The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 2, 1998 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, April 2, 1998
Page 1
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Down, not out Beloit man reclaims his life after rare illness paralyzes him/C1 HEALTH A new year KU football team gets ready for football practice / D1 SPORTS ; i e. • HOI VOtft Kansas Senate passes bill criticized by opposing sides / B1 : Company's founder dies comfortably in his recliner / C4 Mgh: Low: 88 Strong southeast winds and a 20 percent chance for afternoon storms /B3 WEATHER Classified/CS _ Comics/B4 .._ Deaths/A7 _ Great Plains /B1_ Health /C1 Money / C3 ._ Sports / D1 '_ Viewpoints / B2 ^ ; INDEX • *** Salina Journal Serving Kansas since 1871 PAULA JONES LAWSUIT DISMISSED "Although the governor's alleged conduct, if true, may certainly be characterized as boorish and offensive, even a most charitable reading of the record in this case fails to reveal a basis for a claim of criminal sexual assault." Susan Webber Wright U.S. district judge President Clinton at first thought news of the dismissal of the lawsuit against him was an April Fools' joke. He is "pleased that he has received the vindication he has long awaited." Mike McCurry President Clinton's press secretary CLINTON Special prosecutor Kenneth Starr plans to press his investigation of whether Clinton lied about his relations with Monica Lewinsky and urged her to cover it up. "Judge Wright's ruling has no effect on our authority, and we will continue working to complete the investigation as expeditiously as possible." Kenneth Starr special prosecutor Jones' lawsuit thrown out Judge says alleged behavior may be offensive, but it's not criminal By JOHN SOLOMON The Associated Press ^-.J WASHINGTON — In a dra- ^ matic victory for President * : ^ Clinton, a judge dismissed *i;' Paula Jones' lawsuit Wednes- t '->•''.'. day and said her claims of sexu- :";; al harassment "fall far short" of ;': being worthy of trial. Clinton .^'embraced the news while trav- "^Sjeling in Africa, while Jones' attorneys said they expected to appeal. • • The decision by U.S. District ' Judge Susan Webber Wright to dismiss all three charges against Clinton surprised attorneys in the case who were preparing for trial next month in Little Rock, Ark. "Although the governor's alleged conduct, if true, may certainly be characterized as boorish and offensive, even a most charitable reading of the record in this case fails to reveal a basis for a claim of criminal sexual assault," Wright said in a 39- page ruling. Her decision abruptly halted a sensational lawsuit that had haunted the White House for more than three years and threatened to place the president's sexual conduct before the nation in a historic trial. Jones' attorneys said she was disappointed not to have her ;',..." . .day in court to punish Clinton for an incident she said took . place while she was a state em- . ployee in 1991. Jones "has failed to demonstrate that she has a case and the court therefore finds that there are no genuine issues for trial," Wright said in a decision reached and released in Little Rock. Clinton, wrapping up a six- nation tour of Africa, was so i, surprised by word of the ruling that he asked if it was an April Fools' joke. The president is "pleased that he has received the vindication he has long awaited," press secretary Mike McCurry said. After learning of .,• the ruling, Clinton went shop- AP file photo Paula Jones and her husband, Steve Jones, leave the Little Rock, Ark., federal courthouse last fall. After her sexual harassment case against President Clinton was dismissed Wednesday, she was In seclusion In California. ping with Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has staunchly defended her husband throughout the controversy. Jones' lawyers said an appeal was "very likely" and that while they were disappointed with the decision, "this ruling does not vindicate or exonerate Mr. Clinton." "It is a shame that unless the ruling is reversed on appeal, there will now never be a determination of who was telling the truth and who was lying," Jones' law firm said. Jones, 31, claimed that Clinton propositioned her in a Arkansas hotel room in 1991; Clinton says he doesn't recall ever meeting her and has denied anything improper hap- pened. On Wednesday, Jones was at home in Long Beach, Calif., and did not plan a public comment, according to her spokeswoman, Susan Carpenter McMillan. "Paula was shocked," she said. "She's disappointed. We have a lot of respect for Judge Wright. We just strongly strongly disagree." For weeks, Clinton's lawyers were saying publicly they thought they had strong grounds for dismissal even while preparing for a May trial. While the White House cheered the decision, Clinton's legal woes are far from over. Whitewater prosecutor Ken- See JONES, Page AS T LEGISLATURE House passes plan cutting property taxes THURSDAY APRIL 2, 1998 SALINA, KANSAS 50 cents Unable to agree with Senate, House OKs plan focusing on property tax By CARL MANNING The Associated Press The As$ociated Press Rep. Henry Helgerson, D-Wlchlta, argues for a 50-cent cigarette tax Increase during debate on a tax bill. TOPEKA — Tired of waiting for the Senate to agree on some version of a tax relief package, the House on Wednesday T * . pushed through Legisl§t«je a plan cutting 111 J.998 school property taxes by $202 million. The bill, passed on a 121-2 vote, would exempt the first $40,000 of each residential property's appraised value from the property tax the state levies to finance public schools. The proposal also would cut taxes for a $100,000 home by three-quarters. The bill's passage doesn't remove from consideration by House and Senate negotiators the $190 million multi-part tax relief plan, which includes such items as an earned income tax credit and food sales tax credits for the working poor, as well as higher standard income tax deductions. But it sends a clear message to the Senate that the House is willing to shift gears and jettison the multi- part proposal, which includes many ideas advanced by Gov. Bill Graves. "The time for this was now, and one of the reasons is frustration with the Senate," said Rep. Phill Kline, R-Shawnee, the House's top tax negotiator, adding the House long has wanted to focus on cutting property taxes. Rep. Tony Powell, R-Wichita, another House negotiator, said, "We keep getting stonewalled. We keep dillydallying with small changes, and we felt they weren't ready to close the deal." Senate President Dick Bond said his colleagues likely will reject the House's latest proposal. "At this point, to totally abandon the format of tax breaks for multiple groups isn't at all workable," said Bond, R-Overland Park. "The House acted out of anger, and that isn't a good way to conduct business." A plan finally accepted by both chambers still must be worked out in a conference committee, and that may not come until the Legislature convenes its wrapup session at the end of April. T REMETA EXECUTION Sheriff glad case is finished Watching execution of Remeta brings closure, but losses remain By LINDA MOWERY-DENNING The Salina Journal COLBY—Thomas County Sheriff Tom Jones, from his office in the law enforcement building next door to Colby's brick courthouse, searched for the right words to explain his journey of the past few days. "I was there basically from the beginning. Full circle, I guess." The man who normally has no trouble sharing a thought or an opinion paused. "The word closure may be thrown about too much, but I suppose if you want me to put the entire 13 years into perspective ... It's hard to put into words," Jones said. "I didn't do it just for me, although to some degree I did. I did it mainly to put an end to it, to know and to be able to report back to the families of the victims. "I still owe them. They're still very close to me to this day. I can't give them their families back. But I can give them a report that at 7:12 a.m. Daniel Remeta was executed, and I did." Jones arrived home Wednesday after spending more than three days in Starke, Fla., where he watched Remeta, 40, die in the electric chair Tuesday. He was accompanied by Undersheriff Mike Baughn and Kansas Bureau of Investigation agent Mark Kendrick. For Jones, it was an ending to a tragedy that struck 29 days after he became sheriff. Feb. 13, 1985, Remeta and three companions ended a four-state crime spree with the murders of Larry McFarland, manager of :1 Grainfield restaurant, and Glenn Moore and John R. "Rick" Schroec£ er, who were kidnapped from a LeV- ant grain elevator and shot execution-style along a nearby dirt road. Remeta pleaded guilty to the Kansas killings and in 1986 was sent to Florida, where he was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Mehrle Reeder, 60, a clerk in Ocala. Remeta also killed a grocery clerk in Mulberry, Ark. In a sense, Jones was in Florida this week as a representative of the victims' families. It was not an easy assignment. This was the first execution witnessed by the sheriff. "I don't know how anyone in their right mind can prepare to watch somebody die," he said. "I had to think about it long and hard and I had to talk to God and myself pretty deep. We're good people out here. We're not compelled to go out and kill people. But I'm a proponent of the death penalty." Jones said he did not believe Remeta's final statement, which was released by his spiritual adviser, C. Randall Daniels-Sakim, following the execution. In his statement, Remeta expressed remorse for the murders. "If this death brings comfort to the friends and family of those harmed and initiates a real healing, then justice is truly served," he wrote. Said Jones: "I was around Daniel Remeta for many, many hours. Several of us would be in agreement that Daniel Remeta did not write that statement, that he did not have the mentality to put words together to that degree." While shopping Wednesday with his wife, friends stopped to talk and wish him well. "I feel much, much better today than I did Monday. It was nice to be confronted by people in your community, to have them reach out and touch you on the shoulder and say, 'You did a good job, now stop worrying about it. Get on with your life.' " Jones will face re-election in less than three years. He's talked about retirement, but hasn't set a date. "For the families, their loss is something that hopefully none of the rest of us will ever have to experience. Despite the execution of Daniel Remeta, the Glenn Moores and the Rick Schroeders are still very much gone."

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