Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - January 20, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania
Sports: Baseball great speaks at Curve Hot Stove Ufo: Tips on keeping houseplants healthy in winter DIAltoona Mirror
© Copyright 2001SATURDAY, JANUARY 20, 2001
500 newsstandAs Bush era nears, Clinton dealsLocals in D.C. to watch inauguration
By Robert Igoe Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - On Capitol Hill, ifs time to meet the new boss.
At noon, George W. Bush will be sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States, and the world will be watching as he takes the oath of office on the west steps of the Capitol Building.
Bush proclaimed himself ready Friday to accept “with pride” and “with honor” the
WE RE THERE
Mirror political reporter Robert Igoe and photographer Jason Sipes are in Washington, D.C., for the inauguration of George W. Bush. Look for local coverage from the event throughout the weekend in the Mirror.
Ridge assumes key slot in GOP
By Robert Igoe
WASHINGTON — One day before the reigns of presidential power were to be turned over officially to George W. Bush, another changing of the guard took place.
At a conference of the Republican Governors Association at the Marriott Hotel Friday, Gov. Tom Ridge was elevated to the position of chairman after serving as the association’s vice chairman since Dec. I.
“It is a great honor to be associated with this terrific group of problem solvers,” Ridge said. “There are no more visionary or dedicated people in public service whom I have worked with. It will be an honor to serve them as chairman.”
Ridge succeeds Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, who relinquished the post to concentrate on his duties as national chairman of the Republican Party.
“This is in many ways a sad moment for me," Gilmore said.
“I have gained a deep respect for my colleagues here, and I’m delighted to have worked with them.”
Please see Ridge/Page A5
job of commander in chief. He also made plans to begin pushing his agenda once he takes the oath.
Even a forecast of rain turning to sleet for today’s ceremonies did little to dampen Bush’s spirits, as he moved buoyantly from one celebratory event to another and prepared to hit the dance floor with his wife, Laura, at an evening black tie and boots ball honoring Texans.
Please see Inauguration/Page A5
No indictment in grand jury probe
. > VA 5
By Wayne Washington N. Y. Times News Service
WASHINGTON — President Clinton reached a deal with prosecutors Friday that will keep him from being indicted for giving false testimony in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, sealing a tense era of recriminations and investigations one day before George W. Bush assumes the presidency.
In exchange for the end of Independent
Counsel Robert Ray’s investigation, Clinton is to surrender his law license for five years, pay a $25,000 fine and forego reimbursement from the U.S. Treasury for his legal fees. Disbarment proceedings in his home state of Arkansas will cease.
Lawyers in the Jones case were looking into Clinton’s relationship with other women, particularly Monica Lewinsky, when the president was called to give a deposition under oath in January 1998.
Please see Deal/Page A5
H0? FOR BUTTONS
Al Coppeta, owner of Al’s Tavern on Eighth Avenue in Altoona, displays his political button collection.
Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich
Political pins prove source of pride for collectors
By Craig Williams
Didn’t get invited to the inauguration?
Oh well, at least you have memories of a race well run — and maybe a political button.
For collectors, a shoe box full of political buttons represents a uniquely tangible history lesson.
Dan Farrell, director of the Altoona Housing Authority, says a childhood fascination with memorabilia of one presidential campaign started him on a lifelong hobby.
“I’ve been collecting since 1972,” he says. “I got my first button that year during the
Nixon and McGovern presidential race. This was back when you could walk to the campaign office and actually get some buttons. Now they are just a part of the overall campaign.”
As politics became more sophisticated, presidential hopefuls turned more and more to television and media advertising and buttons became more rare, Farrell says. Eventually, commercials replaced the handshakes, and it wasn’t necessary to show support to a television tube.
“People don’t wear buttons the way they used to,” he says.
But in the days when the presidential candidates actually came to your town,
Americans showed their allegiances.
“Because the northeastern part of the United States was populated first, this is where the most political items can be found,” says Dave Clapper, owner of Dave A. Clapper American Antiques and Folkart. After 31 years as a full-time dealer, Clapper knows the business of buttons.
One of the first American political buttons was made in support of our first president — even though there was no election.
“There is still a possibility that even something as remote as a George Washington button can be found,” Clapper says.
Please see Buttons/Page A5
Opinions mixed on Clinton’s legacy
By Michael Emery
As Bill Clinton spends his final hours as president today, the complexities of his eight years in office are reflected in the opinions held by local residents.
When asked to evaluate Clinton’s presidency, many respondents distinguished between his political leadership and his moral standing.
Just as the country was divided in the fall presidential election, local residents were divided in their opinions of Clinton. Responses ranged from calling Clinton a “great leader” to a "disgrace.”
Many people like Jim and Alice Baughman of Hollidaysburg had done well economically since Clinton took office, but they had reservations about him personally.
“I can’t say Clinton was all bad, because under his regime, I purchased two houses, and the interest rates and economy were good enough for me to do that in both instances,” Jim Baughman said.
“The economy did very well under his leadership, although I don’t think he was entirely responsible for that. To be fair, though, he should be given good marks for the economy because it did perform well during his two terms.
"But anytime you talk about Clinton and his presidency, you also can’t ignore the issues of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and his lying under oath and his impeachment,” Baughman added.
“I believe he should face prosecution for lying under oath, so I’m against the deal allowing him to avoid indictment after he leaves office.”
The deal Baughman alluded to came about Friday when Clinton attorney David Kendall and Independent Counsel Robert Ray came to an agreement that ensured Clinton will not be indicted after leaving office.
Please see Opinions/Page A5
Altoona arsonist faces 10 years in prison ch-ch-chchanges
■ Grill it arirlitinn hvy ciihtnMinn
By Phil Ray
HOLLIDAYSBURG — A Hollidaysburg man convicted in December of burning down a city recycling center will spend at least the next decade in a state prison.
Judge Norman D. Callan said Christopher Michael Rodland is a danger to the community because of his record of arsons and other crimes dating back to when he was a 9-year-old.
Rodland, 23, had six arrests as a juvenile and 46 arrests as an adult.
Many of his adult arrests center around a two-year spree of arsons that kept city firefighters on edge.
Testimony in Rod-land’s trial related a confession he made to setting a fire at J&J Recycling on Margaret Avenue in August 1996.
The fire capped a day in which Rodland and another man, whom police cannot find, supposedly wanted to set more fires than the city fire
department could respond to, according to testimony.
Rodland told Altoona Detective Sgt. Roger White that he and the other man set four blazes.
The fire that caused the most problems that hot summer day occurred when Rodland tossed a bottle filled with gasoline into a pile of cardboard outside J&J, according to testimony.
The fire spread to the building and to the roof.
Two firefighters were injured.
Rodland also was convicted of setting
fires at 1021 Highland Place, a garage and house owned by David Cawthern, the porch of a house owned by Patrick and Christina Beeler and a garage behind 1301 Ninth St. owned by Dr. Kiinbalatara Siripala.
The J&J Recycling fire caused $275,000 in damage. The building’s owner, William Haberstroh, was not reimbursed totally for the damage, so Callan ordered Rodland to pay Haberstroh $58,000. Rodland will have 20 years after his release from prison to repay Haberstroh.
Please see Arson/Page A4
Subscription or home delivery questions:
946-7480 or (800) 287-4480
? "22910 00050 a
7 0 9 9
I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER
Chance of snow, 27°
■ Forecast, C2 ■j
[the great combination
Call us today...Make money today. Ask for
THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and HOT-AOS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547
Call it addition by subtraction.
As of today, the Mirror no longer will publish the weekly Cove-Bedford Mirror and the monthly Hollidaysburg-Duncansville Mirrr as separate tabloid sections of the paper.
Instead, beginning in March, we’ll move that community-focused coverage into the regular newspaper with the debut of Community Spotlight pages that will run in each Saturday’s Mirror. The special pages will focus on different parts of our coverage area each week, including the Cove, Bedford County Hollidaysburg and Duncansville Look for it beginning in March in the Altoona Mirror.
Water) for expanded ijJHnp
beginning Feb 3