Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - August 10, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania
RELIGION: Families enjoy time together at church festivals / FREE INSIDE_
SPORTS: Thomas Chevrolet claims its third straight City League title / 31_
LIFE: Destiny’s Child outshines other teen pop acts on MTV’s ‘TRU tour / DIAltoona ifltrror
© Copyright 2001
FRIDAY, AUGUST IO, 2001
50C newsstandBush OKs limited stem cell research
From Mirror staff and wire reports
CRAWFORD, Texas — President Bush announced support Thursday night for federal funding for limited medical research on embryonic stem cells, a decision he said balanced concerns about “protecting life and improving life.”
“I have made this decision with great care, and I pray it is the right one,” Bush
said in the first prime-time speech of his presidency.
Citing the promise of breakthroughs in fighting diseases such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes, Bush said he would approve federal funding but only for existing lines of embryonic stem cells. That would restrict research to cells from embryos that already have been destroyed.
■ Stem cells offer distant promise of dazzling medical advances / Page Cl
The president, an opponent of abortion, said he would prohibit the use of federal funds to create any new lines of human embryonic stem cells. He said it was important that “we pay attention to the moral concerns of the new frontier.”
Even though he sought middle ground on the complex political and moral issue, Bush’s remarks triggered criticism, muted from supporters of research, forceful from opponents.
“The trade-off he has announced is morally unacceptable,’’ said Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “It allows
our nation’s research enterprise to cultivate a disrespect for human life."
U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., a supporter of research, welcomed Bush’s decision as “an important step forward." But. he added, “it doesn’t go far enough to fulfill the life-saving potential of this promising new medical research."
Please see Cells/Page A6
Event’s wings won’t be clipped
Liquor control turnaround helps secure future of Wing Offs
By Tiffany Shaw and Craig Williams
The Lakemont Park Wing Offs are likely to fly high again after state liquor control authorities turned up new legal research Thursday and reversed a previous ruling banning teen-agers from the event.
While the ruling didn’t come in time to bolster a below-average crowd this week, it almost certainly will affect next week's summer finale and helps ensure the traditional summer event will continue.
“We are very excited about the recent change in heart,” said Jim Bronson, general manager of Boston Concessions, the park’s food and beverage supplier. “It’s absolutely amazing, and we are very happy to see it.”
Park manager Barry Kumpf worried that event orga nizers would have a hard time finding restaurants to sell wings if customers were limited by admission rules.
But Bronson said Thursday that the reversal would keep the event alive.
“We’re certain it will,” he said.
That was good news to the Wing Off faithful.
“This is a family event, and everyone should be welcome,” said Natalie Voytko of Hollidaysburg. “People should be able to bring the family. There’s no trouble here, and there are never any fights.”
All visitors were allowed back in the Wing Off area Thursday after minors were banned last week following action by the state police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement.
The LCE had ruled that alcoholic beverages had to be kept separated from minors in the Wing Off pavilion area. The park obeyed the ruling by restricting access to the event to adults over 21 or children under IO with a parent.
The initial LCE ruling created a logistical double standard for event organizers and confusion among families.
The LCE reversal came too late for some families who already made plans for the evening.
“We normally do bring our three teen-age girls,” one woman said.
Please see Wing Off/Page A5
Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett
Don Smith (right), Altoona, checks IDs Thursday night at the Wing Off at Lakemont Park as Steve Salsgiver, Altoona, waits in line to have his identification checked.
Group judges Callan unfit for retention
■ Judge says he’ll stand on his record in quest for IO more years on bench.
By Phil Ray
HOLLIDAYSBURG - Blair County Judge Norman D. Callan s retention for another 10-year term will be challenged by a group that says he is ill-tempered and often callous on the bench.
Callan said the members of the group are entitled to their opin ion, but he added that he’ll run for retention on his record this fall. The judge soon will form a retention committee to present his side of the story.
The an ti-Callan group, the Committee for Judicial Fairness, filed registration papers in the county court house Thursday. It is headed by former Altoona City Councilman Len Bettwy. Former Blair County District Attorney William J. Haberstroh figures to be one of the most visible members of the group. Stephen H. ness, a certified public accountant, is the group’s treasurer.
The committee will urge voters in the fall to vote no on Callan’s retention, a decision that would create a judicial vacancy in January. If a vacancy is declared, Gov. Tom Ridge will name a judge to serve the remainder of 2002. Voters then would elect a judge for a full 10-year term in 2002.
Callan, who announced late last year that he intended to run for
retention for a second term, learned Thursday about the group opposing his retention.
“These individuals are entitled to their opinion. It’s the process,” he said. ‘Til stand on my record.”
The opposition group is citing Callan s temper on the bench as the primary reason for asking voters to reject retention.
The judge often has confronted lawyers in court and is known for his sharp questioning of clients and their attorneys.
Callan was cited by the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline a year ago for being “impatient and discourteous” during a protec-tion-from-abuse hearing in 1998.
The court did not take action against Callan, but he was required to attend a hearing in Philadelphia.
Bettwy said he supported Callan IO years ago but changed his mind about him when the judge became angry with Bettwy’s daughter during an appearance for a domestic relations case.
“She was treated very, very badly,” he said.
Bettwy said he wrote the judge a four-page letter protesting the way he handled the case.
Hess said he was in the courtroom during Callant handling of a domestic relations case.
“I have seen Judge Callan in action,” he said. “With this type of demeanor, he doesn’t belong on the bench. I don’t know Judge Callan personally. He may be the finest gentleman in the world.”
Please see Judge/Page A5Logan Township supervisors place communications tower rules on hold
By Ray Stephens Staff Writer Logan Township supervisors Thursday night put proposed rules for communications towers on hold until refinements are made.
After hearing concerns about tower height and property setback requirements, supervisors agreed to delay adopting an amendment to its zoning ordinance. That will give solicitor Larry Clapper time to rework the language.
“I think we’ve got the basics
down,” township Supervisor Diane Meling said.
She and supervisors Frank Meloy and James Patterson backed away from adopting the amendment after hearing that taller towers might improve wireless communications in areas of the township where it is not possible.
They also heard a concern that the ordinance’s property setback requirement may be too strict.
Larry Lahr of Chambersburg, rep
resenting Nextel Partners of State College, said that while the township designated the industrial zone as one of two zoned areas for towers, the amendment makes meeting the setback requirement difficult.
“Your industrial districts are built up, so it’s difficult to meet the setbacks,” Lahr said.
Under the proposed amendment,-the foundation and base of any tower should be at least IOO feet from a property line.
Please see Towers/Page A5Bud Shuster uses campaign funds to help pay legal fees
By Claude R. Marx The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Former U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, R-9th District, who was rebuked by the House ethics committee for being too close to lobbyists, used $194,000 in campaign funds to pay for his legal fees incurred during the investigation.
Shuster paid the funds to three Washington law firms from his campaign treasury in January and February, according to disclo
sure forms filed with the Federal Election Commission.
House rules and federal law permit such use of campaign funds, though some members choose to set up separate legal defense funds. Shuster did not return phone calls seeking comment.
His campaign treasury had $260,000 at the beginning of 2001 and $23,000 at the end of June.
Though Shuster’s use of campaign funds to pay his lawyers is legal, it violates the spirit of the law, Millersville University political scientist G. Terry Madonna said.
“This is a frequent practice but not a good one. Individuals make contributions to fund the running of campaigns, but because of the laxity of the law, members have a lot of discretion in how they use the money," he said.
Please see Shuster/Page A6
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