THE FACTS • WEDNESDAY • SEPTEMBER 16, 1998 Getantwstlp? Call The Facts newsroom nightly until 10 p.m. (409)2*5-2223 t-mail: nawsethcfectecom • http://www.thefacts.com Jury selection begins in bank robbery trial By PEGGY O'HARE The Facts ANGLETON — Jury selection is expected to begin today for the trial of a man accused of robbing a Lake Jackson bank last year. Shane Timothy O'Grady, 28, will stand trial for the robbery of the First National Bank of Lake Jackson. Jury selection begins at 9:30 a.m. state District Judge Ogden Bass' courtroom, and testimony could get under way later today. O'Grady was immediately captured after the July 11, 1997 thwarted heist, the second robbery to occur at First National Bank within nine months. He is accused of walking into the bank and ordering a teller to stuff a white plastic bag with money. According to police reports at the time, the teller asked if he was kidding, and O'Grady reportedly said, "No, I'm not I have a gun, and I'll use it to blow your brains out." But a weapon was never seen. After being handed some money, O'Grady walked quickly toward the rear of the bank and the teller announced she had been robbed. O'Grady had almost made it to the door when he was tackled by bank president Buddy Baker and knocked to the floor. O'Grady was later carried out on a stretcher and arrested. His wife, Joanna Christine Langford O'Grady, was found waiting in a car in the parking lot with their three children. She was later indicted by a grand jury on robbery charges, but has not yet stood trial. At the time of the heist, the O'Gradys were unemployed and facing severe financial difficulties. Family members claimed Shane O'Grady, unable to work because of a back injury, was facing increasing pressure to provide for his wife and their three children. They were evicted from their Jones Creek trailer and moved into a Surfskfe Beach motel just days before the bank robbery occurred. In an interview the day after her husband's arrest, Joanna O'Grady said she had no knowledge of the robbery and claimed she thought her husband stopped at the bank to open a savings account, even though she acknowledged they had only $80 between them. Dale Summa will prosecute the case, while attorney Terri Holder will handle Shane O'Grady's defense. This will be the second trial to take place on a robbery of the First National Bank. In an unrelated case last year, Janet HnbWe of Angleton was sentenced to two years in prison after she pleaded guilty to robbing the bank in an October 1996 heist 'Anonymous tip leads to : arrest on drug charges ' ANGLETON — An anonymous tip led police to arrest a 17-year-old Angleton man on possession of a controlled substance charges Monday, police records show. Police arrested Johnny Lee Mack Jr. in the 15CO block of Mulberry around 4:26 >a.m., according to records. Teen-ager detained on assault charges CLUTE — Police arrested a 14-year-old 'boy on a felony assault charge Monday after he allegedly struck his step-father in the head with a guitar and threatened him with a knife in the 100 block of Lakeview Drive. The boy, who is being held at the Brazoria County Juvenile Justice Center, reportedly became angry when his step-father grounded him, police said. Burglars strike U businesses LAKE JACKSON — Two businesses in the 100 block of Oyster Creek Drive were reportedly burglarized Sunday, according to police reports. Employees of the Applesway Diner arrived at work Sunday morning to find the front door damaged and a microwave, vacuum and cash register missing, according to reports. The damaged and stolen property were worth about $790. At the same time. A Curious Place coffee and retail store was reportedly broken into. Several pieces of jewelry were stolen from the business, according to reports. Police have no suspects in either burglary. Stolon pickup truck recovered In Houston LAKE JACKSON — A pickup truck reported stolen from the Brazos Mall parking lot Sunday afternoon was found with extensive damage in Houston on Monday. Th« 1990 Chevrolet pickup was valued at $4.800, according to reports. Police have no *usp«cts in the case. 'Farewell old friend' Facts photos Kirn Christensen Above, Margaret Cast, left, is given a brick from the demolition of the O.A. Fleming Elementary School in Freeport by maintenance man Richard Range. Cast taught second grade at the school for 32 years and wanted something to remember it by. Staff and teachers of OA Fleming now work in the former Freeport Intermediate School next door.Left, Maintenance man Richard Range! presents bricks to Norma Molina, left, who has taught at Fleming for 17 years and Kay Smith who has taught there for 18 years. Sulzer Intermedics to celebrate 25 years •y YVONNE A. GUERRERO The Facts ANGLETON — An 11-year-old girl who had a Sulzer Intermedics cardiac pace maker implanted when she was two will be among the success stories featured at the company's 25th Anniversary celebration. Sulzer Intermedics employees and area elected officials will attend the silver anniversary celebration Friday at the Angleton facility, said Chuck Davis, director of community relations. "Really, this is a celebration that we want to recognize our employees," Davis said. "This particular facility is unique for the industry and very unique for Brazoria County." Intermedics was founded in 1973 in Lake Jackson by Albert Beute! II, grandson of Dow patriarch A.P. Beutel. Since then it has developed into a corporation with subsidiaries, customers and stockholders all over the world, Davis said. Sulzer Brothers, Ltd. of Switzerland bought the company in 1988 and the name changed to Sulzer Intermedics. Today the company is a world leader in the design and manufacture of cardiac pacemakers, implantable defibrillators and ancillary equipment used in the therapeutic management of cardiac arrhythmias. Of Sulzer's 1,900 employee worldwide, 1,500 work at the Angleton location at 4000 Technology Drive, Davis said. But amidst the 25th Anniversary Celebration, Sulzer Intermedics is posting a For Sale sign. Since the parent company is looking to expand in the direction of orthopedics, Sulzer Intermedics will be sold. "We have several suitors," Davis said when asked about the status of the sale. Friday's party will include a tour of the manufacturing facility and a keynote address from state Sen. James E. "Buster" Brown, R - Lake Jackson. Three employees who have Sulzer Intermedics pacemakers will also be recognized at the ceremony, Davis said. Bell ringing ceremony planned at replica of First Capitol of Texas • Signing of U.S. Constitution commemorated Thursday WEST COLUMBIA — The annual bell ringing ceremony commemorating the original signing of the U.S. Constitution is set for 4 p.m. Thursday. The public is invited to attend the event at the Replica of the First Capitol of the Republic of Texas, in the 500 block of Brazos in West Columbia near City Hall. "Bells Across America" is sponsored by the Asa Underwood and Fort Vclasco Chapters of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The DAR chapters plan to ring as many bells as possi- ,ble at 4 p.m., the time the original Constitution was jsigned in 1787. • The Charlie Brown Intermediate School choir will sing after the bell service. For more information, contact Doris Fentress at 345-3839. PARENTING CLASSES The Youth and Family Counseling Services is sponsoring a Parenting Class at the Freeport Community Library. The five-week series will be held every Wednesday from 68:30 p.m. Sept. 16, 23, 30 and October 7 and 14. A $20 registration fee is requested per person or couple. Scholarships are available. Door prizes will be given. Continuing education credits are offered to Day Care Workers. Call courthouse extension 1577 to register or for additional information. REFUGE MANAGER TO DISCUSS SNOW GEESE Ron Bisbee, project manager at the Brazoria National Wildlife Complex will discuss the Gulf States Action Plan developed by Federal and State officials in a 5-state area to deal with the mid-continent snow goose problem. Overabundant micKontinent lesser snow geese have seriously degraded large portions of the Arctic habitat. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lake Jackson Library. RETIRED TEACHERS MEETING The Brazosport Association of Retired Teachers (BART) will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the BISD Administration Building. Coffee, punch, and cake will be served to celebrate BART's 25th birthday. The program will be presented by local legislators including Sen. James E. "Buster" Brown, Rep. Tom Uher. and Rep. Dennis Bonnen. For more information. Jail 297-6359 or 297-6124. QUALITY SOCIETY DINNER MEETING The local section of the American Society for Quality will hold its September dinner meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Intermedics Media Center. 4000 Technology Drive, (off Hwy 288B) in Angleton. This month's speaker will be Dr. Gerald E. Anderson, superintendent, Brazosport Independent School District. Reservations are requested. Call William Wolfram at 233-3585. ext. 114 or Sam Shaw at 848-4783. Sweeny trustees OK upgrades for storage tanks SWEENY — Four underground fuel storage tanks owned by Sweeny ISO transportation center soon will be brought into compliance with state and federal regulations. New Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission guidelines mandate that the tanks in service be equipped with sufficient monitoring devices to ensure that if a leak occurs it will be detected before soil contamination occurs and that tanks no longer in service be abandoned. At a meeting Monday, SISD board of trustees approved the upgrades and awarded the contract to UST Associates, Inc. of Houston for $20,544. Two of the district's fuel storage tanks housed at the transportation center will receive upgrades while the other two will be abandoned in place, a method achieved by cleaning the tanks and filling them with cement. Also at Monday's meeting, trustees held a public hearing on the proposed intent to increase tax revenue. No one was in attendance for the hearing. The tax rate will remain the same as last year, at $1.45 per $100 valuation, but the tax revenue will increase due to an increase in assessed property. The 1998-99 SISD budget and tax rate is scheduled to be adopted at a Sept. 17 meeting. Richwood council passes budget • Property tax rate unchanged RICHWOOD — City Council adopted a SI.4 million budget Monday and voted to maintain the current property tax rate. The budget, which takes effect Oct. 1. includes more than S76.000 to repaint and repair the city's ground water storage tank. Mayor Peggy Gartman said. An additional $5,000 has been set aside to begin funding a retirement system for the city's volunteer firefighters. The budget also includes a 3 percent pay raise for Richwood's hourly employees, Gartman said. Using the 56.921 cents per $100 assessed value property tax rate, the owner of a $50,000 home will pay $284.61 in city taxes. ACC board to consider $15 M budget, tax rate ALVIN — A public hearing is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 to consider the properly tax rate for Alvin Community College. The hearing will be in the administration board room. At its August meeting, the college board of trustees approved a budget of $15 million for fiscal year 1998-99. The proposed tax rate of 19.74 cents per $100 valuation represents more than a 1/2-ccnl reduction from 20.3 cents in 1997-98. "Since the proposed ad valorem tax rate denotes a reduction, the college is not required to hold a public hearing, but we're doing so to assure that the public is fully informed," ACC President A. Rodney Allbright said. Fair seeking entries for Clown Face Contest Entries are currently being sought for the annual Clown Face Contest at the 1998 Brazoria County Fair. Sponsored by Brazos Valve, the contest will be held at noon Saturday, Oct. 10 in the entertainment tent at the fairgrounds. The contest is divided into three age divisions with three categories in each division. The age divisions are: age 3 and younger; 4-8 years; and 9-16 years. The categories are: tramp clown, white face clown, and Auguste clown. Entry forms and rules are available at the fair office or may be completed the day of the contest. For more information, contact the fair office at (409) 849-6416 or at your local courthouse number, Ext. 1575. Senior Citizens Day scheduled during fair Senior citizens age 55 and older who reside in Brazoria County are invited to attend the annual Senior Citizens Day at the Brazoria County Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Co-sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company and Sulzer Intermedics, Inc., the event begins with coffee and donuts at 9 a.m. at the fairgrounds auditorium. You may register at the door when you arrive at the fairgrounds that morning. A box luncn will be served at 11:30 a.m. with soft drinks donated by Angleton Coca-Cola. All exhibit buildings will open at 10 a.m. so that everyone will have an opportunity to visit the exhibits during the day. Contests and games are also planned, with bingo beginning immediately after lunch. Other contests scheduled for the day include washer and horseshoe pitching, dominos. ladies' bonnet contest and men's leg contest. Ribbons will be presented to all winners. Entertainment will also be provided throughout the day. For more information, contact the fair office at (409) 849-6416, or at your local courthouse number, Ext. 1575.
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