Iowa City Press-Citizen from Iowa City, Iowa on July 29, 1983 · Page 2
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Iowa City Press-Citizen from Iowa City, Iowa · Page 2

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Iowa City, Iowa
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Friday, July 29, 1983
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Page 2
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2A Local. Iowa City Pressatizen-Friday, July 29, 1983 isosiroi ins commends Could on rInsf if boo lfcpit i V. By KRISTIE BUNTON Pmi Hill m Reporter Johnson County Clerk of Court Mary Conklin said today she will decide in the "next two to three days" whether to give fired bookkeeper Linda Turner her job back. A three-member grievance review board Thursday afternoon unanimously recommended that Conklin reinstate Turner in the clerk's office. The recommendation said Conklin was "tolerant" in her treatment of Turner but failed to follow specific requirements of the Johnson County employee's handbook for disciplining and firing county workers. Turner filed a grievance against Conklin after she was fired in May for missing too much work. Turner, who began working in the clerk's office in August 1981, said her absences were caused by back injuries she suffered in a fall at the courthouse in November of that year. Conklin said she fired Turner be cause her use of sick leave had been excessive and chronic, showing an inability to work steadily. The committee sent its recommendation to Conklin Thursday after hearing testimony from both Conklin and Turner at an open hearing Tuesday. Under the grievance policy for Johnson County employees, Conklin has the final say in any grievance involving her employees. The written recommendation was issued by review board members Patricia Kamath and Marion -a; Supervisors reject Conklin preference on microfilm bid if:f 1 By KRISTIE BUNTON id Preaa-CMlzen Reporter i i- The Johnson County Board of Supervisors Thursday went against the recommendation of Clerk of Court Mary Conklin in approving a $35,600 contract to microfilm Hsome 1 million old county docu-ments. " Conklin had recommended the County hire Jorm Micro Lab of ;, Cedar Rapids to film the records. Jorm Micro's bid was nearly $4,000 higher than a bid submitted by - Crest Microfilm of Hiawatha, but l Conklin said Jorm Micro's quality ;: and expertise were greater. r But the supervisors voted 4-1 to award the contract to Crest. Supervisor Dick Myers said the job was awarded to Crest because of its lower bid and its use of local workers to prepare the documents. Myers and Supervisors Dennis Langenberg, Donald Sehr and Betty Ockenfels voted for Crest's bid. Supervisor Harold Donnelly voted against Jay Johnson, executive vice president of Crest, said microfilming of the documents, which belong to the clerk of court's office, will begin immediately. Some of the documents date as far back as the 1850s. County officials want to reduce the documents to microfilm images in order to Local briefs City police say he alert' after rash of vandalism Prompted by more than 40 reports of vandalism to motor vehicles the past two weeks, Iowa City police warned residents Thursday to be on the lookout for vandals in their neighborhoods. In many of the recent incidents, vehicles are entered overnight and items are either stolen or thrown out of the vehicle, police said. In addition, the windows of several vehicles have been smashed the past two weeks, police said. Police urged residents to lock the doors and windows of their vehicles and to report any suspicious behavior. Police arrest 7 illegal aliens Coralville police arrested seven illegal aliens from Mexico Thursday morning on Interstate 80 after the Mexicans were seen by a state patrol trooper controlling traffic at the scene of a fatal accident. The aliens, all male, ranged in ages from 17 to 49 and were eastbound in an AMC Gremlin when Coralville police arrested them about 7:05 a.m., police said. Police said they were alerted to the Mexicans by an Iowa State Patrol trooper who was at the scene of a traffic accident two miles west of where the arrest took place. Troopers had closed part of eastbound 1-80 to clean up the wreckage left by the traffic accident, which killed two men in a semi-trailer truck. Police turned the aliens over to U.S. Immigration Service officials from Omaha, Neb. From there, they were to be deported back to Mexico. Teen-ager hurt when car hits bridge An Iowa City teen-ager had to be rescued from the car she was driving Thursday night after the car struck a bridge abutment on Sand Road about two miles south of Iowa City. Cindy Sue Eckrich, 16, of 329 Lee St. received lacerations, abrasions, possible neck injuries and a possible broken wrist in the accident, which occurred about 10:50 p.m., Iowa State Patrol troopers said. Johnson County Ambulance and sheriff's rescue workers had to use the Jaws of Life to remove her from the wreckage, officials said. Troopers said Eckrich apparently lost control of her car while rounding a curve and hit the bridge. Her car came to a stop on the bridge, troopers said. Sand Road is Johnson County road W66. Date of Solon cable TV vote revised An election to approve a city cable television ordinance for Solon has been moved to Aug. 23 from the previously announced date of Aug. 16. Solon City Attorney Jim Martinek said the mixup occurred when "some wires got crossed, but it was really nobody's fault." If residents approve the ordinance, they will have cable service by 1984. Liberty Communications of Iowa City would provide residents within the city limits with basic cable service, two movie channels, two public access channels and service to two Solon schools. Woman injured when struck by car A rural Lone Tree woman received minor injuries Thursday afternoon after a car-pedestrian accident at the parking lot of Sheller-Globe Corp. Jennifer J. Pechman, 37, was treated at Mercy Hospital for minor neck and leg injuries and released. Iowa City police said the accident occurred about 3:35 p.m. when Pechman was hit by a car driven by Roberson Williams, no age listed, of Cedar Rapids. Blue Cross hospitals urge court action DES MOINES (AP) Blue Cross of Iowa member hospitals have urged Blue Cross to take state Insurance Commissioner Bruce Foudree to court over his order for a new hospital reimbursement plan. The 19-member Blue Cross board will hold a special meeting Saturday to consider the hospitals' recommendation, but sources said it is not likely court action against Foudree will be approved. While the 96 hospitals associated with Blue Cross of Iowa recommended legal action, 39 hospitals that belong to Blue Cross of Western Iowa and South Dakota rejected the proposal during a joint meeting Wednesday at Des Moines. Neely, both Iowa City lawyers, and the Rev. Sally Smith, a campus minister for United Ministries in Higher Education. The board's recommendation stated that: Turner's sick leaves were necessary but caused interruptions in the work of the clerk's office. The board said Conklin was "tolerant and understanding" of Turner's absences for over a year. Procedures for defining "excessive use of sick leave" listed in save what limited storage space is available and to preserve decaying records. Conklin has said some of the documents which have historical significance will be offered to local genealogical or historical groups. Johnson said the job is expected to take between three and nine months. Johnson said he hopes to employ at least five local Goodwill Industries workers to remove staples and unfold corners of the old records. The records will be transported to Hiawatha for microfilming, Johnson said. Church suit settled out of court for $75f000 A lawsuit over control of the 1 former Church of the Living Word in Washington, Iowa, was settled out of court for some $75,000 Thursday. The suit pitted the late John Robert Stevens, a fundamentalist preacher, against his father, W. J. Stevens, and his brother-in-law, Fred E. Bickhart. When John Robert Stevens and nine others sued to gain control of the Washington Church, now called the Berean Fellowship, W. J. Stevens and Bickhart filed a counterclaim for $30 million, claiming a conspiracy to deprive them of church property and libel. In Thursday's settlement, the plaintiffs, including John Robert Stevens' estate and leaders of the Church of the Living Word headquartered in California, dropped their claim over the Washington church and agreed to pay court costs and $75,000 to W. J. Stevens and Bickhart. The money "simply reimburses them for expenses of the suit and court costs," said Kenneth L. Keith of Ottumwa, attorney for W. J. Stevens and Bickhart. "They want people to know they didn't make any money on this suit," be said. The Church of the Living Word owns Shiloh, a religious community near Kalona. A number of former members in recent years have accused the group of being a cult the county employee's handbook are not oulined clearly. The review board suggested the supervisors and county department heads clarify the definition of sick leave In the handbook. County department heads have the discretion to discipline or fire their employees, but Conklin had not followed the requirements outlined in the county employee's handbook in her firing of Turner. "That was the reason we recommended Linda be reinstated," Kamath said today. 1 Wx iii'... Pre-CihzenJH Myvrt Dave Draker, 17, took Grand Champion Steer honors in market beef judging at the Johnson County 4-H Fair. Champion named in hot competition By SUSAN CLOTFELTER Pro axixxn Reporter The steers in the north show ring were slobbering in Thursday afternoon's heat, and the eyes of the sweaty 4-H'ers were pleading with market beef judge Don Greiman. But first, Greiman had to tell them all what fine animals they were handling. Then he had to tell them that they were responsible for agriculture's future. Then he had to thank the Johnson County 4-H and FFA fair board and request a round of applause for it. When he "finally pointed to Dave Draker's black crossbred and named it Grand Champion, the 17-year-old's fan club didn't seem to have minded the wait. Draker is what 4-H'ers sometimes call a "town kid" he lives in Hills. This was only the second fair in which he'd shown cattle. He was nonetheless surrounded by well-wishers after his win. One of them was his uncle Jim Stockman of Hills Grain and Feed, who donated the Grand Champion Steer trophy. Unlike most 4-H'ers who show cattle, Draker, a Cosgrove Hustlers 4-H Club member, didn't follow his parents into the business. "I was helping friends with their cattle and got interested," he said. Because he lives in town, he kept the calf at Stockman's farm. "I'd feed him in the morning, and come over at night and wet him down and brush him." The Draker name has been familiar to fair participants longer than Draker has been showing cattle. His father Elmer Draker worked on the Johnson County Fair Board until his death in 1980. "His father would have been proud," Draker's mother Charky said as her son sweated with the other competitors in Senior showmanship competition. Draker himself was a bit dazed, and turned to a friend for help when he couldn't remember the calf's month of birth April 1982. "I have to get my mind working again here," he said as his mother passed him a towel to wipe his brow. 4 agencies seek state funds By KRISTIE BUNTON Vnm qtlMB fteportar Four local agencies are seeking a total of $153,916 from the state to provide services for the mentally ill or mentally retarded in Johnson County. The Iowa State Mental HealthMental Retardation Commission will allocate $650,000 throughout the state for mental health and mental retardation service projects on Sept. 1. To apply for the money, local agencies had to be endorsed by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, upon the recommendation of the Johnson County Mental HealthMental Retardation Advisory Board. The supervisors endorsed these four funding requests at .their Thursday meeting: $22,522 by the Association for Retarded Citizens to establish a vocational advocacy program in Johnson County. The money would allow the ARC to hire a "vocational advocate" who would help find jobs for graduates of the trainable mentally retarded program held at West High School. $59,176 by the Mid-Eastern Iowa Community Mental Health Center to establish a day treatment program for chronically mentally ill residents of Johnson, Cedar and Iowa counties. If it receives the state money, the center would hire a program coordinator and program assistant to run the day treatment program. The program would provide therapy for mentally ill persons who can be treated on an out-patient basis and do not require 24-hour supervision. $27,5000 by Project Hard Times to expand programs it now conducts for unemployed and underemployed county residents. The money would be used to hire an outreach worker and counseling staff who would help unemployed workers deal with mental health problems that may result from the stress of being unemployed. $38,000 by the Mental RetardationDevelopmental Disabilities Service Unit Advisory Board. It would be used to hire a coordinator for mental health and mental retardation programs now conducted by the service unit advisory board In a six-county area. If the money is granted, the service unit advisory board will be abolished for the one-year duration of the grant and representatives from county mental healthmental retardation boards, including Johnson County's board, would direct the activities of the coordinator. New director named for human services post DES MOINES (AP) - Lou Ann Burkle of Des Moines has been named director of volunteer programs for the Iowa Department of Human Services, effective Monday. She has been director of religious education for the Diocese of Des Moines, supervising educational programs n 85 southwest Iowa locations. Meanwhile, the department reports it has recovered more than $1.2 million in Medicaid funds for medical services provided recipients in fiscal year J983. The recovery total Is nearly 40 percent higher than in the previous year when DHS recovered $865,210. Turner's request for back pay with 10 percent interest should be addressed by the county board of supervisors. "We felt it wasn't our prerogative to decide that," Smith said today. ; Conklin, who will be on tfo-weeks' vacation beginning Monday, said she will make her filial decision about re-hiring Turner within two or three days. i Turner could not be reached for comment this morning. ; 1 County jobless rate up, counters state trend; By JERRY HETH : Pnu-atUen Reporter nd from wire Mrvice raparte Contrary to a statewide trend, the unemployment rate for Johnson County increased slightly in June, to 2.9 percent. Larry Venenga, a Job Service of Iowa economist, said today that an influx of students into the labor market caused the county's unemployment rate to increase from May's level of 2.7 percent I "The younger people are having a tougher time finding a job," Venenga said. '. Johnson County provides an example of what normally happens in summer, Venenga said. When schools close, students enter the labor market, boosting the jobless rate higher. But for the first in 13 years, the state's unemployment rate dropped from May to June. Venenga s said the rate decreased from 6.2 percent to 5.9 percent; Employment Increases in agriculture, construction, utilities, communications and wholesale and retail businesses offset the increase of students entering the job market, Venenga said. ; "It's an encouraging sign," ;he said of the decline in the unemployment rate. "Hopefully, this will continue." ; Still, Venenga said, there are 24,100 fewer Iowans working this year compared to last Last month, total employment was 1,318,200 compared to 1,342,300 in June 1982. "We have less unemployment and we have fewer people working," he said. Venenga said the unemployment trend in Iowa is downward, with 71 counties showing rates lower In June compared to May. Johnson County was one of a dozen whose rate increased, he said. ' Ida County recorded the lowest rate at 2 percent and Floyd County recorded the highest rate; at 12.1 percent. Four of the six counties bordering Johnson County saw tHeir rates decline, Venenga said. Their June rates, with May levels In parentheses, were: ; Benton 6.1 (6.5) Cedar 4.9 (5.1) J Iowa -3.5 (3.4) j Linn - 6.2 (6.8) J Muscatine 5.5 (5.8) Washington-5.1 (5.1) ! Venenga said that he doe4nt foresee much change In the unemployment rates during the summer and early fall months. 1 1 1 Attorney seeks new trial in murder case i An attorney for .lamas Ball asked Thursday that Hall ! be granted a new trial on charges that he killed a University of Mwa coed in 1973, .. , Hall, 29, was convicted of Second-degree murder in June 1974 in the strangulation death of Safah Ann Ottens, 9 20-year-old bursing student from Morrison, 111. .He was sentenced to a 50 years' in prison. : Hall's attorney, Philip Mear' of Iowa Qty, asked In a court motion that Hall's conviction be overturn and that he be granted a new trial. The request has hot been ruled on, , . 1 Thursdays motion follows 8 request Hall filed last May (for "post-convlctlon relief." Iowa liaw allows persons convicted 'of crimes to seek post-conviction relief if they feel their constitutional rights were violated while they were prosecuted. Hall claims that his attorneys weren't told about evidence uncovered by prosecutors that wohld have helped his attorneys prepare his case, court records show.

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