Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - November 6, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania
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One year later
Barely elected, Bush has mandate
© Copyright 2001
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2001
Mirror photo by J O. C«vnch
Customers who get their water from the Bakerton Dam soon may find themselves high and dry. Because of a lack of rainfall, the dam is down to a three-day supply.
Authority treading water to keep Bakerton Dam customers afloat
By Linda Hudkins For the Mirror
BAKERTON — The dam providing water for 300 homes in this West Carroll Township village is very low because of the lack of rainfall.
At one point, it appeared Bakerton Dam would run dry in five days. But rainfall poured enough water into the 5.7 million-gallon reservoir to extend the supply another week.
Now the West Carroll Water Authority is hoping for at least a solid day’s rainfall, authority chairman John Thurman said.
In recent years, the authority, and particularly Bakerton Dam, have gar nered considerable public scrutiny. One problem with the surface water source is that droughts tend to dry up the dam, leaving customers frustrated and angry.
Another problem occurred a few years ago when a state inspection determined that the dam was unsafe.
For the safety of people living downstream, the state mandated removal of the top 5 feet from the dam’s breast, reducing its capacity from the original 12 million gallons.
Please see Supply/Page A5
Costs leave families out of public system
By Linda Hudkins For the Mirror
ST. BENEDICT - Jean and Rodney Harbridge don’t have to look far from their home on Route 219 in West Carroll Township to see public water supply dams.
But they don’t have public water and don’t expect to get it anytime soon. In fact, they’ve sunk thousands of dollars into drilling a deep well and treatment system for the iron water they tapped into.
“It’s a bad situation,” Jean Harbridge said.
But after ll years of using water from a shallow spring and runoff from gutters on their roof, it’s an improvement.
Please see Out/Page A5
Employees of car shop back on job
■ Retirements and disability claims cut Hollidaysburg staff down to 170 people.
■ Norfolk Southern likely to appeal stay.
Legal wrangling could drag on for months.
By Craig Williams Staff Writer
HOLLIDAYSBURG - Workers returning Monday to the Hollidaysburg Car Shop said they are happy to finally see a victory, although a temporary one, in a long-running battle to save their jobs.
Norfolk Southern Corp. had no choice but to reopen the idled shop Monday after the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay Friday to force the factory doors open during an appeal of the Surface Transportation Board’s decision to allow the shop’s closing.
About a week ago, Norfolk Southern told workers to go home and never to come back.
“It’s good to be back," said one man swinging his lunchbox as he finished his shift at 3:30 p.m. "Everything is kind of the same.”
But everything isn’t the same, the railroad said.
Attrition through early retire
ments and disability insurance has reduced the car shop roster from 290 workers in September to 170, Norfolk Southern spokesman Rudy Husband said.
Those remaining workers returned to begin cleanup in anticipation of working on rail cars sidetracked from the 22-state system.
Many recalled employees were starting new jobs with the railroad in other states as part of transfers required under federal merger agreements.
According to union officials, some machinists, metal workers, painters and brake* repairmen already rented apartments in Ohio, North Carolina or Georgia in anticipation of starting new jobs at smaller repair shops.
Norfolk Southern confirmed that 20 percent to 30 percent of the Hollidaysburg work force accepted positions in other states.
Please see Workers/Page A7
Mirror photo by Jason S(pes
Workers leave the Hollidaysburg Car Shop Monday after their first day back on the job in more than a week. The shop was granted a temporary reprieve from a court of appeals Friday.
Voluntary layoffs draw little interest
By Beth N. Gray
For the Mirror
BEDFORD — Voluntary layoffs among county government employees failed to reach expectations, so county commissioners are asking department heads to propose other cost-cutting measures.
Commissioners Chairman David Thompson two weeks ago suggested 30 of the county’s 190 workers could volunteer for furloughs from Nov.
17 to Jan. 7, saving about $50,000. Only five workers expressed interest by Monday’s deadline.
The county is facing an estimated $200,000 shortfall this year.
In a letter to commissioners, President Judge Daniel Lee How-sare said the court system cannot afford to lose employees for the period requested or a shorter period, and he would not permit any job holders to take layoffs.
Please see Layoffs/Page A5
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District attorney candidates trade jabs on eve of electionALSO INSIDE
■ A proposal is on the table to allow voters to cast ballots in retention elections for district justices. rn Bars are permitted to remain open on Election Day, thanks to a new liquor code reform law that eases restrictions.
Election Day closings.
By Phil Ray
The marathon for Blair County district attorney ends today with incumbent Dave Gorman and challenger Robert Donaldson sprinting to the finish line.
Donaldson held an early morning news conference Monday to denounce advertisements in which Gorman decried Donaldson’s lack of legal experience.
Gorman responded that the issue in today’s election is the same as it
has been since the race began — Gorman’s 14 years as an assistant district attorney and district attor
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ney compared to Donaldson, an attorney for two years who lacks trial experience.
Donaldson, who spent 20 years as an business executive before obtaining a law degree, said Monday, “I am experienced; I am qualified. I am capable, and I am honest.”
He said he performs criminal court work every week. Donaldson works for the Centre County Public Defender’s office.
Please see Jabs/Page A4BUSINESS
A 10th interest rate cut this year by the Federal Reserve is widely expected today because of the gloomy economic picture.