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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - May 31, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAYSPOR Altoona baseball team claims District 6 crown, advances to state playoffs / Bl NATION: Wealthy Americans see big drop in tax cuts; checks may be in mail by fall / Cl Two novices to the theater breathe life into one of Neil Simon’s comedies / DIAltoona Mirror © Copyright 2001 SPEAKIKG OUT To voice an opinion, e-mail or call: George Gekas: [email protected] Don Young: www.house.gov/don young/opinion Jorm.htm Bill Shuster: (202) 225-2431 U.S. Rep. John Peterson: (202) 225-5121 Toll free: (888) 844-1776 http://www.house.gov/writerepTHURSDAY, MAY 31, 2001 SOC newsstand RENAMING RAYSTOWN LAKE Officials hope Shuster declines By Kevin Ott Staff Writer HUNTINGDON — Thanks, but no thanks. That’s what tourism officials in Huntingdon County are hoping former Congressman Bud Shuster will say to efforts to name Raystown Lake after him. The Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau, the agency in charge of marketing the artificial lake — Pennsylvania’s largest and the focus of the tourism in the county — has asked Shuster to stem the tide of support coming from Alaska Representative Don Young. Young has introduced a bill in the House that, if passed, would turn Raystown Lake into Shuster Lake. “On behalf of the tourism business community, the visitors and potential visitors, we respectfully ask you to decline the honor of changing the name of Raystown Lake to Shuster Lake,” wrote Pam Prosser, executive director of the HCVB, in a letter to Shuster. She sent the letter in care of Shuster’s son and successor, Bill Shuster. “In the long run, we believe that you will gain more respect from the communities that you have served by acknowledging but declining the offer,” Prosser wrote. Please see Lake/Page A8 —11 y rTTTT Tf HOLLIDAYSBURG CAR SHOP FUTURE Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich Mike Giansante latches on to U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., to make a point Wednesday before the press conference about the Hollidaysburg Car Shop. Politicians enter picture Shuster, Specter Discussions begin advise not to close behind closed doors By William Kibler Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG - Kids coming to Kelly Park Wednesday afternoon to climb aboard the tubes, coils and cylinders of playground equipment reminiscent of a steam engine probably wondered what the adults were doing there in suits in front of TV cameras. Answer: It was All Aboard for the politicians, too — on a train that seems to be gathering momentum day-by-day. In front of about 30 rail workers, across the tracks from the Hollidaysburg Car Shop, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, freshman U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th District, and state Reps. Rick Geist, R-Altoona, and Jerry Stem, R-Martinsburg, took turns telling Norfolk Southern Corp. it will need to honor its prior commitments and cancel plans to close those shops in September. The big momentum came from a petition to the Surface Transportation Board, which recently indicated it could rule against closure. Please see Close/Page A12 By Craig Williams Staff Writer The public statements made at the Wednesday press conference by U.S. Sen. Arlen Spector, R-Pa., and newly elected U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th District, objecting to Norfolk Southern’s plans to close the Hollidaysburg Car Shop are a portion of the political maneuverings of the 6-month-old dispute. Now the discussions have left the arena of public hearings and entered back rooms, political offices and legal chambers from Harrisburg to Washington. On Wednesday morning. Gov. Tom Ridge entertained David Goode, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Norfolk Southern and Henry Wolf, vice chairman and chief financial officer of NS, in his offices in the state capital. And according to the governor’s press secretary, the three exchanged anything but pleasantries. Please see Doors/Page A12 Lawyer requests reverse ■ In a six-page petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, attorney asks Nixons be granted hearing. By Phil Ray Staff Writer The attorney for Dennis and Lorie Nixon is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse itself and grant the Altoona couple a new hearing on the freedom of religion issues raised by the death of their 16-year-old daughter almost five years ago. The Nixons are scheduled to report to jail today or Friday to begin serving 2 Va- to 5-year sentences. The couple was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the 1996 death of their daughter, Shannon, from complications caused by diabetes. In a six-page petition filed this week with the nation’s highest court, attorney Sally A. Frick asks, “How can any court hold these petitioners criminally liable for putting their faith in God in accordance with the beliefs of their established reli gion and for allowing a devout 16 year-old woman to follow the beliefs to which she has always held fast?” When Shannon became ill, her parents, instead of referring her to a doc-! tor for medical care, allowed her to seek the blessing of the Rev. Charles Nixon, her grandfather and the leader of the Faith Tabernacle Congregation at 439 Fifth Ave. The Nixons were convicted of similar charges in the early 1990s when their son, Clayton, 8, died from an ear infection. At that time, they were placed on probation. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear further appeals from the Nixons’ 1997 convictions and jail sentences. Frick in the latest petition, argued that Shannon Nixon upon becoming ill clearly wanted to be anointed. “The evidence also is clear that she [Shannon! knew the availability of medical treatment and chose to forgo that treatment and to be true to her faith and to her strongly held beliefs,” according to Frick’s petition. “To require that her parents infringe on her exercise of those strongly held beliefs or that they be required, by a duty of care as parents to an adult child, to supplant those beliefs by governmental requirements, unconstitutionally infringes on her right and Please see Nlxon/Page All Dennis Lorie Financial status of hospitals in area worse than appears By Michael Emery Staff Writer Hospitals in the southcentral region of Pennsylvania had negative operating margins in fiscal year 2000 but positive total margins, according to an annual report from one organization that monitors health-care costs. Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council reported that hospitals in Region 3, which includes Blair, Bedford, Cambria, Indiana and Somerset counties, had an average operating margin of -1.36 percent, but a total margin on the positive side at 4.85 percent. According to another organization, those positive total margins BY THE NUMBERS Altoona Hospital Net Patie.it Revenue Total Operating Expenses Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital Net Patient Revenue Total Operating Expenses deceptively ignore the total picture, and the financial status of hospitals is worse than what is reported by PHC4. The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania has 2000 1999 ; 1998 1997 $139 $134 $128 $127 $144 $135 | $128 $125 $53 $54 $38 NA $55 $55 ! $39 NA Source: PHC4 voiced strong reservations about the accuracy of the PHC4 report, primarily because it fails to take into account the loss of Medicaid funding. Please see Status/Page A3 Summer time’s a cornin’ — but not yet By Kevin Ott Staff Writer Call it the summer that wasn’t. Last summer was hardly summerlike with temperatures that dipped well below normal and nighttimes that felt more like fall or early spring. And with temperatures as low as they’ve been for the past week, it looks like it might be happening again. Meteorologists called for frost Wednesday night as the mercury plunged below 56, disguising late May as early October. The forecast for the next week looks much the same, with daytime highs barely breaking the 70-degree mark and nighttime lows hovering near a blanket-clutching 50. The low temperatures come from a glitch in the upper atmosphere, said meteorologist Kerry Schwin- At this time last year, temperatures were averaging 2.4 degrees lower than normal. denhammer of Accu-Weather of State College. “Really, it’s been a stubborn upper-level low [pressure front!,” he said. Cool air is being blown into the higher levels of the atmosphere over Pennsylvania from Canada. Normally at this time of year, oui’ air is imported from points south and west. A cold front expanding eastward from the Great Lakes isn’t helping matters much, Schwin-denhammer said. For meteorological reasons many and myriad, the Jet Stream — the band of wind that delivers weather — is blowing further to the north than usual, bringing in air that’s just a bit colder and wetter. Those reasons are hard to discern and predict. “That’s a subject of debate,” Schwindenhammer said. “The jury’s not out.” As for the rest of the summer, he said, it’s anyone’s guess. “You never really know what it’s going to do,” he said. At this time last year, temperatures were averaging 2.4 degrees lower than normal. By August, they had dropped to 2.6 degrees lower than normal. Mirror Staff Writer Kevin Ott can be reached at 94&7457or kotKwaltoonamirror.com. mm DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 2874480 22910 00050 ^ BIG FOUR 0    2    7    1 1 Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly sunny, 68° ■ Forecast. A2 HCfT-ADS^om We're white-hot! mmm mrrsM Altoona mirror nmiE GREAT COMBINATION I Call us today...Make money today. A.sk for THE GREAT < BOMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and IO J ALKS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-754jj[ □ local 0 NATION INSIDE Business A13 Classifieds C6-16 Hospitals Obituaries AIS A15 Comics C4 BBSINESS Opinion AIO Major market indexes slip into negative territory. PAGE A13 Q SPORTS Local B4 Dear Abby Movies Puzzles D5 D3 D5 Scoreboard B5r Television D5 t * ;

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