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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - July 18, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY SPORTS: Lynnette Williams Award given / BUSINESS: Mellon sells retail banking / All — -    J    ................ Italian cooking is-a way of life for a Cambria native ■ ■ sauce page DIAltoona mirror © Copyright 2001 Final pleas made to STB ■ Federal regulatory panel is expected to rule within 30 days on car shop closing. By Craig Williams Staff Writer At least six politicians, unions or industry trade groups beat Monday’s deadline for lobbying the Surface Transportation Board on its pending decision regarding Norfolk Southern Corp.’s plan to close the Hollidaysburg Car Shop Oct. I. The three-member panel of federal regulators likely will rule in about 30 days on whether the Virginia railroad giant can proceed with plans to idle the massive rail car repair facility and more than 350 local workers. ■ Bud Shuster lets his word stand on situation/ Page A9 Local and state union officials and politicians claim closing the shop would violate promises Norfolk Southern made to get reg ulatory approval on its takeover of the former Conrail system. Norfolk Southern claims those promises actually were good-faith projections that have been soured by a slowing economy. An earlier STB ruling indicated the panel was leaning toward keeping the shop open and required Norfolk Southern to make further arguments why it should be closed. Those who filed position papers Monday on the railroad’s final argument include: ■ State Senate President Pro Tem Robert C. Jubelirer, R-Blair, and state Rep. Jerry Stern, R Martinsburg, who strongly urged the STB to keep the car shop open; ■ The Association of American Railroads, whose members include the nation’s Class I freight railroads. The group did not take an official position on the closing but urged the STB to weigh carefully the difference between commitments and projections, which are “good faith but nonetheless fallible”; ■ AES Eastern Energy, an Arlington, Va.-based power company that supported Norfolk Southern and said an order to “continue the money-losing operations at Hollidaysburg would directly conflict with the board’s guiding principles”; Please see Pleas/Page A9WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 2001A CLEAN START FOR INMATES 50C newsstand Lakemont blast suit dismissed Mirror photos by J O Cavrich Bedford County Prison inmates were baptized on the west beach at Shawnee State Park w est of Bedford Tuesday afternoon. Above (from left): County Commissioner Ira Claycomb, Gary Boor of the Spring Meadow Family Worship Center and Meryl Musselman baptize an inmate. Below: Sheriff's deputies stand guard as inmates exit vans at the park. Please see story. Page A5. •ARF ' THER ■ Judge determines pizza shop owners have been paid for damages incurred. Bv PHH Ray Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG A Blair County judge has dismissed the last remaining lawsuit from the 1998 natural gas explosion of the Boardwalk Pizzeria in Lakemont. Judge Hiram Carpenter ruled that the business’s owners. Michael and Patricia DeRensis, already have been paid for the damages. The ruling was made just days before a jury was to be selected to hear the DeRensises’ case against Peoples Natural Gas Co. and Consolidated Gas Co. of Pittsburgh. which provided natural gas to Lakemont. In Carpenter’s opinion, filed Monday in the Blair County Court of Common Pleas, the DeRensises have been paid more than $220,000 in insurance money and $85,000 for the land at 320 Logan Blvd., where the pizza shop was located. The value of the property was $225,000, which means the DeRensises have been compensated for their financial losses. Carpenter ruled. The legal action brought by the DeRensises’ attorney, Alexander J. Jamiolkowski of Pittsburgh, also asked for punitive damages from the gas companies. Punitive damages would award the plaintiff money above the actual financial loss to punish the gas company for the negligence that caused the explosion. “[The DeRensises have! been compensated in full outside the context of a litigation; there is no legal basis to go forward," Carpenter wrote. Put another way, punitive damages cannot be imposed unless some compensatory damages are capable of being awarded." Jamiolkowski said Tuesday afternoon that his clients are considering appealing Carpenter’s ruling to the Pennsylvania Superior Court. They have until Aug. 13 to file. Please see Suit /Page A4 PAYING JURORS MORE Leaders say Blair can’t afford hike By Ray Stephens Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG - Blair County taxpayers cannot afford much of a pay raise for jurors, county commissioners said Tuesday. While juror pay hasn’t changed in 20 or more years, John J. Ebersole and John H. Eichelberger Jr. said they would prefer to see the state cover the cost of a unified court system. Jurors would be paid through that system. If state legislators pursue an increase in juror pay without a unified court system, it will be up to the counties to figure out how to cover a pay increase. At the Blair County Courthouse Monday, Judge Thomas G. Peoples urged a panel of jurors selected to Ebersole Eichelberger hear a criminal trial to contact their legislators and ask them to support a bill to raise the amounts jurors are paid. State legislators have talked about increasing juror pay to $40 per day plus reimbursement for toll charges and parking fees and doubling the mileage reimbursement. Please see Pay/Page A3 Penn State boosts tuition, fees by 7.9 percent WHAT IT MEANS 2ML01 2ML-JJ2 Fresh/soph $6,546 $7,054 tuition Jr/Sr $6,876 $7,410 tuition Computer $230 $260 fees Student $50-$76 $56-$82 activity fee ‘NOTE: Figures are for instate undergraduate students. By Peter Jackson The Associated Press HARRISBURG — Trustees of Penn State University approved its biggest tuition increase in a decade Tuesday, along with fee increases that will boost the cost of undergraduate enrollment by nearly 8 percent in 2001-02. The action will increase yearly charges at the University Park campus in State College by $544 for freshmen and sophomores who are Pennsylvania residents and by $570 for resident juniors and seniors. In March, the trustees voted to increase separate room-and-board charges in 2001-02 by 7.9 percent, or $390 per year, for a double room and the most popular meal plan. At Tuesday’s meeting in the Philadelphia suburb of Abington, trustees rubber-stamped a plan unveiled Monday by Penn State President Graham Spanier, who said the higher tuition and fees are needed to off set state funding that is less than expected and to cover critical costs such as salary increases and capital improvements. In addition to tuition increases, two fees that all Penn State students pay will increase next year. A fee that covers unrestricted access to university computer facilities and the Internet will increase from $230 this year to $260 next year. The student activity fee, wrhich ranges from $50 to $76 depending on the campus, w ill increase by $6.    v* The tuition increase is the steepest since 1991-92, when the increase was 8.9 percent. It is higher than the 6 percent tuition increase that the governing board of the State System of Higher Education approved for the 14 state-owned universities Friday, but Penn State officials said it is smaller than the average IO percent increase for Big Ten colleges. Please see Tuition/Page A7 DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 22910 00050 ■MMM BIG FOUR 9    4    2    7 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly cloudy, 80° ■ Forecast, A2 Mirror □ local Business Movies Obituaries Opinion □ SPORTS Local Scoreboard A11 A4 A13 A6 B4 B5 □ NATION Classifieds    C4-14 □ life Comics    D5 Community news    D2 Puzzles    D4 Television    D4 INSIDE IN NATION More than 180 computers, at least one containing classified material, are missing from the FBI along with about 449 weapons, officials said Tuesday. PAGE Cl t    » ;

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