Del Rio News Herald from Del Rio, Texas on September 17, 1982 · Page 1
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Del Rio News Herald from Del Rio, Texas · Page 1

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Del Rio, Texas
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Friday, September 17, 1982
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THE EXCHANGE RATE of he peso was 75.00 at noon oday, Del Rio National Bank officials said. LLOYD BENTSEN will be here today for a 2:45 to 4 p.m. rally at Whitehead Memorial Museum, sponsored by the U.S. senator's local steering committee. MAYOR ROGER Cerny proclaimed Sept. 17-23 Constitution Week,' and urged citizens to 'express gratitude for the privilege of American citizenship.' State Good Evening! Local LAWMEN IN CONROE were embarrassed, but relieved, after learning they had found bear paws, not human hands and feet, floating in Lake Conroe. "It was a big relief," said Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Graeter. "We'd rather be a little embarrassed than out looking for a loose killer." National A MINIATURE television camera will be mounted on top of astronaut Joe Allen's helmet when he walks in space during the fifth flight of the shuttle Columbia. The camera, about the size of a human hand, will give an unprecedented close-up view of Allen and astronaut William B. Lenoir as they make a 3V2- hour walk in the vacuum of space, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said in Houston. FORMER FIRST LADY Bess Truman, undergoing treatment for an abdominal ulcer, remained in serious but stable condition Thursday at Kansas City's Research Medical Center, her doctor said. Mrs. Truman, 97, was taken to the hospital Sept. 2 with a bleeding ulcer in her small intestine. The bleeding was halted with medication. International A BOMB EXPLODED in a car bearing Israeli diplomatic license plates today, near the Arch of Triumph in Paris, injuring the car's two occupants and 13 other people, according to authorized French government sources. No other details were available immediately. Inside DEL RIO divides four sub- varsity games with Uvalde to set the stage for tonight's 61st meeting between the Rams and Coyotes at Uvalde. See Page 7A JOE FERGUSON leads a frantic Buffalo comeback that enables the Bills to edge Minnesota, 23-22, as NFL players continue threat to strike next week. See Page 9A Classifieds 11-14A Comics 10A Crossword 10A Dear Abby 5A Deaths 2A Editorials 4A Horoscope ,10A Living 5A Markets 6A Sports 7-9A TV Log M6B AREA WEATHER: Partly cloudy through Saturday with a 20^. percent chance of thundershowers tonight. Overnight minimum in the low 70s, high Saturday in the mid-906, High Thursday, 86. Sunset 7:47 p.m. Sunrise 7:30 a.m. Miss your paper? Call the News-Herald (775-1551) before 7 p.m. Monday throwih Friday and before 10:30 d.m. on Saturday arid Sunday and we will bring it to you. Del Rio News Vol. 54 No. Ill Phon« 775-1551 ©1982 Del Rio Publishing Co.,-Inc. All Rights f , Toxo* 78140, Friday Afternoon, S«p 151-700 — *.opy 30 Pag*s In 2 Sections City, county OK 3 percent hikes Councilmen trim budget Commissioners okay raises By MARY JANE BODE News-Herald Writer City Council members decided Thursday night to trim $38,899 from the proposed 1982-83 General Fund budget, and told City Attorney Robert Garza to draft an order for a $5,647,891 total and an ordinance for a three-percent tax rate increase. The General Fund and $1,056,525 federal Revenue Sharing budgets will be up for public hearing and adoption Tuesday night, but no tax rate hearing was set, since state law does not require it for a raise of three percent or less. Councilman Al Cervantes registered the only "no" vote on the budget proposal. Councilman Don R. Ellis was not present. "The staff has done a fine job," Mayor Roger S. Cerny said. "We can afford the citizens the services they deserve." "And suffer the least amount of pain and tax increase," Councilman Garry W.Kyle added. The original General Fund budget draft that council viewed in its first workshop last month was for $5,686,790, but "typographical errors," which City Manager James A. Miceli had noted then, had accounted for $25,245. Tuesday night, Miceli announced that the $16,439 allocated for an employee insurance premium increase will not be needed, because the cost is not going up. He recommended another $13,600 worth of cuts, mainly in contract service allocations — $1,000 from Legal, $2,000 from Data Processing, $5,600 from Street Lighting, and taking $5,000 from Street Department construction supplies. See CITY TRIMS, Page 6A By KAREN GLEASON News-Herald Writer Val Verde County Commissioners resumed a recessed Monday meeting this morning and unanimously approved a .2312 tax rate per $100 valuation. iCommissioners also approved a $3,166,777 budget for 1982-83. The tax rate for 1982-83 is the effective tax rate plus three percent, and combines county and farm to market rates County Tax Assessor-Collector Evelyn Monzingo said. Current taxes constitute the major increase in budget receipts for next year, County Auditor Esther Trevino said following the meeting. Ms. Trevino said expected income from current taxes were adjusted after the appraised values were recieved. The county will receive slightly more from taxes next year than was anticipated, she said. The major change in expenditure for next year is a five percent step raise added to county employees' salaries. The county auditor said the pay increase approved for all county employees during Monday's segment of the county commissioners court gave county employees 10 percent "of what they were making in 1981-82." The step raise, which will be added to the previously approved 10 percent increase, will advance employees one step up the county pay scale, Mrs. Trevino said. She added that the county's pay. scale is based on longevity and there is "about a five percent" difference between the steps. Commissioner James Leonard made the motion to approve the budget, with Commissioner Martin W. Wardlaw See COMMISSIONERS, Page 6A Chagra enters guilty plea in Wood murder trial SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) — El Paso attorney Joseph Chagra today pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder U.S. District Judge John H. Wood Jr. in 1979. Chagra pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge as part of a plea bargain with federal prosecutors. U.S. District Judge William S. Session immediately sealed terms of the agreement after Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Jahn told the judge Chagra could be in danger if the terms were made public. Sessions scheduled a Dec. 17 target date for sentencing Chagra and said he would abide by the prison term in the plea bargain unless Chagra does not live up to his end of the deal or some unforseeen circumstance arose. During questioning by Sessions, Chagra said he had not been threatened or promised leniency outside the terms of the plea bargain. He admitted that he conspired to kill Wood between Feb. 26, 1979, and June 25,1979, with his brother, Jimmy, his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Chagra, and convicted hit man Charles Harrelson. "Did you knowingly become a member of that conspiracy?" Sessions asked. "Yes sir," Chagra replied. Chagra previously had maintained his innocence in the the assassination of the federal judge. Local newspapers reported for the past week that Chagra would plead guilty to murder conspiracy in the plea-bargain agreement he struck with government prosecutors, but there had been no confirmation of the reports. The San Antonio Express and The San Antonio Light both quoted sources as saying the plea bargain required Chagra to admit to murder conspiracy and testify against alleged triggerman Charles V. Harrelson in exchange for a sentence not to exceed 10 years. KSAT-TV in San Antonio and KRLD Radio in Dallas, however, reported that there were last- minute efforts by the defense for Chagra to plead to a lesser offense of conspiring to obstruction justice. Sessions, prosecutors and defense attorney Billy Ravkind all refused to comment on details of the agreement hammered out before the deadline last Monday. Chagra's brother, convicted narcotics trafficker Jamiel "Jimmy" Chagra, is charged with paying Harrelson $250,000 to kill Wood on May 29,1979, to prevent Wood from presiding at Jimmy Chagra's trial. Jimmy Chagra, Harrelson, Joe Chagra and Elizabeth Chagra, Jimmy's wife, were charged with conspiring to kill Wood and to obstruct justice. Jo Ann Harrelson, wife of the convicted hitman, is charged in the obstruction of justice count and Leon Nichols, Elizabeth Chagra's father, was indicted for income tax evasion in the case. Warren Burnett, representing Elizabeth Chagra, filed an amended motion Thursday for a change of venue, charging "widespread and poisonous publicity" prevented a fair trial in the Western District of Texas. Burnett, reportedly angered by remarks attributed to Ravkind, charged in the motion that Joe Chagra's attorney had contributed to the publicity through a series of interviews. Sessions so far has refused to move the trial out of San Antonio until an attempt is made to seat a jury here for the trial scheduled for Sept. 28. Additional publicity also has been generated by reports that Elizabeth Chagra, an avowed "born again Christian," wrote an apologetic letter on Aug. 27 to Kathryn Wood, widow of the slain judge. KMOL-TV of San Antonio reported Thursday night that it had obtained a copy of the purported letter and broadcast exerpts from what it termed "the letter of confession.'' U.S. gets tough on Israeli action WASHINGTON (AP) — The Reagan administration, denouncing Israel's latest drive into west Beirut, is accusing the government of Prime Minister Menachem Begin of reneging on an assurance that the military action was limited and precautionary. But in a tense exchange with top U.S. officials, Israeli diplomats firmly denied on Thursday ever making any such commitment. Sources told the Associated Press the Israelis said special envoy Morris Draper had put his own interpretation on a conversation with Begin. According to this account, Begin cautioned that Israel's departure from west Beirut depended on a restoration of order following the assassination of president-elect Bashir Gemayel and the ability of the Lebanese armed forces to take over the peacekeeping role. But today, the State Department said it had received "numerous oral assurances" from Israel at the time of the Aug. 20 cease-fire that it would not enter west Beirut. "The entire premise underlying our successful effort to evacuate the (Palestine Liberation Organization) from west Beirut peacefully was that a diplomatic solution obviated the need for the Israel defense force to enter west Beirut," the department said. RAIN BROUGHT MUD — Rains Thursday morning meant mud at the Val Verde County Fairgrounds, where the Shrine Circus was staged News-Herald photoby BenignoGtrci* in spite of the goo. Sue Agee of Del Rio worked in a Shriner benefit concession stand and waded through the mud to deliver cold drinks. Israelis crush major Lebanese resistance BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) Israeli forces, defying U.S. demands to withdraw, today crushed the last major Lebanese militia resistance in west Beirut. Israel said it wanted to negotiate with Lebanon's army on having Lebanese forces take over the Moslem half of the city. The Israeli Foreign Ministry said the talks should start "as soon as possible," but no date was set. It said the idea of talks had been conveyed in Jerusalem to U.S. presidential envoy Morris Draper and that Draper thought the plan contained good ideas. Draper did not speak to reporters. In west Beirut, Russian diplomats said Israeli troops had occupied the Soviet Embassy in the Lebanese capital. But the Israeli army command in Tel Aviv said, "We deny officially that we took over the Soviet Embassy in Beirut." In Washington, meanwhile, the State Department said the United States protested to Israel over a shooting incident Thur* sday in which an Israeli officer reportedly fired at and missed an unarmed U.S. Marine standing guard atop the U.S. Embassy in west Beirut. It said the bullet missed by two feet. There was no immediate comment from Israel, but the State Department said Israel apologized, saying the officer mistook the Marine for a leftist militiaman. Three Israeli armored personnel carriers were posted outside the high-walled embassy compound, but the soldiers would not talk to reporters. A group of Soviet diplomats came to a back door at the em*, bassy and one, speaking broken English, told Western reporters: "They (Israelis) occupied the buildings of our school, consulate and living quarters, and they are taking everything in this buildings." He claimed the Israelis entered the grounds with a tank, damaging the gate and three cars. It was unclear when the incident occurred, and there was no apparent damage to two of the embassy's gates. "Now they are sitting at the room of the consul with machine guns, and what can we do," he said, grinning. "We objected, but they didn't do anything." He said the ambassador was in the embassy building, and Moscow had been informed. Among the key positions taken by Israeli forces Thursday was the area around the Soviet complex in the Corniche Mazraa shopping district and in the high- rise building of Moscow's Narodny Bank in Hamra street. Earlier there was speculation that several leftist militia leaders had taken refuge in the Soviet compound before the Israelis firmed their grip on the central shopping thoroughfare. However, NBC news reported a film crew went to the scene but saw no unusual activity. Beirut newspapers said Israeli forces seized the Iranian Embassy building at the seaside Jnah neighborJwQd_pn Thursday, ripping down portraits of Iran's revolutionary patriarch Ayatollah RuhoUah Khomeini, War correspondents reported today that Israeli tanks and troops flushed out diehard members of the Mourabitoun militia after a three-hour barrage, then searched house-to- house for weapons and blared warnings in Arabic to hiding gunmen to surrender their weapons. , The Mourabitoun, Lebanon'! most powerful armed leftist Moslem group, fought alongside See ISRAELIS, PtgelA /

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