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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - October 31, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania THE HALFTIME SHOW: AREA HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BANDS STRUT THEIR STUFF ► D2 Favorite meals help kids lose weightAltoona Mirror © Copyright 2001 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2001 50C newsstand DA race a heated debate of past experience Dave Gorman Enhanced services for victims By Phil Ray Staff Writer Issues in the race for Blair County district attorney haven’t changed since the primary election in May. Incumbent Dave Gorman, 43, says his term in office has been punctuated by unprecedented prosecution of drug dealers and a proactive ilr^i approach toward crime beyond the courtroom. Gorman says his opponent, Robert S. Donaldson, 45, of Hollidaysburg is inexperienced having been a lawyer for only two years and never having tried a criminal case. Donaldson says of the Gorman adminis tration: “I think there is just poor performance in the office.” He says Gorman has taken a secondary role in prosecuting cases, assigning his assistants to try major cases. He refers to the homicide trial of William Wright ID of Altoona, convicted in 2000 of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. That case was tried primarily by Richard Consiglio, a part-time assistant in Gorman’s office. As to the experience issue, Donaldson says he spent more than 20 years in business before going to law school. He was the chief operating officer of ProSource Distribution Services of Miami, a $4 billion food distribution company with thousands of employees. Please see DA/Page A12 Bob Donaldson Spent 20 years in business WAR ON TERRORISM: ► Pages A11, ClBomb ta rgets Taliban By Steven Gutkin The Associated Press CHARIKAR, Afghanistan — An American bomb blasted huge plumes of smoke 1,000 feet into the skies over Afghanistan’s front lines Tuesday in an unusually mighty airstrike. The Pentagon said U.S. forces were with the northern opposition and directing fire against die Taliban. The opposition alliance deployed hundreds of crack troops near Taliban lines north of Kabul, the first tangible sign of preparations for an assault on the capital. Early today, U.S. fighter planes dropped three large bombs on camps used by Arab fighters in Sapora region near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, according to the South Asian Dispatch Agency. Fighters responded with anti-aircraft guns. There was no immediate word of casualties. The United States acknowledged it had uniformed military personnel in Afghanistan, coordinating airstrikes with the opposition. A senior opposition official said such coordination will increase in coming days and that alliance forces were planning a major offensive to wrest the strategic northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif from the Taliban. “There is coordination in all aspects,” Abdullah, the foreign minister of the Afghan govemment-in-exile, said in an interview with Associated Press Television News. U.S. jets pounded Taliban positions in the Balkh region around Mazar-e-Sharif Tuesday, in strikes that an opposition spokesman called relentless. “They hit very important positions of the Taliban,” spokesman Ashraf Nadeem said. Witnesses also said they saw a U.S. plane drop a bomb Tuesday at the Bagram front lines, about 25 miles north of Kabul, creating a mushroom cloud that billowed at least 1,000 feet into the air. Witnesses called it the biggest bomb to hit the area in IO days of American bombardments on the front lines. Despite the U.S. aerial attacks, the opposition alliance has made no advances against the ruling militia. The opposition has complained the U.S. strikes were not intense enough. The United States launched the air campaign Oct. 7, aiming to punish the Taliban regime for refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden, whose al-Qaida terror network is blamed for the Sept. ll attacks in the United States. Please see Bomb/Page A16 TRACKING THE PARANORMAL MHI DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7 '22910 00050 a Mirror illustration by Tom Worthington ll ‘Ghost hunters’ attempt to prove existence of entities with science By William Kibler Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG — There haven’t been lodgers at the U.S. Hotel for decades, but the Paranormal Research Foundation will tell you that doesn’t mean there aren’t residents. These residents no longer sign a guestbook, which makes it hard to keep track of them, and some behave so abominably they’d get tossed from most establishments. But the foundation puts up with the challenge and misbehavior in its mission to document what those hotel inhabitants are up to. Ghosts? The foundation members believe in them and want to help justify that belief to the world, scientifically. By indulgence of the owner, who runs a bar-restaurant on the first floor, they resort frequently to the 166-year-old, three-story building, reportedly one of the most haunted places in Blair County. Foundation members met there one recent Saturday night with infrared cameras and tape recorders to capture the orbs of light and snippets of speech they believe are evidence of “entities.” It is evidence that suggests the overlooked intensity of daily life, echoes of old passion and boredom, things forgotten by the world, but not really lost. The instruments capture the data, but the foundation’s most valuable tool is quiet Al Brindza of Indiana County, organization co founder, retired steelworker and possessor of a matter-of-fact manner that belies his psychic sensitivity. It’s a sensitivity that attracts ghosts, allowing him to feel their presence and sometimes see them as orbs or fullblown personal apparitions. He’s not a world-class psychic, but he’s the best they have, and they use him hard. He’s their ghost magnet. Without him they’d be reduced to aiming their cameras at vacancy much more often. They also take care of him as they would a precious scientific instrument. For ghost hunting is hard on him. The ghosts need electric energy to show themselves to people, and they seem to draw it from sensitive ones like Brindza, said foundation member Scott Crownover, who records orbs by video but remains a self-admitted “psychic brick.” At least twice during the Saturday night session, Brindza returned to the first-floor "situation room” shaken and debilitated after solicitous fellow members helped him down from the far-more-haunted upper floors, as if he were an invalid. The second time, he sat head down for almost IO minutes, oppressed with the sensation that a smelly, grizzled man was trying to choke him. Please see Ghost/Page A3 Blair mulls Curve option ■ Commissioners at odds on pursuing the purchase of Altoona baseball team. By Ray Stephens Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County commissioners are in a position to demand a chance to buy the Altoona Curve baseball team before the owners sell the team to a group headed by a Pittsburgh attorney. A clause in a 1998 contract signed by commissioners and Curve owner Robert Lozinak spells out that if the baseball team is to be sold, the county would have the first chance to buy it. The contract also states that if the county declines the purchase and the team owner negotiates a deal with another buyer, the county gets a chance to review the pending sale and to decide again on buying the team for the same terms and conditions. Plans for selling the Curve were announced two weeks ago and are heading into a process that will need approval by Double-A baseball organizations. Tile sale is to be wrapped up in the spring. After Tuesday’s weekly commissioners meeting, Blair County Commissioner John J. Ebersole had solicitor Michael Dorezas review the clause in the 1998 contract entitling the county to first option on purchasing the Curve. Dorezas said afterward that the clause puts the county in a position to consider buying the team. But the decision on exercising that option or how hard to push for exercising that option rests with the commissioners. Ebersole said he’d like a chance to review all the information about the team before deciding if the county should or should not buy it. “It’s hard to say,” Ebersole said. “I don’t necessarily want the baseball team, but I wouldn't mind looking at what’s all involved.” For instance, if the team could generate revenue for the county, then Ebersole asks how the county could turn down the chance to find an additional way to generate revenue. County Commissioner John H. Eichelberger Jr. said Tuesday that he had no interest in having the county buy the baseball team. He said the county doesn’t have any business operating a baseball team that can attract private ownership. “If we were in a situation where we were in jeopardy of losing the team and it was very successful, then it might be a possibility,” Eichelberger said. Commissioner Donna Gority said she thinks the county should proceed through the process outlined in the contract. Please see Curve/Page A18 ■■MMI BIG FOUR9 I (OMO Lottery numbers, A2 !    WEATHER Mostly cloudy, 56° ■ Forecast, A2 y Altoona mirror HOT-ADS.com We're white-hot! ■HiIBI [the great combination! Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT C OMBINATION of MIRKOK CLASSIFIEDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 □ LOCAL Q| NARON Business AIQ Classifieds C6-18 Movies Obituaries Opinion A12 A17 A7 National news C4 f?J SPORTS __ Comics D5 High schools B4 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Scoreboard B5 Television D4 INSIDEIN NATION About 300,000 rebate checks never arrived. Now a new round may be mailed. PAGE CT ;

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