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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - September 24, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY CONTEST: Test your smarts and win cash / SPORTS: Earnhardt Jr. wins Cal Ripken Jr. 400 / PSL) to host insect fair page DI Altoona mirror © Copyright 2001 MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2001 50$ newsstand ii n mm MMH| Ae MMI Blair prison expands living space By Phii. Ray Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG — As Blair County’s prison population continues to hover at the 250 mark, county officials take steps to free more living space within the prison, and they have begun to explore possible financial sources for expansion. Blair County Commissioner John H. Eichelberger Jr. said last week that the state might provide money to help counties upgrade prisons. It’s been about 20 years since state funding has been available for that purpose. The Blair County Prison was remodeled and expanded in the early 1980s. Eichelberger, chairman of the county prison board, said the county is converting a community area of the prison into housing. The chapel in the prison is being converted for bed space, but Warden John O’Connor is quick to point out that reli gious programs in the prison will continue. The gym will be used for various pur poses, including meetings, exercise and bed space to help make the prison more livable for inmates. Comments by county officials came on the heels of criticism from Pennsylvania Prison Society member Thomas Hoppel. The society is a citizen group that meets with inmates to discuss their problems. In comments to the prison board after a tour of the facility in September, Hoppel called the overcrowding “obvious, unhealthy, dangerous and serious.” Hoppel said that in one area six inmates were kept in a cell. In another, there were 50 inmates served by two toilets and two sinks. The Blair County Prison, as of Thursday, contained 216 men and 31 women. Despite talk of overcrowding. O’Connor, who has been warden for a month, disagreed with Hoppel that it is a serious problem. “We are three over the capacity of the prison,” O’Connor said, adding that to depict the prison as severely overcrowded “might be overstating where we are at.” The issue of overcrowding surfaced in July 2000, when Warden John Prebish, upon announcing his resignation, indicated overcrowding issues would continue to be an issue. At the time Prebish made his comments, there were 240 inmates in the prison. Hoppel mentioned the need for a bigger prison, or if he had his druthers, fewer people sent to prison. Please see Prison/Page AIQ Regional police division weighed I ■ Study requested to determine effects of combining area forces. By Ray Stephens Staff Writer A state agency is expected to begin studying the pros and cons of forming a regional police department for three central Blair County municipalities within the next month. Allegheny Township supervisors, Hollidaysburg and Duncansville borough councils asked the state to conduct a study to decide if their areas would be better served by a consolidated department instead of independent police departments. Blair Township Supervisor Terry Claar also has shown interest in having Blair Township included in the study. But Claar needs support from another township supervisor before Blair Township can be included. Megan Miller, a spokeswoman for the Department of Community and Economic Development, said her department is trying to name a peer consultant to begin the study in the next month or so. “We’re in a time of assigning a police peer to work on this,” she said. After one is named, the study will move according to the consultant’s schedule. “It would probably take around four months but that depends on the police peer’s schedule,” she said. Please see Police/Page AIQ Cheyenne Billetdeaux, 5, of Lilly drops money in the donation can of Penn State Altoona Zeta Xi Epsilon sorority members who collected donations at the Station Mall Sunday for the N.Y. relief effort. By Phil Ray Staff Writer A Penn State Altoona student collecting money for the relief effort in New York City said Sunday that until two weeks ago war for her was history-book material. War was Pearl Harbor or Vietnam, she said, a subject discussed in books or by grandparents and great-grandparents. It certainly wasn’t something worrying her generation. “We never thought we d end up in a war,” * said Nicole Smith of Reading. But now that war looms, Smith and the other students have a better understanding of the* past. “We are just like our grandparents,” she said. She was among 50 or so local students who took to the streets Friday night and Sunday afternoon to collect money to be sent to the September 11 Firefighters Fund. The money is to aid rescue and cleanup operations in New York. Michael Fogarty, 23, assistant coordinator of Student Activities for Greek Affairs and Service Learning at Penn State Altoona, said the public’s response to the student effort was “excellent” Please see Donations/Page A3 Administration vows to lay out bin Laden evidence WASHINGTON (AP) — A solemn President Bush returned the American flag to full staff Sunday as the United States promised to lay out evidence making Osama bin Laden’s guilt in the terrorist attacks “very obvious to the world.” The administration scoffed at Taliban claims he cannot be found. Secretary of State Colin Powell said the government would “put before the world, the American people, a persuasive case that... it is al-Qaida, led by Osama bin Laden, who has been responsible.” Several officials pledged Bush will disrupt the flow of money to bin Laden with an executive order freezing his group’s U.S. assets. Administration officials and congres sional leaders turned their appearances on Sunday’s TV talk shows into a two-pronged effort to show the government’s resolve to choke off the terrorists and to encourage Americans to return to a more normal routine — crucial to getting the recession-bent economy moving again. As the U.S. military got ready to strike, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld suggested that brute force may not be the best way to get at bin Laden. “Is it likely that an aircraft carrier or a cruise missile is going to find a person?” Rumsfeld asked reporters. “No, it’s not likely; that isn’t how this is going to happen.” Please see Evidence/Page A6 Nation’s vaccine supply delays local flu schedule By Mark Leberfinger 1    Staff Writer This year’s flu vaccination program run by Blair Senior Services and the Blair County Respiratory Disease Society will be delayed by about a month. The reason: Another delay in delivery of the nation’s vaccine supply. Officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, however, the delays won’t be as bad as last year, when flu shots were unavailable until late November or early December. Fifty-six percent of the supply is expected to be delivered by the end of October. The rest will be delivered by early December, the CDC said. Under normal conditions, the program in Blair County would begin in early October. But in its newsletter, Blair Senior Services said to avoid any of the inconveniences that can be caused by canceling or rearranging published schedules, no flu shot schedule is being released at this time. “We have ordered our supply and expect it to arrive by mid-October,” said Robin Beck of Blair Senior Services. Please see Flu/Page AIQ ADVOCATES OF WORLD PEACE A woman advocating world peace before 2010 walks through the stands Sunday at New York's Yankee Stadium, the site for the (A Prayer for America "service. The interfaith service included prayers by leaders of eight religions. The Associated Press IMM DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7 '22910 00050u 4 * BIG FOUR 3    2    0    4 ■ Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Rain, thunderstorms, 68° ■ Forecast, A2 f \ n-ADS.oom Altoona mirror THE GREAT COMBINATION. We're white-hot! Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR ( IASSUTEDS and UM vt>S Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547_ □ LOCAL Business A5 Hospitals A9 Obituaries A9 Opinion AS □ sports Local B4 Scoreboard BS * Lunch program determines school funds By Jay Young Staff Writer Howard Etzel may be known around the Hollidaysburg schools for being computer savvy, but his real disappointment next month won’t be from a broken machine or problematic network. Instead, Etzel likely will be upset after seeing the number of students who are enrolled in the free and reduced school meal program. Especially the number of students who don’t participate. Districts across the nation offer the federal program to assist those who meet the established standards for a lower costing meal. Please see Lunch/Page A3 INSIDE LIFE □ nation Classifieds C4-10 Nation in a minute C3 □ life Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Television D4 The buzz about Honey Bees WAR ON TERRORISM: MORE COVERAGE INSIDE, PAGES: A5, A6, A7, Cl, C2 PSL) students turn to public for donations Mirror photo by Jason Sipes ;

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