The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on May 16, 1992 · Page 13
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 13

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Saturday, May 16, 1992
Page 13
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eljf Des fllotncu Actus! c r RAXDY EVANS, Metro Editor, 515-284-8065 Priest Sentenced The Rev. Frank Cordaro was sentenced to six invntlis in prism for an anti-nuclear protest. Page5M Saturday, May 16, 191)2, Section Money Held Up A federal judge delayed distribution of $43 million he awarded to the Iowa Trust until upjieals are settled Page 3M MmwB And Iowa News Metro Record City attorney says council broke law " A new legal opinion issued by Des Moines City Attorney Koger Nowadzky confirms that the City Council majority violated city laws in appointing a northeast Des Moines woman to the Plan and Zoning Commission. The move left the zoning panel without two members from the southeast ward, in violation of a city law that requires the 15-member commission to have at least two members from each of the four wards. I Over the objection of Councilman Archie Brooks, a council majority earlier this month accepted Councilman Michael Mcl'herson's recommendation to appoint Frances Koontz, a neighborhood leader in McPherson's northeast Des Moines ward, to the commission. Koontz was appointed to replace Dale Iang, whose term expired. Lang lives in Brooks' 4th Ward, and his departure left that ward as the only one without at least two representatives. Nowadzky warned before the vote that the appointment appeared to violate city law. Nowadzky recommended that the council, "at its earliest opportunity," either: Appoint a 4th Ward resident to a vacancy caused by Sam Soda's resignation, and reappoint Koontz to Lang's seat. Rescind Koontz's appointment and name someone from Brooks' ward to Lang's seat. In that case, Nowadzky said, Koontz could be appointed to Soda's seat, if the council wished. Under a new appointment procedure, Mayor John "Pat" Dorrian has the right to recommend someone for Soda's seat. The next City Council meeting is Monday. Absentee voting stations to be set up in malls ... In an action that may give a whole new meaning to the phrase "shopping for votes," Polk County plans to open up absentee voting stations at Des Moines-area malls this month, just in time for the June 2 primary election. The satellite stations, authorized by the Iowa Legislature in 1991, will rotate among SouthRidge, Merle Hay and Park Fair malls and the Eastside Senior Center. If everything goes well, said County Auditor Tom Parkins, the locations may be expanded for the presidential election next fall. Voters may cast absentee ballots today in the center court at South-Ridge Mall; on May 23 in the center court at Merle Hay Mall; and on May 30 at the Northside Senior Center at Park Fair Mall and the Eastside Senior Center at 1231 E. 26th St. Ankeny Stampede Days rodeo is scheduled . The annual Memorial Day Rodeo has been scheduled for May 24-25 as part of Ankeny Stampede Days. Activities at "The General" Western Complex, 221 S.E. Magazine Road in Ankeny, include a horse sale, May 23 at 10 a.m.; a display of wildlife art sponsored by Jodi's Gallery, May 24-25 from noon to 4 p.m.; and the Sears United Rodeo Association Rodeo, May 24-25 at 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 1 2 or younger. Runaway vehicle liits Urbandale utility pole , A runaway station wagon hit a car and a utility pole Friday evening in Urbandale, forcing traffic to be routed off Douglas Avenue for an hour and a half. Marsha Karns, 36, told police she was southbound on 64th Street around 5.40 p.m. when her car's accelerator stuck and the brakes failed, said Urbandale police Officer Dave Disney. Karns maneuvered the station wagon into the northbound lane and bailed out of the vehicle in the 3800 block of 64th Street. The car missed three vehicles that were sitting at the stop sign, but when it entered the intersection, the Karns vehicle hit an eastbound car driven by Elizabeth Lafontaine, 54, of 71 13 Hor-ton Ave., Urbandale. Karns' car bounced off the Lafontaine vehicle and hit a utility pole in a grassy area by Ross Auto Service at 6400 Douglas Ave. The pole snapped about three feet from the ground and was leaning toward Douglas Avenue, so officials closed the street until the area was cleared. Damage to both cars and the utility pole was approximately $10,000, Dis-nevsaid. Karns, of 909 29th St., West Des Moines, was taken to Charter Community Hospital. She was treated and released Friday night No charges had been filed Friday night. The accident was under investigation, Disney said. Put humans above budget, activists say The governor says 'optional' social programs have to be cut to eliminate the state's budget deficit. By CYNTHIA HUBERT Rkcjistfr Staff Writer A group of religious, labor and social activists Friday forecast tragedy for thousands of poor Iowans if proposed cuts In Medicaid and other social programs become reality. "To tell the people of Iowa that we can no longer afford to pay for eyeglasses for poor children and dentures for poor elderly people is ludicrous," said Peggy Huppert of the Iowa State Council of Senior Citizens. "These people deserve the same care as college professors, business executives and, yes, even the governor." Huppert and representatives of 10 other agencies blasted Gov. Terry Branstad for recommending cuts in Medicaid, the "medically needy" program and other human services to balance the state budget. "Optional" Services Branstad says the state would like to provide the "optional" services that are on the cutting block, but simply cannot afford to. Iowa faces a $395 million budget deficit that must be eliminated, and the Medicaid program is gobbling up state revenue and robbing other programs of money, he says. The activists called the proposed cuts heartless and inhumane, and predicted the cuts would lead to people delaying medical care until they are in crisis, resulting in higher health-care bills for everyone. They also said the cuts would force more people onto the streets, and that a proposed cap on foster-care money would translate into more child abuse. "I am outraged by a governor who campaigns on taking children out of jeopardy, and then makes recommendations for cuts in vital medical care for them," said Sharon Baker of CROSS Ministries, a Presbyterian group. "As God is my witness, we are going to see more Jonathan Wallers." Jonathan is a 4-year-old Des Moines boy hospitalized with severe injuries authorities say were caused by abuse. His mother, Joanne Taggart, and her boyfriend, Dario Ruesga, have been charged with child endangerment in the case. Other Programs Suggested cuts from other programs would be equally disastrous, the activists said. The governor has proposed elim inating the medically needy program, which covers people with incomes near the poverty level or who have such high medical bills that payment of those bills would place them in poverty. In addition, he proposes eliminating payment for ambulance, dental, optical, optometry, clinical, audiology, psychology, podiatry and chiropractic services, and orthopedic shoes, physical therapy, hearing aids, dentures, and durable medical equipment. Those cuts are expected to save $6.4 million, and eliminating the medically needy program would save $19.2 million. Branstad also suggests that poor people pay for a small portion of their medical care. How Iowa Compares The advocates, who spoke at a news conference at the state Capitol, said it was true that medical costs are going up at an "astronom ical" rate, but said the poor should not have to pay the price for that. Some called for a universal system of health care that would provide services to all lowans. Although Medicaid costs are going up, said Donald Dunn of the Iowa Hospital Association, they still represent only 8.6 percent of the total state budget. The national average is 1 2 percent, he said. Carlos Jayne of Iowa Human Needs Advocates said the medically needy program is a sterling example of an approach that seeks to keep poor people off of welfare. - "These are people who want to be productive members of society! who want to pay taxes. And what are we going to do? Lambast them. Throw them back into the cellar. Put some of them in the ranks of the homeless," he said. "Give it up, Terry Branstad," Jayne declared. "Stop being the governor of the rich and famous." Life in The Fast Lane 9 - iw $" W bU to wi t r -A I ' it m, ! ,, ' 4 m r s i s ft , mt ; I ji . - ft V ' It li rri ' NMllV .nH I 'I lit. Ul-r'KTI-u v . K.1A IKJJI. -l i 1 j. (St fLjt'-. :X:'t.-'.rf man miuuie atnwi biuueiiLb, at uup, r ' - : watch as one of their race cars, K.C '' ' powerea Dy carDon aioxiae, scoois down the course Friday during the Greater Des Moines Technology Education Fair at East High School. At right, course officials check the electronic timer used in timing the race cars, which were built by students. And, above, one of the decorated cars is being weighed before competition. T. -1,-1 f F ' -r-...vx..l. ' , S. s x Ik 'f '. " - ' 'h-1 Sexual offender charged after list of juveniles found The name of a 3J2-year-old girl who was allegedly abused was on the paper discovered by an officer. ByLILGOMEZDELCAMPO Kkc.istkk Stakf Writkks A convicted sex offender was charged Friday after a Des Moines police officer found the man's wallet with a suggestive list of juvenile names in it, officials said. Keith Simpson, 55, of 2628 Lyon St. was charged with one count of second-degree sex abuse in the molestation of a 3'S-year-old girl, Detective Kenneth Moon said. Her name was one of more than 20 on the list, Moon said, adding that many of the girls on the list were younger than 12. In 1983, Simpson was convicted in a case involving a sex act with a child and served some time in prison, Assistant County Attorney Steve Foritano said. In the recent case, an off-duty officer found the wallet last weekend at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Moon said. The officer discovered the list while trying to find some identification to return the wallet. He realized its significance and turned it over to the department's sexual-abuse unit, Moon said. Simpson told detectives that many of the names on the list were ; women he was involved with in the past, but Moon said at least several other names had been identified as juveniles. Next to the girls' names on the list were dates and notations such as "saw panties," "did all" and "felt them." Moon said detectives had interviewed several sets of parents of ' the girls on the list and also had interviewed Simpson. Detectives spent the week trying to locate victims. They focused on those names that had dates of January 1992 to April 1992 next to them, Moon said. Simpson was at Broadlawns Medical Center undergoing psychi- atric evaluation Friday. He will be arrested upon his release, probably next week, Moon said. The Flesh Was Weak Churches' phones used to call sex-fantasy lines One priest learned of the calls when he opened a bill for 2,400,; By JACK H0VELS0N Of Tiik Kkoiktkr's Waterloo Birkau A bold caller who went to church when he had the urge for some sex talk rang up more than $3,000 worth of 900-number sex-fantasy line calls at the expense of at least two Grinnell churches in March and April. More than 1 20 of the calls, which cost several dollars a minute, were made from telephones at St. Mary's Catholic Church, First Baptist Church and possibly another Grin-, nell church, according to Grinnell Police Chief Dan Boyer. A Grinnell man has been charged with theft in the case., "You know, the church welcomes all people, but maybe we'll have to do a little screening from CALLS Please turn to Page 2M First-of-Its-Kind Conference Teen parents 'reach for stars' By KELLYE CARTER Rkgistkr Staff Writer With condoms available for the taking at the registration desk and milk the beverage of choice at break time, it wasn't your usual conference. About 70 teen-age parents gathered Friday at the Park Inn hotel in Des Moines for the daylong "Reach for the Stars" conference. "It might give some kids that have a negative attitude about their future maybe give them a boost in a positive direction," said Maria Schlenker, 17, whose sons are 4 months and 16 months old. "I know I can make it, it's just going to take me a little longer," she said. "There have just been some setbacks, but I wouldn't trade them for anything." Maria and classmates at Alternative High School-North organized the first-of-its-kind Des Moines conference as part of a home economics program for young parents. Donna Rusk, their teacher, said H At first I was scared. But now I'm happy. ... I hope to raise my child up as best I can." Lawrence Scroggins .Vurfi High senior organizing the event was a learning experience for students. The conference itself was intended to show students that "just because you .ave a baby, doesn't mean that your dreams die," she said. "Look at that hair!" said Tammie Riley, 18. gushing over a friend's baby before the conference began. "My god. My kids bald." Amanda Epting, 16. smiled and cuddled tiny 10-day-old Courtney Michelle, who slept through most of the conference. The girls, both sophomores at Alternative High School-South, agreed that the conference was a good idea. "Teen-age parents are becoming more and more common," Amanda said. "Sometimes teen-agers don't know how to parent so this will help." Tammie, whose son is 8 weeks old, said: "We need something like this. There's a lot of things I need to learn still there's too much!" The conference offered equal parts information and inspiration. It featured: A keynote address by Twyla Woods, a former teen-age mother who is principal of Wright Elementary in Des Moines. Discussions by an electrician, a police officer and a car mechanic all women who talked about their "non-traditional" jobs. Small-group sessions on such topics as how to get into college and housing options for young parents. A lunch-time fashion show of affordable clothes. Pregnant at 16, married at 17. divorced by 21, Woods, the Wright Elementary principal, said she found herself unskilled and unedu- TEENS fcwfumMfar 2M ft - i- i . ... . - , ?v ' - GARVfAMiH-Tlll RfmsTKH Amanda Epting, 16, a sophomore at Alternative High School-South, holds 10-day-old Courtney Michelle as she listens to R,-mona Park, an electrician, and Carolyn Taylor, a Des Moines polk officer. Amanda was at a conference for teen-age parents.

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