The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on July 17, 1990 · Page 2
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 2

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Tuesday, July 17, 1990
Page 2
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2M THE PES MOINES REGISTER B Tuesday, July 17, 1990 Si W RANDY EVANS, Iowa mws editor, 51S-284-8065 DATELINE IOWA 1 I I II I I 1 I & Firebombs placed near home of former chief Tht RmilWf'l kwi Nwi Jtrvtct RED OAK, IA. - Two firebombs exploded near the home of recently resigned fire chief Walter "Pat" McNeil early Saturday, police said. One of the makeshift explosives was left in the street and another in the driveway, McNeil said Monday. No one was injured and nothing was damaged, he said. McNeil said that while he was still fire chief a brick was thrown through his garage window and his son's car was tampered with. "We've been through a lot in the last year and we're fed up with it," McNeil said. He said he would press charges if police made any arrests. McNeil received $35,000 from the city to step down from his post after former and current firefighters complained he was inattentive. Farm child dies in all-terrain vehicle crash WEST BEND, IA. (AP) - A girl died Sunday night in an accident involving a three-wheel all-terrain vehicle on her father's farm near here, the Palo Alto County Sheriff's Department reported. Carrie Lynn Thilges, 12, died around 9 p.m. Elsewhere, officials said: Aria Hansen, 76, of Clinton died Sunday when the car in which she was riding collided with a car driven by James Linville, 23, of Clinton, in Camanche. Hansen was riding in a car driven by her sister, Aluren Mueller, 81, of Clinton, who also was injured. Linville was uninjured. UNI offered gift of Mason City radio station Pram Tht Rtditar't Wttarlot iurttu CEDAR FALLS, IA. - A Mason City radio station," KLSS-AM, has been donated to the University of Northern Iowa, which will use it to carry programming from its KHKE-FM station here. The donation must be approved by the state Board of Regents, meeting this week at Okoboji, and the Federal Communications Commission. KLSS is owned by the Hedberg Broadcasting Group, which is in the process of acquiring KRIB-AM in Mason City. FCC regulations prohibit a company from owning more than one AM radio station in the same city, thus prompting the gift to UNI. Falcon's body found; bird apparently hit solid object Tht Rtfllsttr'i Itwi Ntwt Itrvkt CEDAR RAPIDS, IA. - The remains of a peregrine falcon, one of 13 released in Cedar Rapids this summer in an attempt to reintroduce the species in Iowa, were found Monday morning on a roof behind a hotel. Iowa Department of Natural Resources official Joe Wilkinson said the bird, which had been missing sincj July 7, suffered a broken neck and shoulder, indicating it had collided with a solid object such as a wall. It was the second to die this summer. Sexual harassment lawsuit continues in Waterloo Fram Tht Rtgilttfl Wttartat BurtM WATERLOO, IA. - Testimony continued Monday in the trial of a lawsuit filed by a Waterloo man who testified he was the victim of sexual harassment by a woman who repeatedly tried to grab his genitals. Dennis Hodges, 37, is suing Sue Alger of Waterloo for damages, contending she made sexual advances toward him while both worked at the Twin Cities Plasma firm here. Alger was Hodges' supervisor. Hodges testified last week that Alger asked to have sexual relations with him, stuck her hands in his pockets and tried to pull the drawstring on his scrub pants. Some other employees at the plasma firm testified they saw Alger making advances toward Hodges, but other workers said they never witnessed such incidents. Mount Ayr legionnaire named state commander nw Rnttttr'i taw Ntwt Strvfct SIOUX CITY, IA. - A Mount Ayr nan was named state commander of ;he Iowa American Legion at the annual convention here last weekend, spokesman Jim Demarest said. William Rusk was named state :ommander. Art Gratias of Mason Jity, Myrle Jefson of Forest City, Louis Kirk of Adel, Carroll Wegner of Sladbrook and William Wllsbacher of Hinton are vice commanders. Other officers are the Rev. Lester Terlouw of Cantril, chaplain; Danny Mathews of Bloomfield, historian; ind Donald Walker of De Witt, Serjeant at arms. 'Unsolved Mysteries' revives Urbandale case By TOM ALEX It c fit tor Stiff Wrtttr It's been almost nine years since the birth of a baby in Urbandale led to an arrest that nearly ended a father's cross-country search for his kidnapped children. Instead, the couple accused of stealing the children fled. Now NBC Television has selected the case for its "Unsolved Mysteries" program and is coming to Des Moines to prepare the segment. Here's what happened: On Sept. 23, 1981, a woman gave birth to a son in her rented home at 6621 Airline Ave. in Urbandale. Ambulance workers and police officers called to the home became suspicious when they tried to get basic information about the couple for their records and the couple were evasive. They gave the names James and Cathy Roberts. They refused to give their birth dates or their Social Security numbers. Urbandale Police Lt. Delbert King and other officers began investigating. They learned that the couple deposited $19,000 in a local bank, but they lived like paupers. They appeared to be wearing the same clothes day after day, but people who did business with them said James Roberts often flashed $100 bills. Des Moines police and the FBI joined the investi gation, but it stalled until Urbandale police worked out a deal with garbage collectors. On Oct. 13, 1981, the garbage haulers kept the trash from the Roberts' home separate from the rest of the load. In it police found a letter bearing the name "Fontes" and part of an address. After checking with authorities in California, local investigators learned that the couple's real names were Cathy and James Durkin. They were wanted on charges of child stealing and false imprisonment. They were accused of taking Cathy Durkin's two children by her marriage to James Fontes, a police officer in Fremont, Calif. James Durkin was arrested on Oct. 23, 1981. The two children, Robert Fontes, then 3, and Christopher Fontes, then 2, were found and their father was notified. But there was no reunion. King recalls that a judge set bail at $1,000. Cathy Durkin, he said, was not jailed because she was nursing a newborn baby. She posted bail for James Durkin on Oct. 24, 1981. The Durkins got the children back from Polk County officials and disappeared. James Fontes reacted with astonishment when he arrived in Des Moines and found out his children were gone. "Most judges considered this kind of case more of a civil matter back then," King said. "Bonds weren't that high. I don't think Polk County did anything improper considering the time when this happened." James Fontes disagrees. Had James Durkin not been released, the incident would have been over. "And it was just silly to release the kids back to them," he said Monday by telephone from California. In the last nine years he's visited nearly every state in the United States and parts of Mexico looking for his children. He followed one tip to eastern Iowa. "But the closest I ever got was the first time I went to Iowa," he said. The television program is "the best thing we've got going so far." California FBI Agent Dave Evans said he pitched the story to "Unsolved Mysteries," because such shows often prove helpful. Associate producer of the Durkin segment of "Unsolved Mysteries," Andrea Pugliese, said she did not know when the piece would air. It will be part of the program's third season, which begins in September, she said. BOB M00ERS0HNTN) Rtgilttr afsMiipiYfv' j , m rr-i mm .h? .if k mmjirm i l A I n i fit i -... if iff i f.m n i -mjrm ' ,i . t 14 1 m mMmmMi i i mm ? mm -: mm : : .,mmm mm n m tu c wimmmi mr-- - ::mrw:mmm: i J .. m BmmmmmM ,;v -m' . iW&mVmm " : V; ' 1 2ZSIjf ' mm fMmmm,.. . ..m ". CTP fl W::BmWBWm-y . ' F mmm . immm7mu,tmmmmm r fmmWmM "'r'm 1MT"aHPp' , In Mike Chiodo quenches his thirst with a soft drink after distributing 85 kegs of beer in Des Moines. Iowa schools seek 12 rise in '92 budgets By GEORGE CLIFFORD III Rtflittr Stiff Writer Preliminary budget requests from Iowa's three state universities and two specialty schools for fiscal 1992 will go up almost 12 percent to more than $1.05 billion, not including salary increases, according to a report released Friday. The requests, which will be presented to the Iowa Board of Regents Wednesday, amount to an 11.9 percent increase over fiscal 1991. Budget requests for the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, the Iowa School for the Deaf and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School for fiscal 1993 would reach $1.14 billion, according to a report the regents are to review at a meeting in Okoboji. The 1992 requests would include state appropriations of $583.6 million, 20 percent higher than in fiscal 1991. Appropriations would climb to $663.1 million for fiscal 1993, according to the report, which was compiled by the board's administrative staff. The increases recommended by the board's staff are somewhat smaller than those sought by the institutions. Excluding salary increases, the board's staff is currently recommending 1992 budgets of $994.4 million, 5.9 percent larger than in fiscal 1991. That would include a state appropriation request of $527.8 million. For fiscal 1993, the board office recommended appropriation requests of $566.2 million. The report said that when salary increases are included, "requests will exceed the 10 percent appropriation increase limit being proposed by the Department of Management." Under 1991 operating budgets for the institutions totaling $938 million, most faculty members as well as professional and scientific staff members at the three state universities will see salary increases of 6 percent to 7 percent. In other action, the regents are to receive a report concluding the in structional costs faced by the univer sities increased 388 percent from fiscal 1966-67 through fiscal 1988-89. In the same time period, according to the report, the cost of goods and services purchased by colleges and universities increased 314 percent. From fiscal 1978 through fiscal 1988-89, the cost of educating students at the universities increased 86 percent while the cost of the goods and services jumped 194 percent Taulce: Military should aim at terrorists By DAVID YEPSEN Rttlitor Staff Wrltar U.S. Rep. Tom Tauke, R-Ia., is calling for a change in "Star Wars" military research to find ways to stop terrorist missiles instead of Soviet rockets. Tauke, who is running for the U.S. Senate, said in a position paper released by his campaign that the United States needs to be better prepared to combat terrorism and less worried about threats from the Soviet Union. "The rivalry between the superpowers is fading and a land war in Europe is not the greatest threat to the security of America," he said. "Instead, the dominant threats to world peace and stability appear to be nationalism, ethnic and religious chauvinism and economic conflicts. "We can expect continued trouble from terrorists and countries like Iraq or Iran which have religious, nationalistic or economic motives for opposing the United States," Tauke said. "Our defense and security policies and strategies must change." "Not Effective" The strategy of massive destruction in retaliation for a nuclear attack "is not effective in dealing with the potential nuclear threat from terrorists or Third World countries," he said. "Our nation should refccus the Strategic Defense Initiative," which is also known as "Star Wars," to protect the United States from a terrorist group or Third Word country. "In simple terms, we should develop the capability of destroying a missile and its nuclear warheads before they hit the U.S.," he said. Tauke is challenging U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat. He unveiled his military paper prior to Sunday's televised debate with Harkin on the subject. Dramatic Cuts Harkin has called for dramatic cuts in military spending far greater than Tauke has supported, and Tauke's position paper moves him toward the center on several military issues. He criticized the military buildup approved by other Republicans during the Reagan years saying, "In the 1980s, we poured money into defense without reforming our defense policies. It's a policy I opposed and which continues to cost the nation today. Let's not make the second mistake building down without a strategy in the 1990s." Tauke recommended: Eliminating land-based nuclear missiles and cutting back the number of manned bombers. Putting more military emphasis on reserve forces and less emphasis on active duty military. Maintaining the technological edge the United States has in weapons. Winner of Iowa lottery puzzles over Svhat if By GENE RAFFENSPERGER RtfUtar Staff WrWtf Doris Rindels, 39, of Montezuma is Iowa's newest celebrity thanks to winning a $1 million Iowa lotto jackpot in Saturday night's drawing. As she talked about it Monday, Rindels' story had a couple of delicious "whatifs?" What if, she said, the basketball team had won? That would have kept her in Tennessee and she would not have purchased the winning ticket What if, she said, when she bought a $1 chance on the $35 million Lotto America drawing, she had not strictly as an afterthought, purchased a $1 chance on the "measly" $1 million Iowa lotto? But the team lost and she did buy the Iowa lotto ticket And Monday she was handed a check for $37,500, her after-tax, take-home pay. She'll get similar checks each July for the next 19 years. Rindels is a registered nurse, employed at Grinnell General Hospital. Her husband, Keith, 39, is assistant Poweshiek County engineer. They have two children, Robert (known as Rob), 15, and Melissa (known as Missy), 12. Doris Rindels said Rob and Missy likely will be the chief beneficiaries of her luck. She said the winnings will be used to pay for their college educations. There will be other things, but f r at this stage, she said, "things are a little foggy. Things have happened so fast it is overwhelming." The basketball story? Rob was a member of an all-star team that was in a tournament in Tennessee. The family took its vacation and went along. The team won once, then lost last Thursday. Had the team won that game it would have advanced, perhaps all the way to a Saturday final. That would have kept the Rindels in Tennessee. Instead, the family came back to Montezuma. Rindels said she needed groceries and went shopping. She spotted a line of people waiting to get Lotto America tickets. Told the prize was $35 million, she took a chance. When the clerk asked if she also wanted an Iowa lotto ticket, she said yes, taking her lucky numbers, which are a combination of birthdays, wedding anniversary and her favorite holiday, Christmas. The winning numbers were 2, 5, 11, 16, 23 and 25. Once the family determined it had the winner, the ticket was stashed Saturday night in a drawer. But Sunday, said Rindels, the family's banker was called and he opened the bank to allow the Rindels to put the ticket Into a safe deposit box. They brought it to Des Moines Monday. "to. I s: Doris Rindels What if the team had won? Rindels said she and her husband would not quit their jobs. Cabinet firm officer claims $35 million TOPEKA, KAN. (AP) - Dave Wagner of Dodge City came forward Monday to claim the $35 million Lotto America jackpot Wagner, vice president of Kitchens Inc., a cabinetry firm, bought $3 worth of computer lottery picks at a convenience store last Thursday. He had stopped for a cup of coffee. Wagner, 48, was accompanied to Kansas lottery headquarters by his wife, Carol, and two daughters, Jennifer, 17, and Courtney, 15. In about 15 days he is to receive the first of 20 annual checks for $1.3 million. More money sought for tank cleanup By CYNTHIA HUBERT Rtrttttr Staff Wrltar More than 2,000 underground stor age tanks are leaking gasoline in Iowa, and state officials responsible for overseeing cleanup of the contamination are overwhelmed. "It's been fairly dramatic and defi nitely unforeseen, this type of a workload increase," said Allan Stokes, ad ministrator of the environmental protection division of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The department plans to ask state legislators for money for six addition al staff members, plus an attorney, to deal with the backlog, Stokes told members of the state Environmental Protection Commission on Monday. In 1980, the state identified only four leaking underground storage tanks, Stokes told the commission. Because of new federal and state reg ulations mandating cleanup of the tanks, the numbers have shot up every year. So far in 1990, 621 leaking tanks have been reported more than the total for all of 1989. "Two to Three Years" "We definitely have more work than we do people available to re spond in a reasonable time frame," Stokes said. "Based on current staffing, we are looking at two or three years of work. Reports of leaking storage tanks surged this year because of an October deadline for service stations to get financial help from the govern ment for cleaning up contamination. The leaking tanks are accidents waiting to happen, environmental officials said. Escaped gas can create explosive vapors in sewer lines and under homes and businesses. It can also migrate through the soil and taint underground water supplies. At least seven public water supplies have been contaminated by leaking tanks in Iowa in recent years, Stokes said. Federal rules passed in 1988 require owners of underground tanks to show technical and financial responsibility for petroleum releases. Service stations that fail to comply with the rules by Oct 26 must be closed. The state offers a program to help clean up environmental problems and provide loans for improvements on tanks. It also provides insurance coverage to satisfy federal financial responsibility requirements. A federal trust fund is available for cases in which the state is unable to identify who is responsible for contamination from a leaking tank. Stokes said the average cost of cleaning up contamination has been estimated at $40,000. Questions on Contract Members of the environmental protection commission Monday questioned a proposed $36,000 contract between the natural resources department and a Nebraska company for an investigation of petroleum contamination in Rock Rapids. Commission member Clark Yeager noted that one member of the contracting team recently worked for the natural resources department, and he raised an eyebrow over the $29.56 hourly rate specified for secretarial work. "We've got a $60,000-a-year secretary," Yeager said. Stanley Kuhn of the department's administrative services division said the contractor, Terracon Environmental Inc. of Omaha, was one of two firms that submitted a proposal for the project. The other firm's proposal was much more costly, he said. The panel unanimously approved the contract. In another matter, the commission approved requiring operators of sanitary landfills and solid waste incinerators to be trained, tested and certified by a program approved by the natural resources department. Judge upholds IBP fine for waste discharge An administrative law judge has ruled that IBP Inc. should be fined for illegally discharging wastes from its Columbus Junction plant two years ago and must pay for a study of soil and ground-water contamination. Judge Margaret LaMarche upheld an administrative order and $600 fine Imposed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in July 1988. The department charged that IBP jeopardized the environment when it released untreated wastes containing toluene, ammonia, oil and grease onto the flood plain of the Iowa River at Columbus Junction. Officials fined the company and ordered it to sample soil and ground water in the area and to clean up contamination detected. Company officials fought the order, saying the chemicals and other materials washed into the area from storm drains under the plant and were not dumped deliberately. Michael Murphy, legal counsel for the natural resources department, said he expects IBP to appeal the matter further.

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