The Town Talk from Alexandria, Louisiana on January 23, 1969 · Page 1
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The Town Talk from Alexandria, Louisiana · Page 1

Alexandria, Louisiana
Issue Date:
Thursday, January 23, 1969
Page 1
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Weather Forecast Forecast for Alexandria-Pineville and vicinity: Partly cloudy to cloudy and much colder Friday. (Map, details on Page A-7). Price 10 Cents Business .... D-4 Comics 0-3 Dr. Thosteson C-7 Editorials . . . A-6 Entertainment B-7 Social B-2 Sports A-8 Want Ads ... D-5 Vol. LXXXVI No. 312 Four Sections Thirty-Six Pages Alexandria-Pineville, La., Thursday January 23, 1969 AP, UPI, Newspaper Enterprise Assn. Los Angeles Times, Washington Pott Departmental Index Situi Ml 1 I r ' r , - (AP Wirephoto) This is Russian cosmonaut Georgy Ber-egovoy, who was nicked by flying glass when a gunman fired a volley of pistol shots at motorcade carrying Soviet space heroes into the Kremlin. Digest of the News Good evening. Here is a summary of today's news: Tornadoes knifed across central Mississippi today, killing at least 28 persons and injuring more than 100. Hardest hit town was Hazlehurst, where a twister cut a mile-long path of destruction. A gunman fired a series of pistol shots at a motorcade bearing Russia's four latest cosmonaut heroes into the Kremlin in Moscow. Three persons were injured but none of the four spacemen were hit. Cmdr. Lloyd M. Bucher is suspected of violating naval regulations in surrendering the USS Pueblo to North Koreans and is almost certain to be court martialed, a Navy board of inquiry indicated. U.S. battlefield deaths in Vietnam last week rose to a six-week high of 196, and South Vietnamese losses were the worst in four months, the allied command reported. Allied diplomats in Paris said the U.S. and South Vietnam have reached virtual agreement on strategy to be employed in the expanded peace talks opening Saturday with Hanoi and the Viet Cong. U.S. intelligence sources said North Vietnam has improved its military supply capability during the U.S. bombing halt but has made little progress rebuilding its industry. The Czech government warned against any demonstrations at the funeral in Prague Saturday for martyred Jan Palach, who burned himself to death to protest Soviet repressions. Squashing a wave of speculation started by Premier Georges Pompidou, President Charles de Gaulle of France said he has no intention of resigning before his term expires in 1972. President Nixon presided at the first meeting of his new Urban Affairs Council after signing an executive order formally setting up the body. They discussed problems of U.S. cities. With the argument that a president is entitled to a cabinet of his own choosing prevailing, the Senate today finally voted approval of Walter J. Hickel, Nixon's choice for secretary of interior. Although Gov. John McKeithen has denied it, an Arkansas businessman who headed the parent firm of the controversial Louisiana Loan & Thrift Corp. said he held meetings on three occasions with the governor. A group of leaders of the National Council of Churches planned to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by marching one mile to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where he was slain. Eighteen prospective jurors for the New Orleans conspiracy trial of Clay Shaw were dismissed, 13 of them because they said they had fixed opinions about his guilt or innocence. Jury selection was in the third day, with only four jurors seated. Ellen Bryan Moore, register of state lands, admitted that 27 Louisiana banks profit from state "courtesy" deposits made by her office but denied it is a form of political patronage. Shots Fired At Spacemen Near Kremlin By Michael Johnson MOSCOW (AP) - A mentally unbalanced young man fired into a motorcade carrying two top leaders of the Soviet Union and its space heroes Wednesday as it passed near the Kremlin gates, the Foreign Ministry said today. A chauffeur and an escort on a motorcycle were wounded. Cosmonaut Georgy Beregvoy was cut by flying glass. The gunman was captured immediately, the Foreign Ministry said. It was not clear whether the gunman was aiming at the cosmonauts or Communist party chief Leonid I. Brezhnev and President Nikolai V. Podgorny who were in another limousine behind the space heroes. Thousands Look On The shooting took place before more than a thousand onlookers at the entrance to the Kremlin, but it was hushed up for nearly 24 hours. Official confirmation of the incident came only after newsmen asked government spokesmen for details. A foreign ministry official said the gunman was "schizophrenic." The attack reportedly occurred as the motorcade approached the Kremlin's Borovit-sky Gate, shortly after 2 p.m. Riding in an open car at the head of the procession were the four cosmonauts being honored for their successful flights in So-yuz 4 and Soyuz 5 Vladimir Shatalov, Boris Volynov, Yevgeny Khrunov and Alexei Yeli-seyev. The gunman, described as a young man, was reportedly seized by bystanders and turned over to the police. Jaycees Pick Man of Year By Jim Adams (Town Talk Staff Writer) Joe W. Pitts Jr., an avid tennis enthusiast with an impressive record of civic achievements, was the recipient of the Alexandria Jaycee "Outstanding Young Man of the Year" award at a meeting of t h e organization Wednesday evening at Holiday Inn. Henry Rubin, president of the Jaycees, made the presentation and cited Pitts for his outstanding service to the community, his family and the nation. Pitts is vice president of the Brown-Roberts Hardware Inc. in Alexandria. His father, Joe Pitts Sr., is president of the firm and is a former winner of the outstanding young man award. President of YMCA A native of Alexandria, the 35-year-old Pitts is president of the YMCA. He is the youngest man to serve in that capacity, and is responsible for membership in the organization. Under his direction, Rubin stated, the "Y" has a record membership of more than 4,000 persons. Pitts is the men's city singles and doubles champion in tennis, and has actively promoted that sport in the Alexandria area for a number of years. He is past president of the Alexandria Tennis Assn. and past vice presi- (Turn to Page A-4, Collumn 1) . Workmen sift through debris of a wrecked home in Hazlehurst, Miss., today in the wake of a tornado that cut a mile-long swath of destruction through (AP Wirephoto) the town. The twister killed at least 10 persons in Hazlehurst and its immediate vicinity. Describes Captivity Bucher Testifies He Nixon, Urban Council View Was Beaten, Kicked Citjes' Pli9ht Kv Mania! Pamiuvl By Jack V. Fox CORONADO, Calif. (UPI)-The skipper of the USS Pueblo said he was beaten and kicked from the moment he was taken into captivity by the North Koreans and told that he and all his men would be shot at sunset on the first day. Cmdr. Lloyd M. Bucher, resuming testimony before a naval Board of Inquiry, moved into the portion of his ordeal in which the crew was held for 11 months in prison. Bucher said that a communist army general, speaking through an interpreter, said to him: . . "You are all going to be shot today. Do you want it one at a time or all together?" The 41-year-old commander said he stood up and asked that he be shot and that his men be returned to their ship and be permitted to leave. Bucher said he was shoved down into a chair and that a colonel made a move as if to strike him in the face but the general restrained him. After three days of testimony about events leading to surrender of his ship, Bucher was warned by the U.S. Navy Wednesday that he was "suspected" of a violation of the naval code in the manner in which he conducted himself. The counsel for a naval court of inquiry, which could recommend a court martial trial, informed the 41-year old skipper that he need answer no more questions about the capture of the ship by North Korean gunboats or what happened subsequently. Bucher replied that he wanted to tell the full story. He was expected to relate today what happened in Communist captivity. The Navy threw the ball back to Bucher after the commander told a lengthy story of lack of destruction capabilities, desperate pleas for American aircraft that never came and a "hopeless" situation which he thought could lead only to the slaughter of his 83-man crew. Bucher had testified that virtually all the equipment on the ship was bashed in with axes and secret papers burned or dumped overboard before he surrendered. Senate Confirms Hickel WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate confirmed today the controversial nomination of Gov. Walter J. Hickel of Alaska to be Secretary of the Interior. The action came three days after all of the other 11 members of President Nixon's Cabinet had been approved unanimously and more than 24 hours after they had taken office. Hickel's views on conservation matters and his personal financial interests were probed for five days by the Senate Interior Committee. The appointment then was debated at length on the Senate floor. The Senate now takes up another controversial Nixon nominationthat of California indus trialist David R. Packard to be deputy secretary of defense. Some senators have raised questions about Packard's plan for a trust arrangement for $300 million in stock he holds in an electronics firm doing extensive government business. But Packard has the unanimous backing of the Senate Armed Services Committee and his confirmation also was expected today. Sen. Edmund S. Muskie, D-Maine, opposing the Hickel nomination, said he wanted to impress on the Nixon administration not only concern over conservation policy but also the "deep concern on national fuels policy which exists in New England and Maine." By Daniel Rapoport WASHINGTON (UPI) -President Nixon signed an executive order today to formally set up his new Urban Affairs Council, then presided at the first meeting of the group to discuss problems of the cities. He signed the order with several pens as Presidents do on such occasions and remarked: "This is the first time I've ever done this. This is going to be a most unusual signature. I'm a scrawler." The signing took place in the Cabinet Room while members of the council including half his Cabinet stood around the President. Nixon announced creation of the council two months ago to coordinate efforts at relieving urban problems. He said he placed the same emphasis on these problems as he did on other national and foreign matters and created the Urban Council as a sort of National Security Council for the cities. The executive order establishing the council directed that it should assist the President in developing a national urban policy, establish priorities for federal programs in the cities, encourage cooperation between federal, state and city governments "with special concern for the maintenance of local initiative and local decisionmaking," and encourage and direct the efforts of voluntary organizations in dealing with city problems. Nixon also said the council should "foster the de-centralization of government with the object that program responsibilities will be vested to the greatest possible extent in state and local governments." In turning his attention to the cities, Nixon completes during his first three full days in office initial surveys of the three overriding concerns he feels grip America the war in Vietnam, crime in the streets and the deterioration of the cities. Inside Today's Town Talk j 3"" TCICing Q $ J. Million UetlClt Gremillion attacks statement by Gov. McKeithen ... North Viets improve military supply capability Former President Johnson is now a Texas rancher "Soul food" has arrived; pass the chitlins, baby Calif, creek recedes, yields bodies of victims Teddy Kennedy hints he may be candidate in 1972 Nixon must make an enormous bureaucratic machine work . . Page C-8 . Page D-5 . Page B-l Page B-5 , Page C-7 Page C-10 Page D-8 City politicians in La. unhappy with state regime Page A-6 By Bill Neiklrk BATON ROUGE, La. (AP)-The Legislative Budget Committee was told today that the state faces a $13.1 million deficit for the current fiscal year. Dr. Bernard Sliger, state commissioner of administration, gave the committee that figure as it held its first meeting. Sliger is expected later to outline a program for cutting spending to avoid a deficit. He said the state overestimated the severance tax by $9 million, mineral royalties by $9 million, the income tax by $1.5 million, and homestead exemption payments by $2 million. The sales tax, meantime, brought in $6 million more than expected and all other taxes, $1.5 million. In addition, Sliger said, attritions would save another $1.5 million in implementation of a civil service salary scale. Earlier, the administration said it had settled on $15 million as the figure that the budget committee will have lo shave from the state's $1.3 billion budget. The committee, meantime, held its organizational meeting and elected Sen. B. B. Rayburn of Bogalusa as chairman and Rep. Robert Munson of Cheney-ville as vice president. Rayburn was Gov. John McKeithen 's choice to serve a year as chairman. Then Sen. Frederick Eagan of New Orleans, the other candidate for the post, is expected to take over under a compromise agreement with McKeithen. Eagan walked into the committee room after Rayburn's selection and acceptance speech. Rayburn told the committee that the state faces "tremendous problems" in finances. "The eyes of the people of this state are focused upon us to come up with a solution," he said. The committee sharply questioned Ralph Pearlman, an officer in the division of administration, for what it called the division's tardiness in sending out funds for civil service pay raises. Pearlman denied this was the case. He said the division gave all departments the go-ahead to pay the raises and honored all money warrants. Four La. Servicemen Are Vietnam Victims WASHINGTON (AP) - The Defense Department said Wednesday four Louisiana servicemen died recently in Viet nam. They were: Navy Fireman Edward E. Stockwell Jr. of Mctairie, killed in action. Army 1st Lt. Floyd I. Granger Jr. of Sulphur, dead as a result of non-hostile action. Army Pfc. Wayne H. Knowl-ton of Hornbcck, changed from missing to dead as a result of non-hostile action. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry O. Knowlton of Hornbeck. Marine Lance Cpl. Larry W. Moreland of Arcadia, changed from missing to dead as a result of non-hostile action. He was the son of Mr. and Mr. Jim More-land of Arcadia. Storm Devastates Mississippi Town By James H. Downey HAZLEHURST, Miss. (AP)-Killer tornadoes barreled across central Mississippi today, claiming 28 lives and injuring over 100 persons as the twisters ripped through a three-county area. Officials feared the death toll could rise higher. The most severe tornado struck Hazlehurst in Copiah County, 30 miles south of Jackson. The highway patrol said at least 10 persons were killed in the area. The patrol reported four dead in one house in the Sardis community in Smith County. The Simpson County sheriff's office said 14 bodies had been recovered in that area. Alvin Smith, a high school football coach at Hazlehurst, said the tornado "sounded like three or four freight trains. After three minutes, he said, it was gone. He said as soon as the tornado had cleared he ran to the area of greatest destruction. Digs Survivors Out "I dug two people out myself, an old lady and a boy. I put a tourniquet on the boy. He was bleeding pretty badly." Eddie Brown, whose home here was destroyed, said, "I heard nothing but a lot of wind. Then the house started crashing. There was nothing to do then but get out." Mattie King, whose house was damaged' by the tornado and destroyed by fire a few minutes later, said she thought it was a train but "my daughter ran over from across the street with eight of her children. As soon as they got in the door, the bricks started falling out from under the house." She said the tornado blew off the roof and porch and afterward a "car crossed some of the (fallen electrical) wires. I heard a noise and looked up and saw the house was on fire." Mayor Paul Kemp said that most of the damage was actually outside the southern city limits of Hazlehurst, where the tornado dipped down near Interstate 55, then moved northeast, hit a lumber mill and then moved into a predominantly Negro area south of the city. Many Displaced Persons "We're doing everything we can to provide quarters for the many people displaced," Kemp said. "The city of Jackson and Jackson Mayor Allen Thompson have sent in personnel and offered facilities. "Hinds County has sent in work crews and they are digging into areas of destruction, looking for the missing that may be buried," he said at mid-morning. Jackson hospital received over flow patients from both the Copiah County and Simpson (Turn to Page A-7, Column 6) HOlf.tvi I r -- -IIS: i nfthtM"i f: TORNADO - I f . . (AP Wirephoto) Map locates central Mississippi area where tornadoes killed at least 28 persons and injured over 100. Hardest hit town was Hazlehurst. 196Gls Killed In Viet Action During Week By George Esper SAIGON (AP) - The U.S. Command announced today that 196 Americans were killed in action in Vietnam last week, the highest weekly toll since mid-December. Headquarters also reported the loss of two more U.S. Air Force fighter-bombers over South Vietnam, raising to five the number of American war-planes shot down over the South in the past three days. Five of the six crewmen aboard the five planes were rescued. The other was killed. Spokesmen said the five losses were the heaviest three-day toll over South Vietnam in more than seven months. The latest losses raised to 335 the number of U.S. warplanes shot down in combat over South Vietnam during the war. While American casualties moved up last week, so did those of the South Vietnamese military and the enemy. Agency Wants to Drop Plan For an Office Building Here By Cecil Williams (Assistant Managing Editor) W. W. McDougall, chairman of the Louisiana State Office Building Corp., said today the corporation would like to sell a tract of land it owns here and drop the idea of erecting a state office building in Alexandria. "If we could sell that land, pay off the architect and meet other expenses we have incurred, we would be happy to do so," McDougall said. He was contacted at his office in Baton Rouge. McDougall emphasized that he did not mean to imply that Alexandria did not need a state office facility. "If the office building corporation could get out of it without losing any money, we would turn the problem over to any state government agency that might be interested in it and let them have it,' he said. The architect he referred to is Joe Fryar of Alexandria, who is owed a fee for plans he submitted last year for the proposed office building here. McDougall was unable to tell the amount owed Fryar. Sen. Jamar Adcock of Monroe, McDougall's predecessor as office building corporation boss, also was queried today and could shed no light on Fryar's bill to the state. Fryar was called but was unavailable for comment. The site owned by the state is in the block bounded by Murray and DeSoto Streets and Ninth and Tenth Streets. When McDougall took over as chairman of the corporation, he announced that no new projects would be started. He confirmed this today when he said he would not revive the office building project here if the corporation could abandon it now. The corporation wrestled inconclusively with the problem of whether to construct such a building at a meeting in Baton Rouge Wednesday. The group received a resolution from the Alexandria-Pine-ville Chamber of Commerce urging it to look at Hotel Bentley as a possible state office building. Adcock quipped: "Seems like that's where I came in." The C. of C. resolution was merely filed. Members of the corporation noted that it owes Fryar some money for planning a $3 million state office building although revenues from such a building cannot possibly finance more than a $1.5 million structure. A decision on how much to pay Fryar was delayed, and Fryar will be asked to itemize his bill. The corporation will decide soon whether to let Fryar change his plans, pick a new ar-chitect, or abandon plans for a building In Alexandria.

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