Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - June 15, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania
RELIGION: Area church members spend week at Bahamas AIDS camp /_
NATION: Study raises concerns that vitamin C may help damage DNA / Cl_
LIFE: The number of people with arthritis is growing with aging baby boomers / DIAltoona mirror
© Copyright 2001
FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2001
500 newsstandJuniata shop’s July shutdown extended
■ Pleased that their jobs will stay intact, workers take three-week furlough in stride.
By Craig Williams
Norfolk Southern Corp. announced Thursday that workers at the Juniata Locomotive Shop will be furloughed for three weeks in July in what railroad officials are calling a cost-cutting measure.
Of the 900 workers at the facility, 50 workers will remain on the job for security and other purposes during the temporary shutdown.
“I’m stunned,” Michael Miller of Altoona said on his way to work on second shift at the shop.
“Usually there are rumors floating around, but I didn t hear any
thing about this. I shouldn’t be surprised," said Miller, who has worked as an electrician for 22 years.
Typically the plant closes one week each summer for maintenance, but this year, the administration decided to shut down the facility for an additional two weeks.
At the end of the third shift July 9, the railroad will close the gates and reopen them the morning of July 30 for the first shift.
“The guys already on a vacation schedule will take vacation. Those not on vacation will go on furlough,’’ railroad spokesman Rudv Husband said.
Many employees coming to work Thursday afternoon took the news in stride and said that as long as they still had a job when they returned, it was OK by them.
“It’s nothing we haven’t seen before. As long as they call everybody back, that’s the important
thing,” said Mitch Lynn of Martinsburg, a boilermaker at the Juniata shop.
But as workers left the plant at 3 p.m. Thursday, the mood was anything but joyous.
“First damn good thing they’ve done for us," a worker who refused to give his name said sarcastically.
“It’ll give me two more weeks vacation,” another said.
The furlough was coordinated to coincide with the period when
automakers close their shops to retool for the 2002 model year and during a period when coal mines close each summer.
“Because there is less demand to run trains, there will be less of a demand for maintenance,” Husband said.
In Roanoke, Va., all 175 to 200 employees at both the rail car shop and locomotive shop also will be furloughed for three weeks.
Please see Junlata/Page A7
Dissent rearing its head
By Robert Igoe Staff Writer
After two elections that brought little success for the Democratic Party, one local member is calling for a major shake-up of the Blair County Democratic Committee — beginning at the top.
During June 8’s episode »>r i Andy Pappas Weekend Roundup. a public access political debate program, co-host Tom Healy called for the resignation of Robert “Whitey” Miller, chairman of the Blair County Democratic Party.
Healy called a meeting for Wednesday at the Blair-Bedford Central Labor Council hall in Altoona to discuss this issue, among others.
Healy is upset by Al Gore’s poor showing in Blair during the 2000 presidential election and Scott Conklin’s loss in the 9th Congressional District special election.
Gore won Pennsylvania but lost the election, while Conklin lost both the county and the election to Bill Shuster.
“The Democratic Party’s action in the last two major federal elections has been nil,” said Healy, a member of the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee.
Please see Dems/Page A5
Comedian Dennis Miller yuks it up with the audience Thursday night at the Bryce .Jordan Center in State College. Miller, a Pittsburgh native, is the latest
performer to bring laughs to central Pennsylvania residents.
Mirror photo by Jason Sipes
What a laugh
Residents can go for a giggle on occasion
By Kevin OTT Staff Writer
#%K, so this guy walks into a central I ^Pennsylvania concert venue... lr Comedian, color commentator and “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Dennis Miller showed up at the Bryce Jordan Center Thursday night to ply his trade and bring stand-up comedy to the masses of the southern Alleghenies.
He’s not the first to bring laughs to central
Pennsylvania. Every Saturday night, locals gather at Uriah’s Pub on Bellwood Avenue to see comedians from around the world. Local colleges bring comics in to entertain students.
Earlier this year, Juniata College hosted Suzanne Westenhoefer, known as “America’s No. I Lesbian Comedian,” provoking controversy around the area. A few weeks earlier, Westenhoefer was booted from Carlow College, a Catholic campus in Pittsburgh.
Please see Laugh/Page A7
Tour de ’Toona, BikeFest riding in at same time
By Tiffany Shaw Staff Writer
What’s a few more thousand bicyclists coming to town during the week of Tour de ’Toona?
The answer could be more tourist dollars for the area’s economy.
The League of American Bicyclists will hold its annual national rally in Altoona at the same time as the Tour de ’Toona in August. with more than 1,000 bicyclists expected to attend.
The largest organization of recreational riders seemed a natural fit with the Tour de ’Toona’s large pro-am stage races, race promoter Rick Geist said. He helped bring the league’s national rally called BikeFest to the city with a commitment for at least the next three years.
When Tour de ’Toona started 16 years ago. part of Geist’s dream was to establish Altoona’s reputation as a bicycle-friendly city.
“During the dog days of August, our goal was to bring people to Altoona, and we succeeded mightily,” he said. “This year, we’re doing things that are out of sight.”
The league is the country’s largest membership organization of cyclists who promote the sport for fun, fitness, transportation and work through education and advocacy for a bicycle-friendly America.
It doesn’t hurt that many cyclists
AT A GLANCE
The League of American Bicyclists will hold its annual national rally Aug 3-5 in Altoona, Joining the Tour de ’Toona July 31 through Aug. 5,
■ More than 1 .OOO bicyclists are expected at BikeFest 2001.
■ Members will attend workshops, shop at local establishments and bike daily through the area.
■ The league, founded in 1880, has about 300,000 members and affiliates
■ Members will stay at Penn State Altoona, where cycling instructors and presentations will take place.
are important figures in their own communities and are the types of business leaders that Altoona could try to attract professionally.
“A lot of the people coming, ABCD [Altoona Blair County Development Corp.! and the [Blair County] Chamber would bring in for lunch, but we’re going to have them here in spandex,” Geist said. Please see Bicyclists/Page A4
Ex-volunteer coach to stand trial Aug. 7
By Michael Emery Staff Writer
CLAYSBURG — A former Claysburg-Kimmel High School volunteer wrestling coach is scheduled to stand trial Aug. 7 on a corruption of minors charge.
Mark Mosley, 21, of 605 Marie St., Hollidaysburg, waived his formal arraignment.
Instead, he filed a not-guilty plea by mail and requested a trial by jury in the Dauphin County Courthouse.
Mosley was charged with corruption of minors for an incident with a 16-year-old female Claysburg-Kimmel student March IO at the Hampton Inn in Hershey.
According to the criminal com
plaint filed by Detective David Melhorn of the Derry Township Police Department, Mosley, representing Claysburg-Kimmel as an assistant wrestling coach, had sexual relations with the student.
At that time, the Claysburg-Kimmel wrestling team was staying in Hershey March 7-11 for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state wrestling championships.
The victim was in Hershey as a fan.
In a written statement to Melhorn, the student said Mosley initiated sexual relations with her by asking her for sex and kissing her.
Please see Coach/Page A6
Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480
7 '22910 00050 a *
2 6 4 5
I Lottery numbers, A2
Partly sunny, 83°
■ Forecast, A2
FIREFIGHTERS FIND FELINE
Mirror photo by Jason Sipes Pebbles, a 7-week-old kitten, is returned to her owner, Scott Snyder, 8, by Altoona Firefighter Mike Nicodemus. Neighbor Wendy Williams looks on. The kitten was hiding in the living room during a blaze at 840 27th St. Please see story, Page A2.
J LG plant closing leaves 265 jobless
By Beth N. Gray
For the Mirror
BEDFORD — A five-year materials handler at JLG Industries’ Weber Lane plant said he was shocked when he and other employees learned at a plantwide meeting Thursday that 265 jobs will be terminated.
The worker said the announcement sounded like a permanent closing of the site that manufactures scissor-lifts for the construction industry.
Before the announcement, the worker, who did not reveal his name, said there was no inkling of a shutdown.
In the briefing, employees heard
they’ll be offered severance pay and “odds and ends.”
Details were sketchy, but workers expected to learn more in a followup session today.
“Ifs not good news,” said Bette Slayton, Bedford County director of economic development, who learned of the shutdown Thursday afternoon. “It’s the effect of the economy.
“It’s my understanding it’s permanent,” Slayton said of the closing of the plant in the Bedford Industrial Park.
"We’re going to do everything we can to maximize whatever benefits there are,” she said of the unemployed.
Please see JLG/Page A9
Promistar, a Johnstown-based financial corporation with branches in Altoona and Hollidaysburg, will merge into F.N.B. Corp. of Naples, Fla., in a $427 million deal.
PAGE A92002 JEEP LIBERTY
4 Wheel Drive NOW IN STOCK!su&rn
Chrysler - Plymouth - Jeep 1549 Pleasant Valley Blvd* Altoona, PA 943-6167