The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 7, 1996 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

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Salina, Kansas
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Monday, October 7, 1996
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Page 8
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A8 MONDAY. OCTOBFR 7 1996 NATION THE SALINA JOURNAL AIDS WALK Washington walks for a cure Tenth annual walk raises more than $2 million for local clinic By The Associated Press WASHINGTON - Infants in strollers, couples hand-in-hand, dogs wearing red ribbons made their way around the streets of the nation's capital Sunday in an annual trek to raise money for the care of AIDS patients. Organizers estimated more than 15,000 people participated in the 10th annual AIDS Walk Washington, which began and ended at the Ellipse between the White House and the Washington Monument. The walk is the largest fundraising event in the District of Columbia, but similar events are held in major cities across the country. Tipper Gore, the vice president's wife and the walk's honorary chairwoman, sent the walkers on their way with an appeal to keep up the search for a cure to the disease that has killed 300,000 people in the United States. The Associated Press An AIDS walk to benefit the Whitman-Walker Clinic gets underway Sunday in Washington, D.C. "The fight is not over until all our loved ones are safe," she said. Those who traveled the tour's full 6.2 miles raised more than $2 million for AIDS programs at the Whitman-Walker Clinic, which provides housing, medical and other forms of care for Washington-area AIDS patients. T NERVE GAS Scientist has clue to veterans' illnesses Illnesses that hit Gulf War veterans may be linked by a virus By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — A California scientist says he has discovered genetic material common to Gulf War-era veterans that could provide a clue why so many became sick after serving in the 1991 war. Microbiologist Dr. Howard Urnovitz, in a study being presented today to a conference of Gulf War veterans in Tampa, Fla., said the genetic marker could point to the existence of a virus. The virus could make veterans exposed to chemical agents or other toxins more susceptible to illness, he said. The report came as the Pentagon is under increased pressure from Congress and veterans' groups to examine the extent of U.S. troop exposure to chemical agents housed in a large Iraqi weapons arsenal blown' up in March, 1991. The Pentagon denied until June this year that evidence existed showing Americans were contaminated by Iraqi chemical or biological weapons. It now acknowledges up to 15,000 could have been exposed to the highly toxic nerve agent sarin and to mustard gas at the Khamiseyah arsenal in southern Iraq. Urnovitz stressed Sunday what he has discovered are genetic sequences that may be related to the enterovirus family but not the virus itself. The large enterovirus family ranges from viruses causing the common cold to those causing polio. But he said his study could be "terribly important" if it leads to discovery of a virus that could have put Gulf War veterans at substantially higher risk of illness when exposed to chemical agents or other pollutants common to a war environment. ! Urnovitz said he found unique genetic bands in 29 of 36 veterans from California and Arkansas who were deployed to the Gulf and in all eight Arkansas veterans tested who didn't serve in the Gulf. A random selection of 22 nonmilitary civilians found the band in only one. I ; T SUPREME COURT Mom takes fight to high court She's fighting state rule she must pre-pay for appealing custody case By GINA HOLLAND The Associated Press JACKSON, Miss. — The grinning faces of two sandy-haired toddlers stare out from a fading photo Melissa Lumpkin Brooks carries on her key chain. . She glances at it often while waitressing at a Memphis, Tenn., steak house. The photo briefly takes her mind off of worrying how to pay her rent. But it also brings the 28-year-old Brooks heartache. A Mississippi court says her son, now 11, and daughter, 9, are no longer hers. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today on Brooks' contention her constitutional rights to equal protection were violated when Mississippi courts refused to hear her appeal because she could not afford the legal fees. Mississippi courlts -require'" appellants to pay all fees upfront, which can sometimes mean lump sums in the thousands. The case raises the question "whether we're going to allow a state to have separate systems of justice, one for the rich and a lesser one for the poor," said Jackson attorney Robert McDuff, who's representing Brooks for free. The Supreme Court has already said states must pay for appeals by poor people in criminal cases, and David Ingebretsen, state director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is assisting Brooks, said most states defer costs in certain civil cases involving the poor. "Our argument is that in civil T WEDDING The Associated Press Melissa Lumpkin Brooks holds her only photo of her children. cases involving fundamental rights — such as parental rights, divorce, chUd.custody — the right of appeal should exist regardless of your ability to pay," Ingebretsen said. "The U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on this issue." Brooks' case deals only with ap-. peals by poor people for parental rights, but McDuff said a favorable ruling could prompt requests for deferred costs in other civil appeals. Brooks was a pregnant 16-year- old when she married her sweetheart, Sammy James, a cabinetmaker. They had a son and, two years later, a daughter. The marriage soured and the couple divorced in 1992. In 1993, James sought to end Brooks' parental rights so his new wife could adopt the children, who were in his custody. Brooks had moved out of state fleeing poverty and bad memories; under terms of the divorce, Brooks had the right to visit the children, but James asserts she never did. After a Benton County Chancery Court judge ruled in James' favor, Brooks returned to Mississippi to hire a lawyer and fight for her kids. But the Mississippi Supreme Court last year refused to hear her case when she could not raise the $2,350 in fees required to file the appeal. State Assistant Attorney General Rickey Moore insists the rule requiring pre-payment of all civil appeal costs is legal. About 100,000 civil cases are filed in Mississippi courts each year, he said, and the state cannot afford to foot the biU for those who can't pay. In the state's brief, Moore said a ruling for Brooks would create "a new and expansive constitutional right that is not supported by principle and which would -result••': in potentially huge additional expenses being h'e&ped upon the"' states." Brooks last saw her children two years ago and said sticking with the case hasn't been easy. "For a while I thought I'd just give up, but I just couldn't. I had to keep trying. I try to hold my head up and keep going," she said. At the time of the divorce, Brooks "was living with a convicted felon who drank heavily and could be violent," according to court records. Brooks acknowledges she had problems. After the divorce, the 5- foot-9-inch woman's weight fell 70" pounds, to a gaunt 100 pounds. "I lived in an old bummed-out trailer, didn't have nothing, a car or anything," she said. Brooks wants at least partial visitation rights, but is "scared that I'm going to be hurt again." Bride takes 10,000-foot wedding plunge By The Associated Press DREXEL, Mo. — Talk about taking the plunge. The bride wore white satin, a striped leather helmet and black polyester jump suit. Terri Essex said she'd always wanted to try skydiving, but never got around to it until her wedding day Saturday, when she leaped from an airplane 10,000 feet above her wedding party. "It's kind of like giving away the bride just by pushing her out the airplane door," said tandem jump instructor Pat Ensign, who accompanied the bride on her first dive. "I'm more nervous about her coming down than I am about getting married," said groom Stephen Foster, on terra firma, squinting into the bright sky. The couple had planned a no- fuss Las Vegas wedding, but when they couldn't arrange enough time for the trip, the bride's father, Danny Payne, suggested combining their nuptials with his annual fly-in barbecue. Payne even gave the bride away. Sort of. "When he opened the door and my legs dangled down, I said to my dad, 'I can't. I can't,'" Essex said. "He just squeezed my hand." She jumped. A few minutes later, she was on the ground, her shaking hands peeling away the jumpsuit to reveal her wedding gown. Essex and Foster exchanged vows, pausing twice for the deafening roar of departing planes, then headed into Payne's hangar for their wedding barbecue. so many trust State Farm for life insurance? «f SECURITY Stale Farm has the highest financial strength ratings from A.M. Best-An MOODY'S-Aaa Standard and Poor't-AAA Weiss Research-At ^PRODUCTS Afford*, sensible life imuiance to fit you needs. For life insurance backed by good neighbor service, see your nearby State Farm agent today. JIM O'BRIEN 825-2281 158 N. 8TH SALINA IStateFaraiSellsLifelnsurajice, STATE FARM LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY sponsored by Salina Family Physicians & WellPlan 617 East Elm Street, Salina • 825-8221 Call Community Line at 825-6000 and enter one of these four-digit categories to hear important health information. 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