Clarion-Ledger from Jackson, Mississippi on July 23, 1997 · Page 1
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Clarion-Ledger from Jackson, Mississippi · Page 1

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Jackson, Mississippi
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Wednesday, July 23, 1997
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Page 1
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pie Mississippi edition B Jackson, Mississippi Mississippi's Newspaper Wednesday July 23, 1997 B 500 Ml Airline says it'll be ready The seats aren't in and the ticketing area is in disarray at the Jackson International Airport. But Southwest Airlines says it will be ready for its August debut. 8C STATEMETRO Espy target of probe Former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy is a target of a criminal grand jury investigation, according to published reports. 1 B Helicopter to aid gamblers Lady Luck Casino will ferry select gamblers by helicopter to the casino until a damaged Mississippi River bridge is fixed. IB FOOD Recipes spark old favorites Okra, peanuts and green tomatoes are Southern favorites we're used to eating breaded, boiled and fried. But we may not be using them to their potential. 1 E NATIONWORLD What's next, people parts? Scientists have grown animal replacement organs using the animals' own cells a technique that could someday make spare parts for people. 2A SPORTS Teammates will be rivals T.C.Taylor and Jason Franklin will both quarterback the South team in Friday's Bernard Blackwell All-Star Classic, but this fall, Taylor heads to Jackson State; Franklin to Alcorn State. 1C FORECAST Partly sunny with a chance of afternoon storms. High in the 90s. Low in the 70s. Weather details, 2A ii -riniimii - iron 1 INDEX Ann Landers 2D Opinion 6,7A Business 8C People 2A Calendar 5D Puzzles 3D.5F Classified 1F Southern Style 1D Comics 2-3D Sports 1C Deaths 2B Spotlight 8A Jack Sunn 2D StateMetro 1B Jumble 3D Stocks 6,7C Movies 4D TV Tonight 6D Volume 161 No. 156 Copyright 1997 0 " "4 0 9 0 1 "0 9 8 0 6l 5 Steljs IPropnroy pirddiitra iHfei Miss, spent more money on support for teen parents than preventing pregnancy By Butch John Clarion-Ledger Stall Writer The South has spent more than 100 times the money to support families of teenage parents than to prevent teen pregnancy, a study released Tuesday shows. The Southern Regional Project The Transportation Commission raised the speed limit on The Stack from 45 mph to 60 mph Tuesday. Do you favor Increasing the speed limit to 60 mph on The Stack? To comment, call 352-2810 and follow the instructions. You must have a Touch-Tone telephone to participate. There is no charge for calls other than for those from outside the Jackson area. Voting deadline is 3 p.m. today. The Stack speed limit accelerates to 60 mph Most drivers already thought 60 was legal, state engineer says By Clay Harden Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer Dani Edmondson was surprised the Transportation Commission raised the speed limit on The Stack from 45 mph to 60 mph Tuesday. "I thought it was already 60," said Edmondson, membership director for the YMCA of Metropolitan Jackson. "I avoided The Stack for a year and just began to use it last week, and I love it. "I can go home to Castlewoods faster taking 1-20 to Brandon and cutting through on Highway 471 than I can going on Lakeland and hitting all the traffic lights." Ed Bailey, state traffic engineer at the Mississipi Department of Transportation, said traffic studies indicated 85 percent of motorists, like Edmondson, were traveling at or below the new speed limit in The Stack. "We did about 30-plus speed studies at different locations on 1-55 and 1-20," Bailey said. "We clocked more than 100 cars in each location, and we determined the 85 percentile speed, based on what people were driving. "Whatever you post, if it is not close to the 85 percentile, you are kidding yourself." Erin Craig, office manager for The Shuttle Inc., says the new speed limit will save time for his 20 drivers who make 200 trips through The Stack every day transporting travelers to the Jackson International Airport. "I have always thought that 45 was too low," Craig said. "But I would like to see big commercial vehicles go 55 in that area and not 60 or above, which I think is a little too fast." Robert L. Robinson, MDOT's executive director, said the work on Phase I is complete, warranting the speed increase. Nine bridges and various lanes on 1-20, 1-55 and U.S. 49 were widened throughout the four-mile stretch of Phase I. Phase II construction is not expected to affect traffic flow. Workers posted the new speed limit signs Tuesday afternoon. The speed on U.S. 49 near The Stack will remain 45 mph because work is still under way in the area. "People should use caution when traveling through the area," Robinson said because some lanes may be closed until the work is complete. An estimated 112,000 to 130,000 vehicles travel each day on the 1-20 I-55l.S. 49 interchange. Sound Off i .muhii. n on Infant Mortality reported the region spent $13.6 billion on children of teenage parents during fiscal year 1995. About $122 million was spent on programs to prevent teenage pregnancy. Mississippi spent a little more than $434.1 million to care for the children of teen parents during fiscal year 1995, as opposed to about $2.5 million to prevent teen pregnancy in the same period. Mississippi's fiscal year runs from July 1 Recalling better times 7 V, j N. H. 0& T ! UX X Darom Parker sits on the porch at his ex-wife's Parkers' daughters (from left), Deven, 6, DeShean, home the day after her stabbing death. The 8, and Darolyn, 12, look over a family portrait. Police baffled by stabbing death as family struggles to understand "We are still trying to make some sense out of this," a detective says By Thyrie Bland Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer Angela Parker's three daughters cried on their mother's front lawn Tuesday as their aunt described what she saw the day their mother was killed. "I drove up, (Monday morning) and saw the yellow police tape," Parker's sister Phyllis Thomas said, causing tears to well in her nieces' eyes. "I won't forget that." Parker was attacked shortly after 4 a.m. Monday at her 531 Hart-field St. home, where she had lived less than a year. She was stabbed in the back and chest and died from loss of blood. Parker was home alone when she was attacked. Her daughters Firm's stock a winner in 1st day on market By Jon K. Broadbooks Clarion-Ledger Buelneee Editor After 58 presentations to potential investors in nine days, sleeping on airplanes and eating innumerable turkey sandwiches, J.L. Holloway learned his Jackson-based company's stock had suddenly jumped in price at the opening of stock exchange trading Tuesday morning. "We just gained $50 million in capital value," he exclaimed, as his staff frenetically bounced from phone to phone and office to office. Holloway, the president, CEO and board chairman, took Friede to June 30. "It's frustrating. We spend more on what we fail to prevent," said Clara Davis, director of the state Department of Health's Division of Family Planning. "I'm hoping this report will stir up the Legislature into realizing more (prevention) resources are needed." Said state Rep. Tomie Green, D-Jackson: "It's just like prison. We'd rather spend the money on the back end." ' 1 ! .7- A Jackson woman attacked Hartfield f St. B Mitchell Ave. Lorenz Blvd. Memorial Stadium SCALE IN FEET 0 1.000 Darolyn, 12, DeShean, 8, and Deven, 6, were with their father, Darom Parker, who had picked them up more than five hours before the attack. Darom Parker said he usually picks the children up on Mondays. "It just so happens I came by Sunday night and picked them up," he said. Homicide division Sgt. Gwen Goldman International Inc. public on the Nasdaq on Tuesday. The company operates HAM Marine Inc. in Pascagoula and Friede & Goldman in New Orleans. The stock opened at $17, the company reports, quickly rose higher and closed at 23 58. HAM Marine builds, refits and repairs oil rigs. Friede & Goldman is a naval architectural and engineering firm that designs oil rigs. Together, the companies provide one-stop shopping for oil companies seeking petroleum in deep waters. Story, 8C 1 kT7 3 I I 1 I , o5 I The study of 17 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C., was released at the Council of State Governments' Southern Legislative Conference in Charleston, W.Va. The report recommends increased spending for prevention, said Tracy Kreutzer, coordinator of the Southern Center on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention for the regional project. Legislators at the meeting s if v - - Vickie Kina The Clarion-Ledaer Nicks said the case is baffling. "We are looking at some possible suspects," Nicks said. "We are still trying to make some sense out ofthis." Nicks said it's unclear if Parker's attacker was let in the house or forced entry. "We could be looking at a total stranger or it could be an acquaintance." Parker's death is the city's 36th homicide this year. Parker's brother-in-law, Michael Thompson, said several items were missing from Parker's home. "I think whoever did it knew her," he said. "They didn't have to take her life." Without her mother, Darolyn said, "I feel like I don't have anyone to talk to." Said Deven: "We are still thinking about our Mommy." t PEER will take hard look at state agency contracts Ultimate test is to certify contracts meet taxpayer needs, are awarded fairly By Josh Zimmer Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer A legislative committee is scrutinizing state economic development agency contracts to see if they are necessary, cost-effective and awarded fairly, members confirmed this week. The Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review will look at a wide range of the state Department of Economic and Community Development's professional-service contracts to see if they benefit taxpayers, PEER Executive Director Max seemed concerned about the report's conclusions, said Kreutzer. "They think it's a serious problem," Kreutzer said. "All of the ones we spoke to about it said they'll go back and look at what can be done to better focus on the prevention of teen pregnancy." New federal welfare guidelines could reward Mississippi for a substantial decrease in its teen pregnancy rates. See TEENS, 5A State catfish meet federal dioxin limit Industry leaders say test results should remove FDA restrictions By Bruce Reid Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer New test results show all U.S. farm-raised catfish meet a recently set limit for the chemical dioxin, catfish industry leaders and Mississippi officials said Tuesday. Tests of several hundred fish from more than 100 farms in Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana should relieve the industry of federal restrictions put in place this week, the industry said. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration required the tests after finding that some animal feed used by catfish farmers and other farm-; ers was contaminated by trace' amounts of dioxin, an industrial byproduct thought to pose risks of cancer and other ailments over time. The FDA said there was no immediate health risk. "We have conclusively proven through scientific testing that farm-raised catfish complies with the highest government safety standards," said Robert McCarty of the state Bureau of Plant Industry. "Every catfish in the United States is clear," said Bill Allen Jr., president of the Catfish Institute in Belzoni, which promotes the industry. "As far as I'm concerned, we have met the FDA's requirements." McCarty, whose agency regulates animal feed, received the test results late Tuesday from Triangle Laboratories Inc. in Durham, N.C. The state supervised the tests and flew the fish samples to the private lab on a government plane Friday. The Catfish Institute pledged $50,000 for the tests. The catfish industry employs about 10,000 people in Mississippi. The state accounted for about 70 percent of more than $560 million in sales of processed catfish in the United States last year. In an interview Tuesday, FDA Deputy Commissioner Mary Pen-dergast defended her agency's stringent dioxin limit of 1 part per trillion in catfish the lowest ever set for fish. But she said catfish farmers were also victims, since they did not cause the contamination. "These farmers didn't have anything to do with the causation," Pendergast said. "That's why we wanted to make this as painless as possible." The FDA's dioxin order also affected poultry products in other Southern states where the suspect feed was used. This week, the FDA also was checking other fish producers to make sure they were not using the contaminated feed. Arinder said. The request to investigate came to PEER last March but until recently, Arinder said he did not have enough staff to perform the task. He said a report could be ready for review by the 10-member board as soon as October. "We're looking at all the professional-service contracting; standards for procurement, oversight of those contracts, the whole gamut," Arinder said. "We're not prejudging at all whether this a good thing or bad. If it turns out to be a positive thing, that's what we would report . to the committee." The traditional bid process awards contracts to the lowest qualified bidder. Professional-service V SeePfcEFA mjhi n ; 1 f;gim i n- jaHW Til

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