St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on January 23, 1988 · Page 3
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 3

St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
Saturday, January 23, 1988
Page 3
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ST. LOUISSATURDAY . SATURDAY, JANUARY 23, 1988 3A Man Found Guilty In Attack On Boss R CT1F TT '"lPH i i I I ' , I sii i k ; j II K ': ., J h: t I- y - jf - - - t 4 f 1 I M , Mary Keithly, a 12-year employee at the GE light bulb plant in Wellston, at work in the packaging department. Keithly Larry WilliamsPost-Dispatch and her colleagues helped keep the plant open at a time when the company was restructuring. Bright Idea Keeps Light Bulh Plant Open By Margaret Gillerman Of the Post-Dispatch Staff When Jan Lewis first heard that her employer, the General Electric Corp., was planning to close its St Louis lamp plant, she told her children, "I really don't know what we're going to do, but we're going to stick it out and see what we can do." Lewis, a 32-year veteran of the light bulb factory, was her family's main provider and had worked at the plant ever since high school. Her mother had worked there for 29 years, and her uncle had put in nearly 38 years at the plant Lewis' perseverance was shared by a few hundred other employees. Together, they managed to increase productivity, cut costs and save the 77-year-old plant along with 389 jobs. GE announced in 1983 that it would close the plant at 6251 Etzel Avenue in Wellston, as part of a nationwide restructuring and consolidation. The company first delayed the shutdown, then canceled that plan last September. Nine other - plants were closed. The decision followed an intensive five-year effort at the Wellston plant to Increase productivity and remain competitive. Today, the plant produces more than a million light bulbs a day. On Friday, St Louis County Executive Gene McNary paid tribute to the employees for setting an example for the rest of the community. He thanked them and passed out key rings bearing an inscription with the theme the employees themselves had invented: "The people that wouldn't quit; the plant that wouldn't close." Martin J. Hagl, the plant's manager, accepted a plaque from McNary on Friday on behalf of all the employees. Hagl said GE was so committed to the plant that the company was planning to build some shipping docks. Larry Kalinowski, manager of shop operations, said the workers realized that "we're still in the free enterprise system along with everyone else and we have strong competition" around the world. "We're improving every day," he said. Now a clerk in shop operations, Lewis recalls that workers and management "everyone from bottom to top" formed a committee to come up with ideas for saving the plant The committee, Lewis said, "looked at world statistics of who made the highest lamp per operative hour in the cheapest way, what it cost for each piece of material, how we could cut those costs, how to be productive how to be the best" The committee also sponsored poster contests and other incentive programs, and it recommended a plan for profit sharing, so that all workers would succeed or fail together. "The people here have a lot of pride and accept challenges successfully," said Lewis, who bad attended night school classes to get an office job. "This plant means a lot to me and my family," she added. Many employees crowded into the factory's cafeteria for the ceremony Friday. Among them was Mike Kleeschulte and his 2-year-old son, Sean. Kleeschulte, who works the midnight shift as an assembly mechanic, came into work especially for the ceremony and his paycheck. Rita Warren, who works on the assembly line where the bulbs are coated, says that the plant survived "because they can run it now at a cheaper cost" Her friend, Jerry Prehn, a 25-year employee, recalls, "We did two jobs, three jobs and worked hard." Prehn now works in the quality control division, where, she says, she's proud to "make sure that we're sending out the quality product we advertise." ByMaryE.Chollet Of the Post-Dispatch Staff A jury returned a guilty verdict Friday night against Kevin L Taylor on four charges in the stabbing of the manager of a fast-food restaurant. Taylor had claimed he was under the influence of PCP at the time of the attack. The jury deliberated more than eight hours before finding Taylor guilty of first-degree assault, attempted robbery and two counts of armed criminal action in the stabbing of his former boss, Sharon McDaniel, 23. The jury found Taylor innocent of attempted kidnapping; a third count of armed criminal action was dropped. Taylor, 22, of the 4200 block of Rickey Drive in Berkeley, attacked McDaniel with a carving knife in March 1987 at Popeye's restaurant, 8654 Natural Bridge Road. She was critically wounded. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 26. The jury recommended penalties of 15 years imprisonment on the assault, five years on the attempted robbery and three years each on the two counts of armed criminal action. Taylor claimed that he was tricked into smoking phencyclidine, or PCP, an hour before the attack. PCP is a powerful illicit hallucinogenic. Taylor said that a friend, whom he knew only as Anthony, had offered him the cigarette without telling him that it contained PCP. Taylor said that the drug had caused him to black out sometime after he got to work that morning. He said he remembered nothing about the period in which he is accused of chasing McDaniel around the restaurant with a 14-inch butcher knife, stabbing her repeatedly and trying to lock her in a walk-in cooler. McDaniel managed to escape into an office. Critically wounded and believing she would die, she left a note and made phone calls identifying Taylor as her assailant. Two other witnesses testified that Taylor bad told them in the days before the incident that he was planning a robbery. Taylor denied the conversations; his girlfriend vouched for his whereabouts during one of the con versations that were alleged. On Friday, Alphonse Poklis, a toxi-cologist testified that a PCP episode such as the one Taylor described would be "highly unlikely." Poklis said that if Taylor had ingested so much PCP as to render him deranged, the drug would have taken hold of him within minutes, not an hour later. On the other hand, if as Taylor claimed he had unwittingly taken just two puffs of a PCP-laced cigarettesuch a minor amount could not have caused psychosis, Poklis said. ;' McDaniel and Taylor both said that he had been in control, speaking and working properly, until the attack. ; Hospital records show that when Taylor sought treatment four hours' later for minor cuts he suffered in the attack, doctors noted none of thfe symptoms usually seen in PCP intoxication sweating, involuntary or jerky eye movements and lack of coordination. In closing arguments Friday, prosecutor J.D. Evans said that Taylor had fabricated the PCP story to cover up a botched murder attempt Evans de; rided as "outrageous" Taylor's story about being duped into taking the drug. So-called "involuntary intoxication" would be a mitigating circuit stance in a crime if the intoxicating substance was found to be forced or deceitfully given to the defendant " Evans said that even if the jury believed the PCP story, no deceit was involved because Taylor, a non-smoker, testified that he had taken the cigarette based on Anthony's promise that it would make him "feel better"; Evans said Taylor bad gone to the restaurant when he knew McDaniel would be alone and counting money, because Taylor's car needed repairs and he had some 45 unpaid traffic tickets. I City Picks Health Official To Reduce Infant Mortality Quick-Hitting Virus Is Linked To Flu Cases By Tim Bryant -.end Roger Signor Of the Post-Dispatch Staff Z This winter's influenza villain is a T quick-hitting virus that punishes its victims with fever, coughs, a sore throat and body aches. ; Sixteen of 20 cases confirmed since last month in Missouri have occurred I in this area, health officials said ; Thursday. I' Dr. Wilma Claseman, an assistant City health commissioner, said the ' first case in the city was confirmed Dec. 15. Some infants have been hos-'pitalized by the new flu virus, she ;gaid. -1 The 20 confirmed cases have been I A type" viruses, which are more vir-- iilent than the other type of flu bug. .' called "B type" influenza strains. 1 A-type strains of vims can be treat-Ted with a prescription drug. Amanta dine hydrochloride, if the oral antiviral medicine is taken soon after the onset of symptoms, health officials said. General alarm over the virus is unwarranted, Claseman said. Instances of the disease are spread across all ages, she said. "Right now, it doesn't seem to be more intense than normal," she said. "We haven't had an explosion of cases." Flulike illnesses have prompted the closing of four small schools in rural areas of Missouri, said Mahree Bright communicable disease coordinator for the Missouri Health Department in Jefferson City. Private schools in the counties of Butler, Ste. Genevieve and Perry and a public elementary school in Harrison County closed this week or last week. So far, school absenteeism in east- ern Missouri has not exceeded absences in the winter outbreaks in the flu seasons of 1986 and last year, Bright said. Spokeswomen for the area's two largest school districts the city's public school system and the Parkway School District reported no unusual increase of student absences resulting from illness. Only one of the 20 influenza strains isolated has been analyzed to determine its precise genetic makeup, Bright said. That flu bug turned out to be "A Leningrad," named for the city in which it was first detected. Last winter's chief influenza villain was "A Taiwan," she said. Current influenza vaccines are closely related to this year's type of flu bugs and should protect people. Bright said. But the body needs two weeks after vaccination to build adequate numbers of antibodies against influenza, she pointed out Bright said the A-type influenza, which comes on quickly and lingers for days, caused the usual flu miseries. "It's a general feeling of malaise," she said. She said it was not too late for people to be vaccinated against the disease. Vaccination is recommended for people in high-risk categories, which include people with chronic ailments such as heart disease and diabetes, and those at least 65. State officials said 10 of the confirmed cases in the area were reported in the city. At least four have been in St Louis County, and one has been in Franklin County. Officials were unsure whether the 16th case, diagnosed Wednesday, involved a resident of the city or county. ByTimO'Neil Of the Post-Dispatch Staff In part to head off aldermanic criticism, the mayor's office on Friday announced the appointment of a new city health officer to help combat a chronic problem in St Louis: infant mortality. The position is chief of maternal and child health services. Two advisory commissions, including one that Mayor Vincent C. Schoemehl Jr. set up in 1986, recommended a year ago that the city should establish such a job. On Friday morning, Schoemehl's office announced that Erne Udofia-Ekpo, an administrator at St Louis Regional Medical Center, had been hired for the child-health post On Thursday, two St Louis aldermen had filed a resolution urging the city to fill the job quickly. "If the resolution precipitated this, I'm delighted," said Alderman Geral-dine Osborn, D-15th Ward, one of the sponsors. Edward L Busbmeyer, the mayor's press secretary, said the resolution prompted the announcement Friday. He said the city bad already planned to hire Udofia-Ekpo and had announced it after the resolution to avoid trouble with some aldermen. Chester Hines, the city's acting director of health and hospitals, said that he offered the job to Udofia-Ekpo on Thursday. He said he had interviewed finalists for the job last fall and had tentatively decided to hire Udofia-Ekpo about one month ago. The city set up the position last year. Hines said he had moved slowly but surely. "It's a sensitive position, and I wanted to make sure we had a person who is well regarded and who would bring strength to the job," he said. "We just took our time and made a good selection. You can't just do things overnight because someone in the area thinks it ought to be done on their time frame." On Jan. 3, Dr. William C. Banton n, who is president of the St Louis Metropolitan Medical Society, criticized the city for failing to fill the job. The society is one of the groups that recommended the establishment of. the position. Banton was unavailable for comment Friday. Udofia-Ekpo, 37, is a native of Nigeria. She is the director of quality assurance for Regional's clinics. 'She has a doctorate in health services research from St Louis University. She said she would begin working for the city on Feb. 8. Her salary will be somewhere around $45,000, Hines said. On Friday, the Board of Aldermen referred the resolution, introduced by Osborn and Alderman Mary Ross, D-5th Ward, to a committee. Osborn said she still wanted to talk to Udofia-Ekpo about what she plans to do in the job. I Boy Flees Rescuer, Dies In House Fire By Joan Little Of the Post-Dispatch Staff A 4-year-old boy died after running from his mother's boyfriend as the man tried to pull him from a fire at the family's home in Kinloch on Thursday night authorities say. The boyfriend and the boy's 2-year-old brother were injured in the fire. The boy, J.W. Harkless. was pronounced dead shortly after he was carried out of his home, at 5826 Roman Court, about 10 p.m. Bums and smoke inhalation were suffered by his younger brother, Jus-; tin Johnson, and Darrell Burrow, 24, the boyfriend of the children's moth-? er. Both were in satisfactory condi tion Friday at St John's Mercy Medical Center. Authorities say Burrow was burned extensively on his arms and hands when he tried to go back into the burning house to rescue J.W. The boys' mother, Deborah Johnson, was treated for smoke inhalation at Christian Hospital Northwest and released. Kinloch Fire Capt Louis Miller said J.W.'s body had been found a few feet from a second-floor window in his mother's bedroom, which was not burned. Miller said the fire had been confined to the children's bedroom. The second floor had "an awful lot of smoke and heat" when Kinloch firefighters reached the home at 9:19 . Lindell Hospital Closes; Last Patients Leave p.m. Thursday, Miller said. "The little guy just didn't have a chance," Miller said. "There was so much smoke and heat trapped upstairs." Deborah Johnson told authorities that one of the children came into her room Thursday night to tell her that their bedroom was on fire. Johnson went downstairs to get Burrow, she said, and the two of them tried to ' put out the blaze themselves. But the fire kept getting worse. Johnson said that Burrow had reached out for the two boys to take them outside but that J.W. had run away from him, apparently in fear and confusion. Miller said the fire had started near a bunk bed In the children's bedroom upstairs. The cause was still being investigated Friday, he said. Lindell Hospital, an 81-bed facility at 4930 Lindell Boulevard, closed its doors Wednesday, and its last 16 patients were discharged or transferred to other hospitals, a spokesman for the hospital said. Norman W. Pressman, a lawyer, is the trustee in a non-judicial bankruptcy for the 52-year-old hospital Pressman is overseeing the sale of the hospital's equipment to try to cover some of its debts. CORRECTIONS MISSOURI Daily Pick-3gamt Friday s winning number 592 Pick-Four game Friday's winning number.. .4579 ILLINOIS Dairy gam Friday's winning number. .782 i The Missouri Lotto game Jackpot is estimated at $1 million. i Saturday's tSinois Lotto game grand prize is estimated at $4 million. Wednesday's Lotto-7 game grand-prize is estimated at $2 million. Monsanto's profits from businesses it owned in 1986 and last year increased by 20 percent in that one-year period. A headline in Friday's Post-Dispatch incorrectly stated the increase as 10 percent Lee Dusseau, an animal rights activist who was arrested Thursday after climbing onto the roof of Union Station, got down from the roof by rappelling down the side of the building. The Post-Dispatch on Friday in correctly reported that firefighters had trken him down from the roof. ti SUN. fl NOW IN STOCK HURRY FOR BEST SELECTION SOLID OAK TABLES POLYURETHANE FINISH I LIMITED LIFETIME I WARRANTY Reg. $837 42' SALE 489 SOLID Wl WINDSOR CHAIRS .1" THICK TOPS .10" DIA. PEDESTALS MADE IN AMERICA FINISHES Light Medium Dark Real 1 i SALE 559 48" 18" LEAF W4 PRESSBACK CHAIRS 50x22x47 OAK STEREO TVVCR CABINET POCKET DOORS BRASSGLASS Reg. $949 SALE 5669 TVVCR CABINET 36 'ill 24" PULL OUT TAPE DRAWERS VCR SLIDE OUT SHELF Reg. $399.00 SALE $26900 BALLCLAW ENTER TA1NMENT CENTER POCKET DOORS Req. $1,139 SALE BRaSSGLA5S0PT!ONAL 66" SOLID OAK DELUXE ROLL TOP Reg. $2,775 SALE $1,599, RLPHOUUCIIUN CAMEL BACK LOVESEATS f!55tt"!!H. U1 t7 ret I W SALE Reg $999033

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