The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on March 14, 1991 · Page 2
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 2

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Des Moines, Iowa
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Thursday, March 14, 1991
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JATHE DES MOINES REGISTER B Thursday, March 14, 1991 ImI RANDY EVANS, Iowa mwi editor, 515-284-8065 DATELIHE IOWA Care center resident may have drowned in creek Tt RwHter'i tewi Nwl Scrvtc ANITA, IA. Investigators are "awaiting autopsy results before they Conclude an investigation into the j death of a care center resident who i was found dead in a creek after he walked away from the center last J week. Leroy Williamson, 87, a resident of J Colonial Manor here, was discovered J to be missing about 5:30 p.m. Friday, officials said. Rescue workers t searched until about 10:45 p.m., when J Williamson was found dead in a creek about one-half mile from the center. Police said he was presumed J drowned. ; Louisa-Muscatine district to get new grade school Ttw Rtchter't Hwi Nw Strvtc MUSCATINE, IA. - Voters in the Louisa-Muscatine Community School pistrict approved a $4.9 million referendum for a new elementary school Tuesday night. J The referendum passed on a 601-279 vote, Superintendent Mike Kortemeyer said. School athletic director quits in Oskaloosa Jh RMiter'i tewi Nmra Swvtc ' OSKALOOSA, IA. Oskaloosa High School's athletic director is quitting. The school board Tuesday accepted the resignation of Don Crandall, who had worked for the district more than 20 years, said Randy DeGeest, school board lawyer. t DeGeest said the board withdrew a request for termination earlier in the meeting, but he would not say whether it was related to Crandall's resignation, which takes effect at the end if this school year. ', Crandall, who has been a half-time athletic director and a half-time drivers-education teacher, could not be Reached for comment. ; Masked men rob ! bank in Prairie City f Tlw Rvgiitvr'i tewi Ntwi Sarvtc 5 PRAIRIE CITY, IA. - Two masked men robbed the Mid-Iowa Savings and Loan here Wednesday af- ternoon. I FBI agent Larry Holmquist said the men escaped in a brown van, ! heading west from the bank. J Holmquist would not comment on j how much money was taken or i whether the men had weapons. Ex-Marion man sentenced for crash that killed sisters Tht R filter's torn Ntwt Scrvtc CEDAR RAPIDS, IA. - Kelly Kann, 33, was sentenced Wednesday to two concurrent five-year sentences for vehicular homicide. Linn County District Judge Thomas Horan issued the sentence. Kann, who lived in Marion at the time of the incident, was driving a car that collided with another car east of Marion on Feb. 18, 1990, killing sisters Tabitha Hugh, 19, and Emma Hugh, 15, of Springville. Highway fatalities drop; credit given to seat belts AMES, IA. (AP) - Highway fatalities were down nearly 40 percent for the first two months of the year, and safety officials say most of the credit goes to increased use of seat belts. Twenty-five people died on Iowa roads in January, compared with 38 in January 1990, and last month there were 23 fatalities, compared with 40 in 1990, state statistics show. I $325,000 for Holland man j in impotence lawsuit j HOLLAND, IA. (AP) - A U.S. Dis- trict Court jury has awarded $325,000 to a Holland man who said an electri-; cal shock he received from a soft- drink vending machine left him sexu-j ally impotent. The Omaha jury Tuesday found Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Omaha negligent in the case brought by Rob- ; ert J. Fischer, 42, of Holland, Fischer's wife, Terrl, 37, was ;, awarded $30,000. J The jury found the Red Lion Inn of Omaha was not negligent In the inju-V ry, which occurred while Fischer was ) a guest at the hotel in 1987. Fischer ; testified that, while still wearing his trunks after swim, he went to a Pepsi vending machine to get a soft J drink, deposited coins in the machine and received a shock. A repairman testified that he checked the machine after Fischer reported the shock. He said the ma-i chine had been resting on top of the $ power cord and that he found insula- Hon worn through so that the metal machine made contact with the elec- jkWcally charged wire. Psychics tell Gosch's mother grim By FRANK SANTIAGO RwHter Stiff Writer Carrying a green sweater once worn by her missing son, Noreen Gosch met with psychics in a New York television studio Tuesday and got some grim accounts from them about what happened to him. "This time they said he's dead," said Gosch, who has been told by other clairvoyants that her son, Johnny Gosch, 12, abducted without a trace in 1982, was alive. After holding the sweater to gain "vibrations," the psychics, brought together by television personality Geraldo Rivera for a taping of the "Geraldo" show, predicted a major break soon in the baffling case. Gosch said Wednesday she had mixed feelings about the observations and predictions. Some psychics "have pretty good track records with police departments" and "there is some credibility with the good ones." Others have speculated about Johnny's death, but a prediction of a big break possibly the kidnapper's identification surprised the West Des Moines woman. "I know that the case is going to be. solved, but I can't say any more right Illinois official takes health post in Iowa By TOM CARNEY Rttjittor Stsff Wrftvr A native Iowan who is assistant director of the Illinois Department of Public Health has been appointed director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. If his appointment by Gov. Terry Branstad is confirmed by the Iowa Senate, Christopher Atchison, 41, will take over a department that has 270 employees and a 1990-91 budget of $73.4 million. He would begin April 1. Atchison, former executive director of the Illinois Republican state committee, has held several jobs in that state's health department. He was introduced to members of the Iowa board at its meeting Wednesday. Atchison acknowledged that with the current state budget crunch, it is a difficult time to take over a state agency. "Fiscal restraint is always a requirement," he said. "We have to organize delivery of services better. One of his tasks at the Illinois department was overseeing the state's Center for Rural Health. Atchison said that Illinois and Iowa are similar and that rural health will be a priority in his new job. "Get rid of Chicago which a lot of Illinois people would like and CHRISTOPHER ATCHISON Young musicians scale By KELLYE CARTER RMiittr Stiff Wrtor Marcia Gansen, 17, blinked away tears and sat quietly with her grandparents and a girlfriend as the judges' decision was announced. She had not placed even second in the two-way final competition for woodwind and brass instruments. The Maquoketa High School senior had been pleased with the way she had played her bassoon during the preliminary competition Tuesday, when she and a Norwalk student beat four others to advance to the finals. Disappointment came Wednesday when Gansen briefly forgot part of the music she had memorized. "It seems once I made a mistake, I got nervous and started making more," said Gansen, of the small eastern Iowa town of Zwingle. "I think I got what I deserved out of it," she said softly, her head down and tears threatening to flow. Gansen's roller-coaster feelings of elation and frustration were familiar to the 39 other Iowa high school and Former Iowan, New York By MARY ANN LICKTEIG R Mister SMI Writer Paul E. Ukena, a Lakota native and former baritone with the New York City Opera, died of heart failure Sunday in New Jersey. He was 69. Ukena, who graduated from the University of Dubuque in 1943, is likely to be remembered by the music world as one of the original members of the NBC Opera Theater and for his roles in its TV productions, including "Billy Budd" and the premiere of Dello Joio's "Trial at Rouen." He also was a leading character baritone with the New York City Opera from 1958 to 1979. f .JLim JOHNNY 60SCH NOREEN GOSCH now. I think it's going to come through the suspect and not necessarily a tip on Johnny's whereabouts," she said. On the program with Gosch was a New York City woman who brought a teddy bear once kept by her son, who had been abducted from a playground. There also was a Massachusetts mother who had a pink sweater worn by a kidnapped daughter. Greta Alexander, the Peoria, 111., woman who claimed to gain psychic powers after she was struck by lightning in 1966, was among those on the program. The others were John Catchings of Dallas, a practitioner of we're an Iowa," said Atchison. He said that rural hospitals have to change to be viable and that many have begun to do so. But maintaining the present number of hospitals in rural areas will not in itself guarantee rural residents will get adequate health care, he said. "Hospitals don't necessarily translate into access," he said. Atchison, who grew up a Democrat, said he does not believe his work in Republican politics will hurt his chances of being confirmed by a Democratic Iowa Senate. "I'm a political science major who believes in the two-party process," he said. And Atchison, who has a master's degree in public administration, does not believe his lack of special training in health care will impede his effectiveness. "I see my role at the Iowa health department as one of facilitator," he wrote in prepared remarks. "I am not wed to any existing approach or constituency in Iowa, can provide an outsider's perspective on approaches and programs and hopefully help develop a new alliance and vigor in public health promotion." Atchison will succeed Mary Ellis, who resigned last year to take a job with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Dr. Ronald Eckoff, who had been director of the Division of Family and Community Health, has been the department's acting director. UAll the kids who played here yesterday were tremendous .) ) Terry Hanzlik Norwalk High School band director college students who participated in. the Des Moines Symphony Guild's Young Artist Competition at Grand View College Center in Des Moines. The contest matches some of the state's finest young musicians, who vie for cash prizes ranging from $100 to $300 and scholarships to two prestigious summer music programs. One top student also may be chosen to perform with the Des Moines Symphony. Most of the students are planning music careers. The contest will receive national attention in June, when Des Moines guild members and members of five other guilds are to make a presentation to the American Symphony Or But Lakotans remember an unassuming Paul Ukena who played basketball at Lakota High School and sang In the choir at the First Presbyterian Church. "What I remember about him is how he helped his mother," said classmate Helen Koppen, who lived near Ukena and recalled a time Ukena's mother was sick. "He cooked. He'd run the vacuum just everything you'd think a boy wouldn't do." He started singing in high school, said his sister, Dorothy Dewey of West Burlington. At a time when i "psychometry" who gets vibrations from such items as metals and leather; and Noreen Renier of Orlando, Fla. "We don't know if any of this works," associate producer Steve North said of the clairvoyants. "What I said to all three mothers is that we can't promise you anything in terms of the psychic nature of the show. But there is an inherent value here in that it's going to publicize their stories on national television." Alexander had been used by authorities in the Gosch abduction and said the youngster had been taken to a wooded area near the city. Noreen Gosch said Alexander now feels the boy has been buried near a railroad bridge which is near a gravel pit. A letter, typed with the name of Johnny Gosch and discussed on the show, was a cruel attempt to torment the family, the psychics told Gosch. In the letter received by the family a few years ago, the writer said he would never be permitted to return home. There were "recollections" about family gatherings and a request "that you never forget me even (fo 1H j . f W 0 - i f X" r I s X V'i Officer for a moment Jaton Warren, a fifth-grader at Wallace Elementary School on Des Moines' east side, obviously is tickled to have the opportunity to try on a navy officer's hat Wednesday. The fifth-graders welcomed Naval Petty Officer Rick Johnston back from a tour of duty in the North Africa area; Johnston had corresponded with the class while he was at work during the Liberian coup and in the Mediterranean during the Persian Gulf War. Cookies and punch were the order of the day at Wallace and, being a star, Johnston signed autographs as well. emotional chestra League's national convention, said Dottie Hagan, co-chairwoman of the contest. Learning to perform under pressure is part of the contest. And there was plenty of pressure Wednesday. "All the kids who played here yesterday were tremendous," said Terry Hanzlik, the Norwalk High School band director and father of one of the contestants. His son, Louis Hanzlik, a 15-year-old Norwalk freshman, smiled shyly after his performance. "I did better than last night, I think." When the winners were announced, he learned that no first-place award would be given. He took second. City Opera baritone Paul most of the school's singers were girls, a music teacher started a boys' quartet. Ukena studied voice at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. In 1950 he earned a master's degree from the Juilliard School, where he later taught. He also was a music professor at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., from 1961 through 1989. Ukena had said his musical talent came from his parents. His father, Jurin, sang and his mother, Doris, was a church organist. theories though I'll never be permitted to return." Gosch said the letter, which was received after she and her husband, John, appeared on a talk show, was postmarked from Helena, Mont. "The FBI came and took the letter for fingerprints," Gosch said Wednesday. "Do I think Johnny wrote it? Probably not. Do I think that it was somebody who might have knowledge about the case? Yeah. They might have written it just to torture us, or it could be some sick guy who was in on it. We have no way of knowing." The FBI was unable to trace the fingerprints, she said. North said the show will be broadcast in about three weeks. Johnny Gosch was delivering The Des Moines Sunday Register near his home when he disappeared. Almost two years later, Eugene Martin, who also was delivering the newspaper, was abducted about a block from his south Des Moines home, about seven miles from where Gosch had been taken. DOUG WELLSTh Remitter highs, lows He was disappointed, Louis admitted. With a shrug, he said: "That's life." His father added: "It's kind of a bittersweet feeling to be the winner but not the winner. Sometimes I wish they'd judge what they have and not what they wish they had." Susanna Cortesio, a. 16-year-old Dowling sophomore from Des Moines, appeared more nervous after her performance than before. "I'm OK," she said. "I hope." "Sometimes I play better in a performance than I ever have before. That didn't happen today," said Cortesio, who has been playing violin since she was 5. She turned to her mother and said, anxiously: "I should have played so much better. I should have been so much more relaxed." Her mother, Barbara Cortesio, explained later: "It's really an emotional up and down thing for those kids. They're hard on themselves." Ukena and his wife, music teacher Meta Peveto Ukena, passed music on to their five children, whom they reared in New York. "We grew up all of us singing all the time," said daughter Katha Chamberlain of Le Sueur, Minn. "We sang in the car, we sang at home. . . . We were called the Trapp Family Ukenas." In summertime, the family packed the car and drove from New York to Iowa for visits, Chamberlain said. Lakota remembers Paul Ukena. "He was ... a good product of the ix-ouner of care facility is convicted By CYNTHIA HUBERT RMlstar Stiff Wrttff A Monroe County judge has convicted the owner of a defunct home for the elderly and handicapped in Albia on five counts of criminal neglect of residents. CD. Cunningham "willfully" subject-ed residents of Albia Care Center to conditions that threatened their physical and mental health, District Associate Judge E. Richard Meadows ruled Wednesday. Officials said the action may be the first of its kind in Iowa and stands as a warning to owners and administrators of care facilities in the state. "It does send a pretty clear message that they have an obligation under the law to provide appropriate care for residents," said Mervin Roth, executive director of Iowa Protection and Advocacy, a legal rights group. Cunningham could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Meadows found Cunningham guilty of five of seven counts of wanton neglect handed up by a grand jury in July. The counts pertain to fire safety, building maintenance, dietary issues, medical care and supervision. Each of the counts is a serious misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both. Sentencing is scheduled for April 1. Roth and Wayne Pelkey, a former advocate for the legal rights group, said Cunningham's track record for resident care is poor. "Some of the situations and complaints raised with our agency about his facilities were very egregious," said Roth. Cunningham closed Albia Care Center in August. In January, he shut down another one of his residential care homes, Northridge Care Center In Des Moines, after state officials revoked its license. A third facility owned by Cunningham, Plainview Rest Home in Des Moines, remains in business. At the Albia facility, Cunningham subjected residents to unsanitary and dangerous conditions, the judge ruled. Meadows said Cunningham failed to correct fire hazards that created "substantial likelihood of physical injury" to residents. The building was in such disrepair that it put residents at risk, the judge said. Cunningham failed to correct problems that caused food to be Improperly prepared, special dietary needs of residents to be ignored and unsanitary conditions in the kitchen to continue, the judge ruled. Cunningham also was found guilty of allowing residents who were in obvious need of supervised care "to go unsupervised to the extent that they were likely to be physically injured." Finally, Meadows found that Cunningham was responsible for allowing the medical needs of some residents to go unmet. John Schaffner, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, said the action against Cunningham may be the first conviction of its kind against an Iowa nursing home owner. Roth and Pelkey agreed. Register reporter wins farm awards Des Moines Register agribusiness writer Dan Looker won two of the four top awards in the 1990 writing contest of the National Association of Agricultural Journalists. Looker won first prize in the series category for articles about how fewer young people are entering farming. He also won first place in the columns and analysis category for his article about the late Robert Rodale, a Pennsylvania publisher who was an international leader in promoting organic farming and environmentally sound agriculture. Looker won third place for feature writing for an article about how the nation's cattle producers were trying to cope with health and environmental concerns. Ukena dies community, a well-known family," said banker Bill Ley. "He wasn't interested in impressing people. That wasn't his style. ... But we all knew. The people that cared at all knew that he was quite prominent in his field." In addition to Chamberlain, survivors include two sons, Paul Jr. of New York and Jeremy of Utica, N.Y.; and two daughters, Elizabeth Catino of Lebanon, N.J., and Amy Edney of Oakland, Calif. His wife lives in Mount Vernon, N.Y. There are seven grandchildren. DES MOINES J

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