The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 8, 1976 · Page 120
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December 8, 1976

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 120

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Wednesday, December 8, 1976
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Page 120
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Also Serving Okeechobee County The Palm Beach Post 6WS Of artinSt.Lucie D WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1976 SECTION M Chief Named In Revised Fire Unit U r ti spent except with the express approval of Higgins or County Administrator Jack Noble. Brady defended himself at yesterday's meeting by saying that during his four years as chief, 13 members have been trained as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) for the rescue squad and seven have become certified divers for underwater rescue. "This turmoil was not brought about by the department," he said. "Of the 13 EMTs, you will retain only one in the new department and only one diver will remain." He accused former Fire Marshal John Henry of having conflicts of interest in the sale of building materials to a condominium and later halting construction at the project for safety reasons. Brady also charged that Henry has Turn to FIRE, D2 By JIM REEDER Post Staff Writer STUART County commissioners yesterday voted to abolish the District 2 Volunteer Fire Department headed by Danny Brady but invited its members to join a new one to be headed by Ed Smith. District 2 Commissioner Tom Hig-gins gave up the chairman's gavel temporarily to ask his fellow board members to close down the department, saying the current turmoil is causing unnecessary strain on the county's emergency services. The resolution offered by Higgins did not refer directly to the series of disputes between the commissioner and Brady which led Higgins to fire Brady Nov. 19. Members later re-elected Brady chief, leading Higgins to call for abolition of the entire department. "The District 2 Fire Department is dissolved and its members are released from any obligation to the county," Higgins said. The commission named Ed Smith, who Higgins said has 31 years' experience in fire fighting and has organized volunteer departments in Texas, to head the new department. "I feel he is a good strong leader and has organized other volunteer departments,' ' Higgins said. "We will set up the mechanism so that administration of the department will be separate from the fire-fighting activities," Higgins said. "They are not compatible to the point that one man can run both operations." No Fire Department funds will be Staff Photo by John Bartlott Brown, Accompanied by Wife, Votes Early in the Day Brown Wins FP Mayor's Race Handily ceived 1,147 votes. Third in the North Side race, was maintenance man Charles J. Shortt, making his third unsuccessful attempt, with 495 votes. In the South Side race, less than 300 votes separated front-runner Leslie from Christian-son. Leslie received 1,504 votes to Christian-son's 1,298 votes. The third candidate, former Commissioner John E. Harris Jr., received 596 votes. A run-off in this race will be held next week. By JOHN BARTLETT Post Staff Writtr FORT PIERCE - City voters gave most of their votes to Buell L. (Buster) Brown, yesterday, boosting him into the mayor's seat without the need of a runoff. Brown, a retired Sears executive, who spent more money than any other candidate and campaigned with a rose in his lapel, promising a rosier future for Fort Pierce, received more votes than the other three people in the mayor's race. 2,169 votes, well over half of the approximate 3,400 votes cast. Running second in the mayor's race was perennial candidate Larry Litty, with 546 votes, followed by Shirley Bemenderser with 479 votes and Joan Schoepfer with 366 votes. Caynon, a 65-year-old contractor who has been on the commission 10 years, received 1,946 votes. Running second in the North Side race, was high school teacher Robert Bennett. He re Also elected yesterday, without need for a runoff, was veteran North Side Commissioner Jackie Caynon, who will serve his sixth straight term on the commission. In the three-person race for South Side commissioner, incumbent Grover Leslie led the voting but wasn't able to get a large enough margin over retired Police Chief Vernon Christianson. The two men will meet in a runoff next week. Brown led in every precinct and received 'It's time to establish the fact that this city is dedicated to getting all its citizens a fair chance . . . For a long time anyone who was ., black knew he wouldn't have a fair chance.' Mayor Ben L. Bryan Jr. Black Hiring Plan Raises FOP Ire ' ,? If ilk If l ? Staff Photo by Linda Harbison Mrs. Claus Passes Out Gifts to PSL Officials black as assistant chief to follow federal equal opportunity regulations and the local black population who had been pressuring for a black chief. There is almost no chance that a black assistant chief will come from within the department since the highest ranking black at the moment is a sergeant who recently was promoted. Bryan defended the city's decision to hire a black assistant saying it's about time the city faced up to its responsibility to blacks. "If the only reason was to comply with bureaucratic rules and the laws of the U.S. government, I say try to work our way around it," he said. "But it's time to establish the fact that this city is dedicated to getting all its citizens a fair chance," he said. "This city celebrated its 75th birthday this year, and it was in this year that a black man finally attained the rank of sergeant. For a long time in this city anyone who was black knew he wouldn't have a fair chance," he said. Bryan said there are no guarantees city employes automatically get promotions because of seniority, and it's time blacks get a chance because for years they were overlooked. "The reason some of these white officers have a 20-year start over the blacks is because of unfair prejudice in the past," he said. The commission hasn't said when they plan to start looking for an assistant chief. By JOHN BARTLETT Post Staff Writer FORT PIERCE - The local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has criticized the City Commission for its plans to hire a black assistant police chief. F.W. McLaughlin, FOP spokesman, argued with Mayor Ben L. Bryan Jr. ?t the City Commission meeting Monday night that it's reverse discrimination to hire a black outsider when there are three well-qualified, senior officers in the department. "Your breaking down morale of the Police Department," McLaughlin said. "We thought you should have chosen a local man to be police chief, but you eliminated two of the highest ranking officers in the department when you chose the new chief. It should have been a local man but the assistant chief should come from the ranks," he said. McLaughlin was referring to the recent hiring of Gerald Merritt from the Knoxville, Tenn., Police Department even though strong pressure was put on the commission to hire a local man. Two captains in the Police Department had applied for the post. McLaughlin said that taking away the incentive of promotion to the police officers by always hiring out-of-towners destroys the morale of the men who serve long and work hard taking courses to upgrade themselves. ' The commission, saying Merritt was the best qualified of the applicants, said it now needs to hire a Early Yule Cheer Officials Treated to Gifts With a Meaning9 By LINDA HARBISON Post Staff Wrltor PORT ST. LUCIE - Mrs. Claus made her annual visit to Port St. Lucie yesterday with a bagful of goodies and gifts. There was an inflatable clown for the mayor, a giant cigar for Councilman Lawrence Kimmel and a red stocking with tight purse strings for former city Treasurer Lolita Ker-nohan. The public safety director received a plastic pistol that shoots Ping-Pong bullets. Mrs. Claus, who everyone recognized as Alice Jensen, an active member of the community, had more in mind than frivolous gift-giving when she presented the toys to city officials. She said she hoped each of the dozen or so toys would wind up being ' donated to the local needy children program. The local woman along with her yearly Christmas visit also provides a little Easter cheer every spring when she dresses up as the Easter Bunny and delivers baskets to the City Council. Her efforts always are met with much enthusiasm. Santa's helper said she spent more than a week shopping for the individualized Christmas gifts, preparing a little note for each recipient and baking the largest cake she's ever made. The multi-tier cake was decorated at one level with a Jewish star and other ornaments to symbolize the celebration of Hanukkah by Port St. Lucie's Jewish community. Meanwhile, Santa Claus was portrayed by Don Lesher during the early holiday celebration at City Hall. The Truth About Carolinians Doesn't Hurt at All m Steve Mitchell Vyi v iOii The editors of The Post received a communication the other day from B. Edson Seaver of Okeechobee. Seaver heard that I was from North Carolina and wants to know if the things he's heard about it are true. "A friend who says he knows all about North Carolina claims that half the Tar Heels race moonshine-laden motor cars down treacherous mountain roads comfortably ahead of the pursuing revenooers, and the other half of the population drinks the stuff out of Mason jars," Seaver said. "Another chap who actually lived in Durham for two whole weeks has a different view. While he allows that the booze story is reasonably accurate, he insists that North Carolinians still have another activity. "It seems that all the basketball nuts (and who in that state ain't?) gather in college gyms to watch five tall, agile black guys from New York City play five tall, agile black guys from New York City the only discernible difference being that one group wears white shirts and the other red. "Could it be that, unlike the rest of us, Tar Heel fans root for shirt color instead of teams? This whole North Carolina experience is a bit confusing. Could you this, the Duke University pep band used to break into "The Sidewalks of New York" every time the two teams met. It also is true that in recent years many of the great North Carolina players have been black, notably Charlie Scott of UNC and the incomparable David Thompson of N.C. State. But a lot of them have been white, such as Tom Burleson and Monty Towe of N.C. State. All of these players, incidentally, are now in the National Basketball Association and all except Towe are North Carolinians. Since North Carolina basketball has gone big time, the state is starting to get lots of good players from up North, thus reversing the trend of losing good southern players, most of them black, to northern colleges. Now we're recruiting their players to come South. But it is no exaggeration to say that North Carolinians are as crazy about college basketball as Ken-tuckians or Indiana Hoosiers. I'm no exception. I'd crawl over 10 color television sets showing the Super Bowl to get to one little black and white set showing N.C. State playing basketball against Duke or Wake Forest taking on Maryland " prevail upon Steve Mitchell to straighten us foreigners out?" Be glad to. It is true that a lot of moonshine used to be made and sold in North Carolina, but the federal government stationed so many revenue agents there that they threatened to outnumber the natives in places such as Wilkes County. The people got so tired of bumping into revenooers every time they turned around that they started buying their liquor at the state ABC stores. So now all they do is get illegally drunk on legal whisky. A serious word to he wise: If you are convicted of driving under the influence in North Carolina and I'm talking about first offense you can kiss your driver's license goodby for a year. And that's no joke. About basketball: It is true that North Carolinians have been nuts about basketball ever since Sammy Ranzino & Co. put N.C. State in the Top 10 back in the late 1940s. Then the University of North Carolina won the national championship in the late 1950s and N.C. State won it a couple of years ago by beating UCLA. It also is true that UNC used to get most of its good player from New York City in the late 1950s, Noting

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