$38,000 collected

$38,000 collected
WARREN -- Passers-by donated more than $38,000 to local police and fire departments at several Trumbull County collection drives this weekend benefiting families of safety forces workers killed in the World Trade Center disaster.
Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, motorists paused at three Howland intersections, dropping a total of $21,800 into boots held out by firefighters, officials say. The fund-raiser, conducted by International Association of Fire Fighters local 2786 in Howland, will benefit the families of firefighters killed in New York.
A similar fund-raising drive by Bazetta firefighters Sunday raised more than $14,500. Champion firefighters raised $550 in a weekend boot drive.
In Warren, a police department carwash Saturday raised more than $1,400 for the families of police officers who have been killed.
"We were pretty impressed with it, actually," said Sgt. John Yuricek. "People were very generous."
Officers washed between 100 and 150 cars in about six hours. Many other passers-by just gave money, Yuricek said. Supplies for the carwash, organized by officer Gary Riggins, were donated by two local Auto Zone stores.
The department is planning to raise more money for the World Trade Center Police Disaster Relief Fund at a dance and raffle Oct. 14 at the Fraternal Order of Police Local 34 hall. Even though Hartford fire department's boot drive is not scheduled until Oct. 5 and 6, people have already been stepping forward with donations.
Stacy Elser, 3, Adam Elser, 7, and Kasey Elser, 9, handed over the contents of their piggy banks, a total of $379, to fire department officials Saturday at the Hartford Apple Festival.
"They are great kids," said Brian Hughes, Hartford fire chief.
Curb drop-off, pickup
Starting today, the Federal Aviation Administration will let passengers be picked up and dropped off at the curb of the Pittsburgh International Airport terminal.
Officials said they lobbied for the change to make things easier on handicapped and elderly passengers.
At the Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport and Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, curb-side pickup and drop-off have been permitted since they reopened after terrorist attacks Sept. 11.
After the attacks, the FAA ordered parked or stopped vehicles to remain at least 300 feet from airport terminals. At the Pittsburgh airport, that affected rental car vendors who parked vehicles in the lower level of a short-term parking garage that was within 300 feet of the terminal.
The order has not affected short- or long-term parking at Cleveland-Hopkins, officials there say.
Vehicles will not be allowed to idle at airport curbs.
At the Pittsburgh airport, Allegheny County police will patrol the area. Vehicles abandoned -- even momentarily -- will be towed.
Passengers will still be barred from checking in their bags at curbside. Taxis, hotel courtesy vans, buses and parking shuttles will also be able to drop off passengers at curbside.
Nonpassengers will still be banned from going beyond security checkpoints in the terminal.
Financial fallout
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Allegheny County could face funding problems involving Pittsburgh International Airport in light of the airline industry's slowdown since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The financial problems plaguing airlines could affect their ability to pay fees that the Allegheny County Airport Authority uses to pay off more than $1 billion in bonds issued to finance the airport, county officials said.
US Airways and the six other airlines that fly out of Pittsburgh International pay about $60 million in fees each year toward the cost of the new passenger terminal and other airport improvements that were done in the 1990s.
The airlines face a $30 million payment to the county's airport authority in January.
County Controller Dan Onorato said airlines that cut back flights at the airport could cut back payments.
Attendance is down
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Julie Robinson admits she was apprehensive about flying in from Chicago for a football game. "I was a little tentative at first," she said. "But you can't just change everything. Some things you have to do."
Robinson and tens of thousands like her were at Beaver Stadium on Saturday when Wisconsin visited Penn State, on the first full weekend of college football since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Most, like Robinson, came to the game despite their fears, both of airplanes and of being in the second-largest football stadium in the country, with seating for 106,500.
"It's not like they're asking us to pick up a gun and put on a uniform," said Scott Casler, a Wisconsin fan who also flew in from Chicago. "All we have to do is get on an airplane, drink some Bloody Marys and go to a football game."
But it seemed even that was a lot to ask of some. Although announced attendance was 107,253 -- based on ticket sales, not a gate count -- hundreds of empty seats were left empty in the recently renovated stadium.
Less than 30 minutes before kickoff, there were still dozens of empty spaces in the parking lot outside the stadium and hundreds more in the adjacent lots -- almost unheard of at a school legendary for its tailgating.
"The people who usually park there, they didn't come," said Ed Jones, of Maytown, pointing to an empty spot next to his. "And there's a couple spots down there. It's sad. That's exactly what the terrorists want. They want to disrupt your life."

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