The Montgomery Advertiser from Montgomery, Alabama on September 16, 1986 · 19
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The Montgomery Advertiser from Montgomery, Alabama · 19

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Montgomery, Alabama
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Tuesday, September 16, 1986
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19
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rM MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1986 STATEMETRO DIGEST AIDS-Exposed Inmate Freed From Prison CAPSHAW One state inmate diagnosed as carrying AIDS antibodies has been released from prison and two others are expected to go free later in the year. "If it's time for their sentence to be up, we have no legal right to keep them beyond that," said Debbie Herbert, speaking for the state prison system. The first inmate to be released from the AIDS ward at the Limestone Correctional facility, a 26-year-old man sentenced from Franklin County, had been transferred to the unit late last month after he tested positive for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. He was released Sept. 11. The inmate who was released had no apparent symptoms of the incurable disease. Woman Wins Lawsuit A Montgomery County jury awarded a Montgomery woman $110,000 in damages for injuries sustained when she broke her ankle in a hole in a parking lot adjacent to Jones Tire Co. Inc. on Atlanta Highway. Nettie Thomas, 46, broke her ankle in three places, was on crutches for six months and has a limp as a result of the accident, said Howard Man-dell, a Montgomery attorney who represents Thomas. "She was leaving her place of employment, walking across the parking lot, when she slipped in the pothole," Mandell said. Jury Awards $43,000 A 24-year-old Montgomery woman received a $43,000 verdict Monday in a lawsuit she filed against a woman whose insurance company refused to pay damages after an automobile accident. After a daylong trial in Montgomery County Circuit Court, a jury handed down a verdict in favor of Robin Bryant. Bryant broke her collar bone in a March 2 accident at the corner of South Perry and Arbor streets, when a car driven by Kathy McCoovey struck her, said Montgomery attorney Jere Beasley, who represented Bryant. Drowning Accidental The drowning of a 42-year-old woman was ruled accidental in a state autopsy report, a Police Department spokesman said. The body of Zelma Lockhart, 23 Riverside Drive, was discovered about 7:30 a.m. Sunday by a man fishing in the Alabama River near Powder Magazine Park, Sgt. Lavoyed Hudgins said. In an unrelated incident, police were looking for a man Monday night in connection with the sexual assault of a 54-year-old woman, Hudgins said. The woman, who suffered minor injuries, told police a man broke into her west Montgomery apartment at 1:58 a.m. Monday and raped her, Hudgins said. No arrests had been made late Monday. Baxley To Appear Lt. Gov. Bill Baxley will appear on the Alabama Public Television Network's nightly show "For the Record" at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Baxley, the Democratic nominee for governor and presiding officer of the Senate, will answer questions from two reporters about the gubernatorial race, the state's funding crisis and the legislative session. "For the Record," a 30-minute broadcast, can be seen in Montgomery on WAIQ, channel 26. Horse Shots Urged Two cases of sleeping sickness have been confirmed in horses in Escambia and Crenshaw counties, and the state veterinarian is urging all horse owners to vaccinate their animals against the often fatal disease. Sleeping sickness, or eastern equine encephalomyelitis, is a viral disease of horses usually spread by mosquitoes, said Dr. J. Lee Alley, di rector of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries' Animal Industries Division. Symptoms include fever, wandering, circling, loss of coordination, yawning, grinding of teeth, paralysis, drowsiness and inability to swallow. In more than 90 percent of the cases, death occurs. Drug Record Attacked PRATTVILLE About 30 percent of the felony drug indictments in the 19th Judicial Circuit during the past four years have been dismissed by the district attorney's office, the Republican candidate for that post said Monday. Mike Horsley of Prattville said he is planning a three-pronged attack on the drug problems in the district, which includes Autauga, Elmore and Chilton counties. Hundreds Denied Pass For Reagan By BRUCE RITCHIE Advertiser Staff Writer Hundreds in a line of people Monday were denied free tickets to see President Reagan when the 1.000 tickets available quickly were taken by others who had gotten places in line earlier. A Montgomery Civic Center official said all of the tickets that officials announced last week would be available were given away within 15 minutes after the box office opened at 1 p.m. A line of people stretched across the front of the Civic Center as each individual was allowed to take as many as four tickets. But many of the people expressed disappointment when they were told there were no more tickets to Reagan's Thursday appearance. "I guess I'll just have to watch him on TV," said Hiawatha Lausane of Montgomery. "I'm kind of disappointed. I really wanted to see him in person." State GOP officials announced last week they were giving 2,000 tickets to the public free because the fund-raising goal had been reached for the event, which is to benefit the campaign of U.S. Sen. Jeremiah Denton, R-Ala. State GOP Chairman Emory Fol-mar said 3,500 tickets were sold, and between 800 and 1,000 tickets were being given by party officials to Denton campaign workers, civic groups and other people. Folmar denied reports the tickets were selling slowly and said the president and Denton requested that tickets be made available for free. Tickets had been sold for between $35 and $1,000. Some people who were denied tickets, including some who came from areas outside Montgomery, expressed bitterness. Members of Denton's campaign, which has an office in the Civic Center, told some perturbed people there were no more tickets to be sold or given away. But they later gave tickets to some other people after being asked repeatedly. One woman, who refused to identify herself, said she was angry because tickets were being given to civic groups but not to the public. "This is disgusting. I came a long way to stand in line," she said. ? ' y v j r. x . ; J "A. ' k. :.vi: .' : v, I " " )h f V S V 'J Puppy Love One-year-old Amanda Schrimsher was out enjoying the afternoon in Decatur when a dog named Bear lumbered over from next door and asked for a dance. Mike and Rhonda Schrimsher are Amanda's parents. Alabamians can expect partly cloudy skies and widely AP wirephoto scattered afternoon thundershowers Tuesday and considerable cloudiness Tuesday night and Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. High temperatures will range from 82 to 90 with low temperatures between 67 and 72. Tax Study Proposal Hits Opposition By CAROL BROWN Advertiser Staff Writer A resolution to create a task force to study Alabama's tax structure hit opposition in the House on Monday, with many lawmakers saying it is an attempt to boost the election campaign of Lt. Gov. Bill Baxley. The proposed committee is part of Baxley's anti-tax proposal, which the Senate passed unanimously on Monday. The committee would make recommendations to the next general session of the Legislature, but some representatives said the group would accomplish nothing. "I have seen very, very little affirmative action..." said Rep. Jack Venable, D-Tallassee. Rep. Taylor Harper, D-Grand Bay called the bills "twilight heroics. This is the dawn of a new election, and that is all this is. It is an an election-year goings on," Harper said. "And it is quite offensive to the many members of this Legislature who have tried over the years to look a little bit further than the end of our nose. We've introduced bills to try and curb these problems before and we never could get a hearing." The House adjourned without taking action on the resolution and will convene at 4 p.m. Tuesday. . Rep. Roy Johnson, D-Tuscaloosa, said opposition to the task force was a ploy by supporters of Attorney General Charles Graddick to keep Baxley's election campaign from benefiting during the session. "Representatives who are Charlie Graddick supporters simply are not going to allow this reform measure to pass because it was his Baxley's initiative," Johnson said. Johnson, House speaker pro tem, said opposition to Baxley's plan, which would transfer $40 million from two solvent accounts to help four state agencies, could give Gov. George C. Wallace more time to push a five-bill tax package that he proposed to bail out the state's ailing health and welfare agencies. The package includes two bills that would close a loophole in the state's sales and use tax law. Commonly called the Morrison's bills, the sales and use tax measures should come to the House floor Tuesday, said Billy Joe Camp, the governor's former press secretary who is acting as his legislative liaison. The bills were expected to sail through both houses this week but have met opposition from the Alabama Business Council, Camp said. Assistant Finance Director Grover Jacobs said the loophole is draining about $10 to $15 million a year from the state's education budget. But Ferrell Patrick, a lobbyist for the Business Council, said the bills would not close a loophole but would cause double taxation and again place Alabama manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Tom Co-burn, D-Tuscumbia, said there is a good chance that two of Wallace's tax bills will be considered at the committee's 10 a.m. meeting Tuesday. Coburn said the committee could vote on bills that would tax pari-mutuel betting and concessions sold at the state's three greyhound race tracks. ulloclc Commissioners Lose Bet, Greet New Industry By CHUCK CHANDLER Advertiser Staff Writer UNION SPRINGS It was the kind of bet Bullock County's commissioners wish they could lose every day. Commission Chairman John Will Waters 'gladly paid off a February wager that U.S. Rep. Bill Dickinson wouldn't be able to help bring a new industry to Union Springs in 1986. Waters forked over a $100 check Monday just before Dickinson gave the dedication speech for the new National Industries plant, which will employ about 200 workers in a factory building vacant since 1979. Dickinson, R-Montgomery, took the check and said he'd like to take credit for the electrical products plant. But he said National Industries decided to open its seventh factory based on hard work by many people. "It's not the labor of just one person or the activities of just a small group," Dickinson said. National Industries President June Collier echoed the congressman's assessment of the local effort which enticed the Montgomery-based manufacturer. "I can only say that the people who recruit for Union Springs are quite aggressive," Collier said. Union Springs Mayor John McGowan gave Collier a larger-than-normal key to the city and thanked her for helping ease unemployment in the town of 4,300. "It's a beautiful morning in Union Springs," he said. The National Industries plant already is producing electrical products for the automotive industry and could have 300 workers in the next several years, Collier said. The factory is in a former textile mill, which until seven years ago was the leading local employer. The original Cowikee Mills plant was built in 1923 and renovated in 1961 as Avon-dale Mills. Waters said Dickinson promised during a barbecue dinner seven months ago that he would bring a new industry before year's end.' "Well congressman, you done good," Waters said. Dickinson said National Industries is the largest private employer in his 2nd Congressional District, currently with more than 3,000 workers. "I guess today we can say honestly we lead the state of Alabama in jobs creation," said Ben Collier, chairman of the board of National Industries. Hunt Says He Won't Back Out By CHUCK CHANDLER Advertiser Staff Writer TUSKEGEE Republican nominee Guy Hunt again attempted to quell rumors that he will withdraw from the governor's race, saying Monday he expects Attorney General Charles Graddick to end his write-in candidacy. Hunt told a small group of Macon County supporters that under no circumstances will he step down for Graddick. He criticized rumors that he might soon be pressured out of the race. "I never did back out from anything, and I certainly don't intend to back out from this," Hunt said. "You don't back up from what's right." Hunt said the rumors are an attempt to diminish campaign contributions but instead have brought new volunteers to help his candidacy. Hunt remains confident he will defeat Graddick and Democratic nominee Bill Baxley to become Alabama's first Republican governor in 112 years. Graddick has no chance of winning, Hunt said, but the write-in campaign could split enough votes to elect Baxley. "I've got to believe Mr. Graddick when he says he'll do nothing to help Mr. Baxley," Hunt said. "We think he'll come out. We don't think there's any way he'll stay in." Hunt said his election is the only catalyst for the state to quickly replace the negative national image inflamed by the Democratic nomination controversy. Graddick led the voting in the June 24 runoff, but a Democratic subcom-mmittee later ruled that his lead was caused by illegal Republican croo-sover votes and declared Baxley the nominee. Hunt explained his plans to improve state finances, education and employment and also spoke of tougher laws to combat the sale of drugs. Yhi I Textbook Publishers Say Books To Cover Election, Next Governor Rep. Glen Browder ...co-authored textbook By BETTY CORK Advertiser Staff Writer Two book publishers told the Alabama Textbook Committee on Monday that the outcome of this year's gubernatorial election may appear in next year's Alabama history textbooks. One such text had earlier declared a winner in the race. Claire Buckner Ralston, founder of Clairmont Press, said news stories claiming her Alabama history text named Attorney General Charles Graddick as the state's next governor were based on temporary inserts in the book. "We will have the next governor, whoever that may be," Ralston said. Graddick led the voting in the June 24 Democratic primary runoff, but a party subcommittee later attributed Graddick's victory to illegal Republican crossover votes and declared Lt. Gov. Bill Baxley the winner. Graddick is now waging a write-in campaign. Bill Jones, owner of Viewpoint Publications, said he also hopes to include information about the controversy in Alabama history texts. The publishers' hearings, which began Monday and will last for three days, are the first ever open to the public. All meetings of the state Textbook Committee, except for one public hearing, previously were held behind closed doors. Jones offered a new civics textbook written by Jesse Brown and state Rep. Glen Browder, D-Jacksonville. Browder, who is the Democratic nominee for secretary of state, also is a political science professor at Jacksonville State University. The book includes photos and comments from prominent Alabamians, including state Rep. Yvonne Kennedy, D-Mobile; University of Alabama Chancellor Thomas Bartlett and Medicaid Commissioner Faye Baggi-ano. "We wanted a book that Alabama school kids could read and learn not only about the American Congress and the American President but about the Alabama Legislature and the Sylacauga City Council," Browder told the Textbook Committee. WCOV-TV Cancels Local News Programs To Relieve 'Tremendous Financial Drain' By JAMIE CREAMER Advertiser Staff Writer The owner of a Montgomery-based independent television station said Monday the decision to cancel local news will take a "tremendous financial drain" off the station and will allow for better operations in other areas. David Woods of WCOV said news employees were notified last Friday that Eyewitness News will be discontinued after the 10 p.m. newscast this Friday. The cancellation will mark the end of almost 30 years of news programming at the station. Woods said Channel 20 news, although it has seen ratings increases in recent months, has faced handicaps, including increased competition with other local news programs and the station's independent status. The four local newscasts offered in the Montgomery market have made competition for the advertising dollar an expensive endeavor, Woods said. "It costs you $100,000 a year on equipment to even stay competitive," Woods said. "We've gone up in the ratings, but we'd rather bow out right now gracefully than let everyone walk right past us." WCOV, formerly a CBS affiliate, went independent Jan. 1 after Sel-ma-based WAKA was named the CBS affiliate. Woods said that factor has handicapped his news department. "It's more difficult when you're independent and don't have the support of a network in terms of cooperation and reporting the news," Wdods said. Woods said some of the staff members who are being laid off already have job possibilities, but one of the 12 WCOV employees who are losing their jobs said the workers were shocked when they learned Friday they had only one more week on the job. "We had heard there was a definite probability that they'd discontinue the 10 o'clock news, but we didn't think they'd discontinue the 5 o'clock," said the worker, who asked to remain unnamed. "Our ratings had gone way up. There are a lot of us who think it was totally unnecessary, that there were other ways to handle this." Woods acknowledged the ratings for the early newscast were encouraging. In July, WCOV's Eyewitness News garnered a 14 percent share of the audience, and while that was significantly lower than WSFA's 69 share in its 6 p.m. news show, it placed WCOV ahead of WAKA, which claimed an 8 percent share of the 5:30 audience and ahead of WKAB, with a 5 percent share in its 6 p.m. newscast. "I regret that it had to be done, but it was a serious drain," Woods said. "I had to inject tens of thousands of dollars into it every month just to keep it going." Woods said he believes WCOVs dropping out of the competition will pave the way for better television news coverage. "If only three stations are competing for the advertising dollars, they'll get a bigger share and will be able to put more money into their programs and have better programs," Woods said. "Sanford and Son" will replace the 5 p.m. news on WCOV, and filling the 10 p.m. time slot will be "The Joan Rivers Show."

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