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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KENTUCKY EDITION 26 PAGES COPYRIGHT 1993, THE COURIER-JOURNAL, LOUISVILLE, KY., A GANNETT NEWSPAPER TUESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 1993. 39 CENTS A thrill turned chill 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 and had just begun to breathe easy when they suddenly saw the light of an oncoming train. "We turned and started running the other way," said David Paul Smith, 21. "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. Christina 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 dozen police and EMS vehicles flashed to the scene, See TRESTLE Back page, col. 1, this section It Muni IMii-firiMi inmwrr Tririn :.z& , STAFF PHOTO BY BILL LUSTER "It's the stupidest thing I've ever done," said Christina Butts, 19, at home after barely escaping a train on a railroad trestle. She clung to the trestle Sunday night, too scared to move, until firefighters rescued her. Ford expands role in troubled Mazda By DAVID THURBER Associated Press TOKYO Weakened by Japan's recession and the resurgent U.S. Big Three automakers, Mazda Motor Corp. sought Ford Motor Co.'s management help yesterday. Ford, which has held a minority stake in Mazda for 14 years and once took lessons from the Japanese company's management, will take a bigger hand in operating Mazda by appointing a vice president and other officials. There was some speculation that Ford could eventually increase its 24.5 percent interest. The decision comes against a backdrop of rising trouble in Ja pan's once pre-eminent automotive industry, which is dominated nowadays by stagnant sales, layoffs, production cutbacks and plummeting profits similar to what the U.S. automotive industry endured through much of the 1970s and '80s. Detroit, meanwhile, is in the midst of a renaissance, helped partly by the high prices of Japanese cars in the United States and the Americans' own record of improving reliability and quality. Success stories range from Ford Motor Co.'s Explorer sport-utility vehicle, made at the Louisville Assembly Plant, to Chrysler Corp.'s sleek LH sedans See FORD Back page, col. 4, this section Rampaging glacier holds some scientists in awe 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. X " Anchorag goo mile. "T Gulf of Alaska ALASKA ' CANADA Anchorage I . - 200 Km Gulf of Alaska 200 mils National par 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. i f , 3t ft f sT: , A ,1k '""f 'w., , " f i ( I . ' ,; i jj f "iJr j$ '' - - ... im-niii i(!..rfJ - jj- liMimiiiiiiimiiriiiiirttiMrllirwiMifiTirliilifnlTlim STAFF PHOTOS BY PAT McDONOGH 1 0!!? tesj1 '' " ,r .i Workers are repairing faulty welds on the Kennedy . nr5 . ; "i ' ' jf"r """Pt Bridge, built in the early 1960s. They are reinforcing j " ' the weld areas with inch-thick steel plates that are 3 rf "KA feet high and up to 29 feet long. Weather permitting, J ,5.J- i there are about three days of work remaining on the , ' Ttj 'f -y " -5 ' Ohio River bridge, which connects Jeffersonville, ,H H I ' J . , Ind., and Louisville. , Above: Ironworker Dean Ball called down to cc- 1 - workers. At right: Mike Barnwell, left, Steve Creech, , j : ... center, and Ball were lifted to the work area about ' . , " 70 feet above the roadway. Below: A large crane J hoists workers and material. Ll ... J nil n flu I "'1 i mm iiiiiaii1 wmm I I pipit) ; Hsr.--lff' i-,r?L'- - - xy I - - - - I I'ifMilliil J - J STAFF PHOTO BY SAM UPSHAW JR. Military strains tofly lawmakers 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-IU., to observe world trade talks in Geneva. Sens. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y. and Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and aides to Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., also attended some of the sessions. With negotiations on a new agreement to liberalize global trade then at a delicate stage, U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor invited members of Congress to help bring pressure for a deal, said Ros-tenkowski aide Jim Jaffe. The Middle East was the destina- See CONGRESS Back page, col. 1, this section RAINING MONEY Kidnappers tossed cash from copter By LARRY RYCKMAN Associated Press MOSCOW The kidnappers of 11 Russian teen-agers apparently tossed handfuls of $100 bills from their explosives-laden helicopter before trying to run through snowy mountains with millions of dollars stuffed in duffel bags. "I guess it was too much for them to carry and still run through the mountains," police Col. Yuri Re-shetnik said after police and elite commandos caught up with the gunmen early yesterday. The capture of the four kidnappers ended a four-day drama that began Thursday with an assault on a southern school. The kidnappers seized the teen-agers, a bus driver and a teacher and forced two military pilots to take the helicopter on a careening course across southern Russia. The hostages apparently weren't physically harmed, but their mental trauma was harder to assess. Two 15-year-old boys who were among the last hostages whiled away the time inside the helicopter playing tick-tack-toe. Authorities said the pilots were under particular strain because of the hazardous flying conditions, lack of sleep and constant orders by the gunmen to change course. One of the pilots said the hijackers' escape plans were frustrated by engine trouble. Smoke poured into the cabin minutes before the heli- See KIDNAP Back page, col. 4, this section rcrrs 80S V LIBERTY BOWL PREVIEW The University of Louisville Cardinals, who are favored over Michigan State in tonight's Liberty Bowl, have several reasons to squirm, says columnist Pat Forde. 0 1 ISBSfHY EGYPTIAN BOMBING Suspected Muslim militants, renewing their campaign against Western tourists in Egypt, threw bombs at a tour bus yesterday in Cairo and wounded 16 people. A3 FLAKING IT KENTUCKY: Chance of snow or freezing rain today. Cloudy tomorrow; flurries east. Highs today, 20s and 30s; tomorrow, low to mid-30s. Lows tonight, 20s. Details, B 2 BUSINESS B8 CLASSIFIED C6 COMICS C4 DEATHS B4 FEATURES C1 HORSE RACING D6 LOTTERY A2 TV, RADIO C2

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