St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on December 24, 1998 · Page 12
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 12

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St. Louis, Missouri
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Thursday, December 24, 1998
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Page 12
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ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH METRO THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24, 1998 www.postnet.com f lt I-- '-' :' " - t ' - ' ' ' I'f ' " -" ""--.- -I- t' . .- J ' . :j--:t- . j. tv-- - : " J. -y i . '' ' .V 'mm ' - " "' " f " I r J - a; . . .- V . ; x - i 'x t ' ' i Courtney Mitchell, a custodian at Hemstead Elementary in St. Louis, helps Delores Bowman load food baskets into her car. The school collected 450 canned goods and raised $500 to help less fortunate students and their families. The collection is a tradition of 16 years at the school. Board j Overlay board opposes j." 'student bill of rights' I Continued from Page Bl dall Cahill, would say only that the student bill of rights violated the U.S. and Missouri constitutions. Williams had planned to hold a meeting by telephone to vote on the matter, then said the meeting was not needed. 'I trust his legal analysis, she said. 'If he says that, we agree with him. We will not put it on the ballot.' Bauer, the author of the student bill of rights, said the measure won't create a new system of segregated schools and predicted that his plan would lead to a building boom in the city. He said the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade system has several advantages. It allows older siblings to walk a younger child home and doesn't force a parent to split time between a middle and elementary school. "As a practical matter, if this Man who ; killed wife, ,i self was : 'controlling' ' Their children witnessed ; struggle; dead woman's mother saw trouble signs By Denise Hollinshed Of the Post-Dispatch Olin McDonald, who fatally shot his wife Monday night, had threatened to kill himself several times, his mother-in-law said Wednesday. After killing Ramonna McDonald, 26, at his mother's house in East St. Louis, Olin McDonald, 26, then committed suicide. The couple's two children, Kyerra, 8, and Olin Jr., 5, watched as their parents struggled with the pistol before McDonald dragged his wife into the bathroom and locked the door. Delcie Johnson, Ramonna's mother, said in an interview that she had seen signs that Olin McDonald was troubled. Johnson, 68, said Olin McDonald once left a note saying he would kill himself at Ramonna's apartment at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Ramonna McDonald had left the McDonald home and moved to the campus in April to pursue a master's degree in biology. Evelyn Johnson, Ramonna's sister, described Olin McDonald as "very controlling." "Everywhere she (Ramonna) went, he wanted to be there," Evelyn Johnson said. Evelyn Johnson said her sister turned down a good job in chemistry because her husband did not want her working late. School continues goes on the ballot, it will pass overwhelmingly, he said. Superintendent Cleveland Hammonds Jr. eliminated a system of schools in Birmingham, Ala., when he was the superintendent there, in favor of a system of elementary schools for kindergarten through fifth grades and middle schools for sixth through eighth grades. Hammonds said it is easier to provide the proper classes for grades six to eight in a separate school. "I know the promoter has good intentions, but I believe educationally our system is better, Hammonds said. Meanwhile, Civic Progress, the influential business group, has agreed to provide money for a campaign to pass the tax referendum that will appear on the Feb. 2 ballot if an agreement in the desegregation talks is reached by Dec. 31. The tax proposal will ask city voters whether to raise the sales tax to help pay the cost of desegregating school systems in St. Louis city and county. The increase would be two-thirds of a penny and is expected to raise about $23 million a year. ' ... ' FAMILY PHOTO In a family photo taken In 1994 are: Olin. McDonald, wife Ramonna and children Olin Jr. and Kyerra. Olin McDonald shot his wife to death Monday night and then fatally shot himself. Olin McDonald taught black studies and geography at Metropolitan Community College in East St. Louis and was close to getting his master's degree in history from SIUE. When his father died, the couple moved in with his mother, Ruthie McDonald. "I told her not to do that it will be a problem," Delcie Johnson recalled. She said her daughter left her husband at one point and saved $4,000 and bought herself a car. "She said she was tired, John generous tradition But the financial backing ap proved Monday by Civic Progress depends on what kind of agreement is reached in the desegregation settlement talks and whether the agreement occurs before the end of the year, said Richard Liddy, the group's president. Liddy declined to say exactly how much the group would pledge, but said 'it's a six-figure number," indicating that it would be at least $100,000. Liddy did not indicate what kind of settlement would be acceptable to the group, but added, "This has to be something the people of St. Louis want." Settlement talks have heated up in recent days as the attorneys for the various parties the St. Louis School Board and suburban districts, the NAACP, the state of Missouri and the federal government try to meet the end of the year deadline set by Civic Progress. Another group expected to assist in the campaign for the tax is the Black Business Roundtable. Chairman Richard K. Gaines, a former School Board president, said the group's help would probably be limited to helping get out the vote. Li son said. "I told her sometimes you have to work it out for yourself. I'm not going to tell you to leave or stay." Johnson said she was devastated by her daughter's murder. "She was shot in both her arms," she said, demonstrating how her daughter may have crossed her arm in an attempt to shield herself from bullets. "She was shot in the head near her ear. My little girl is dead now. I'm hurting about the way she was shot up. "Please pray for me." A Wayne Crossun POST-DISPATCH Officials warn of carbon monoxide Deadly gas is cited in 2 incidents here this week By Lance Williams Of the Post-Dispatch It's colorless, tasteless and odorless, but it can kill within hours if it's not detected. Carbon monoxide has been responsible for making at least two St. Louis County families get medical treatment this week, and authorities are asking area homeowners to protect themselves from this deadly gas. Late Tuesday night, a Florissant family was evacuated from their home in the 1400 block of Thoroughbred Lane after firefighters found high levels of carbon monoxide. The carbon monoxide level was measured at 600 parts per million. Most experts say 35 parts per million is the maximum exposure for people over an extended period of nme, said Ed McCormick, deputy fire chief for the Florissant Valley Fire District. The children in the family were asleep in the basement near the furnace when firefighters arrived. Firefighters also were called to a home in the 10100 block of Ash-brook Drive in Bellefontaine Neighbors on Wednesday morning shortly before 9 a.m. because of possible carbon monoxide poisoning. Both residents in the home had to be helped outside by firefighters because they already were disoriented from exposure to the gas, said Capt. Joe Bommarito of the Riverview Fire District. They were taken to the hospital for observation. Bommarito said the two people in the home had already been ex posed to the gas for nearly three hours, and that any more exposure could have been lethal. Each year, more than 250 people are killed in the United States because of carbon monoxide poisoning. The deadly gas can be generat ed by incomplete combustion of fuels in gasoline-powered engines, kerosene heaters and wood-burning stoves. Furnaces should be checked Fire officials say the best safeguard is to buy a detector and make sure it is installed correctly. McCormick said it is also a good idea for homeowners to have their furnaces checked twice a year to make sure they are working prop erly. Carbon monoxide combines with blood hemoglobin and essentially deprives the body of oxygen. It can result in brain damage or death after only a few hours of concentrat ed exposure, McCormick said. Symptoms of early carbon mon oxide poisoning include nausea, fatigue, lightheadedness, headaches, chest pain and fainting. St. Louis baker dies from burns she suffered Tuesday in flash fire byTtmO'Neil Of the Post-Dispatch A woman who was severely burned while trying to light a commercial oven in her family's neighborhood bakery died Wednesday in Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Maria Mondovic, 47, suffered burns over more than 90 percent of her body in a flash fire before dawn Tuesday at Mondovic's Bakery, 3569 Minnesota Avenue. St. Louis police said Mondovic was engulfed in flames because the oven was filled with natural gas. She was pronounced dead at 11:05 a.m. Wednesday in the hospital's burn unit. Mondovic and her husband, John Mondovic, 62, had owned and operated the bakery in the city's Dutchtown neighborhood for almost 21 years. They bought it shortly after they moved here from Hungary, their native country. John Mondovic suffered burns to his hands and was treated at the hospital and released Tuesday. The fire caused only minor damage to the oven and bakery. Police said John Mondovic lighted the large oven at 3:15 a.m., but his wife told him a half-hour later that the oven was not heating up. She entered the oven service door to relight the oven, when a buildup of natural gas was ignited and flashed around her. Police Sgt. Steve Sorocko, supervisor of the bomb and arson unit, Tuberculosis Student battles TB; others may be infected Continued from Page Bl Larry E. Fields, director of the St Louis Department of Health and Hospitals. Fields said that the student's "household contacts those who spent the most time with him while he was believed to have been infectious have already been identified. Typically, such contacts are tested immediately and may also be given antibiotics to prevent the disease from spreading. Last year, St. Louis recorded more TB cases than at any time over the last decade. Despite that, the student is believed to have contracted his infection elsewhere, most likely overseas. Tuberculosis kills millions around the world every year more people, in fact, than AIDS or any other contagious disease. During the 19th century, it was at epidemic levels in many American cities, spread by people who lived and worked in cramped, unsanitary conditions. With the development of antibiotics, the disease began to decline in the United States. But it re- .y'- ii 1 1 1... 'i r , 1" I Get the Year's Best in One Delicious Section! Get all your favorite recipes from this year's Food Sections In your copy of the January 4th Post-Dispatch. It's a cornucopia of taste-bud tantalizing recipes spanning 1998. Look no further for indulgent desserts, delectable dishes perfect for nightly dinners with the family or fun fare for that rowdy Superbowl party you plan to throw! The Year's Favorite Recipes January 4th I ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH I said investigators don't know if Maria Mondovic was trying to relight the series of pilot lights or the rows of burners, which are much larger. Police plan to interview John Mondovic after the funeral to learn more about how they normally operated their ovens. George Palfi of Arnold, a son-in-law, said John Mondovic "doesn't remember very much. It happened so quickly. He just saw her on fire. Police suspect a flaw in a standard safety switch that is supposed to stop the flow of gas if the burners go out. Sorocko said he will wait for insurance investigators to arrive before taking apart the oven's fuel system to investigate. The Mondovics specialized in Hungarian and European breads, cookies and pastries. In recent years, they have served the South Side's growing community of Bosnian and Croatian refugees. In addition to her husband of 26 years, Maria Mondovic is survived by two daughters, Marianne Vincze of Phoenix, Ariz., and Ka-talin Palfi of Arnold; one son, Tom' Mondovic of Delaware, Ohio; and two sisters, Vera Orosz and Zsuz-sanna Orosz, both of Hungary. Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Kutis Funeral Home at 10151 Gravois Road in Affton. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Mary of Victories Catholic Church, 744 South Third Street near downtown. Burial arrangements were pending. emerged in a deadlier, drug-resistant form in the late 1980s among AIDS patients and drug users on the East and West coasts. Fields said that doctors have no reason to suspect the student has a drug-resistant form of the disease. Still, they started him on a regimen of four antibiotics, as is standard practice in most cases. Tuberculosis is caused by a bacteria that most often infects the lungs. It is spread by breathing in tiny droplets of fluid sprayed into the air "when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Typically, infection requires repeated close contact with a tuberculosis patient. Even then, only about 10 percent of those with the infection develop what are called active cases, where they become sick and are able to spread the disease. ; If people with active cases remain untreated, about half will die and another 25 percent will develop chronic illness. With treatment, fatalities are rare. People who don't develop active cases will continue to harbor the bacteria and will test positive for the disease. They can "convert," or develop active cases, if their immune system is weakened by stress or other illness. In that way, many foreign-born residents who were exposed to the bacteria as children overseas later become sick while living in the United States. S , ' nwmmw.mmM,mmmmm, . 1

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