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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - June 4, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Sports: Philadelphia 76ers advance to finalsLife: Training can keep pets in loving homes DIAltoona Mirror © Copyright 2001 MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2001 500 newsstand Filings up with pending measure ■ More individuals are claiming bankruptcy before reform bill goes into effect. From Mirror staff and wire reports A weakening economy and the anticipated passage of a bankruptcy reform bill in Washington caused a spike in the number of individuals filing for bankruptcy in the first quarter, according to an analysis of federal statistics released recently. The number of personal and business bankruptcies in the quarter ended March 31 are the highest    alen im they have been    ™ in any quarter    BUSINESS since June 1998, according to sta-    ■ Hormel Foods tistics from the    no longer objects Administrative to using Spam’s Office of the U.S.    double meaning Courts. Most of    for junk e-mail, that increase    ■ Space mission resulted from    features first individual bank-    step toward ruptcy Filings. Internet access “A lot of the on Mars pressure has    PAGE    kl come from the    ■ Foreign shift loss of jobs,"    workers fill gaps said Elizabeth    at tuxedo firm. Warren, a pro-    PAGE    A10 fessor    at Harvard Law School and an expert on bankruptcies. “With families already deeply in debt, it doesn’t take much for them to tumble into bankruptcy.” There were 366,841 bankruptcy Filings in the First quarter, according to the administrative office. That Figure represented an 18 percent increase from the period a year earlier. Much of that increase came from individuals Filing for Chapter 13. Such Filings were up 21 percent. In the western district of Pennsylvania, the federal region that includes Altoona, Pittsburgh and Erie, the trend is much the same as the rest of the nation. Since 1994, when the number for bankruptcy Filings dipped to 5,291 filings in the area, more Pennsylvanians have sought protection under the law. Last year, more than 12,000 bankruptcies were Filed in the western district alone. Another reason for the rise in the number of filings was the bankruptcy legislation passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate in March. Please see Bankrupt/Page AIQ NETWORK OF OPPORTUNITY Mirror photo by Gary M. Ba ranee Bellwood-Antis School District technology coordinator Mike Lingenfelter shows how streaming video is possible with new high-tech lines at the high school. GETTING CONNECTEDWired world A quick lesson in broadband technology: What it is... High-speed tansmisston of data. FCC ''chose 200 kbps for qualityl service, about four times faster than a 56 kbps ^^^^kmodem, which can change i rH<>w a a used    Web pages as fast as jrvice must support^^L 'PP,n9 though a 200 kbps from Internet    tr;3Z'brn,ttin9    ! to user and from user    vide back to Internet Internet users who spend their time surfing the Web, bly don't utilize^■^^^Two on a large scale fir kbos.    FCC's    definition    Cable modem service provides speeds around 1.0 mbps or higher. DSL varies rn speeds commonly offerir 384 kbps or 640 kbps^ 1 5 mbps and up to^ 7.1 mbps. Advantages ... Faster transmission1 and connections ability for Internet always to be available if computer is on With dial up, user initiates connection through modem, .which can take mors than a minute Source Center tor Democracy and TechnologyBroadband could bring area growth By Walt Frank Staff Writer Prepare to get connected. A public-private partnership is committing $810,000 to a project designed to enhance and extend the state’s telecommunications infrastructure, and the Interstate 99 corridor will be the First to be improved. Slated to sere customers from State College to Altoona along the 1-99 corridor, the new infrastructure improvement has public officials and local businesses excited over the potential growth, and they are comparing it to a new highway system. “We have built highways, put in water and sewer lines and made other improvements to help keep and attract jobs,” state Senate President Pro Tem Robert C. Jubelirer, R-Blair, said. “Now, we can look to having a technology network that will enable Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington ll Please see Broad band ZP age ASMore seniorsworking From Mirror staff and wire reports Betty Corl, who will be 78 this year, enjoys getting up each morning and starting her day, and it isn’t because of any special herbal remedy. For Corl and thousands of her age, putting in Five hours on her feet is what gives her a lift. The Duncansville native has worked at Kmart on West Plank Road since she retired from Veeder-Root 13 years ago. The spunky septuagenarian said her day wouldn’t be complete without a few hours helping her customers. “I’m at the check-out counter and I like it,” she said. “It gets me up and out in the morning and gives me extra spending money.” More seniors are working during what might have been their retirement years, helping fill a need for employees in low-skill Fields while also seeking cash for their health care needs and — as with _ Corl    —    spending money. According to a recent Census Bureau report, the number of Americans 65 and older working or seeking work increased IO percent — to 4.5 million — between March 1999 and March 2000. There was a 22 percent increase in seniors in administrative support positions, including clerical jobs, and an 18 percent increase in sales jobs. The Figures are from a survey separate from the 2000 census. Data from the latest headcount on older Americans will be released over the next year. Employers give older workers favorable reviews. “My older workers bring experience with them,” said Bob Bardine, area manager of the Altoona Kmart. “And they are definitely dependable. I have a lady working for us now who is in her 70s, who has been here as long as I have — since the early 1980s, over 20 years — and she has no desire to retire. Currently, there are three older workers here at Kmart, and they are all good workers.” Healthier, more active seniors are helping to fill job openings in offices and fast-food restaurants. However, some are not seeking just extra cash and a reason to get out of bed. The increase in working seniors also points to a need for the federal government to address rising prescription drug costs, which have forced some older Americans to work, said Batty Cooper, spokeswoman for the labor-backed Alliance for Retired Americans. The surge was primarily because of a 16 percent increase between 1999 and 2000 in men 65 and over in the work force. Overall, there are 32.6 million people in that age group, I percent more than the previous year. Other findings: ■ 83 percent are non-Hispanic white; ■ women account for 57 percent of those 65 and over and 67 percent of those 85 and older; ■ two-thirds in poverty are women, largely because of the fact that women live longer than men, analysts said. Please see Seniors/Page AIQ Lawmaker seeks compromise to dispute with Amish sect EBENSBURG (AP) — A Cambria County lawmaker hopes to add a third side — compromise — to a dispute between the state and a strict Amish sect that refuses to use orange reflective triangles on their buggies. State Sen. John Wozniak, D-Johnstown, said hell introduce a bill today that would let the Swartzentruber sect instead use reflective tape to outline the rear-facing edge of their buggies. “The First step is to get my colleagues to accept the alternative,” Wozniak said. "The devil is in the details.” The Swartzentruber sect deems the trian gles —already used by most of Pennsylvania’s Amish — too garish for their beliefs. The reflective triangle is the state’s officially required emblem for “slow-moving” vehicles. The issue came to a head in December when Amishman Jonas Swartzentruber spent three days in jail after being cited for not having a triangle on his buggy. Since then, Swartzentruber, 23, again was cited for driving without a triangle — as have 12 others in his settlement in Carrolltown. Please see Amish/Page A3 City Hall renovations still lagging By William Kibler Staff Writer In April, officials predicted the City Hall renovation project might not Fmish until early August, Five months late. Now they’re saying it might be as late as October — almost seven months late. However, unlike a monthlong slow spell in late winter, the $4.25 million project is advancing, and there’s a renewed sense of effort, Public Works Director Dave Diedrich said. But some items on order — such as fire-rated interior doors — have a long lead time, meaning the project is at least 12 weeks away from completion, said Councilman Tom Shaheen, a member of ■ Action from City Council in brief / Page A5 the project committee. The delay is keeping city staff from moving out of the temporary City Hall and forcing the city to extend its $8,000 per month lease there, plus payments to keep managing the renovation project. But a $l,000-per-day late penalty against general contractor W.C. Murray should help offset the additional expense. The city gave Murray a 40-day grace period for change orders, but the remaining 170 days or so theoretically could generate $170,000 in penalty fees owed to the city. The city will retain IO percent, or almost $200,000, in keeping with safeguards in the contract, which should make it easier to collect the Fines. The city can collect only enough Fines to defray actual expenses, Shaheen said. The city was aware of prior delays and payment problems for Murray before it awarded the contract for the City Hall job, which began in late 1999. However, Murray’s bid was the lowest — at $1.78 million, $455,000 lower than the next one — and the bond, Financial statement and other documents were in order. Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler can be reached at 949- 7038 or [email protected] ■■■■■■■■HI iHHMMHHI DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 22910 00050 ( BIG FOUR ) 2    4    I I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly sunny, 71° ■ Forecast, A2 Altoona iMtrror HQT-ADS.dom We’re white-hot! THE GREAT COMB I NATION] Call us today...Make money today. .Ask for THE GREAT ( OM BINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and \!!s Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 □ LOCAL Business A7, IO Movies A7 Obituaries A9 Opinion A8 c SPORTS Little League B4 Scoreboard B5 0 NATION Classifieds    C3-10 0 LIFE Comics    D6 Community news    D2 Puzzles    D4 Television    D4 INSIDE Bending your ear about com PAGE D3 ;

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