South Florida Sun Sentinel from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 18, 1991 · Page 25
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South Florida Sun Sentinel from Fort Lauderdale, Florida · Page 25

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, January 18, 1991
Page 25
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uutE U ball ! t ' Sun-Sentinel, Friday, January 18, 1991 Section B GARY STEIN Staff Columnist (D)vintoinni(ul i 1 t i ! f ' i 1 t 1 . v : Missile news hits Israel-bound couple am and Audrey Meline saw their lives change while watching CNN at home on Thursday night. Only minutes earlier, the Hollywood couple had been talking on the phone to their 28-year-old daughter, Debbie, in Jerusalem. It had been a good talk, because the Melines, and Jews everywhere, had been so very relieved at the U.S. and allied forces' attack on Iraqi missiles on Wednesday night missiles that supposedly would have been aimed at Israel. Sam and Audrey were talking to Debbie on Thursday night about how they were still going to Israel on Tuesday. It was to be the 26th trip to Israel for Sam and Audrey. They would be visiting their daughter for a few weeks, helping to prepare her wedding and to do volunteer work in an orthodontic clinic that Sam had established in Jerusalem a clinic that helps Israeli and Palestinian kids. There was no sign of any problem as they talked to Debbie at her Jerusalem apartment. "Everything was fine," Sam Meline said about 7 p.m. "She was staying in her house. We had just hung up on her maybe 20 minutes ago." "Every time we are worried about what's going on there, all we had to do was talk to her," Audrey said. "She had total confidence." And then they continued watching the war news on CNN. And then came the reports that there were air raid sirens in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. And then the TV reporters started putting on their gas masks. And then came the official reports that Israel had been hit. , 1 1 t 'Anything can happen' "We were just sitting, channel-hopping, and then watching CNN when the reports came," Sam Meline said Thursday night from his Hollywood home. "We've been trying to get through to her, but we can't." Sam was trying hard to stay calm, but he was obviously nervous. "We're very, very concerned," he said about 10 p.m. Thursday, as he and his family were glued to the TV set. "We're just relieved that they said they were non-chemical bombs, and that only seven were slightly wounded. At least that's what they said. "We know that Debbie is in the apartment, supposedly with her fiance, in the safe room, and with their gas masks on. "They're sitting it out, I'm sure." I asked Sam what he was thinking when he heard that Israel had been hit. "I think we had been lulled into the same sense of confidence and euphoria . . . that we forgot for a moment that we are dealing with the Middle East," Sam said. "Anything can happen in the Middle East." Characteristically, he said that he and Audrey still plan to go to Israel next week, unless the airport is closed. "That's the only way they could keep us out," Sam said. Our conversation had been much more upbeat earlier in the day, in keeping with that "euphoria" over the feeling that Israel had been spared. We had talked at Sam's orthodontic of f ice about the great resolve of the Israeli people. We had talked about how they are so used to being at war or under the horrible threat of war, that they almost take a "business as usual" approach to the threats. And we had talked about Debbie, a former Nova High student, whom I had talked to when I was in Israel last August, when the Persian Gulf crisis was just starting. I'm not scared' When I talked to Debbie then, she had that "business as usual" attitude, even though Saddam Hussein was already bellowing that the first missile he fired would have Israel's name on it. "I'm not scared at all," Debbie told me then. "... I just believe whatever happens, we'll get through it." A few days ago, Sam and Audrey had talked to Debbie, who assured her parents she was fine. "Some people say to me, 'Are you going over there to bring Debbie home next week?' " Sam said. "Our response Is 'Debbie is home.' " "She said, 'Mother, we've never been so prepared as we are now," Audrey said. I wished them well on their trip. And then, a few hours later, TV was showing us how the world was going nuts. . INSIDE LOCAL A potential victim rmlls a gun and holds mugger captive for police. 3B Man who killed 3 co-workers at Wendy's in 1987 gets life in prison By LARRY KELLER Staff Writer The death sentence of a Fort Lauder dale man who shot and killed three coworkers in a Wendy's restaurant 3Vi years ago was reduced to life in prison on Thursday by the Florida Supreme Court. The ruling, on a 4-3 vote, means that Bernell Hegwood, I - t s Hegwood who was 17 when he committed the crimes in May 1987, could be eligible for release when he is 42 years old. The high court, however, affirmed Hegwood's convictions on three counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery. During the penalty phase of Hegwood's trial, jurors deadlocked 6-6 on whether he should be sentenced to death or life in prison. A tie is interpreted by law as a recommendation for life in prison. Broward Circuit Judge Thomas M. Coker Jr. overrode the recommendation. In its ruling on Thursday, the state's high court said judges may do so only when "the facts suggesting a sentence of death should be so clear and convincing that virtually no reasonable person could differ." This was not the case with Hegwood, the court ruled. The jury heard testimony that Hegwood was a generally good boy from an impoverished childhood. "A great part of Hegwood's ill-fated life appears to be attributable to his mother, described by witnesses as a hard-drinking, lying drug addict and convicted felon who tended to abandon her children and who turned Hegwood in and testified against him, apparently motivated by the reward money offered in this case," the court concluded. Hegwood's mother, Annie Broadway, collected an undisclosed portion of the $25,000 reward money, even though she admitted taking $20 from her son and spending another $600 of the stolen money on marijuana for him. She could not be reached for comment on Thursday. Hegwood, who worked at the Wendy's SEE SENTENCE 5B " r J .. V X - 1; i. TO- i fi Staff photoaLOU TOMAN Fourth graders at St. Stephen's Catholic School work with a television on in the background. . LESS ONS OF WAR I Teachers use classrooms to foster discussion of crisis. By LOURDES RODRIGUEZ-FLORIDO Staff Writer "How much destruction does one missile do?" asked David Botton, 16, during his history class at Hollywood Hills High School. "If one hit this school, how much would be left?" "Nothing," answered Jon Wilson, the honors history teacher. "A direct hit by a Tomahawk cruise missile could destroy any good-size building." The lessons of war came to Broward County schools on Thursday. On the day after United States and allied forces launched an attack against SESERT Iraci' war was on the minds ot Many teachers spent class periods discussing and answering questions on weaponry, oil, terrorism and other related war topics. Throughout the day, students watched news reports on tele vision or listened to updates over public address systems. "There's not much that I can do here, but I can just pray for my brother who s in Saudi Arabia and all the other guys," said Troy Turner, a sixth grader at St. Stephen's Catholic School in Miramar. "I'd rather not have there be a war, but if there's going to be a war, you should support them," said Scott Cohen, a sophomore at Taravella High School in Coral Springs. Most teachers and principals felt that letting children talk about the war was best. At St. Anthony Catholic School in Fort Lauderdale, students produced their own war newscast and wrote essays on their feelings. "Generally speaking, the younger children are fearful," said Susan Dasher, a first-grade teacher. "They said a couple of things that just floored me this morning. They asked me if they would have P.E. and computer, or did we need to get ready for war?" At Silver Ridge Elementary in Davie, students held a moment of silence to honor the troops. Afterward, Principal Marcia Pann read a letter over the intercom that came from a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force. "It's history in the making right now, and it would be Inappropriate not to talk about It," she said. Many of the school's students have written letters to military personnel in the Middle East and were reading them on Thursday. "I was amazed," said Chris Harris, a third-grader, as he rushed into the hallway to show Pann a shirt he re-' STORM HOUEFRONT "1 i "-if r fchris Harris, 8, of Davie, shows Silver Ridge Elementary Principal Marcia Pann a T-shirt he received from a serviceman in the Middle East. B Discussing war with children. 4B D Will war affect area tourism? 4B D Military families may get aid. 4B ceived recently from an Air Force sergeant he writes to. "He sent me some stripes to go with it." At St. Stephen's, teacher Rita Hughes gave her fifth-grade class open-book exams during the day and periodically discussed news reports being announced on the television set. Hughes' son, Kevin, is a paratrooper with the Army's 82nd Airborne Aviation Brigade and Is in the Middle East. "Everybody's a little stressful, and we're giving the students a break," she said. "This class has been very supportive of me." To help students cope with their feelings about the war, most schools have counselors on hand. And the Broward County school system has created a crisis committee to help students who are hit the worst. - Aznaran's sketches. SEE ARTflJT 5B Rock group not guilty of obscenity By BARBARA WALSH Staff Writer Six Broward County jurors took only 13 minutes on Thursday to acquit the rock group Too Much Joy of charges it performed an obscene show, and then they blasted the prosecution as frivolous and a waste of time. "They should be sending fathers who don't pay child support and drug dealers to jail, not these people," said juror Sharon Rogerwitz, 55, of North Lauderdale. . Broward Sheriff's Office deputies arrested Too Much Joy members Jay Blumenfield, Timothy Quirk and Alexander Smallens on Aug. 10 after they sang six songs from 2 Live Crew's As Nasty As They Wanna Be album at ' an adults-only show at Club Futura, a Hollywood nightclub. U.S. District Court Judge Jose Gonzalez declared the album obscene on June 6. His ruling is being appealed. Thursday's verdict was the second time in three months a jury has said singing or rap- ping songs from the Crew's sexually explicit album is not a crime. 2 Live Crew was acquitted on Oct. 20 of performing an obscene show, also at Club Futura. . Because of the two failed prosecutions, the Broward State Attorney's Office on Thursday announced it would drop obscenity charges against Club Futura owner Kenneth Ger-inger. Jurors in the Too Much Joy case listened to l'j days of testimony before going into the deliberation room shortly before 4 p.m. on Thursday. They had a verdict within minutes, said juror Maxine Szmulewitz, 42, of Coral Springs. "What took the longest was that a couple of people had to go to the bathroom and we had , : : SEE VERDICT 5B Artist robbed of life's work by 2 gunmen By KEVIN DAVIS and ARDY FRIEDBERG Staff Writers DAVIE A Peruvian artist who came to the United States to exhibit his wood and ivory sculptures had his life's work stolen on Thursday by two pistol-wielding robbers who burst into his apartment. Stripped of his works but not his talent, Francisco Aznaran, 54, drew detailed sketch es of the suspects for police. Aznaran answered a knock on the door of his apartment in the 5900 block of Southwest 41st Avenue about 11:30 a.m. and was met by two men with guns, he said. "The men came to the door and said, 'Where's the coke?' " Aznaran said. "They were Colombians. You could tell by their accents." They forced their way into the apartment, pointed a pistol at Aznaran's chest and handcuffed him, he said. They covered his head with a pillow case and ?ut him in a bedroom, hen they began hauling away the intricate sculptures, drawings and paintings that the artist had spent more than 20 years creating. Aznaran told police that the robbers stole a 22-picce collection carved from Peruvian mahogany, oak and olive. The largest piece was a 7-foot-by-3-foot ::: mum ijjgMiiaJfciiW

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