The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky on December 28, 1993 · Page 1
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The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky · Page 1

Louisville, Kentucky
Issue Date:
Tuesday, December 28, 1993
Page 1
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! -MfeMrtiteMMLD METRO EDITION 42 PAGES COPYRIGHT 1993, THE COURIER-JOURNAL, LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY A GANNETT NEWSPAPER TUESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 1993. 35 CENTS Inches from death Lure of spooky trestle nearly fatal for 4 who tried to outrun a train By MICHAEL QUINLAN, Staff Writer The three young men and the young woman shuffled forward in a slow, careful procession. Their heads were down. Their eyes focused on the short stretch of railroad track lit by their flashlight. It was too dark Sunday night to see the ground, about a hundred feet below the railroad trestle over Pope Lick Road in southeastern Jefferson County. But they sensed they were close to completing their act of derring-do despite years of well-publicized warnings against such ventures and they had just begun to breathe easy. Suddenly they saw the light of an oncoming train. "We turned and started running the other way," David Paul Smith, 21, said yesterday. "But it was dark and we all tripped and fell. I saw that Christina's foot was caught. The train's brakes were screeching, but it kept coming fast." "I couldn't get it free," said Christina D. Butts, 19. "Paul came back to get me and helped pull my foot loose. The train couldn't have been four feet away when it came loose." With the Norfolk Southern Railway train almost upon them, Smith and Butts rolled away from the tracks and slipped off the edge, clinging with both arms to railroad ties. "We were swinging there, but the train kept coming and the track was shaking and I started to lose my grip. I couldn't hold on any longer, so I let go," Smith said. "I started to fall and my foot hit a ledge, a metal ledge. I yelled out to Christina that it was there, and she got on it, too." The two others on the trestle, Robert "Travis" Grey, 20, and a 17-year-old boy, had found the same ledge and hung tightly to the trestle's framework as the train finally came to a stop above them. Grey pulled himself up to the track, climbed atop the train and walked off the trestle along the top of cars. Smith and the 17-year-old found the going tougher, scooting slowly along the ledge until they got close enough to the ground to jump off. Butts was too scared to do anything but cling to the ledge. Fear also gripped the train's crew. "The engineer thought three or four people had been struck, and he radioed that message" to police and emergency medical services, said Rick Harris, a spokesman for the Norfolk Southern. More than a See TRESTLE Page 7, col. 1, this section '?4r ' ' ? If : , , T -. ' i STAFF PHOTO BY BIU LUSTER "It's the stupidest thing I've ever done," said Christina Butts, 19, after her scrape with death. With a train stopped overhead, she clung to the trestle Sunday night, too terrified to move, until firefighters rescued her. Ford expands role in troubled Mazda By JAMES STERNGOLD New York Times News Service TOKYO With its losses grow- ing and its strategy gone awry, Mazda Motor Corp. yesterday made what just a few years ago would have been an unthinkable announcement for a major Japanese automaker: It is ceding more control to its largest shareholder, Ford Motor Co., and it expects the U.S. company to help shape its future. Ford has owned nearly 25 percent of Mazda for 14 years, and the two have a number of product ventures, like the Ford Probe and Mazda pickup trucks. But yesterday's announcement appeared to go far beyond the old arrangement. Since the move fell short of a cash infusion or merger, it appeared instead that Mazda was seeking a lifeline rather than an equal partner. Analysts speculated that Japanese banks may have demanded an increase in Ford's influence before agreeing to new loans for Mazda. Mazda, which is expected to lose nearly $300 million this year, said the number of Ford representatives on its 43-member board of directors would increase from four to seven. Four of those board members will be based in Japan one as an executive vice president and will help manage Mazda. The automak- See FORD Page 7, col. 1, this section Big glacier's sudden march toward sea stuns scientists By JOHN BALZAR Los Angeles Times FAIRBANKS, Alaska - From satellite images, remote cameras and periodic reports of bush pilots, scientists are following what for them is the event of a lifetime a rampaging glacier as big as Delaware. Just a year ago, there was a flurry of news accounts about the retreat of the Bering Glacier, the largest in Alaska and probably the largest temperate glacier in the world. It was melting faster than ice was advancing, and scientists said the process might have gone on so long that it was irreversible. Eventually, they said, the retreating ice could leave a giant new fiord on the southern Alaska coast, 360 miles southeast of Fairbanks. K V ALASKA I X I Anchoragl ALASKA CANADA Anchorage Cordovt G,ac,er Bay 200 mils jjjijl nTl 200 km Guff of Alaska ASSOCIATED PRESS They were wrong. Last spring the huge river of ice 2,000 miles square with a mean thickness of 2,100 feet began to stir. The great accumulation of dense, frozen snow at the head of the glacier, triggered by a process that scientists do not wholly understand, began to bear down on the tongue of ice below. Water pressure built up underneath the entire sheet, providing a slick surface. Suddenly the mass began to rumble, crack, buckle and slide forward. And when a glacier the size of the Bering surges, old cliches about poking along "at the pace of a glacier" can be tossed out the window. Sometimes the glacier advances 330 feet a day toward the Gulf of Alaska, displacing much of the tidewater lake that was once at its base. "This thing is fairly smoking along," said Dennis Trabant, a gla-ciologist with the U.S. Geologic Survey in Fairbanks. "It's a career event. There isn't going to be anything like this probably for the rest of our careers." Because the Bering Glacier is in a remote area with violent weather, almost no one except passing bush pilots can witness the event. It's an interesting and spectacular occurrence, but is it important? It might be, says Craig Lingle, research associate professor at the Geophysical Institute and the director of the Bering Glacier radar-imaging project. "It could be a laboratory, a microcosm for studying the largest ice sheets those of Antarctica and Greenland," he said. Those ice masses hold most of the world's fresh water, and any change in their size or behavior would cata-strophically alter ocean levels. lis h STAFF PHOTOS BY PAT McDONOGH Workers are repairing faulty welds on the Kennedy -3 J Workers are repairing faulty welds on the Kennedy Bridge, built in the early 1960s. They are reinforcing the weld areas with Inch-thick steel plates that are 3 feet high and up to 29 feet long. Weather permitting, there are about three days of work remaining on the Ohio River bridge, which connects Jeffersonville, Ind., and Louisville. Above: Ironworker Dean Ball called down to coworkers. At right: Mike Barnwell, left, Steve Creech, center, and Ball were lifted to the work area about 70 feet above the roadway. Below: A large crane hoists workers and material. i I 4 ' 7 V 1 hPPIiihIIIIIh ' ? el r-A ' -Saul's f e . ... ClimiiillnJ ... ' . ' . I ,., ...i, , ,,. STAFF PHOTO BY SAM UPSHAW JR. Ice-glazed streets send cars sliding By LAWRENCE MUHAMMAD Staff Writer Last night's freezing rain turned roads into ice slicks as authorities reported nearly 100 accidents in Jefferson County and predicted this morning's rush hour would be treacherous. "We've advised motorists not to venture out, car pool if at all possible, and be prepared for a morning of slow and go," said Sgt. Carl Yates, Louisville police spokesman. City police tallied about 25 accidents between 10 p.m., when the sleet began falling, and midnight. In one of them, a car slid under a tanker, forcing northbound Interstate 65 to close at Grade Lane for hours.' Traffic on eastbound 1-64 near the Ninth Street and 22nd Street exits had ground to a halt early today, police dispatchers said. County police counted at least 60 accidents between 10 and midnight, mostly vehicles sliding off roads without injuries, including an overturned van at 1-64 and the Gene Snyder Freeway. Two tractor-trailers collided after 12:30 a.m. on the Snyder near 1-71, prompting police to call for the closing of the freeway north of La Grange Road. There were no injuries in the accident. "All the overpasses, underpasses, Westport Road all of it's just a sheet of ice," St. Matthews police dispatcher Jamesetta White said. "Don't come out unless you have to." City and state road crews started spreading salt in Louisville and the county about 11 p.m. Salt crews also were out in Clark, Floyd and other Indiana counties covered by a National Weather Service advisory for freezing temperatures and sleet turning to snow by morning. Weather service meteorologist Marilyn Scholz said there could be half an inch of accumulation by this morning and 3 inches by afternoon. Air Force 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Congress strains air fleet By JIM DRINKARD Associated Press WASHINGTON - Members of Congress are spread across the globe during the Capitol's two-month holiday recess, straining the capacity of military aircraft to carry them on far-flung fact-finding trips. At least two dozen trips by committees, delegations and individual lawmakers have been scheduled this month and next to destinations such as Moscow, China, Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean. And that doesn't count travel by congressional staff. Congressional recesses always are a peak travel time. But trips are so numerous now that resources are being strained. A White House team traveling to Moscow Dec. 12-19 to prepare for a January summit meeting was forced to take a two-engine DC-9, a plane with limited range not normally used for overseas trips, because all larger aircraft were claimed by congressional delegations and senior administration officials. Among the trips was one in early December by about a dozen House members, including Rep. Dan Ros-tenkowski, D-Ill., to observe world trade talks in Geneva. Sens. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y. and Jay See CONGRESS Page 6, col. 1, this section LIBERTY BOWL PREVIEW The University of Louisville Cardinals, who are I grtjPfWIf V favored over Michigan State in tonight s Liberty j tlllillB D '1 ? Bowl, have several reasons to squirm, says nnn li f columnist Pat Forde. D 1 jjy j f 'wm V.. STATE DEPARTMENT SHUFFLE In an effort to revamp the foreign policy team, Strobe Talbott, President Clinton's top hand on policy toward Russia and other former Soviet republics, will be named to the No. 2 job in the State Department, sources say. A 4 FLAKING IT LOUISVILLE AREA: Chance of snow today; 1 to 2 inches possible. Mostly cloudy tomorrow. High today, 28; tomorrow, 32. Low tonight, 22. Details, B 2 irttaaJii'ifWlaafoif BUSINESS B8 . CLASSIFIED C7 COMICS C14 DEATHS B4 FEATURES C1 HORSE RACING D5 : LOTTERY A2 TV, RADIO C2

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