Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on November 23, 1999 · Page 7
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 7

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Tuesday, November 23, 1999
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STATE FINAL TUESDAY Nov. 23, 1999 50 cents outside 6-county me tropolitan area 35 cents V Mirder verdicts divided Breezy but warm. ON GUARD FOR 168 YEARS High 64. Low 50. DETAILS, 1 ID Acquittal in '97 death stuns some; 1 man guilty 38 DAYS until 2000 Y2K-VNREADY: Air-trafflC system fails review. 1C NO worries: Poll finds few in state expect glitches. 4C were tried together but had separate juries. Ricketts' daughter, Karen Struck, who attended the trial every day, was stunned by the jurors' decision. Struck moved back to Michigan shortly after her mother's death to monitor the investigation. Her father, Thomas Ricketts, died of abdominal cancer a month By LL BRASIER FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER In a verdict that left some in the courtroom gasping, an Oakland County jury acquitted a 22-year-old landscape worker of murder in the 1997 death of Pris-cilla Ricketts, a Bloomfield Hills woman run down in a grocery store parking lot during a purse snatching. Jurors, in making their decision Monday to acquit John Wilson, apparently believed the testimony of codefendant Thomas Enfield, who said last week that Wilson was not present when he accidentally ran over Ricketts after stealing her purse. Enfield was found guilty of first-degree murder earlier Monday by a separate jury. Police contend Wilson ran over Ricketts while driving a red truck. They said he was there with Enfield, who stole the purse and then jumped in the truck. Both men were charged with first-degree felony murder. They NEW LIFE FOR DETROIT Techies choose chic urban lofts of the city, bringing Web savvy, business and money downtown I,,.,,..., mM- tK-'W- I T . 11 . . , ; ' jr .J , ' GUILTY: Thomas Enfield NOT GUILTY: John Wilson Exhibit causes a fuss at theDIA Artist cries censorship; works held for now By DAVID LYMAN FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER The strife that has consumed museums from New York to Cincinnati has come home to roost on Woodward Avenue. The central issues in the controversy art about sex, race and religion are the centerpieces in a conflict that has pitted artist Jef Bourgeau, whose gallery is in Pontiac, against the venerable Detroit T - g ?r insuiuie 01 I Arts. Bourgeau's show, "Art Until Now," was scheduled to run through Feb. 13, offering an overview sometimes seri- Jef Bourgeau ous, sometimes tongue-in-cheek of the breadth ,of art in the 20th Century. The ' show, which began last week, is on hold. It's not uncommon for curators and artists to make changes in exhibitions, for reasons ranging from space limitations to possible ! negative audience reaction. But ! normally such changes are made ! quietly, without the public being privy to the decision. I In July, the DIA removed a print by artist Kara Walker from i "Where the Girls Are: Prints by , Women from the DIA's Collection." Several board members and representatives of the museum's .Friends of African and African-American Art complained that the piece had offensive racial overtones. "We are a big public museum the only one in this town," said David Penney, the museum's chief curator. "As a result, we have a tremendous responsibility to our community." In September, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani threatened to cut off $7 million in funding to the Please see DIA, Page 8A I OH Photos by TOM PIDGEONDetroit Free Press Noirtech founder Chad Portugal, 32, runs his Internet business from a loft in the Boydell Building in Detroit. He specializes in 3D renderings for architects and engineers. He dresses in black and painted his office the same color, set off by purple lights. Please see VERDICTS, Page 9A east side, where he taught special education courses more than two decades ago, Archer asked residents to "surround all of our children with a wall of protection" by turning on porch lights, cruising school routes and driving or walking youths to school. "Now is the time for every Detroiter to do what he or she can to make our streets safer," Archer told listeners in a seven-minute speech carried live during several local newscasts. The speech marked the mayor's official unveiling of the Safe Streets initiative that he took Please see RAPES, Page 2A fc 1 'W 9" i . uten-ii J, nil 1 THE WAY WE LIVE The Parade '99: A viewing guide Tips and key facts you need to enjoy grand marshal Little Richard and the whole Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday. PACE ID OTHER VOICES Adamany blasts incompetence' David Adamany tells the Free Press editorial board he has found "a fair measure of incompetence" during his first six months as interim CEO of the " " , Detroit Public Schools. PACE11A NATION WORLD Africa's leaders aresflentonAIDS Laws go unenforced, rape flourishes and bias against victims goes unchecked. Meanwhile, sexual practices in South Africa feed the epidemic. Day Two of a series about a continent in crisis. PAGE 4A BODY & MIND Some new ammo for fighting flu Medications tackle the virus when first symptoms appear in adults. pace tr INDEX Body & Mind IF Bridge 4D Business 1C Classifieds : 7D Comics 11D.12D Corrections 2A Crossword 11D Editorials ;.. 10A Horoscope 4D Jumble 90 The List! 100 Lottery 2A Movie Guide 40 Obituaries 5B Sports 1E Television 5D.6D The Way We Live 1D Volume 169, Number 203 1 999 Detroit Free Press Inc. Printed in the United States For home delivery call 313-222-6500 6lli40788lhl000Wi5 WAVE OF THE FUTURE to move its headquarters and about 5,000 employees from Farmington Hills to downtown Detroit in two or three years. But it's still significant. The computer experts are breathing new life into places like the Boydell Building, a century-old, six-story brick structure on the edge of Greektown at the corner of Lafayette and Beaubien streets. There, in lofts above the Loco Bar & Grill, Niki's Pizzeria, a tattoo parlor and a strip bar, a collection of more than a dozen smart, stylish Internet aficionados has formed a high-tech community. The group includes Rootlevel, a team of 13 specialists who "eat, Please see TECHIES, Page 2A Elizabeth Neumaier, 29, pokes a piece of art she created in her Boydell loft. She mixes art and technology for a living. ByBOAZHERZOG tree press business writer Young, urban techies toil day and night in airy lofts, living on caffeine and pizza as they design Web pages and write computer code for the next big dot-com site. The scene is commonplace in Seattle, Silicon Valley and New York. But in downtown Detroit? Amazingly, yes. A growing number of small high-tech businesses are finding a home in the heart of the city, adding their bodies, brains and checkbooks to downtown's rebirth. Their arrival isn't as striking as that of Compuware Corp., the big computer services and software company that is planning der the initiative announced Monday by the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce vowed to fight the government and stop the proposed regulations from taking effect. "If OSHA persists in pushing forward this ill-considered regulation, then we will meet them in court," said Randal Johnson, vice president for labor policy. The new workplace ergonomics regulations, long promised by the Clinton administration, had been delayed for years as the Re- Please see OSHA, Page 9A 'Make our streets safer' Archer mobilizes city to end schoolgirl rapes; Napoleon describes suspects Work rules would lessen repetitive-motion injuries rapists are polar opposites and probably do not know each other. The first is described as a vicious, violent predator who is thriving off media attention and the fear his actions generate. The second is most likely a soft-spoken, well-mannered and likeable person. Eight girls have said they were raped since the academic year began. A ninth girl said she was raped Nov. 15, but police do not categorize the sexual assault with the others because the alleged rapists were three juveniles. Speaking at Ralph Bunche Elementary School on the city's By DARCI McCONNELL and SUZETTE HACKNEY FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer used the airwaves Monday to ask parents and residents to serve as sentries for the city's children, an effort he hopes will help thwart a series of sexual assaults and create a year-round safety zone for schools. Also on Monday, Detroit Police Chief Benny Napoleon detailed a profile of at least two suspects sought in the attacks, based on information drawn up with the help of the FBI. Napoleon said the two alleged FREE PRESS STAFF ind NEWS SERVICES WASHINGTON - The 27 million Americans who labor on assembly lines, at computer work stations or in jobs involving heavy lifting could benefit from a government proposal aimed at lessening repetitive-motion injuries, supporters say. "Government action to prevent the crippling of working men and women is long overdue," said John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO. But businesses would have to pay an estimated $4.2 billion a year to fix job sites and pay workers recovering from injuries un 1

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