Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - November 16, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania
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© Copyright 2001MORI HARRY POTTER
IN 11 ( ^eview: P°tter mov'e
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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2001
Harry Potter, orphan of humble origins, on screen
From Mirror staff and wire reports
Betted show up at the theater early, or you’ll have trouble finding a place to park your broomstick. But no camping out will be permitted at the Logan Valley Mall.
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone’’ hits theaters in a colossal way today, with nearly one-fourth of the nation’s movie screens showing the boy wizard’s adventures.
The film will be shown at the Carmike 8 in Altoona. An employee, who asked not to be identified, said camping out will not be
allowed on mall property, recalling that
many fans tried to do that for “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace’’ but were thrown off by mall security.
Eleven-year-old Chris Baum of Pittsburgh plans to see “Hairy Potter" at an afterschool showing Friday with his parents and about 50 classmates and their families. He’s most excited to see the quidditch match — a sport Harry and other students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry play on flying broomsticks.
"I think that will probably be the hardest for them to do — lots of people flying around at intense speeds," Chris said.
The year’s most anticipated film opens in
3,672 theaters, breaking the previous record of 3,653 for "Mission: Impossible 2.” And it will play on a record-shattering
8,200 screens, about 1,600 more than “Mission: Impossible 2” and "Shrek," the previous widest film releases. There are about 36,000 movie screens nationwide.
“There’s not an exhibitor who has a multiplex that wasn’t interested in playing this movie," said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., which is releasing “Harry Potter” and plans to have the first sequel in theaters a year from now.
Some theaters will run the movie on half a dozen screens. Some scheduled their first showings at 12:01 a.m. Friday for fans who just can’t wait until normal matinee hours. Online buyers have snapped up “Harry Potter" tickets at record rates.
Not bad for an orphan of humble origins who spent his formative years sleeping in a cupboard beneath the stairs.
Harry Potter was dreamed up by British single mother J.K. Rowling during a train ride in which she formulated plans for a seven-book series.
Please see Potter/Page A6
The Associated Press
Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., raises his hands and looks skyward on Capitol Hill Thursday as he expresses gratitude that conferees reached agreement on an aviation security bill.
Bush will sign bill if passes
By Jim Abrams The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Airport screeners would become federal employees under a compromise aviation security bill aimed to restore the confidence in flying unhinged by the terrorist hijackers.
After weeks of impasse, House and Senate leaders said Thursday that they planned to vote on the legislation today,
WAR ON TERRORISM
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sending it to President Bush for his signature in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the busiest flying times of the year.
“Safety comes first,” Bush said, announcing in a statement that he would sign the measure. He had balked at mak
ing airport screeners federal employees.
The goal, said Senate Republican leader Trent Lott, who helped craft the compromise, is to give Americans “peace of mind when they get on airplanes across the country, especially as we approach Thanksgiving."
The votes will come a little more than two months after the hijacker attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Please see Avlatlon/Page A6
Blair United Way short of goal
By Mark Leberfinger Staff Writer
United Way of Blair County has raised more than $548,000 in its 2001 campaign, less than 50 percent of the charity’s goal of $1.2 million.
Although the fund-raising effort technically closed Thursday, United Way Executive Director Ray Griffin said she’s optimistic the Blair County campaign will reach its goal because some companies have yet to run their campaigns and some individuals haven’t mailed in their contributions.
“We’re not anticipating not reaching goal because what has happened to date has been very positive," she said.
Griffin said United Way doesn’t expect to reduce funding to its member agencies.
Campaign success statewide has varied, according to Anthony Ross, a spokesman for United Way of Pennsylvania, who pointed to the Sept. ll terrorist attacks and the weakening economy as factors.
“In some areas, it’s been tough not only because of Sept. ll, but also because of the overall economy with plant closings and
layoffs,” Ross said. “Sept. ll only exacerbated the problem. But in other places, campaigns have been right on target. Those communities are not having the same kind of economic pressures as in other communities.”
In Blair County, more than 2,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the past 18 months.
Not surprisingly, the service/industry sectors show the biggest drops in Blair’s United Way shortfall.
Please see United/Page A6
Contributions still are being accepted for the Blair County 2001
United Way unttwdWay campaign.
Donations can be sent to United Way of Blair County, 1216 Pleasant Valley Blvd., Altoona, PA 16602
■ Commissioners set juvenile detention home, Blair County Prison expansion at $1 million.
By Phil Ray
HOLLIDAYSBURG - Blair County Commissioners said Thursday that they have earmarked $1 million for a now juvenile detention home and an expansion project at the county prison.
Commissioner John H. Eichelberger Jr. discussed the two projects after a county prison board meeting in which overcrowding at the jail was raised again by a member of the Pennsylvania Prison Society.
The county refinanced its bond issue this month at a lower interest rate, leaving an additional $1 million available for the construction projects.
Charles Leiden of Altoona, a member of the society, asked if anything was being done to alleviate overcrowding.
Eichelberger said the county has asked Ebensburg architectural and engineering firm L. Robert Kimball and Associates to make suggestions regarding the two county facilities.
Eichelberger said commissioners have made no decisions about what they will do, not only about prison overcrowding but also about the out-of-date detention home.
The commissioner said a plan to improve the facilities will be in place soon.
Commissioners Eichelberger, John J. Ebersole and Donna D. Gority are not considering a huge construction program, but they recognize something must be done to improve the detention centers, Eichelberger said.
Gority said the jail in Hollidaysburg is in for “a slight expansion.”
As for the juvenile detention home on the 1000 block of Grant Avenue in Altoona, Gority said, “It is a very old building, not at all accommodating for the program for which it is used. We have been talking about it [the construction program]. It’s time to stop talking and do.”
The Pennsylvania Prison Society is a nonprofit group whose members visit the prison monthly to talk to inmates. Two months ago, a prison society member complained about overcrowding.
Since then, prison authorities have stopped housing inmates in the gymnasium and created more bed space by converting the chapel to a dormitory for up to 14 inmates.
As of Thursday, there were 263 inmates in Blair’s prison, including 223 males and 40 females.
Please see Project/Page AG
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