The Paris News from Paris, Texas on March 22, 1985 · Page 8
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March 22, 1985

The Paris News from Paris, Texas · Page 8

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Paris, Texas
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Friday, March 22, 1985
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Page 8
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•A Th« Paris N«w», Frl., March 22. 1985 Hotline for education reform questions Hartt-Hanks Austin Bureau AUSTIN - Gov. Mark White announced Thursday a toll-free telephone hotline number for questions about education reforms adopted last summer by the Texas Legislature. "I realize that there are many members of the public who have lingering questions about the implications of House Bill 72, and their questions deserve to be answered. I applaud the State Board of Education's decision to install a toll-free hotline number — 1-800-252-3575," White said. The line, located at the Texas Education Agency, has been operating for about three weeks, he said, receiving most of its questions on the "no-pass, no-play" rule. White, who says he still does not plan to retreat from the education reforms, trotted out state high school basketball champions, Houston's Madison Marlins, to prove that students can make good grades and still participate in extracurricular activities. The team finished the season with a 40-0 record, winning the 5A Boy's State Basketball Championship on March 9. "I am especially pleased that, when it came to that important game, none of the Houston Madison team was sidelined by bad grades," White said as the team stood behind him. "Each of these young men worked hard to make the grade, make the team and make the championship circle." White also lauded the school's administrators, teachers and coaching staff for starting an academic counseling program, which they said helped the team keep up its grades. But when asked, the school's principal and academic counselor said the six-week suspension period should be made more flexible, so that students who progress faster can be given shorter suspension periods. White said he hoped the team's example would demonstrate that the existing rule is not burdensome. But, he said, he would be willing to look at proposals on changing the rule. Should he not agree with a particular bill to change that rule, he could veto it. On another matter, White said he still is opposed to raising taxes this legislative session, despite a financial shortfall. However, he said several fees for state services probably will be boosted. Also, other state funding mechanisms might be revamped to make more money available, he said. On higher education, where a House committee has proposed to cut university funding by about 4 percent, White said he will work to find more money to bring the schools even closer to current funding levels. On prisons approaching 95 percent of capacity, White said he does not favor early releases to make HONORARY FFA'ERS — West Lamar High School Future. Farmers of America president Jerry Clark presents Kyle Wright, West Lamar agriculture teacher, with a plaque for honorary membership in the FFA while Cindy James, far right, vice president of the club, presents the same award to her mother, Donna James. The awards were given to the two adults for their work with the West Lamar FFA program at the chapter's annual awards banquet Thursday night. (Staff photo by Jeff Look) Report indicates Americans' health continues to improve WASHINGTON (AP) - The health of Americans continues to improve by almost every measuring stick, the government reported today, but a few disquieting exceptions prompt health professionals to say there still is work to be done. The Department of Health and Human Services, in its annual report to the nation on the health of its people, said today that Americans, both men and women, are living longer, healthier lives. Infant mortality continues to decline, though at a slowing pace that worries some. Life expectancy is up. Deaths from heart attack and strokes are down. And people are changing their living habits in ways that portend more improvement and still longer lives in the future. "Progress is the word that best defines and describes the health status of the American people," said HHS Secretary' Margaret M. Heckler in her introduction to the report. "There are, of course, lags and aberrations. We certainly cannot rest on our laurels." But, she added, "It is clear from the basic health yardsticks that the United States is moving in the right direction." At a news conference this morning, Mrs. Heckler said one important reason for the "dramatic and continuing" improvement in life expectancy are major drops in deaths from heart attack and stroke — two of the three leading causes of death in the country. ',"i;here,is nothing spotty or ,er- ratic^boutthis data," she said: "I am citing a trend, and it appears to be continuing. "Self-appraisal can sometimes be deceiving," she added, "but I believe that the nine out of 10 Americans who describe their own health as 'good' or 'excellent' are on target in this instance." The 188-page report, titled "Health, United States, 1984," notes in its statistical review: —A child born today can expect to live 74.7 years, based on the 1983 data analyzed, more than a third longer than the 47.3 years of a person born at the turn of the century and a full year's increase since 1980. For newborn girls, life expectancy is 78.3 years; for boys, 71.0 years. —While whites still can expect to live longer than blacks, the racial gap is narrowing because blacks are catching up. The racial difference dropped from 8.4 years in 1950 to 5.6 years in 1983. —Americans who reached their 65th birthday in 1983 could expect to live another 16.8 years. In 1970, that figure was 15.2 years. —Infant mortality dropped to 10.9 deaths per 1,000 live births, a decline from 11.2 in 1982 and from 16.1 in 1975. —Deaths from heart disease declined, by 26 percent between- 1970 .• and UB83,' when sUtiBticft-are adjusted forage, and •stroke deaths' dropped by 48 percent during the same period. —People see their doctor mort often — 74.5 percent within the last year, compared with 66 percent in 1964 — and the increase is coming primarily among the lower income groups. Despite the heartening news, however, the report also contained some disquieting statistics. While cigarette smoking has declined dramatically among American men — to the point that the number of ex-smokers is beginning to rival the number of current smokers — the same is not true for women. The study says 34.8 percent of American men smoke now, compared with 52.1 percent in 1965. But 31.8 percent have quit, compared to 20.3 percent in 1965. Among women, however, the percentage now smoking has dropped only from 34.2 percent in 1965 to 29.5 percent in 1983. And the report blames most of the problem on an increase in smoking among women aged 20 to 24. In that age group, the study said, smoking increased from 32.7 percent in 1980 to 36.1 percent in 1983. more room available. In fact, he said, there are at least 2,000 beds not being used. He said he hopes the. prison reform litigation can be settled soon with increased funding, staffing and security. But, he said, he does not plan to make private rooms or country club prisons part of the agreement. -••.•;• On appointments, White was asked why he could use geography as a reason to promise a Highway Commission seat to a West Texan but rejected that reason for naming someone from San Antonio to the University of Texas Board of Regents. White said, "I may have made a mistake." But he did not make clear whether he was referring to the promise to give a West Texan a highway commission seat or to his remarks that geography shouldn't be a consideration in appointments. He has said that appointees should represent the entire state. A spokesman for the governor's office said the highway commission appointment would be made in a week or two. Man killed in Galvestion plane crash GALVESTON, Texas CAP) One man was killed and another injured when the single-engine plane in which they were flying crashed in a baseball field near Galveston's airport. The aircraft had taken off from Scholes air field and crashed into a field in Pony-Colt Stadium about 9:20 p.m. as a crowd watched a Softball game at a nearby diamond, authorities said. Galveston police Capt. Ernest Galvan identified the dead man as James S. Billings of Houston. No age was given on the man. The injured man was identified as Edmond Saad, 49, a flight instructor from Houston. He was listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit of John Sealy Hospital in Galveston. According to Saad's wife, Gail, the two men were on a training flight when they were forced to make an emergency landing. She said the plane had not crashed but that the impact of the landing was severe. "Officials said they made a pretty good emergency landing in a baseball field. They said the plane is intact," Mrs. Saad said Friday. • ''But 1 guess'becanse of the vetoci- • Galvan'-said 1 authorities are< investigating the incident. A witness, Forester Hardt, of La Marque, said he saw the Beachcraft Sierra 2000 plane take off from the airport and head south. Happy 19th Birthday And Many More 3440 Pine Mill Rd. 785-5882 "Texas Certified'Nurserymen To Serve You' MOtf.-FRI. 8-6 SAT. 8-5 SUN. 1-5 SUPER BUYS Fruit Trees I ROS6S Bareroot 2^10' Reg. 6.95 Ea. Now Reg. 3.99 Just Arrived Onions OPEN SUNDAY 1-5 Kill winter weeds and fertilize in one easy application FRUIT TREE FOOD FRUIT TREE SPRAY Fruit tree yield will increase with this fertilizer and spray program. Keeping Up With "The Times" British readers recently celebrated the 200th birthday of the London "Times." Abraham Lincoln once compared the persuasive power of the "Times" to the power of the surging Mississippi River. Jane Austen refused to miss reading even one issue and ironed it out if it arrived damp. The poet Coleridge was turned down when he applied for a writing job at the "Times." Sir Edmund Hillary had a copy of the "Times" with him when he scaled Mount Everest in 1953. DO YOU KNOW — Which Australian tycoon owns both the London "Times" and the New York "Post"? THURSDAY'S ANSWER — Bach wrote most of his works in the baroque style of music. 3_22-85 ' Knowledge Unlimited. 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