The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on September 27, 1978 · Page 1
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The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 1

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Wednesday, September 27, 1978
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IN GALVESTON A GREAT FISH STORY Texas' Oldest Newspaper, Established in 1842, Dedicated To The Growth and Progress of Galveston and All of Galveston County 39th &Beach« Closed Monday 25c Daily, 50c Sunday VOL. 139, No. 171 Member, United Press International GALVESTON, TEXAS, WEDNESDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 27,1978 Th« County'* Only 7-Day Papw Street Department Head Quits In Protest Hitchcock Hires Administrator By CANDY SMOTHERS News Mainland Bureau HITCHCOCK-In a busy 12 hours for the city of Hitchcock, a new city administrator was hired while the acting head of the street and sanitation departments Passing Parade Nancy Derry and Ed Garcia are Mr. and Mrs. They were married Saturday by Judge James Plperi at the home of the bride's father, William Deny. . .Today is the deadline for making reservations to the "Cooking Encounter of the French Kind" at Moody Memorial United Methodist Church, sponsored by the Galveston County Medical Society Auxiliary. The event is set for Oct. 4 and will feature Jeanne Sanders. In the two sessions, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m., she will demonstrate techniques of preparing French cuisine she learned at Paris' Cordon Bleu and La Varenne. A $7.50 donation entitles participants to attend both sessions and a salad luncheon prepared by auxiliary members. Proceeds will go to support preschool vision testing for children throughout the county. So make your reservations today with Michelle Zaunbrecber at 765-5080. . . Commander Tim Lawrence, captain of the Valiant, and crew, back from a shakedown cruise, are getting plenty of congratulations for their seizure of a shrimper off the Florida coast with a large amount of marijuana aboard. . .Mike Ellis of the poison control center at the University of Texas Medical Branch wDl have plenty of things of interest to tell the American Lutheran church women today at 6:30 p.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church in Alta Loma. A salad supper will be served in the educational building, and the meeting is open to the public... Dorothy and Frank Bavoux are back from a fabulous vacation that took them all over the West Coast and on into Alaska. And as always, they came back with some great gourmet recipes and some unusual souvenirs. . .Capt. George (Bing) Crosby is keeping busy with the new lawn mower he got for his 90th birthday and showing off the birthday card he received from President Jimmy Carter. . .Mary Stevens has checked into St. Mary's Hospital for tests.. .Itza girl for Pat and Dante Paganucci. Born at St. Mary's Hospital, the baby has been named Lisa Marie. Happy grandparents are Mrs. Alfred Paganucci and Mr, and Mrs. Cecil Brien of La Marque. . . David Lacerda participated in the first Texas State Conference for Drug Abuse Program See PASSING Page 2A ( Classified Ads | Get FAST Results!) * * "I sold my motor home in a matter of no time! I had several people come by, and then it was sold," says J.E. SPILLER JR. of 1808 17th Ave. North in Texas City, after selling a 1975 Allegro 22-foot motor home through the classified ads. Ninety-two percent of all Galveston County residents — according to a poll of 500 persons — who have ever placed a classified ad in The Galveston Daily News have gotten the results they wanted. Call one of our Ad- Visors today at 744-3611 to start your ad. stepped down from that position after being told he had "a snowball's chance in hell" of being voted city administrator. Former mayor of Hitchcock, Luther Morgan, was unanimously voted in as city administrator by the four commissioners present Tuesday night. Commissioner Tony Matranga, who said Monday night he opposed hiring any city administrator, was out of town during the Tuesday night executive session when Morgan was selected, Mayor Charlie Clifford said. Tax Assessor-Collector Chuck Wilson, who was appointed acting head of the street and sanitation departments June 10 in a 60-day contract, handed in his resignation as acting head of those departments Tuesday morning after having withdrawn his application for city ad- ministrator the night before. Morgan, who lives at 106 Oak Ridge in Hitchcock, served as mayor from 1973 to 1975. As city administrator, he will be given a two-year contract, subject to his signature, at a salary of $18,000. A car will be provided for his use. Shortly after Morgan was voted in, commissioners voted to decrease both the car allowance and salary of Wilson by $50. Commissioner Marion Moore opposed the salary decrease. After withdrawing from consideration as city administrator Monday night, Wilson said he felt he had "been done an injustice" by the commission. Wilson stated Mayor Clifford had assured him he would be selected as city administrator "no more than two or three weeks ago." He will remain as tax assessor-collector for the city. Wilson declined to name the person who told him he had little chance of being chosen as city administrator. Also under fire Monday and Tuesday was the method the city used to advertise for city administrator. The city received complaints which claimed the decision to hire a city administrator was not made at a regular city commission meeting by all commissioners. Commissioner Carolyn Holt said she was upset that all commissioners had not been notified the city was advertising for the position. "If they wanted to look for a city administrator, we should have all talked about it," she said. Citing Mayor Clifford, Holt added, "He should have given us the See HITCHCOCK Page 2A Hospital Chief Steps Down GRATEFUL FOR their lives, a San Diego, Calif., family surveys the ruins of their home, destroyed by Monday's tragic air collision which killed 151 persons. For further developments on the investigation into the crash, see Page 10A (UPI Telephoto) News Mainland Bureau TEXAS CITY-Saying that conflicts within Memorial Hospital of Galveston County had placed him in an untenable position, R. Lee Thompson, administrator of the hospital for 12 years, submitted his resignation Tuesday. The hospital's Aboard of managers accepted Thompson's resignation with regret following a closed session that ended a long, involved open meeting. Earlier in the meeting, the board heard a recommendation from the hospital's medical staff that the board "hire an administrator who will work with the staff to solve problems of this institution." The staff's decision to ask the board to replace Thompson was revealed last week by Dr. Labib Habashy, chief of staff. Thompson, in a Habitual Drunks A Monthly Trip From 'Wino's Lane' To Jail ByMARKTOOHEY News Staff Writer Almost like clockwork, between 10 and 15 "habitual drunks" appear every month or two in Judge Thomas Youngblood's municipal court chamber. Facing charges of public intoxication, they probably will spend the next several weeks behind bars because they are unable to pay the $200 fine. According to Youngblood, the same 10 or 15 persons continually stroll the streets of Galveston with no where to go and nothing to do. "We see many of the same faces in court every month. We don't get as many of these habitual drunks as we used to because the county is handling many of the cases now," he said. Many of the incorrigibles are arrested by police while while walking or sprawled out on 22nd Street near the bus depot, according to Youngblood. "I guess they call it (22nd Street) Wino's Lane. Some of the men you find lying in the street. Others crawl into parked cars and fall asleep," he said. According to Youngblood, persons convicted of public intoxication face a fine of up to $200. "Of course, many of them can't afford the fine, so they spend time in jail. While in jail, the men do police upkeep. It's surprising when they dry up, many of the men are good, hard workers," he added. Youngblood told the story of one man who promised to leave Galveston if jLJail term was waived. "The fella told me he was going to Colorado. He said if I ever saw him again in court he'd pay the $200 fine. Well, Cities Split On Utility Tax By CANDY SMOTHERS News Staff Writer Cities in Galveston County split down the middle recently when they were given an option to repeal a 1 percent city sales tax on residential gas and electric bills. That same pattern was reflected throughout the state, a spokesman of the state comptrollers office said this week. While Kemah, League City and Texas City voted Man Acquitted Of Murder Try to repeal the 1 percent tax, effective Oct. 1, Hitchcock and La Marque retained the tax. The city of Galveston took no action by Sept. 10, which means the tax will remain in effect until Oct. 1, 1979. Santa Fe city officials said they plan to vote the tax in for revenue in the future. The city was incorporated in January 1978. According to Mayor Jim Wood, a city sales tax on utilities will "lessen the property tax later on" for Santa Fe. The tax break option was approved by the Texas Legislature during a Stephen Lee Barker, 22, who was accused of attempting to murder his wife, has been acquitted by a jury in 10th District Court. Barker was accused of attempting to bum to death his wife, Rhonda Kay, and their son, Eric, in the couple's trailer home in Santa Fe on Feb. 23. A jury deliberated 13 hours in the case and acquitted Barker of the charge Saturday afternoon. Barker was defended by Tom Douvry. He was prosecuted by Assistant Criminal District Attorney MikeHeiskell. There was testimony from a psychiatrist called by the defense that the defendant could not have wanted to kill his wife at the time of the offense and that he had suffered from temporary amnesia caused by a hysterical neurosis. The state produced testimony from the defendant's former wife that on the evening of the fire at the couple's trailer house at 11228 28th Street in Santa Fe, she was beaten and choked by Barker and that gasoline was poured in and around the trailer. She testified that she received burns on her feet, a broken nose and a broken hand, but escaped from the flames. Barker denied he was guilty of attempting to kill his wife and testified he had rescued his son from the flames. He contended he did not remember all that happened, but that he was innocent of the charge of attempted murder. After the verdict, Criminal District Attorney James Hury said he was "extremely disappointed" in the handling of evidence by the Galveston County Sheriff's Department. He said he specifically was disappointed in the loss of a glass jar which was alleged to have contained gasoline and in the "failure to take photographs and to secure the crime scene." "We have been assured this won't happen again," he said. Check Theme MYSTERY plane sought In San Diego air disaster. See Page 10A. JORDAN'S King Hussein blasts Camp David accords, while Israeli okay is expected next week. See PagellA. Other Features Amusements .... 6-7B Bridge ............ 3A Comics ........... 7B Crossword ........ 5A Deaths ........... 2A Horoscope ........ 3A Marine Log ....... 5A Markets .......... 3A Official Records ..9B People, Family ...4A Police Beat ....... 2A Sports .......... 1-5B TV Listings ....... 6B Viewpoints ...... 12A Want Ads ...... 9-13B Weather .......... 8A special session on tax cuts this summer. A 4 percent state tax on residential utility bills, effective Oct. 1, will provide an additional $150 million tax break to homeowners and renters in the state, said Bob Bullock, state comptroller. One local senator, who fought institution of the sales tax on utilities in 1966, said he is happy to see it repealed. State Sen. A.R. "Babe" Schwartz, along with state Senators Charles Wilson of Lufkin, Oscar Mauzy of Dallas and Chet Brooks of Pasadena, opposed passage of a utility sales tax in a lengthy filibuster 12 years ago, but they failed to halt the bill's passage. Today, Schwartz insists the "tax never should have been levied." "We've never taxed our natural resources in an appropriate way. Industry doesn't pay a city sales tax. Manufacturers and refineries never paid a utility sales tax," the senator argued. Regardless,. Galveston cities rarely mentioned equity of taxing utilities when the chance to repeal the the tax was presented. It mostly was a question of whether city revenue gained from the tax would favorably outweigh taxpayers' ire. Cities in northern Galveston County apparently decided to give the taxpayer what little tax break the 1 percent city sales tax on utilities will provide. As one member of the Texas City city commission noted, the savings to the individual taxpayer will amount to less than $15 per year. Schwartz agreed this week the entire tax break See UTILITY Page 2A the next day you'll never guess who appeared in court on charges of public intoxication," he said. " A couple of weeks later, I received a beautiful post card from him. He had made it to Colorado," Youngblood added. He said many of the vagrants need hospital care and that some are starving. "It's a real problem with no simple solution. These people are costing you and I, the taxpayers, money. I just don't know what the ideal situation is. I've seen the problem all 15 years I've been here," said Youngblood. " It just tears at your heart sometimes to look at these folks. They have nothing to look forward to and nothing at all to cling to,"he said. ACT Tax Suit Eyed The Association of Concerned Taxpayers will decide Thursday night whether to file a suit attempting to force the city of Galveston to cut taxes and spending. Nat Pepper, president of ACT, said a report from attorneys will be given and the members will vote on whether to file a suit. Pepper said the group also will consider the alternative of petitioning for a referendum to amend the city charter to put limitations on spending and taxation. The meeting will be conducted at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Weis Middle School cafetorium. Pepper said the meeting is open to the public. The association is growing, Pepper said, with membership now between 700 and 800 persons. He said several people have made contributions but preferred not to join the association. "We 1 re also going to discuss whether to look at tax exempt properties, such as commercial property owned by churches," Pepper said. statement issued to the press Tuesday, defended his performance as administrator of the hospital. "I have consistently operated this hospital in the black, not once having to go to the taxpayers for financial support, in contrast to most all county hospitals in the state which require large sums of tax support," the statement read. "I have kept the hospital as well advanced in terms of new and innovative medical technology and equipment as any hospital in the area that is not part of a major university, medical center setting. "I have seen this hospital through the first organized work stoppage in a hospital in the state, two major 'expansions, renovations and, construction programs." •••' Noting that conflicts do not come as a surprise to any administrator, Thompson continued: "He knows they exist and that their resolution will not be an easy task. Yet he faces them head on from day to day ... and he prays that somehow he will be able to resolve the seemingly unresolveable conflicts. "This is what I have attempted to do over the past 12 years. And apparently I have achieved some measure of success in my attempt — or I would not have lasted here for 12 years." The typed statement closed with a final paragraph scrawled in ink: "The obvious conflicts in the hospital that are beyond my control place me in an untenable position. Therefore, my resignation has been submitted to the board of managers." Hospital Board To Assume Medicaid Patient Review By ANN G. BORDELON News Assistant Managing Editor TEXAS CITY-In an eleventh-hour attempt to solve a longstanding problem, the board of managers of Memorial Hospital of Galveston County Tuesday voted to assume the responsibility of admission review and to use a volunteer physician to perform the reviews. The board has, for several months, been the middle group in a disagreement between the hospital's medical staff and the Texas Department of Human Resources. The state agency, which is responsible for handling Medicaid reimbursements to the hospital, has threatened to halt such reimbursements if the medical staff does not amend its utilization review plan to meet new federal regulations before Oct. 14. The new regulations require review of each patient's case within 24 hours of admission by a physician other than the doctor who admitted the patient to the hospital. The review plan already in effect provides for review if the patient remains in the hospital more than seven days. Reviews also are done at 12- and 18-day intervals, according to Dr. Labib Habashy, chief of staff. The medical staff has refused to approve any change in the plan, maintaining that the federal government gradually has increased its demands upon the medical practice until the physicians feel they can "no longer accede to these demands." Weather GALVESTON area forecast — Partly cloudy through Thursday, with a chance of thundershowers. Highs today and Thursday in the mid-80s. Low tonight in the mid-70s. Probability of rain is 30 percent today and tonight. BOATING and recreation forecast — East winds at 8 to 14 mph with bay waters slightly choppy through Thursday. FISHING - Fair. BEACH water temperature — 80 degrees. "Physicians are qualified to decide whether a patient should be in the hospital," Habashy told the board Tuesday. "This final demand involves too much paper work, too much red tape and is a waste of physician time. We have given in to governmental demands up to this point. We do not want to give in any further." R. Lee Thompson, hospital administrator, told board members the hospital would lose approximately $200,000 per year in Medicaid reimbursements if a plan incorporating the 24-hour review policy were not approved by both the board and the medical staff. After lengthy discussions with Habashy, Thompson and Dr. Charles Broman, a former longtime participant in the utilization review program and a proponent of the medical staff's position, the board evolved a compromise proposal they hope will meet with the approval of the Texas Department of Human Resources. The board unanimously See MEDICAID Page 2A

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