St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on September 22, 1991 · Page 43
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 43

St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 22, 1991
Page 43
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E5 SEP 22 1991 SILOUIS POST-DISPATCH SUNDAY. SEPTEMBER 22. 1991 Stallings From page on disorder, methylmalonic acidemia, causes the body to produce a toxin similar to ethylene glycol, the active ingredient in antifreeze. The Stallingses' second son, David Stallings Jr., suffers from the disease. Patricia Stallings and her husband, David Stallings Jr, 29, sat on the steps outside SL Louis Children's Hospital Saturday afternoon to talk about the past two years and their future. They bad spent most of the day in the hospital visiting their son, who was returned to them Friday after spending all of his 19 months in foster care. By late Saturday, Patricia Stallings bad spent nearly as much time with her son as in the previous 19 months. "He doesn't know me at all," she said. "That's so hard. He knows Dave a little bit, to where be'd rather go to bim than me." The Stallingses want to put the ordeal behind them and focus on David Jr., who needs a special diet and special care. "That part's over," Patricia Stallings said. "Now we have to get to know the baby, and taking care of him is going to be a whole new challenge, a whole new fight, "But we're used to fighting." On Saturday, the couple praised experts whose work convinced'McElroy: Dr. Piero Rinaldo, an expert In genetics who teaches at Yale University's medical school, and Drs. William S. Sly and James Shoemaker of SL Louis University. David Stallings said the couple wants to help other families whose i. i children also have the disease, including a mother in Georgia who he said had been charged with the death of a child. "We're on a mission," Patricia Stallings said. A mission was far from their minds when the two met five years ago. Patricia was working in a 7-Eleven store in south SL Louis. David Stallings lived across the street and was a frequent customer. He repeatedly asked her out, and she repeatedly said no. She finally said yes, around Christmas in 1986. The two have been together ever since. They lived together for two years before they married on Aug. 27, 1988. They were certain the marriage marked the beginning of their American Dream. They moved to Jefferson County to a home in a subdivision surrounding a lake, because they wanted to raise their children away from the city. "We did everything the way we were supposed to do 1L" she said. "The American Dream." But a month after they moved, Ryan got sick and Patricia drove him to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. Shortly afterward, Ryan became sick again, and police became suspicious; they arrested Patricia Stallings on charges of assaulL Ryan died when she was in jail. In her murder trial, doctors from Cardinal Glennon testified that Ryan had ethylene glycol in his body. Patricia Stallings said Saturday that she felt no bitterness for the people who testified against her. "The anger and the rage and all that, it's ugly," she said. "We're not going to stoop to their level." The conviction on Jan. 31 was the toughest part of the entire ordeal, the Stallingses said. David Stallings fainted after his wife was convicted. "When they came back with the conviction, I just felt my whole world was totally shattered," David Stallings said. "I felt empty." In prison, Patricia Stallings felt many times that she was close to losing her sanity. "When I went to prison, I didn't sleep forever," she said. "I lost a lot of weighL I went from size 11 to size 7 in a little over a month. I couldn't eaL I couldn't sleep." In prison, she said, her husband and her religion Buddhism kept her strong. "Buddhism is inner strength," she said. "You teach yourself what you need to do to survive and make it and you basically talk yourself Into survival." The couple plans to take David Jr. home on Monday, after learning how to care for him and what bis diet should be. Patricia Stallings said she plans to stay at home with David Jr.; David Stallings will continue working as a plate engraver. The Stallingses face two major decisions: Whether to move and whether to have more children. Their home holds happy memories, but it also holds many unhappy memories, David Stallings said. As for having more children, "We'd love to, but we don't know if we should," Patricia Stallings said. "It's a one in four chance that the other child might have iL" Most of all, though, the Stallingses want to continue their pursuit of the American Dream. "We just want to quietly go on with the rest of our lives," Patricia Stallings said. "No more reporters. No more cameras. No more anything. "We just want an island somewhere where we can be happy." Cable From page one i tional and cultural programming on cable TV. The money about $500,000 a year comes from a franchise fee of 2 percent levied on cable companies that operate in the unincorporated parts of the county. Militello was paid by the county as ' cable television director, and he acted as the commission's executive director. Lampton said Militello's recordkeeping responsibilities for the commission were taken over this year by the county's Department of Administration. His only task was to take minutes at the quarterly meetings, Lamp-ton said. His other tasks were left undefined, Lampton said. ' What did Militello do? "That's a good question," Lampton said. "I don't know." Militello said he represented the commission before County Council members, monitored cable television in the unincorporated parts of the county and encouraged development of educational cable programs. Gerald Troester, superintendent of the Cooperating School Districts of SL Louis and a member of the commission, said his duty as a member was to ensure that money was spent on distribution, systems and equipment for 2 Girls Reported Missing Turn Up Two 13-year-old girls from St. Louis who had been missing since Thursday returned home safely Friday, police said. , They are Towana Jackson, of the 4200 block of Castleman Avenue in the Shaw neighborhood, and Carleen Shelton, of the 3900 block of Gustine in the Dutchtown South neighborhood. Towana Jackson's brother, a college student, was killed last month in what police said was a robbery. A relative said the two girls had traveled across town to visit one of the girl's aunts. They got sidetracked and were unable to get home late Thursday night, she said. Although Towana Jackson called home, the phone disconnected before she could say where she was, the relative said. , school districts. "I do know that in the years that I've been on the commission, that's been done," Troester said. He added: "As a TV commission member, it was not my responsibility to supervise Militello in his daily work." The audit also questioned the commission's purchasing and accounting practices. The audit says the commission paid 501,000 last year to Roth Distributing of SL Louis for video equipment. "No competitive bidding was done nor has it ever been done on a regular basis for the Commission by the County's Purchasing DepartmenL" the audit says. The audit says that Militello said he was "confident that Roth has the lowest and best price; no written evidence to substantiate his efforts was available." In addition, the commission paid $445,000 to U.S. Cable of Appleton, Wis., for wiring, installation and consulting services without seeking bids. Militello said he believed the commission did not have to follow the county's rules on purchasing, which require competitive bids in most cases. He said he sought informal bids for equipment in 1985, but had not done so since then. "Why should we?" Militello said. "Same work. Same price. And it worked out beautifully." Russel H. Givens Jr., the chairman of the commission and regional operations manager for Cencom Cable, defended the commission's practices, saying they had been in place for many years. Earlier this year, the county's Department of Administration took over record-keeping and other administrative tasks formerly carried out by Militello. The audit also: Criticized Militello and the commission for allowing him to authorize checks and to deliver them to vendors. Militello denied that he had authority to approve checks. Said payments were made from missing or duplicate invoices. Said some invoices were not paid in time. The commission formed an internal committee last month to look at the commission's practices and at the audit. But Givens was unsure if the committee had met yet, he said. In the meantime, the commission is paying Militello a stipend of $500 a month to continue as executive director, Militello said. COMING THIS WEEEC BROTHERLY LOVE They became TV stars in the 60s by poking fun at politics and each other. Find out what the Smothers Brothers have in store for their upcoming show at the American Theatre. Thursday in Calendar. AUTO ADVICE Exhausted by the thought of buying a used car? Let this week's DollarsSense steer you in the right direction! Tuesday. For home delivery, call 622-7111 or toll-free 1-800-365-0820 ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH MUSIC IS FUNDAMENTAL COMPLETE YOUR FAMILY'S EDUCATION WITH THE JOY OF MUSIC! LEARN IN GRAND STYLE o - White Ebony Mahogany For Only f WW BEAUTIFUL NEW DESIGNER CONSOLES Per Month Limited Quantity WE TEACH YOU TO PLAY! Bring in this ad for 1 month FREE Private Lessons with Every Piano Purchased or Free Music Lamp Valid thru 93091 Made in America For Only $49k Per Month rm i "PIANO OF THE FUTURE" Unbelievable! For Only $2483 Per Month $Qfil5 KJ vpmontti New and Used Baldwin Kawai Yamaha Kimball Kranich & Bach Zimmermann Gulbransen Schiedmayer Roland Technics and More USED PIANOS NEW $qq95 KLIN 1 ALO From KJ kJ pet month (6 mon. min.) Price Includes Sales Tax Payments Based on 10 Down A.P.R. 18 , MiMouit Illinois i (In millions) (In millions) FY '92 $22.5 to $29.5 $53.6 to $69.7 FY 91 . $35.7 $126.7 FY '90 , $32.2 $118 FY 89 , $32 $87.9 FY '88 $35.4 $88.8 FY '87 $42.2 $106.6 FY '86 $47.7 $116.2 FY '85 $48 $123.6 FY-Fiscal Year 1 Not yet appropriated; 1 Includes state funds Sources: Missouri Division of Family Services and Illinois Division of Economic Opportunity Less Help Available To Help The Poor Pay Heating Bills By Martha Shirk Of the Pot-Ditpatch Staff For the past three months, Charlene Hamilton of the College Hill neighborhood has been getting notices from Union Electric that threaten to disconnect her electricity unless she pays her outstanding bill, which last week totaled $885.03. So far, Hamilton has been able to keep the utility at bay by sending In $50 a month, which is all she says she can afford on her monthly income of $234. But she knows, too, that the grace period Is nearly past, since the utility often disconnects its most delinquent customers before the winter's coldest weather arrives. Hamilton says It will "take a miracle from God" to keep her electricity on much longer. Hamilton Is typical of the thousands of poor families in the St Louis area who were brought to the brink of crisis as the first cold snap of the season arrived last week. "Our phone lines started getting really busy Thursday when the cold weather arrived," said Jacqueline Hutchinson, coordinator of energy assistance for the Human Development Corp., which distributes crisis funds. "Whenever it starts to get cold, that's when people begin to get panicky about the health of their children." But Hamilton and other poor people are hearing the same message at every agency they call: there's no money to help. If service to their home is now cut off or Is about to be, they are being told they will just have "to tough it out" until federal aid becomes available In mid- to late November. Even then, they are being warned, there is going to be far less help available than In previous years. A House-Senate conference committee is scheduled to meet this week to decide how much energy assistance to approve for the federal fiscal year that begins Oct 1. Under the House proposal, Missouri would get $22.5 million and Illinois, which has a larger population, $53.6 million. Under the Senate proposal, Missouri would get $29.5 million and Illinois $69.7 million. Last year, Missouri got $35.7 million and Illinois $85.7 million. The states distribute the money to poor people In grants based on their income, family size, and type of heat The outlook is especially bleak for Illinoisans who have come to rely on public programs to help keep their homes heated. The Illinois Legislature this year stopped supplementing federal funds with state funds. Illinois has also ended a program under which poor people who committed 12 percent of their income to utilities had the balance picked up by state and federal grants. "It's going to have a major effect on people," said Thornton Ridinger, manager of the Illinois Division of Economic Opportunity, which administers energy assistance. "It's one of those things that nobody wanted to do, but with our state in the financial situation it's in, it's one of Aa federal funds for energy assistance have been dwindling, the need has been growing, officials say. many good programs that had to go." Ridinger said that the Legislature had told his agency to try to serve the same number of households about 200,000 as It has In past years. With a 43 to 66 percent total decline in available funds, individual grants are likely to be that much lower, too. At the same time that federal funds for energy assistance have been dwindling, the need has been growing, energy assistance officials say. "Last winter we saw many new clients because of the recession," said Hutchinson, of the Human Development Corp. "I expect it will be the same this year, too. These were people who really would have rather had a Job. Many were very embarassed about having to ask for help." " But many recipients of energy assistance are the chronically poor, who need help each fall to pay off their utility debts from the previous winter. ; "The average annual household income of the people we deal with is $5,600," said Charles Wright, director of energy assistance for the Missouri Division of Family Services. "It's extremely difficult for people with that low an income to meet their other household expenses and keep up with utility payments. "They go through the shutoff cycle every year. We see them over and mmm tmm over again. But It's not necessarily their fault It if comes down to putting food on your table for your kids or paying your gas bilL which are you going to choose?" i: In fact Charlene Hamilton's electricity was disconnected once before, In April 1990. Losing her electricity is no small matter, since besides heating and lighting her home, It provides the power to run the breathing machine that her; 13-year-old daughter, Charriese, uses four times a day to treat her asthma. j; Hamilton said that she didn't fault Union Electric for putting pressure on her to pay. j' "They have been very, very patient and cooperative with me," she said. "The problem is, with my income, I'm never, ; going to be able to stay current I've got to be sure I can pay for my rent and phone and Charriese's medicine, too." Susan Gallagher, a spokeswoman for Union Electric, said that the utility had Increased its contributions to, DollarMore, a private energy assistance fund, as the feder-' al funds have dwindled. ... j She also noted that the utility has a variety of programs; to help customers with such services as counseling, electric' heaters, budget-billing, and usage-reduction devices. But these programs are aimed mainly at people with short-! term problems that can be solved, not those who live In, chronic poverty, she acknowledged. i "We really are sensitive to the need," she said. "But I don't know what we could do about a problem of this, magnitude. We are bound by the rules of the Public Service' Commission. We can't just give electricity away." ; Our Exquisite New Line Of Diamond Bracelets Also Comes With An Exquisite New Line Of Credit. 0 Finance Charge 2 he Club Account. 10 months. finance charge. Beautiful. Extraordinary. Exceptional. Words used to describe the lovely diamond bracelets pictured here. And words also used to describe the means with which to purchase them. It's called the Club Account. Just buy any of these bracelets using the revolving charge Club Account and for the next 10 months, there's no finance charge It's that simple. Sound interesting? We look forward to seeing you. A A K jf 1.40 CARAT TOTAL WEIGHT ' $2,695. REG. $3,295. jP J5 4 ' ' 2 CARAT TOTAL WEIGHT $2,995.REG.$3,695. J0- i t 4 CARAT TOTAL WEIGHT J , I 3 CARAT TOTAL WEIGHT f L I $3,995. REG. $4,995. yr With credit approval and a $L 500 minimum purchase, through December 31 1991. In the event NCNB National Bank fails to receive any of the required one-tenth (Via) payments within thirty (30) days of the billing date, beginning in the next billing cycle NCNB will impose a Finance Charge of 216 APR (.50 minimum) and NCNB will continue to do so tor each successive month until the outstanding balance is paid in full. See store for details. Credit program offered by NCNB National Bank. BAILEY BANKS & Nil IDLE W E L SINCB 1 S 1 Plaza Fmntenac (314) 872-3360 Alton Square Chesterfield Mall SLQarSquare West County Center

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