Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida on May 20, 1988 · 25
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Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida · 25

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St. Petersburg, Florida
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Friday, May 20, 1988
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25
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ST. PETERSBURG TIMES i State Digest, 2-B i Suncoast Digest, 3-B i Legislature, 6-B i Suncoast Deaths, 7-B section FRIDAY, MAY 20, 1988 0 jnnitE rnnimn ml These are the days of our lives Perhaps you noticed that today in Cambodia is the national Day of Hatred, an annual festival of loathing. Actually, it's a political observance, aimed at a murderous former regime. - But it's an intriguing idea, proclaiming days of feelings. Maybe if we used official days for venting some of the feelings that are always floating around here, we'd be happier people. Maybe we could begin with a Day of Disapproval for those who like to cluck their tongues over the waywardness of others. They could do it all day long and maybe then be done with it for a while. Planning for this celebration could be handled by a coalition of organizations that include the word "Concerned" in their names. Soon after, we should have a Day of Pique, during which those who feel slighted can indulge in fits of the sulks. ' We could have a Day of Extirpation, with celebrations for zealots who want to stamp out all beliefs that differ from their own. Maybe I'll be patriotic and work on my sleep. But that would have to be followed by a Day of Acceptance, in which nobody gets to criticize anybody else. We could declare a Day of Disobedience for the kids, when they could be free from direction. That could perhaps coincide with a Day of Irresponsibility for parents. We absolutely must have a Day of Dissatisfaction, in which we each register a complaint with somebody about something. (Mine could be to the department store that employs a clerk who, when I handed her several pairs of socks at the cash register, asked me, "Would you please go back over there and get one with a price on it?" She clearly intended to stand there, waiting, while I did as she asked. I suggested that perhaps she could do it. She did, but she made it clear she didn't like it.) Wacky days are not that farfetched. According to Chase's Annual Events, we already have plenty of them on the books. For example, today is Eliza Doolittle Day. Named after the character in Pygmalion, it's meant to observe the importance of speaking one's native language properly. Today also marks the Rhododendron Festival in Florence, Ore., which is celebrated with, among other things, a slug race. i Actually, the entire month of May is marked with curious observances. May is Better Sleep Month, intended to get Americans to "re-evaluate their bedtime habits." It is also Foot Health Month (thanks to who else? America's podiatrists), Home Decorating Month and National Photo Month. It could be worse. We could live in Japan, where they actually have a irtonthlong national celebration in honor of statistics, with themes such as "Statistics are the beacon for a happy life." Today is notable for one other reason. It begins the last weekend in which people in Vermont may hunt fish. Yes, hunt. ' According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, from March 25 to May 25 on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain, it is legal to shoot fish. Sportsmen (a misnomer?) in those parts don waterproof overalls and polarized glasses to better see the fish under water and climb up in trees along the shore to use their rifles, shotguns and pistols to shoot fish that are making their way to the marshes to spawn. The proper technique, apparently, is not actually to shoot the fish; they sort of explode if you do. Instead, the hunter tries for a near-miss, by an inch or so, which creates an explosion that knocks the fish unconscious. Then the hunter climbs out of the tree and scoops it out of the water. I don't know. I'm off on a short vacation myself today, but I don't think fish hunting is going to make it onto my list of things to do. Maybe I'll be patriotic and work on my sleep. By BILL MOSS TlmM Stiff Writer For many lottery players, the long odds against winning a pile of money got a little longer Wednesday. Computers that operate the games were down across the state for hours, and many people who wanted to play couldn't. Based on sales Wednesday compared with those a week earlier, the lottery lost at least $657,000. But Lottery Secretary Rebecca Paul said the state will recover the money from the Control Data Corp., the contractor that oper ates the statewide computer network for the Cash 3 and Lotto games. "There is obviously a loss to the state, and we'll recoup that from the vendor," Paul told the Associated Press. "The number of complaints wasn't tremendous, but those who called were incredibly frustrated. We're sorry for the inconvenience caused to retailers and players." The problem occurred in Control Data's telecommunications setup linking 3,200 computer terminals around the state to a central computer in Tallahassee, Paul said. Whatever the technical explanation, lot tery players were mad. "I tried (to play) about 10 times last evening, and they told me they had been down since about 11 that morning," said Lily Mercado, a hospital custodian in Pinellas Park. "I play between $10 and $15 every day (in the Cash 3 game) and I also play the Lotto," the weekly game with a grand prize that has grown to $7-million. Even so, Mrs. Mercado, 45, said the aggravation won't cool her gambling fever. "I betcha I've spent close to $300," she said. "That's not going to discourage me, because I'm going to win the big one." Wednesday's breakdown was the costliest the lottery has experienced since widespread problems during the Lotto and Cash 3 startup three weeks ago. At that time, about a quarter of the terminals were down because of improper installation, inexperienced store clerks or overloaded phone lines. Lottery spokesman Ed George said South Florida was hardest hit by Wednesday's computer breakdown, but problems were reported across the state at varying times. "We had gone quite a while without any (computer) Please see LOTTERY 5-B Running afoul of the law Profane parrot retains right to remain silent By TAMMERLIN DRUMMOND Times Staff Writer NORTH REDINGTON BEACH Police Officer John Lewis confronted the suspect, but this time Roscoe wasn't talking. "I attempted to interview the bird and it refused. I walked up to it and said 'hi' and it didn't say anything to me," Lewis says. "It was an unusual complaint, but we have to take every assignment that we're given." Roscoe is a parrot, an African Grey parrot. He has a vocabulary of about 1,000 words, his owner says, but some of those words cannot be printed in a family newspaper. Nextdoor neighbor Charles Som-mer even called the police, whose technique of interrogation was no match for the bird. "I was in the Navy and I have been all over the world but I have never heard a bird that can speak with that vulgarity. Sometimes, I can't tell if it's the bird or its "If you put something on with a good beat, he'll bounce up and down on the (perch) and get his hand going." Larry Kinsey owner," Sommer says. "The bird is like his parents." Roscoe's owner is Larry Kinsey, 54. Kinsey says he bought the bird for $1,500 from two hockey players and a bartender. They got rid of Roscoe because his unpre- ,1 V I , 'I immmimum it , J f -"'' I SrjV V - If 1 , 1 v. 4 '.',. i 6 I a Times photo FRASER HALE Larry Kinsey says Roscoe "had a bad vocabulary with profanity, but he's calmed down quite a bit since we had him." dictable outbursts were getting them into trouble with their girlfriends. "He had a bad vocabulary with profanity, but he's calmed down quite a bit since we had him," Kinsey says. "But once in a while, he'll come up with some derogatory statements." Kinsey attributes the visit from police to a neighborhood feud; he and Sommer do not get along espe cially well. Among other things, Sommer says Kinsey once sprayed him with a garden hose. Kinsey . charges that Sommer bushwhacked the branches of a tree he had planted. "At first I was mad and then we had a big laugh" about the police visit, Kinsey says. When Kinsey goes to work at his landscaping job, he leaves Ros coe in a cage in the Florida room or on the patio. "He gabs a lot. He loves television and music. If you put something on with a good beat, he'll bounce up and down on the (perch) and get his hand going," Kinsey says. "But he doesn't say bad words constantly, just once in a while." The quiet neighborhood off Gulf Boulevard is made up mostly of retirees. Other neighbors say the bird has a habit of making a gurgling noise that can be annoying at 7 a.m., but otherwise they are fairly taken with Roscoe. "He knows us," says Veronica LeClerc, who lives across the street. "He barks like a dog, meows like a cat. There's nothing that bird can't do." House panel okays plan to help finance stadium By TIM NICKENS Timet Staff Writer INSIDE TALLAHASSEE A $30-million financial package that St. Petersburg wants to furnish the Florida Suncoast Dome and lure the Chicago White Sox coasted through a House committee Thursday, and Pinellas legislators expect the full House to approve the plan next week. With little discussion, the House Appropri ations Committee approved the plan 26-2, with Rep. Helen Gordon Davis of Tampa and Rep. Vernon Peeples of Punta Gorda casting the negative votes. , "Awesome," said Rep. Peter Dunbar, R-Crystal Beach, after the vote. "I couldn't be more pleased. It's a pretty good indication that the House will support our efforts." But as St. Petersburg's ef fort progressed in the House, it may have slipped a bit in the Senate. Several key senators have not endorsed the plan, and President John Vogt sounded skeptical Thursday afternoon. After meeting privately with some Senate leaders over lunch, Vogt said the proposal's prospects are "not looking particularly good." He said senators he has talked with aren't prepared to vote for it and are concerned about the appearance of spending state money on a stadium. "There is a fair amount of concern over political backlash," said Vogt, D-Merritt Island. "Most people who aren't from Pinellas County don't favor it." After Vogt met with reporters, two lobbyists for the St. Petersburg effort and Sen. Curt Kiser of Palm Harbor pitched the plan to him again late Thursday afternoon. Kiser said Vogt is still open-minded on the issue, Sox asking for $6-million yearly to stay in Illinois Attorney hired to keep deal quiet Stories, 6-B "It's still a do-able project," Kiser said, "but we still have a lot of people to convince in the Senate. Little by little, we're picking off a few more each day." Pinellas legislators say the $30-million package for the stadium would cost the state only $5-million this year and have no impact on other state programs. They remain optimistic the Senate will approve the plan if the House passes it as expected next week. "The pressure on them will be substantial once we get this out of here, said Rep. Peter Wallace, D-St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg wants the state money to pay for artificial turf, a scoreboard and other stadium furnishings. The money would be spent only if the White Sox owners first agreed to move to Florida. The team owners have said they will keep the White Sox in Chicago if the Illinois Legislature passes a revised financial package for a new stadium. Until Illinois acts, the owners are continuing to negotiate with St. Petersburg. The bill passed by the Florida House committee Thursday does not earmark $30-million in state money for the Florida Suncoast Dome. The Tampa Bay Baseball Group, a private group that wants to build a stadium in Tampa and acquire a team, demanded the plan be worded so any city that gets a professional sports franchise has a shot at the money. The bill would allow local governments to keep up to $2-million a year in state sales taxes collected at stadiums used by professional franchises. St. Petersburg would use that income to borrow up to $15-million now. The first city to qualify for state help also would get $5-million from the state in each of Please see BASEBALL 6-B INSIDE if; ;' i, ( ? ' Times photo JOE WALLES Bill Gunter announces his Senate campaign Story, 2-B Businessman accused of smuggling cocaine tries to get bail set 4-B Correction More than 32,000 ticket holders in last week's Lotto drawing each won $4.50 by selecting three of the six winning numbers. A story Thursday said they won a different amount. TV show may join search for murder suspect By KAREN DATKO Times Staff Writer BRADENTON A family member was positive it was accused killer James Burnside. There he was, in broad daylight, standing on the side of the road. Once face-to-face with him, however, it became clear the man was just another stranger. The sightings have been numerous, and the tips have poured in from all corners. But three months after he fatally stabbed his wife and shot her co-worker outside a Bradenton shopping center, the whereabouts of James Burnside remain as much a mystery as when he vanished into woods moments after the shooting. People think they see him in convenience stores, at service stations, or walking down the street. But always it's someone else. Police are at such a loss that they're turning to a nationally televised show on fugitives in hopes of tracking down Burnside. A researcher for America's Most Wanted, a program syndicated by Fox Broadcasting and aired in the Tampa Bay area on WTOG-Channel 44 at 8 p.m. Sundays, pitched the story to his producers Thursday. "It sounds like a very good story," said researcher Burke Stone. For the family of Annette Burnside, the slain wife, it is a story of threats, of fear. "It's very frustrating knowing that he's still out there," said Jean Schappacher, Annette's mother, "and not knowing what he might do." 'He felt that he owned her' Annette Schappacher, the fifth of eight children, was 19 when she married James Burnside, a twice-divorced carpenter who was more than twice her age. Her parents, Jean and Roy Schappacher, were concerned about the age difference, but Annette Please see SUSPECT 5-B

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