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Hite ably deflects spotlight

June 8, 2008
By Neil Rudel
Some notes from around and about the Mirror newsroom to help keep you abreast of what we’re doing and what we’re trying to do:

Here’s hoping you read the story about Altoona businessman Lee Hite last Sunday.

Hite was honored Monday night as the recipient of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

The lighting magnate took his place alongside former winners Ernie Wissinger, the inaugural recipient who is now deceased, Bill Ward, Steve Sheetz, Don Devorris, Bill Campbell and John Wolf.

All are true giants in the local business community who have achieved greatness and have separated themselves and their companies by contributing to so many worthwhile causes.

More than 350 people turned out to The Casino at Lakemont and heard fitting tributes to Hite.

What made this dinner unique was Hite’s desire to deflect the spotlight. With help from his key suppliers, presidential impressionist and comedian Steve Bridges was contracted for the evening.

Bridges, who has mastered President Bush’s mannerisms and maximizes his faux pas, had the audience in stitches for more than 40 fast-moving minutes.

When it was time for him to get up, Hite was humble and brief. He spoke about the importance of his family and his co-workers, got a standing ovation and sat back down.

It was his way of thanking the community for its support.

Nice touch.

Prom season

Nothing drives traffic on quite like prom season.

All the proud families like to check out their kids decked out on their special night. At last check, the figures — er, numbers — are fairly staggering.

The galleries of Altoona, Bishop Guilfoyle and Hollidaysburg proms reached more than 80,000 pageviews each. To put it in perspective, graduations draw about 5,000.

New TV section

As mentioned last week, the Mirror’s new TV section (Select TV) debuted Saturday. We hope you like it.

We know there will be feedback, and there was some sentiment to establish a comment hotline.

Instead, I have been drafted to accept the feedback and will be happy to digest and pass it on. Please call me at the number listed below with your jeers and cheers.

We do know that some of the channels on our regional cable listings need updated, and we’re in the process of doing that.

Recovery wishes

Save a thought for former Mirror sports editor Herb Werner.

Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or His blog, ‘‘once a sports guy,’’ can be found at

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