The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on December 31, 1985 · Page 5
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 5

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, December 31, 1985
Page 5
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Nation/World The Salina Journal Tuesday, December 31,1985 Page 5 Hostages rescued by police NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) - A self- described heroin addict and murderer who threatened to kill his two teen-age hostages and any police officers he saw was shot to death Monday by a state police sniper, ending a 30-hour siege. Dennis Lucas, 20, was shot shortly after one hostage was rescued andi police decided "the situation 1 had d e t riorated," said state police CaptDaleFortner. Lucas Lucas took the two brothers hostage in their home early Sunday and demanded between $20,000 and $50,000 and airline tickets to Europe for the three of them, police said. Shortly before police fired the fatal shot into a first-floor bedroom, they had rescued Robert Wardlow, 14, who Lucas had allowed to go into another room, according to state police spokesman Jim Dol wick. Lucas had threatened the life of the remaining hostage, Robert's 16- year-old brother, Larkin, and police concluded it was futile to continue negotiating, Fortner said. "Larkin was handcuffed to the bed," he said. "His life was in certain, imminent danger." "We had no other choice, regretfully," Fortner added. State police declined to release details of how Lucas was shot. Lucas, an ex-convict, had claimed' to have murdered two people recently. Earlier Monday, state police had Police rescue a teen-age boy who was one of two hostages being held in Kentucky. also rescued a woman, identified as Julie Cole, and her sons Donald, 5, and Christopher, 3, from a floor above where Lucas had held off police for 30 hours. Police said Lucas had fired shots intermittently from a window and that he fired at but missed hitting a man who fled the house Sunday. "It was an ordeal for the whole neighborhood," said Susie Newton, who huddled with her family in a nearby house. "The whole neighborhood was hostage." Beverly Newton, a niece of Mrs. Newton, said she heard at least 15 gunshots Sunday night. "Just constant bang, bang, all the time," she said. Lucas, who served 18 months in three Indiana prisons for two April 1984 theft convictions, told Cincinnati radio station WLW in a telephone interview that "my mind is sick" because of his experiences in prison. Lucas said he was raped by other prisoners. "I got beat up bad and cut." Authorities said Lucas had accompanied a friend to Indiana and was convicted of two felony theft counts in purse-robbing incidents in Huntington County, Ind. He was sentenced to serve two years in prison, but was released Oct. 1, after serving 18 months. Police, who had negotiated un- successfully by telephone since Sunday morning with Lucas, were investigating claims he made to police and a radio interviewer that he had killed two people in alleged drug deals. He claimed to have dumped the body of a teen-age boy in the Licking River, which separates Newport and neighboring Covington, and to have discarded the body of another teen-age boy in Cincinnati, just across the Ohio River. Newport police said they found the body of James Cain, 15, of Covington, in the Licking River and were investigating the case as a "possible homicide," but had not linked it to Lucas. Nation's economy sluggish performer WASHINGTON (AP) - The government's main forecasting gauge last month posted its poorest performance since June, but the tiny 0.1 percent rise did not stop the Reagan administration from predicting the nation's economic fortunes will improve in the new year. The Commerce Department reported Monday that its Index of Leading Indicators recorded a seventh consecutive increase last month, but the advance was substantially below gains of 0.4 percent in both September and October. The rise was powered by the big rally in the stock market. Without the gain in stock prices, the index would have fallen by 0.3 percent. Many economists said the small advance was accurately forecasting that the economy will continue to grow in 1986, but with only a modest pickup from this year's sluggish rate. In Palm Springs, Calif., where President Reagan is vacationing, presidential spokesman Larry Speakes said the latest figures "continue to show steady, moderate growth." Many analysts expected economic growth, as measured by the gross national product, to advance at a 2.5 percent to 3 percent rate next year. Based on a preliminary estimate, the economy grew 2.4 percent in 1985, Economic Indicators _^_ Seasonaly Adjusted Economic Activity 100 1967 Source: U.S. Commerce Dept "172.- D JFMAMJJASON '84 '85 Nov/85 down sharply from the robust 6.6 percent growth rate of 1984. The administration on Monday released its revised forecast for next year calling for the economy to grow at a 4 percent rate in 1986. \ Lebanese not optimistic about new treaty BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) — The signing of a Syrian-sponsored armistice by Lebanon's three most powerful militias has revived hopes for peace, but skepticism still runs high in this nation battered by 10 years of civil war. "The whole thing is ink on paper," said Sauna Fakhoury, a Moslem housewife in west Beirut. "Experience has taught us not to trust the militias." East of the city's dividing Green Line, 65-year-old real estate dealer Fadaa Malouf, a Christian, was a little less pessimistic: "We've had lots of peace pacts, but let's hope this is the last one." Lebanon's Druse, Shiite Moslem and Christian warlords signed the 23- page peace pact in Damascus, Syria, on Saturday. In an unprecedented joint statement, they pledged to ' 'turn the dark pages of the past'' and end the sectarian strife that has claimed more than 100,000 lives since 1975. But the pledge by Druse chieftain Walid Jumblatt, Shiite leader Nabih Bern and Elie Hobeika, commander of the Lebanese Forces Christian militia, was greeted with caution. "How do you expect people who have lost relatives and their homes to forget all their sufferings just because three men who are better known for their feuds suddenly sign a peace accord?" asked Siran Yassin, a west Beirut housewife. "Personally, I don't care much because I've decided to leave the country," she said. Jumblatt, Berri and Hobeika have declared a nation-wide cease-fire for Tuesday. It will be a crucial test for the peace plan, especially in view of public distrust. Militiamen largely have vanished from the streets. Beirut's Green Line has been quiet for three straight days, but five of its six main crossing points remain closed by Christian and Moslem snipers lurking atop devastated buildings. Front lines in the hills east of Beirut, where Druse fighters face Lebanese army soldiers loyal to President Amin Gemayel, also have been reported calm. "Lebanese can't really be op- timistic or pessimistic when it comes to peace," explained Massis Alex- anderian, a middle-aged Beirut accountant. "Like someone who is about to drown, we have to cling to any sign of hope." The agreement provides for a process to end the war,within one year under Syrian sponsorship. It calls for the immediate formation of a national coalition government with powers to seek Syrian military intervention in case of any defiance of the peace process. 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