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View Sample Pages : Altoona Mirror, July 22, 2001

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - July 22, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY SPORTS: Martin Oil up in Kelley finals LIFE: Local doctor doubles as author Dl Charlie Brown and the gang return to the Mirror. Inside today, daily starting Monday JVltnona iHtrror Copyright 2001 JULY 22, 2001 newsstand Woman shot dead in club lot BY TIFFANY .SHAW Staff Writer A city woman was shot and killed early Saturday morning as she left a private club in Altoona, and police are searching for the Huntingdon County man they believe pulled the trigger. Patience Ferguson, 21, of Altoona'was .shot in the face as she walked to a car in the parking lot of Arandale Elks Club, 2001 Margaret Ave. Altoona police charged Lavelle Richardson, 24, of Mount Union with firing the gun, and they continued to search for him Saturday with an arrest warrant. The shooting occurred at a.m. when Richardson fired several shots out- side the club, one of which hit Ferguson in the upper lip. Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman said Richardson apparently was not aiming at Ferguson, but he fired the semi-automatic handgun four or five times into the air. The shot that hit Ferguson may have been fired from about 40 feet away when Richardson revealed the weapon, Gorman said. The other shots went over the heads of the crowd in the parking lot. Richardson's motive for firing the shots remains unclear but could have come from an earlier altercation that involved him defending one of his rel- atives, Gorman said. "We don't believe Richardson really was aiming at the he said. "He fired into and away from the crowd.... We don't think he intended it, but it caused her death as the result." Richardson then got into his car and drove away. Police agencies across the state have been asked to look for him. By all accounts, Ferguson was an innocent bystander caught in the line of fire. Neighbors are shocked that this kind of senseless murder would happen in Altoona. The area near the club is a quiet sec- tion of Altoona, bordering businesses and homes. Members of the private club knew Ferguson and her mother. Although no one would give an official com- ment, one man who came to the locked door Saturday described Ferguson as "an innocent Please see A7 Ferguson THE BUSINESS OF BASEBALL Mirror photo by Kelly. Bennett Altoona Curve fans try to catch, a foul ball Friday during the Curve's game against New Haven at Blair County Ballpark. Three yearp after the first pitch was thrown at the ballpark, attendance continues to rise. Curve attendance still strong Naming rights still an'option for ballpark BY ROBERT IGOE Staff Writer Hoss's Stadium? Crown American Ballpark? Sheetz presents the Blair County Ballpark? Those were some hypothetical names floated around when Blair County built a million complex to house its Class AA baseball team three years ago. And today, they're still hypothetical. For now, the Altoona Curve plav at Blair County Ballpark, but General Manager Jeff Parker said that if the right plan was presented, the team is open to granting naming rights to the stadium. "It's someihing that we've talked about he said. "It's something that every team from the major leagues to rookie ball has to consid- er if the opportunities are available. If it will increase the fan experience, then we should do so." Please see A4 A look at how attendance for Altoona Curve games has been increasing and where it's going: 1999 attendance Total: Average: Rank: 38 of 160 2001 so far 2000 attendance Total: Average: Rank: 31 of 160 Home dates: 45 Total attendance: Remaining Home dates: 26 Average: Wore Numbas lot 2001 we through July 21. Mirror graphic by Tom I More inside Business leaders use ballgames as a way to drum up clients. A little more than halfway through the Pittsburgh Pirates' first season at PNC Park, business owners report sales are healthier than they were a year ago. PageA4 In sports Curve win seventh straight at Blair County Ballpark with win over New Haven, 9-0. Page C1 Possible strike may keep some Curve players off the field. Page CZ By ROBERT IGOE Staff Writer On tlie wall of one ticket bfjgth at Blair County Ballpark, a poster from Wright Elementary School's Cluster Three thanks the Curve for the great time the students had at (lie game. The poster lists reasons the students offered for why they had a great time, including: Seeing a home run. Ice cream in a helmet. Seeing Steamer. Having fun. It is the final reason that has helped make the Curve one of the hottest tickets in the fast-growing minor league baseball industry. With an average of fans per game in 2000, the Curve were ranked sixth over- all in the Eastern League and finished 31st out of 160 affiliated minor league teams, ahead of teams in Las Vegas; Nashville, Tenn.; El Paso, Texas; Orlando, Fla.; and other metropolitan areas. The Curve have passed the mark this year with an average of fans per game and are expected to seat their 1 mil- lionth fan tliis summer. As the summer heats up, the per-game average has ballooned, and with 26 games left on the home schedule, it could top per game again. Please see A4 I DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 an FOUR 9v 7 H I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly sunny, Forecast, A2 6 Months Same As Cash Free Interest 'Til 2O02 100% NYLON 10 YEAR WARRANTY Wall to Wall Retail S949 S762 Includes Carpet. Installation, PUN K ROAD BLVD. Padding and Tax. !CJlOCAL AH Obituaries__All Pojitics _7 A5 Opinion A8 Newsmakers B5 World news B2 PUNS Investor! making mistakes BY MARK HELM Hearst Newspapers watching their plans grow for 20 years, investors are getting hit with a dose of financial reality as their retirement funds fall in value. Last year, for the first time since the workplace retirement accounts were launched in 1978, the aver- age value dropped from in 1999 to in 2000, according to Cerulli Associates, a Boston-based consulting firm that advis- es employers on plans. While painful in the short run, the decline could be a blessing for those who use it wake-up call to educate themselves about investing in Nearly half of all participants starled contributing to their plans during the boourjng stock market of the 1990s. But the decade's high returns masked many of the mistakes madefy participants. Please see A6 inside Blair County Chamber graduates another Leadership Blair County class. Savings on telephone bills are getting harder to find. PagsEi; Talks targef downtown vandalism BY WILLIAM KIIU.KH Stuff Writer Downtown advocates are hoping for a coming together of the generations on llth Avenue. The hope bubbled out of a meeting last week in which city officials, police and downtown businessmen hashed over vandalism problems and intiniidation worries with representatives of a Christian coffeehouse for youth. Most agreed the vandalism perpetrators are not patrons of the Daily Grind coffeehouse. The notion that coffeehouse patrons gathering put- side the shop is causing intimidation is mainly a theoretical concern of businesspeople. But the time is right for the kids to take the initiative and do community service downtown to defuse fears and discourage vandalism. The time also is right for businesspeople to mingle with me youth and learn what they're all about, at least one business leader said. Please see A9 JLa SPORTS Qutdoors__ Scoreboard EJUFE Aslrograph _ Movies__ Puzzles Travel C9 C8 D4 D3 D4 be Q BUSINESS CDs, Mutuals E4 Q CLASSIFIED j COMMUNITY NEVWj Coupjes_ G2 Yesteryear Q3 ;