Low Resolution Image: Become a member to access this full resolution image at 375% higher quality.

OCR Text

Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - July 19, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY SPORTS: St. Francis logo has new look / Bl NASCAR: That’s Racin’: Rudd is reborn / B3 Altoona mirror © Copyright 2001 THURSDAY, JULY 19, 2001 50$ newsstand Sex abuse probe could widen Retired Huntingdon doctor jailed on charges involving one boy; more charges may be filed By Kevin Ott Staff Writer HUNTINGDON — A retired emergency room doctor was arrested and jailed Tuesday night on charges of child sexual abuse. The charges involve abuse of one boy on several occasions, but court documents filed in the case indicate police believe there may be more victims. Thomas R. Meloy, 67, of Huntingdon was arrested after an investigation by state police, Huntingdon borough police and Huntingdon County Children’s Services. He was arraigned before District Justice Mary' Jameson in Orbisonia at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and is being held in the Huntingdon County Jail unable to post $500,000 bail. Meloy confessed to police that he sexually abused a boy on several occasions, sometimes videotaping the acts. He also showed the boy adult videotapes on one occasion. The incidents took place between July 1999 and July 2001. He is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, two counts of indecent exposure and three counts each of corruption of minors, indecent assault and sexual abuse of a child. A hearing is scheduled before Huntingdon District Justice Richard Wilt Wednesday. Police did not give details about Meloy’s relationship to the child or how Meloy and the child knew each other. Police learned of the incidents from Huntingdon County Children’s Services after the victim told a caseworker of the abuse. Please see Abuse/Page A5 Ruling leaves Pleasant Village in limbo By William Kibler Staff Writer Commonwealth Court ruled in favor of the Altoona Housing Authority in its contest with the city over ownership of the Pleasant Village Housing Project. Overturning a Blair County Court decision, the higher court invalidated a 1950 agreement calling for the authority to give the pro ject to the city on the expiration of the project’s construction bond at the beginning of 1999. The agreement violated a state law that lets housing authorities convey properties only when they don’t need them anymore—and the 1950 board could not have known whether the authority would need the 120-unit project a half-century later, according to the court. Having ruled on the issues at hand, Commonwealth Court sent the case back to Blair County Court, which could hear other issues -including whether the city can find evidence that the 1950 board tried to show Pleasant Village wouldn’t be needed 50 years later. But the Commonwealth Court ruled in the authority’s favor on the key point, according to Bud Mc-Grain, a Housing Authority member. “The board of 50 years ago cannot dictate,” he said. “I think that’s really the heart of it.” It’s the city’s move now, McGrain said. But it’s not necessarily close to being over. The city could proceed in Blair County Court or ask the full Commonwealth Court — the current ruling was by a three-judge panel — to look at the case. Or it could ask the state Supreme Court to hear an appeal. Please see Limbo/Page A5 PUT A FORK IN IT A spectator dressed as a devil cheers as Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas, rides to victory in the 11th stage of the Tour de France cycling race time trial. PAGE B6 ■. DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 71 22910 OOO5CV, a BIO FOUR 0 8 6 2 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Partly sunny, 78° ■ Forecast, A2 Mirror coo goo Bucks ■FT -(- □ local Business A9 0 NATION Classifieds C4-14 INSIDE NATION Comics A4 Obituaries A13 [TJufe Abortion pill ads Opinion A8 appear in magazines targeted for women. I SPORTS Dear Abby Movies D5 D3 PAGE Cl Local B4 Puzzles D5 Scoreboard V Television D5 I ..:. BLAIR COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER Authority satisfied with start By Kay Stephens Staff Writer The Blair County Convention Center and Sports Facility Authority members said Wednesday that busi ness at the convention center is off to a satisfactory start. Two members of the authority, Bruce Erb and Martin Marasco, recently reviewed revenue and expenses from the convention center’s operation being managed by the Allegheny Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau. Erb indicated that he and Marasco were satisfied with what they saw for the first two months of the operations. The convention center opened May 3. Because the authority signed a contract that puts the convention center in the hands of a private agency, financial details of the center’s operations are not considered public information, authority solicitor David Andrews said at the authority meeting. The authority was created by Blair County commissioners, its operation is considered public, and the responsibility for the convention center building rests with the authority and the commissioners. When asked how to calculate how the center is operating financially, Andrews suggested looking at the money the bureau turns over monthly to the authority, which is used to pay off the project’s $2 million loan. If the authority cannot make the loan payment with money from the bureau, that might indicate a problem, the solicitor said. Since May, the authority has made an interest and principal payment on the $2 million loan, using money forwarded by the bureau. Please see Center/Page A5 SENIOR DRIVERS Mirror pnoto Dy J U. uavncn Jack Foreman, an instructor for AARP’s 55 Alive driving program, watches traffic while driving on 17th Street. 55 Alive targets safer driving SEE9TI By Linda Hudkins For the Mirror At age 79, Jack Foreman still drives, but he does it more cautiously. In fact, the retired engineer spends a lot of time with people over age 50, teaching them that eyesight, hearing and reflexes begin to fade with age. Foreman of Altoona is an instructor and assistant state coordinator for AARP’s 55 Alive driving program. Charles Tingling, 67, of Roaring Spring has helped 1,800 people through the 55 Alive class in the past IO years. He reminds people that “some things they used to be able to do when they were younger, they can’t do when they get older. Please see Seniors/Page A5 Official urges more flexibility for elderly care funds PAGE Cl THE PROGRAM What: AARP's 55 Alive driver refresher course Who’s eligible: Anyone over age 50 can sign up Whom to call: AARP at (888) 227-7669 or Blair Senior Services at 946-1235 More information: Available at most senior centers or offices on aging Highway safety statistics for seniors from 1998: I % of population I % of traffic deaths Bi.- .‘ifeif, 9%    rn Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington ll Brutality suit fails to stick ■ 911 tape helps convince attorney his client didn’t have a case against city police. By Phil Ray Staff Writer A brutality lawsuit against city police came to a screeching halt in federal court because the man who sued was heard on a 911 tape threatening to hurt officers, or himself, if they came to his house. When Hollidaysburg attorney Arthur S. Cohen heard the tape, he concluded that his client, Robert T. Lynch of 5803 Mary land Ave., didn’t have a case, even though police eventually arrived at the Lynch home and physically placed him on the floor of his front porch. Cohen last week told U.S. District Judge I). Brooks Smith he wanted to withdraw as Lynch’s attorney. This week, the case was marked as settled in the U.S. District Courthouse in Johnstown. Cohen said Wednesday that he has one more document to file — a motion to dismiss the case with prejudice, which means the lawsuit can’t be refiled. Robert Lynch was not available for comment Wednesday, but his wife, Loretta, called the affair “a big mess.” Pittsburgh attorney Neva Stanger, who represented the city, said the charges against four city police officers were “bogus from the beginning.” “It was easy to refute,” she said. Stanger said Robert Lynch made threats as he talked to a 911 dispatcher the night of June 26,2000. “If you send the cops, somebody is going to get hurt,” Lynch said to the dispatcher. The dispatcher telephoned the Lynch home after receiving a 911 hang up call. Police said, Loretta Lynch was arguing with her husband and decided momentarily to call police, then decided against it In Blair County, 911 hang up calls are investigated as a matter of procedure. Despite Robert Lynch’s assurances to the 911 dispatcher that everything was OK at his home, police decided to investigate. Four officers—Jeffrey Pratt, John Miller, Chris Cohn and Brian Freewald — went to the home. Please see Stick/Page A5 - ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the Altoona Mirror