The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida on August 5, 1983 · 88
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The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida · 88

Tampa, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, August 5, 1983
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6-A THE TAMPA TRIBUNE, Friday, August 5, 1983 Polk man arrested in attack on wife The woman, her skull crushed by hammer blows, emerged from a coma and said her husband had beaten her. By KIM KLEMAN and MARY TOOTHMAN Tribune Staff Writers . - WINTER HAVEN Nearly four weeks after a church secretary was beaten unconscious with aclaw hammer, police arrested the woman's husband and charged him with attempted first-degree murder. . Authorities said they were able to link Thomas Eugene Drake with the assault after his wife, Nancy Lou Drake, allegedly told a pastor her husband had beaten her. Nancy Drake, a 47-year-old mother of four and grandmother of nine, came out of a coma a few days ago. Church members and Winter Haven residents have mounted fund-raising appeals and prayer sessions for her, while her husband has accepted donations and spoken on radio shows during prayer vigils. -a Thomas Drake, 45, an active member of the First Church bf the Nazarene, where the assault occurred, was arrested Wednesday night at his Winter Haven home. He is also charged with armed robbery for allegedly stealing $3,800 from the church safe the same afternoon, July 8. Drake is being held in Polk County Jail. No bond has been set. Winter Haven police said Drake, of 2203 Ave. C N.W., Winter Haven, was bringing lunch to his wife at the church at about 12:30 p.m. the day of the incident. Nancy Drake, was selling tickets that day to a church concert. Thomas Drake allegedly took the money from the church safe, which included collection money from services, and then hit his wife repeatedly with a claw hammer. Nancy Drake's skull was crushed in the assault, and shortly after the incident, doctors said they didn't expect Drake to live. She remained unconscious at Winter Haven Hospital until a few days ago. . ,. Thomas Drake became a suspect a week after the incident. Police Chief Ron Martin said. Detectives searched his house on a warrant when he was arrested Wednesday night, and more evidence was found. They would not disclose what they found. Maj. Dale McDonald, who oversaw the investigation, said some clues came when Nancy Drake regained consciousness and began speaking to nurses. At a first-appearance hearing for Drake Thursday afternoon, Assistant State Attorney Don 2 r St Nancy Lou Drake, left, sits beside her husband, Thomas, in a church photo. Wilcox told County Judge Dennis Maloney that Drake "intended to kill his wife, and it's only by a major miracle that she is alive." Wilcox said in court that Nancy Drake told a pastor Wednesday that her husband was her attacker. The prosecutor said that last Friday, in front of a police officer, Nancy Drake asked her husband, "How would you like to be hit in the head with a hammer?" Wilcox said Thomas Drake was the last person known to have been with his wife just before the beating. The lanky defendant told Judge Maloney that ' he understood the two felony charges against him. But later in the hearing he told the judge he couldn't think straight. Wilcox also said in court that Drake was involved with another woman. He declined to elaborate on that statement outside of the courtroom. At the time of his arrest, Drake was with a woman who said she and her child recently moved in with him, Police Chief Martin said. No charges have been filed against her. A woman and child were inside Drake's house Thursday afternoon. The woman would not identify herself to a Tribune reporter. She said they would be staying there a few days. The church issued a press release Thursday which read: "Nancy Drake is conscious and talking. We are praising God for Nancy's miraculous recovery that is a continuous process. Please keep praying for her." Charles Kirby, pastor of the church, declined to comment Thursday whether Nancy Drake told him her husband committed the offense. He said he visited Nancy Drake Thursday morning but didn't tell her of her husband's arrest. Contacted at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Nancy Drake said Thursday night that she didn't realize her husband had been arrested. "My husband didn't hit me that hard," she added. Maj. MacDonald said Thursday police were in an awkward position during the investigation, while churches, individuals and others in the community worked to raise money and give emotional support to Thomas Drake. "We weren't at liberty to say who our suspects were," he said. The crime at the church stirred up overwhelming concern, sympathy and prayers from concerned friends and strangers. Pastor Kirby has told The Tribune the church has received hundreds of get-well cards for Drake, and telephone lines have been jammed with concerned inquiries since the incident. Teen-agers at the Inwood Baptist Church presented Thomas Drake with a check for $100 last week, which he accepted, a church spokeswoman confirmed. And Larry and Lois Powell, members of the Drakes' church, have been running a paper recycling drive to raise money for the Drakes. On Thursday, Larry Powell said the arrest had shocked him. His voice strained, Powell said the drive had so far raised less than $200, which Tom Drake has already been given. "He won't get any more money," said Powell. "But we're still collecting. It's a sad, sad situation, but we're still pluggin' for Nancy." In an interview with The Tribune last week concerning the fund-raising drive, Thomas Drake said he was in poor financial shape because he ' was in between truck-driving jobs when his wife was beaten. Drake said then, "The day this happened was my last day of work for one job. I was supposed to start another job, but when this happened there was no way I could just take off and leave." He said he was touched by the community's response to the incident. "People we don't even know have called by the hundreds," he said. A Lakeland Christian radio station, WCIE, broadcast numerous prayer requests when Nancy Drake was beaten. Thursday, newswoman Lynn Miller said she was broadcasting news flashes about Tom Drake's arrest "just like any other news story." During his wife's hospitalization, Thomas Drake was put on the air during prayer vigils for his wife, Miller said. Prayers were often directed toward bringing the person who committed the crime to justice, Miller said: Friends and neighbors were shocked to find Thomas Drake had been arrested in the incident. "It's hard to believe it," said Frank Scott, a fellow church member and neighbor. "I've never seen him mad or anything like that. He was a real . nice guy friendly and always laughing. They were together everywhere." Tribune Staff Writers Howard Troxler and Bill Heery contributed to this report. Japanese doctor says bomb 'saved' nation The Journal of the American Medical Association also contains three reports on the effects of atomic radiation exposure. By BRENDA C. COLEMAN Associated Press CHICAGO A leading Japanese doctor says the United States' deci- sion to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima during World War II probably prevented widespread starvation and "saved" Japan. ; "The military had driven Japan to a stage that if it could not win, it would not surrender," said Dr. Taro Takemi, immediate past president of the Japan Medical Association. "It surely would have lost the war and many people would have starved if the atom bomb had not been dropped." Saturday is the 38th anniversary of the Hiroshima attack, the first time an atomic bomb was used in warfare. Immediately after the blast, about 92,000 people were reported dead or missing, and many others died later from radiation ex posure. Three days after the Hiroshima attack, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Five days later, Japan surrendered. Atomic weapons have not been used since in warfare. "When one considers the possibility that the Japanese military would have sacrificed the entire nation if it were not for the (Hiroshima) atomic bomb attack, then this bomb might be described as having saved Japan," said Takemi. President Truman's decision to drop the bomb has often been defended as shortening the war and saving thousands of American lives which would have been lost in an invasion. Takemi's remarks were published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association. He is a controversial figure in Japan, where he is known for, among other things, fighting government efforts to cut the cost of medical services. Takemi, as the only physician studying nuclear physics at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Researches in Tokyo in 1945, helped conduct tests which established for the Japanese that the attack was nuclear. "It seems to me that theatHfttar" of Japanese toward the atomfebomft that was dropped on Hiroshima has changed dramatically since that-day," Takemi said. "I believe that the majority of the Japanese people agree with my position." Today's Journal also contained three scientific reports on atomic radiation. In the first, doctors at the national Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta found that death and overall cancer rates did not appear to be above average among 3,217 U.S. military personnel who participated in nuclear test maneuvers on Aug. 31, 1957 at Yucca Flats, Nev. The survey of participants in the test, called "Smoky," found 112 cases of diagnosed cancer, com pared with 117.5 cases expected for the 22-year follow-up. Though there were more leukemia cases than expected, the doctors said that the lack of increase in other cancers and "an apparent lack of a dose effect by unit lead to the consideration that the leukemia finding may be attributable either to chance, to factors other than radiation or to some combination of risk factors possibly including radiation." In the second report, doctors describe a 53-year-old survivor of the Hiroshima blast who developed acute lymphoblastic leukemia 37 years after the bombing. Though that type of leukemia, a white blood cell cancer which usually afflicts only children, often responds to treatment, the businessman died four months after diagnosis, the doctors said. In a third report, doctors describe testicular cancer in 21-year-old identical twins whose father had been exposed to atomic radiation in the South Pacific nine months before their conception. George Shultz said no one diplomat is being blamed for stalled talks. Shultz: Policy shifts will not accompany recent diplomat shifts - to V mwmmmXt m, A mm Congress recesses leaving loose ends WASHINGTON (UPI) The Reagan administration has completed a weeks-long shuffle of major 1 Middle East diplomats, but Secretary of State George Shultz said the latest shift in personnel does not represent a change in American policy. Shultz announced Thursday that Richard Murphy, the ambassador to Saudi Arabia, would take charge of the State Department's team for the region as an assistant secretary of state. He insisted the change does not mean the administration is changing policy or is disappointed with recent setbacks in Middle East peace-making efforts. "We would all like to move further than we have been able to move," Shultz said, adding, "The fact that not everything has fallen into place does not mean anyone In particular has not done a first-class job. "These are difficult policies to implement but we will continue to work at this." The shuffle in the Middle East bureau takes place at a time when there has been a breakdown In the negotiations on the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon, a total halt in the Palestinian autonomy talks and a growing chill between Egypt and Israel. Murphy will replace Nicholas Veliotes, who will be nominated for ambassador to Egypt. A replace ment for Murphy in Saudi Arabia, where he has been posted for two years, was not announced, but officials said Morris Draper, who had been Habib's deputy in the negotiations, is a likely choice for the job. Two weeks ago, the administra-. tion replaced its top Middle East mediator, Philip Habib, with Robert McFarlane, the president's deputy for national security. The administration believed Habib's effectiveness had been reduced by Syrian hostility to the diplomat. Meanwhile, an earlier shuffle in the State Department's Latin American bureau continued to work its way through the Senate confirmation process. The Senate approved without dissent the nominations of Thomas En-. ders, former assistant secretary of state for Latin America, to be ambassador to Spain, and Thomas Pickering as ambassador to El Salvador. The1 Senate has already confirmed Langhorne Motley as En-ders' successor. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee also approved former Rep. Millicent Fenwlck, R-N.J., defeated in her 1982 race for the Senate, to bti U.S. representative to the Food and Agriculture Organizations In Rome. Murphy, 54, a former ambassador to Syria, speaks fluent Arabic and has also served as envoy to Mauitanaa and the Philippines. Tribune Wires WASHINGTON Frustrated by final-day procedural obstacles, Congress took off for a month-long recess Thursday, leaving uncompleted until September final action on a defense bill, a major farm program and a rescue package for the International Monetary Fund. Before calling it quits, the House passed a five-year extension of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission a move that could block President Reagan's attempt to fire three members of the panel. And the Senate, by voice vote, confirmed the president's nominations of Thomas R. Pickering to be ambassador to El Salvador and of Thomas O. Enders, former secretary of state for inter-American affairs, to be ambassador to Spain. Congress also unanimously approved legislation to both protect states with declining unemployment rates from suffering sharp reductions in federal funds to pay unemployment benefits and to extend for two years a program for distributing free surplus cheese and other foods to the needy. With that vote, which sent the measure to the House for final' action, the Senate called it quits shortly after 7 p.m. The House went home about 8:15 p.m. Later in the evening, House and Senate negotiators approved a $268.6 billion military spending bill that includes a controversial provision to resume nerve gas production for the first time since 1969. The conferees completed action on the 1984 spending legislation about 10 p.m. EDT. They had worked In closed session for five days and three nights to resolve dif ferences between the House and Senate versions of the defense authorization bill. If approved by the House and Senate upon their return, the compromise legislation would go to Reagan. After settling controversial decisions involving the MX missile and resumption of nerve gas production earlier in the week, the conferees resolved several sticky matters in the final hours. Negotiators deferred to Senate language calling for certification by the president that further development of anti-satellite weapons is in the national interest. The language, originally offered by Sen. Paul Tsongas, D-Mass., also requires the president to certify he is negotiating in good faith a ban on weapons in outer space with the Soviet Union. The conference also adopted language authored by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.; requiring the Pentagon to adopt regulations setting limits on cost growth of spare parts, a reac-' tion to recent revelations of huge cost increases in the past few years. And it agreed to set up a separate, Independent weapons testing office in the Pentagon. House and Senate leaders had hoped for far more votes on major issues on the final day before the recess. Still, both Senate Majority . Leader Howard Baker, R-Tenn., and his House counterpart, Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill, D-Mass called the 1983 session of Congress one of the most productive in years. , "It's been a good session, we got an awful lot of controversial issues out of the way in a relatively short period of time," Baker said. RICHARD I. KARPAY, D.O.S. AND RAY L. ANEL, D.D.S. Wish To Announce Their Association for The Practice Of GENERAL DENTISTRY 8201 No. Htmes Ave. T etefhones . Dr Karpay: lUIN) Dr. Anel 933 670S Hours: 7 A M 7:30 P.M. By Appointment Classified 272-7500 SPECIAL PURCHASE CULTURED PEARLS Outstanding Color ft Lustra II" 7mm W "PriiKMs" "Opm" coavuf ai um cowui tiiim HOW $149 sm HOW $399 ONE WEEK ONLY C. r" u -'- 1 JtWtLtl 22025 DoleMobrvHwv. 253-2164 Hours: 9: 30-5: 30 Mondoy-fridoy Soturdoy 9:30-4 OO J CLOSING OUT STOCK ALL INVENTORY WILL BE SOLD! PAL MA CEIA PHOTO, 3209 BAY TO BAY BLVD. IN TAMPA IS CLOSING ITS DOORS YOU CAN SAVE UP TO 75! CAMERAS FILTERS BACKGROUND PAPER LENSES PROJECTORS DARKROOM SUPPLIES ALL KINDS OF ACCESSORIES OPEN 8AM-6PM FRI. AUG. 5th & SAT. 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