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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - September 3, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAYCOMTE Test your smarts and win cash / SPORTS: Ward Burton wins Southern 500 / [ate gran connect online’Altona lilt nun* © Copyright 2001MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2001 500 newsstand ■HH HMH UA I I I I I I I I I I I I SPEEDWAY DEATH Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec Rodger Kyle of Greenwood delivers mail along his postal route on Third Street in Juniata. Local and state officials announced an additional 75 jobs at Veeder*Root Friday as bad news came that 265 workers at Westvaco Corp. would lose their jobs. Region suffers labor pains ■ Ripple effects of massive job losses expected. ■ Economic officials plot a long-term recovery. By Craig Williams Staff Writer Talk about bitter irony. Local and state officials were prepared to roll out some good news this Labor Day weekend to Blair Countians beleaguered by a series of economic body shots. Veeder-Root, the equipment manufacturer, would be adding 75 good-paying jobs at its Allegheny Township plant. The press conference trumpeting good news was still going on Friday morning when 265 workers at the Westvaco Corp. paper mill in Tyrone were learning they would be unemployed when the small-town institution shuts down for good by the end of October. Ouch. For the past few years, area economic development officials have tried to brace the region for an inevitable shift from a manufacturing to a service economy. No one ever said it would be an easy transition. Those same officials worked with plant owners to create dozens of jobs, only to see their work overshadowed by the job exodus that has rocked Blair and surrounding counties during the past 18 months. “These all were pretty good paying jobs.” said Martin Marasco, executive director of the Altoona Blair County Development Corp. Please see Labor/Page A6 Hie bad news for 200: rrwi Confirmed job losses for this year: Month | Company No | Type Jan FL Smithe, Duncansville 19 Permanent layoff March C-COR.net, Tipton 490 Plant closed March New Pig Corp., Tipton 27 Economic layoff March Laurel Crest Rehab, Ebensburg 42 Budget cuts March Huck Jacobson/Alcoa. Altoona 160 Plant closed BBBFSflll April F.L. Smithe, Duncansville 10 Permanent layoff April Small Tube, Altoona 30 Economic layoff April New Enterprise Stone & Lime, New Enterprise 30 Economic layoff June JLG, Bedford 265 Plant closed July SKF Industries, Altoona 29 Economic layoff July Carol Ann Fashions, Hastings 54 Plant closed Aug. Ames, Ebensburg 33 Store closed Aug. Butterick, Altoona 250 Plant closed Aug. Westvaco, Tyrone 265 Plant closed Oct. Norfolk Southern Car Shop, Hollidaysburg 320 Plant to be closed pending federal appeal Note Economic layoffs are due to a slowing economy and can be temporary to permanent furloughs resulting in a reduction of typically 10 percent of the overall work force. Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington ll Charges will not be filed By William Kibler Staff Writer CLEARFIELD — There will be no criminal charges filed in the death of a flagman’s spotter last month at Central Pennsylvania Speedway because no criminal intent was found, investigators said. Ron Williams of Orient, Ohio, driver of the car that hit Frederick Pscholka, 20, was travel* ing near the inside edge of the track — trying to work toward the outside — when the car suddenly darted back down, Lawrence Township police Officer Jeff Fink said. Williams was blinded by the sun momentar* ily and didn’t see Pscholka, Fink said. The car was going 30 or 40 mph, speedway race promoter Craig Wilson said. Experts checked various parts of the car’s steering mechanism and found nothing that would account for the car going out of control. "IWel don’t know why the car reacted like it did,” Wilson said. Because the accident didn’t happen on a public roadway, Fink will not conduct a crash reconstruction. Deputy Coroner Mary Jo Steinkamp said her investigation is finished but not her report. Witnesses who may have information to add to her report may call 765-1533, but she doesn’t expect her conclusions about the accident to change. Pscholka was hit on a pit road about 3 feet inside the edge line of the track as he was walking back toward the infield, according to a digital photograph given to authorities. The impact spun Pscholka around and sent him from the back to the front of the car, Steinkamp said. The question of whether Pscholka was out of his designated position as a spotter remains a point of contention. Two witnesses who spoke to investigators after the accident said Pscholka was in proper position, but Wilson insisted that he wasn’t. Pscholka shouldn’t have been at the edge of the track near Turn 3 during sprint car warmups that night — he should have been more than 40 feet away at his station, atop a mound that is protected by a railing, Wilson said. At other tracks, corner flagmen such as Pscholka occasionally may go to the side of the track to interact with drivers — but Wilson doesn’t permit that at his track. Only the main flagman may go to the side of the track to get cars in proper order or deliver a message to a driver who’s not responding to a flag, Wilson said. The two witnesses — both spectators — said Pscholka was supposed to come to the edge of the track during warmups to hold a yellow caution flag, so drivers would know not to come up to full speed, Steinkamp said. But Wilson said Pscholka’s main job was to be at his station, spot trouble on the backstretch such as oil on the track, radio the news to the flagman and, if necessary, hold up the appropriate-color flag on the main flagman’s orders. Please see Charges/Page A3 State tries to understand drop in food stamp participation By JEANETTE KREBS capitolwire.com HARRISBURG — For the last four years, low-income families have dwindled from the rolls of Pennsylvania’s food stamp program. The state has been puzzled by the sharp decline in enrollment, espe cially because those who are leaving welfare in large numbers usually can continue to receive food stamps. Other states experienced a decline in the same period, but many are seeing their food stamp participation leveling off or beginning to increase again. That is not the case in Pennsylvania. Next month, the state Public Welfare Department will announce a $1 million program to provide funding for community groups to do outreach to families who are eligible for food stamps. Please see Food/Page A3 Ex-dancer gets 2-4 years in prison By Phil Ray Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG — A former exotic dancer was sentenced Friday to two to four years in a state correctional institution for selling cocaine to an undercover police officer. Blair County Judge Jolene G. Kopriva rejected the contention by Sandra Martz’s attorney that she was a pawn in a drug dealing operation run by Brett Davis, 27, of Altoona, who died of a heroin over- ■ Judge upholds citation against The Palace / Page A8 dose in August. “Brett Davis was the dealer. The money went to Brett," said attorney J. Kirk Fling of Altoona, who asked the judge to sentence Martz to a year in prison. Fling argued that Martz has mental health problems and is addicted to drugs and alcohol. “She was susceptible to abuse like this,” he said. Kopriva said she knows people who suffer bipolar disorder, which Martz has, but those people are not drug dealers or drug addicts. In Martz’s June trial, police testified she helped set up drug deals between the undercover officer and Davis. Martz was charged with distributing 5.1 grams of cocaine to an undercover officer Dec. 30,1999, Please see Prison/Page A8 m ■Mw DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7 '22910 00050 a f    y BIG FOUR    | Itta I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER    | * Mostly sunny, 810 ■ Forecast, A2 Mirror oooooo ooooooo Bucks □ local Business A5 Movies A6 Obituaries A7 Opinion A4 y SPORTS NFL notebook B4 Scoreboard B5 I Q NATION Classifieds    C2-10 □ lire Comics    D5 Community    news    D2 Puzzles    D4 Television    D4 INSIDE | ;

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