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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - November 17, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania SPEEDWAY RACING TAKES A BACK SEAT FREE INSIDE COMMUNITY NEWS: THAT HOLIDAY FEELING IN HOLLIDAYSBURG ► PAGE AIQAltona Mirror © Copyright 2001SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2001 ■MHI ENTERTAINMENT Wild about Harry Area Potter fans flock to theaters to catch showing of new movie By Robert Igoe Staff Writer Given the hoopla, it seems like an obvious question, but one that was asked to a boy at the box office of Carmike 8 Cinema at Logan Valley Mall. “Harry Potter?” Instead of offering enthusiastic expectations of “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone,” the boy shakes his head. “No. Monsters Inc.,” he said. So not every child in the area has been looking forward to Friday’s release of the “Harry Potter” film, based on the successful children’s book series. But the majority of children were there to see the adventures of the young wizard in the Warner Brothers film as he begins his studies in spells and magic at Hogwarts Academy. In fact, a sign at the box office at 5 p.m. advised moviegoers that all but the last two showings of the evening were sold out. “I’ve been anxious for this since I heard about the movie from everybody,” said Jasmine Ressler of Altoona. “I think the movie will be better than the book.” The plot follows Harry’s introduction to his powers, from a miserable childhood raised by abusive guardians after the death of his parents at the hands of an evil wizard, Voldemort, to his enrollment at Hogwarts, where he learns to use his awesome powers. The 2 Va-hour film is long by movie standards, but many children didn’t seem to care. “I really liked it,” said Dan Tilten of Altoona. “It was really cool, even though they left out some parts like this wizard’s duel. I think the book was better, though, because it had more information to use to imagine.” Brittany Cook of Altoona said she didn’t read the books, but she liked the movie. Mary Anne Cook, Brittany’s mother and Dan’s grandmother, said Harry Potter is an effective tool for teaching. Please see Harry/Page A3 Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec The Associated Press Above: Dillon Sorber of Harveys Lake, sporting Harry Potter-style glasses, carries his popcorn into the theater to see “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” on the film’s opening day Friday at Gateway Cinema in Edwardsville. At left: Brett Braley, IO, of Fishertown waits in line for his ticket at Carmike 8 Cinemas at Logan Valley Mall. Getting straight As on his last report card earned him the opportunity to skip school to watch the movie with his father, Bruce. 50$ newsstand J WAR ON TERRORISM ► Pages Cl, 2 Taliban al-Qaida on heels ■ Top bin Laden deputy reported to be dead; Regime's leader ready to leave Kandahar. Atef By Kathy Gannon The Associated F*ress KABUL, Afghanistan — In twin blows to the Taliban and al-Qaida, the regime’s supreme leader was reported ready Friday to abandon his home base of Kandahar, and U.S. officials disclosed that Osama bin Laden’s military chief may have been killed. The developments came as U.S. warplanes struck the Taliban’s two remaining strongholds, Kandahar and the northern city of Kunduz, on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. If confirmed, _ the death of bin Laden’s military chief Mohammed Atef would deal a serious setback to the al-Qaida terrorist network. Its Taliban protectors already are reeling from sweeping territorial losses and their flight from the capital, Kabul, this week. U.S. officials said the Taliban had lost control of more than two-thirds of Afghanistan. Atef was a close confidant of bin Laden, and his daughter was married to bin Laden’s son. U.S. officials suspect him of involvement in the Sept. ll attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which triggered the current military confrontation. One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Atef is believed to have died during an American airstrike earlier this week near Kabul, the Afghan capital. Another official said Atefs body has not been located. The report that Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar was ready to leave Kandahar would be a dramatic development, if borne out - amounting to Taliban abandonment of the city that was its birthplace. American military officials were skeptical. "I don’t put much stock in at this point. I don’t believe it,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Stuff-lebeem said in Washington. “I think that our forces who are there are still operating under the assumption that It is a hostile environment. I think the opposition groups are operating in the same way.” The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press agency said Omar had agreed to leave the city within 24 hours and would head for the mountains, turning it over to local leaders from Pashtun tribes — ethnic kin to most of the top Taliban leadership. Under the deal reportedly reached with tribal leaders, control of the city would pass to Mullah Naqibullah and Hgqi Basher, two former commanders of Afghan resistance forces in the war against Soviet invaders. Basher is close to Yunus Khalis, a Pashtun leader who took over the northeastern city of Jalalabad this week. An official of Harkat ul-Mujah-edeen, a Pakistan-based group allied with the Taliban, said Omar was pressured by local leaders to leave the city and end U.S. attacks. Reluctantly, Omar accepted the deal Friday night in return for safe passage out of the city, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The South Asian Dispatch Agency quoted Taliban official Mohammad Jamal as confirming the decision to leave Kandahar, saying ‘‘we have been asked to regroup to prepare for the next phase of jihad,” or holy war. Please see Heels/Page A3Ex-Penn State Altoona coach gets probation for sex assault By Mark Leberfinger Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG - The former swimming and diving coach at Penn State Altoona apologized Friday for the pain he caused a 16-year-old Antis Township girl when he indecently assaulted her during a 16-month period. Erie T. Johnson, 34, 517 Orchard St., Bellwood, was sen tenced to four years probation, and must pay fines and costs, as part of a plea agreement approved by Blair County Judge Norman D. Callan. “I’m truly sorry for what has happened,” Johnson said. In exchange for the guilty plea, the most serious charge of aggravated indecent assault, a felony, was dismissed. Johnson pleaded guilty to three counts each of indecent assault, indecent exposure and corruption of minors. The sentence also means that Johnson will be unlikely to work in a teaching situation around young people again. “A lot of thought and cooperation between the state trooper Please see Assault/Page A5 IF YOU GO What: A public input meeting to discuss the Claysburg-Kimmel High School renovation project Where: Claysburg-Kimmel High School gymnasium When: Jan. 24 — Building tour at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 7:30 p.m. DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7 M,,2291 0 00050 BM FOUR2    7    <5(9 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Sunny, cool, 55° ■ Forecast, A2 \ HOT-ADS.com We 're white-hot!Altoona mirror [THE GREAT COMBINATION! 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) 946-7547Claysburg submits plans for high school upgrade By Michael Emery Staff Writer CLAYSBURG — Claysburg-Kimmel High School’s $11.6 million renovation project is moving forward after the school board this week authorized submitting the district’s plans to the state Department of Education. Board members approved submitting key paperwork that includes project justification, demographic information and a preliminary schematic design The submission includes parts A and B of PlanCon, an acronym for Planning and Construction Workbook, as the first two steps of an 11-step process. When a school district undertakes a major construction project and seeks reimbursement from the state, Plan-Con is initiated. PlanCon is a set of forms and procedures used to apply for reimbursement. Please see School/Page A5 □ LOCAL 0 NAHON Business A9 Classifieds C3-12 Movies A4 Nation in a minute C3 Obituaries All Opinion A8 0 LIFE U SPORTS Comics D5 Community news 02 Local B4, 6 Puzzles D4 Scoreboard B5 Television D4 I INSIDEIN NATION Trying to reassure travelers, Congress sent President Bush a sweeping aviation security bill Friday. PAGE Cl More sing ■ women eye home ownership A ;

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