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Quad-City Times from Davenport, Iowa • 8

Quad-City Timesi
Davenport, Iowa
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

NEWSMAKERS OF THE '80s Sunday, Dec. 31,1989 QUAD-CITY TIMES 8A A bright Q-C idea Horrifying death kept Q-C rapt fcgpHE ciajnsaw slaying of nmmimmtmJWuimmm mnmjmMmmmutmmwmm mm mm mi mm i mm iimuiujmunu.nmi. hi.mhil nji imu in uhbwmiiuup.w,m 41 'W-' Centennial Bridge. Boats filled the water under the span and tooted their horns in appreciation when the lights went on. A crowd estimated at somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 gathered on the shores of the Mississippi for the lighting of the eere mairCi miDestoirBes WO area businesses observed important milestones during this past decade.

Aluminum Company of America half of the decade. Alcoa restructured, moving its Sheet and Plate Division headquarters to a new building at the Riverdale plant site, and focusing the plant's production on higher-margin specialty products. The company poured scores of millions of dollars into modernization at the Davenport Works. That work will continue into the '90s. All those moves began paying off handsomely in the final years of the decade, as aluminum prices recovered.

Deere Co. reached a milestone in 1987 that few companies reach: It became 150 years old. The Moline-based company's sesquieen-tennial was celebrated in the Quad-Cities with a birthday party attended by more than 500 people, including most of the community's leaders, all paying tribute to the company's importance to the community. That also was the year the recovery in the farm sector began in earnest, and Deere was finishing up a rebuilding of its manufacturing base to make sure that any recovery would immediately be reflected in the company's profits. 1 Those profits had suffered mightily from 1982, when the bottom fell out of the market, to 1986, when Deere posted a $229 million loss.

But the company's strategy put it at the forefront of the industry in 1988 and 1989, posting record profits on sales volumes well below the industry highs of the late 1970s. celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1988, the same year the company's Davenport plant celebrated its 40th anniversary. In the Quad-Cities, the twin anniversaries were celebrated with a gala at the River Center in' Davenport. The community honored the company as a major employer of Quad-Citians and as a force in the community. By that time, the company had been through several tough years: A strong U.S.

dollar and aluminum overcapacity had made profits hard to come by in the first Joyce Klindt and the trial of her husband James nit Klindt hold a place in tory as one of the most bizarre murder cases in the Quad-Cities. James Klindt, a Davenport chiropractor, was charged in 1984 with kill Klindt ing his wife, dismembering her with a chain-saw and dumping the body parts into the Mississippi River near Princeton, Iowa. Joyce disappeared in March 1 983 during a bitter divorce dispute. Klindt told police Joyce left town, but investigators found what they believed was her torso in the Mississippi River near the Davenport-Betten-dorf border a month after she disappeared. After massive publicity, Klindt's first trial was held in Keokuk, Iowa, but the jury could not agree on a verdict.

The trial was technical and elaborate because police did not have an entire body only the section from just above the naval to just below the hips. In the second trial in November 1984, held in Sioux City, Iowa, Klindt was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison. Last month, the state parole board denied Klindt's request for parole. Klindt now works as a clerk receptionist at the Iowa Men's Reformatory at Anamosa, Iowa, where he is serving his sentence. He loved his women to death incriminating diary, an alleged love triangle and an insurance scheme igone awry were the 'ingredients of a murder case in Muscatine, Iowa.

Bryan Barrett of Muscatine is serving a life sentence in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of 'two young women, i Cindy Walker, 19, and Carol Wil-lits, 21, were found shot to death Feb. 23, 1979, several miles apart in rural Muscatine in what mmmm Barrett appeared to be a murder-suicide. After a lengthy investigation, Barrett was arrested in 1984 and convicted in 1985 in what authorities decided was a double homicide. Authorities said he killed Walker to collect on a $100,000 life insurance policy and set up the murders to make it appear Willits killed Walker because the two were ri- vals for Barrett's affection. The Iowa Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 1987 on grounds that one of his diaries should not have been used as evidence.

A second trial six months later ended with two first-degree murder MX Clinton struggles to clear the air 5-4, M1 ii 'OLKS in Clinton, Iowa, began efforts in the 1980s to rid their city of the dubious distinction of being known as "stink city." Residents battled air, odor and water pollution by forming a group called "Citizens Against Pollution." They demanded that the city get tough with industries that were spewing fly ash, sulphur dioxide and odors into the air. Operations at ADM Corn Sweetners and National By-Products Inc. generate the most complaints. City officials even created a panel of "odor sniffers" to fer OCK Island's Centennial Bridge came to light on Sept. 14, 1988.

Iowa Gov. lerry. 'Branstad flipped the ceremonial switch and the 128 lamps on the bridge grew from faint glimmers to bright lights. The crowd of 20,000 to 30,000 Quad-Citians cheered and waved lights in tribute. Fireworks lit the sky.

On the river, dozens of boats blew their horns and flashed spotlights. But the lights were not the only thing that put the Centennial Bridge in the news. The city-owned bridge needs at least $13 million in repairs. Rock Island is working to see whether Iowa or Illinois, or both states, will take responsibility for the bridge. IIE 1980s gave the Quad-Cities a mar velous, glittery Christmas present the Festival of Trees.

The festival that kicks off the Christmas season drew a record spectators in its fourth year in 1989. Festival-goers oohed and aahed at the professionally decorated trees, rooms and wreaths that decked the River Center in Davenport. And there were plenty of special activities for kids and adults, a gingerbread village, handmade stockings and entertainment. The Avenue of Lights lit up a half-block display of bright trees for the six weeks before Christmas in front of the River Center. The Festival of the Trees was the place to be with its celebrity luncheon and black-tie gala.

And it's all for a great cause. Proceeds go to projects of Quad-City Arts, which supports the Visiting Artists series, bringing nationally acclaimed artists to hospitals, schools, businesses and group homes in 30 area communities. Crompton Jennifer Bettendorf budget goes into tailspin 'HE 1987 Bettendorf bud get crisis had everyone wondering just how a city could dig itself millions of dollars in debt wit hout anyone noticing. The story began to unravel when the city's practice of short-term borrowing to pay off day-to-day operating expenses resulted in a sharp decline in the city's bond rating. Reports of lax accounting procedures and possible abuses in travel money allotments sparked an internal investigation into the city's finances by City Treasurer Judy Barber.

The problems led to the forced resignation of city administrator Jim Striek, with city officials saying he had not kept them informed of the city's financial condition." Bettendorf residents to the polls that fall and a new mayor Ann Hutchinson and five new aldermen were elected. Today, the city is back on the track to financial stability. The $9 million that was borrowed to dig the city out of debt will be paid back over a period of many years. wlJJ inn i it Trel Fest grows BST53 11 Donald Lowry and Pamala St. from Church of Love to Illinois Q-C: No merger for us prison.

'Church of Love' wasn't quite angelic ret out offensive scents and established a telephone pollution hotline. Finally this year, the City Council passed a pollution control ordinance and hired an environmental officer to handle pollution complaints. Then there is environmental officer Art Sheller and his scentometer, a device that helps measure odor pollution. When he uses the contraption, "It looks like 1 have a block of coal on my nose." Clinton residents will be following their noses to see if it all works. ered the merger: Rock Island, Moline, East Moline, Coal Valley and Hampton.

It lost by as much as 5-1 in Hampton, the smallest of the cities considering the merger, and by as little as a 2-1 margin in Rock Island, the largest of the five cities. mitted to the killing in his trial and was sentenced to life in prison. Victoria Crompton is one of seven Iowans appointed to the Crime Victim Assistance Board. She and her husband, Ureg Tetter, started a Protecting All Children Together group in Scott County. Twas an ambitious plan to merge eight of the Illinois Quad-Cities into one "Super City," And it was a plan that didn't work.

By the time the issue went to the voters in November 1988, only five of the cities consid Victims' rights get a local boost flCTORIA Crompton of Bettendorf spread the story of her teen-age daughter's murder across the nation in an effort to fight for victims' rights. Jennifer, 15, was stabbed to death Sept. 26, "1986, at her home in Bettendorf. Her former boyfriend, Mark Smith, ad Midwest's farm crisis yielded a deadly rampage Drought kept us hot and bothered mail fraud, conspiracy and money-laundering. Vowing to appeal, they were released on bail.

They promptly dropped out of sight, causing a cross-county manhunt by U.S. marshals. They were recaptured in February 1989 near West Palm Beach, and were returned to jail in Illinois, where they waited until sentencing. Lowry was sentenced in November to 27 years in federal prison, and St. Charles to six years.

Sheryl Horak: She was doing her civic duty HERYL Horak, a 17-year-old Explorer Scout from Bettendorf, was 'killed in 1987 by a disgruntled man who apparently mistook her for a police officer. She was waiting in a squad car behind the Bettendorf police station during her nightly rounds witli officers as part of the Explorer program on the night of April 25. Police said Kenneth i ft -r il Riverdale, shot Horak Sheryhn the face and neck before returning to his home and taking his own life with the same gun. They said he was angry with the police department, and, may have mistaken Sheryl for an officer. Sheryl's name is now on a memorial in Des Moines that honors Iowa's slain police v.

1 HE "Church of Love" sex fantasy fraud case brought national attention to the Quad-Cities. Donald Lowry, 60, and Pamala St. Charles, 26, both of Bettendorf, were accused of bilking more than 31,000 men of $4.5 million through a lonely hearts club. Their mailings led men to send money for a fictional bevy of beautiful, needy young girls called angels and a fantasy resort called Chonda-Za supposedly located near Hillsdale, 111. After a three-week trial, the two were convicted in December 1988 of multiple counts of losing his farm, killed his banker, his wife, a neighbor and himself.

The story brought the national media to Lone Tree and Hills. The killings became a symbol of the panic felt by struggling farmers nationwide. Burr, 63, first shot and killed his wife, Emily, in the kitchen of their home. He then drove his pickup to the Hills Bank, where he killed bank president John Hughes with his shotgun. After leaving the bank, Burr killed neighbor John Goody, with whom he had quarreled over land.

Then he killed himself in the front seat of his pickup on a lonely gravel road. A book about the slayings, "Lone Tree: A True Story of Murder in America's Heartland" by Bruce Brown, was published in 1989. The book sold quite a few copies in nearby Iowa City, but you couldn't buy it in Lone Tree. HE desperation of the na tional farm crisis hit home on Dec. 9, 1985, in a killing rampage that rocked two small farming communities in southeast Iowa.

Lone Tree farmer Dale Burr, by debts and in fear of Growth brings protests to the Rl Arsenal 1984, the Rock Island Arsenal launched a five-year, $233 million modernization program known as Project REARM (Renovation of Armament Manufacturing). What should have been remembered as a bright spot in the local economy became instead the impetus for a social protest reminiscent of the 1960s. Project DISARM, a massive peace demonstration intended to close down the Arsenal was held June 4, 1984. About 400 peace marchers gathered at the island entrances from Davenport, Rock Island and Moline. By the end of the day about 100 protesters had been arrested.

OT. Dry. Parched. Those words' de scribe the summer of 1988. Quad-City farmers could literally count on their fingers and toes the days of rain from May to August.

There were 16 days of rain that produced a miserly six inches of precipitation about 30 percent of normal. Some days it was too hot even to go to the swimming pool. Sales of fans and air conditioners soared as Quad-Citians tried to stay cool. The only consolation was that you didn'fhave to mow the lawn very often. The drought squelched water supplies and took a toll on wildlife, while the bugs thrived.

All that pushed farmers' crop yields lower and crop prices higher, causing economic hardship to communities across the Midwest. Wy. if Tfc1.

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