Star Tribune from Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 22, 1986 · Page 1
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Star Tribune from Minneapolis, Minnesota · Page 1

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Saturday, March 22, 1986
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Page 1
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Boys' state basketball tournament semifinal results Class A : ' v ". Class AA - f . ;' ' - '-' ' : Stapled 62 Le Sueur 42 Jefferson...f...,. 59 Dulutft Central ......51 Springfield.. i. 56 Peterson ..............40 St. Paul Central ..., 34 North 50 Stocks slip 35.68 points In very hoqyy trading3B How much calcium do vvdnoed? Minneapolis Volume iVNumber 352 ' 1 , y Star and r " 1 r it I I rOrJj 'Nri np" N Copyright 1 986 Minneapolis Star and Tribune Company 1A Metro Saturday March 22, 1936 5 Sections 250 Single copy Section APart I Declining interest rates send housing officials scurrying By logrid Sundstruro Staff Writer Home buyers and homeowners, anxious to cash in on declining mortgage interest rates in the past year, have housing industry professionals scurrying to keep up with their demands. With fixed-rate mortgages now available for under 10 percent, the demand for them has clogged telephone lines of local lenders and has backed up mortgage approval for B Lower rates entice buyers who want to move up. Page 1 S. consumers for as long as eight or 10 weeks. The categories of consumers in the mortgage market are distinct: Homeowners with mortgages secured during the past five years are eager to trade in their 11 to 14 percent mortgages for cheaper ones. Long-settled-in homeowners, who have 7 to 9 percent mortgages, are moving back into the market to buy bigger and more expensive houses. First-time home buyers, who couldn't afford last year's rates, now are getting the nod from lenders. There's also a new category of home buyers who bought homes within the past three or four years and now. with lower interest rates, can buy a bigger house for about the same monthly payment as on "the current mortgage, said Leonard MacKinnon, marketing director for Merrttl Lynch-Burnet Realty. Some home-seekers, finding just the right "good houses in nice neighborhoods," now discover that those houses are attracting multiple bids and bids that exceed the asking price, some real-estate people report. That's another phenomenon that hasn't been seen much locally since the late 1970s. Crowds looking over model homes this spring are bigger than usual and more serious about buying than they've been for several years, according to Carta Roehl, executive director of the Minneapolis Builders Association. "Pure and simple, all of this activity is because of the lower interest rate," said John Buenger, director of housing development at the Minne-' apolis office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which does appraisals for, FHA and VA loans. Indicative of this-activity is the fact that his office received about 6,000 requests for appraisals last month, compared with 2,000 requests in February 1985. There are about 225 FHA appraisers in the state, 50 of whom have been added to the staff in the past two months, Buenger said. And even at' that, an appraisal for an FHA moit- Houslng continued on page 6 A ; WHO mil Charges dismissed in 27 of 29 cases By Kevin Diai and Pat Doyle Staff Writers . The Hennepin County attorney is dismissing charges in 27 of 29 pending cases brought by the Minneapolis police decoy squad, saying tainted evidence has made them Impossible to prosecute. In an additional 209 cases that resulted in convictions most by guilty pleas defendants and their lawyers are being notified that the credibility of certain aspects of the prosecution's cases are in question. But authorities are leaving decisions to reopen the cases to defendants. Meanwhile, special prosecutors from Ramsey and Dakota counties are continuing to review the decoy squad's actions for possible criminal wrongdoing. Their inquiry is expected to be completed within 30 days. Johnson, who announced the dis-. missals in a press conference Friday, called the matter "serious" and "unprecedented in my time as county attorney." He said that the Irregularities were largely technical and that the defendants were properly found guilty. But the tainted evidence has compromised the credibility of officers who presented it, he said. Most of the cases involve felony theft charges stemming from "slumper cases," in which decoy officers posed as drunks sleeping in cars or alleys, cash visible in their pockets. Bill Edwards, head of the criminal division of Johnson's office, said very few of the defendants in the cases now under review have had to serve time in jail as a result of their convictions. Hennepin County Attorney Tom Decoys'continued on page UA Three drugs recalled; rat poison is found Associated Press Philadelphia, Pa, Contac and two other popular over-the-counter medicines were withdrawn from the market Friday after rat poison was found in eight capsules that had been tampered with, the drugs' maker said. Consumers also were warned not to use any Contac, Dietac and Teldrin that had been bought since mid-March because the capsules may have been tampered with in a "terrorist, criminal act," U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Frank Young said at a press conference in Washington. Slne-Off capsules, which also are made by SmithKIine Beckman Corp., were removed from Randall's food stores in the Houston area after a man called a local TV station saying he had tampered with them, FDA spokeswoman Sheryl Baylor said. Samples of the capsules were flown to New York for testing. SmithKIine President Henry Wendt said the man calling about Sine-Off did not appear to be the same person threatening the other three brands. "We do not believe there is any hazard with Sine-Off," he said. Warfarin, an anticoagulant used In rat poison, was discovered in six Contac, one Teldrin and one Dietac capsules in Houston and Orlando, Fla. in tests by the FDA laboratory in New York, said Alan Wachter, a Capsules continued on page 7A On inside pages today Senate adjourns The Minnesota Senate adjourned at 3:43 p.m. Friday, three days after the House, leaving an unbalanced budget and Gov. Perpich pondering whether to call a special session. Page 1B. More Challenger Clues More testimony yesterday ruled out all potential causes for the shuttle explosion other than a failed seam in the aft portion of the right solid-booster rocket. Page 3A. Oil price decision announced Oil ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC countries announced yesterday that they would seek to reestablish a price of $28 for a barrel of crude oil. Page 9A. . Haitian junta reorganized Haiti's armed forces reorganized the government yesterday after four members of the provisional council resigned, said council President Henri Namphy. Page 3A. . f Vj- i f I ;-:-;; r 'X :. r ) if Inmate Larry Race, whose conviction stands. A tale of two convicts By Sharon Schmickle Staff Writer Larry Race and Orville (Skip) Berndt had S lot to talk about in the two years they worked together in the office equipment and print shop at Stillwater prison. Each had been convicted of first-degree murder in November 1983, Berndt for setting a fire that killed his wife and three children and Race for killing his wife on a Lake Superior boating excursion. : Circumstantial evidence convicted both men, but they insisted they were innocent, and their families stood behind them. , In prison, they discussed appeals both had made to the State Supreme Court. , "Skip would get down, and I'd cheer him up, saying, 'It's OK. You're going to be a free man and be with your family,' " Race said. He was right Berndt learned Thursday that his convlc-' tions had been reversed. Three hours later. Race had a visitor from his nttor- J:'t? Jfff'Cu ney s ottlce-Hls conviction would stand, he learned. y,r ? ") 'J lis Vpctprrin v Rprnrft nnH Rnrp mpt In tha ehnn far thA iJL J. "s.friZfXtJi lasttime. - - Staff Photos by Bruce Uisping . "Skip put his arm around me and said, 'Sorry, Larry.' I Orville (Skip) Berndt, right, with his attorney, David Knutson, headed for home Friday told him, 'You have your own life to live. Take care of after his release from Stillwater State Prison. , yourself.' " Skip BerndtSudden freedom Larry Race His claims from prison comes as a shock of innocence fell on deaf ears By Margaret Zack Staff Writer The prison gates clanged shut behind Orville (Skip) Berndt about 10:45 a.m. Friday. He wheeled a cart filled with his belongings into the public reception area. , His life sentence in Stillwater State Prison for four murders had come to an abrupt and public finish after 2'i years. The Minnesota Supreme Court had ruled that evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction. It took about two hours to complete the prison paperwork that released him. Then he faced the media, answering questions on the decision. Reversals of first-degree murder convictions are very unusual, and Berndt continued on page 15A By Sharon Schmickle Staff Writer Inside the tan brick walls of Stillwater State Prison yesterday, Larry Race rehearsed points he would have made had he testified during his 1983 trial for his wife's death. But it's too late. No state court will listen anymore since the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld his first-degree murder conviction this week. ' Race and his relatives have spent more than $100,000 to defend an -' innocence they continue to pro- " claim. Much of the money came -' from his late wife's relatives. '. "We believe in his innocence," said -Eunice Bergquist, of Verndale, - Race continued on page 15A ' Almanac Saturday, March 22, 1986 81st day; 284 to go this year ' Sunrise: 6: 1 3. Sunset: 6:28 Today Rated G Today's feature is rated G, for great It stars a high in low to middle 50s. ' Steger expedition to the may be unable to pay for Buslneat 36B Obltuarlea 1 1S Comics 4-5C Religion 8-9B Correction 3A Theatera 18-19A Crossword 7C TV, Radio 6C Editorial 20-21 A Waathsr 28 By Sharon Schmickle Staff Writer As Paul Schurke said goodbye to his wife at the Frobisher Bay airport March 1, he told her they might be in debt if the Steger expedition didn't make it to the North Pole. "He hadn't mentioned any of this to me earlier," Sue Hendrickson-Schurke said this week. Want Ada 6-16S. 2Q-32S And she and other supporters of the Minnesota-based expedition have learned more since the eight-member team set off by ski and dog sled March 8 from an ice shelf near Ward Hunt Island. There isn't enough money in the expedition accounts to pay for flights chartered to lift the team off the ice at the trip's end. The treasury is at least $30,000 short, Hendrickson-Schurke said. North Pole airlift home After a flight that is scheduled to pick up dogs In about two weeks, there will be nothing left for emergencies. - Notwithstanding their financial problems, the travelers reported by radio Friday night that they've gone 61.5 miles and are on pace. They rested through a white-out Expedition continued on page 8A ' . -i 'A 4 b

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