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Clarion-Ledger from Jackson, Mississippi • Page 1

Jackson, Mississippi
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I mmmmm Hogs roll Tide Arkansas 93, Alabama 70, 1C. Nevada-Las Vegas 83, Utah 66, 3C. Congress passes package for veterans of Persian Gulf and other wars, 2A. State releases poster of parents who top delinquent child-support list, 1B. fpie HindsJackson edition Jackson, Mississippi Friday March 22, 1991 caaJ mm Appeals court delays Farmer reinstatement as Guard leader leans is the latest in a series of judicial and military rulings on Farmer's status as Guard leader.

Gov. Ray Mabus stripped Farmer, 57, of his duties on Feb. 9, 1990, amid questions about Farmer's purchase of 5 acres near the north gate of the Pflrtin RViolVrt trflirnnr Hflca Farmer said Thursday night. "I feel good about it." Farmer's lawyer, Dennis Horn of Jackson, confirmed that the ruling renews Farm- Barbour's order on hold until the court can hear arguments in the case April 3 and decide the matter. Lawyers must submit legal briefs on the issues by March 28.

The oral arguments will be made to a three-judge 5th Circuit panel. "This is on a fast track," Horn said. "It's being handled quicker than anything I've ever seen." Thursday's court action drew praise from the governor's office. "We are gratified that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a stay," said Mabus spokesman Kevin Vandenbroek.

"It is important that the 5th Circuit decide this critical issue of civilian control of the military." Brig. Gen. Denver Brackeen, who led the Guard in Farmer's 13-month absence, will return to those duties today. "My best interests are in the Mississippi National Guard," Brackeen said. "I will do everything to make it the best National Guard." Farmer returned to Mississippi Thursday from a visit to Fort Irwin, where the 155th Armored Brigade, based at Camp Shelby, is finishing a stint at the U.S.

Army's National Training Center. Mabus, Guard commander-in-chief, last Oct. 22 ordered a court-martial for Farmer. A military judge last Nov. 1 ended the trial before it began when he dismissed the charge.

Lt. Col. William Eshee Jr. said Mabus wrongly influenced the proceedings. See FARMER, 7A VJT i But U.S.

District Judge William i Ml flu- 11 tt rj.L. I. 1 Farmer er suspen Mabus lacked authority to strip Farmer of military duties and ordered him reinstated. The appeals court Thursday put sion as Guard leader. Thursday's action by the 5th U.S.

Circuit Court of Appeals in New Or The three-judge panel will hear arguments in the case next month. By Jerry Mitchell Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer After two weeks back on the job, Adjutant Gen. Arthur Farmer must give up leadership cf the Mississippi National Guard again, an appeals court ruled Thursday. "The three-judge panel has just got to have time to look at my case," 27 feared dead in collision of 2 Navy planes The turboprops were involved in a training session near San Diego. The Associated Press Dennis DePue, who was wanted in Michigan, saw his story on TV and fled.

By Ton) Lepeska Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer VICKSBURG A Michigan man accused of killing his ex-wife shot himself to death Thursday after ramming a roadblock at the Mississippi River Bridge and firing at police and sheriffs deputies, officials said. Dennis DePue, 47, fled a home in Creekwood, Texas, Wednesday night when the story of his past and questions about his whereabouts were featured on NBC's Unsolved Mysteries. "He died with his pistol in his hand, his thumb on the trigger, and $16,000 in his pocket," Warren County Sheriff Paul Barrett said. An hour-and-a-half chase through Louisiana and into Mississippi ended on China Grove Road south of Vicksburg about 4 a.m., when officers rushed DePue's van and found him slumped over. "He chose to fight it out, but in the end he took his own life," Barrett said.

"He'd been shot in the roof of the mouth. The bullet had gone out the top of the van." Warren County Coroner L.W. Callaway III said Thursday night he ruled the death a suicide. DePue, a former school teacher and Michigan state land appraiser, was wanted in Branch County, for the April 15, 1990, slaying of Marilynn McClenahen DePue in Algansee township. Her father, Dallas McClenahen, said from Dearborn, Thursday he was happy to hear DePue was dead.

"I'd like to come down there and congratulate them," he said of officers who cornered DePue. "They sure did a service to human-ity." DePue and his ex-wife were the parents of a daughter and two sons, who are now in custody of an aunt. Southern law officers were put on alert about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, after authorities manning Unsolved Mysteries telephones in Burbank, received a call from DePue's girlfriend, Linda Blizzard. See SHOOTOUT, 7A i The Associated Press Warren County Sheriff Paul Barrett (left) and Vicksburg Police Chief during a shootout with law enforcement officials Thursday.

DePue led Jimmy Brooks examine the van in which Dennis DePue killed himself officials on a chase through the county before the shooting. 'We figured he was not going to come back Suspect dies By Beverly Pettigrew Kraft Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer SCALE IN MILES 0 2.4 SAN DIEGO Two Navy submarine-hunting planes collided Thursday, and all 27 people aboard were feared dead in cold, choppy waters 60 miles off Southern California, authorities said. The Navy listed the crews as missing but there was little ndpe any of the crew members from tie downed P-3 Orions survived. The all-weather planes were engaged in an anti-submarine warfare training exercise when they collided in bad weather, authorities said. "I think we have to be realistic here," said Senior Chief Petty Offi-; cer Bob Howard, a Navy public af-' fairs officer at North Island Naval Station.

"It is very cold out i there. We're talking about what apparently is a mid-air collision two aircraft. I would say it would be very grim." He said the Navy was conducting an aggressive air and sea search of I the crash site. Search and rescue teams spotted and retrieved some debris from the planes but found no signs of life. There was no word on how long the search would last.

A Navy helicopter crew flying in the area and sailors from the destroyer USS Merrill all reported a ball of fire and loud explosion at about 2:30 a.m. PST, Howard said during a briefing at North Island Naval Air Station. He said the accident occurred over the Pacific Ocean about 60 miles southwest of San Diego. "They were operating in conjunction with other surface and air elements when a mid-air explosion was reported approximately the same time radio contact was lost," Howard said. The collision occurred as one P-3 Orion was arriving to relieve the other, which had just completed its part of the exercise, Howard said.

Officials were uncertain how much contact the pilots had before the crash, he said. Howard said it was believed 13 crew members were aboard one P-3 Orion and 14 on the other. The planes were on a training mission from Moffett Naval Air Station near San Jose. Names of crew members were withheld pending notification of their families. The P-3s were in contact with land- and sea-based air controllers during the exercise, but officials were uncertain who was directing them at the time of the collision, Howard said.

He called that "a very pivotal point," and said investigators will examine how the two planes wound up on a collision course. Showers and strong winds were reported in the San Diego area overnight. About three hours after the planes collided, a funnel cloud was sighted about 5 miles offshore from San Diego's Mission Beach. The National Weather Service said pilots in the area reported severe turbulence at about the time. Howard said the Navy was uncer-tain what part, if any, weather played in the collision.

The P-3 Orion, driven by four turboprops, is regularly used by weather forecasters to fly into hurricanes. -National li AilA Part f. Vicksburg VCV Shootout China L- i Grove -S Road vX "This is the only time anyone has died or even been injured," he said. DePue fled the home he shared with a girlfriend near Dallas after the show, Cosgrove said. The girlfriend called authorities.

DePue and his former wife, Marilynn, were divorced Jan. 19, 1990, after 18 years of marriage. She remained in Algansee township in south Michigan with their daughter and two sons. DePue went to her home April 15, 1990, to pick up one of the children, Abbott said. "While he was there he assaulted Mrs.

DePue and pushed her down the stairs," he said. "He dragged her back up the steps and told the children he was taking her to the hospital." DePue later was seen "trying to get rid of blood-soaked sheets behind an old school," he said. Marilynn DePue's body was found by a Michigan road the next day. She had been shot in the head. A Michigan lawman said he expected a showdown when Dennis DePue was found.

DePue, wanted in the Michigan slaying of his ex-wife, fulfilled that Thursday when he killed himself after a shootout with Vicksburg police and Warren County deputies. "We figured he was not going to come back," said Branch County, Undersheriff Gary Abbott. "He was quite depressed. He felt he had been abandoned by his family." DePue's story was televised on NBC's Unsolved Mysteries Wednesday night. "The people that were interviewed said they felt he was suicidal," executive producer John Cosgrove said.

DePue's case is the 72nd time in the show's three seasons a featured fugitive has been located, he said. WARREN COUNTY COMING SUNDAY Funding cuts could set colleges back 4 years The $4.7 billion Public Employees' Retirement System, Mississippi's largest financial institution, has survived the economic slowdown. First the Legislature approves a budget, then the schools will learn where the ax falls. By Lea Anne Brandon Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer Per-student funding Mississippi Southeastern Year average average 1987- 88 $3,546 $4,147 1988- 89 $3,994 $4,520 1989- 90 $3,974 $4,701 1990- 91 $3,761 $4,882 1991- 92 $3,563 Not available 'Based on $173 million funding Source: State College Board would be able to spend $3,563 per student. That's $17 more than 1987-88, $198 less than this year and $1,319 behind the Southeastern average.

"Needless to say, we are going to have less money next year than we do now," said Commissioner of Higher Education Ray Cleere. Cleere met last weekend with presidents to examine what types of cuts each university could make. "I do think it is important that our institutions are not sitting idly by as we move into an increasing crisis," Cleere said. "We have learned to add, but we haven't learned to subtract too well, so this is a very painful process for us," said board member Sidney Rushing of Gulfport. Mississippi State University President Donald Zacharias said his staff is re-evaluating operations "in anticipation of a changing environment in higher education.

"It is not a pleasant task for anyone to talk about reallocating or reordering of priorities, but it is something that we all must do," Zacharias said. INDEX Business 5B Classified 5C Comics 4E Crosswords Deaths 2B Movies 3E Opinion Southern Style 1E Sports 1C State Metro 1B Stocks TV schedules 5E.6E WEATHER Thunderstorms likely. Details, 10A. Volume 154 No. 33 5 sections 42 pages Copyright 1991 Mississippi's eight universities are bracing for a $5 million budget cut starting July 1 that could drop per-student funding to 1987-88 levels.

University presidents warned Thursday they'll have to trim day-to-day spending and may have to consolidate or eliminate some academic programs. They said layoffs would be last resort. "Right now, it's really too early to tell exactly what the impact will be, but we will have further reductions and we will be making some kinds of cuts," said Delta State President Kent Wyatt. The Mississippi House has approved $173 million for general operating budgets for universities in fiscal 1991-92 compared to $178 million this fiscal year. Universities were supposed to get $187 million this fiscal year, but the College Board in October ordered a 5 percent cut, $9.37 million, as the state's financial troubles deepened.

Board members meeting Thursday in Jackson said they would discuss funding for each university after the Legislature approves a final budget The legislative session is scheduled to end April 7. Cleere said the board should know by its April 18 meeting at Alcorn State University in Lorman how much each university will receive for next fiscal year. With House-approved funding, universities.

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