Florida Today from Cocoa, Florida on October 31, 1992 · Page 15
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Florida Today from Cocoa, Florida · Page 15

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Cocoa, Florida
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Saturday, October 31, 1992
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Page 15
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c mom LOCAL NEWS INSIDE STATE NEWS INSIDE j Half of voters are undecided on retaining state's chief justice, 10B. Slasher movies more violent than ever, new university study shows, 10B. j Bank releases photo of suspect in fraudulent withdrawal of money, 4B. Amendment would allow tax credit for restoration of historic homes, 8B. SECTION 0 SATURDAY, October 31, 1992 u Unsolved mystery: Where's follow-up? ; She was everywhere, callers urged, from Oregon to Maine. She was on street corners bustling action with the menfolk; she was raking it in on the runways of topless bars. She was a nun in Brazil. A man in Arizona said she had been abducted by three UFOs. BILLY COX FLCEI3A TG3AY Finally, after all these years, Tami-Lynn Leppert was a national, prime-time star only, she appeared to be riding the same bus as Elvis. On the viewer-response scale, producer Matt Klineman said feedback to the opening segment of "Unsolved Mysteries" season premiere in mid-September was good "probably a cut above most of our missing-person shows." At last count, more than 300 viewers from across the United States phoned in personal sightings of Leppert, the troubled Rockledge modelactress who vanished without a trace from Cocoa Beach on July 6, 1983. - Winding his way through these weird and shadowed angles of Rumorville is a persistent young gumshoe named Michael Angeline. "So far," he reports, "I've talked to three Tamis on the phone, and I met one in person in Port St. Lucie. There was a pretty strong resemblance, but she was no Tami-Lynn Leppert." In fact, the real Tami-Lynn, last seen at age 18, remains nowhere to be found. Angeline says 90 percent of those "UM" leads fell easily into the instant-garbage category. . Of the remaining 10 percent with even remote potential, Angeline says he has investigated at least two dozen. Of those, he can count the most compelling accounts on one hand. And he's not holding his breath. But maybe the most disappointing aspect of this affair is what hasnt happened. At the end of the "UM" piece, viewers were advised to call their sightings into the show's 1- 800 number or phone the Cocoa Beach Sheriffs Department (OK, so nobody's perfect). '. But Angeline isn't a cop. He's a PI with A&I Investigations in Cocoa. He's working for Tami's mom, Linda Curtis of Orlando. So far, he hasn't received a dime in payment Angeline's motive: He knew Tami when he was in high school, before she evaporated. Angeline says what especially impressed him while tracking down callers is how little work had been done by Cocoa Beach Police. , "What upset me the most," he says, "was when I found out that (CBPD) tried to stop 'Unsolved Mysteries' from sharing information with Linda. I mean, here's a woman whose daughter has been missing for nearly 10 years, and she never hears anything. And I've only talked to one source who says they've been contacted by Cocoa Beach." ! ''UM's" Klineman confirms that CBPD "didn't want us to give the leads to Linda," but he: doesn't want to speculate. Compared to police involvement with other "UM" missing-persons stories, Klineman adds, CBPD's request "is; hot the norm." However, a lead-sharing compromise was worked out between Angeline and CBPD. Thursday, police investigator Brian Holmes declined to comment and said someone else from the department would call back. So far, no reply. " Over in Orlando, predictably, Linda Curtis is more than a bit miffed. . "I haven't gotten any cooperation from them since the beginning," she says. "All I hear is, 'We're working on it, we're working on it, but they can't tell me exactly what they've done. It leads me to believe they've come up with their own scenario, and they won't budge from it." -That's the runaway scenario: Reluctant Actress Flees Domineering Stage Mother. Toward the end, Tami was becoming so unglued, she wouldn't even eat food from her plate. She said someone was trying to kill her because of something she saw involving a big-money crowd. The details got so dense and wild that nobody took her seriously. Still, in order to blow off her paranoia completely, you might want to question Tami's closest friends. Take Ric Adams. He went out with her the night before she disappeared. Some 912 years later, he's still waiting for the police to call. Says the frustrated Rockledge resident, "I've given up on those people." . Sounds like grist for a future installment of "Unsolved Mysteries." DUI manslaughter trial scheduled for Nov. 10 By Scott Solomon FLORIDA TODAY A Cocoa Beach man charged with the drunken driving deaths of two police officers is scheduled to stand trial Nov. 10 at Brevard Circuit Court in Melbourne. But neither prosecutors nor. his defense attorney would rule out the possibility Friday that 34-year-old Kevin Hugh O'Neill would enter a plea to avoid going to trial O'Neill is accused of DUI manslaughter in the May 31 deaths of Satellite Beach police Sgt Edward Hartmann and Officer Philip Flagg. Authorities say O'Neill's pickup truck hit Flagg then careened into a car that struck Hartmann while the offi cers were making a traffic stop along SR A1A. Reports show his blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit O'Neill faces a possible sentence ranging from seven to 22 years if convicted, Assistant State Attorney Glenn Craig said. In any criminal trial, a defendant has the option of entering a plea. Sometimes, the plea is the result of negotiations O'NEILL between the prosecutor and defense attorney, who agree on a sentence and submit their recommendation to the judge. When the prosecution isn't willing to deal, a defendant can plead "straight up" to the court leaving the sentence up to the judge. That appears to be the option O'Neill faces. 'That has been their position from the beginning, and it hasn't changed," defense attorney Michael Snure said. Brevard Circuit Judge Martin Budnick said Friday he intends to deal with several defense motions the day before the trial. This is a case that should not lie dormant" said the judge, who is resigning at the end of the year. "This is a case that ', should be resolved as quickly as possible." Meanwhile, some information about the findings of the defense team's expert ! witnesses was disclosed in court Snure said conclusions of the defense's accident reconstruction expert differed only slightly with his counterpart from the prosecution. Findings about the speed of O'Neill's vehicle were the main difference between the two, Snure said, although he would not be more specific. The defense has questioned whether the blue emergency lights on the patrol cars were on at the time of the crash. But Snure said he thought that no longer was an issue. Filtering river runoff COUNTY ROAD and bridge workers install solite stone Friday at Daytona Boulevard and U.S. 1 in Micco. The rock will help filter stormwater runoff from almost 40 acres west of U.S. 1 and the highway before it reaches the fragile ecosystem of the Indian River Lagoon. The project also is expected to improve drainage in the area and prevent flooding. Below, Johnny Rogencamp works inside a trench box, putting down solite stone. J c V V ill- 3 . W r ! j ' 1 !Pv - ' .v-v' ' r J ; NASA, FIND tentatively OK silt storage site Malcolm Oenemark, FLORIDA TODAY Carey's abortion views questioned FLORIDA TODAY Republican state House candidate Dr. John Carey has given conflicting views on abortion to different interest groups. The Florida Abortion Rights Action League endorsed him for the House District 29 race because of his responses to its survey in which he indicated he supports the right of women to abortion without restrictions. Meanwhile, three Christian and family values-based interest groups have published voters' guides that show Carey in a pro-life stance because of surveys he completed for them. This month, Carey told the Florida Today editorial board he is pro-choice, editorial page editor Nick White said Friday. Carey, who is a family practitioner, said Friday he didn't intend to mislead anyone. He said the surveys didn't leave a lot of room for explanation and that he might have omitted information because he completed the surveys late at night when he was tired, "People want labels," Carey said. "You're pro-choice or pro-life, but unfortunately there's a lot of gray area there." POLITICAL POINTS Carey's Democratic opponent, state Rep. Charles Roberts of Titusville, discovered the discrepancy when a pro-life friend told him that Carey was listed as pro-life on a voters' guide she received through her church. Roberts says he is pro-choice. "He has lied to the churches, and he is now going to be using the churches as a vehicle for deception," Roberts said. Because of his survey responses: FARAL assigned Carey the highest possible pro-choice score for a non-incumbent candidate. Carey circled "yes" to every question and offered no further explanations in the space allowed. Lobbyist Charlene Carres said she expects the group to withdraw its endorsement of Carey. "Based on what I've seen, it's obvious that Dr. Carey has lied to people in order to get votes from both sides," she said, "and I don't see how any voter could vote for someone who would do that to them." The Space Coast Family Forum and the Christian Awareness Council mailed 2,000 candidate report cards listing Carey as believing that life begins at conception and abortion is a "human life" issue rather than one of choice. The Florida Family Council published a voters' guide in which Carey seems to indicate he supports abortion for both women and teen-agers only in cases of rape, incest or endangerment to the life of the mother. Lesley Bateman, executive vice president of the Tampa-based group, said the survey's two questions on abortion were open to interpretation. But she read Carey's response as prohibiting abortion in all but those special cases. The Christian Coalition distributed a voters' guide showing Carey marked that he believed in prohibiting abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is endangered. He also marked that he support-See ABORTION, Next Page By Radonna Florin! FLORIDA TODAY Dogged persistence appears to have paid off for officials trying to locate a storage site for silt dredged from the Indian River ship channel in North Brevard. The Florida Inland Navigation District the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NASA have reached a tentative agreement to dispose of river sediment on Kennedy Space Center property. Although NASA owns the property, the Fish and Wildlife Service manages the area that is part of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. FIND officials have asked repeatedly to create a silt dump site on NASA property, but the areas they wanted were inappropriate because of environmental concerns, refuge manager Ron Hight said. "They just kept asking until they asked the right question," Hight said. "The site now being considered has already been dug up and disturbed." For years, NASA has taken dirt for construction projects from about 100 acres west of SR 3 and south of Banana Creek, Hight said. FIND officials have agreed to use about 30 of those acres to create a dike to hold the silt When the silt dries, it will be used to fill the other disturbed areas where wetlands will be restored. NASA will allow FIND to use the property, and FIND will pay for the wetland restoration. FIND officials were not available for comment Friday. The site will hold about 750,000 35r THMVffit X. L;,v.AvLVi':J;i'.,1'iv-.V.lK1 Tentatively h approved river silt -J it ; l disposal sue k j PKWY mi t W. V 1 Intfah finer M NASA KSC John Corbitt, FLORIDA TODAY cubic yards of silt that will be dredged from the channel during the next 50 years, a FIND news release stated. The dredging will take place every five to seven years, Hight said. FIND officials are preparing an environmental assessment of the project and will try to obtain permits from state and federal regulatory agencies. The deal, now just a "nod and a handshake," might take more than six months to finalize, Hight said. The first channel dredging in the area is not scheduled until 1994. FIND'S efforts to locate a silt disposal site in North Brevard date to 1990. Three proposed sites on the west side of the Indian River in or near Titusville were shot down by public dissent U.S. Rep. Jim Bacchus, D-Cape Canaveral, joined the fray at the request of Titusville residents and worked with the groups to find a solution, FIND officials said. The state agency is searching for disposal sites along the ship channel, which runs from the Florida-Georgia border to the Port of Miami. Another site will be in an orange grove near Mims. Lunchtime campaigning ..Hi'? VV Michael R. Brown, FLORIDA TODAY JOSEPH EDIE, left, of Palm Bay talks with Jeb Bush on Friday at the Perkins Restaurant in Melbourne. President Bush's son was in town to campaign for the GOP ticket. Miguel Olivclla Job: Professor of Spanish, chairman, fine arts and foreign language department at Brevard Community College, Cocoa. Honors: BCC's 1990 educator of the year. Goal: "Provide A : support to the students and members of the department." Biggest challenge: "To try to satisfy the needs of the faculty." On BCC: "It has been a part of my life for the past 21 years." Best part: "Interaction with young people." On the agenda What to do Lottery winners Yard sale Volksmarch Friday, Oct. 30 Christ United Methodist Men's yard A non-competitive walk open to all starts f CASH 3" 8-1-9 sale is from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at anytime between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. today f pi AY 4- 5-8-5-6 7795 Babcock St. S.E. in Palm Bay. at Kiwanis Island Park on Merritt Island. , k ,i Fantasv 5 Yoga workshop Disabled recreation f , A sinM A free yoga and meditation workshop The county sponsors bowling for people - l-D-JU-oj-o with a spiritual teacher will be held at with disabilities at 12:45 p.m. Saturdays ' f " - '' 4 Today's drawings on 10 a.m. today at the Satellite Beach at Shore Lanes on Merritt Island. Call J ' WFTV,Ch.9: Public Library. Call 952-2949. Jack Hogg at 633-1909. Llll Ivo, P -4

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