Clarion-Ledger from Jackson, Mississippi on June 5, 1998 · Page 13
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Clarion-Ledger from Jackson, Mississippi · Page 13

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Jackson, Mississippi
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Friday, June 5, 1998
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Page 13
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COMMUNITY NEWS 2 DEATHS 4 TO SHARE TIPS, IDEAS: Contact: Debbie Skipper, metro editor B Jackson area: 961-7101 Toll free: 1-800-222-8015 Fax: 961-7211 E-mail: dskipperjackson.gannett.com THE CLARION-LEDGER JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 1998 ibm if fefi MP ByThyrie Bland and Jill Farrell King Clarion-Ledger Staff Writ era The state Department of Human Services plans to let a judge decide if nine youths removed from a Jackson boot camp will be sent back to Texas. DHS officials may present the results of their investigation to Hinds County Youth Court Judge Chet Henley today, DHS executive director Don Taylor said Thursday. Davis gets nod from Fordice Banker's GOP ties key in 4th district run against Democrats, governor says By Joseph Ammerman - Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer - Congressional candidate Phil Davis landed the first endorsement after Tuesday's primaries, and it came from the state's top Republican. Gov. Kirk Fordice on Thursday tapped Davis as his choice to fill the seat of retiring 4th District U.S. Rep. Mike Parker of Brookhaven. In a prepared statement issued by the Friends of Kirk Fordice committee, he said he chose Davis because of the Magee banker's long commitment to the Republican Party. "The 4th Congressional District needs a congressman who has worked in the Party, who knows what the Republi can Party advocates and can articulate these principles when running against ., the Democrats," Fordice said. Davis finished second to Jackson tax lawyer Delbert Hosemann in Tuesday's primary. The runoff is June 23. The GOP nominee will face Democrat Ronnie Shows and three other party candidates in the Nov. 3 general election. "I am extremely pleased and honored to have the governor's endorsement," Davis said Thursday. Davis, as he has throughout the campaign, boasted his commitment to the GOP. Hosemann campaign manager Jan Rasch, a former Fordice campaign manager, said Davis was questioning Hosemann's loyalty to the party. Hosemann came under fire last month for contributing $874.91 to Democratic gubernatorial candi- date Ray Mabus in his 1987 campaign. Four years later, Fordice I thwarted Mabus' re-election plans. "I think Mr. Davis is trying to question his ties to the party, along with some other things Mr. Davis has done to other candidates," Rasch said Thursday. This seems to be a campaign of dirty tricks and innuendo, and that is not the kind of campaign Republicans believe in." Davis fired back "I can't believe Jan Rasch, who worked for Gov. Kirk Fordice, thinks Fordice en See ENDORSE, 5B Youth summer program in By Arnold Lindsay Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer More students will be playing in the city's Summer Enhancement Program thanks to an additional 14 staffers being hired within a week. City officials had not expected the high demand for entry into the summer program to exceed last year's enrollment of 600. About 1,000 students are now participating. The city plans to accommodate 2,000 to 3,000 students. The program, held at 15 city facilities including seven schools, began June 1 and ends July 31. "We're going to try and get enough staff aboard so we can get at least 100 kids at each site," said A.C. Jimerson, acting director of the department of Human and Cultural Services. The new workers will be paid from a $320,000 appropriation Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. placed ii the parks and recifation budget "We're talking to the kids and questioning them to determine if they are in a safe environment," Taylor said. "Our main concern is with the safety and security of the children." The youths, ages 10-17, were removed from Boaz Military Boot Camp Wednesday afternoon after camp director Bobby Sanford couldn't produce a court order or written parental consent for the children. Some of the youths removed were Jackson police investigate a car-truck crash Thurs- enue. The car's driver and a passenger were taken day at the corner of West Street and Mitchell Av- to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. 2 hospitalized after collision Car, truck collide at West Street, Mitchell Avenue intersection By Thyrle Bland Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer The Jaws of Life had to be used to rescue a motorist from a car that collided with a tractor-trailer rig at a Jackson intersection Thursday. Brad Jones, 18, who was driving a Suzuki, and front-seat passenger Catherine Adams, 18, were taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Jones, who suffered life-threatening injuries, was listed in stable but critical condition late Thursday, accident Investigator James Hannah said. Adams was treated for cuts and bruises and was expected to be released soon. Jones was southbound on West Medicaid patients told they can continue to see Tchula doctor By Gloria Butler Baldwin Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer Mississippi Medicaid officials apparently began a phone campaign Thursday to notify patients of Tchula physician Dr. Ronald Myers Jr. they could remain under his care. Myers and some of his patients confirmed that Medicaid officials made the calls following a story in The Clarion-Ledger Thursday about Myers losing more than 100 to pay for his pilot recreational project at schools, said parks and recreation supervisor Pam Junior. Junior said calls will be made next week to the Junior hundreds of students turned away when the program reached capacity June 1. "The turnout has been tremendous," Johnson said. "We're just pleased that the city could give working parents a hand by providing them a place to drop their children off during the summer." Erica Chambers, 14, one of about 50 students participating in the program at Brinkley Middle School, said she hoped more of her friends would join. Chambers plays volleyball, basketball, checkers and tennis. i ; , "' V ""Sirs 1 . ..aw. among those taken from the 342 Gallatin St. facility May 8. "He (Sanford) said the parents said it was OK for the kids to come back, but he didn't get it in writing so he has no proof," Lt. Dennis Moulder of the Hinds County Sheriffs Department said Thursday. Moulder said the FBI will probably get involved in the investigation ifboot camp officials don't provide proof of a court order or parental consent or if the camp is not licensed. - ..-.-i --m--mmiiimm- iii hi i ! i iiiirrie.il SCALE IN FEET 0 1,000 Mitchell Ave Truck-car collision "1 Woodrow Wilson Ave Street when his vehicle collided with a Central Freight Lines Inc. truck at West and Mitchell Avenue. "The truck driver was northbound on West Street attempting to go west on Mitchell," Hannah said. "He was making a left-hand turn." Neither Jones nor Adams was wearing a seat belt, police said. The car was crushed. Both air-bags in the car deployed. Medicaid patients. The patients were notified in a letter that they were being assigned to doctors in Lexington and Greenwood. Sandra Young of Tchula said she was relieved to hear Myers could still be her family's doctor. "Fm a single mother with four kids at home and no transportation," said Young. "I was told we would have to go to Lexington about 30 miles from here to another doc high demand "I like it a lot. It's fun and it's cool too," Chambers said. Tve been trying to get my friends to come because a lot of people don't know about it." Lance Nash, also 14, spends his days playing basketball at Brink-ley. He said having the school open for summer use gives him something better to do than just hanging out. "It's fun," he said. "It keeps folks off the street, and they let us just play." Betty McRee, supervisor at Grove Park Community Center where 75 children ages 7-12 attend, said more than 200 children applied. After more workers are added, McRee said they could rival last year's attendance of 125. That was average for this center because this is a very popular center," McRee said. "(Parents) want their children safe. They don't want them walking the streets all day." I Lakeland Dr. SHI 7 U.MC D T JACKSON Taylor wouldn't comment on whether the camp has a license with DHS. The boot camp is not registered with the state Department of Health, department spokesman Mike Bowling said Thursday. The children removed from the camp Wednesday are now being housed at Hinds County Penal Farm and in shelters. Twelve children ages 11-17 were removed in May and later sent back Chria ToddThe Clarion-Ledger "The truck driver was northbound on West Street attempting to go west on Mitchell." James Hannah The truck driver, Ronald Lueb-bert 41, of Jackson, was uninjured. He was wearing a seat belt, Hannah said. No charges were filed. Hannah said the cause of the accident was under investigation. Luebbert would not comment at the scene. Motorists reported the accident to police at 5:40 pm during heavy traffic. Police blocked off the intersection as they investigated the crash. tor. But, a different person called from Medicaid for each one of my four children asking me if we wanted to stay with Dr. Myers. I said, Boy, do I!' I was so worried. We can walk to Myers' office. But I would have trouble getting to Lexington." Medicaid removed Myers, the only physician in Tchula and director of the Myers Foundation Christian Family Health Center, a Medicaid HealthMACS provider after i. i i Jeremy Henderson (left), 11, and Jeff Bailey. 17, draw an audience as they play a game of checkers in the gymnasium at Brinkley Middle School Thursday. 4" to Texas. Authorities had been tipped off to alleged abuse and neglect at the camp before removing them. The children had been sentenced by Dallas Justice of the Peace Charles Rose. But Dallas County Court Commissioner Judge Lee Jackson has said Rose sentenced the children without authority. Officials cited nearly bear cupboards and no air conditioning Johnson convicted in Parker slaying By Pamela Berry Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer Nearly two hours after giving a rambling closing argument in his own defense, Ronnie Johnson was convicted of capital murder in Angela Parker's 1997 stabbing death. Johnson dropped his shoulders when Circuit Judge L. Breland Hilburn read the verdict. Hilburn sentenced him to life in prison. Prosecutors didn't seek the death penalty. The 36-year-old will be eligible for parole at age 65. Phyllis Thomas, Angela Parker's sister, and other relatives hugged after the sentencing. She had kept a vigil in the court room during the four-day trial, but missed hearing the verdict read. "When I came into the courtroom, I knew by the look on his face that he had been found guilty," Johnson Thomas said. "I am happy that she (Parker) will be able to rest now." Prosecutors put on a "darn good case," Hinds County Assistant District Attorney John Davidson said. But Johnson's conviction was due more to divine intervention, he said. "I really think the Lord had something to do with it because we knew he killed that girl We just had to prove it." The prosecutors' case was circumstantial, hinged largely on letters from Johnson to two former girlfriends asking them to provide him an alibi. In one letter, which jailers intercepted, he asked a girlfriend to implicate Parker's ex-husband. Hinds County Assistant Public Defender Andre De Gruy, Johnson's attorney, could not be reached. In an unusual move, Johnson split closing arguments with De Gruy. The audience gasped when Hilburn announced Johnson's request. Homicide detectives who in receiving notice he was in noncompliance with state requirements. The Humphreys County Memorial Hospital notified Medicaid on May 5 that Myers didn't have any malpractice insurance and had been suspended from staffing privileges. In return, Medicaid sent letters to all of Myers' Medicaid patients notifying them of their need to find another physician. Myers was reinstated to the hos- 1 A A John SeversoiVThe Clarion-Ledger "5 '-Ok ,. n Jf: 1 when the first group of children were removed. Officials won't say if they found any violations at the camp Wednesday. Sanford told The Clarion-Ledger Wednesday night the air conditioning had been fixed and there was plenty of food. Sanford didn't return phone calls to The Clarion-Ledger Thursday. He also could not be reached at the camp. vestigated Parker's death moved closer to the front of the courtroom. Speaking in a low voice and pacing in front of the jury, Johnson attacked several prosecution witnesses' credibility. "James Martin got up here and stated that he told the truth," Johnson said. "He falsified his name to police and he used a different name to women. If a man will lie to women about his name, he will get up here and he as well. Teresa (Robinson) said she never saw me in this shirt. How do you know all those witnesses didn't get together and put their stories together?" Martin testified he was Johnson's best friend. Robinson is an ex-girlfriend of Johnson. De Gruy, in closing arguments, said police ignored several possible suspects. He also said police overlooked key clues and reminded jurors Johnson testified in his own defense. "Ronnie Johnson didn't have to take the risk of testifying De Gruy said. "He wanted to tell you what he knew . . .that he did not kill Angela Parker." Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Tommy Mayfield, in a booming voice, mocked the defense's closing arguments. "Well, maybe this happened. Well, maybe that could have happened . . . and if you don't believe that, then maybe the people driving a green Explorer did it. I don't think any of you have seen a more manipulative, lying, scheming, conniving, liar in your entire lives," Mayfield said of Johnson. Mayfield also told jurors for every version of a story, there is usually another side. But, he added, "Ronnie Johnson has four other sides to his stories Of all the people who got up here on this stand, who has the most reason to he?" Testimony showed Johnson killed Parker, 36, and stole furnishings from her 531 Hartfield St. home on July 21, 1997. Parker died minutes after crawling nude from her home and collapsing on a neighbor's porch. pital staffMay 1 1 after he presented j proof of insurance. Medicaid was to ' send out letters correcting his status to his patients. - Medicaid HealthMACS Program Administrator, Vicki Donatio, would not confirm nor deny that Myers has been reinstated as HealthMACS provider. She also wouldn't say whether her office was making calls to his patients. WLBT tower death ruled worker's fault By Stephanie Patrick Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer A Lucedale man was not using proper safety procedures wheo he fell to his death Feb. 28 while Constructing a WLBT tower. Samuel Wayne Homan, 38, jvas not properly wearing a fall-prdtec-tion harness when he fell about; 110 feet while constructing a 700-oot temporary tower off Thigpen Road in Raymond, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration report released Thursday states. Tri-State Tower Services Inc. of Enterprise, Ala., which employed Homan, was cleared of any responsibility in the fall and was not fined. T-: o vJ iaa j. ru a 11-ouitc iuu iuu perceuk tail protection and the employee was appropriately trained," said Clyde Payne, QSHA area director. This See FALL, 5B

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