Latrobe Bulletin from Latrobe, Pennsylvania on May 15, 2000 · 1
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Latrobe Bulletin from Latrobe, Pennsylvania · 1

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Latrobe, Pennsylvania
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Monday, May 15, 2000
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la win VOL. 98, No. 125 MONDAY, MAY IS, 2000 35c txmt eMail w COLLEGE CONDUCTS COMMENCEMENT Sl Vincent College held its commencement Saturday, and honored Fred and Joanne Rogers during the 154th annual commencement. Shown are (from left) the Rev. Martin Battel, OSB, SVC president; Joanne Rogers, who received an honorary doctor of musical arts degree; Fred Rogers, who was principal speaker and received the Presidential Medal of Honor, and the Right Rev. Douglas Nowicki, OSB, chancellor of SVC and archabbot of St. Vincent Archabbey. (Photo By Louise Fritz) Mister Rogers: Real Drama Of Life Not On Center Stage By MANDI L. MORANELLI Bulletin Staff Writer Fred Rogers was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Honor and also the guest speaker for the 154th commencement of St. Vin-cent College Saturday afternoon. His wife, Joanne Byrd Rogers, also was presented with, an honorary doctorate degree in musical arts by college President Rev. Martin Bartel, OSB. Archabbot Douglas Nowicki presided over the ceremonies while Father Martin participated in his final commencement as president of St. Vincent College. Rogers, the host of the popular children's television show, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," addressed the class of 235 graduates with a speech entitled "Thank You. Thank You, Thank You." Upon receiving a standing ovation following the conferring of the medal, Rogers stated "For a long time, I've Officials Make Places For Kids To Skate STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) It's against the law to skate on the sidewalks of Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg, but officials have decided that skateboards and inline skates are not going away, so both boroughs are planning skate parks. "The police yell at you. They say, 'Don't skate here or you'll get a fine," said Eric Miller, 14, of East Stroudsburg, an inline skater who gets his mother to drive him to private skate parks. The trip takes an hour each way, but Miller said needs the practice time to stay competitive in the contests he enters. When public skate parks open in Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg, Miller said he will save a lot of time and money. East Stroudsburg plans to put a skating area in Dansbury Park, and Stroudsburg has $25,000 budgeted for a skating area. Stroudsburg 's skate park could be built either in Borough Park or Glen Park, Stroudsburg Borough Manager Bob Fran- Index Bridge 16 Classified 15 Comics.'. 14 DearAbby 6 Editorial 4 Entertainment 12 Local Roundup..... 5 Lottery 3 Obituaries 2 Sports 9 TV Schedule 13 Weather 3 WW wondered why I felt like bowing when people showed their appreciation for the work that I've been privileged to do. It has been a kind of natural physical response to a feeling of great gratitude...As I bow, I always feel like saying thank you, thank you, thank you." . Rogers, wearing his father's doctoral robe, discussed with admiration a man who influences his life a great deal. "This person has a job which many people might consider unglamour-ous and tediously mundane. He's the locker room attendant in Pittsburgh where I swim each day. His name is Jeff." He then shared with the class of 2000 and all in " attendance Jeffs passion and enjoyment for life. "It's not the glamour of the title or the number of figures on the paycheck that ultimately matter," he advised the graduates. "It's where we can best appreciate as Jeff says: 'Enjoy' the life we've been given. And to cis said. "It's not a passing fad anymore. It's here to stay," Francis said. "We need to look at providing accommodations." Chad Hanicak predicts, who works in Cycle Board Sports, a Stroudsburg store that sells skateboards and other skating equipment, predicted that the new parks will get heavy use. "Kids are always looking for someplace to go," Hanicak said. Initially, Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg planned to work together on a single park, but East Stroudsburg officials decided they wanted their own. "Now it's time for us to do ours, so hopefully we'll be able to do two pretty good facilities,' ' Francis said. An engineering firm is working on a design for the Stroudsburg park that includes pyramids, half-pipes, quarter-pipes, railings and street terrain for beginners. The park could be built by the end of the summer if the borough can get the permits and money it needs about $60,000 to $75,000, Francis said. Unlike the private skate parks that Miller now uses, the Stroudsburg park will have free admission, Francis said. He said he hopes families with a lot of children who skate or skateboard will contribute toward the project, as well as downtown merchants who complain about skaters on sidewalks. ft v think each one of our lives is unique." Rogers then gave a special gift to his audience, the gift of one minute of silence to think about the people who encourage, support and nour- (See ROGERS, Page 3) Norwegian Dad Takes 35 Hostages OSLO, Norway (AP) A man believed to be armed took about 25 children and 10 staff hostage at a Norwegian nursery school today, police said. Police had surrounded the downtown building in Hjel-meland, a town of about ' 2,500 people some 1 85 miles west of the capital, Oslo. Olav Sonderland, chief of police in Stavanger, the region's main town, said officials "have information from the man himself" that he is armed, but declined to comment on media reports that he had a shotgun. Authorities were negotiating with the man, he said. Sonderland would not say whether the man had made any specific demands and the motive for the hostage-taking was not clear. Norway's largest newspaper, Verdens Gang, said on its Web site that the man was believed to be the father of one of the children. "The situation is calm and we are in contact with the man. Our goal is to solve this peacefully," Sonderland said. The regional newspaper , Stavanger Aftenbladet re LOCAL SETON HILL GRADUATES Seton Hill College conducted its 82nd commencement ceremony Saturday, presenting 150 degrees and certificates. Local graduates included (from left) Amy Balles, Ligonier, graduate of Ligonier Valley High School, who received a bachelor of arts in art education; Joseph Bethle, Latrobe, graduate of Neshannock High School, New Castle, who holds a BS from Slippery Rock University and master's from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was awarded a certificate in physician assistant Saturday; Rebecca Gamble, Derry, graduate of Solanco High School, Lancaster, bachelor of science as physician assistant; Rachel Mcllnay, Latrobe, graduate of Derry Area High School, graduated SHC with honors in nutritiondietetics, and Kara Olecki, Unity Township, Greater Latrobe High School, bachelor of arts in political science. 4 . (Photo By Louise Fritz) Akins Quits Council By MANDI L. MORANELLI BuUetfa Staff Writer Latrobe City Council accepted the resignation of yet another council member at a special meeting held Saturday afternoon. The resignation of Gerald Akins, a 16-year member of council, came less than one week after Mayor Jim Ge-bicki announced his resignation at the May 8 regular meeting. According to City Manager Rick Stadler, council took action to advertise the vacancies for the positions to interested residents of the city. Solicitor James Kelley had the notices prepared for the meeting and vote. There was some discussion on whether a current member of council could fill the vacancy left by the mayor without having to wait a period of six months. In some cases, a city employee has to take six months off from their position before assuming another position within the city. (See AKINS, Page 3) ported that the man was alone in one room with a female staff member, who had been in contact with police by telephone. ' "The situation around the nursery school seems calm. The children are allowed to take turns going out in the yard, and they are getting food," said Sigbjoern Schmidt, a local government official. More police were on their way to the scene. NRK said a large area around the building was being evacuated. Stocks Mixed NEW YORK (AP) Stocks were mixed today, but as the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates drew near, few investors were taking on major new positions. In the first hour of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 45.23 at 10,654.60. Broader stock indicators were also higher. The Nasdaq composite index was down 29.78 at 3.499.28 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.81 at 1,421.77. Market watchers were anticipating a quiet session. I f II ii 1 HAPPY GRADS Among the nearly 235 undergraduate students who received their degrees Saturday at St. Vincent College were (from left) Molly Mae Kuhns, a Derry Area High School graduate from Deny who received a bachelor of arts in communication, and Brian Robert Eckels, Latrobe, a Greater Latrobe Senior High School graduate who earned a bachelor of science in computing and information science. Photo By Louise Fritz) Politicos Warned: We're Watching WASHINGTON (AP) Advocates of tighter gun control laws hope a mass turnout of mothers and families at a weekend march will spur activism that breaks the gridlock in the Republican-run Congress. - In the wake of tragic shooting sprees across the country, participants in Sun-day's "Million Mom March" signed thousands of Mother's Day cards printed with the message: "Forget the flowers ... forget the cho-colate ... forget breakfast in bed. This Mother's Day, give us a present that lasts: common-sense gun laws." A homemade sign carried by one family warned lawmakers, who face elections this fall: "Accepting NRA money is political suicide." Organizers of the "Million Mom March" principally want trigger locks to protect children and a national system that would register handguns and license their owners. They intend to maintain an activist movement that will endorse and oppose political candidates based on gun control positions. All major gun control legislation before Congress has been stalled for a year. "Politicians, take heed. We are watching you. The hands that rock the cradles rule the world," said Dawn Anna, mother of Lauren Townsend, a student killed in the Columbine High School shootings that stunned the nation. Tens of thousands of mothers, many accompanied by children and husbands, thronged to the National Mall on Sunday. Though there were no official crowd estimates, participants filled half a dozen blocks on the grassy area framed by the museums of the Smithsonian . Institution, Congress and the Washington Monument. Erika Heilbrink, 9, of Falls Church, Va., carried a poster " with a toy gun stapled to it. "This gun has the same childproofing as a real gun. None," the poster said. Crowds ranging from a few hundred to an estimated 5,000 in Denver showed up at similar rallies in dozens of cities across the country from Maine to Michigan to Oregon. The gun-control advocates didn't have the day to themselves, however. A considerably smaller group of several thousand counter-demonstrators gathered near the Washington Monument to hold a rally where they argued that guns were needed for self-protection. That demonstration, organized by a group called Second Amendment Sisters Inc., also included many mothers who brought their children. "My kids know, if you see (See WATCHING, Page 3)

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