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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - October 20, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania SPEEDWAY: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO JEFF BURTON? ► FREE INSIDE Bishop Guilfoyle vs. Chestnut Ridge Bishop Carroll vs. Bedford high school football coverage Altoona vs. Belle Vernon DuBois vs. Hollidaysburg miniAltoona Mirror © Copyright 2001SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2001 500 newsstand HH WAR ON TERRORISM: More coverage on Pages A3, A4, A5, A13, ClOffensive, defensive steps taken■ Altoona working to ensure safe water supply for customers. By William Kibler Staff Writer As terrorism continues to affect the United States, it’s easy to imagine the nation’s drinking water systems are inviting targets. Thousands of people could be affected with one strike. But drinking water systems are not an easy mark, local and federal experts say. “The nation’s water supply may seem to be a logical target for a terrorist attack,” Ronald Dick of the FBI’s National Infrastructure Protection Center testified before a congressional committee earlier this month. “In reality, targeting the water supply may prove difficult.” Officials who run the biggest local water system are concerned, and they’ve put their guard up, keeping with the national tightening of security. But as the FBI said, water supply systems aren’t terrorism incidents waiting to happen Water isn’t an efficient vehicle for dispersing terrorist devasta tion, said John Anthony, executive director of the Altoona City Authority. The authority serves 23,000 households in central * Blair County, with 13 reservoirs supplying seven treatment plants. Please see Water/Page A3 ■ U.S. special troops strike Taliban targets in Afghanistan. By Michael Hedges Houston Chronicle WASHINGTON — A unit of elite Special Forces soldiers raided a Taliban target in Afghanistan Friday night in the first ground combat involving U.S. troops during the war on terrorism, an official said. There was no word on possible casualties in the raid, although two people were killed when a support helicopter prepared for a potential rescue mission crashed in neighboring Pakistan, the Pentagon said. The small-scale attack by U.S. Army Rangers marked a new and significant escalation in the nearly two-week military campaign against the Taliban regime that harbors Osama bin Laden’s a1* Qaida terrorist organization, which is blamed for the Sept. ll attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. Details of the operation were being kept secret until the Pentagon was certain all the troops had been extricated from Afghanistan. But one U.S. official said late Friday that the Special Forces completed their first ground operation in Afghanistan and have left the country, according to a Reuters report. Please see Strike/Page A5 DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 ?    22910    00050    a BIG FOUR . P 2 AP Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Partly sunny, 64° ■ Forecast, A2 HOT-ADS.com We re white-hot! ■aaasw dtrraafc ' 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) 946-7547 Scoreboard Q local , S. 0 NATION Business A9 Classifieds C5-14 Movies A5 Obituaries Opinion A13 A8 □HHHii P SPORTS Comics D5 High schools Bl -4 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television INSXX IN SPORTS Chuck Greenberg, the Altoona Curve’s new majority owner, is in town to meet the media and tour the facilities. PAGE Bl ELKS SHOOTING Murder suspect will not get bail ■ Judge says 1998 amendment to state constitution will keep Richardson in prison. By Ray Stephens Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG - A Huntingdon County man charged in the shooting death of an Altoona woman over the summer will remain in jail without bail. Blair County Judge Thomas G. Peoples declined Friday morning to set bail for Lavelle Richardson, 24, of Mount Union, who is accused of killing 21-year-old Patience Ferguson outside Altoona’s Aran-dale Elks Club July 21. Because the state constitution was amended in 1998 to deny bail to those facing life in prison, Peoples concluded he had no authority to set bail. Richardson’s attorney, John Siford, told Peoples he should entertain arguments on whether he could set bail. Peoples gave Siford seven days to spell out why. Before 1998, the state constitution guaranteed bail for all defendants except those charged with a capital offense or those considered to be a flight risk. In 1998, voters approved an amendment to eliminate bail for defendants charged with an offense punishable by life in prison or if the safety of any person or the community could not be reasonably assured. Richardson faces first-degree homicide charges, and if convicted, he will be sentenced to life in prison. Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman said again Friday that he is not seeking the death penalty in the case, in which Richardson is believed to have killed Ferguson unintentionally. Please see Ball/Page A14 CAR SHOP CLOSURE STB, NS oppose request for stay By Craig Williams Staff Writer The federal Surface Transportation Board has joined Norfolk Southern Corp. in opposing a request to keep the Hollidaysburg Car Shop open until an appeal is heard in federal court. Last week, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Transport Workers Union asked the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay on the shop’s closure. The shop is to close Nov. 2, even though an appeal of an earlier STB decision allowing the closure has not made its way through the courts. If the circuit court grants the stay, the railroad would be required to keep the shop’s jobs and equipment in place until all appeals have been exhausted, which could take months. Earlier this month, the STB agreed to allow Norfolk Southern to close the facility and transfer 250 jobs out of the area. The board found that although Norfolk Southern’s management made statements during the takeover of Conrail that amounted to a contract, the commitments made were so vague that the railroad didn’t break any specific promises. In response to the stay request, Norfolk Southern’s legal counsel wrote: “The STB reasonably concluded that NS did not breach any prior commitments to continue operating [the Hollidaysburg Car Shop] when... owning to business conditions that had worsened considerably, HCS was not financially viable.” Norfolk Southern also claims it is trying hard to sell the shop and its equipment. “(Pennsylvania and the union argue that] if a stay is not granted, NS will dismantle or dispose of the HCS facilities while this appeal is pending and thereby make it impossible for effective relief to be granted even if this court invalidates the STB’s decision,” lawyers for Norfolk Southern wrote. “There is no merit to this claim. NS is attempting to sell HCS as a freight car repair facility together with its physical plant and fixed equipment.” Please see Stay/Page A14 Local judge awaits Senate confirmation Smith By Robert Igoe Staff Writer WASHINGTON — An Altoona man’s quest for U.S. Circuit Court is still on track, but he will have to wait a while longer. The Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to hold a hearing on the nomination of U.S. District Judge D. Brooks Smith, who was nominated to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals by President Bush. The appeals court, based in Philadelphia, has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and the Virgin Islands. The court hears cases appealed from U.S. District Court. Smith, chief judge of the Western District of Pennsylvania, was one of mmmmmmmm IO individuals whom Bush nominated to the federal judiciary branch Sept. IO. None has been confirmed by the Senate. In interviews, Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., has been critical of the delay, accusing Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., of playing political power Please see Judge/Page A14 SMMAiWI Mirror photo by Jason Sipes Jf auren Szymusiak,12, works on an Excel problem on her laptop computer at Hollidaysburg tm Catholic School The school is using wireless technology to improve its computer curriculum. See story on Page AIQ with more Hollidaysburg-Duncansville news. CONNECTED ;

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