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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - June 11, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY _Test    your    smarts    and win cash by picking the winner of next week’s race / Jeff Gordon won the Kmart 400 Sunday in Michigan for team’s 100th win /Altona mirror © Copyright 2001 MONDAY, JUNE ll, 2001 50 C newsstand Boy, 14, dies of accident injuries By William Kibler Staff Writer A 14-year-old Altoona boy died Sunday of head injuries suffered when his bicycle struck a pickup truck parked on Juniata Gap Road Saturday night. He was riding after dark and not wearing a helmet, officials said. Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross said the boy, Charles Ehredt, of Box 244, RD 4,was riding to “blow off steam" after his bike helmet was stolen at Teen Fest, a one-day event designed to give youths an alternative to drugs and crime. Ehredt is the son of Dan and Roxanne Ehredt of Juniata Gap, Ross said. Ehredt was riding on the right side of the road near Penn State Altoona when he braked to avoid hitting the pickup, which was parked against the curb with its flashers on, police said. The pickup's left side was projecting into the road by a few feet, officials said. Ehredt’s bicycle hit the truck, and at the same time, the bicycle of a 15-year-old male friend struck Ehredt’s bike from behind, sending both boys tumbling off their bicycles, Ross said. Ehredt went over a comer of the truck bed and hit his head on the road, near the driver’s door, police said The other boy will recover from his injuries, though the accident has traumatized him, Ross said. Ehredt probably was brain dead immediately after the crash from the effects of his brain bouncing within his skull after his head hit the road, Ross said. Doctors at Altoona Hospital tried but couldn’t stop the bleeding and swelling of the boy’s brain afterward. Ehredt was on a ventilator at the hospital until he was pronounced dead at 12:50 p.m. Sunday, Ross said. Ehredt was a ninth-grade student at Keith Junior High School and may have survived if he had been wearing a helmet, Ross said. He normally wore one while riding, Ross said, citing information from her son, who knew Ehredt. Pennsylvania law does not" require bicyclists 12 and older to wear a helmet, Logan Township policeman Bill Burrows said. The pickup had just pulled up to the house at the accident location — about 40 feet south of the intersection with Park Drive — to deliver presents for a birthday party there. Please see Ehredt/Page A9 FLYING HIGH McVeigh: Regrets, but no apology ■ Set to die this morning, convicted Oklahoma City bomber is convinced he’s won the war with the federal government. By Sharon Cohen The Associated Press TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Timothy McVeigh counted down his final hours Sunday in a stark isolation cell, described as confronting death in good spirits and confident he is the “victor” in his twisted one-man war against the government. McVeigh spent the day in the 9-by-14-foot cell, a short walk from the execution chamber, writing letters of appreciation and goodbye to friends as he awaited death by chemical injection at 8 a.m. EDT today, if all goes McVeigh as anticipated. He communicated with family members Saturday, his attorneys said. McVeigh was sentenced to die for the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building that killed 168 people, including 19 children — the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil. “He once told me that in the crudest of terms, it’s 168 to one,” Lou Michel, co-author of “American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh & The Oklahoma City Bombing,” said Sunday on ABC’s This Week. “He feels he is the victor,” said Michel, who will be one of McVeigh’s witnesses. “He has made his point, and he’s now going on to whatever is the next step.” McVeigh attorneys Rob Nigh and Nathan Chambers met with their client for about two hours Sunday afternoon. “He is calm,” Nigh said at a press briefing afterward. “He is prepared to go forward. ... Quite frankly, he is ready to die." Nigh also conveyed McVeigh’s regrets about the people he killed but stopped short of offering an apology, saying his client has “struggled with that mightily.” He has “tried to express as best he can that he is sorry for the deaths that occurred,” Nigh said. “That is not to say that he doesn’t believe that he was right.” “I don’t think there’s anything that he could say that would ever make it any better or would ever reduce the suffering,” Nigh added. Chambers said McVeigh’s mood was upbeat. “He continues to be affable,” the attorney said. “He continues to be rational in his discourse. He maintains his sense of humor.” McVeigh was transferred from his 8-by-lO-foot cell at the U.S. Penitentiary to the holding cell at 5:10 a.m. EDT Sunday and secured 20 minutes later. He was cooperative, and the move occurred without incident, U.S. Bureau of Prisons officials said. “He was able to look up in the sky and see the moon for the first time in a number of years,” Nigh said. McVeigh, he added, slept a few hours Saturday night and planned to do the same before his execution. The isolation chamber has bare tan walls, a narrow bed, a sink and toilet, a television and a window that allows a guard in an adjacent room to check on him. “Watching the video of him being moved was surreal,” Chambers said in an interview outside the prison. “Look around us, all those people gathered to watch someone die.” McVeigh had been scheduled to have the last meal of his choice at I p.m. EDT, which could be anything from a local restaurant as long as it cost less than $20. Prison officials would not confirm if the meal had been served. In Oklahoma City, survivors and victims’ relatives mingled with tourists Sunday in front of a memorial to those killed. Survivor Richard Williams, who volunteers at the site, said he felt a heightened sense of anticipation as he approached the area. “I think I’m ready,” said Williams, who was an assistant manager at the building and had to be dug out of debris after the bombing. “I’m ready for this part of the journey to be over.” Please see McVeigh/Page AIQ Mirror photo by Jason Sipes A skateboarder jumps off a ramp at Teen Fest this weekend near Roosevelt Junior High School. Local youths struggle to find places to skate ■ Municipalities often criminalize the nontraditional sport. By William Kibler Staff Writer The Colorado Avalanche beat the Devils for the Stanley Cup in hockey and the Sixers and Lakers are going head-to-head in the NBA. In both sports, teams strive for a championship victory. It’s different in the sport of skateboarding, said Mike Watt, 23, who was using his favorite mode of transportation on Seventh Avenue near Roosevelt Junior High School Saturday. Watt was riding his ’board amid the ramps and rails and pyramid boxes of Teen Fest. Watt, short and stocky, with tattoos, was wearing an oldfashioned white undershirt and black shorts. He sported a pendant ear stud, a tongue stud and a narrow hank of brow n-blond hair hanging in his face. He tried repeatedly to grind the comer of a low box ramp, each time not quite making it. The board would crash, he’d jump off and walk back for another run at it. Please see Skate/Page AIQ FREE INSIDE ■ Altoona school bands pick up slew of awards at competitions ■ Glendale student interviews Penn State coach Joe Paterno ■ Bishop Guilfoyle High School student named Blair County dairy princess ■ St. John the Evangelist Catholic School team places 16th at Odyssey of the Mind world finalsParents, others frustrated child testimony bill still not a reality JEANETTE KREBS Capitolwire.com HARRISBURG - Tracy Bunner knew her children's emotional scars were beginning to heal the night they agreed to sleep on the floor in a bedroom instead of the living room. Although the kindergarten-age youngsters still won't sleep in a bed, Bunner thought finally the nightmare of a man walking into their classroom wielding a machete and injuring both of them might be waning. Then the Red Lion resident found out her children may need to come face to face with their attacker again later this month in court. “Naturally, we want this man to spend the rest of his life in prison, but this is going to be so hard for them, especially my daughter,” she said. The York County resident was shocked to find Pennsylvania is one of a minority of states in the nation that does not allow children to testify against their attacker by videotape or close-circuit TV. What is even more frustrating for her is knowing that a law allowing her children to do so could be on the books right now' if lawmakers had acted on it last year. But the constitutional amendment died in the House in a case of political in-fighting. Please see Testify/Page AIQRetired authority director will return as a consultantBY THE NUMBERS Under the direction of the Altoona City Authority: ■ 2 sewer treatment plants ■ 7 water plants ■ 8 reservoirs ■ 140 employees ■ 1,000 miles of piping ■ 25,000 customers ■ a $20 million budget By William Kibler Staff Writer Bill Cochran, who retired in 1999 as executive director of the City Authority after 48 years with the city’s water and sewer systems, is coming back as consultant for a smooth transition after the death last week of Field Operations Director Jerry Troxell. And the authority wants him to evaluate the operation completely. “Top to bottom,” Cochran said, after he met recently with authority Chairman Maurice Lawruk and member Bill Geis. With eight reservoirs, seven water plants and two sewer treatment plants, 1,000 miles of piping, 25,000 customers, 140 employees and a $20 million budget, the authority is a massive operation, made more complex with the spending of $150 million on treatment plants and the refurbishing of dams, officials said. Please see Consultant/Page AIQ ,.-v . ■HMM DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 ? -'2291 0 00050 a I    * BIG FOUR0    5    19 1 Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Partly sunny, 84° ■ Forecast, A2 * HqT-ADS.jom We're white-hot!Altnuna mirror THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us today...Make money today. Ask for HIK GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and    »S Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 □ local Q NATION Business A7 Classifieds C3-10 Movies A7 i Obituaries A9 j Opinion A8 | GI LIFE □ sports j Comics D5 Community news D2 Local B4 Puzzles D4 BS I Television D4 INSIDE ;

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