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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - November 22, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Altona mirror © Copyright 2001 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2001 500 newsstandTaliban: Bin Laden status unknown KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The United States and its allies moved to seal off potential escape routes Osama bin Laden could use to leave Afghanistan, while a spokesman for the Taliban said Wednesday that the Islamic militia no longer knew the terrorist suspect’s whereabouts. "They keep tracking and dodging and bobbing and weaving, and we’re looking,” Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said when asked how close the military was to finding bin Laden and his terrorist cohorts. Taliban spokesman Syed Tayyab Agha said the Taliban have “no idea” where bin Laden, the top suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, was located. "There is no relation right now. There is no communication,” he told journalists in the southern Afghanistan border town of Spinboldak, in Taliban-controlled territory'. Agha vowed the Taliban would fight to keep the one-quarter of Afghanistan they still hold, particularly the southern city of Kandahar. But Taliban commanders in Kunduz — the last city held by the militia in the north — held negotiations Wednesday with the alliance for die city’s surrender. CNN, reporting from the site of the talks in Mazar-e-Sharif, said a Taliban deputy defense minister, Muhammed Fazil Mazlon, agreed that forces under his command at Kunduz — both Afghan Taliban and foreign fighters loyal to bin Laden — would surren der. Details of a deal were not yet worked out, CNN reported. In Washington, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lt. Col. Thomas Rheinlander, said he had no information about such a deal. Meanwhile, the U.S,-led coalition moved to cut off a potential escape route for bin leaden if he manages to slip out of landlocked Afghanistan into neighboring Pakistan. The U.S. Navy gave notice Tuesday that it will stop and board merchants shipping off the Pakistani coast if the ships are suspected of carrying him or other a1 Qaida leaders, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Lapan said Wednesday in Washington. Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Navy so far has not stopped and boarded any ships off of Pakistan. He said there was no specific information indicating that terrorist leaders will try to flee by sea. Please see Taliban/Page A12 NOT BANKING ON MUCH Mirror photo by J O Cavrich Joe Cassidy, a volunteer at St. Vincent DePaul Society Soup Kitchen, 2201 Union Ave., stacks food items. Donations at food banks and soup kitchens are down nationally since the Sept. ll terrorist attacks. The news on local donations is mixed. Food banks feel pinch By Michael Emery Staff Writer t. Penny Basom spent Tuesday morning helping a local i woman pay off an overdue bill with donated money to avoid a water shut-off. “We didn’t have enough money ourselves to pay off the bill but com- IUJJ L bined with some money that the woman was able to pull together, we were able to avoid having her water shut off,” said Basom, officer in charge of the American Rescue Workers in Hollidaysburg. That’s the kind of work American Rescue Workers do, or at least try to do. Their work, however, depends on financial and food donations. And donations have been down. Like the American Rescue Workers, many charities across the nation are struggling to meet demand as the economy worsens and donors limit charitable donations to victims of the Sept. ll terrorist attacks. Please see Banks/Page A6 ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE Study: Pain pills cut risk ■ Anti-inflammatory medication, except aspirin, lowers chances. By Linda A. Johnson The Associated Press Dutch researchers have found the strongest evidence yet that pain relievers such as Advil, Aleve and Motrin may ward off Alzheimer’s disease. A large study of people 55 or older concluded that those who took certain nonsteroidal anti-inflamma tory medicines each day for at least two years were 80 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Scientists first noticed in the mid-1990s that regular use of those drugs for aches and pains may protect against Alzheimer’s. Studies in the late 1990s found no such effect but had flaws such as asking people with Alzheimer’s to recall their past medication use. The Dutch study appears to solve that problem because it drew information on the patients’ drug use from a national database in Holland. The lead author, Bruno Strieker, said researchers must confirm the results with controlled experi* ments in which patients randomly are assigned to take either anti-inflammatory drugs or dummy pills. Strieker and other experts warned people not to start taking NSAIDs on their own. Anti-inflamma* tory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen can cause serious, sometimes fatal side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding and kidney damage. “Whatever you do, go to your doctor first,” said Strieker, a professor of clinical epidemiology at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam. The research was reported in today’s New England Journal of Medicine. Doctors studied 6,989 people, many of whom had been prescribed anti-inflammatory medications for joint problems. The patients were evaluated in the early 1990s to be sure they did not have Alzheimer’s. They were followed on average for seven years to see which ones developed the incurable mind-robbing disease. Please see Alzhelmer’s/Page A7 Sweep nets 4 more drug arrests Warm weather cooling off sales of winter supplies By Mark Leberfinger Staff Writer TYRONE — For the third time in the last two weeks, the Blair County Drug Task Force has arrested alleged drug offenders in this northern Blair County community. Warrants were issued for six Tyrone-area residents in connection with alleged street-level activity. Four of six suspects were taken into custody Wednesday morning after state drug agents and the drug task force started their sweep. Those arrested were: Kristopher J. Gardner, 35, of6 W. 15th St.; Michael A. Bonsell, 19, of 1408 Hamilton Ave.; Lindsay Wills, 19, of 752 S. Lincoln Ave.; and Charles F. Shultz A, 22, of 957 Pennsylvania Ave. Still on the loose were Erie M. Mannino of 527 16th St., and Timothy G. Lavanish of Box 73, Warriors Mark RR I. Heroin sales were the major focus of the current sweep, authorities say. The arrests resulted from a monthlong investigation and included surveillance and undercover (frug buys, says Agent Randy Feathers, state Bureau of Narcotics Investigation. Feathers said the drug task force and Tyrone Police Department received numerous tips and complaints through the “Push Out the Pusher” hot line. Wednesday’s arrests continue a changing philosophy in Tyrone over drug law enforcement, the drug agent said. “The [Tyrone] police commitment to drug law enforcement has increased,” Feathers said. “The police department, along with the drug task force, has committed resources to the area.” Please see Arrests/Page A6 By Craig Williams Staff Writer Snow blower sales are stalled. Winter boots are cooling their heels on store shelves, and snow-tire salesmen are spinning their wheels as a warmer-than-usual fall has dried sales of winter retail goods. Store owners aren’t worried. They know that sooner or later Old Man ■ Holiday shopping means increase of pocketbook, purse snatchers / Page A12 Winter will make an appearance. Because the weather is so unpredictable this time of year, retailers say the buying public has become complacent when it comes to stocking up on weather-related necessities. Working on the crisis princi ple, many shoppers wait until they are knee-deep in snow before they decide to buy a shovel. With the sun shining and a warm breeze blowing, it hardly seems necessary. Earlier this week, the temperatures jumped from a balmy 66 degrees to around freezing over night, ushering in a series of snow showers and blustery conditions. Please see Sales/Page A12 MHI UM DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 i "22910 00050 a i    ?!0    7    6)    11 ■ Lottery numbers, A2 Mostly sunny, 52° ■ Forecast, A2 ii.    MakefiH* iviflM' * Reservaji°"s lorrf ll*    y°ur    Holiday if ■    Party    Now! ITALIAN VILLA    943-8510 I □ local rn §■ rn □ nation Ki] I Business A13 Classifieds C6-18 I Hospitals Obituaries A17 A17 Comics C4 I Opinion AIS Qun rn {^SPORTS Movies D3 I That’s Racin’ B5 Night Life Planner D4 D2 Scoreboard B4 Up & Coming D4 I IN NATION New York Midtown firehouse survivors search for something to be thankful for. PAGE Cl ;