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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - May 5, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Sports: Penguins planning changes for Game 5Life: How to select quality, long-lasting furniture OIAltoona mirror© Copyright 2001    SATURDAY,    MAY    5,    2001    500    newsstand Altoona has new health coverage ■ About 2,100 local policyholders of HealthAmerica will switch hospitals. By William Kibler Staff Writer The city’s hospitals are tussling again, and the issues include competition strategy, insurance reimbursement and patient choice. An Altoona Hospital partnership has signed a deal to serve employer groups covered by the HealthAmerica insurance plan, inducing Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital to cut ties with the company. Part of Altoona’s strategy to boost income and erase an operating deficit, the deal would have given 3,500 policyholders and new ones in companies with more than 150 workers access to both hospitals. But it would have given Altoona exclusive right to serve companies with fewer than 150 employees, and that led Bon Secours to break off with HealthAmerica. “If they [Altoona! allowed open access to everybody, we wouldn’t have had a problem with it,” Bon Secours spokesman Dave Cuzzo-lina said. “We really believe patients or persons should make the decision where to get health care” — not hospitals and insurance companies, he said. Exclusivity deals are common and leave room for a choice in doctors, Altoona spokesman Rick Reeves said. And employers are free to pick and choose their plans, just as workers are free not to participate, he said. Bon Secours does not demand to be the exclusive city hospital to serve policyholders for any insurance companies, including HealthAmerica, said Bon Secours’ Toby Kennerdell, who is responsible for physician and managed care services. Bon Secours welcomed Health-America’s seeking additional options for its policyholders until it went the other way with exclusivity for the rival hospital, Kennerdell said. If Bon Secours had elected to continue with HealthAmerica, the dual-hospital access for big-compa-ny health plans would have given a second dual-access option to compete with Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s plan with likely savings for area employers and residents, Please see Plan/Page A6 SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT Faithful boost Shuster coffers ■ The Congressional hopeful capitalizes on GOP registration edge, his father’s legacy to raise more than his Democratic rival. Mirror photo by Jason Sipes Lakemont Park lights up the sky in this 2000 file photo. Park officials hope warmer, drier weather will prevail this summer to attract more amusement-seekers than last year. Coming attractions Area amusement parks open for business this weekend By Robert Igoe Staff Writer Although Bill Shuster is being careful to cast himself as his own man in his congressional campaign, for the 9th District, it appears he’s tapped into some of his famous father’s magic in at least one area: fund raising. According to documents filed this week, Shuster has raised almost four times as much money as Democrat Scott Conklin, with plenty of it coming from central Pennsylvania contributors with ties to local business, economic development, transportation and infrastructure. But a political analyst said that while the Shuster name certainly didn’t hurt, the fund-raising gap is just as likely a reflection of the strong Republican registration edge in the district. “Probably some of the contributors would have been the same Shuster [regardless of who the GOP nominee was],” said Penn State University associate professor of political science Michael Berkman. “But I’m sure there was some carry-over with the Shuster name. But we can’t really know for sure. After all, the Republicans are very adamant on holding this seat.” Shuster, who hopes to succeed his father, former Rep. Bud Shuster,__ has raised $335,463, and Conklin has Conklin raised $120,308, according to reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission. Conklin, Shuster and Green Party candidate Alanna Hartzok will face off in the May 15 special election for the right to represent the heavily Republican district. The vacancy was created when the elder Shuster resigned earlier this year after 28 years in office. Shuster, a first-time candidate who owns an automobile dealership in East Freedom, lent his campaign $20,155. Conklin, chairman of the Centre County Board of Commissioners, lent his campaign $35,450. Shuster had $166,497 in the bank and Conklin had $19,192. Hartzok raised $5,767 and had no money in the bank. Shuster said the level of his support shows that “our commitment to fighting for tax relief and retirement security is shared by others.” Conklin spokesman Ken Christensen said their campaign results indicate that “we have beat all expectations. We are campaigning aggressively, and people are starting to believe that Scott Conklin can win this race.” The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which previously had been reluctant to support Conklin, contributed $5,000. Please see Coffers/Page A3 By Kevin OTT Staff Writer Last summer there were too many days when amusement park rides went unridden, collecting puddles of rainwater in their seats and lightly creaking in the wind. Starting this weekend, those who run those parks are hoping nature will sing a different tune. Officials at Blair County’s two amusement parks are hoping this week’s preview of summer weather will be a precursor for the rest of the season — unlike last year, when thunderheads and storm clouds dimmed hopes of packed rides. “We did as well as could be expected with the weather the way it was,” said Melissa Vyborny, Lakemont Park spokeswoman. “It was the summer that wasn’t.” Weather can play heck with baseball and roller coasters, two of Blair County’s major summertime attractions. Vyborny and her contemporaries are watching the skies this season and hoping for the best. “After you’ve been in the business for a while, you get used to it,” she said. With Lakemont’s opening planned for today, a continuation of this week’s balmy climate would benefit park owners and amusement-seekers alike. The opening will coincide with the debut of the Tin Lizzy, an attraction that puts the rider behind the wheel of classic autos. At another park just down the road and around the comer, they’re watching weather reports just as closely. On opening day Sunday at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park — which locals still call Bland’s Park — the rides will be free for two hours. Please see Attractions/Page A6 Mirror photo by Gary M Baranec Bill Browning, an artist from Riverview, Fla., paints a dragon motif on the Sea Dragon, the newest ride at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park.IF you GO AKEMON™^* Lakemont’s summer season begins at noon today. The park will stay open until 8 p.m. The Tin Lizzy, an antique car ride, will debut later this month. DelGrosso’s will open at 11 a m. Sunday with two free hours of rides. The park will close about 8 p.m. — depending on attendance. The park will debut two new rides: the Sea Dragon and the Balloon Race. New victim awareness program aids inmates By Beth N. Gray For the Mirror BEDFORD — “These guys come in here thinking, ‘I’m the victim,’” Bedford County Jail Social Services Director Patricia Richards said, gesturing toward a cellblock. “I thought only of myself,” said prisoner Sonya Oakes, serving time on a drug charge. “I thought I was the victim.” “We thought we were the ones suffering,” said convict Tim Deremer, sentenced for robbing a bank night depository. “We forgot what the victims were going through.” Justin Winck, who committed a robbery at knifepoint, said “everything else was the problem. Please see Program/Page All DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7 *22910 00050    4 I n BIG FOUR 2    6    4    8 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly sunny, 68° ■ Forecast, A2 »Spotlit ON C0VE-BEDF0RD COUNTYINSIDE TODAY Claysburg-Kimmel graduate headed to Oxford University. PAGE A10 The 40-member Bedford County Players have taken on a lease for Gardner Memorial Theatre at Old Bedford Village. PAGE AIQ Electricity industry reports supply fine for summertime By George Strawley The Associated Press HARRISBURG - Californians have been told to expect as many as 30 days of rolling blackouts this summer, but Pennsylvania electricity suppliers said they plan to have more than enough power on hand to get through the peak months. “Barring IO days in a row of 100-degree temperature or major problems on the line, we don’t see any problems this summer,” said Robert Hinkel, a manager with PJM Interconnection, which manages the electrical grid that extends through eastern Pennsylvania, four other states MS :,    , HQT-ADS.Com We're white-hot! Altoona mirror |l THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us today...Make money today. Ask for of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 Q LOCAL Q NATION Business A9 Classifieds C4-14 Hospitals A13 Obituaries A13 Opinion A8 [Jure SPORTS Comics D5 Movies D3 Local B4 Puzzles D4 Scoreboard B5 Television D4 and the District of Columbia. Utility company representatives delivering a semiannual report on the state’s power supply to regulators Friday said that the state’s wholesale market provides more than enough supply to meet the state’s needs. Please see Supply/Page A7 INSIDE ;

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