The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida on November 4, 1981 · 121
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The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida · 121

Tampa, Florida
Issue Date:
Wednesday, November 4, 1981
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2-B THE TAMPA TRIBUNE, Wednesday, November 4. 1981 PascoHernando-Citrus Late Hews r 9 r f m ' 12 Inverness Manager Post Offered To Delaware M an "By GEORGE WILKENS Tribune Staff Writer INVERNESS The City Council has voted to hire as its first city manager Richard A. Gilbert Jr., city manager in a small waterfront community in Delaware. The unanimous ballot came shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday following only brief discussion. Gilbert, who received his master's degree in public administration from State University of New York, was one of five finalists interviewed by the council Monday night. . Gilbert told City Clerk Betty Lattin he would be attending a Tuesday night meeting and could not be reached. Council President Julian "Pete" Kelly said he would telephone Gilbert at noon today and offer him the position. According to Gilbert's resume, since August 1978 he has served as city manager of Delaware City, Del., a community of 1,858 persons and an annual operating budget of $350,000. Prior to that, he was town manager of Fallsburg, N.Y., a residential and resort community with a year-round population of 10,000. Gilbert's received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Colorado in 1969 and then served four years in the U.S. Air Force as a second lieutenant, and later captain. , Councilman Bill DeCarlo, who made the motion to offer the job to Gilbert, said of his choice, "He is actually the only candidate we had who met all the qualifications." There were 37 applicants. DeCarlo's motion stipulated a starting salary of $22,000 annually, which Gilbert said Monday was within the range acceptable to him. During his 30-minute interview, Gilbert characterized his manage ment style as "a team management concept where the city manager reigns, but does not rule." He is under contract with his ' current employer, and probably would not be available until mid-February, he advised the council Monday. Asked his reason for applying for the Inverenss post, Gilbert said the city has growth potential,, and that a physician has advised his wife and child, affected by allergies, would fare better in a different climate. - Other finalists for the position were James G. LaRue, 36, acting city manager of Deerfield Beach; C. Stanley Gambrell, Si, city manager of Vienna, Ga.V Edward J. Strube, 34, of Palm City, a former assistant administrator for Pasco County and a former Martin County administrator; and Charles R. Bergensky, 45, manager of West Deer Township, Pa. .!..-. 2 Paramedics Quit Spring Hill Department SPRING HILL Two more Spring Hill Fire and Rescue Department paramedics resigned Tuesday, slicing the department to only two paramedics on duty after Nov. 13. Bill Penny and Wayne McCracken joined three other employees, including two paramedics, who have left the department within the past month. All cited internal problems within the fire district ; ...' '! Under state law. Advanced Life Support ambulances must be manned by paramedics on a 24-hour basis, Penny said. The district could lose its certification, he warned. But Hernando County Commissioner Marvin Hunt said SAS Ambulance, the private company now ' operating the county emergency medical service, would be brought in to serve the Spring Hill District. ' Hunt said the private ambulance service would charge the cost " to the district. Bypass Construction Begins Dec. 1 By daniel Mclaughlin Tribune Staff Writer, BROOKSVILLE Long-awaited construction of the proposed northwest extension of the truck bypass around this small city is scheduled to begin Dec., 1 . Construction crews finally will begin work at the intersection of State Road 50 West and County Road 577, about two miles west of town, where a stop signal and left turning lanes eventually will be installed. I, r That bit of news for local government leaders came Tuesday morning from Department ot Transportation officials. And it was welcome news. The County Commission quickly voted 5-0 to authorize the DOT to proceed with the work to extend the alternate route around Brooksville, easing heavy traffic on U.S.98. Extending the bypass to link State Road 50 west with U.S. 98 north of town has been in the planning stages for about seven years. Estimated costs, just for buying up property for right of way and for paying certain engineering fees, will be about $1 million, according to state officials. : Prior to approval of the DOTs construction plans, which call first for hanging a traffic light at State Road 50 and County Road 577, Commissioner Frank Fish said: "I tell you, it is really hazard condi tions ... Maybe one of the honchoes up in Tallahassee has to get killed there before you get a light." The county commissioners had looks of pleasant surprise on their faces Tuesday morning when County Engineer Gene Manuel got off the phone with state officials and said work on the northwest loop would start next month. The northwest loop, when complete, will extend the bypass around Brooksville from State Road 50 up to U.S. 98 and come out at a point near Yontz Road. Already, the bypass is half com-' plete, forming a semi-circle around the south side of Brooksville, running from State Road 50 west, across U.S. 41 at South Square Plaza to State Road 50 east. Deposition Of Reporter OK'd OCALA A circuit judge here Tuesday ordered a newspaper reporter to give a deposition in a lawsuit filed against local mine owner Anthony Tanner by the state of Florida. y St. Petersburg Times reporter Barry Cronin was subpoenaed for a deposition Oct. 8 by attorneys for the Tanner-owned Citrus Sand & Clay, which U being sued by the Department of Environmental Regulation for alleged permit violations and wetland encroachment within the Black Prairie Sink. The Tanner firm was operating a 150-tcre site in northern Marion County last month in connection with the contracts it holds with the Seminole Electric Co-op. DER's lawsuit seeks a fine and court-ordered restoration of the lands. ' In denying a Times' motion to quash the subpoena, Circuit Judge Wallace Sturgess ruled there is no blanket immunity allowing "the newspaper people to rise above the law. The ruling is that he will have to give his deposition, but can raise objections again during that proceeding" the judge said. Hearing Set On Jury Report BROOKSVILLE After considering requests from ,the men named in a grand jury report on Hernando Sheriff Melvin Kelly, a circuit judge Tuesday afternoon set a Dec. 1 1 hearing date to decide if the report should remain sealed. Circuit Court Judge Wallace E. Sturgis Jr. said he would hear arguments from the men or their attorneys. The seven men named in the report, which was compiled during a September grand jury investigation of Kelly, are: Circuit Judge William F. Edwards, of Inverness; Deputy State Attorney Jimmy Brown, of Bushnell; Assistant State Attorney Chip Harp, of Brooksville; two ex-Pasco County deputy sheriffs, Bernie Bishop and Ron Forbell; Dan Worsham, a former Hernando deputy sheriff; and Kelly. So far, all but two of the men have requested that Sturgis make the grand jury report public. Sturgis will give them two hours to explain their positions concerning the grand jury's report. The report in question was compiled after Worsham, Bishop and Forbell wrote a letter to Gov. Bob Graham last year, making allegations of wrongdoing against various public officials in Hernando County. Skyway Disaster Case May Go To Jury Today By LARRY WRIGHT Tribune Staff Writer . : Countering arguments that her husband might have been a careless driver, the widow of the Greyhound bus driver who perished with his passengers in 1980 when one span of the Sunshine Skyway bridge collapsed testified Tuesday that he was a perfectionist. " Her testimony and that of the only man to survive the 155-foot plunge from the bridge that fateful day completed the defense's case in the first civil liability trial involving the Skyway disaster. . ( . The case will go to the jury today. Twenty-five passengers aboard the Grey hound bus that plunged off the broken bridge were killed, as well as the bus driver and nine motorists. Families of two of the dead bus passengers are suing Greyhound, the estate of the bus driver, and Greyhound's insuror, claiming they are all liable for the deaths. They say the bus was going too fast in heavy rain, the reason it didn't stop in time to avoid going off the bridge. But attorneys for Greyhound say not even the experienced bus driver could be expected to anticipate that he might crest the bridge and find it gone. The MV Summit Venture had struck the bridge in a blinding rainstorm about 7:30 a.m. May 9, 1980, collapsing the southbound sban. It took attorneys for Greyhound Lines Inc. less than an hour Tuesday to complete their defense. - Last week, an engineer hired by Greyhound testified he'd examined the damaged bus and found its brakes and tires in working order. He said the driver of the bus had downshifted into low gear, and applied foot brakes and an emergency brake before the bus went off the bridge. Tuesday, the defense called three witnesses. : The first witness Tuesday was Richard James Baserap of St Petersburg, who testi- nea ne was toiiowing tne bus as it approached the bridge that morning. He esti- but said he lost sight of it when it began to climb the bridge. Baserap said he stopped when he was flagged down as he climbed the bridge, but that he couldnt tell the bridge was out until the man who flagged him down told him. The last witness was Judith T. Curtin, wife of the late bus driver, Michael Curtin. During a short but emotional statement, she. testified her husband was a perfectionist. Wesley Maclntyre, the only person to survive the fall from the collapsed bridge, also testified, although few of his comments were relevant to the actions of the Greyhound bus driver. Maclntyre, for 35 years a professional HP i ax. mated its speed at 30 to 40 milesjref M said said he was driving about 40 miles per hour in heavy rain as he approached the top of the bridge. ' "The pickup I had was a small compact, and with the rain blowing hard, I had to shift down to about 30 miles per hour. Just as I approached the top, I shifted into high again. The bridge started to sway and snap and' the bridge started to break up," Maclntyre said, breaking into silent sobs. His truck hit the side of the ship then sank into the water. v "I don't remember anything till I woke up and saw the water rising in the cab. I bent the top of the door open and crawled out the top. I don't know why I didn't just open the window," he said. Man Convicted In Film Trial From Page IB adding if the trend continues, "it will become more and more difficult" for the city to provide services within "generally acceptable" tax levels. . A service unit is a specially created area where residents are taxed for governmental services that only they receive. - Since 1975, taxes paid by those living within the units have risen from $2.9 million to $29 million, Martinez said. During the same period, county taxes paid by city taxpayers have also grown, from $18 million to $29 million, he said. County Commissioner Jerry Bowmer took exception to the mayor's remarks, calling them "a strategy move" designed to "push everything off on the county." The council tonight will meet for the first of several public hearings on next year's city budget. Martinez will be present at the council's request. "The only thing I can say is, ' I think this is another issue the mayor is confused on," Bowmer said. "There are millions of dollars that are being levied on the municipal service units. If in fact the MSTU's were not created, the people in the city of Tampa would be sharing in the cost "We did that in good faith to lay to rest the issue of dual taxation," Bowmer said. "He'll hire his accountants, we'll hire ours; he'll hire his lawyers, we'll hire ours. We'll go back in if he desires." Bowmer also said he could think of "a number of areas," such as indigents' outstanding debts to Tampa General Hospital, where county residents are picking up a tab that should be shared by city residents. Highlights of the new city budget, according to an administration pamphlet that will be distributed to the public tonight, are: The city millage rate has decreased 8.4 percent, from 8.846 mills to 8.1 mills. A mill equals $1 for every $1,000 of assessed properly value. The homestead exemption has increased from $15,000 to $20,000 for taxpayers who have been residents of the state for five consecu-tive years. By SYLVIA WRIGHT Tribune Staff Writer A Hillsborough County court jury took less than 30 minutes Tuesday to find an adult bookstore clerk guilty of two counts of possession of obscene materials, films that the prosecutor said depicted "depraved and disgusting acts." The four-woman, two-man jury viewed one brief film that graphically portrayed sexual acts between a man and woman and another film that featured a man masturbating before they declared the films obscene. Donald Lee Baxendale, 26, 8614 Mulberry St., was working in the Cut Rate Book Store at 1 1925 N. Florida Ave. on July 31 when two Hillsborough County Sheriffs detectives arrested him and seized the films that customers pay 25 cents to watch., - Assistant State Attorney Scott Tozian told the jury that three factors were necessary to prove Baxendale's guilt: that Baxendale was in possession or custody of the films, that the films were obscene, and that Baxendale knew of the obscene content of the films. Defense attorney Dick Rahter argued that just because Baxendale worked in a a store with "marital aids" and sexually explicit magazines for sale and signs posted that warned, "If nudity offends you, do not enter," that was not reason enough to prove the clerk knew the content of the films. Jury foreman John P. White said there was no argument over the verdict. "We just discussed it and that was it." In a similar case tried Sept. 3, a Todd Theatre projectionist was found innocent of displaying an obscene movie. The projectionist said he never watched the films he showed. County Court' Judge Ralph Steinberg scheduled sentencing on the charges for Nov. 19. Baxendale could receive a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail, $500 fine, or both on each charge, Steinberg said. Council Police Telephone. From Page IB ; " Morrison said that was not Martinez's intention. ; However, issues are not as simple as they sometimes seem, Morrison said, and those "higher up" in the administration might have additional information that could help council members. Once Martinez's suggestion had been turned down, the council Wanted to know more about weekend cutoffs and about the need for additional collectors that Alfred had asked for last week. Alfred said the amount owed the city in overdue water bills totals about $332,000 each month, and that the city needs to hire two more bill collectors. Morrison, apparently unaware of Alfred's comments, said collectors don't collect money door-to-door; they only shut off water. Councilwoman Haven Poe asked for precise answers to the council's questions, and Morrison said he would provide them before the meeting ended. ; Prior to a recess, Copeland told Morrison the council was not angry. '. "No one is mad. Everyone is happy," Copeland said. - After the recess, Morrison said collectors do take in money, but delinquent customers are charged an additional $20 to have their service turned back on. ; Morrison also said Tippin and Alfred have not yet finished studying the problem, and that is why they didn't appear before the council. From Page IB said Tuesday that 300 phonograph records, more than 300 filmstrips and about 400 paperbacks were destroyed. Dudney, who surveyed the damages Sunday, said he hoped a significant number of books could be saved, but that would have to be determined through negotiations with the insurance carrier. t The policy has a $25,000 deductible which the board will have to absorb, as it did in the two previous fires. Absorbing that amount a total of $75,000 will be difficult since this year's budget is one of the tightest the school system has ever worked with, officials said. ' School library officials on Tuesday sent out memos to other county Dry. schools asking to borrow books until the Madison stock can be replenished. Margolf said it would probably take the remainder of the year to get things back to normal. The weekend blaze was the third purposely set fire to hit the county school system within the past three weeks. A fire at McLane Junior High School in Brandon Oct. 10 caused an estimated $1.5 million in damages. Then, just three days later, back-to-back fires at the Orange Grove Elementary School at Ybor City caused an estimated $30,000 to $50,000 in damages. Three juveniles were arrested in connection with the Orange Grove fire. No arrests have been made in the McLane case, but investigators say they are pursuing several suspects. From Page IB pointment, such an appeal is as much as certain. In addition to setting a rental rate of $1.50 per month for the use of a company-owned telephone, the commission did away with a 70-cent credit that is applied to owners of their own equipment Another new charge was approved by the commission Tuesday. That's a new 30-cent charge for line verification and interruption. Once again, Cress said the charges were cost based, pegged to the cost of employing an operator to handle those calls. In the past there was no charge for having an operator check a busy line to see if someone was on it, nor was .there any charge to interrupt that call. : While the commission granted a 15-cent charge for verification and another 15-cent charge for interruption, both the company and the commission staff had asked that those charges be 30 cents and 45 cents for a total of 75 cents. , A proposal by the commission staff to charge departing General Telephone customers a $12.50 disconnect fee was not approved by the commission. From Page IB flowing as it normally is at this time of year. "There's not a whole lot of water coming down the river," he said. "We've got the dam buttoned up, and we're tuning up the plant and repairing some of the wells so that we will be ready to go at full capacity next spring." The city is also preparing tthe necessary permits to convince the water management district to allow I it to pump water from the Harney Canal into the Hillsborough River. The city was saved from a severe water crisis last June because it was able to pump 30 mgd from the Harney Canal, but the district has not issued permits to allow the city to pump that much whenever it wants. October was abnormally dry, with only .86 inches of rain falling at Tampa International Airport, according to the U.S. Weather Service in Ruskin. Normally about 1.67 inches of rain fall. Rain is in the forecast for today, and a meteorologist said up to a half-inch could fall ; in some places throughout the Tampa Bay area. But even a half-inch of rain will do little to relieve drought conditions, Comer said. The Hillsborough River area has had 12 inches less rain than normal during the past year, while the northwest Hillsborough area has had 10 inches less. The driest area in the district, the upper Withlaceochee River region, has a 24.4-inch deficit, he said. Under the new General Telephone rate structure, the cost of getting phone service where there had been a phone before will go up only slightly from $39.75 to $40.75. But for brand new service the cost increase will be dramatic due to -increased cost for inside wiring and jacks. The inside wiring charge will jump from a flat rate of $8.75 for whatever is needed to be done to a time-based rate of $32 an hour. Again, Cresse justified the increase by saying that the commission intended "to let people do their own wiring." Such wiring has been outlawed by the phone company, but the commission voted unanimously to order General Telephone to revise its rules "to permit the customer to provide premise wiring which meets technical criteria for its use, with access lines provided by the company." The phone company estimates that it only takes 15 minutes to install inside wiring per jack. So if only two phone jacks were being installed, the cost would be $16. H;Ql I PASCO Dog Cruelty Case Under Investigation An animal cruelty case in which a small dog was run over by a lawn mower Monday has been turned over to the Pinellas County State Attorney's Office for investigation, a St. Petersburg police spokesman said Tuesday. Spokesman George Pinckney said the investigation is scheduled to begin Nov. 13 to determine whether a 43-year-old man should be charged in the dog's death. Four witnesses, including the dog's owner, Mitchell Cundiff of 4000 Third St. N., claim the man intentionally ran over the 12-year-old African basenji after it ran into a yard, the spokesman said. The dog, named Sonny, was later put to sleep at a veterinarian's office because its wounds were so severe. The dog's left rear leg had been severed and it suffered gaping lacera tions to its rear quarter, police officials said. Cundiff told police that Sonny ran into the yard and the man, riding on the mower, shouted something at him and began to chase him on the mower. The cowering dog was backed into a corner under a bush in front of the residence at the 6000 block of 25th Avenue North and the mower was driven over the bush to get to the dog, said Cundiff. - "I started yelling at this guy," Cundiff was quoted as saying. "He was deliberately chasing the do."

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