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Altoona Mirror Newspaper Archives May 31 1986, Page 1

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - May 31, 1986, Altoona, Pennsylvania Local Curryville boy fights for life by Altoona it or business at amp to facing strike deadline cd vol. 101 a no. 298 of our 111th year a Altoona pa., saturday May till 86 Al a Chat a Lake Tahoe q Carson City tour bus plunges into River Walker Lake California a a Yosemite National \ Park i Miles bus packed with elderly sightseers wrecks 18 die up graphic Bridgeport. Calif. Up a speeding Lour bus packed with elderly sightseers skidded off a twisting narrow Canyon Highway into a raging Central California River Friday killing at least 18 people the California Highway patrol said. The cup said eight people were found dead in the bus and another to bodies were pulled from the frigid River some As far As 15 Miles downstream from the Accident. Twenty four others were injured including the Driver who was hospitalized in serious but stable condition. Quot it looks like they re All accounted for but there May he one officer Mike Slappey said. About too search Crew members and divers aided by helicopters and . Marines stationed nearby. Combed the Snow fed River. The red. White and Blue starline Tours bus swerved off a curve bounced off a Hainlink Fence and tumbled Down a 30-foot treeless Rock strewn dirt embankment into the Walker River officers said. The surging River was swollen by Mountain Runoff to flood stage. The temperature of its Waters was in the 50s. A Santa Monica. Calif., group chartered the bus for a four Day annual trip to Reno. Nev. And was returning Home. Quot my husband was thrown out the window a said passenger Valerie Webb who was tossed into the aisle As bodies fell on top of her Quot i thought he was floating Down the River. It was terrible not knowing where he her husband Buster was later found by rescuers. Their conditions were not known. Quot it was a horror a said Judy Sobel of Van Guys. Calif., a motorcyclist stopped on the Road who was one of the first to give help to the stricken. She said she and her companions pulled six to seven people to safety from the smashed bus which fell onto its Side and came to rest propped on a Rock. The Back end of the tour bus Lay submerged in the water. Quot it was she said another witness. Irv Pigovat redding., calif., said. Quot it looked like a Battlefield. The bodies were entangled. There was a lot of blood and a lot of people in cup investigating officer Mike Slappey said. Quot so far we feel Speed was the cause. There were skid Marks All Over the the bus left a 210-foot-Long skid Mark on the curve on Highway 395 and another 215-foot skill Mark after it bounced off the Fence. The Driver Ernest Klimeck Glendale. Calif., was airlifted to Washoe medical Center in Reno. His condition was upgraded from critical to serious but stable Friday night. Quot the Driver was sitting up on the Road when we Allen Smith of the Mammoth lakes fire department said. Quot his Only response. Was that he had no idea what happened and he continually questioned bystanders. Did anybody know what happened9 i have no idea what the roof of the bus was partially caved in. The windows were smashed on the Side of the bus that was pointing backs sewage treatment facilities plan by Jeff Mulhollem staff writer the Altoona City authority Friday afternoon unanimously adopted the Altoona area Wastewater treatment facilities plan formally embracing the proposal for the City s $42 million sewer system renovation project. In approving the plan the City authority committed itself to rebuilding both the Easterly and Westerly sewage treatment plants and constructing expensive controls for combined sewer overflows near Bellwood Avenue in 10th Ward and Tuckahoe Park in 6th Ward. The authority which never relinquished title to the sewer system after financing construction of both existing treatment plants in the 1950s, is poised to float a Bond Issue of at least $20 million to finance the local share of the project. After arranging financing for the project the City authority is expected in coming months to be made an Independent operating sewer authority by City Council. The City authority has independently operated a 12-Reservoir water service system since 1980. The City is expecting a Grant from Tho Federal government to arrive in 1987, funded by the clean water act. To for 55 percent of project costs or about $25 million. Authority chairman Robert Smith conceded Friday that adoption of the facilities plan confirms previously stated intentions to install a 1.2-million-gallon sewage storage tank beneath the upper end of Tuckahoe Park. The proposal has some neighbors of the Park up in arms and a citizens group has been formed. The group has threatened to file a lawsuit in Blair county court in an Effort to obtain an injunction to halt the project. Group spokesman John Orr said two weeks ago that instead of burying a huge Concrete sewage storage tank beneath the Park the City should separate the sanitary and storm sewer systems. When heavy prolonged Rains drench the City Gates close to protect the treatment plants and raw sewage fouls Mill run in the West and the headwaters of the Little Juniata River in he East. Orr noted that the combined sewer overflow controls planned will not eliminate the problem. They Are designed to catch Only the first hour flush which is most environmentally damaging. But City officials maintain sewer separation is too expensive. City councilman Karl r. King pointed out that the Federal government will not allow Grant Money to be used for such a Quot non Cost effective solution Quot to the City s Stream pollution problem. Quot we have to commit ourselves to the project by Federal order Quot authority chairman Smith said after the meeting. Quot the authority represents the entire Community. So naturally we re concerned about the opposition to the Tuckahoe Park overflow control. Hut we Are legally bound to solve this problem. What can we do Quot the authority As a whole voted for the facilities Smith added Quot so i guess that says it All. We re committed he refused to comment on the likelihood of Legal action to he taken by 6th Ward residents against the authority. Authority member Robert Freeburn pointed out that the Board is less than thrilled with the Prospect of building a sewage storage facility in a Park surrounded by an affluent Altoona neighbourhood. Quot but most everything we do is forced upon us by the Federal he said. Quot they come in Here and hit us on the head with these things we have Little a Lane rocket destroyed by Misson control Kourou. French Guiana up a Europe a ariane rocket was blown up by Mission control nine minutes after Blastoff Friday night when its third stage failed to fire sending the rocket and a $55 million satellite payload tumbling into the Atlantic. Quot the whole Mission has been lost Quot said Frederic do tallest chairman of Arian space the French led International consortium that markets builds and launches the ariane the top competitor to the . Space shuttle. D tallest said the first two stages of the 148-foot, unmanned rocket separated correctly and on time but the engine in the third stage failed to ignite forcing officials to order the detonation 9 minutes and 8 seconds into the flight. The rocket was 50 Miles High at the time and the third stage and the 4.400-Pound Intelsat 5 International satellite fell together into the Atlantic. A space Agency spokesman said the decision to blow up the rocket was made not because it threatened populated areas but because ii was disappearing Over the horizon beyond reach of the radio detonation signal. The 18th launching of the ariane had been delayed 53 minutes when a red warning Light flashed in the control Center. Officials said that problem appeared to be with the communications link Between ground stations and the satellite aboard the rocket. Intelsat Short for International communications satellite organization uses satellites to link i to countries with Telephone television and other communications services. The company is resport sible for virtually All International television service and handles two thirds the world s Telephone traffic. The satellite was to be operational by August it was to orbit 22,370 Miles above the Earth. Two ariane rockets have been launched successfully this year sending four satellites into orbit. Last fall however an ariane rocket had to he detonated when it flew out of control. An eerie silence fell Over Mission control when news of the rocket s failure was revealed. Reagan rips big damage Washington up president Reagan said Friday huge damage awards in civil suits Quot have begun to eat away at the fabric of american life Quot and urged Reform of Laws that for instance allowed a Man injured while using a phone to sue the phone company for damages. Quot there a still such a thing As common sense and this Ain t it a Reagan told the american tort Reform association which wants Reform of the system of tort Law a procedures for awarding damages in negligence libel and product safety cases. Giving examples of Quot absurd results Quot caused by the system. Reagan urged Congress to pass his Reform initiatives to limit awards that he said Cost businesses professionals and Consumers millions of dollars. Recognizing that most civil suits come under procedures adopted by each state Reagan said changing Federal Law would set Quot an example of common sense for the rest of the nation to a Over the years tort Law has helped us drive the malevolent and negligent out of the marketplace a the president said. Quot More recently awards however tort Law began to go terribly wrong. Twisted and abused tort Law has become a pretext for outrageous Legal outcomes a outcomes that impede our economic life not promote Reagan also injected himself in two hot political issues in his Home state of California where a ballot initiative would limit damage awards and where Liberal supreme court chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird is fighting to retain her seat. Reagan cited a Case in which a Man using a Public phone was injured by an alleged drunk Driver and successfully sued the Telephone company for damages. Quot that a right Quot he said. Quot according to chief Justice Rose Bird. A jury could find that the companies responsible for the design location installation and maintenance of the Telephone Booth were he said the number of million Dollar jury awards has risen from one a year to More than 400 in the past two decades and the average medical malpractice verdict Rose More than 350 percent. The Cost of liability insurance has caused lapses in medical care and see Reagan on Page a3 a Quot there will be an inquiry Board for this do tallest told reporters Quot we Are confident that we can find the problem. It is part of this risky even before the Jan 28 challenger space shuttle disaster Arian space secured 50 percent of see ariane on Page a3in the Mirror accidents.b3 astrograph.b4 movies d7 births.b2 obituaries.b3 ,2.8 opinion a4 classified.c3-7 outdoors d6 crime.b3 lunchline.b6 crossword.b4 sports.dl-5 hospitals.b2 circulation local.bl-8 .36,700weather today scattered showers High 80. Tonight showers ending Low 53. Extended forecast on Page a6mayor seethe Over a forgotten insurance policy by Jeff Mulhollem staff writer amidst All the hubbub this week surrounding the City a frantic attempt to secure $500,000 in general liability insurance coverage a $1 million umbrella policy was apparently forgotten. Forgotten. A Seething mayor David l. Jan Netta City controller Travis b. Young and City clerk Francis Kuhn spent Friday afternoon anxiously attempting to arrange via numerous Telephone Calls an Extension of the umbrella policy. While they Laboured councilman Donald c. Grabill a who was charged by Council last fall with handling City insurance policies a took the afternoon off reportedly to celebrate his wedding anniversary. Jannetta and other councilmen criticized Grabill this week when he revealed at tuesdays meeting that he was unable during a six month David l. Jannetta search to find an underwriter for the City a special Multi peril liability policy which expires sunday. The City was told in March that the policy would not be renewed. Only last minute efforts by workers in state sen president pro tem Robert c. Jubelirer a office with help from the state insurance commission resulted in the Carrier Camden fire insurance association. Agreeing to offer 60-Day policy Extension. The $1 million in umbrella coverage was available to the City because it had general liability coverage. But the umbrella policy held by safety Mutual casualty corp. Of St. Louis also expires sunday. That firm notified the City last november it would not renew the policy. Quot its very frustrating and not just a Little bit embarrassing to be in this situation a Jannetta fumed late Friday afternoon. Quot i just Hung up the phone after talking with the Deputy insurance commissioner for the slate of Pennsylvania. I was Embar based to have to ask him for help the Day before our policy expired when we were notified in november 1985 that the umbrella policy was Donald c. Grabill not going to be renewed. Quot there is no doubt about it we Are in this position because of or. Grabill Quot Jannetta continued. Quot we were made aware of this in the fall of 1985. He was assigned by Council to handle the insurance and the finances director has always before handled the insurance policies for the City of Grabill who has been dodging news reporters for two weeks and refusing to answer questions about the City a insurance crisis could not be reached for comment either at City Hall or at his Home late Friday. At tuesday s Council meeting he blamed the City a inability to secure coverage on the insurance on the Market. According to Grabill cities across the country Are having trouble finding underwriters for liability coverage. When insurance is negotiated. Premiums Are exorbitant rising by 1,000 percent in some cases. Due to excessive claims versus Premium losses insurance companies now consider municipalities and government agencies like am Tran and amed poor risks. Huge see insurance on Page a3

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