Great Falls Tribune from Great Falls, Montana on November 16, 1988 · Page 1
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Great Falls Tribune from Great Falls, Montana · Page 1

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Wednesday, November 16, 1988
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1 Cr.:23i2 fcli ftssno ui fcy3A r n Cloudy Increasing clouds with southwest winds. High near 40. Page 10A. (FmOOQ 2 L Political role in decisions acknowledged White House postponed numerous actions in order to aid election of Bush By STEVEN V. ROBERTS New York Timet Newt Service WASHINGTON - White House officials acknowledged Tuesday that the Reagan administration had deliberately delayed a series of sensitive policy announcements until after the election to protect Vice President George Bush's political interests. One sensitive decision involves Social Security and welfare. Tuesday, it was learned that the administration is preparing new rules that, would restrict the rights of people to appeal government decisions denying them Social Security or welfare benefits. Other potentially unpopular moves made recently are a program to randomly test 4 million transportation workers for drug abuse, labor rules permitting employees in certain industries to work at home and notification to 80,000 farmers that they could lose their property as a result of delinquent loans. . "The whole process in the White House in the last three weeks began to slow down," one senior official said. "It didn't take a genius to see that if the impact of something was uncertain, it was being deferred until a later time. Campaigns hate unpredictability." Aside from campaign considerations, officials said many of these policy steps are being taken before Bush takes office so that the new president will be spared making unpopular decisions himself. "It makes sense to do them now rather than have the next administration get bogged down in whatever See POLITICS, 2A ,'.. ' ' I ' L l $!; 0 I " J J 0 A Brady, Sununu lapped for jobs Nicholas Brady, right, shakes hand with President-elect George Bush. AP Photo WASHINGTON (AP) - President-elect George Bush announced Tuesday that he was asking Nicholas Brady to remain as Treasury secretary, and a source said the president-elect also asked New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu to be his White House chief of staff . Sununu, who is retiring as governor, had been one of two top candidates for the job, along with Craig Fuller, who was chief of staff for nearly four years in Bush's vice presidential office. An official announcement of Sununu's appointment was expected later. Bush spokeswoman Sheila Tate, after talking with Fuller and transition co-director Robert Teeter, said late Tuesday, "The vice president has not indicated to us he's made a decision." However, a source said Bush had decided on Sununu, whom he had invited to a private dinner Monday night at a vacation retreat in Florida and who flew back to Washington with Bush Tuesday. Bush made the announcement to keep Brady after meeting with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the first of a string of sessions the ' r u Gov. John Sununu president-elect has scheduled with foreign leaders. Bush will meet Wednesday with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and will confer with Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev next month. Bush also said Tuesday that his administration would work to reduce the budget deficit while re sisting higher taxes and trade pro-, tectiomsm, fr..,:, J ' J "J " -r 1 f"h " it. -.:' . J Tribunt Photo by Woyno Arnit Sen.-elect Conrad Bums Burns not planning to change persona By PETER JOHNSON Tribune Staff Writer U.S. Sen.-elect Conrad Bums said Tuesday he does not expect to change his down-home style in Washington. "I wore a sports coat and boots when I went to Washington a lot more than I wore a suit; I don't think that will change much," Bums said, adding he spotted several "ex-farm boys" on the floor of the U.S. Senate wearing similar clothes. Bums said he was joking somewhat in a post-election interview when he said he didn't see much difference between the U.S. Senate and the Yellowstone County Commission except the Senate has "more zeroes" in the budget. "There will be a few other problems a little bit heavier, such as survival of the nation," he said. Bums added that he had been trying to make a point: "You can't take yourself too seriously, but you take your job damn seriously." Bums said the greatest compliment he received on the cam paign trail was when-someone told him he was no different in person than he had been on his farm and ranch broadcasts. A week after he knocked off incumbent Sen. John Melcher, Republican Bums said in an interview here that he still feels "elation," but he professes no surprise. Bums noted that his campaign polling showed him charging into a narrow lead in the final days of the election, even if many observers were skeptical. One key to his win was sticking to a campaign plan and peaking on Election Day, Bums said, rather than changing plans and falling short, a problem he said has plagued other Republican candidates in recent years. He said a good slate of Republican candidates and voters' desire for change also helped. Bums said late developments on two issues were breaks, but stressed his campaign had criticized Melcher earlier in the campaign on both issues. See BURNS, IA Gun in By TIM ROBY Tribune Staff Writer After chasing clues into dead ends the past 43 months, prosecutors and police officials said Tuesday they have recovered the .22-caliber handgun used to kill pizza deliv-eryman Morris Davis Jr. Despite the first big break in the case, Cascade County Attorney Pat Paul said the homicide remains unsolved, and the investigation is continuing under the direction of police detective Al Redenbaugh. According to a press release prepared by Redenbaugh and Paul, the murder weapon was recovered in late May during a routine check of pawn shops in Great Falls. Redenbaugh said the weapon was confiscated with cooperation from deUvervmari's death found the pawn-shop owner and sent to the Montana State Crime Lab for examination. Montana firearms experts and a Washington state firearms expert determined through extensive testing that the handgun was indeed the weapon used to shoot Davis on the night of April 5, 1985. Davis was shot repeatedly from point-blank range while delivering a Howard's pizza to a vacant house at 1015 6th Ave. NW. Police said a man ordered a pizza around 9 p.m., and Davis was seen by witnesses delivering the pizza to the front door at 9:20. When Davis failed to make radio contact with supervisors at Howard's, a second deliveryman was sent to the residence. The man found Davis lying just inside some sliding-glass doors. Police were called to the scene at 10:56 p.m., and an ambulance was dispatched.-However, the homicide scene turned into chaos when one of the first people on the scene was Davis' brother, Clifford, an ambulance attendant. Police have established robbery as a motive since the wallet containing Davis' pizza money was missing. During the past 32 years, detectives have been frustrated by the lack of any solid leads. Lt. David Warrington, head of the Great Falls police detective division, said detectives have been making random checks of local pawn shops for the caliber and brand of gun used in the killing "when we hit (the jackpot) in May." He declined to name the shop where the gun was located, but said detectives and federal agents tracked the weapon to a man in Oregon. Redenbaugh said interviews with the gun owner revealed the weapon had been stolen from him. Redenbaugh and Deputy County Attorney Brant Light, who has been assigned the case, have traveled in and out of state on many occasions, according to Paul. "During these travels, investigators have interviewed and in some cases polygraphed the gun owner, suspects and others whose names have come up recently and in the past," Paul said. Added Warrington: "We've elimi- See GUN, 2A County gains funds under utility-state accord By RICHARD ECKE Tribune Staff Writer Montana Power Co. and the state Department of Revenue have reached an agreement that will release nearly $3.3 million in property taxes to Cascade County, according to the utility and the state tax agency. "That's great," Cascade County Commissioner Jack Whitaker said Tuesday. The settlement isn't really a windfall for local governments here, according to county fiscal officer Phil Strommen. County government, for instance, earmarked the money to be placed in reserve accounts, he said. As a result, the money might not give local governments much money to spend this year, but it would be expected to help out at budget time next year, according to Strommen. "There will be more cash available next year to rebudget," he said. The announced property tax settlement affects 41 Montana counties, but Cascade County rec eives the biggest payment, mainly due to the numerous power- company hydroelectric dams located in the county. Since 1985, Montana Power has protested $4,431,373 in property taxes in the county, largely in a dispute with the state over taxation of its county dams. The settlement would turn over $3,267,170 in protested tax money to the county, while the utility would receive back about $1.1 million. The biggest dispute in Cascade County arose in 1986, when the states property reappraisal gave Montana Power an annual tax increase of more than $2 million, according to the utility. In each of the last two years, Montana Power protested nearly $2.2 million here. County Treasurer Dick Michelotti cautioned that this week's figures were tentative. He said the state provided little breakdown of the figures so far. No one has yet won the debate See FUNDS, 2A Flight of Soviet shuttle successful MOSCOW (AP) - The Soviets broke the U.S. monopoly on reusable spacecraft Tuesday by launching their own space shuttle on a 3(4-hour, unmanned orbital flight that President Mikhail S. Gorbachev hailed as a major coup for his country. "The space plane has ushered in a new era in the history of Soviet space exploration," state-run Radio Moscow declared after the 100-ton Buran made two orbits, streaked earthward in a fireball and landed at a specially built . runaway in Soviet Central Asia on its maiden mission. The pilotless flight of the Buran "snowstorm" in Russian was a major success for the Soviet space program after a Jeries of problems that included the near loss of cosmonauts on a joint Soviet-Afghan mission in September and loss of contact with a probe sent to Mars. The early morning launch of the Buran fastened to the back of the 198-foot-tall Energia booster rocket also ended a seven-year U.S. monopoly on reusable spacecraft inaugurated by the launch of the shuttle Columbia in April 1981. In Washington, NASA congratulated the Soviets on the mission. The Buran, as well as other shuttles still being developed, will have a central role in the Soviet space program, the state-run media said. "With its help, satellites and spacecraft will return to Earth from orbit and crews will be taken to the orbital complex Mir and back," Radio Moscow said. It said the Buran's railway car-sized cargo bay can house an entire Salyut space station. Tass said the Soviet shuttle was superior to its U.S. counterpart because of a bigger payload capacity and its ability to fly automatically. "In the future, this will allow cos monauts to pay considerably more attention to scientific experiments," it said. The official news agency also disclosed the shuttle's dimensions: Buran, "roughly the same size as a passenger airliner," is 119 feet long, 18 feet in diameter and has a wingspan of 79 feet. Gorbachev was informed of the flight's success and called it "one more confirmation of the kind of huge possibilities the Soviet Union has to solve any problem" and "a major success for Soviet science and technology," Tass said. For years, the Soviets criticized the U.S. shuttle as wasteful and unreliable. But Western space specialists say the Soviets began planning their own space plane in 1982 at the latest. "NASA congratulates the Soviets on the successful flight of their See SHUTTLE, 2A Classified 9-12B Comics..... 8A Crossword. .7. 8A Entertainment 4A FamilyLiving 13A Flavor 5A Markets 88 MetroMontana 9A Obituaries, records 10A Opinion 12A Sports 1-4B Tribune telephones: , Newssports: 791-1460 Circulation: 791-1400 Classified ads: 791-1420 Toll-free long-distance: 1-800-438-6600 1988 Great Falls Tribune Your Tribune carrier will be collecting this week. 6

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