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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - October 19, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania PENN STATE GAMEDAY: COMMENTARY FROM NEIL RUDEL BEANO COOK ► FREE INSIDE Brewing up a quick costume im I- Getting her kicks r P-O's female kicker makes her pointAltona Mirror © Copyright 2001FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2001 500 newsstand Gas prices dropping across area By Linda Hudkins For the Mirror In this season of bad news, gaso line prices may be the brightest spot on the horizon. “We are thrilled.” said Jan Martin, general manager of Martin Oil Co., which operates Martin General Stores. “We thought for sure that with all the turmoil nationally, the prices would go up.* The pump price for regular unleaded at the store at Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street rang up at $1.09 per gallon Thursday, keeping pace with most competitive stations in the Altoona area. The prices on gasoline station billboards across the region have continued to drop in recent weeks. Prices should continue downward through the end of the year, according to the Energy Information Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. Martin said prices could remain soft. "Demand is down, not just for gasoline, but for other products. Jet fuel, for example, is not being consumed like it was,” she said. The demand for gasoline always drops when summer and the accompanying travel season give way to winter’s stay-at-home time, Martin said. When demand drops, prices follow, she said. The Sept. ll terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Somerset County resulted in a reduction in the number of flights by airlines, and that resulted in a 20 percent drop in demand. Martin and the Energy Information Administration said the cut in production of jet fuel means more crude oil will be refined into gasoline. At the beginning of this week, the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $1,309 per gallon, down 4.3 cents from the previous week and down .23 cents from a year ago. Please see Gas/Page A4 Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec Bill Chestney of Juniata fills his car’s gas tank at the BP station Thursday. Gas prices dipped to $1.07 per gallon on Plank Road and could drop to $1 per gallon. More anthrax cases verified MORE WAR ON TERRORISM COVERAGE ► A10, A12, B6, Cl, C2 $ pp j 11 0 Pl reward offered The Associated Press An FBI agent walks in biohazard gear outside the American Media Inc. building Thursday in Boca Raton, Fla. A preliminary match was made between anthrax found at the tabloid newspaper publisher where one man died from contamination and another is hospitalized and anthrax sent to NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw. Altoona native helps relieve burns of Pentagon attack victims By Jon Fleck For the Mirror Christy Montgomery and Laura Mandes have a difficult job under normal circumstances. The terrorist attack on the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., has made it harder. Montgomery, an Altoona native, and Mandes, formerly of Ebensburg, work as nurses in the Washington Hospital Center burn unit, caring for the worst burn victims in the nation’s capital and surrounding area. Montgomery was in the middle of routine bum care when news of a plane striking the U.S. military nerve center reached the hospital. “The hospital’s about five miles from the Pentagon,” she said. “We could see the smoke coming from the building. We thought they were going blow the whole city up.” The Washington Hospital Center received the bulk of the victims. The seven worst bum victims were sent to the 10-bed bum unit All seven suffered from second-and third-degree bums over GO percent of their bodies. “It’s a very stressful, emotional situation. Everyone cries everyday. Family, nurses, everyone,’’ Montgomery said. One of the patients has died. The others are critical. “They have a long recovery ahead of them,” Montgomery said. “They’ll be in the hospital for at least three months and then face years of rehab.” Please see Burn/Page A12 By David Espo The Associated Press WASHINGTON — A CBS employee who opens Dan Rather’s mail and a postal worker in New Jersey were added Thursday to the troubling roster of Americans infected with anthrax. As many as three more people reported telltale skin lesions that may signify additional cases. “Our labs are working around the clock to try and get clarity,” said Dr. Julie Gerberding of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disclosures brought the number of confirmed cases of anthrax nationwide to six since Oct. 4 and complicated the Bush administration’s effort to reassure an anxious nation it was working aggressively to combat bioterrorism and other threats. “Our antennae are up for all conceivable risks,” said Tom Ridge, appointed the nation’s first director of homeland security in the wake of Sept. ll terrorist attacks that killed thousands in New York City and Washington, D.C. Standing by Ridge’s side at a news conference, Surgeon General David Satcher said stockpiles of antibiotics are sufficient to respond to the anthrax threat, and FBI Director Robert Mueller announced a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprits behind a spate of anthrax-tainted mail. Even apart from the new cases of anthrax, there was ample evidence of inconvenience, dislocation and perhaps worse as the government struggled against a lethal spore so tiny it is invisible to the human eye. Congressional activity largely was shut down — the House officially, the Senate in session, but its sprawling complex of three office buildings closed. Officials said they received laboratory results for hundreds of people but no additional reports of positive tests for anthrax exposure beyond the 31 disclosed Wednesday. Please see Anthrax/Page A12 Convention center adds former hospital spokesman to its staff By Ray Stephens Staff Writer The Blair County Convention Center is making enough money to pay its bills, the director of the organization managing the facility said Thursday. With an eye on bringing in more business to the facility that opened five months ago, the Allegheny Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau will add a third sales staffer, former Altoona Hospital spokesman Rick Reeves. rn L.ife Reeves recently lost his job as director of community relations when Altoona Hospital cut the equivalent of 90 full-time positions. As of Nov. I, the past pres-Reeves ident of the bureau’s board of directors will become its deputy director of tourism and development. Executive Director Cheryl Ebersole said she wants Reeves to focus on attracting state and national conventions. She also wants him to fill in for her when she cannot participate in events providing opportunities for the convention center to attract business. Reeves’ new salary was not made public. He is employed by the bureau, a private, nonprofit agency contracted to ihanage and market the convention center on behalf of the Blair County Center and Sports Facility Authority, a public agency. Please see Center/Page A5 Wal-Mart center seeks tax relief By Beth N. Gray For the Mirror BEDFORD — Owners and operators of five properties took their cases for tax relief — a total of $91,968—to the Bedford County Tax Assessment Appeals Board Thursday, but it was tile request from the Wal-Mart Distribution Center that drew the ire of a Bedford Township supervisor and consternation from board members. The county assessment office calculated Wal-Mart’s market value at $40.3 million for the 823,000-square-foot warehouse and offices on 108 acres. Officials for Wal-Mart set its value at $27 million. ■ Wal-Mart says its market value in Snake Spring Township is less than county calculations / Page A4 Under the appraised value, Wal-Mart would pay $133,314 in local real estate taxes this year. If the property value were reduced to $27 million, the tax losses would be $52,819 for Bedford Area School District, $11,366 for Bedford County    and $2,075    Bedford Township, where the property lies. “I’m a little surprised we’re here arguing this today,” Supervisor Norman VanWhy told Wal-Mart representatives attorney Bert Goodman and appraiser Gary Heiland. “Several years ago, we negotiated this [tax issue]. The county, the school district and the township signed an inducement agreement. Your [Wal-Mart’s] taxes were figured, and you agreed. You’re reneging on your agreement” The agreement—with promises by local firms to provide municipal water and sewer service, road improvements, traffic signals, utilities, fire protection and construction permits if Wal-Mart located here — also includes a 10-year tax abatement plan under the Local Economic Rehabilitation Tax Assistance program. Please see Relief/Page A4 if:    DELIVERY    lf Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7    22910    00050    a BIG FOUR 9 7 •• I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Mostly sunny, 62° ■ Forecast, A2 mmmmmmmmmmmM I    approval    requited    •    not    available    lei    alf    terms. Chrysler - Plymouth - Jeep 1549 Pleasa Altoona, PA Ihrysl 1549 Pleasant Vail** Rivet I ^^^^^^^■943-6167 A □ local 0 NAHON Business A9 I Classifieds C4-12 Movies A5 ! Obituaries All ca LH* Opinion A8 QSPORTS Hi Comics OS Local B4 Community news Puzzles D2 D4 Scoreboard B5 4 Television D4 IN NATION A single case of smallpox would be an international emergency, triggering vaccinations for dozens close to the patient, according to a federal plan. PAGE Cl ;

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