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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - May 25, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania si&Q, INSIDE TODAY Rrii&tON Simpson Temple United Parish marks 30th anniversary / FREE INSIDE _Attorney    general    will    not    postpone    McVeigh’s execution again / Cl_ Have a red face? It could be a case of a skin condition called rosacea / DI Altoona mirror © Copyright 2001 FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2001 500 newsstand Nixons to report to jail, appeal again D. Nixon L. Nixon By Phil Ray Staff Writer Dennis and Lone Nixon must report to the Blair County Prison next week. But their Pittsburgh attorney will continue to seek a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court on the Nixons’ faith-healing beliefs that prosecutors said cost the couple’s 16-year-old daughter her life. Shannon Nixon was ailing in the summer of 1996. She was weak and prone to con suming large amounts of water. Instead of taking her to a doctor, the Nixons — including Shannon Nixon — turned to the leader of the Faith Tabernacle Congregation, the Rev. Charles Nixon, who anointed Shannon. She eventually lapsed into a coma and died as a result of juvenile diabetes. Altoona police and the Blair County district attorney charged the parents with endangering the welfare of a child and involuntary manslaughter, beginning a trek through the judicial system that didn’t come to an end until April 30 when the Supreme Court announced it would not hear the Nixons’ appeal to their convictions and sentences. Blair County Judge Norman D. Callan imposed 2Vi- to 5-year jail terms on the Nixons in 1997, and he stated that they were to report to prison within 31 days of their Final appeal. On Thursday, the Nixons’ attorney, Sally A. Frick of Pittsburgh, Blair District Attorney Dave Gorman and Callan met behind closed doors to review the Nixons’ status. Frick and Gorman said there was no disagreement that the Nixons will be required to report to the county prison by June I at the latest. Gorman said the Nixons can report to prison any time they want to begin serving their sentences. Please see Nlxons/Page A3 VIETNAM WAR MUSEUM BEDFORD AIRPORT Project taking flight SpJmpt Fire Base Eagle members working hard on dream center S£ jZJJ f£ of land By William Kibler Staff Writer The local veterans group that proposed a Vietnam War History Center at Westfall Park plans to ask Congress to designate it as the definitive U.S. museum for that war. “That would be a great feather in our cap,” said Don Traub, a Pittsburgh museum consultant who has been working with Fire Base Eagle to develop the project. ■ Vietnam vet speaks to junior high students/ Page A11 There are smaller, less comprehensive Vietnam museums in New Jersey, Texas and California, but there are no museums existing or proposed that would be a rival for the distinction of national Vietnam War museum, Traub said after an Altoona City Council meeting this week at which Fire Base Eagle officials updated the project. Fire Base Eagle President and founder George Montgomery hopes to begin the $10 million-plus project next construction season and fmish it three years later, but that timetable remains vastly uncertain. The center could include an exhibit building; a high-tech, sensory “contact” building to re-create the experience of patrolling in the bush; replicas of a Fire base, a mountain village, a South Vietnamese village, an enemy tunnel complex and a prisoner of war camp; a river patrol exhibit; a courtyard and garden area; an entry complex; a parking lot; and an access road. Please see Museum/Page A12 ^7- ^aL ■ 11 tMii H' si > J* V Kift, •    f    I p By Beth N. Gray For the Mirror CESSNA — Home and business owners are questioning why their properties must be taken as part of a runway extension project for Bedford County Airport. The airport will expand its runway to 5,000 feet to accommodate heavier aircraft. Jim Watkins, representing the Watkins Family Trust, wonders why long-range planning didn’t take into account a possible need for more ground. The trust owns RG’s, a gas station and convenience store at routes 220 and 56 — a site the Federal Aviation Administration declares must be free of businesses where 50 persons might congregate. Gas pumps and underground fuel tanks also are considered a danger within a takeoff and landing protection zone. The Watkins family operated Five Gables Restaurant since 1947 before RG’s was built on the site several years ago. “We were here before the air port,” Watkins said. But Ray Jennings, Bedford County Air Industrial Park Authority spokesman and airport manager, said a 1980s federally approved master plan called for the 900-foot runway extension for the airport, which opened in 1996. The extension was perceived from the beginning, but the date of its construction was unknown. Clarissa McGraw objected to tak ing Hickory House Tavern, which she and her husband have owned for eight years. She said the tavern may cater to as many as 200 customers on a Saturday night. Another commercial property, a used car business, also is targeted, as well as eight homes. “This could all be moot,” Jennings said. “If the community doesn’t want the airport to expand — you’re limiting the capacity and economic development of the community — you’ll reverse what’s already here.” He said local opposition could scuttle plans for the $8 million to $9 million project. Please see Runway/Page A7 Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich Artist Don Traub’s rendering of the proposed Fire Base Eagle Vietnam War History Center at Westfall Park (clockwise from top left): the entrance to the museum, the history center building and an exhibit featuring U.S. soldiers. A PEARL HARBOR CONNECTION Former Altoonan proud to oversee Hawaiian port Edwards DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 By Michael Emery Staff Writer Two words will be on the lips of Americans everywhere this weekend: Pearl Harbor. Sixty years later, spurred by the debut of an expected summer blockbuster of the same name, the famous World War II sneak attack is the hot topic this Memorial Day weekend. BM FOUR I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER ■ Television remembers Pearl Harbor this weekend/ Page DI Altoona has a Pearl Harbor connection in the form of Capt. John A. Edwards, a former resident recently named commander of the Navy shipyard in the famous Hawaiian port. It is Edwards’ responsibility to ensure his crew provides efficient maintenance and repair of all ships and submarines at the site. But he knows the ghosts of war are nearby. “I’ve had the opportunity to serve in many wonderful capacities throughout my career, and this is certainly the pinnacle of my career so far,” Edwards said. Please see Port/Page A12 Restaurant plan upsets residents By Ray Stephens Staff Writer Logan Township residents told supervisors Thursday that the township is failing to protect their neighborhood, where a Cracker Barrel restaurant is slated to be built. “How is it that [developer Greg] Morris is allowed to take down that barrier?” Goods Lane resident Beverly Hargreaves asked supervisors at their bimonthly meeting. “It was put up to protect us.” In plans under review by township officials, the embankment built four years ago as a barrier between the Hampton Inn and the neighboring residential area is expected to be leveled, paving the way for construction of the restaurant, gift shop and surrounding parking lot. While local leaders recently wel comed news about Cracker Barrel opening and the 160 jobs it will create, residents in that area are not happy. About a half dozen attended Thursday’s meeting to see the plans. Pat Shellenberger said that when Morris First proposed development in her neighborhood, it consisted only of a Hampton Inn and a restaurant. Morris and his partners later put an addition onto the Hampton Inn, which is rented by PaineWebber. “What’s to stop him from building onto this?” Shellenberger asked. “He snowballs,” Paul Hargreaves said. Supervisor Jim Patterson said if Morris’ plans for a Cracker Barrel meet all township ordinances, then supervisors are obligated to approve them. Please see Restaurant/Page A5 22910 00050 , 4 Cloudy, showers, 62° ■ Forecast, A2 f BRAND NEW 2002 JEEP LIBERTY -e Arriving Now Are Chrysler - Plymouth - Jeep 1549 Pleasant Valley Blvd. Altoona, PA 945-4167 Q LOCAL Business A9 Scoreboard B5 tv 0 NATION Classifieds C2-12 Hospitals All Movies C2 Obituaries Opinion A11 A8 [J LIFE □ sports Comics D5 Local B4 Community news Puzzles D2 D4 Television D4 INSIDE IN SPORTS Altoona Area High School, Central High School advance to District 6 baseball championship games. PAGE Bl ( « - ;

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