The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 27, 1998 · Page 1
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March 27, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 1

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Friday, March 27, 1998
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Five teenagers charged with murder in beating IN TGI F IN SPORTS I Lady Vols' hard-driving Rama-lama-ding-dong! LOCAL NEWS, IB i coach One more time! WEATHER: Partly cloudy with chance of thunderstorms. High 80, low 70 2A rAKiirtirKie ji SPORTS, 1C he Palm Beach Post FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 1998 FINAL EDITION 153 PAGES 50 CENTS 4 . JIM', I JEW Swiss banks to negotiate with Holocaust victims Previously, the banks have been unwilling to pay out money equivalent to gold, art and real estate that Germany looted throughout Europe and put in Swiss hands for safekeeping. Switzerland's position. Until Thursday, the banks had agreed to compensate only Holocaust victims who could demonstrate legitimate claims to long-dormant accounts. Recognizing that their reputations were being tarnished and that their businesses hurt by threats of sanctions, the banks agreed to establish what attorneys were calling a "rough justice fund." Until Thursday, the banks have been unwilling to estimate, much less pay out, money equivalent to gold, art and real estate that Germany looted throughout American officials, New York officials and Jewish groups who have been ne4 gotiating with the banks, but the banks' said nothing about the accord, and their spokesmen did not return calls. The agreement does not specify how much the banks the Union Bank of Switzerland, the Swiss Bank Corp. and Credit Suisse will contribute. Nor does it include the Swiss government, whose central bank received the vast majority of the stolen gold. The threats of Please see BANKS71 Europe and put in Swiss hands for safekeeping. A six-page confidential agreement reached between the banks and plaintiffs puts those assets on the table, along with money deposited by German companies that were using slave labor during World War II. The fund, supervised by the federal District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., will pay claims from victims whose accounts were lost or who can provide evidence that family assets were looted by the Nazis. The framework for settling the dispute was described on Thursday by By David E. Sanger lite New York Times WASHINGTON Switzerland's three major banks reversed themselves on Thursday and agreed to negotiate a global settlement with Holocaust victims, pledging to set up a compensation fund in the United States to make restitution more than a half-century after World War II ended. The agreement, which came minutes before a meeting in New York of officials who have threatened sanctions against Swiss banks, does not represent a final settlement of the billion-dollar lawsuit filed by American Holocaust victims and their survivors. Nor does it immunize the banks against suits elsewhere in the world. But it marks a dramatic change in Venus hands Hingis defeat Butler guilty of bribery conspiracy U0: ill j I II .. ..,.. ft,, ,j J. .... , - , ,,.. .V. The former candidate for state attorney could face a year in jail for taking $500,000 in illegal campaign money from a client. By Christine Stapleton Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH Jurors found former state attorney candidate Phil Butler guilty Thursday of accepting illegal campaign contributions from a businessman hoping to avoid prison. Butler, 52, remained tight-lipped, showing no emotion as a clerk read the five guilty verdicts for bribery, conspiracy and three misdemeanor counts of accepting excessive campaign contributions. The six jurors deliberated for 11VS hours over two days. The bribery charge, the only felony that Butler faced, carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice James Alderman agreed to let Butler remain free on bail until his sentencing, which has not been set. Butler, who made unsuccessful runs for state attorney in 1992 and 1996, argued that the $500,000 he took from a client, James Clyde Baber III, was a loan, not a bribe. Butler said he repeatedly told Baber that he could not remain on his case if elected, nor could he prosecute Baber. Phil Butler's conviction means an automatic three-year suspension of his license to practice law in Florida. Butler's defense seemed geared more to appeal than acquittal. Frank Cerabino column 9A ALLEN EYESTONEStaff Photographer KEY BISCAYNE Richard Williams gives daughter Venus a hug Championships Thursday. 'I was tired of losing in ridiculous after the 17-year-old upset the No. 1-ranked women's player, ways,' said Williams, who advances to Saturday's final after her Martina Hingis, in three sets in the semifinals at the Lipton 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 defeat of Hingis. SPORTS, 1C Please see VERDICTa4 Inside The alleged snipers, ages 11 and 13, sit in a juvenile detention center, charged with the ambush that killed four of their schoolmates and one teacher. Boys in shooting ask for mama , pizza . Bill would save Huizenga millions on car liability Rental firms such as National and Alamo would not have to pay more than $100,000 per person or $300,000 per incident. By Charles Elmore Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau TALLAHASSEE The man who owns the biggest rental-car operation in America, Wayne Huizenga, stands to save millions of dollars from changes Thursday to a lawsuit reform plan. It happened in the state Senate, where contributions from Huizenga's companies and lobbyists 1 1 Air -rrs .1 Sickest patients to get transplants The Clinton administration announces a far-reaching new policy that aims to ensure that the sickest patients receive organ transplants. 'This is about living or dying. We need a level playing field for all patients,' says Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala. STORY, 2A Clinton visits South Africa Hailing South Africa's triumph over apartheid as an 'affirmation of humanity at its best,' President Clinton becomes the first American president to tour this nation that until four years ago was an international pariah. STORY, 3A - ; I I. By Sam Howe Verhovek The New York Times JONESBORO, Ark. The older boy calmly asked for a Bible and a minister Thursday morning, the local sheriff said, while the younger one cried and pleaded that he "wants his mama, and he wants to go home now." Both asked whether they could trade their lunch of corn bread, white beans and baked chicken for a pizza. They were told no. And as 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson and 11-year-old Andrew Golden sat in a juvenile detention center, charged with the shootings on Tuesday that left four of their schoolmates and one teacher dead, Mitchell's father, Scott Johnson, said the boy was full of shame and contrition but had offered no explanation of what had led him to kill. Johnson, 36, a cross-country trucker, said he was driving his truck through Fort Worth on Tuesday when he heard of the shootings on his radio. He called Jonesboro to see whether Mitchell was safe and learned that he was in custody. So Johnson dropped his trailer and drove here in the cab. Please see SHOOTING724 ( THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Westside Middle School students gather Thursday in the parking lot of a radio station to hear a song dedicated to those who died in the shooting on Tuesday. nave exceeaea j4a,uu in me past two years including $16,750 for members of the committee that made the changes. Companies such as Huizenga's Fort Lauderdale-based Alamo and National would no longer be liable for damages, beyond certain pre-set limits, in accidents involving their cars. The caps: $100,000 per person or S.100 fX)0 ner incident, arc ordintr Everglades Regional starts moving out patients LOTTERY PEOPLE SCORES STOCKS 2A 2A ISC 40 Huizenga ANN & ABBY 2F BUSINESS ID CLASSIFIEDS IE COMICS 8F DEATHS 48 EDITORIALS 1U HOROSCOPE 2F CROSSWORDS THEATERS TCIF TV LISTINGS 7F TV SPORTS 2C SECTIONS E.F - PALM BEACH Weather. INTERACTIVE news, sports n Qil'HI com and views FOR HOME DELIVERY SERVICE &20-4663 100-654-1231 to amendments that passed the state Senate rules committee Thursday., "We're doing this to give the car rental companies more profits and shifting the burden to taxpayers to care for people who are hurt," said Scott Carruthers, executive director of the Academy of Honda Trial Lawyers. Huizenga's spokesmen said it would bring fairness to the industry. Florida is one of only seven states with "vicarious liability" laws that hold the rental company liable for mistakes a driver may make. Huizenga's companies rent 2$5,"0 cars in the United States. the closest Glades General Hospital in Belle Glade but some went to West Palm Beach, workers said. The area's new emergency patients will go to Glades General if they are in good enough condition to make the longer trip, ambulance workers said. Otherwise, they will be treated at EvT-erglades until they are stable enough for a transfer, said nursing supervisor Rachel Fray said. ; Then, according to Everglades spokesman Larry Tucker and the hos- The announcement isn't a first But with the transfer of all patients stable enough to be moved, the hospital is closer to closing than ever in the seven-year struggle between the private hospital board and the Palm Beach County Health Care District Everglades' administrators told doctors in a letter Thursday to transfer their patients by noon today, said Health District Chief Executive Officer Cecil Bennett who received a copy. Some of Everglades' ambulance workers spent Thursday ferrying patients to other hospitals. Most went to By Jennifer PeKz Palm Beach Post Staff H riter In a step toward shutting down, Pa-hokee's hospital on Thursday began sending away patients. The emergency room remains open at Everglades Regional Medical Center, and the hospital-run ambulance corps is expected to keep serving all of far western Palm Beach County for at least two months. But spokesmen said the Everglades' board, seeing no signs of hope in recent negotiations with the Palm Beach County Health Care District, is closing the 60-year-old hospital. Copyright 199S VoL SO Ho. 31 sections i 604 1 ' 1 0000 HeastsctWlZDKJ12A

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