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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - March 12, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Nation: Bush wants to scrap drug-fighting program Life: Allegheny Ballet Company to perform SaturdayAltoona Mirror© Copyright 2001    MONDAY,    MARCH    1.2,    2001.    500    newsstand Boogie nights ■ Penn State University men’s, women’s teams invited to the NOM basketball tournaments. By NEIL RUDEL Associate Sports Editor UNIVERSITY PARK - Women’s basketball coach Rene Portland has taken Penn State University to 17 National Collegiate Athletic Association tournaments. The school’s men’s basketball team is joining March Madness this year for the third time since the tournament expanded to 64 teams. Portland said Sunday night, when the teams are announced, it heightens the enthusiasm. “When you turn on the TV, I’m sure they’ll list the schools that have both teams in,” she said. “That is Tim’s [athletic director Curley] dream, and when your boss is happy, you should be happy.” Both teams will be playing in Louisiana. The sixth-seeded PSU women will play in Ruston against llth-seeded Texas Christian (24-7) Saturday and the seventh-seeded PSU men will play against lOth-seeded Providence in New Orleans Friday. Game times will be finalized today. “We’re hoping the distance between sites will enable more fans to travel,” Portland said. Penn State is making arrangements to bus its cheerleaders and band the three hours between sites. The Lady Lions (19-9) must get past TCU in order to get a shot at East Region host Louisiana Tech (28-4). Penn State is quite familiar with the third-seeded Lady Techs,ters, having beaten them last year to advance to the Final Four. Portland is happy her team is in the East Regional. The survivor of the Ruston subregional will advance to the East Regional finals at Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena. “I think there’s a reason we’ve been put in the East,” Portland said, “and that’s so our fans will get a chance to see us if we can get there.” The Nittany Lions (19-11) need to survive Providence (21-9) in order to get a shot at second-seeded North Carolina (25-6). The Tar Heels, who lost a chance for the No. I seed by getting blown out by Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference final Sunday, are matched up with 15th-seeded Princeton in the first round. Survivors of the South Regional in New Orleans advance to Atlanta. Penn State coach Jerry Dunn and his staff were on the phone late Sunday night, scrambling for information on Providence. But that took a back seat to actually getting into the NCAA Tournament. “We’re going to savor this until 8 o’clock Monday morning,” Dunn said. “This is a great opportunity for our program and for all the hard work these kids put in.” Mirror Associate Sports Editor Neil Rudd can be reached at 94& 7527or [email protected] INSIDE More coverage of the NCAA hoops tournaments and complete men’s and women’s brackets. Pages Bl, B2, B4 MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY NEW OPERHTING SYSTEM Dr. Dan Clark of Lexington Surgical Associates uses the HERMES computer (at left) during minimally invasive surgery last week at Altoona Hospital. Minimally invasive surgery involves the chest, abdomen, spine and pelvis, done with the aid of a viewing scope and specially designed surgical instruments. The scope allows a doctor to perform major surgery through several tiny openings without the need for a large incision. Mirror photos by J.D. Cavrich Computer network aids doctors during surgery By Michael Emery Staff Writer The newest member of the Altoona Hospital surgical team goes by the name Hermes and gets intimately involved in surgical procedures. But Hermes doesn’t scrub down before surgery, doesn’t wear a surgical mask and doesn’t get emotionally involved after surgery. That’s because Hermes, actually denoted HERMES, is a high-tech medical device approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1998. HERMES serves as a doctor’s assistant in advanced minimally invasive surgery. HERMES, named after the Greek messenger god, is a specialized computer capable of understanding a surgeon’s voice commands and of controlling medical equipment in the operating room. In short, HERMES is a computerized network of medical devices that serves as the world’s first voice-controlled operating room. There are several benefits to having HERMES, Altoona Hospital spokesman Dave Hopkins said. “The voice-activated HERMES system eliminates possible confusion between people talking back and forth in the operating room,” Hopkins said. “By allowing the surgeon more direct control of the surgery, it saves time and gets patients out of the operating room faster. “And, of course, less time for each patient in the operating room allows for more operating room usage. It saves money all the way around.” Stryker Endoscopy and Computer Motion Inc., the California-based high-tech company that designed HERMES, calls it “the operating room of the future.” Altoona Hospital is the first medical institution in central Pennsylvania to use the voice-controlled HERMES Control Center. Please see HERMES/Page A8 Above left: Clark wears a microphone to control HERMES during surgery. Above right: Clark talks about the benefits of using the high-tech device in the operating room. Ebensburg plans self-financed streetscape improvement work By Mia Rohart Staff Writer EBENSBURG — Ebensburg will spend $700,040 on streetscape improvements in its business district. Ebensburg is financing the project on its own. With 3,980 people, the borough falls 20 people short to be eligible for a Community Development Block Grant, Borough Manager Dan Penatzer said. Those who own property where sidewalk improvements will be made will be assessed a portion of the costs. Real estate taxes have been raised two-and-a-half mills this year, which will generate $40,000 each year. The rest of the costs will The project will be paid for by affected property owners, real estate taxes and loans. be borrowed over the next IO years, Penatzer said. Pam Covitch-Cotlar, owner of J. Covitch and Son, said there are some dangerous sidewalks in town, and until now, there hasn’t been an enforced effort to fix them. Now with a pattern established for the sidewalks, they will add to the beauty of the district. “I think it’s definitely a worthwhile project,” Cotlar said. The project will include new sidewalks, curbing, 60 new trees and benches. The new sidewalk will run on High Street between Julian and Locust streets and on Center Street between Sample and Ogle streets. From the center of town, the new sidewalk will extend three blocks in each direction, Penatzer said. The inside of the sidewalk will be concrete, while the outside portion will be patterned concrete meant to look like brick. The patterned concrete is more durable and economical than real brick, Penatzer said. Please see Work/Page A8 MNMf ft! J>3** IN Mi -•# ■ Portage schools enact public records policy By Jay Young Staff" Writer PORTAGE — They’re ready now for public record requests in the Portage Area School District. The district didn’t comply with the law in response to a request for public records during a recent Mirror investigation. But Superintendent Andrew Kitten said that won’t happen again. Portage administrators now will respond to any public documents request by asking residents to complete a “request for access to public records” form. The form requires general information and states each request will receive a response within a ACCESS 11; € NIED I reasonable time period, with requesters being advised if a response will take more than five business days. In addition, the district will require proof of state residency since a Pennsylvania court ruled in 1993 that state residency is a requirement to have rights under the Right to Know law. Please see Policy/Page A8 ■NMI DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 rh 22910 0005D i BIG FOUR 9    7    7    8 ■ Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mix of sun and clouds, 43° ■ Forecast, A2 % r Altoona mirror HOT-ADS.^om We're white-hot! ' i ■■vmeh.mn mssm [THE GREAT COMBINATION] Call us today...Make money today. A.sk for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-T547 'b [J LOCAL 0 NATION Business AS Classifieds C3-8 Hospitals A7 Obituaries A7 Opinion A6 Q URE worn Comics • OS Community news D2 Scoreboard BS Puzzles D4 Television D4 INSIDE TODAY Bellwood-Antis Middle School student gets hands-on with a banner project. Glendale High School student interviews Pittsburgh Pirates Chief Executive Officer Kevin McClatchy about the status of the franchise. INSIDE ;

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