Star-Gazette from Elmira, New York on February 7, 1988 · 1
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Star-Gazette from Elmira, New York · 1

Elmira, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 7, 1988
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Not easy i 1 h f J 4 a t s i it w ra b Priscilla Presley's story about her life with Elvis was tough to tell on TV. Page 1F. Taxing time Accountants are shaking their heads as they prepare for the first tax season under the new tax reform. Pag 1B. Richmond suspended NASCAR's Tim Richmond tests positive for a prohibited substance. Page IE. EC icers rout Potsdam The Elmira College Soaring Eagles pound host SUNY Potsdam. 15-4. Page 1E. Sunday Sta AZETT Inside for you February 7, 1988 Today: Cloudy. 20 degrees. Tonight: Clouds. 0 degrees. Tomorrow: Cloudy. WorldNation A Mighty has fallen: Lee Alexander, a powerful politician while mayor of Syracuse, is now destined for another arena prison. Page 7A. Just so much: Mexico is increasing its trade with the U.S., but it will not join a free-trade pact with the U.S. and Canada. Page 8A. Local B Eyes have it: A movement is underway to change a law that prohibits the sale of magnified reading glasses in New York. They're legal over the counter in Pennsylvania. Page 1B. Business Home security: Sales of sophisticated systems for the home are growing here and across the country. Page 1C. Los Panchos: This restaurant serves up Mexican and Tex-Mex fare in Elmira. Page 1C. Travel Club Med: small, a way to make exotic vacations affordable. Now Club Med vacation spots can be found ail over the world. Page 1D. Sports Jordan wins: Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls won the NBA Slam-Dunk Contest and the Boston Celtics' Larry Bird won the Long-Distance Shooting Contest during Saturday's action in the NBA All-Star Weekend. Page 3E. Life Ice wine: It's a special wine that's made with grapes that aren't harvested until it is bitter cold outside. Page 1F. Boss: The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, begins a full-tilt rock 'n' roll tour of the U.S. Feb. 25. Page 1F. TV Week Windmills: Jaclyn Smith and Robert Wagner star in 'Windmills of the Gods," a two-part miniseries beginning tonight on ABC Index Business 1C-4C Classified 3D-10D Crossword ...6D Deaths 9 A Editorials 4 A For the Record 3B Horoscope 2F Jumble 5D Life.... 1F-4F Local...:. 1B, 3-6B Movies... 3F State report 3A People 2 A Z3 Palmer a man of many sides Harry Palmer The first four parts of this series traced the lt-year career of Margie Hoffman, who rose to third in command at Harry Palmer's Center for Creative Learning in Elmira. This fifth and final installment profiles the man she worked for. By LISA BENNETT Staff Writer It's not Harry Palmer's style to pause in mid-sentence. He speaks in a calm and steady voice, emotionless, requiring not so much as a moment to collect his thoughts. And on this day he hasn't stopped long enough in the last two hours to finish off the peanut butter and A Scientologist's I story apple sandwich in front of him. But suddenly, for the first time in two hours, he seems to have run out of words. Swallowing hard, he gazes out the window momentarily, then looks back to stare his visitor in the eye. When he speaks again, it is in a cracked voice, a near-whisper. "He was a good companion," Palmer says. Palmer explains that it hurts to talk about his German shepherd, Greywolf, who disappeared last October. He points proudly to a picture above the main fireplace at his Center for Creative Learning; it's Greywolf, inside the cockpit of a helicopter, with his master standing by his side. Is this Harry Palmer? The Harry Palmer under fire from Scientologists who followed him for a decade? The Harry Palmer who they say deprived them of thousands of dollars? The Harry Palm er who "could charm the pants off a rattlesnake"? The Harry Palmer who, his critics say, zeros in on weaknessess and exploits them? It can't be. This Harry Palmer is soft-spoken, reserved and polite. He's easy-going, slumping in his chair; sometimes, he rests his workboot-clad foot across a knee; and he laughs at his own jokes. He doesn't express anger or anxiety. And he is not a fast-talking, dynamic leader. But there is another side to Palmer, a tougher side. Here's a man who, in the course of a (See Palmer on Page 9A) 3 women held up at gunpoint Pair questione in robbery spree By GARTH WADE and SALLE RICHARD CROOKS Senior Staff Writers A pair of armed men robbed a 96-year-old city woamn at gunpoint at her home Saturday, and then abducted two other older women in West Elmira in a separate incident before their apprehension on East Water Street, police said. Police said early this morning they planned to charge the two men. No injuries were reported. Police gave the following accounts: About 6 p.m. a 96-year-old Bridgman Street woman answered a knock at her door. She told police two white men brandished a long-barrelled firearm, demanded money, and entered her home. The woman, who was alone when the men came, was robbed of $120 in cash. The two men demanded jewelry. When she told them she had none, they searched the house, found none, and left. She notified police at 6:34 p.m. Later in the evening a widow and her mother returned to the widow's home on Upper Underwood Avenue in the Town of Elmira. They discovered the two men burglarizing the residence. The burglars forced the women at gunpoint to get into the widow's car and drive around town cashing the women's travelers' checks. The men then told the women to drive them to Rinwalske Wrecker Service because the men's car, a green Pon-tiac, had become stuck near the women's home. After making arrangements with the wrecker service to tow the car, the group went back to the West Elmira neighborhood. The women were released at West Clinton Street and Underwood Avenue, where they went to the Elmira Town Hall to notify police. West Elmira Police called sheriff's deputies at 9:16 p.m. City police spied the Pontiac heading north on the Lake Street Bridge. The car was followed along East Water Street, where police stopped it near the Downtown Holiday Inn. Police drew their weapons and ordered the suspects out of their car. The suspects surrendered without incident. A weapon was recovered, sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Arget-singer said. The men were taken to the sheriff's department for questioning. Corning, Avoca and Waverly folks talk politics in Iowa Avoca, Iowa Population: 1,650 By PAT LOUISE Staff Writer In Corning, Marvin Steppen, owner of Steppen's Stem-Winder, said morning chat ter over the coffee cups has Paul Simon and Bob Dole doing well in the Iowa caucus. In Avoca, residents are a little upset that Simon decided to go to Walnut instead. In Waverly, Pete du Pont bet in the 1986 World Series pool, but folks still are saying he came calling too early. That's Corning, Avoca and Waverly 700 miles and one time zone west. As Iowa kicks off the 1988 presidential race Monday with the nation's first caucus, campaigning in the Midwest is unlike anything the Twin Tiers sees. Dan Field, publisher of the Adam County Press in Corning, Iowa, population 1,939, said candidates can't buy Corning Glass ware in Iowa, but can find Republicans. "We're a Republican town. Some of the Waverly, Iowa Population: 8,444 Des Moines) Corning, Iowa Population: 1,939 candidates joke about looking for Corning dishes here. The same guy who settled your Corning, Erastus Corning, settled ours," Field said. While Corning, N.Y., is the world headquarters for Corning Glass Works that makes the dishes, Iowa's Corning is the national headquarters for the National Farmers Organization. "That's why a lot of candidates come here," Field said. When the candidates, or their wives, children and other relatives, stop in Corning, they usually have a cup of coffee at Steppen's Stem-Winder on Main Street. Representatives for Democrats Michael Dukakis, Richard Gephardt and Bruce Babbitt came in Friday at the same time. "It gets a little crowded because you have to understand we're just a little one-room restaurant. Candidates come in and (See Iowaon Page 6A) Mecham: Charges are trumped up WILLCOX, Ariz. (AP) Impeached Gov. Evan Mecham said Saturday that his lawyer would tear his accusers "to bits" during his trial in the state Senate and that he still was not sure who was entitled to act as governor for now. The 63-year-old Republican, who was impeached by an overwhelming House vote Friday, told a friendly Town Hall audience he believed House members wanted to impeach him because they thought he would win his May 17 recall election. The embattled governor said House members also "know darn well that the (criminal) court isn't going to convict me on the trumped-up charges" of concealing a $350,000 campaign loan. The governor is scheduled to go on trial this spring on six felony charges. Mecham was the target of a recall election drive even before he took office on Jan. 5, 1987, and at various times he has angered blacks, homosexuals and women. Recently, he was criticized for saying that when he told some Japanese golf enthusiasts that Arizona has hundreds of golf courses, "suddenly they got round eyes." In Willcox, he told the crowd he described the incident later to some Japanese friends who didn't object to it. Some cold work in the classroom Staff photo by Bill Morgan GERRY DEMOTT, instructor at Cornell University, handles ropes while descending Aunt Sarah's Falls along Route 1 4 just north of Montour Falls Saturday. Demott was teaching ice climbing to a class of about eight Cornell students. It's cold even for February By SALLE RICHARDS CROOKS Senior Staff Writer Early February is normally the coldest time of the year, but this weekend's temperature range of 15 below to 20 above is even colder than usual. "We're paying for the warm weather last weekend," William Scharnikow, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Binghamton, said Saturday. Today's temperature will barely reach 20 degrees with overnight lows sinking to 15 below in some areas. The normal range of Feb. 7 would be from 14 to 28 degrees, Scharnikow said. The abrupt shift from balmy to blustery is due to a large pocket of cold air that has descended out of Canada. Scharnikow predicts the cold will linger through Thursday. The temperature will climb into the 20s Monday afternoon, but another arctic front will chill thoughts of a thaw in all but the most dedicated optimists. Although the Twin Tiers only will be dusted with snow flurries during the freeze, communities closer to the Great Lakes are being belted with snow. Western New York was pounded by snow squalls Saturday with Buffalo finally living up to its reputation for snow. A 14-inche snowfall Saturday broke a one-day snowfall record of 10 inches, the National Weather Service said. Report: State workers' absenteeism 4 times as high as in the private sector By JAY GALLAGHER Gannett News Service ALBANY State employees may be calling in sick as much as four times as often as the workers in some private companies, according to a new survey. The largest public employee union blames unsafe working conditions and inadequate levels of staffing, while a Cornell University professor said lack of jcb satisfaction usually leads to higher absenteeism. State managers acknowledge it's an expensive problem they're trying to fix. The average state worker took 47.5 days off last year, including holidays, vacation and sick time, according to the survey, done by the state Department of Civil Service. Although it doesn't break down sick time, the high number of days off indicates a large use of sick days. (See Work on Page 3A.)

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