The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on March 6, 1991 · Page 2
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 2

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Wednesday, March 6, 1991
Page 2
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2A THE DES MOINES REGISTER P Wednesday, March 6, 1991 nnn nnnnn mum RANDY EVANS, Iowa mwi editor, 515-284-8065 nm y L ii ll DATELIKE lOVA Mason City voters reject bonds for school projects MASON CITY, IA. - Mason City School District voters on Tuesday rejected a plan to issue $8.75 million in bonds . Proceeds from the bonds would have financed improvements and reconstruction of several school buildings in the district, Cerro Gordo County Auditor Linda Collins said. The issue needed 60 percent of the votes to pass and received only 50.4 percent, 3,117-3,066. In other elections Tuesday: Voters in Winneshiek County overwhelmingly approved a plan to issue $2.9 million in bonds to finance additions and improvements to the Oneota Riverview Care Facility. With three precincts not yet counted, the vote was 1,910-296. Wayne Community School District voters rejected a $4.2 million bond issue that would have financed construction of a junior high and high school in Corydon. The vote was 679-810 on construction of the new facility and 677-813 against allowing a tax increase to pay for the project. Assault charges filed in shotgun incident Tfct Rtaltttr'i towi Nm tanrtca DOW CITY, IA. - A Dow City woman accused of firing a shotgun at a man who is accused of beating her was charged Tuesday with assault with Intent to commit serious injury. Jean Docken, 38, was released Tuesday from a Denison hospital after being treated for injuries suffered in a domestic assault, sheriff's officials said. Also charged with assault was the man with whom Docken had been residing, George Brandt, 39. Officials said Brandt assaulted Docken Sunday night and left the house. When he returned, Docken fired several shots at him with a 12-gauge shotgun, officials charged. Trial of man accused of killing prostitutes opens MASON CITY, IA. (AP) - Trial began this week in Arlington, Va., of a man accused of killing three Washington, DC-area prostitutes, including a former Mason City woman. Lawyers for Chander "Bobby" Matta have acknowledged he killed the women but indicate they will use an insanity defense. Matta was a paranoid schizophrenic with an "irresistible impulse" to commit the slay-ings, lawyers contended in court papers. Matta, 22, is accused of killing the three women by suffocation. Among the victims of the slayings was Sandra Renee Johnson, 20, formerly of Mason City, who was found May 27 in her Arlington apartment Brothers charted after 34 animals found starved Prawn Vht ItifftftVrft WertwlM fcurwMl - WEST UNION, IA. - Brothers Ethan Guyer, 25, and Eldon Guyer, 20, of West Union are charged with five counts of cruelty to animals and one count of failure to dispose of dead animals in the starvation deaths of 34 animals, including cattle, hogs, sheep, dogs and rabbits. The animals were being raised by the brothers at a farm south of West Union, the Fayette County sheriff's office reported. Nineteen surviving animals were taken to West Union for care. It was estimated that the animals hadn't had adequate food or water for at least a week. Waukon man becomes police chief in Lawler Th RofjttlMi leva Nvwt Snrtc4 LAWLER, IA. - The Lawler City Council hired new police chief Monday night. Dan Kleea of Waukon will replace James Timlin, who was sentenced to 60 days at a treatment center after be was charged with drunken driving while in the city's squad car. All but 27 days of Timlin's sentence were suspended. Klees started his job Tuesday. Des Moines man chosen as Adel city administrator Tfc RhhWi towa Newt Stnrtc ADEL, IA. - James Sanders of Des Moines has been appointed Adel city administrator starting April 3. Sanders said he was appointed last week to the position, which was created in November after the city clerk retired. The city decided to reorganize and created the administrator position, he said. Sanders said he has been on the Des Moines Park Board for nine years and also has been the chief vocational administrator for the Polk County Association for Retarded People. Study: No link between radon, lung cancer li;FJiWgr Continued from Page One the use of average household radon levels in the study. "I do not believe that the average reading for a county is a meaningful number," said James Cain, an energy specialist at Iowa State University and coordinator of the Iowa Radon Project. "Radon is extremely variable from one house to another." Individual Cases To accurately gauge the relationship between radon and lung cancer, Cain and others said, researchers would have to consider individual radon exposure levels of people with and without lung cancer. Such a study also should consider other variables, such as smoking habits and how much time people spent in contaminated homes, they said. The University of Iowa soon may launch a more definitive study of the connection between radon and lung cancer, officials said. Donald Flater of the state health department's radiological health bureau said the federal Environmental Protection Agency has agreed verbally to finance such a pilot study. Joann Muldoon, who led the county-by-county study, was unavailable for comment Tuesday. But the monthly bulletin's report acknowledges that the project was limited and more research should be done. It recommends that Iowans continue to test homes for radon and repair them if levels are high. Radioactive Particles Radon is a colorless, odorless gas created by the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil. When trapped in a building, it can accumulate and break down into radioactive particles that cling to dust and can enter and damage the lungs. Statistics show that lung cancer deaths in Iowa are below the national rate. No one Is certain, however, whether a larger-than-average portion of those deaths is related to radon poisoning vs. cigarette smoking. An EPA survey In 1989 found that 71 percent of about 1,500 Iowa homes tested had unacceptable levels of radon the highest rate in the country. A lifetime of exposure at that level would be equal in risk to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, officials said. The EPA considers radon levels above 4 picocuries per liter of air to be a potential health threat. The state agency's research, which covered 1969 through 1987, found that Iowans who live in counties in which the average household radon levels are above 8 picocuries per liter are at no greater risk of lung cancer than people in counties with lower radon levels. Gamblers aid fund criticized Continued from Page One ness time. Everything else had to be coded as administrative," said the bureau's response to the audit Rep. Johnie Hammond, D-Ames, who heads a House subcommittee that oversees spending on human services programs, said she had not seen a copy of the report. She said there should be a review of the effectiveness of programs to help compulsive gamblers. The program is financed by profits from the Iowa lottery. One-half of 1 percent of lottery revenues are diverted to the program, which Includes counseling to compulsive gamblers and the distribution of information to the public about compulsive gambling, Gamblers Anonymous and the program's toll-free hot line. State supports rail abandonment TM HtfMtr'i towi News Scrvtca AMES, IA. - Plans by the Chicago and North Western Railway to abandon 20 miles of track between Palmer and Laurens in Pocahontas County were supported Tuesday by the Iowa Transportation Commission. All grain traffic from Pocahontas has been moving by truck for the past two to three years to an associated elevator at Havelock, said Rees Hakan-son, a DOT railroad administrator. Before then, grain accounted for more than half of the traffic on the Palmer-Laurens line. Even if all the town's grain traffic was sent by train from Pocahontas, the railroad could not earn a sufficient rate of return to justify keeping the tracks, officials said. The North Western's applicaUon to abandon the Palmer-Laurens Um is pending before the federal Interstate Commerce Commission. f t rly awl 'v . -. ' - Julia Sakharova, 11, and her mother, Marina, are In Iowa so that the young violinist can have an operation to correct a cleft palate. lovans fly Soviet prodigy to U.S. for palate surgery By CHARLES BULLARD Ol The Rnttttr'i law. CUV BurMU CEDAR RAPIDS, IA. - The dream of a talented 11-year-old Soviet girl to be a world-famous violin soloist, which had been dimmed because of a cleft palate, is brightening because of the generosity of Iowans. Julia Sakharova is scheduled to undergo a two-hour operation Tuesday at University Hospitals in Iowa City to close the cleft palate, an operation so delicate Soviet doctors had declined to attempt it Her cleft lip was repaired when she was 6 months old. Soviet physicians fitted her with a plastic plate that closes the opening between the roof of her mouth and her nose when she was 3. But her mother, Marina, a professional pianist,, was told her daughter would have to go to the West to have the opening permanently repaired. When a visit to the Soviet Union last summer by a group of Cedar House panel OKs fees to pay for tire disposal By JONATHAN ROOS A $5 million plan to help pay for the proper disposal of tires was approved Tuesday by a House committee. The money would be raised by a $15 fee assessed buyers of new cars and trucks, and a fee of $1 or more per tire applied to tire purchases. The $15 waste tire fee, to be paid in addition to new vehicle registration fees, would raise an estimated $2.8 million per year, but would expire after three years. Income from the fee would be used to help meet the state's goal of cleaning up tire stockpiles in Iowa by 1995. "We have these illegal stockpiles that have accumulated, and we need to get rid of them somehow," said Rep. Donald Shoultz, D-Waterloo, a member of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee. The balance of the $5 million would be raised from the separate tire handling fee, which ranges from $1 to State sues over hugo tire pile By CYNTHIA HUBERT ftethtir St9f Wrfitr Iowa Attorney General Bonnie Campbell has sued a Webster County tire recycler for violating environmental regulations, overriding a state panel's decision last month against pursuing legal action. A lawsuit filed Tuesday in Webster County District Court accuses Donald Ervln and his company, Midwest Tire Disposal, with violating various state garbage regulations. Among other things, he has piled too many tires on his property south of Fort Dodge, officials said. Ervin could not be reached for comment "We definitely need tire recycling operations in Iowa, but they have to be responsible recycling operations," Campbell said in a statement. Discarded tires are a potential problem because they are breeding grounds for rodents and mosquitoes and frequently are targets of arsonists. When set afire, they emit clouds of smoke and chemicals that threaten public health and the environment. As many as 500,000 tires have piled up on his property and Ervin has failed to comply with environmental rules pertaining to his business, officials from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources have said. The department recommended that the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission pursue prosecution of Ervin. But last month, the commission decided not to take legal action. The lawsuit asks the court to assess a civil penalty against Ervln. The maximum penalty Is $5,000 per day per violation of permit regulations. HARRY BAUMERTTha Raolstar v. if- :: Rapids and Iowa City residents was publicized in a Pyatigorsk newspaper, Marina and Julia went to the hotel where they were staying to plead for help. Dr. David Haupt a Cedar Rapids anesthesiologist on the trip, concluded she could be helped by doctors at University Hospitals. "The people on the trip fell in love with this little girl," he said. The Cedar Rapids Downtown Rotary Club raised $3,000 and Destinations Unlimited, a Cedar Rapids travel agency, donated plane tickets worth about $4,000 to bring the Sakharovas to Iowa. Doctors and dentists at University Hospitals, led by Dr. John Canady, are donating their fees. To express her appreciation to the many people who have helped her, Julia will give a recital at 8 p.m. Friday at McKinley Middle School in Cedar Rapids. $2.50 depending on the size of the tire. Income from that fee would help pay for the proper disposal of tires through recycling and other programs. The tire disposal plan, which moves on to the full House, also would require the use of shredded tires as drainage material in new landfills to prevent seepage. A state law aimed at reducing the volume of waste in Iowa landfills includes a ban on landfill disposal of discarded tires, effective July 1. Iowans discard up to 2.9 million tires per year. Most end up taking valuable space in landfills. Winning approval for a new environmental fee may be difficult. Two years ago, Gov. Terry Branstad vetoed a $1 increase in the annual automobile registration fee to help pay for landfill waste reduction programs, including tire disposal. Jurors to watch video of suspect admitting his role in kidnapping By FRANK SANTIAGO Rcthtor Staff Wrltif NORFOLK. NEB. - Jurors will see a videotape in which David Phelps admits taking part in the kid napping of a young girl, a prosecutor said Tuesday, but a defense lawyer said Phelps made the statement under duress from a "big and mean" felon. The discussion of the tape came during opening statements in Phelps' kidnapping trial DAVID PHELPS here Tuesday. The missing girl, Jill Cutshall, 9, "was put in harm's way by the way she was Invited to live," said David Domina, Phelps' lawyer. Jill, apparently abducted from the steps of her baby sitter's home here Aug. 13, 1987, had gone to live with her divorced father in a run-down apartment house occupied by a range of misfits, including convicted criminals, he said. Domina said Phelps, who lived in the apartment house and knew the girl, "liked to talk and talk." But, he said, it is a "quantum leap from suspicion to guilt." Perry Native Phelps, 27, a Perry, la., native, "had squandered his life with his sexual preferences, criminal records, working habits," but he didn't kidnap Jill, Domina said. The girl's body has not been found. Domlna's opening statements in the case came after prosecutor James Smith told jurors that Phelps had admitted to an investigator that he was the kidnapper. "Phelps had a motive. He had prior sexual contacts with girls" and he changed his alibi on the morning she disappeared, Smith said. "The evidence is in." Smith said Phelps admitted to an investigator that he had several sexual encounters with girls, at least one of them as young as 4. Smith said Phelps told a witness that he had a fantasy about kidnapping, raping and killing a girl and getting away with it Mother Moved to Norfolk After Jill's disappearance, her mother, Joyce Cutshall, who had custody of the girl and was living in Great Bend, Kan., moved to Norfolk to find out what happened. Joyce Cutshall, assisted in the in State asks Amtralc to study three new passenger routes By WILLIAM PETROSKI Rifistir staff Wrtttr AMES, IA. State transportation officials have formally asked Amtrak administrators to study the feasibility of initiating three new passenger trains that would serve Iowa. One train would run from Chicago to Omaha across central Iowa with stops in Clinton, Cedar Rapids, Mar-shalltown, Ames and Carroll. The other trains would run from Chicago to Dubuque and from Chicago to the Quad Cities. The request is a follow-up to an Amtrak report to Congress in January. That report looked at the possibility of providing train service to central Iowa by splitting a train that now runs daily through southern Iowa while serving Chicago and the West Coast. The costs of that proposal were so high that Amtrak officials suggested looking at a state-subsidized train between Chicago and Omaha as an alternative. Les Holland, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation's Railroad and Water Division, said Tues Medical malpractice suit is settled out of court TM RwtttWi towa Ntwi Sarvtca OTTUMWA, IA. - An Ottumwa anesthesiologist whose medical license was revoked in December has reached an out-of-court settlement with the family of a comatose Moul-ton woman who sued him for medical malpractice. Deborah Tharnish of Des Moines, a lawyer for Dr. All Kholeif, confirmed the suit had been settled but declined to give details, saying a confidentiality clause was included in the agreement. Kelly Menken has been in a coma in a long-term care facility since December 1988, when she underwent a Caesarean section. Her husband, Michael, sued Kholeif in Wapello County District Court accusing the doctor of wrongfully administering the spinal vestigation by Roy Stephens, director of operations for the Missing Youth Foundation in Omaha, became angry when authorities declined to charge Phelps, whom she suspected. Police said they didn't have enough information to make a case. Undeterred, Cutshall passed petitions to convene a grand jury. Such a panel eventually indicted Phelps on a kidnapping charge. A conviction could result in a life sentence. Stephens, who is expected to be a witness today, reportedly took Phelps to a nearby wildlife preserve, where Jill's clothing had been found. After about two hours, a frustrated Stephens fired a shot into the air with a handgun. Phelps then agreed to talk. "Unprofessional" Both Domina and Smith denounced Stephens' tactics, which Smith called "very unprofessional." "Roy Stephens' work before had been repossessing cars," Smith said. "He is a convicted felon and he was not a financial success. . . . Police knew he was not trained and thought of him as a big dummy." Domina said Stephens intimidated Phelps into giving a statement. "He's big and mean and proud of it," Domina said of Stephens. "He likes to invade your body space." Smith said, however, that the videotaped Interview of Phelps acquired by Stephens would be used as evidence. The interview was done by an Omaha television reporter, who had been summoned to a Norfolk motel room by Stephens "on the promise there would be a big development in the Cutshall case." Removed her Gothei In the interview, according to the lawyers, Phelps said that Jill Cutshall was in the car of his roommate, Ker-mit Baumgartner, on the day she disappeared. They drove her to a nearby wildlife preserve, Phelps said, where he held the girl while Baumgartner removed her clothes. The girl started screaming, Phelps said, and he left in the car while Baumgartner was alone with the girl. ... Baumgartner told investigators Phelps' account was a lie. In an interview with police later, Phelps retracted the statement, Domina said. He said police had at least 13 suspects in the case and had done interviews as far away as Pennsylvania. day that his office also is seeking a study of Amtrak service to Dubuque and the Quad Cities at the request of local officials. Deborah Hare, an Amtrak spokeswoman in Chicago, said Tuesday that Amtrak officials have received the request from the Iowa DOT, and similar letters are expected from officials in Nebraska and Illinois. She said no decision has been made on whether the proposals will be studied. Amtrak officials have said the expense of starting a daily train between Chicago and Omaha probably would involve $14 million to $15 million to purchase two locomotives and six passenger cars. Also, the train would have an annual operating loss of about $1 million, which would be split by the federal government and the states involved. Even if the plans were approved immediately, it would take two to four years to construct rail cars and locomotives and upgrade depots to permit new trains to operate in Iowa, Holland said. anesthetic that caused the coma. The trial was due to begin March 19. Kholeif last month settled out of court with the family of Hannah Cole of Keosauqua, who died in 1989 following the setting of a cast on her broken leg. Kholeif was accused of using anesthesia procedures that caused the girl's death. The terms of that settlement were not disclosed. The Iowa Board of Medical Examiners, handing out its stiffest possible penalty, in December revoked Khol-eif's license and fined him $1,000, barring him from re-applying for a medical license for 10 years. In that decision, the board cited substandard care that resulted in the death of two patients. Kholeif has appealed the board's decision.

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