a regulatory matter to be handled by the Surface Transportation Board, an agency of Congress, and not a legal issue covered by the New York Dock employee protection agreement; ■ that Norfolk Southern’s contention that government should not get involved in operating a railroad is ludicrous because of a near endless list of government protections for the railroad industry already in place that benefit large companies, including Norfolk Southern. After Monday’s hearing at the f- NORFOLK jM- SOUTHERN IF YOU GO What: Federal hearing on closing of Hollidaysburg Car Shop When: 11 a rn Monday Where: Blair County Convention Center Note: The session is open to the public, but public testimony won't be heard IN BUSINESS ■ Kopp Drug continues to reinvent itself and focus on customer service to compete with big chains. ■ Harley-Davidson breaks with tradition and introduces a motorcycle designed to appeal to new markets. PAGE El Blair County Convention Center, a coalition of labor unions will file similar arguments with the STB in Washington, D.C. The STB then will decide whether Norfolk Southern should be forced to cancel its plan to close the Hollidaysburg shop. Sources familiar with the STB said a decision could come within 30 days, although there is no legal timetable in place. Norfolk Southern Chief Executive Officer David Goode is the lone railroad witness scheduled to testify Monday. The railroad has contended that statements made before the takeover of Conrail were projections, not promises, and that economic conditions have changed, making the Hollidaysburg shop unprofitable and expendable. The company has said it has acted in good faith in trying to find displaced workers new positions and find a new tenant for the Hollidaysburg facility. Please see Hearing/Page A6 An eight-cell embryo is shown three days after insemination in this Eastern Virginia Medical School handout photo. Scientists at the institution have created human embryos for the sole purpose of harvesting stem cells to research their role in treating diseases. wammmmmmmmmmmmm DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 STEM CELL RESEARCH Complicated politics surrounding debate The Associated Press BMI FOUR 9    0    5    2 ■ Lottery numbers, A2 WEAMER Mostly sunny, 82° ■ Forecast, A2 i By Laura Meckler The Associated Press ARLINGTON, Va. — At Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church here, the prayers always go out for the aborted, along with the sick and the dying. Last week, there was a special plea on behalf of human embryos that sit frozen in petri dishes. At issue: promising but controversial scientific research using stem cells that can be found only inside these tiny embryos. “Please take a moment to sign an urgent petition to President Bush asking him not to use your taxes for experiments that rely on the destruction of living human embryos,’’ the Rev. Joseph Loftus says as Mass concludes. More than IOO sign their names. It’s a tiny piece of an intense lobbying campaign directed at Bush, who is confronting one of the thorniest issues of his presidency — whether to allow federal funding for research that uses cells derived from embryos. The science and morality of the issue pose complex questions, but the political ramifications of stem cell research may be just as complicated. Bush has been aggressively courting the Catholic vote, and Catholic leaders have put the stem cell issue at the top of their agenda. So have Christian conservatives and leaders of the anti-abort ion movement, who have long suspected Bush was a moderate at heart. It would be politically risky for a Republican president to cross such an important part of his conservative base of support — a lesson Bush’s father learned when he got battered in the 1992 GOP primaries. Please see Politics/Page A5 Altoona mirror THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 MURE INSIDE ■ Local religious leaders say destroying an embryo to obtain its stem cells amounts to abortion. ■ Local federal lawmakers are beginning to take sides on stem cell research. PAGE A5 ■ More political coverage. PAGE A4 □ local J3 SPORTS Hospitals A9 Outdoors C9 Obituaries A9 Politics A4 Scoreboard C8 Opinion A7 □ NATION 0 LIFE Astrograph D4 Newsmakers B4 Movies D3 Puzzles D4 Strange Brew B2 Travel D6 □ business ' i- Stocks    E2,3 CDs, Mutuals    E4 □ classified COMMUNITY NEWS Couples Yesteryear Q2 G3 J ;

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