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The Springfield News-Leader from Springfield, Missouri • 8

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Springfield, Missouri
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8
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Sightless Soldier Returns to SMS for Graduate Work He "Hits ippEcs' ThKQugh fiTipes -Y BY JACK KING Suff Writer "I didn't want to go blind, but it happened and that't the way il is," said the 39-year-old father of three. "If you quit, you've passed through life's door," be added. "A lot of things have to be done and I just cant quit. This has always been my attitude." And Charles T. (Tom) Ste- vens.

of 3063 East Lomita, retired Army lieutenant colonel, who lost his eyesight last April, backs up what be says. Even though he is not familiar with the Southwest Missouri Stale College campus of today, Stevens is now doing graduate work there attending classes blind, in the dark, in his own world. lie also is chairman of the board of lend ale Christian Church, keeps up with the stock market, and gets Newsweek and Readers Digest magazines on record. Stevens, who graduated from Bronaugh High School, near Nevada, in 1950. did not have the slightest idea that before be reached the age of 40, Eale's Disease, a disease in which doctors know what's happening but do not know causes- or cures, would cause the blood vessels in his eyes to deterioriate and result in total blindness.

The well-built soldier never had eye trouble, until September 1969, when his left eye began hemorrhaging and the "pu'l-ing the curtains down" as Stevens put it began. His eyesight first failed in this eye, and by last Easter the sight was gone out of his other. A cure during his lifetime is impossible, Stevens says. There is no pain and according to Ste tapes. If tap has not arrived yet' and Stevens must study something, his family, including bis three children, Hark 15, Diane 13, and Eric 10, record on Up what is written in the books.

As far as class note are concerned, Stevens uses a Braille method of taking notes. On a Braille typewriting device, be punches out the various Braille Be also uses -a typewriter fat his studies. According to Stevens, be and bis family are Just now begin- ning to really settle down. The last two years have been tough. Stevens chose the Army as a career back In college, and when he retired last July because of bis blindness he had spent 1 years on active duty and attained the rank of lieutenant colonel.

His retirement now provide his family with their only income, "My really biggest regret of going blind was leaving the Army," said Stevens. 'The infantry provided me with a great background for everything." Stevens had many assignments and was stationed at several locations during hi Army career. Among them were the 82nd Airborne at Ft. Bragg, N.C., where he went to jump' school; the 11th Airborne in Germany; and two Vietnam tours, one in 1966 and the other in 1968. He liked parachuting and ended with 59 jumps over a 2-year jump period.

"1 really did like to jump. The first few seconds after the parachute opens is great it's just-you, your maker, and the parachute up there." He also noted that during, his See HE HITS, Page 11 ven is otherwise healthy." www. In the fan semester which recently ended at SMS, Stevens began studying for his master's degree. He took four classes, 12 hours each week, and ended a grade point average of 3.5 on a 4-point scale. He is taking 15 hours this semester and estimates it will be at least two more years before be gets his master's.

With the help of his family and an ordinary walking cane, Stevens attends all classes and keeps up studies. Stevens graduated from SMS with a BS degree in agriculture jin 1955 and was in the first ROTC graduating class. One of the reasons he decided to work towards a master's degree was to help in his search to find something to do now that he is blind. His main reason, of course, is to increase his education. He now wants to get into guidance and counseling, with the exact field not chosen yet "I've worked with people all of my life," he said.

Being blind is not going to change this. He married his wife, Helen, in 1953. She was a partner in the Promenade rs, a square-dancing club at SMS. She also is now taking classes 'at SMS and naturally provides transportation to and from college for Stevens. She alsb goes with him to a building several times before be attempts to go alone.

He usually' starts walking from the Administration Build-ing area to the other buildings. By feeling with bis cane and using his sense of hearing, Stevens gets to classes. Such sounds as buses stopping and clocks on walls help him. Once In a building, he remembers by previous trips where to turn, and again with the help of his other sense finds the right room. "I hope I dont stick my cane between someone's legs sometime," said Stevens in a somewhat humorous way.

He said be had received few knots on the head bom walking into things, but generally everyone has been helpful and people tend to get out of his way when they see his cane. In classes, be tries to sit by the door. He does so well that in two of his classes last semester, the teachers dtdnt even know be was blind until two months after classes began. Stevens is not afraid of doing things and this seems to be one of his greatest assets. "I have to always be thinking about my next step where someone who isn't blind would probably be thinking about something else," he explained.

www Asked if studying is any harder, Stevens replied, "Studying takes a lot more time. When I used to sit down and review notes in two hours, it now takes half a day." He added, "Being blind certainly narrows the Geld. The accumulation of' information is limited." Surprisingly, the only books Stevens has in Braille are books on how to learn Braille. He relies on a tape recorder to relate to him what he normally would read. He sends text books to New York to Reading for the Blind, an organization which sends back tapes of the books.

There is no charge for the loaned 'sr. 1 Charles T. (Tern) Stevens, 3S, i doing graduate work at Southwest Missouri Stale College even though he lost Us eyesight last April. A tape recorder and typewriter are now his most useful tools for studying. The retired lieutenant colonel was active fat the rmv until Eale's Disease eansed him to go blind.

Feb. is, wrajfcpringftrfoMoBatlgNfma At Lebanon Request School Bonds Given Approval Approved Reorganization Is HARTVHXE (Special) A $125,000 bond issue to finance In Senate, House Committee additional classrooms for Hart- Laclede School Reorganization Is Delayed Fair Grove Position, Too Slavens Eyes State Race ville and Grovespring schools was approved here yesterday. 239-101, in a light turnout of committees over the public Wright County voters. According to Hartville R-2 Su stance taken by Missouri Uni- perintendent Roscoe Carter, i officials, revolves who was pleased with the re LEBANON (Special) The Laclede County Board of Educa around a proposed amendment offered to the House measure by By WARREN GEURIN Staff Writer JEFFERSON CITY Despite a last-minute controversy over the position of the University of Missouri on coordination of higher education, the Senate judiciary committee late yesterday approved two constitutional ture, and would file at that time. sults but disappointed with the small turnout, a vocational agriculture building and three ele Dr.

Stirling Kyd, an assistant www for public relations to M.U. tion Tuesday night tabled a proposal for a reorganization which would merge the Zion and El-dridge school district into the Following a city council meet- mentary classrooms will be President Dr. C. Brice and a St. Louis -morning newspaper.

The amendment authored by M.U. officials drew criticism from sponsorsof both the Senate and the House legislation. State Rep. Harold Volkmer, D-Hannibal, charged that the defeat of the education proposal was the result of "11th hour opposition by Dr, Ratchford." In a statement, Volkmer said, "There is no doubt in my mind See STATE, Page 11 legislative authority to coordinate budgets or programs of the state-supported institutions. Monday, M.U.

Board of Curators President Mrs. Avis Tucker, of Warrensburg, and M.U. President Ratchford issued a joint statement declaring that "published reports that the University of Missouri is opposing or blocking reorganization proposals are inaccurate." The two officials were responding to articles that appeared in newspapers published by Springfield Newspapers, "I'm seriously thinking about running for the state legislature. There's no doubt about it," Springfield businessman Earl Slavens said last night. Slavens, a Democratic committeeman, said he is being en added at Hartville.

Two elementary classrooms will be built at Grovespring one for ing at Fair Grove tonight, Slavens also may accept the position of city administrator for Lebanon R-3 district. The amendment, which was amendments to reorganize state offered to the House Committee government The procedure I for such The action came a few min by Dr. Kyd yesterday afternoon. that community. He stated last night that he reorganization is to Submit such a plan to the state board of edu couraged by people from both would have established an 11 ute after the House con stitutional amendments com member coordinating board for had- refused a salary in con remedial reading and the other for music instruction.

The Hartville R-2 school district has a total enrollment of 895 students, with 14 school bus lines serving them. cation. Don Lambeth, president mittee voted unanimously to of the board, has received a let higher education. However, it removed all constitutional or recommend passage of one of ter from the state board dis nection with the job. and that it would not interfere with his seeking the legislative position.

"The administrative need there is not great. They need approving of the plan. The law the proposals offered by the State Reorganization (Little parties to seek the seat in the 145th District That position is now held by Republican incumbent Wayne Groner from Republic. Slavens said be probably would wait until the latter part of March to make his final decision on running for the legisla- Would Add MJ Acres provides that if the state board In Blades Slaying disapproves the plan twice, it Hoover) Commission. The House committee, which direction mostly, and help with may be taken to the voters in an met behind closed doors for two setting up a council and possibly election.

Greenfield hours, gave a "do-pass" recom submitting proposals for some Lambeth and some other Lie Detector Clears lowan mendation to broad reorganiza federal grants for projects they members of the county board were opposed to carrying the tion of the nearly 90 state wish to achieve in the city." He stated that the adminis agencies by a vote of 6-0. matter further at last night's May Expand A vote to recommend passage of an amended proposal creat meeting. They called in George Carr, president of the Lebanon R-3 board, who came with four trative job at Fajr Grove would not be a fulltime position, and he would be more or less "just ine a Coordinating Board for A polygraph test for a 49-year-old Davenport, Iowa, man who was briefly linked to the Carol Blades murder of 1969, has prov Higher Education failed in toe GREENFIELD (Special) other members of that board. helping." House committee, 3-3. Annexation of approximately 447 Wheels Come Off Trucker Dies As Big Rig Overturns ST.

JAMES (Special) -An Illinois trucker was killed yester en that the suspect had nothtngf The Senate committee, which The motion to table came last week failed to report the from county board memoer acres was approved by the Greenfield city council, 2-0, last night as two councilmen ab pending legislation favorably. Ewin McClure after it was ex to do with the killing, Christian County Sheriff L. E. (Buff) Lamb revealed yesterday. Lamb said Davenport officials told him that the lie detector voted 10-3 on toe proposal to stained.

plained by Carr that an up coordinate public higher educa But first Robert Stemmons, coming reorganization migni embarrass the R-3 board in its of Mt Vernon, the acting tion, and 10-2 on the broad agency reorganization measure. WW city attorney, must draw up the test proved that the suspect knew nothing about who might search for a new superintendent day when his vehicle plunged and other key personnel. www "I'm not trying to create a job for myself. I want to learn more about government, and this is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of setting up a government "The people are really enthusiastic, and really want to accomplish something." Slavens has been a longtime critic of Springfield' government and has recently proposed a list of recommendations to the Mayor's Commission on Human Rights for review. backward over an embankment ordinance, which will be acted on at the next meeting March have killed Mrs.

Blades. According to Rep. Robert De- Carr said he nope to have a I beside Mo. 68 near here. The suspect was questioned after he claimed to know who The victim, Calvin new superintendent under contract by the end of this month.

Voy, D-Brookfleld, chairman ot the House group, the agency reorganization amendment If passed by the council, the C. Beckemeyer, Carlyle, 111., was alone in his southbound It was explained that a pe Dec. 5, 1969, Lamb said. Limb ordinance would go to circuit court where the judge would rule whether the plan is fea culiar thing about reorganiza might have to be reconsidered in view of the committee's, fail said he went to Davenport Fri gasoline transport at 11:50 a.m. day and Saturday to speak with when the left rear dua4 wheels sible.

Anyone could pretest at ure to act the one dealing with higher education. However, the suspect and the results were came off the trailer section five miles south of St James, troop tion, such a Laclede county has, is that when the R-3 district is reorganized a new board must be elected. This happened in November when the Capp and the same. that time, or his decision could be appealed. be expected to call another The suspect had been con ers reported.

meeting of the committee later victed of a burglary charge in February meeting of the In the instructions given Stemmons last night, the annexation this week to pick up the House Christian County in 1954. Lamb Ozarks Aero Club will be tonight Detherage districts were merg with Lebanon R-3. legislation giving constitutional would cover 260 acres north of said the investigation will authority to a coordinating at the Flaming Pit, with dinner at 6:30, followed by a program. If another Lebanon R-3 board the city involving 28 land board for higher education. were to be elected, it would not owners; 80 acres west of the city In Miss USA Pageant Janet Fetter, Southwest Missouri State College sophomore from Springfield, will represent Missouri in the Hiss USA pageant to Puerto Rico May lt-zO.

She was selected for the Miss verse qualifier at the Z-state pageant in Kan-, sas City this Forty-two ether Missouri girls competed. Miss Potter is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. W.

Potter, 1947 Wedgewood. the Coordinating Board for he. in Carr opinion, the type ot The big vehicle ground to a halt on a hill, then rolled and overturned down an embankment Beckemeyer was pronounced dead upon arrival at Phelps County Hospital in Rolla. The truck loss was estimated at $20,000. Beckemeyer was the 10th person to die on Ozarks highways this month- Burglaries, Brawls, Forgeries; Rape Higher Education, as proposed by the Little Hoover Commis situation into which a qualified superintendent or other key educator now serving at some involving five landowners including the city, which has a landfill and two lagoons there; and 107.3 acres south of the city Involving IS landowners and including the Greenfield school sion, would have broad author ity on budget preparation and other school would want to step.

submission, admissions policies There is another effect of the football stadium. and program review of all levels of state-supported higher educa 'Crimeless Tuesday' Wears Out Polite reorganization which occurred In Attempt to Hijack Bus last November. tion. The second proposal, consid The Lebanon board has found ered to be the most sweeping that COO.000 in bonds voted by reorganization of the executive the people for the purpose of branch of state government in building new elementary Duua- 150 year, would consolidate tee tng are not salable because of Arkansas TJlan Is Charged Fire Truck Flips, Three on Crew Are Injured WEBB CITY (Special) Three firemen were injured when they were thrown from their overturning fire truck nearly 90 state agencies into 10 chines, a radio and several toy valued at $150 from Missouri Sewing Machine Company, 1137 East Division, reported by co- the turnover in ine ooaro. -This could be repeated with new departments and a newty created Office of Adminis another reorganization.

How owner Bob SneBgrose after be found a door forced at 10:50 "Greenfield has growing pain," Mayor Lacey Stapp reported, "especially in the north addition, which Is toward Stockton Lake. Many are wanting to buy large lots within the city limit." For this reason, he said, if the annexation is approved another well may be drilled and water and sewer lines would be Installed. One of the councilmen who abstained from voting on the annexation issue last night had wanted to add two more small tracts. Greenfield has had only one annexation In 20 years, and that one about Ave years ago to take In the Greenfield Nursing Home property. Presently, the city includes more than 700 acres.

ever, the present plan fat to resubmit the $300,000 bond election a.m. and removed the suspect and his The controversy arising in both the-Senate and the House while enroute to a blaze near See LACLEDE, Pg 11 luggage. After a brief con The disappearance of a dinette set, a rug and storage here yesterday. frontation, the man fled. Troopers said the vehicle was table valued at 90 from 625 being driven north on Jasper Green confiscated the luggage and apprehended Govora in East Normal Mr.

J. J. Curley, County by Billie Wayne Kow Harrison after he had gone to woo i moving from the Normal residence to an apartment at 616 bus station to pick up the land, 25, CarterviOe, when it skidded out of control on a curve one mile north of WAb City at East Madison, said the items luggage. were taken Monday night after "Crimeless Tuesday" definitely wasn't That was the summation of wear Springfield police last night as they ended a busy day of investigation into burglaries, brawls, check forgeries and a rape, A part of Crime Prevention Week, Police Chief Gordon Loveland and other city official had hoped for a day devoid of major crimes, although Love-land admitted it was "a lot to expect" Police asked for and received citizen cooperation in reporting crime, but got definite lack of cooperation from the criminal element. The day' incident included The theft of Mooday' tale receipts from a cafe at the Quick Shop Market, Glen tone and Republic Road, where manager Amos Smith found front door pane broken at 5:40 a.m.

Toe theft of two sewing ma 1:20 P.m. she had transferred several out er article to ber new address. '4 Nicholson Named Stone County Coroner HARRISON, Ark. (Special) -A 23-year-old Arkansas man has been charged with assault with Intent to rob here after reportedly attempting to hijack a Sun. 1 a Stage bus Monday night J' Charles Ronald Govora, of Deer, is being held on a $2500 bond in connection with the charge.

His preliminary hearing is expected to be Friday, the deputy prosecutor of Boone County, iBuford Gardner, said yesterday. Sheriff Loy Green said he arrested Govora after speaking with pringfieldian Curt Daley, the bus driver. Green said the suspect allegedly pulled a knife and ordered Daley to take him to Deer, about 38 miles south of Harrison. Leaving the road, the vehicle overturned, throwing -out the driver, who suffered possible back injuries and (bock; Robert Oscar Piute, 34. Webb City, who THE LOCKHORNS I "LORffTTA evvYJflfj'SHe yOOLPNT TALK TO ME FOR A TOMORROWS THE LA6T PAY." Charles E.

Gray left hi home at 960 South Fremont for 10 minutes -yesterday, returning at 1 p.m. to bear the front door slam JEFFERSON CITY (UPI) -Forest Nicholson, of Kimberllng received finger dislocations, City, yesterday was appointed postlble chest injuries and bruises, and David Carroll Cook. 28. Oronoeo. who suffered a he entered the back.

Be Stone County coroner by Gov, Stock Horse Group To Meet Saturday The Crossroads Stock Association will meet at p.m. Saturday the Sunshine Heritage to discus judge for this season, the purchase of tn electric timer for racing event, and to hear a report on the annual show scheduled March 25. New members are invited to attend. found the front door bad been Warren E. Hearnes.

severe bead lacerations, chest pried open by an Intruder who Ills term wiU begin this injuries and numerous bruises. ransacked a chest and took a re month. i All were taken to St, John' volver. 14 credit card and Medical Center in Joplin. Other Nicholson succeeds George Manlove, of Crane, who died fire unit completed the run to change.

See CRIMELESS, Page il, Daley said ne itoppea ui du recently. the fire north of Webb City..

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