Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - November 30, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania
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IMIAPPROACHING KANDAHAR Case
■ Lawyers were sent a letter informing them continuances will not be granted.
By Phil Ray
J Staff Writer
HOLLIDAYSBURG - Blair County’s top judge has notified local lawyers that cases will not be continued next year unless unusual circumstances warrant it, a way to avoid a backlog of cases when the county loses one judge.
President Judge Thomas G. Peoples and Court Administrator Michael D. Reighard are trying to prevent a backlog in the justice system after voters didn’t retain Judge Norman D. Callan, whose term ends Jan. 7.
The county experienced a major backlog of cases in the 1970s and ’HOS and Reighard and Peoples, who worked through those times, don’t want to see another similar situation develop.
Court officials don’t know how long the county will be without four judges, although some estimates indicate up to seven months before Gov. Mark Schweiker makes an appointment. The Senate must approve that appointment.
Reighard has petitioned the state court administrator to send visiting judges. He said Thursday that the administrator’s office under the state Supreme Court already has found help.
Centre County Judge Thomas K. Kistler and a senior judge to be named will be sent to Blair in January to help with the caseload. Clearfield County Judge John Reilly, who helps in Blair regularly, will be available for duty in February.
More judges will be needed.
Reighard has requested a larger amount of money for jury trials in 2002.
The amount budgeted in 2001 was $58,000 com pared with the $125,000 shown in the county’s proposed 2002 budget. Reighard said the county court system faces at least three death penalty cases and a first-degree homicide case in 2002.
Reighard said continuances have been a major cause of backlogs because there are no future dates to reschedule the continued cases.
Peoples this week sent a letter to Blair County lawyers telling them that continuances will not be granted.
“A change of circumstances here represents a change in a number of things,” Peoples said when asked about the no-continuance policy Thursday. ‘‘We don’t want people to lose their court time. We’ve got to restrict continuances and deny them really because rescheduling is not going to happen after the beginning of the year.”
Please see Judge/Page AIQ
Butchers hit hard by simultaneous harvest
From Mirror staff and wire reports
With plenty of deer roaming the state’s forests and significantly loosened hunting laws this year, hunters have plenty of chances to bring home a deer.
Eating it might be a problem, however.
Just several days into the two-week deer season, some deer processors already are complaining they are overwhelmed by the number of carcasses being brought in.
“It’s just crazy,” said Tom Gearhart of
Butchers are paying the price for what some consider a bad idea by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Gearhart’s Meat Market in Hollidaysburg.
Butcher Bob D’Angelo saw 175 deer carcasses hauled into his Lackawanna County business, The Deer Place, Monday, the season’s opening day.
“We had more deer brought in the first
day than we usually get the first week,” D’Angelo, 60, said. “Usually, we get 90 the first day. I had to refuse people. I hated to do it, but I simply couldn’t process the amount of deer being brought in.” Monday marked the beginning of
Pennsylvania’s first combined deer season since 1906. Rather than getting two weeks to hunt antlered deer followed by three days to hunt antlerless, hunters this year have two weeks to hunt both.
Gearhart isn’t particularly happy about the overabundance of business. He said butchers are paying the price for what he considers a bad idea by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Please see Butchers/Page AIQ
The Associated Pres*
U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Gillows (left) of Ohio attaches the U.S. flag to a bamboo pole as Rodney Nevinger of Killeen, Texas, assists Thursday during a brief “colors” ceremony as the flag is hoisted at the U.S. Marine forward base in southern Afghanistan.
anti-Taliban forces descending
By Kathy Gannon
The Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan — Anti-Taliban fighters bat tied the hard-line militia Thursday on the outskirts of Kandahar, the ousted regime’s last bastion, a key commander said. The Taliban’s supreme leader declared the decisive battle “has now begun.” Witnesses described heavy bombing around the southern city over the past two days, and the
WAR ON TERRORISM: ► Pages Cl, C2
Taliban reportedly hanged an Afghan man there Thursday after accusing him of helping Americans call in airstrikes.
The northern alliance’s deputy defense minister, Bismillah Khan, told The Associated Press anti-Taliban fighters reached the eastern edge of Kandahar — the Taliban’s birthplace and the only
city still under their control — and “there is heavy fighting going on."
In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Stufflebeem said he could not confirm or deny that anti-Taliban fighters had entered •Kandahar. He indicated northern alliance troops might be in the province of the same name, which covers a large area of southern Afghanistan.
Please see Alliance/Page A4
Schweiker presents defense plan
By Martha Raffaele The Associated Press HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania needs to bolster its defenses against terrorism on a wide range of fronts, from coordinating emergency response plans among government agencies to recruiting more volunteers for public safety programs, Gov. Mark S. Schweiker
Schweiker released the recommendations of an anti-terrorism task force he appointed to respond to the Sept. ll terrorist attacks, one of his first official acts after he was sworn in as governor last month.
He made his announcement at the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory in Friedens, about IO miles
southwest of a Somerset County field where United Flight 93 crashed during the attacks. All 44 people on board were killed.
“We couldn’t save those passengers then, but we can save our families and our friends now. It’s our time to act, our time to fight back,” Schweiker said.
Please see Defense/Page A5
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Study: Women more vulnerable to brain damage from Ecstasy
LONDON (AP) — Ecstasy, the increasingly popular party drug, may cause more brain damage in women than in men, new research suggests.
A study published this week in
The Lancet medical journal compared brain scans of people who had taken 50 or more Ecstasy tablets in their lifetimes with those of a group who had never taken the drug. The findings indi
cated women — but not men — lost a significant number of brain cells, even though the men had taken more Ecstasy over the
Please see Ecstasy/Page A4
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