The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 16, 1986 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, January 16, 1986
Page 1
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T1 Salina T 1 1 he Journal Home Edition — 25 Cents Salina, Kansas THURSDAY January 16,1986 114th year—No. 16 — 32 Pages Soviets propose plan to get rid of nuclear arms Sam Bledsoe lies on his lawn after he was pulled from his burning house. Fire department paramedic Marvin Van Blaricon (kneeling) talks to paramedic Gilbert Thrower (left) as sheriff's Deputy Dan Kvacik (right) watches. Police seek answers after fiery siege By JIM BOLE Staff Writer Sam Bledsoe never said a word from inside his house during the seven-hour siege that concluded early Wednesday morning. The reason for his silence is as uncertain as his reasons for refusing to leave his home at 1017 Gypsum, and firing a shotgun at a neighbor and three police officers, according to Salina law enforcement officials. The siege began Tuesday evening, when Bledsoe fired a shotgun blast through the front door of his house at a neighbor, and ended at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday when he was pulled from the fire, smoke and tear gas that had filled his house. The only person injured was the 35-year-old Bledsoe. He was in serious condition Wednesday night, with second-degree burns on his back, hands and arms, and smoke inhalation injuries, a nursing supervisor at St. John's Hospital said. Bledsoe has a lengthy police record and has been treated for emotional unstability, but officials do not know what triggered the standoff, said Salina Police Chief John Woody. * * * Bledsoe grew up in Salina. He graduated in 1968 from Salina High School, where he had been a varsity letterman on the school's tennis team. He spent several years as an Air Force pilot. After leaving the military he returned to Salina, holding various jobs. Bledsoe spent time in jail after being convicted in 1979 for possessing marijuana with the intent to sell, police officials said. He also was charged with attempting to commit suicide several times and had many misdemeanor convictions, they said. Charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery against a police officer are expected to be filed against Bledsoe for this week's incident, Woody said. The ordeal started when a neighbor came to Bledsoe's house about 7:40 p.m. to deliver a calendar. Bledsoe reportedly fired a shotgun blast from behind the front door, but did not injure the neighbor. The neighbor went home and called the police. Shortly after the call, police Lt. Errol Douglas and officer Brian McClurg arrived at Bledsoe's house. As they approached the house, Bledsoe reportedly fired another blast from behind the front door, police said. The officers, who were not injured, radioed for support. The two shotgun blasts were the first of four that Bledsoe allegedly made during the siege. Police said he was armed with a 20-gauge shotgun and a .22 caliber rifle, but did not fire the "rifle. By 8:30 p.m., officers from the police and Saline County sheriff's departments had blocked off area streets and warned neighborhood residents. Officers went quietly from house to house advising people that they could be evacuated or they could take cover in rooms farthest from Bledsoe's house. Efforts then began to coax Bledsoe to surrender. But he would not answer his phone and did-not respond to messages broadcast by megaphone. Several relatives, friends and his pastor also (See Siege, Page 2) MOSCOW (AP) — Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev Wednesday proposed eliminating nuclear weapons by the year 2000, starting with a 50 percent cut in strategic missiles and scrapping all U.S. and Soviet medium-range weapons in Europe. It was the first |T Kremlin proposal that did not seek to include British and French intermediate-range missiles as part of a U.S.-Soviet disarmament plan, although all nu- Gorbachev clear powers eventually would be asked to dispose of their nuclear arms. In Washington, President Reagan said: "I welcome the Soviets' latest response and hope that it represents a helpful further step in the process. We, together with our allies, will give careful study to General Secretary Gorbachev's suggestions." Gorbachev's plan outlined a three- stage process for eliminating nuclear weapons, hinging on U.S. agreement to renounce space weapons. Soviet insistence on banning space- based armaments and Reagan's reluctance to give up his Strategic Defense Initiative, dubbed "Star Wars," has been the main stumbling block in the arms negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland. The fourth round of talks will begin today. Gorbachev said the Soviets "are against weapons in space." "Our material and intellectual capabilities make it possible for the Soviet Union to develop any weapon if we are compelled to do this," Gorbachev said. "But we are fully aware of our responsibility to the present and future generations." Gorbachev's statement said the Soviet Union would continue its unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing for three months and would extend it further if the United States agrees to halt its testing. The initial moratorium was from Aug. 6 to Jan. 1. "The Soviet Union is proposing a step-by-step and consistent process of ridding the earth of nuclear weapons, to be implemented and completed within the next 15 years, before the end of this century," Gor- bachev said. The initial phase, over five to eight years, calls for halving U.S. and Soviet strategic missiles arsenals, those weapons capable of reaching each other's territory, and limiting the remaining long-range missiles to 6,000 warheads on each side. It also proposes "complete elimination of intermediate-range missiles of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. in the European zone, both ballistic and cruise missiles." "At the second stage, which should start no later than 1990 and last for five to seven years, the other nuclear powers will begin to engage in nuclear disarmament," Gorbachev said. "They would pledge to freeze all their nuclear arms and not to have them in the territories of other countries." This phase also would ban "the development of non-nuclear weapons based on new physical principles, whose destructive capacity is close to that of nuclear arms or other weapons of mass destruction," Gorbachev said. The third stage, to begin by 1995, calls for eliminating all remaining nuclear weapons on Earth and for a universal agreement not to bring them into being again. First set of budget cutbacks take effect Budget cuts might cost Kansas $8 million WASHINGTON (AP) — The first round of potential budget cuts under new deficit-slashing legislation could cost Kansas about $8 million in federal grant money this year, with additional losses at military posts in the state. The cuts in federal money to state and local governments are among $11.7 billion in spending reductions nationwide, which were set into motion Wednesday under terms of the new Gramm-Rudman budget- balancing Jaw. Kansas' share of those reductions automatically will take place on March 1 unless Congress takes action to block them. They are estimated to total $7.8 million in the current fiscal year for a host of federal grant-in-aid programs, according to an analysis by a state government research group. The group, Federal Funds Infor- mation for States, projects the biggest cuts will fall on social services and health block-grant programs, combined about $1.6 million; low- income energy assistance to help the poor pay their utility bills, and federal aid for education and highways. Overall, Kansas would lose nearly 1 percent of its federal money this year. McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita will be the biggest loser in Kansas, with cuts of $412,000 in projects to prepare it for the arrival of Bl-B bombers. Congress, before it adjourned last month, approved spending $71.5 million for work at McConnell. Fort Riley would lose $342,000, including monies for construction on aircraft maintenance hangars, tactical equipment shops, a dental clinic and battalion headquarters. WASHINGTON (AP) - A $11.7 billion first installment toward a balanced federal budget was triggered under a new deficit-reduction law Wednesday, paving the way for cutbacks in hundreds of programs and a near government-wide hiring freeze. Some federal officials said layoffs of federal workers also were a possibility. But budget director James Miller III called on agency heads to look for other ways to make the required reductions — including cutting down on travel expenses and not filling vacancies. "The administration's firm position is that we're going to meet these challenges in a way that minimizes disruptions," Miller said. The cuts were set in motion by the issuance of a joint report by Miller's Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office projecting that the fiscal 1986 deficit would soar to $220.5 billion — $8.6 billion above last year's record flow of federal red ink. Miller said he doubted these cutbacks — amounting to 4.3 percent for domestic programs and 4.9 percent for the military on March 1 — would result in widespread disruptions or anything "like closing the Wash- ington Monument or draining the Tidal Basin." But other administration officials said there would be "furloughs" at some agencies, that some workers might be encouraged to take early retirements and that a plan was being studied for reduced hours in national parks. "I think it's going to be weeks, ii not months, before agencies know for sure the ultimate effect on personnel," said Constance Horner, director of the Office of Personnel Management. But Horner suggested that some employees could be given leaves of absence — a move she said might be preferable to straight "reductions in force," the government's term for being laid off. Agencies should consider ways to help employees "make the transition either to other government jobs or to jobs outside the government," she said. Despite possible disruptions, Treasury Secretary James Baker ffl said he thought the imposition of across-the-board reductions was fair and would accomplish cuts in some popular programs that Congress would never go along with otherwise. Today Inside Classified 16-18 Entertainment ..20 Farm 14 Fun 19 Living Today 6,7 Local/Kansas 3,15 Markets 8 Nation/World 5 On the Record 9 Opinion 4 Sports 11-13 Weather 9 Weather KANSAS - Partly cloudy today, with highs in the 50s. Partly cloudy northeast tonight and mostly clear elsewhere, with lows in the upper 20s to low 30s. South Salinan takes the high road to bypass regulations By GORDON D. FIEDLER Jr. Staff Writer Less than a month remains before the city is expected to adopt regulations of the federal Flood Insurance Program, but the impending requirements already are having an impact on at least one house under construction in flood- prone south Salina. Bob Gorrell of Gorrell Construction Co. is building himself a two-story house at 700 Neal. Passersby don't need an address to find the new construction: The foundation rises about three feet above the foundations of neighboring houses in the Bonnie Ridge subdivision. Gorrell said he had the property surveyed and planned the construction so that the bottom of the basement windows would be six inches above the flood plain elevation. While the local building and real estate community has criticized the federal regulations, Gorrell said he managed to use the proposed requirements to his advantage. "I knew it was, in the flood plain when I boughf the property," he said. "But the price was right. I could bring it up and come out all right." Gorrell said he used the dirt from the basement excavation to elevate the site, but still will need about 12 more truckloads of dirt for landscaping around the foundation. Construction on the house began in December. When the regulations take effect Feb. 5, his house will be considered existing construction even though it won't be finished for three months. By starting when he did, Gorrell effectively will have moved his house from the flood plain and all the regulations that will govern flood plain construction after Feb. 5. Gorrell sees three advantages: • He will pay less for flood insurance than owners of structures subject to flood damage. • In the event the house is substantially damaged by some disaster, Gorrell could rebuild the house to the same shape, dimensions and elevation as it once was. Had the property not been elevated out of the flood plain, the Federal Emergency Management Agency would require the rebuilt house to be above the flood plain elevation. • The basement of the house will not be subject to flood insurance regulations that would have applied had construction started after Feb. 5. Gorrell might have had to eliminate the basement altogether if he had started construction next month. Once the regulations are in force, new residential constructiqn in areas designated as flood prone would be without basements. The city is writing a basement exemption into the model ordinance supplied by the federal government, but it will be up to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to grant the exemption. That agency is in charge of the federal Flood Insurance Program. The possibility that the city won't receive the basement exemption also was on Gorrell's mind when he decided to build when he did. "I don't know what they are going to do," Gorrell said. "Without the exemption, I wouldn't be able to put a basement in." Realtors and others in the building community expressed worries last year that property values and the ability to sell houses in south Salina and other flood-prone areas would decline. President of the Salina Home Builders, Eldon Crawford, said he is maintaining a wait-and- see posture on the ultimate effects of the new regulations. So far, though, he said he has noticed there seems to be more building under way in areas that are out of the flood plain. The flood plain program was mandated by the Federal Flood Insurance Act of 1968. Its purpose is to reduce annual flood losses through planning and to provide property owners with affordable flood protection, according to the emergency management agency. In the agency's view, the program will result in more careful flood plain management by making new construction more flood resistant, thereby reducing claims on the federal insurance program and ultimately saving taxpayers and flood victims money.

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