Fort Lauderdale News from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 6, 1983 · Page 21
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Fort Lauderdale News from Fort Lauderdale, Florida · Page 21

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, January 6, 1983
Page 21
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Fort Lauderdale News 2 Prison sentence of 330 years for rapist is reinstated Pilot, 69, lands at airport, taxis to Customs with pot HF Thursday, Jan. 6, 1983 , D i Section 13 Utility bills test minister's fait' h- '' -'"1 L fjut:A . Staff pbota by URSULA SEEMANN Gary Pettyjohn faced a $1,000 electric bill. By Patricia Sullivan CoMnmer Writer .. Welcome to South Florida, Gary Pettyjohn. Vou probably were impressed by the warm, sunny weather last month when you came from Kentucky to meet the Davie congregation that had hired you as their minister. You probably were impressed by the warmth of the Community Christian Church, too. Its members found a house for you to rent with your wife and two toddlers, and helped you make a deposit of three months' rent. But probably you were most impressed with the $1,000 electric bill you were told you had to pay before a single light bulb could be turned on. The $190 city gas bill was another surprise. "I heard you had to be careful down here, but I didn't realize you had to be this careful," Pettyjohn said. The electricity was shut off in October, when an $800 bill was left unpaid. But even after the power was cut off, Florida Power & Light officials said, the meter at 11450 NW 40th Place, Sunrise, showed an extra $200 in power use. . "There is a large bill owed, and we kept disconnecting for non-payment, and it kept mysteriously reappearing as using electricity," said FPL's Doug Barnes. Pettyjohn later discovered the meter' back bad been pried off. Although new tenants are not responsible for the electric bills of for mer tenants, FPL suspected that the homeowner, Dorothy Dragone, simply was changing the name on the account without moving out when Pettyjohn asked for service. FPL said the bill had to be paid before the power was reconnected or Pettyjohn had to prove he wasn't responsible for Ms. Dragone's debt - Jerry McFarland, Sunrise public service director, said that once gas is cut off to a house, the delinquent bill must be paid before service is restored. The landlord ultimately is responsible, he said, but the city doesn't care who pays the bill. If all that weren't enough, someone slept in the beds and rifled the dresser drawers the night Pettyjohn dropped off his furniture at the new house. "(It has taught me) just what sin can do to a person," said the pastor from Louisville. Ms. Dragone apparently has left town. The $1,600 the congregation lent for the rent deposit is gone, too. There are many liens on the house, and it's in the middle of foreclosure. "I don't feel any bitterness toward her. I just feel pity," the minister said. Welcome to South Florida, Gary Pettyjohn. After a few days of worry, Pettyjohn decided to chuck the problems and find another place to rent, this time in Cooper City. He had to pay another three months rent and another $50 to Southern Bell to have another telephone installed at the new home. -Video '-guru -' .... X V i -. . - 17' " -. ' Mill .1 1 ,; Jciiii i.J !' tl - a , -.wmmmnmmmm;mmm Staff kola by TIM RIVERS Bill Mitchell Jr., 17, takes to the controls at Centipede, a video game for which he achieved the world-record score. Fame blips into expert's life By Kevin Allen Staff Writer HOLLYWOOD It's guys like Bill Mitch-. ell Jr. who make life difficult for the people who build video games. No sooner does a smart programmer come up with the toughest thing since Galaxian, than some 17-year-old comes along and cracks the code. And then it's all over. It's back to the drawing board. Because the kid owns the game by then. "You've got to realize these are computers and everything happens for a reason," Mitchell said. If by luck or accident or diligence you discover a quirk in the program, you can beat the machine at its own game, he said. With Mitchell, it was Centipede, a game of shoot-'em-up involving a marching worm, bouncing spiders, a frustrating flea and a never play a game a lot unless I'm really serious about it. Every time I sit down I'm playing for a world record." Bill Mitchell Jr. whole gang of mushrooms. An average player is lucky to score, say, 100,000 points on Centipede. In one October outing, Bill Mitchell racked up 25 million. It took him 47 straight hours spread over three days at his father's bar Ricky's on Hollywood Boulevard. "I stopped because I had to go to school the next day," Mitchell said. But he had established a world record and subsequently became the object of all kinds of attention. First he was in Joystick Magazine, the publication of record for video-game enthusiasts. Then his picture was featured in the current issue of Life in an article about 10 video whiz kids. Then he got invited to take part in a videogame shoot-out with 17 other computer game masters at Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard in Ottumwa, Iowa a contest that will be taped for ABC's Thai's Incredible. Mitchell didn't expect to win. The competition, he said, is just too stiff. Even for a world-record holder. "Records get broken every day," he said. He would have enjoyed the trip and the company, he said, but he came up $200 short. Please see VIDKID, 7B Inside today Thousands seek post-office work Thousands of job hunters are lining up at South Florida post offices this week, hoping to land a scarce but lucrative mailroom position. Story page 3 Judge OKs sale of airport bonds A Broward Circuit judge has approved sale of $350 million in bonds to finance the expansion of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Story page 4 Bombs burn at theater, causing smoke damage Bulletin board 2 Local digest 3 Concert review 5 Deaths 6 By Jennifer L. Schenker Staff Writer ' FORT LAUDERDALE Investigators today were trying to determine who placed three makeshift bombs inside the Southland Twin Cinemas, causing fire damage that will force the theater to close for at least a week. The theater, in the shopping plaza at State Road 84 and Southwest Ninth Avenue, was empty when two bombs ignited about 3 a.m. Wednesd y, but did not detonate. The ensuing blaze caused minor damage. A third bomb failed to go off. The damage forced the theater to close temporar-, ily, said Fort Lauderdale police Detective Jim Ives. The damage went undiscovered until a businessman at a nearby store noticed a door of the theater was ajar about 7 a.m., police said. ; The bombs had "the potential of taking that whole shopping center. If that place had gone up, the fire department really would have had their hands full," Ives said. The bomb that caused the most damage ignited in the middle of an aisle, burning itself out as it destroyed seats and carpeting inside the empty theater. There was heavy smoke damage, Ives said. "The carpeting was soaked with gasoline, but the carpeting didn't burn like it was intended to burn . . . If the bomb would have been placed nearer to the screen it would have gone up like an inferno," Ives said. "The accelerant contained in the bomb really messed the side of that place up. It's really going to have to be cleaned up," he said. The second bomb in the audience area failed to go off and did only minor damage to the twin cinema's east theater. "They must have been nervous setting it up," Ives said. Another explosive device in the projection room malfunctioned, fire officials said. "God only knows why the one upstairs (in the projection room) didn't go, but it just didn't start the jug (of gasoline) on fire," he said. Ives estimated that the bomber spent at least $100 for materials used to make the bombs. One of the theater's owners, Robert Eisenman, said the incident "came as a complete shock" to him. "I've thrown a few people out of my theater, but nobody I would know would threaten me," he said. Eisenman said the theater would be closed for one to two weeks. Cleairap of waste ordered! By Russell Clemings Environmental Writer FORT LAUDERDALE The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered a partial cleanup and more tests on a toxic-waste site believed to have polluted five city drinking water wells with a cancer-causing industrial cleanser. EPA's action is the first step in forcing a cleanup at Hollingsworth Solderless Terminal Co., which polluted the soil with toxic metals and dumped chemicals into an abandoned well near Executive Airport between 1975 and 1981. $30,000 is stolen from AAA It is also the first substantive action taken in Broward County under the federal government's two-year-old toxics-cleanup program. "Hollingsworth should be coming up with some sort of a plan to implement the (EPA order) sometime this month. We'll review that, and then it will be up to Hollingsworth to hire the people to do the work," said Robert T. Rudulph, wastewater section chief for the county's Environmental Quality Control Board, which helped EPA draw up the order. EPA's directive asks Hollingsworth to remove soil contaminated with nickel, tin and copper from a drainfield where the company dumped wastes from electroplating, and to drill four new wells to determine the size of a plume of groundwater contaminated by the industrial cleanser, trichloroethyl-ene, and related chemicals. Trichloroethylene, which is known to cause cancer in laboratory animals, was discovered in August in five wells supplying the city's Fiveash water treatment plant. The affected wells, all on airport property, were ordered closed immediately. If Hollingsworth's implementation plans differ too much from what EPA requested, the agency can reject the plans and do the work itself with federal Superfund money, said Jim Orban, EPA's project manager for the Hollingsworth site. Later, EPA could sue Hollingsworth to recover three times the Superfund outlay. The Superfund is a congressio-nally ordered effort to clean up over the next five years the worst hazardous dumps in the nation. About $1.6 billion is committed to finance the effort, which could include prosecution of companies responsible for illegal waste disposal. Hollingsworth is ranked 193rd on the EPA's list of the 418 worst hazardous-waste sites in the United States. The state Department of Environmental Regulation considers it to be the worst in Florida. , Orban predicted the drainfield cleanup could begin "within a month or two, conceivably sooner," if Hollingsworth's plan is acceptable to EPA. But a full cleanup of the site, including the polluted groundwater, may be 18 months to two years away, predicted Brent Hartsfield, Hollingsworth project manager for the state Department of Environmental Regulation. One problem is that no one knows for sure whether the trichloroethylene that was dumped down Hollingsworth's abandoned well is the same trichloroethylene that showed up in the city wells. Trichloroethylene is a common industrial chemical, and is used by many business in the neighborhood of Hollingsworth, which is at 700 NW 57th Place. By Jack Brennan Staff Writer FORT LAUDERDALE A safecracker suspected in five break-ins at American Automobile Association offices around Florida apparently has struck again, getting $30,000 in cash, airline tickets and travelers' checks from the Fort Lauderdale AAA office. Fort Lauderdale police said the burglar cut a hole in an air-conditioning duct on the roof of the AAA World Wide Travel Agency, in the 400 block of Southeast 29th Street, then lowered himself into the office. Once inside, police spokeswoman Diana Morrissette said, the burglar was able to crack the safe without cutting away at the lock a sign that the thief was a professional.. "It looks like it was a professional job. There was no sign of the safe being tampered with," Ms. Morrissette said. "We have few or no clues." ' Police speculated the burglar may have used sophisticated equipment for detecting the combination by listening to the tumblers in the safe's lock. Police found no clues to the burglar's method. Morrissette said the burglar broke into the office sometime between closing on Wednesday, and 7:45 a.m. today, when Fort Lauderdale police Officer Doug Dixon reported the incident. It was not immediately known who discovered the burglary. Police were told that someone using the same method of operation has robbed AAA offices in Pompano Beach, Miami Beach, Orlando and St. Petersburg during the past six months. One office was broken into twice. Dan Millott, an AAA spokesman in Miami, said the AAA disputes the police view that all of the break-ins appear to have been committed by the same burglar. "While there might be a vague similarity in pattern, we think it's highly unlikely it was the same person. They're so darn spread out and there are some differences in the MO (method)," Millott said. He said the AAA World Wide network is the largest travel agency in the world and that the items stolen were stock kept on hand to do business. AAA officials were at the Fort Lauderdale office today trying to tabulate the exact amount of the loss.

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