The Dispatch from Moline, Illinois on October 25, 1987 · 9
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The Dispatch from Moline, Illinois · 9

Moline, Illinois
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 25, 1987
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Local THE SUNDAY DISPATCH, Moline, Illinois October 25, 1987 Bl . . i i " f . 1 '.v.r:. i t r i Attorney pleads for kids Prosecutors asked to pursue sex abuse cases A Sae Halloween treats From left, Whitey's Gary Neer and Lisa O'Leary, Resource Development Coordinator at Easter Seals, and Easter Seal's Poster Child Elizabeth Urbaniak display the Halloween coupon books available for $1 containing 10 coupons for free treats. The books: are sponsored by Easter Seals, WQAD-TV and 10 other businesses. Books are available at participating stores and from Easter Seals, 786-2434. (Photo by Terry Herbig.) Workshop gives warning of street gangs Tri-County I-SEARCH will sponsor its third annual professional work shop on child exploitation, "Street Gangs Occult," Nov. 17 and 18 at Moline Public Hospital Learning Center. The workshop will provide practioners of child protective services with training in identification, investigation an intervention of child exploitation with regards to street gangs and the occult. Law enforcement officers, educators, social service workers, counsel ors, prosecutors, judges, medical personnel and other child practioners are encouraged to attend. Speakers will include Robert J. Simandl, a gang crime specialist, and police officer Dale W. Griffis. Cost is $25 and includes lunch, breaks and handouts both days. Regis tration is limited to 150. Registration must be received by Tri-County I- SEARCH, Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Commission, 1504 3rd Ave., Rock Island, 61201 by Nov. 10. Area center seeks Quad-City volunteers Voluntary Action Center of Rock Island and Scott counties is seeking volunteers to share someone's cares as well as watch their own cares disappear. Quad-Citians are needed to serve in a downtown Moline agency to help with pre-Christmas work, as driver to deliver groceries to handicapped people, as swimmers to help in a handicapped swim program and as feeders at a Milan nursing home. To volunteer for these and much more, call 764-6804 or 322-1751. Cubs, Scouts begin annual popcorn sale Cubs, Scouts and Explorers in the Illowa Council will be selling gour met popcorn beginning Oct. 31 to raise funds for the council and for unit activities. Scouts will sell the traditional Trails End three-pound buckets and new microwave boxes. Buckets pop over 54 quarts and cost $4. Microwave popcorn is $5. The council's goal is 37,000 buckets this year. Last year, scouts soio over 31,000 buckets raising over $80,000. Bethany Founder's Day is Thursday Dr. Judith S. Musick, executive director of the - Ounce of Prevention Fund, will speak at the annual Founder's Day Dinner of Bethany Home Thursday at Jumer's Castle Lodge, Bettendorf. Cocktails begin at 6:30 p.m.; dinner is at 7. Ms. Musick is a developmental psychologist special izine in child development and parentchild relation shins and the author of articles and books on infancy, prevention and intervention programs for at-risk and troubled families. The following will be honored for their contributions to area youth and Bethany Home: former Circuit Court Judee Conway L. Spanton, Mrs. Philip Mumford, Mrs. H. Parker Weeks and Edward Smith, retired director of the Black Hawk Area Special Education District. Reservations must be made by Monday by calling Fran Harvell, 797-7700. Cost is $10 per person. By Patrick Seitz Staff miter Prosecutors in the Quad-Cities area are often unsympathetic to the special needs of children who are victims of sexual abuse, a state's attorney from Danville charged recently. Craig DeArmon, Vermilion County state's attorney, criticized the policies of court officials at an unprecedented meeting of area prosecutors Thursday in Moline. Lawyers are too quick to doubt a child's story of sexual abuse and frequently make these children suffer embarrassment, fear and anxiety in the courtroom, he said. Mr. DeArmon, an advocate for abused children, made an impassioned plea to prosecutors from a four-county area to improve their handling of these cases. He said some state's attorneys don't vigorously prosecute many child sex assault cases for fear of hurting their win-loss record. Prosecutors from Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties in Illinois and Scott County, Iowa, who attended the seminar said changes are likely to result from the meeting of minds. The visiting prosecutor admitted that child sex-assault cases are easy to lose and said they require innovative courtroom techniques in order to win. "I consider these cases more serious than murder," he said. "In murder, the victim isn't suffering any more; he's dead. In child sex assault, you learn to live with it, but you never get over it." Mr. DeArmon was himself the vic tim of sexual abuse by his father when he was 5 years old. He was abused over a l'i-year period, he said. "I still have nightmares about it," he said. "Thirty-two years later, I remember it vividly." ,N: ' v 1 -v. ... 1 J i . ,A . - - J MARSHALL DOUGLAS WILLIAM DAVIS DAVID ZWICKER LARRY VANDERSNICK Mr. DeArmon kept his abuse a secret, while his sister went through the legal system and suffered immeasur-eably at the hands of uncaring court officials, he said. Prosecutors have to look at court from a child's perspective to make the criminal justice system less threatening, Mr. DeArmon said. A county can enact major changes by simply doing things such as teaching a judge to take off his imposing black robe when a child is questioned in court. "Who wears black robes in a child's world? Witches, demons, the monsters that eat the Smurfs every Saturday morning evil things," Mr. DeArmon said. "The law sees kids as mini-adults, which is wrong," he said. Vermilion County has initiated many innovative courtroom techniques for handling sex abuse cases, including: Using videotape or closed-circuit television for a child's testimony. Moving the proceedings to a less threatening, smaller room for a child's testimony. Assembling a list of expert witnesses to testify on everything from why a child might change or recant his or her story to why delays in prosecution are damaging to a child. Using the latest medical evidence, such as hymenal measurement theory for determining if penetration has occurred. Getting a victim immediately into counseling. Questioning a child no more than four times about the sex abuse. Scheduling a child's testimony for a set time, planned around their natural sleeping and eating routine, to insure he or she won't have to wait hours to testify and isn't tired. Child sex-abuse cases in Vermilion County take only three to four months from the time charges are filed to sentencing, Mr. DeArmon said. "Delays are detrimental to the child," he said. "If they try to get a continuance, I will come right out and say to the judge, 'They are just trying to wear the victim down. It's obvious.' " Mr. DeArmon seeks prison time for offenders in all child sex-assault cases, because he thinks incarceration is a good deterrent. Marshall Douglas, Rock Island County assistant state's attorney, said his office has been known to put children on the witness stand at preliminary hearings. Mr. DeArmon blasted this practice, calling it unnecessary. This forces the child victim to face possibly harsh and cruel questioning by defense attorneys, he said. Children should not have to testify until the actual trial, when they have been told what to expect in court and prosecutors have done everything possible to relieve stress. Larry Vandersnick, Henry County state's attorney, said he handles sex abuse cases himself because he has the most specialized training in this area. He now has 21 such cases pending, he said. "We don't negotiate for probation in child abuse cases," he said. "They either plead, open, or we go to trial." Mr. Vandersnick said Henry County instituted its policy of seeking incarceration in sex abuse cases in January 1986 after running into repeat offenders. David Zwicker, Mercer County state's attorney, said his sparsely-populated county has no set policy for handling child sex abuse cases because it doesn't see very many. Mr. Zwicker praised the help of such organizations as Protecting All Children Together for providing emotional support to young sexual abuse victims. Bill Davis, Scott County district attorney, said Illinois is lagging behind Iowa in terms of looking out for the victim's well being. Judges in Illinois allow defense attorneys to badger victims on the witness stand with aggressive questioning, he said. "Defense attorneys get away with murder with rape victims over here," he said. "They can't do that in Iowa, because we'd object. Your victims' really take a beating," he said. In Iowa, the county prosecutor decides whether to remove the child or the offender from the home, Mr. Davis said. Whenever possible, the alleged offender has to pack his or her bags and get out, he said. Farm issues affect all, author says 8s r r r 1 JUDITH MUSICK By Dawn Johnson Farm editor Is the family farm doomed to extinction? Not if Americans stop treating the economic crisis in the farming community as an isolated issue, and challenge current economic theories and political policies which govern the marketplace, says Frances Moore Lappe. Author of "A Diet for a Small Planet" and two other best selling books on the politics of food and co-founder of the Institue for Food and Development Policy, Mrs. Lappe shared her views on the plight of the family farmer as the keynote speaker at a Rural Community: Seeds of Hope Conference at Marycrest College Saturday. "Why are we losing what we love?" she asked approximately 100 people gathered in Upham Hall. "There are few Americans who would not "pledge allegience" to the family farm. We pay lip service to this ideal, yet we are abandoning it as a society. Why? Characterized as "one of the most respected critics on food issues in the country," she is well known for advocating the advancement of democracy as the ultimate answer to world hunger, a philosophy she also believes would help the American 9 Hi . f tZZ' V-,, f .5 : it ,t .' v - U , W7"AV'"I . . ., . , .' - , 4 HV.'V , ' - " Vl i Wanted: New owner Butterworth PTA planning craft bazaar The Butterworth School PTA will hold its 2nd Annual Holiday Craft Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 14. Table spaces are available for $12. Call DeeDee Maere, 764-0052, for registration before Friday. Seminar to discuss nursing career plan People interested in professional nursing careers are invited to Lutheran Hospital School For Nurses' small-group counseling seminar from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 2 at the school, 555 6th St., Moline. Admission counselors and nursing students will provide an overview of the career along with a tour of the facility and assistance in financial planning. For information, call 757-2910. MDA offers free flu shots for patients fop foridseS Muscular Dystrophy Association's Illowa Chapter is offering free I O anti-influenza innoculations again this year for people who have any of the 40 neuromuscular diseases. These people are considered high risk of serious illness if infected with influenza viruses and should receive flu shots annually as medically prescribed. The chapter will pay for flu shots for all its patients whether administered by the patients' personal physician or by MDA clinic physicians. The Quad-City area clinic is at Franciscan Medical Center, Rock Island. Call the MDA office for an appointment, 797-4782. Rock Island Lines retirees meet Nov. 5 The Retirement Opportunity Club of the former Rock Island Lines will meet at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 5 at the Silvis Masonic Temple, 1200 5th Ave., Silvis. There will be a film and refreshments will be provided. Door prizes will also be awarded. All retired Rock Island Lines employees are invited to attend. Moliner named to international board Linda Quick, Moline, has been elected to the board of Crime Stoppers International at a recent meeting in Casper, Wy. Ms. Quick, a nurse at Lutheran Hospital's Pathway -1 Hospice, has been on tne Doara ot Monne Area Crimestoppers for five years and served as fundrais-ing chairman all five years. She was president of the local board in 1986 and has attended several international meetings. "This is one way I can help the police without going out and doing police work," she said. Crime Stoppers International includes more than 500 programs in the U.S., Canada, Guam, Great Britain, Australia, Sierra Leone, Netherlands, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Venezuela is considering initiating a program, she said. In her new position, she is on the nominating committee, which sets guidelines for international board members, who serve without reimbursement. During the coming year she will attend two board meetings in Norfolk, Va., at her own expense. FRANCES MOORE LAPPE farmer and others stay in business. "First we must demystify econom-Mrs. Lappe took the podium with a ics and the belief it is a process be-sense of urgency and determination yond the Individual's control, she to outline what she believes is at "the began. "We can not allow ourselves root" of the farm crisis; a sense of to be mystified by economics." powerlessness on the part of individuals. Secondly, she said, Americans must recognize the farm crisis is not a "special issue," isolated to a certain percentage of the population whose plight will never affect them. I. "What farmers want Is what most -" people want: a chance to make a de-' cent living for themselves and their -families and to work for themselves, along with a good dose of job securi-' ty." .: Neither must people be intimidated by a market system that seems to dictate their fate with the rise and fall of the commodity market, Mrs.. Lappe added. "I don't advocate doing away with the market system," she said. "Rather I advocate seeking alternatives which will allow us the opportunity to have those things which I have identified as essential." The greatest obstacle to accom- plishing this, she said, is the fear of ' being labeled a communist. "There are many democratic societies which utilize alternatives to ' keep their farmers on the land and eq- uity in their systems," she said. "I think we can learn from them, but first we have to get over our fear and not allow ourselves to be intimidated." i Finally, we must assess our own values and expectations and how -these coexist with our morale and ecomonic selves." TV UNDA QUICK By Pam Berenger Correspondent ALEDO - Wanna buy a bridge? The Mercer County Highway Department has a deal for you. Not one, but two bridges eligible for listing on the National Registry of Historical Places are being offered free to any state or local government agency or private entity willing to move and rebuild them. Lutz Mill Bridge over the Edwards River, two miles east of Mannon in New Boston Township, and Bob Watts Bridge, which crosses Popes Creek in Keithsburg Township, have been closed and are scheduled for replacement because they are unsafe. Martin Herman, superintendent of the Mercer County Highway Department, said both bridges were built before 1900. The Bob Watts span is a bowstring-truss design, and Lutz Mill Bridge is a Whipple design. The Lutz Mill bridge was built in 1883, apparently as part of what was to become Illinois 17 over the Edwards River. It later was moved to its present location. Mr. Herman said few bridges like it are left in Illinois. "We don't want to see the bridges demolished, but... it is not economically feasible to go around them or rebuild them," Mr. Herman said. He estimated that rerouting traffic past the Lutz Mill Bridge would inflate engineering costs 50 percent. Routing traffic past the fob Watts v.-, 7 . .-. ... r: - - Bob Watts Bridge, which crosses Popes Creek in Keithsburg Township, is one of two bridges being offered free by the Mercer County Highway Department to any one willing to relocate and reconstruct them. (Photo by Patty Cameron) Bridge'would boost that price tag 25 percent, he said. Construction of the new bridges already is behind schedule. Bids on the span that will replace Bob Watts Bridge were to be awarded Oct. 1, but that action must be delayed until the county advertises the old bridge for two 30-day periods, as required by law. If a new owner for the span is not found after 60 days of advertising, it will be torn down. ' Mr. Herman said money is available for the new owners to cover the cost of relocating, reassembling and rehabilitating the bridges. However, the total cost cannot exceed the estimated cost of demolition, he said. The new owners also must demonstrate their ability to perform the necessary obligations for operating the bridges, accept title to the spans, agree to maintain them and the features giving them their historic significance, and assume all future legal and financial responsibilities for them. Anyone interested in obtaining one or both of the spans is asked to contact Mr. Herman at the Mercer -County Courthouse, Aledo, HI. 61231, ' and submit a written proposal. "There is quite a bit of paperwork . to something like this," he said.' "When all the paperwork is done, though, all they have to do is pick it up ana take it nome.

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