The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida on October 28, 1983 · 7
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The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida · 7

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Tampa, Florida
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Friday, October 28, 1983
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7
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n. i wwm Lf Friday, October 28, 1983 AN EDITION OF THE TAMPA TRIBUNE Serving Florida's Heartland Id) P(Q) e . -f , -fa A high school photo of Jess Beamon, 23. Evidence seized from Drake home can be used at trial The evidence includes envelopes that authorities say held donations from congregants at the Winter Haven church.' By MARY TOOTHMAN Tribune Staff Writer ' ". BARTOW A circuit judge rThursday refused to suppress key pieces of evidence detectives gathered at the home of Thomas Drake, the Winter Haven man charged with frying to kill his wife and robbing a church. - Assistant Public Defender Lawrence Shearer filed a motion to suppress most of the evidence Winter Haven detectives collected during their search. The evidence includes donation envelopes from the church where the assault took place. ; Shearer said detectives collected evidence not itemized in the search warrant, and asked.that all items except a pair of tennis shoes be suppressed. Assistant State Attorney Lancaster Harvice told Judge Oliver Green he would not argue about suppression of many of the items, but asked that three specific pieces be ruled admissible. Green ruled the search was conducted "in good faith" and denied Shearer's motion on the three pieces of evidence. ; Drake, 45, is charged with attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery. Authorities allege that Drake beat his wife, Nancy Lou Drake, with a claw hammer on July 8 at the First Church of the Nazarene in downtown Winter Haven. The 47-year-old woman was found lying in a pool of blood at the church shortly after noon, next to an emptied safe. ' Doctors initially did not expect Nancy Drake, the church secretary, to survive. But her health has improved and she is undergoing ther ChurchwelPs death By GAYLE DUKE Tribune Staff Writer BARTOW A complaint filed, with the state Ethics Commission against the late Polk School Superintendent R. Clem Churchwell has been dismissed because of Church-well's death Oct 16, a commission official said Thursday. The state commission made no ruling on the complaint, which alleged that the superintendent had pressured a schoolteacher whose father had been openly critical of Polk County's unemployment rate drops By GREG RAVER-LAMPMAN Tribune Staff Writer " LAKELAND Polk County's unemployment rate, rated the fourth worst in the nation for August, dropped to 17.3 percent in September, the Florida Job Service announced Thursday. ; The new figures mean 26,930 people in Polk County were listed as unemployed during September, down from 29,189 in August 'r. Area business leaders and economists had hoped for a modest rebound as schools rehired hundreds of janitors, bus drivers and cafeteria workers. Haines City By BOB BALGEMANN Tribune Staff Writer HAINES CITY U.S. Navy Corpsman Jess "Buddy" Beamon is among those listed as "officially missing" in Beirut, Lebanon, his brother-in-law, Donald Calloway, said Thursday. Calloway said he and his wife, Patricia, the missing serviceman's sister, received that word Thursday morning when officers from a Naval base in Orlando visited their home. He said they also had been notified through a phone call from the sailor's wife of seven months, Heidi, a Navy payroll clerk stationed in Iceland. Beamon, 23, occupied a room on the fourth floor of the Marine barracks blown up by terrorists last Sunday, Calloway said. "Buddy" apy at her home. The Winter Haven community responded to the assault with compassion and prayers, and fund-raisers began to raise money for Nancy. Drake and her husband, an unemployed truck driver. But as Thomas Drake was accepting the community's support, Winter Haven police were gathering evidence to prepare for his Aug. 3 arrest ' Carol Lopata, a Fort Lauderdale woman police said was Thomas Drake's girlfriend, was at the 2203 Avenue C N.W. home with her son when Drake was arrested, police said. Nancy Drake was hospitalized at the time. Sgt Nancy Hutzell testified she and Detective Sandra Woodard conducted the search. The search warrant permitted them to look for bloody clothing, men's clothing, women's clothing not Nancy Drake's size, and a pair of men's tennis shoes that could match a print police obtained at the crime scene. .r,-v But Hutzell testified many other items were found during the search. Judge Green ruled the following items would be admissible in the trial, in addition to Thomas Drake's shoes: A parking receipt from Orlando International Airport, dated July 17-19. Several envelopes used at the Church of the Nazarene for tithing. Hutzell said $132 was indicated on the envelopes, which were found in a bedroom trash can. Hutzell said she collected the envelopes because they might have been stolen from the church safe. The contents of Thomas Drake's wallet, including cash and business cards from insurance companies and a nursing home. The state attorney did not contest the defense attorney's suppression motion on other items seized in the search. Hutzell said she discovered an empty Asti Spumante champagne bottle on a dresser top, with the date See DRAKE, Page 4 Churchwell's administration. "There were no findings," said Lawrence A. Gonzalez, the commission's executive 'director, meaning the commission did not decide whether the complaint was valid. Gonzalez declined to comment on the seriousness of the allegations. "I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment on that given to the fact the commission didn't take any action," he said. The complaint was filed by James A. McAshan IV, a schoolteacher who lost his job at Bartow Polk still has Florida's highest unemployment rate but the recent drop took many by surprise. Still, the sharp drop from August's 18.5 percent jobless rate to September's rate of 17.3 percent, took many by surprise. "We were hoping the rate would go down, but I'm surprised it dropped over 1 percent" said Den Family members had not received any word about Beamon until Thursday. The Calloways and Beamon's grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Kelly, live In Haines City. ; Beamon and his wife were married April 20. She is expecting her first child in January. . Although Beamon has been declared missing, family members said they aren't giving up hope. Calloway said his wife was doing "as well as can be expected." Beamon, a native of Haines City and a 1979 Haines City High School graduate, had 'KJK1 "f" mitW IIIJ)IIII)IIJ,IJMIIIIM II Approximately 350 drums of EDB are being stored at the Department of Agriculture office in Winter Each drum holds about 30 gallons, according to department official Ellis Holder. Engineers propose EDB-purif ication methods By KIM KLEMAN Tribune Staff Writer Two methods have been found to clean water contaminated with EDB, a cancer-causing pesticide found in 230 wells in Florida, researchers said Thursday. But it might take months until a device is made available to owners of tainted wells. And no one has estimated the cost, state and federal officials said. Environmental Science Engineering Inc., a Gainesville engineering firm hired by federal and state authorities, reported to. the Environ- leads to dismissal of ethics complaint A schoolteacher who lost his job filed the complaint with the state Ethics Commission but the commission made no findings as to whether the teacher's allegations were valid. Junior High School in 1982 after the alleged incidents. He later lost a job at Seth McKeel Junior High after a disagreement with an assistant principal about discipline policies. The Ethics Commission decided nis Flynn, manager of the Lakeland office of the Florida Job Service. "We're quite pleased, quite pleased." The unemployment rate also fluctuated in other Heartland counties: DeSoto County's September unemployment rate was 11.2 percent up 0.4 percent from the previ--ous month. Hardee had a 12.6 percent unemployment rate, up one-tenth of a percent Highlands County's rate declined over 2 percent from 12.7 percent in August to 10.5 percent in September. Polk County, which still has the man missing in Beirut Family members of the Navy corpsman, stationed in Beirut since May 11, said that despite the news, they, aren't giving up hope. )BII - . . ' V i I Jf"" ef' A Gainesville firm suggested pumping air through the water or passing the water through carbon filters. mental Protection Agency in Washington Thursday that aerating water or passing it through carbon filters will remove EDB. Aeration pumps air through contaminated water, pushing gaseous EDB molecules up through the water and into the atmosphere where they dissolve, company officials said. to investigate the complaint on July 12 of this year, according to commission documents. McAshan said in the complaint he was called into a meeting with Churchwell and Deputy Superin highest unemployment rate in Florida, has been especially hard hit by the recession of the last two years as its three major industries phosphate, citrus and aircraft were nearly crippled. Last month, all three industries experienced some positive signs, which labor officials say accounts for the some improvements in the jobless rate. The citrus industry announced that orange and grapefruit crops would be 20 percent larger this season, despite tree damage caused by freezes in 1981 and 1982. See JOBLESS, Page 3 been stationed in Beirut since May 11. He attended Polk Community College for one year before joining the Navy. He had formerly worked in the shoe department at Belk Lindsey in the Haines City Mall. Beamon, turned 23 the day before the bombing, said his longtime friend, Bobby Woods, who manages the men's department at Belk Lindsey. "He was due to be shipped out of Beirut in mid-November," Woods, 22, said. "He would have been with his wife" in Iceland. Another friend, Dwayne Walters, also a hospital corpsman, flew in Tuesday from T -JT.-JHf With the filter method, molecules of bacteria and EDB latch onto carbon molecules in the filter while the water passes through the filter. The study cost $20,000 and was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Regulation. Mike Webb, a DER engineer, tendent Cliff Mains, in the spring of 1981 during school hours. The school officials ordered the teacher to stop his father from writing and transmitting letters critical of Churchwell's administration, the complaint said. The commission investigation disclosed "numerous letters were prepared and mailed by McAshan's father saving he didn't like the way Churchwell had campaigned for office or the way he ran his office after he was elected," according to commission documents. ' mmmL The numbers represent the percentage o the work force that is unemployed. June July Aug. Sept. 20 19 18 17 16 Revised Figure 18.5 17.9J 17.3 16.2 m awr Source: Florida State Employment Service Tribune graphic by TED STARR x j L z jt ' 1 California to be with the family. Woods said he was continuing to pray for Beamon's safety and talked about him in the present tense. "We've been friends since high school," he said. "He is very friendly and outgoing." Beamon, in Haines City on leave last spring, was enthused about going to Beirut, Woods remembered. "Buddy thought it would be exciting," he said. "I think he understood the troops needed to be there. He is patriotic." Bill Powers, manager of Belk Lindsey, said people working there are a "close-knit, patriotic group." "He was well-liked by everyone in the store," Powers said of the corpsman. "There are a lot of upset people here. This store is small enough that we're like a family. We all feel terrible." " Photo by DOUG CAVANAH Haven. said he expected that department to seek another contract with the engineering firm to narrow the scope of the firm's initial findings and to specify what well owners can use to clean up their water. "We've got a lot of problems with solutions for private wells," Webb said. No one knows how often -carbon filters would have to be changed, he said. Carbon molecules attach to bacteria and EDB molecules are used up after a while, he said. If the filters are not changed See EDB, Page 4 Approximately 200 of the letters were mailed to individuals, businesses and churches, the report said. : While the letters were not signed, they did bear the writer's phone number so recipients could contact him if they desired, according to the report. ; McAshan stated in the complaint he felt threatened, "job scared," and intimidated by having been called in See COMPLAINT, Page 3 Inside Officials say well not cracked 2 The protective casing around Lake Wales city Well No. 1 apparently isn't cracked, city officials reported Thursday. Rabid raccoon killed after attack 3 Polk County's seventh rabid raccoon of the year was killed this week in north Lakeland, Animal Control officials say.

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