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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - June 2, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY _An easy-to-read listing of TV programming for the week /_ NATION: The push for faster trains spawns a new sense of urgency about safety /Cl Heirloom gardens, featuring older-style plants, are making a comeback / DIAltoona mirror © Copyright 2001SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 2001 504 newsstandBusinesses want brakes on turnpike plazas What would be included in the 50,000-square-foot megaplazas being discussed for the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which are being opposed by some business owners: Cost: $26 million each Features: ■ Seven food vendors    ■ Two dining rooms ■ Convenience stores    ■ Expanded parking ■ Commercial operators' suites Currently: There are 22 service plazas on the turnpike that contribute $9 million annually in revenues to the Turnpike Commission Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington ll By Beth N. Gray For the Mirror BEDFORD — A group organizing as the Pennsylvania Turnpike Corridor Business Association says building megaplazas on the toll road will compete unfairly with off-road businesses. A total of 25 travel-related business representatives from Carlisle to Donegal gathered this week at the Bedford County Visitors Bureau to discuss the State Turnpike Commission’s proposal to build or expand up to ll facilities as superplazas, six of them west of Carlisle. Those who spoke were adamantly against the proposal. The 50,000-square-foot plazas, to be built at a cost of up to $26 million each, will include spaces for seven food vendors plus two dining rooms, convenience stores, commercial operators’ suites and vastly expanded parking. Jim Bittner said each plaza will be 2 Vi times as large as his family’s Gateway Travel Plaza in Breeze-wood. “Could it be the turnpike supercenters are designed to extract more money from existing travelers?” asked Dennis Tice, executive director of the visitors bureau. “Is their goal to keep dollars on the turnpike instead of at surrounding businesses?” “They are a competitor for the same tourist dollar as the private sector,” said Bob Lilley, owner of the Caddy Shack amusement park in Donegal. If the megaplazas offer everything travelers need, they won’t exit the highway and perhaps take advantage of local attractions and services built primarily for visitors. Donegal will become a ghost town, Lilley said. “The turnpike was founded for economic development and national defense,” Bittner said. “They’ve taken it for their own economic development. They’re becoming a major competitor of economic development of the area.” In a telephone interview Friday, turnpike Marketing Director William Capone said, “We’re not trying to attract their customers. Our interest is in serving our own customers.” Extensive customer surveys and focus groups revealed turnpike users — from commercial operators to business and leisure travelers — want full-service plazas, Capone said. Please see Plazas/Page A3 Lawmaker’s phone bills ruled private By Michael Race capitolwire.com HARRISBURG — State Rep. Larry Roberts, D-Fayette, doesn’t have to turn over telephone billing records to a newspaper because he has “legislative immunity” from disclosing such information, Commonwealth Court ruled. The Herald-Standard, a Uniontown daily, sought records detailing phone charges for which Roberts had been reimbursed with taxpayer funds. The request included an itemized list of cellular phone calls, long distance calls from his Harrisburg and Uniontown offices and a list of taxpayer-reimbursed long distance calls made from his home. Roberts and House officials refused the request, saying the records did not fall under the state’s Right-to-Know Act, considered one of the weakest open records laws in the nation. When the paper went to court in an effort to force disclosure of the records, Roberts filed a petition to block the legal maneuver. The court, in a ruling issued Thursday, sided with Roberts. “It is true that our courts have recognized the right to an examination of certain public records, either under a statutory grant or on common law principles,” President Judge Joseph T. Doyle ACCESS IDEN wrote in the ruling opinion. “However, we find no reported decision extending the right of access to public records of the legislative branch.” Doyle said the court did an “exhaustive review” of case law pertaining to public access to such records and “we believe there is no legal precedent to support the proposition that there is a common law right to legislative records.” The court also rejected the newspaper’s arguments that Roberts committed a civil rights violation by denying a particular Herald-Standard reporter access to the phone records while supplying the records to other media outlets. The paper said this amounted to a violation of the Constitution’s “equal protection” guarantees. Roberts reportedly offered the records to the Herald-Standard on the condition that a reporter, Paul Sunyak, be removed from covering the story. Please see Bills/Page AIQ After months of planning and renovation, Philipsburg's Rowland Theatre has a new, old look. [email protected] production Mirror photos by Jason Sipes Restoration of Rowland Theatre was done by Curwensville Painters. The theater’s board of directors and the painters went to great lengths to match the original Victorian-era colors. By Mia Rohart Staff Writer Philipsburg - with its high, gilded archways and imported Italian marble, the lobby of the Rowland Theatre transports moviegoers before the first reel is spinning. With Dolby Surround sound and a 50-by-25-foot screen, the Rowland Theatre, built in 1916, has incorporated modem technology without losing its classic elegance. As the rain fell Friday afternoon, Rowland Theatre Inc. Board of Directors Vice President Jason Vaux was carrying wine glasses and fresh table linens into the lobby for tonight’s reception. The invitation-only event to honor those who contributed to the theater’s renovations runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to a free showing of a classic movie at 7:30 p.m. The cake cutting follows at 9:30 p.m. Board members will be available to answer questions as people tour the building. Months of renovation, hours of manual labor and multiple mortgages transformed the theater into what it is today. A crew of four painters 45 feet in the air covered the ceiling with 80 gallons of fresh paint. “It was a thirsty building. It was calling to be painted," said Greg Smith of Curwensville Painters. Please see Rowland/Page A6 Altoona high graduate vying for title of Miss Pennsylvania From Mirror and wire reports Erika Shay always has been a high achiever. The Altoona Area High School graduate hopes to continue achieving tonight as she vies for the crown in the Miss Pennsylvania Scholarship Pageant at Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena in Bethlehem. Whether or not she wins the pageant title and the $5,500 scholarship, Shay likely will shine in Shay of AAHS, the spotlight. She has done so since she was a teen-age hotshot hosting “Action News for Kids” on WTAJ TV-10. That was in the mid-1990s when she was a student at AAHS. A 1996 graduate Shay attended Duquesne University in Pitts burgh during her senior year in high school through an early admission program. She eventually graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a degree in broadcast communications and mass media after earning a scholarship through NBC. Tonight, the 22-year-old Shay is one of 25 contestants in the Miss Pennsylvania Pageant. Please see Pageant/Page AIQ 2001 Relay for Life volunteers get ready A supplement to the Mirror By NICOLE FkDELI-Ti RIANO For the Mirror Eileen Detwiler is amazed at the effects Relay For Life has on the community. “I’ve never seen our county pull together like this except for the Relay For Life,” said Detwiler, who’s been involved with the charity event since 1997. “No boundaries seem to exist between teams from the northern end of the county to the teams from the southern end of the county. We’re all one when we’re at Relay.” Detwiler, a retired schoolteacher, is co-captain of the Hollidaysburg Area Education Association and School District team, one of 71 making final preparations for the massive fund-raiser next weekend. The seventh annual event, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, will kick off Friday with many volunteer teams setting up elaborate Broadway-themed tents. Please see Relay/Page A7 ■u- ~ .w,.■-■■■I DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7 '22910 000501 a I    vH BIO FOUR9    0    9    2 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Cloudy, chance of showers, 70° ■ Forecast, A2 HQT-ADS.com We 're white-hot!Altoona iMirror THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CI ASSI FIE DS and AHS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 □ local □ nation Business A3,9 Classifieds C3-12 Movies A10 Obituaries A11 □ UFS Opinion A8 J? SPORTS Comics D5 Community news D2 Local B4 Puzzles 04 Scoreboard B5 I Television D4 INSIDEIN SPORTS The sites are set for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association baseball playoffs set tor Monday. PAGE Bl INSIDE TODAY ;

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