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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - October 26, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania RELIGION: MORE CHURCHES TAKING ROLE AS AFTER-SCHOOL HOST FOR KIDS ► FREE INSIDE 2002 NEW CAR GUIDE: CHECK OUT THE LATEST MODELS ► FREE INSIDE Baby blues Depression affects most new moms page DIAltoona mirror © Copyright 2001FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2001 SOC newsstand #- ' 5 pi lr, • ► WAR ON TERRORISM: Pages A5, A8, A10, C1,C3 Officials on alert for food poisons ■ Raw fruits and vegetables and cattle could be among the most likely targets for terrorist attacks. By Philip Brasher The Associated Press WASHINGTON — After attacks from the air and in the mail, officials worry the nation’s food supply could be next. The government considers potential targets to be fruits and vegetables people eat raw and cattle that could be infected with fast-spreading foot and-mouth disease. To deter potential terrorists, Congress is considering proposals to hire hundreds of food inspectors and lab technicians and empower the government to seize or recall tainted products and inspect food makers’ records. The Agriculture Depart ment has put veterinarians on alert and wants more guards to protect its labs around the country that work with food pathogens. “Food security can no longer be separated from our national security," Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said Thursday. Terrorists could poison a limited amount of food and still “create a general atmosphere of fear and anxiety without actually having to carry out indiscriminate civilian-oriented attacks,” Peter Chalk of the Rand Corp. think tank recently told Congress. Fresh produce may be the food most vulnerable to attack because it’s often eaten raw and is subject to little inspection. The only known terrorist attack on U.S. food occurred in the 1980s, when a cult in Oregon contaminated salad bars with salmonella bacteria. There are dozens of labs that work with pathogens, but terrorists wouldn’t necessarily need to get their bacteria there. Salmonella can be found on supermarket chicken and grown in a lab. A strain of E. coli commonly is found in cattle manure. Please see Food/Page A5 ON THI NET Food and Drug Administration: http://www. fda.gov U.S. Department of Agriculture: http://www.usda.gov Heating help calls will rise this year By Mark Leberfinger Skywriter The slowing economy might lead more Blair County residents to tap into the Low Income Heating Assistance Program this year. LIHEAP, a federal program that helps low-income families with heating bills, also assists families in crisis situations such as a broken furnace, leaking pipes or terminated utility service. Homeowners and renters — including those whose rent covers heat — roomers and subsidized housing tenants may be eligible. Any type of fuel can be used, said George Finch, supervisor of the program at the Blair County Assistance Office. “You don’t have to be on public assistance or have an unpaid heating bill to use the program,” Finch said. “They can rent or own their own homes.” The office mailed applications this month to last year’s program participants. The number of applications received to date is 2,600 compared with 1,400 the same time last year, Finch said. He expects more people will use the program this season than last year, when 12,000 applications were processed. “We think we’ll see more applications this year because of the number of layoffs at places like Butterick, C-COR.net, New Pig, Norfolk Southern. All those added up, plus the general economy,” he said. Applicants can receive $50 to $1,000 in a one-time cash assistance benefit paid to their fuel dealers on their behalf. Please see Heating/Page A5 THE GUIDELINES The federal Low Income Heating Assistance Program begins Nov. 13. Income guidelines for the program are: ■ One-person household, $11,597 ■ Two-person household, $15,674 ■ Three-person household, $19,751 ■ Four-person household, $23,828 ■ Five-person household, $27,905 For each additional person, add $4,077. Source: Blair County Assistance Office EDUCATIONAL VISIT Mirror photo by J.D Cavrich lendale Elementary School sixth-graders Dustin Riggleman (left) and Christopher VI Korlinchak work on laptop computers while elementary schoolteachers from Chile watch. The teachers learned about technology's use in central Pennsylvania's classrooms through a Penn State University program. I See story, Page A4 “The had news just keeps on coming. economist Melani JamReports point to recession By Martin CRUTSINGER The Associated Press WASHINGTON - Home sales and orders to factories for big-ticket items plunged in September, and the number of Americans drawing unemployment benefits stands at an 18-year high — the strongest evidence to date that the country has entered a recession. “The bad news just keeps on coming,” said Melani Jani, an economist at Salomon Smith Barney in New York. “The economy was already weak before Sept. ll, and these figures show the deterioration has become much more intense,” she said. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that orders to factories for big-ticket durable goods fell for a fourth consecutive month in September, a decline of 8.5 percent that was six times larger than economists expected. It pushed orders for durable goods down to $165.4 billion, the lowest level since August 1996. Please see Recession/Page A5Westvaco plant to close today; Leaders search for new tenant By Walt Frank Staff Writer TYRONE — Local officials are working to replace the 265 jobs that disappear today with the closing of the Westvaco Corp. paper mill. Officials are having trouble finding a new tenant because Westvaco hasn’t decided what to do with the property. “We have to find out if we have a place for sale,” Mayor Pat Stoner said. “We have some leads, but we don’t know if we have anything to sell yet. They need to be more open with us.” Martin Marasco, executive director of the Altoona-Blair County Development Corp., said progress is slow. ABCD is spearheading a task force to gather information about the future of the facility. “There have been some discussions with corporate people, and they are in the process of compiling the data we requested so we can Please see Plant/Page A9 DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7    22910    00050    4 * BIG FOUR 5    4    6    8 ■ Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Partly sunny, windy, 42° ■ Forecast, A2 2002 PlfCruiser .    ■    I rn Limited Term. Requires credit approval. Offer Ends Oct. 31,2001 Chrysler - Plymouth - loop 1549 Pleasant Valley Blvd. Altoona, PA 945-6167 Q LOCAL Business Movies Obituaries A9 A4 A11 0 NATION Classifieds C4-12 Opinion A8 □ LIFE □ spout* Comics D5 Local Community news D2 B4 Puzzles D4 Scoreboard B5 V Television D4 INSIDE IN NATION The Bush administration is putting off three missile tracking tests that might have violated a 1972 treaty banning nationwide missile defenses, Pentagon officials said. PAGE Cl ;

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