Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 30, 2002 · Page 1
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 1

Indiana, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
Page 1
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Nicole Rearick, West Shamokin advance. Page 25. 32 pages — 4 sections WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 30,2002 Vol. 99 — No. 69 Who's in the news There is good news today in The Indiana Gazette about the following area people: Loretta Kuzneski, Shauna Furman, Rebecca Hebenthal, Ed Shaffer, Harry McFarland, Christian Dickinson, Natalie Marken, Amber Boyer, Lyle Milliard, Quarry Denlinger. INSIDE Elsewhere • Astronomers have found an ancient star they believe may hold clues to the formation of the universe. • The Census Bureau reports that counties in the South and Midwest were among the poorest in the country in the late 1990s. • Students in the United States have better access to computers than students in other industrialized countries. Pages. Deaths Obituaries on page 4 BLOSE, Shirley A. larvie, 65, of Heilwood RAGER, Laura Jean, 35, formerly of Gas Center and Johnstown RIPPLE, Lloyd E., 75, of Indiana STERLEY, Michael J., 60, of Indiana Forecast Tonight will be mostly cloudy with scattered flurries and a low of 28. Thursday will be mostly cloudy with a high of 42. Page 2. Index Classifieds 21-24 DearAbby 16 Entertainment 32 Family 19 Food 17,18 Lottery numbers 2 Today in History 16 Sports 25-30 Stocks 2 TV-Comics 31 Viewpoint 6 Teddy "Cuando amor no es locura, no es amor." (When love is not madness, it is not love.) — Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Spanish dramatist (1600-1681) This newspaper is' printed on recyclable paper. Please recycle. Newspaper contents copyright © 2002 Indiana Printing and Publishing Co., Indiana, Pa. Blown-In Insulation: M.C. Home Center, (724) 397-2370. Carpet Professionally Installed Affordable Interiors Wunda Weave Carpet Sale Call (724) 34^8821. Complete Selection Turkey Calls.. Guns... Ammo... Mahoning Valley Milling, Punxsutawney: 814-938-8850. National Karastan Carpet And Area Rug Sale - Save Up To Fifty Percent! Douds Of Plumville. (724)397-5511. Vogues/Hiram And The Walkers... Indiana Holiday Inn, November 23. Your Internet Services,, Buy Indiana County First, (724) 463-0105. Bob Newhart's deadpan style earns him humor prize. Page 9. 50 cents Candidates make pitch to voters Nov. 5 hopefuls take part in League of Women Voters forum By CHAUNCEY ROSS Gazette Staff Writer Sometimes it was hard to know who was running against whom. Five candidates appearing on the Nov. 5 ballot answered questions Tuesday evening in a nonpartisan forum sponsored annually by the League of Women Voters of Indiana County. In defiance of raw, unseasonably cold weather, an estimated 120 spectators turned out for the forum at Aging Services' Oak Place Community Center in Indiana, according to League President Sherene Hess. Two local radio stations broadcast the session for listeners who were unable to attend. Democratic state Rep. Sara Steelman of the 62nd District and her Republican challenger, Dave Reed, were the only direct competitors on the panel but Steelman, at times, found herself responding to comments made by 60th District Rep. Jeff Coleman, a Republican who is running unopposed. Coleman, who is assured of reelection Tuesday, did not use all of his allotted time at the podium pro- moting his own cause. He mentioned that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Rendell has an "F" rating from the NRA for his position on gun control, and he identified state Rep. Sam Smith of the 66th Dis- REED STEELMAN trict, a Republican, as a prime sponsor of the Growing Greener environmental protection law. In response to a question about whether state legislators should concentrate on constituent service or passing legislation favorable to their districts, Coleman launched criticism of legislators who use government funds to produce campaign 'ads under the guise of public- service announcements. "This year the Republican Party in Harrisburg spent $1.4 million on taxpayer-funded campaign commercials. Democrats are abusing it, Republicans are abusing it," Coleman said without mentioning names. "It's time to make sure that taxpayers stop subsidizing political campaigns even though legally it falls within that 60-day period before a general election." He was not the only candidate to use a question as a springboard to address a separate issue. Slowing the flow Yellow Creek working to fix leaky dam gate By RANDY WELLS Gazette Staff Writer PENN RUN —- Divers this week are poking through debris near the bottom of the dam at Yellow Creek State Park Lake, gathering information on how to plug a ieak that is allowing millions of gallons of water to escape from the lake each day. The water isn't being lost. It's flowing into Yellow Creek just as it would if it were released over the dam's spillway. But park Manager Ken Bisbee would like to have better control over how and when the water is released. The dam at Yellow Creek State Park was built in the late 1960s. A 3-by-4-foot mechanical gate at the bottom of the breast of the dam can be raised and lowered to release or hold back water in the lake: The gate is about 30 feet below the surface of the water. Bisbee said a seal on the bottom of the gate was damaged in the 1977 flood and was replaced. But the new seal lasted only about six months and water began leaking through the gate. "It appears to be getting worse," he said. The park is required to release a minimum of 7.5 million gallons of water each day downstream into Yellow Creek. Bisbee said the park hasn't had to release water because enough is leaking out to meet the minimum requirement. The dam was designed with multiple gates so that the water released downstream can be a mixture of cold water from the bottom of the lake and warmer water from the surface. But Bisbee hasn't been able to mix the water because of the leaking gate. He also believes the faulty seal contributes to the level of the lake dropping more than it has to, especially in dry summers. As the first step in correcting the situation, a team of divers from Underwater Consultants International of Lockport, N.Y., is inspecting the gate from the lake Continued on page 8 Above: Diver Kevin Ireland waded into the chilly water of Yellow Creek Lake, while Mike Smith spooled out a line thaf circulated heated water through the dive suit to keep Ireland warm. Left: Once divers have closed off the flow of water into the dam's underwater gate, repairs to a seal can be made through the bottom of the dam's control tower, at right. (Gazette photos by Tom Peel) In her answer to a question about gun laws, Steelman promoted her record on campaign-finance laws. "This year I have a 'B' rating (from the National Rifle Association)," Steelman said. "One of the tilings the NRA is having some trouble with is ... they are opposed to campaign finance reform. Candidates like myself who are in favor of campaign finance reform ... are not likely to be favored by the NRA." Audience members submitted written questions and the moderators, news reporters from the radio stations, read them for the candidates. In addition to discussing lawmakers' duties, gun control and improving the environment in Indiana County, the General Assembly candidates talked about how to keep young people from leaving the area, Continued on page 8 Haitians risk lives to reach U.S. coast By CORALIE CARLSON Associated Press Writer MIAMI — An eight-day journey at sea to escape their poverty-stricken homeland ended for more than 200 illegal Haitian immigrants when their freighter ran aground and they jumped overboard, rushing to shore and causing a traffic jam as they tried to flag down cars. Twenty-one of the Haitians had to be rescued after jumping from the overloade'd boat Tuesday into water 10- to 12-feet deep and becoming too fatigued to make it to shore, Coast Guard Lt. Jeffrey Smith said. "It was extremely dangerous. You had these people who had been on this boat for a number of days without food, without water," Smith said this morning on NBC's "Today" show. "They were already weak and then they were jumping into the water." Border Patrol agents rounded up 208 other migrants, including young children who had been dropped from the boat and carried to land by adults. They were awaiting processing today at a detention center, and Haitian activists feared they would be deported. Thousands of Haitians each year risk dangerous voyages aboard rickety, crowded boats to flee the crushing poverty in their homeland, the hemisphere's poorest country where two-thirds of the population is unemployed or underemployed and most people survive on less than $1 a day. Unlike Cubans who reach dry land, though, Haitian immigrants usually arc denied asylum in the United Stales and sent back to their homeland. The Bush administration changed its detention policy on Haitian refugees in December to discourage a feared mass exodus. Immigration attorneys sued the government in March, saying the new policy of detention was racially biased. "It's very sad to see the way human beings who arc fleeing their country for a belter way of life are treated," said North Miami Mayor Joe Ce- Icstin, a Haitian-American who went Continued on page 8 Taking 'a break from normal life' Punxs'y man hikes Appalachian Trail By MICHELET. HUEY Gazette Staff Writer PUNXSUTAWNEY—You would think Jason G-rusky had it all. A degree in civil engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. A high-paying job in Chicago. No family to tie him down. But the 1991 graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School wasn't satisfied. So he decided to chuck it all and return to western Pennsylvania. "I got burned out on city life and wanted to move back home," said Grusky, 29. "I was ready for a career change and wasn't sure exactly where I wanted to go." Perhaps he could find the answer far from the madding crowds — such as on the 2,000- plus miles of the rugged, demanding Appalachian Trail. "I wanted lo lake a break from normal life," Trail trivia Length of trail: 2,168 miles Hiking time: Five and a half months Best part of experience: "The people I met." Worst part: Blisters Trail grub: Beef jerky, macaroni and cheese, Granola bars and water; replenished every five days Clothes: Two sets, one for hiking and one for sleeping Wildlife spotted: 15 bear, 1 moose Frequency of hot showers and a warm bed: Once a week Worst weather: Thunderstorms On the Web: .htm he said. "I was making a major hie change. So I thought I'd take six months or so to do the trail. It was one of the things I said I always wanted to do." He spent two years planning, saving every penny he could and purchasing more than a thousand dollars worth of hiking equipment, lie would need to save enough money to live on for more than six months while he hiked from Springer Mountain, Ga., to Mt. Katahdin, Maine. Me chose the trail name "Sandfly" to reflect his Punxsutawney roots. The Indian name for Punxsutawney means "town of the sandflies." While he was planning his hike, a family medical crisis gave his venture a sharper focus. His cousin, Mary Afeandri of Greensburg, suffered from chronic kidney disease and needed a second transplant. Her sister Jeannie offered one of her kidneys. Compatibility tests, however, uncovered a deadly heart condition, and Jeannie underwent open heart surgery to correct the problem. She eventually recovered and was able to donate her kidney to Mary. The ordeal taught Grusky about kidney disease and the role of the National Kidney Foundation ofWestern Pennsylvania. "I had already decided to do the trail when it Continued on page 8 Jason Grusky of Punxsutawney celebrated completing the Appalachian Trail on top of Mt. Katahdin, Maine. (Photo submitted)

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