Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - May 28, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania
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The shoulder along Municipal Drive near the
Interstate 99 overpass was eroded almost a foot deep in some places because of heavy rainfall and runoff Saturday night.MONDAY, MAY 28, 2001
Allegheny declares state of emergency
Mirror photo by Jason Sipes
By Kevin OTT Staff Writer
DUNCANSVILLE — No homes suffered major damage in Saturday night’s flooding — but in a way, that’s the biggest problem.
A state of emergency was declared by Allegheny Township supervisors Sunday in the wake of flooding throughout the area, which left widespread damage to roads and some damage to local homes.
The state of emergency will enable supervisors
and county officials to apply for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make repairs. But FEMA doesn’t offer money for housing repairs unless the flooding has caused first-floor damage in homes.
There’s plenty of damage to the outsides of Allegheny Township homes, particularly in Cross Keys Village mobile home court, where mobile home skirts were washed away and yards were damaged.
Please see Allegheny/Page A3
Roads damaged in Allegheny Township flooding:
■ Carson Valley Road
■ West Carson Valley Road
■ Harrison Street
■ Broad Avenue Extension
■ Mill Road
■ Maple Hollow Road
ALTOONA-JOHNSTOWN DIOCESE TURNS IOO
praise tax cut
By Robert Igoe
Local lawmakers are declaring victory in Saturday’s approval of President Bush’s tax cut plan by both houses of Congress.
The House of Representatives and the Senate approved Bush’s $1.35 billion tax cut Saturday, ending a battle over one of the president’s key projects in legislation.
“One of my pledges in my bid for Congress was my support for tax relief for the people of the 9th Congressional District and for the rest of the nation,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th District, in voting for the House version of the legislation, House Resolution 1836.
“This vote fulfills that pledge, and I look forward to President Bush signing this legislation into law in the coming days.”
While the tax cut eventually agreed upon was lower than originally proposed, Shuster considers it an excellent first step.
“This is a wonderful day for the American taxpayer,” Shuster said. “Although this compromise legislation did not maintain the rate cuts which the House passed, this 10-year, $1.35 trillion pro-growth tax relief bill enables families, small businesses and farmers to recoup a portion of their hard-earned tax dollars to invest and spend as they see fit, not the federal government
“In fact in late summer, taxpayers will see their first refunds with married couples receiving up to $600 and individuals up to $300.”
The $1.35 trillion, 10-year tax cut package Bush intends to sign during the first week of June is retroactive to the beginning of the year, and the rebates are to be adjusted for overpayment.
They reflect the first year of a new IO percent income tax rate on the initial $6,000 of an individual’s income and $12,000 for married couples.
Married couples will receive checks for up to $600; single parents will receive up to $500; and single taxpayers will get up to $300.
U.S. Rep. John Peterson, R-5th District, also voted in favor of the final bill. U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-12th District, voted against it.
Altoona resident Dennis Hatch is upbeat about the tax refund, but he’s more interested in the economic climate of Blair County.
“I’m all for tax cuts for middle- and low-income,” Hatch said. “But it’s window dressing. They allow Norfolk Southern to do what they are doing [at Hollidaysburg Car
Please see Cut/Page A5
Mirror photo by Jason Sipes
An estimated crowd of 1,200-plus arrive to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown Sunday at Cathedral of Blessed Sacrament.
Dignitaries help local Catholics celebrate
By Kevin OTT Staff Writer
Brothers and fathers and sisters lined the aisles and hugged each other, ruffled the hair of children running by and shot waves and knowing smiles at those out of reach. It was a family reunion, but not in the sense we usually think of one.
The brothers were dressed in simple black robes cinched at the waist, the fathers regaled in white ceremonial albs. The sisters dressed as simply as the brothers, in habits according to their order.
They were there to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their family
— the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
“The Diocesan Church of Altoona-Johnstown gathers... exactly IOO years to the day after it was established as a Particular Church by Pope Leo XIII,” said Bishop Joseph Adamec, who assisted in leading the High Mass to celebrate the centennial.
Leading the Mass as chief celebrant was Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, the Pope’s diplomatic ambassador to the United States. Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, the archbishop of Philadelphia, and Cardinal James Hickey, retired archbishop of Washington, D.C.,
Please see Mass/Page A5
Women contributed to overseas war efforts
■ Memorial Day program honors, remembers and pays tribute to America’s veterans.
By Mia Rohart and Robert Igoe Staff Writers
EBENSBURG — It wasn’t only men who served in World War II and braved the heat of the Pacific Theater, a resident of Laurel Crest Rehabilitation and Special Care Center said.
Jane Ann Fitzsimmons, now in her 80s, served in World War II in the Women’s Army Corps when she was little more than a teen-ager. Fitzsimmons said her family was supportive of her choice.
“I was a wacky WAC,” Fitzsimmons said.
She served in Australia, New Guinea and the Philippines.
“I sweated my head off,” she said with a chuckle.
Residents of the home, including several veterans, participated in a Memorial Day program put on by World War II veteran Charles Vizzini Thursday afternoon.
Besides not enjoying the tropical heat, Fitzsimmons missed the food she was used to at home: butter, scrambled eggs, fresh milk, coffee and sugar. The Army did serve a lot of hamburger and rye bread, she remembered.
Although the Army had its rules and regulations, Fitzsimmons made friends with many of the other women and had fun at the frequent
dances and parties.
When asked if she met any nice young men in the Army, she replied, “Hell, yes.”
But Fitzsimmons had promised her aunt — who raised her after Fitzsimmons’ mother died — that she would return home to get married.
When Fitzsimmons left the Army in 1944, she returned home, and at 23, married her first husband, a man from Johnstown.
“I don’t regret one minute. I was happy. I did my job, and I served my country,” she said.
Another Laurel Crest veteran, Glenn George, 79, joined the Navy in 1943 when he was 21 years old. He flew a dive bomber, was stationed in the South Pacific and took part in the Battle of the Philippines.
Please see Memorial/Page A5
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About 20 tourists,
including three Americans,
were kidnapped from a
resort in the Philippines.
The Associated Press A statue of a soldier helping a wounded buddy is part of the National D-Day Memorial.