Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida on May 14, 1981 · 60
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Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida · 60

St. Petersburg, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 14, 1981
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St. Petersburg Simps Sunny Brookavill XwfiTTj High in upper 80s. Low in lower 60s. SE winds lOmph. Hernando Beach 10 y Weeki Wache EDITION BROOKSVILLE - ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. THURSDAY, MAY 14, 1981 spring Hill 1 ' OMataryklownf ; a Is- Pope's shooting shocks-residents St. Pfraburg Tlmea Staff Wrttara North Suncoast residents of all faiths expressed shock Wednesday when they learned that an attempt had been made on the life of Pope John Paul II. This attempt comes only six weeks after the assassination attempt on U.S. President Ronald Reagan. ' By 5 p.m. Wednesday reports from the Vatican said the Pope was in satisfactory condition after almost 4's hours of surgery. "I was horrified. I love that man. Anyone who can speak 42 languages just to greet the world, to say Happy Easter, I can't understand this. If you'd kill him you'd kill God," said the Rev. Joseph Rimshaw, assistant pastor at St. Rita's Catholic Church in Dade City. "I WOULD assume that the person that did this was someone like Hinckley (the man charged with attempting to kill Reagan)," Rimshaw said. "One out of every seven people is nuts and, of course, they are not all locked up, and that's pretty frightening." He said he didn't see the need for any special scheduled service. "Prayer reaches out. You don't have to have thatcongregation of people." "It's just one more aspect revealing a sick generation," said the Rev. James Hoge of St. Benedict's Catholic Church in Crystal River. A Rosary had been originally planned at the church to pray at the Pope's request for world peace and understanding at 8 p.m. Friday, he said. Prayers will now also be offered for the Pope's recovery. Rev. Aiden Foynes, Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, New Port Richey, said he was unaware of the incident until contacted by a reporter shortly after noon Wednesday. "IT'S REALLY unbelievable," he said. "You're the first one to tell me. "I really don't know what could have motivated the person who shot him," Foynes said, paralleling the incident to the attempt on Reagan's life, "but it's probably because of the notoriety and attention he'd draw to himself." A special Mass has been scheduled at his church for 7 p.m. today. "The act itself is terrible," said Rev. Morris Hintz-man, First United Methodist Church in Brooksville, "but it's not a comment on the times." He called Pope John Paul a "brother in Christ" and added that the pontiff "is. assured of my prayers and those of our church members." "It grieves me deeply to feel that people interested in peace, justice and wholesome living are always attacked," Hintzman added. "Although it does come as a surprise it does not come as a shock. People in public life are often, sadly, targets.' Rev. Joseph E. Beaumont, St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Holiday, said he "was absolutely flabbergasted." "THE POPE is such a beautiful man," he said. "Who would want to kill this man who loves people? It is a terrible thing." St. Vincent's is planning a prayer service for 10 a.m. today. St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Tarpon Springs, which has two daily morning Masses at 7:30 and 9 a.m., intends to conduct today's services with special prayers. See REACTION. Page 7 if . Citrua Timaa BOB MORELAND In her studio. Merry McGrane displays some of the clothing that she painted. Her art work may hang in the closet By ROY MAYS Crtrua Timet Staff Writer HOMOSASSA SPRINGS A chubby squirrel gazes impishly from a skirt hanging on the wall of Merry McGrane's workroom. On the opposite wall, a red bird picks at make-believe seeds while a horse prances across the front of a shirt. Mrs. McGrane's wildlife is painted not on canvas but on clothes. Her artwork is more likely to be found in a closet than on the walls of a home. "I've painted all my life," Mrs. McGrane said as she added lines of white paint to the face of a tiger. She's also been fascinated by fashions and design. About seven years ago the two interests merged. "I read a story in the newspaper about a man who did this," she said, adding more detail to the tiger. It took several experiments with various paint combinations to get a mixture that would adhere to cloth, yet be washable and still soft to the touch. "I've dealt with many of the hand-painted fabrics but they are stiff," she said. WHILE HER method is a secret, Mrs. McGrane said she uses acrylic paints. To keep track of the details of a variety of animals, the Homosassa Springs woman keeps a library of wildlife and domestic animal photos. Before moving here three years ago, Mrs. McGrane lived in Clearwater and at one time provided her in dividualized painted fashions to five dress shops. She also did work for a dress shop in Ocala and specialized in horse designs for that racing-minded area. "That's when I really brushed up on the different types of horse," she recalled. She did all her own sewing then and still does some, although now Mrs. McGrane has two women helping to keep her supplied with men's, women's and children's fashions which are sold through a local dress shop and on individual orders. The sewing is done in one workshop behind her home while the art work is done in a smaller building next door. WITH NO formal training in art, Mrs. McGrane has progressed in her work to the point where animal likenesses now are painted freehand. To keep the cloth from sliding around on her work-table, Mrs. McGrane has made a board of sandpaper to lay the cloth on. Some designs are taken from her library collection while a few clients bring in photos of their own pets they want duplicated on clothing. One woman brought a photo of her husband to have painted on a denim handbag while another woman, named Robin, had a small robin painted on all her clothing as a trademark. The length of time she spends on an individual piece of clothing depends on the design,"But through the years I've gotten where I work very fast." Families complain of delay in identifying bodies By DERALD EVERHART Hernando Tlmea Staff Writer BROOKSVILLE Since Rick Merrill's burning car was discovered early Saturday morning on a quiet side street in Brooksville, investigators have been working to unravel the questions surrounding the deaths of the two people inside. But Wednesday, the Brooksville Police Department had still not released the identities of the victims, the results of the victim's autopsies nor the cause of the fire that destroyed Merrill's 1979 Chevrolet El C amino. The family members of Merrill, 24, Weeki Wachee, and Dori Colyer, 20, High Point, believe that the two youths were in the El Camino that was found 2:30 a.m. Saturday near a deserted shack on Stafford Avenue. Neither youth has been seen since they left a local bar together at about 1 p.m. Saturday morning. In the meantime, the family members, who have gathered in Hernando County from across the nation to wait for the identification, have complained that the police department is moving too slowly on the case. Miss Colyer's sister, Diane Woedl, told The Times Wednesday that her family was not contacted by the Brooksville Police Department for any information concerning Dori until late Tuesday afternoon. Only after repeated calls from family members, who flew in Sunday from Texas and Ohio, did Brooksville Police Chief Ron Novy and Det. Bob Johnson talk with the family. "The only thing we know is what we have been told by Dori's friends and what we've read in the papers," Mrs. Woedl said. "The thing that bothers us most is that they were not even willing to come by and talk to us." Rick's brother, Mark, who previously owned the El Camino until he sold it to his brother last year, expressed the same frustrations. "The only thing we know is what we read in the newspapers," he said. "We're still waiting. "It took the police until Tuesday to get Rick's records from his dentist in Brooksville." The Merrill family has made funeral arrangements, family members said. James Merrill, Rick's father, said he identified a gold chain that his son was wearing the night he disappeared. See VICTIMS. Page 8 Zoning board denies rock company's bid to mine 222 acres By OIANNE STALLINGS Hernendo Timea Staff Writer BROOKSVILLE The economic benefits of the rock mining industry in Hernando County may be substantial, but in the rezoning case of Florida Crushed Stone Inc., the County Planning and Zoning Board believes the property rights of nearby residents come first. In a 2-1 vote late Tuesday, with Chairman Al Toler dissenting, the board recommended that the County Commission deny the company's petition for rezoning from agriculture to mining on 222 acres near State Road 491. The commission will vote on the issue during its meeting next Tuesday. The acreage adjoins a portion of the mining company's existing operation. THE COMPANY had dropped plans to rezone the same land about two years ago in the wake of strenuous objections from neighboring landowners. At that time, the company did not own the property but was considering its purchase. Company representative, Brooksville lawyer Dick McGee, warned that the company faces a d ran tic reduction in business activity in the county unless it can mine the additional two parcels of land up for rezoning. He said that the high grade of rock contained under the land's surface is necessary to mix with lower grade rock to be used in road building and other activities statewide. The company supports 292 employees, representing $3.2-million in wages, and spends about $4 million a year with local businesses, McGee said. But board member Dr. Richard Henry said that those figures were not particularly impressive when weighed against the impact from thousands of retirees moving into the county. "I feel we have heard the arguments, and the residents claims precede that of the mining officials," he said, making the successful motion to approve. MEMBERS Homer Hunnicutt and Bill Whitehead were absent. Harry Fehrman, who voted with Henry, said he was bothered by the fact that the company had withdrawn its petition last time because residents objected, but then A representative of Florida Crushed Stone Inc. warned that the company faces a drastic reduction in business unless it can mine the additional land. proceeded to refile essentially the same request "This is one I'd like to be sitting on my back porch at home and duck it completely," Fehrman said. In voting against the motion to deny, Toler said residents should realize that companies must mine where the rock is available. "Water also is an important issue," Henry said. "Mines consume a lot. It goes into holding ponds and evaporates because it cannot percolate through the silt. It (mining) is an irrevocable usage of land I object to." One neighboring land owner contended that his well had suffered damage from blasting by the mine. "Most people came here because it is the most beautiful spot in Hernando County," resident A. M. Sevier said. "If you allow the mine to tear down the acres of hardwood trees on that land, all you will have is ripped, denuded useless land from now on." "If you approve this, you will take away the very reason most of us bought here," another resident said. John Jones, a former newspaper publisher who lives east of SR 491, recalled a statement made against rezoning for a subdivision several years ago. At that time, lawyers for a rock mine near the intended subdivisin site said that it would be incompatible with their land use. That petition was turned down and the same argument should be valid in this issue, he said. RESIDENT Charlie Combs said that the mine's dike has broken six times within the last 20 months, flooding SR 491. The company has no intention this time around of withdrawing its petition, McGee said. If the commission overrides the zoning board's recommendation and approves the petition, it should take the company 10 years to mine the two parcels, he said. Times DIGEST California courts consider Mansfield brothers: Section B. Ambulance service has 30 days to comply A letter giving SAS Ambulance Service Inc. 30 days to comply with state requirements for advance life support certification on two ambulances it operates in Hernando County has been sent to the company by certified mail, en official of the State Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services said Wednesday. David Fairweather, assistant director of the emergency medical services division of HRS, said the letter was sent as result of equipment deficiencies cited in an inspection of the ambulance units last Friday. SAS President Bid Stanley told Hernando County Commissioners late Tuesday that the necessary telemetry (patient monitoring) units missing during that inspection would be installed and operational by the end of the week. The commission's contract with the Pinellas County-based SAS, signed Feb. 7, calls for the ambulances to be state certified for advance life support. If for any reason SAS does not comply with the state's directive, the department could revoke the firm's certification . Junior Service League donates money for park At the monthly meeting of the Hernando County Chamber of Commerce, the Junior Service League donated a check for $3,000 to the Hernando County Youth League. The money was presented by Connie MagiHigan. The youth league will soon move into its new t home, a park situated off U.S. 98 N. Commissioner claims sheriff threatened him r By DIANNE STALLINGS Harnamto Timva Staff Wrttar BROOKSVILLE Hernando County Commissioner John Magner claims he was threatened by Sheriff Melvin Kelly after Magner made public remarks about Kelly's performance in office. Magner made the allegations at the commission meeting Tuesday, but Kelly could not comment because he was undergoing a hernia operation at Lykes Memorial Hospital A spokesman for Kelly Wednesday said he is reviewing a transcript of Magner's remarks and will release a statement after that review. Meanwhile, Magner has left on a one-month vacation. Although he contended that he had "hundreds" of threats while working in the Chicago Police Department, Magner said Tuesday that the alleged threat from Kelly was his first since he was elected to the commission Ave years ago. "I WAS threatened by a constitutional officer and I'm damn mad about it," he told the other commissioners. Magner contended that Kelly "ranted and raved" at him on the telephone, saying that commissioners were "picking on him" and not giving him enough money to operate his department "You'll be sorry if you don't change tactics," Magner quoted Kelly as saying. Magner said the statement referred to himself and Commissioners Ray Harris and Marvin Hunt "When I asked him what he meant, he refused (to explain)," Magner said. "When some high (official) threatens, I think it ia time I got it down on the record." Magner speculated that Kelly might have been threatening to give him traffic tickets, to fight Magner's re-election or hinting that he might "send his goon squad" to intimidate the commissioner. "But I do not like to be threatened and I will not stand for it," Magner said. CHAIRMAN Murray Grubbs tried unsuccessfully to stop Magner at one point to give Kelly an opportunity to respond in person. At the conclusion of Magner's statement, Grubbs made that suggestion again. But Kelly was unavailable in the hospital at the time. Magner indicated that Hunt received a similar calL but Hunt said it was a personal matter and did not elaborate. Harris, however, suggested that Kelly appear before the commission and answer Magner's charges. 7 Sheriff Melvin Kelly is accused of threatening County Commissioner John Magner after Magner made public remarks about Kelly's performance in office.

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