Rocky Mount Telegram from Rocky Mount, North Carolina on December 6, 1998 · 1
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Rocky Mount Telegram from Rocky Mount, North Carolina · 1

Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 6, 1998
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' f H. M More power Honda Prelude Truck safety Allegations denied Decision day Who's No. 1,2? Volume 89, JVo. 51 Sunday, December 6, 1998 $1.25 Eocky Moiit Telegram 1 i : i Mai set to begin in murder By J. Eric Eckard Assistant news editor 'Z Jury seleptipn in the murder trial for .'a migrant worker -. accused in the shooting death of another migrant is slated to begin ' Tuesday in Nashville. itaunei oenuez, j is cnargea V?with first-degree murder and , ;ould face life in prison if : jconyicted. The defendant is represented t . by Wilson attorney Bob Farris, I and Assistant District Attorney v Bill Stewart is prosecuting the '. case. . ' : Investigators charge that Beni-( Jtez shot and killed Geraldo i Morales during an argument on April 1 on Cabin Pass Road, near ' Sandy Cross. The fatal shooting stemmed from an ongoing argu-. ment between the victim, the ... - '.suspect and another friend, authorities said. -' After the shooting, authorities said Benitez fled Nash County ;with his brother, Adrian Benitez, 25, and Jamie Miranda, both of Spring Hope. '-. After law enforcement officials across the state were notified, Rowan County deputies spotted the suspects' vehicle and arrested the trio on 1-85. , ,. Adrian Benitez and Miranda " were both charged" 'witft-cccs "'sory- after the fact of murder, but f; Adrian Benitez pleaded guilty to f obstruction of justice and agreed i to testify against his brother, f He was reportedly an eyewitness to the shooting, i The elder Benitez's plea f agreement was accepted on April 1 30 in state Superior Court in ' Nashville, where he received a ' 6-8 month suspended sentence, 36 months probation and six months intensive probation. He was also ordered to perform 72 i - hours of community service. , J Accessory charges against Miranda have yet to be disposed, and his attorney is Spring Hope j lawyer Terry Alford. Miranda is also expected to testify in Raunel ! Benitez's trial. Local educator enjoys Appalachian By Austin Gelder . aff writer "v Susan Littke's friends blamed -jon empty nest syndrome or a jfiid-life crisis, . something that ;ould quickly pass. vWhy else would a 50-year-old 'jtnie, mother and Edwards Junior jjligh mediation counselor want Jo leave the tame flatlands of Eastern North Carolina to scale mountains and sleep outdoors Lwith the bears? SrBut Littke knew there was Jnore to it. Both her sons were rown and her years of full-time Carolina Classified . Community Nation j... Obituaries . Opinion ... Sports . .'. . Television . Weather . . 2A, 10A . 1-8D.E ...8-9A . 3.5-6A ... 10A . . . 4A ...1-8B .... 6C .... 10A MONDAY Cloudy High: 79 Low: 55 Marching season -t! F-i " 1 1 l,J"""" 7;.? -1 Ay.N, " a j ;; V - 4 1 A clown dances next to the North Edgecombe High marching band Towns get in holiday spirit By Viola Harris Staff writer PRINCEVILLE The town of Princeville revived its tradition of an annual Christmas Parade Saturday with an extravaganza featuring - more "-than 60 ix&&frtt-$z "This has been a wonderful " day for the-- town ; of Princeville," Mayor Delia Perkins said. "We had a very diverse group of people participating in the parade. I think this all came together because we were working together as one unit." . ' ' Earlier in the day, residents from across Edgecombe County converged on Pinetops for its annual Christmas parade, sponsored by the South Edgecombe Jaycees. Folks arrived early in Pinetops and enjoyed breakfast at Abrams. "We always come early so that we can get a good ham biscuit before the parade begins," Angela Blackburn mothering were over. She needed a challenge, and she needed to do something just for herself. The idea came from a magazine article in a doctor's office waiting room. It offered a new hobby and a goal to chase. So Littke began stockpiling gear, studying maps and training to hike the Appalachian Trail, a 2,100-mile trek from Georgia to Maine. Never mind that she'd never once hiked in the mountains or even slept in a tent And never mind that she'd had a pacemaker Christmas cookies are meant to be shared. Dec. 6 19 shopping ' days to Christmas VIRGINIA LOTTO: Day Drawing: Night Drawing: Pfck3-a-!o HofamitaWaal Pie 4: 9-3-6-9 r ii .... , i .v. 1 Melissa Adams and Savannah Pinetops parade. said. "This is always a good parade. The kids enjoy the clowns and the little cars and trucks sponsored by the. Shriners." for more than 20 years. "I always felt it was somewhat of a handicap until I decided I didn't have to make it that," she said. For the next five years, Littke will lead a double life. A petite, polite mother and counselor during the fall, winter and spring months, she'll transform into a strong, ! self-reliant backpacker for six weeks a year. "It's more difficult to do it in sections because you have to stay in condition and it costs more," she said. Breaking up the hike also Friendly foes square By Gene Metrick Staff writer Sometimes it really does turn out to be a very small world after all. Rocky Mount-born N.C. Attorney General Mike Easley and Pinetops attorney Phil Carlton sat at opposite sides of the table during the six weeks of negotiations that produced the recent $206 billion tobacco settlement, but they came to those seats from common origins. "I remember him from about the time he was in law school," Carlton said. "I can also remember my daddy talking about his daddy, because they were both in the tobacco warehouse TelegramAnna Caudal j TelegramAnna CaudW Allen, 1 , wave at the floats in the Princeville pulled out all the stops for its parade. The town held its first Christmas tree . B See Parades, 2A adventure requires more planning for transportation to starting and stopping points, but that's part of the fun, she said. Littke will exchange the suits, stockings and earrings for hiking boots, gaiters and a head lamp. On the trail, hair goes unbrushed and clothes go unwashed. Life is simplified to walking, eating, drinking and resting. Everything Littke needs, she carries in the 35 lb. pack on her back. She finished her first section H See Hiker, 2A Easley, from Rocky Mount, and Carlton, from Pinetops, sat on opposite sides in the negotiations. business." "His dad had Cobb-Carlton Warehouse and my dad had Eas-ley's - they were competitors," Easley said. "And the first time I ever went into court during law school, he was the judge." Carlton represented the big tobacco companies in talks with Easley and eight other state attorneys general . to settle the lawsuits brought by 41 states seeking compensation for Medicaid costs associated with Ml mrifoirinnTKc! By Christine Moran Staff writer Local public radio station WRQM-FM is at a crossroads. Both WUNC-FM at Chapel Hill and WTEB-FM at New Bern have submitted merger proposals to WRQM in a move that would give the station financial stability but could affect local programming decisions, according to Charles Lane, chairman of Friends of Down East Public Radio. On Friday, WUNC's general manager Thomas Davis met with WRQM's Board of Directors to further discuss the WUNC proposal. The future of WRQM is scheduled to be decided on Wednesday during a board meeting. "We're a small player in a big market," Lane said. "We don't foresee enough community financial support in the next three to five years. So now we have to look at it on a long-term basis and think what's best .for, the station." "7" : " If chosen, WUNC would provide high-quality .public service programming using the WRQM frequency, according to WUNC officials. But the future of local programming such as "Gateway Cafe" could be in question, according to Lane. "(WUNC's) service will include news, classical music, extensive locally produced news reports and features, local commentary, local public service announcements, and promotion of local arts and cultural activities," Davis said in a letter outlining the WUNC proposal. Kathleen Beal, general manager at WTEB-FM, proposes another route for WRQM. "My suggestion is a three-year F Littke is hiking the Appalachian Trail in sections off in tobacco talks ; tobacco-related illnesses. "It was helpful that I knew him well enough that he could tell me things like, "Tall AGs can continue to try to get this piece, but the companies are never going to do it," Easley said. "I knew when he said something like that, it was true." But their common background also could produce tensions, Car-, lton said. 'There were times when it was a little personally uncomfortable - you know, you hate to disagree with a friend," he said. "But I'm a lawyer - a hired gun and I have to work for my clients' interests - and even when a friend presses for something you know your clients won't accept, " We're a small player in a big market." " Charles Lane lease with an option for WTEB to receive the WRQM license after 18 months," she said in a letter outlining the WTEB proposal. "It remains my intention to broadcast 'Morning Edition' with a RncVv Mnnnr hnsr nnr program inserts covering cultural pvftnts and Inralrpainnnl news - -e 'Gateway Cafe' would also be broadcast live with a local host. The remaining schedule will be rebroadcast from WTEB." Attempts to reach Davis and Beal on Frida y were unsuccessful. WRQM's current debt, totaling $135,000, is another issue. "WUNC has sufficient cash reserves both to capitalize the project (technically and opera-, tionally ) and fully assume the current debts and liabilities," Davis said. . f Unlike the Chapel Hill station, WTEB can t pay off the station s debt immediately .: "My pro-, posal will be that WTEB pay the cost of the interest monthly for 18 months," Beal said. "If we see that we will be receiving the license I would like to make arrangements to pay the entire obligation." Another concern targeted in the proposals is the issue of staffing. "At this point, WUNC cannot provide any guarantees " of employment or benefits for current employees of Friends of Down East Public Radio," Davis said. "I assure you, however, that WUNC will fill the local positions as soon as practicable." nSee Radio, 2A TelegramDavid Kxtoell it's harUer to say no." Easley said the negotiations, which stretched usually 14 hours a day, often suffered frpm many misunderstandings - especially later at night. "Generally, what I kept telling (Carlton) is, .'We're close,'" he said. "And he'd say, "Yeah, right - I've been through this before; It's going to be another six weeks at least - just relax and be patient.'" But their personal backgrounds and informal talks away from the table helped the two keep the talks moving ahead, Easley said. "There were several times v D See Talks, 2A

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