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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - May 30, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Nation: Court won’t hear Ten Commandments case ClLife: Don’t let food-borne diseases ruin your picnic DIAltoona mirror © Copyright 2001 WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2001 500 newsstand Alleged drug kingpin returning to face trial ■ One suspect in last week’s raid may have sold from hospital bed; another left drugs behind at bank. By Tiffany Shaw Staff Writer An accused drug kingpin charged with distributing cocaine in Altoona will return to Blair County this week. Meanwhile, new details have emerged about two other suspects arrested in the same drug bust last week: One allegedly was dealing heroin from a city hospital bed, and another was caught after inadvertently leaving a package of the drug at a bank teller window. The alleged big-time dealer, Scott Smeltzer, 30, of 508 Lloyd St., was arrested in Florida two weeks ago and waived his extradition back to Pennsylvania May 21, Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman said. Authorities have IO days to bring Smeltzer back to Blair County, where he will be arraigned before a district justice on 16 counts of delivering crack cocaine, one count of conspiracy and two counts of participating in a corrupt organization. State Attorney General Mike Fisher said Smeltzer was responsible for selling more than 18 kilograms of cocaine worth $1.5 million in Altoona between mid-1997 and May 2000. Please see Drugs/Page A4 Probe closed on acid mishap ■ OSHA closes book on Tyrone accident. Problem wasn’t a leak, ChemFirst says. By Walt Frank Staff Writer TYRONE — A federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration official said Tuesday that the agency will not conduct an on-site investigation into a recent accident at the ChemFirst Fine Chemicals plant. Emergency management officials and plant personnel originally reported that hydrochloric acid leaked at the plant May 17 because a reactor processing a chemical new to the site overpressurized. But in a May 24 letter to OSHA, Ivan Riggle, ChemFirst site compliance manager, said what occurred was not a leak from a faulty valve but rather an unexpectedly large venting of gas and vapor. “Our investigation reveals that during processing of a new product, larger volumes of gases than expected occurred in the reactor system where the new chemical was being processed,” Riggle wrote. “The safety systems vented the gases as designed,' minimizing the vapor release to a relatively small amount of hydrochloric acid.” The release of about 747 pounds was small enough to be under environmental regulatory reporting requirements, which are triggered at 5,000 pounds, said Riggle, who also submitted a recap of calculations and measurements that verify the amount of hydrochloric acid released. At the time of the incident, emergency personnel said the cloud of acid vapors that escaped the plant was potentially harmful and forced many Tyrone residents to remain indoors for several hours. Please see Mishap/Page A6 THE NAME GAME Mirror photo by Jason Sipes Huntingdon County officials are sending letters to every member of the U.S. House of Representatives to keep Raystown Lake from being renamed Bud Shuster Lake.Huntingdon working to save lake’s moniker By Kev in OTT Staff Writer HUNTINGDON — Just think of it as the Lake Formerly Known As Raystown. Or maybe not. Huntingdon County commissioners are doing everything they can to stop Congress from changing Raystown Lake to Bud Shuster Lake. For now, that means writing letters. Lotr of letters. In . 3 next week or so, letters signed by commissioners Alexa Cook, Kent East and Roy Thomas will arrive in the mailboxes of every member of the House of Representatives. That’s 435 letters. It’s all an attempt to stop House Resolution 1955, introduced by Don Young, the Alaska congressman who replaced Bud Shuster as head of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. If passed, the resolution would redesignate Raystown Lake — the largest artificial lake in Pennsylvania and the star of Huntingdon County’s growing tourism industry — as Bud Shuster Lake. Please see Name/Page A7 THI BILL The text of House Resolution 1955: IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES May 23, 2001 Mr. VOUNG of Alaska introduced the following bill, which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: A BILL To redesignate the Raystown Lake located on the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River in Pennsylvania as the “Bud Shuster Lake." Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. REDESIGNATION The Raystown Lake located on the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River in Pennsylvania shall be known and redesignated as the “Bud Shuster Lake." SECTION 2. REFERENCES Any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper or other record of the United States to the lake referred to in Section 1 shall be deemed to be a reference to the “Bud Shuster Lake.” Car shop hearing on for June ■ House panel’s visit likely to pull some political rather than legal strings. Bv Win jam Kibler Staff Writer The U.S. House Railroad Subcommittee will roll into Blair County for a field hearing on Norfolk Southern Corp.’s plans to uncouple the Hollidaysburg Car Shop. It’s just a matter of setting a timetable. The subcommittee, a part of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is aiming for mid-June for the hearing, probably on a Friday or Monday, said Michael Tetuan, an aide to U.S. Rep. Jack Quinn, R-N.Y., rail subcommittee chairman. The panel will hold the hearing to ensure Norfolk Southern understands the full impact on the community of the loss of 375 jobs and an estimated $19 million in annual payroll, Tetuan said. The hearing could include U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, who requested the visit while he was running for the 9th District congressional seat; members of the 23-person subcommittee; Pennsylvania Repub lican Sens. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum; and representatives from the federal Surface Transportation Board, Norfolk Southern, the car shop work force and the local community, Tetuan said. A railroad industry analyst predicted the subcommittee will take a pro-labor bent and give a “bad time” to Norfolk witnesses. “Whatever powers the committee possesses to preclude, abort or inhibit the closure, however you want to put it, will be exercised,” said Washington, D.C., analyst Bob Banks of R.L. Banks and Associates. The power of the committee is AT A GLANCE A What: A hearing of the Railroad Subcommittee of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Members: 23 Committee chairman: U.S. Rep. Jack Quinn, R-N.Y. Possible participants: ■ Committee members; ■ U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th District; ■ Pennsylvania Sens. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum; ■ Surface Transportation Board representatives; ■ Norfolk Southern officials; ■ Local rail workers; ■ Community members. political rather than legal, Banks said. The STB has the most direct say over the car shop’s future. The panel indicated it may cancel Norfolk Southern’s plans to close the facility because the move would violate promises the railroad made in order to get regulatory approval for its takeover, along with CSX Corp., of Conrail. The STB has given Norfolk Southern until June ll to argue the point. As of Tuesday, the railroad had not filed a response. The railroad said it will respond to the STB ruling, and Banks said Norfolk Southern will respond to pressure from politicians that could come to the field hearing. “Norfolk Southern is a politically sensitive animal,” Banks said. Its political sensitivity and astuteness has helped it prosper, including, ironically enough, in getting what it wanted in the Conrad merger, which led to the troubles that has made it seemingly imperative to shut down the Please see Hearing/Page A6 Bidding dispute erupts over Garvey Manor job By Ray Stephens Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG — A feud has surfaced over construction of the new Garvey Manor Nursing Home. Blair County commissioners Tuesday agreed to financial arrangements made through the Blair County Hospital Authority for up to $10 million in tax-free revenue notes. But representatives for Leonard S. Fiore Inc. insisted they should have the job because their bid of $17.1 million was about $1 million less than the chosen bidder. Sister Joachim Anne Feren-chak, Garvey Manor administrator, said her board looked at several factors when selecting a general contractor. The board chose to hire Ralph Albarano of Duncansville, who Please see Bidding/Page A5 Courtesy photo An architect’s rendering of the proposed assisted living and skilled care facility at Garvey Manor. The project will cost $23 million and be completed in January 2003. Charges dropped in 1981 homicide case By Phil Ray Staff Writer Homicide charges have been dropped against a mentally ill man who nearly 20 years ago killed an Altoona resident on a Saturday morning stroll along 14th Avenue. Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman and Public Defender Don Speice requested the charges be dismissed against Donald E. Larson, 77, because he is in poor health. Judge Norman D. Callan granted the request so that Larson could be transferred from the Warren State Hospital, where he has spent most of the past 20 years, to a nursing facility. Gorman said the move will not result in danger to anyone. Please see Homicide/Page A4 DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 22910 00050 BIG FOURi I 9 3 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Sunny, breezy, 62° ■ Forecast, A2 HOT-ADS.dom We 're white-hot!Altoona mirror THE GREAT COMBS N ATION] Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and HOT ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547_ □ local Business A6,9 Movies AS Obituaries All Opinion A8 (^SPORTS Local B4 Scoreboard B5 ’ V Q NATION Classifieds    C3-12 0 LIFE Comics    D5 Community news    D2 Puzzles    D4 Television    D4 INSIDEIN SPORTS The Pittsburgh Pirates and Altoona Curve continued their downward spiral as both posted losses Tuesday. PAGE Bl Adams Allen ;

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