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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri • Page 22

Location:
St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
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22
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

6L ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH AJ November 19 2003 TM" TIT 0 Drug treatment gets praise The St. Louis County Council is considering ending its Choices program. C2 SOT kJ lio BILl McCLfLLAN Mother of slain teen oils police murderers 1 15-year-old driver caught with pot was shot; county chief says fleeing car threatened officers Excuse my error: Outlandish pay is merely excessive By Bill Bryan Of the Post-Dispatch The mother of Byron Harmon, a 15-year-old shot to death at the wheel of a stolen car by St. Louis County police, said Tuesday that she did not think the officers should have fired.

"My son was scared and afraid and just trying to get out of there," said Rosemary Kirksey, 39, in the living room of her home in Country Club Hills. "The police murdered my son. It was cold-blooded murder." The county officers, whose names have not been disclosed, fired several shots into the car about 7 p.m. Sunday in the Archway Manor trailer park along St. Charles Rock Road, across the street from the village of Greendale.

Two other youths in the car, also 15, were not hurt. County Police Chief Ron Battelle said Monday that the officers had been put in jeopardy by the car as the driver tried to flee, so they were justified in firing in self-defense. The vehicle had been stolen from Country Club Hills on Friday night, but the officers who fired did not know that at the time, police said. The three youths were in the car rolling a marijuana cigarette when the officers approached and grabbed the door handles, according to Erika Nichols, 19, Byron's only sibling. Nichols said she had talked to one of her brother's friends who was in the car.

"My brother first backed up to get away, then started to go forward See Shooting, C8 Byron Harmon Freshman at Jennings High School Council member is under fire: for vulgarT remarks 1HAVE RECEIVED a lot of interesting feedback from a recent column about health care, and none more interesting than the response from Kenneth Ferber, who works for WellPoint Health Networks. Technically, I didn't get any feedback from Ferber. My bosses did. He contacted them to request a correction. I had quoted a New York Times story that reported that Leonard CEO of WellPoint, owned 3.3 million shares of company stock worth more than $300 million.

Not so, said Ferber, who works for WellPoint. Of Schaeffer's 3.5 million shares, he owns only 460,000 outright. The rest are in options. So if he were to liquidate his holdings today, he would realize only about $125 million. I stand corrected.

In the offending column, I had suggested that the health care delivery system seems to be a mess. We spend a greater percentage of our GDP on health care than does any other country, and yet we have millions of people with no health insurance. We have doctors dropping out of certain specialties because they can no longer afford to practice. So I wondered if maybe we were doing things wrong. Instead of thinking of health care in terms of a for-profit business, maybe we ought to think of it in the same way we think of national security.

Why not use the military as a model? After all, we can spend only so much money on health care. The most efficient svstem it seems In Arnold, Jim Edwards resists pressure to resign By Matthew Hathaway Of the Post-Dispatch An Arnold councilman, who is accused of verbal and sexual harassment, vows to stay in office even though the mayor and his fellow City Council members have urged him to resign. According to Arnold Mayor Mark Powell, 2nd Ward Councilman Jim Edwards made inappropriate remarks to a female irii'' An ROBERT COHEN POST-DISPATCH RAIN RENDERS ROADS IMPASSABLE ABOVE: Crews for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District work Tuesday on this a of Vandeventer Avenue that buckled during overnight storms. The road is closed between Forest Park Boulevard and Market Street until at least Thursday or Friday.

LEFT: Bryan Quirk of Swansea paddles his kayak around a flooded skateboard park in Belleville. Quirk and a friend had considered kayaking Richland Creek but were dissuaded by a police officer. Parts of the St. Louis area got more than 4 inches of rainfall. Clear weather is expected to return to the area today.

Story on C5. city employee during business hours in City Hall last month. Edwards called the woman "a conniving bitch," and told her that "all women are good for is to look at and for sex' Powell said. -City offi In. i ODEU MITCHELL JR.

POST-DISPATCH Edwards "I'm sorry. I'll never do this again" Thieves raid family's fire-damaged home tic, or out to fresh air. "I couldn't breathe, I couldn't see," Colen-burg said Tuesday night, describing the fire in his home Monday. "I almost didn't want to go up, but I knew my kids were up there." cials would not identify the employee or the other staffers who said they had witnessed the exchange. Edwards, 63, said he does not remember the specifics of the Oct.

14 conversation but that the remarks whatever they were were made in a light-hearted spirit. "I've been joking off and on with this young lady for ix years, ever since I started Von the council," Edwards said, didn't realize that I did anything wrong because she has never said anything before." That response was not good enough for the Arnold City Council, which held a special meeting Thursday to discuss the case. See Councilman, C10 ing for help. "I don't consider myself a hero," he said. "I consider myself as a father trying to do his job." The drama started about 4 p.m., when Colenburg, who had stayed home from work with a wrist injury, smelled something burning.

He checked the ground-floor kitchen, but it was from the second floor. He rushed to the second floor and found the source of the fire: the room where his kids had been watching TV when he checked on them about an hour earlier. "A flame-type light was just flickering in their room," he said. "The right side of the room was just flames." He knew they hadn't come downstairs, so he headed toward the attic. Once in the attic, Colenburg found his children, kicked out See Fire, C8 House is in shambles hours after rescue of boys By Greg Jonsson Of the Post-Dispatch Thick black smoke had filled the second floor of Keith Colenburg's St.

Louis home by the time he reached the laundry room, where he faced a choice: up to his kids in the at I i So up he went, to the Keith Colenburg attic where he found "i consider myself his kids and per- as a fatner trying formed a heroic res- todohisiob" cue with the help of passers-by who heard him call- coming would be one that sends the greatest percentage of that money to actual health care, and to health care providers. If we could limit the money going to the businessmen and the lawyers, we could get more bang for our buck. To illustrate some of the huge payouts going to businessmen, I singled out Schaef-fer. He might not be one of the worst offenders (or biggest successes, depending on how you look at these things), but I had just read a story about Anthem Inc. agreeing to buy WellPoint, and the story mentioned that Schaeffer had $300 million worth of WellPoint stock.

That seemed like a lot to me. Then along came Ferber to explain that Schaeffer has options to buy about $350 million worth of stock, but because he would be paying to exercise those options, he would clear only about $125 million. I don't mean to be low-rent, but $125 million still seems like a lot to me. Especially when you figure that these options are apart from salary. WellPoint has been in existence for about 10 years.

So that's about $1 2.5 million a year in addition to salary and bonuses. According to the company's SEC filings, Schaeffer received a salary of $1,246,155 last year, and a bonus of $5,690,916. This year, he will do much, much better. He gets an additional $37 million if the company is sold a $27.5 million payout under a "change of control" clause in his contract, and $10 million extra in executive retirement benefits. According to the SEC filings, his regular retirement package isn't too shabby.

His estimated annual benefit will be $3,698,881. That's for one plan. He'll get an additional $28,253 annually from another plan. In addition, the company contributes cash and stock to his 401 (k) plan. Last year, the company paid $27,254 in life insurance premiums for Schaeffer, and his compensation included $105,677 of "imputed interest income on a loan from the Company." He needed a loan? He made almost $7 million in salary and bonus.

All of this stuff is in the SEC filings, so I'm sure if all absolutely legal. But it is part of our health insurance costs. Is this the way we want to spend our money? By the way, I called Ferber after he had requested his correction. He is the staff vice president of corporate communications, and he said he came upon the column during his regular morning Internet sweep. This, too, is our health care dollar at work.

There has to be a better way. E-mail: Rumors swirl linking bracelets to sex game iJi.La.jjj..jiiyi.iinw Election Board will investigate Carter's role in vote case Prosecutor has called her a key witness Some schools ban the plastic bangles, saying they distract from learning. By Alexa Aguilar and Kaitlin Bell Of the Post-Dispatch Add Fulton Junior High in O'Fallon, 111., to a growing list of schools nationwide where principals have banned plastic "jelly" bracelets after hearing rumors of a sex game involving the rubbery bangles. This fall, whispers about the bracelets signifying sexual acts that the wearer is willing to perform have shocked some parents and school officials. Others dismiss the stories and see the bracelets as pure fashion.

Various colors of the thin bracelets are said to stand for anything from a hug or a kiss to oral sex and inter- who had read about this on the Internet," said Allen Scharf, principal at Fulton Junior Tiigh. "I thought, 'This is When he found that a student at his school was wearing the bracelets twisted into an obscene gesture, Scharf decided to ban them. "It's pretty hard to teach mathematics when someone's wearing a bracelet meant to represent a sexual act," Scharf said. He noted that the school also forbids hats and bandannas. "It hasn't been a big deal here, and no one has complained about it," he said.

One grandparent, picking up his granddaughter after school, agreed that the bracelets shouldn't be allowed. "That kind of thing has no place in school," said William Trelow of O'Fallon. "We have enough problems in schools these days without worrying about Bracelets, C10 HUY RICHARD MACH POST-DISPATCH Plastic "jelly" bracelets like these are rumored to signify sexual acts that the wearer is willing to perform. By Jo Mannies Post-Dispatch Political Correspondent The St. Louis Election Board has hired a special counsel to assist in an investigation into the activities of deputy Democratic director Keena Carter, who prosecutors say is their primary witness in the city's latest case of vote fraud.

At a closed session Tuesday, the board agreed to hire Stanley G. Schroeder, a lawyer in west St. Louis County who specializes in employment issues, said board chairman Derio Gambaro. Schroeder will offer advice as the four-person board decides what to do about Carter, Gambaro added. Carter will remain on paid administrative leave.

Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has identified Carter as the star witness in the recent indictment of nine people in connection with 3,800 mostly fraudulent voter See Counsel, C10 course. In a game called Snap, students are said to grab a specific color of bracelet from another's wrist to say what kind of sex they'd like to have. Madonna popularized the bracelets in the 1980s, and they recently were revived by pop stars Avril Lavigne and Pink. When school officials began hearing in recent weeks about the game, the '80s flashback items became a forbidden fashion accessory in some districts. In October, school officials in Florida banned them; a school in Ohio followed suit.

"It was brought to my attention by a staff member.

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