Panama City News-Herald from Panama City, Florida on June 21, 1974 · Page 2
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Panama City News-Herald from Panama City, Florida · Page 2

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Panama City, Florida
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Friday, June 21, 1974
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Page 2
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PagetA NKWS-IIKU Al >!>, Panama City. Kla., Friday, June 21,1914 O'Malley Launches Own lnvestigatidn\™^jT%, T ALLAHASSEE, (UPI)-Treasurer Tom O'Malley said Thursday he was highly suspicious of the way in which the state was persuaded to buy St. George Island property for $6.5 million last year and demanded that the deal be canceled and the $1,459 million down payment be returned. Simultaneously, Lt. Gov. Tom .Adams charged that the transaction meant a $600,000 commission to the Tallahassee law firm headed by James Smith, Gov. Reubin Askew's state campaign manager, who represented the sellers. O'Malley was joined by Agriculture Commissioner' Doyle Conner in urging that the state's second payment, totalling $1.2 million, not be made on time next Tuesday, pending a thorough investigation of the manner of the sale as well as the "relationships" of many involved in the transaction. During a four-hour meeting in his office, attended for a while by Conner and the whole time by Assistant Attorney General Rusty Ingle, who is gathering information for a' legal opinion on the state's position if It fails to meet Tuesday's deadline. O'Malley said that the state ; actually committed to pay $500,000 more for the 1,486 acres It is buying, than the original purchasers paid for 4,000 acres. He said he based this on a copy he has of a promissory note which O'Malley assumed was negotiated for the purchase of the 4,000 acres by the people who later sold part of it to the state. But Gene D. Brown, law partner of Smith and an owner of a 20 per cent interest in the company that is selling it to the state, said the $6 million promissory note represented only a 60 per cent interest In the property. Willis Swamp Area Preservation Sought One of the last wilderness areas In the state will be preserved for posterity, If negotiations now being conducted by the Department of Natural Resources in conjunction with other agencies are successful. Harmon Shields of Panama **••• Improvement Set For Dead Lakes Dead Lakes' water level will be lowered beginning July 1 in order to control aquatic weeds that now Infest much of the lake, Harmon Shields, head of the Florida Department of Natural Resources, announced Thursday. Shields, a Panama Citian and an ardent outdoorsman himself, said the move is being made to expose as much of the weed growth as possible to a drying process and thus improve the fishing for which the Dead Lakes, located 30 miles east of Panama City, has been famous. Shields said the water in the lakes will be lowered as much as eight feet if the Apalachicola river water level permits. The success of the management program depends on the level of the Apalachicola, which is controlled by the Jim Woodruff Dam on Lake Seminole to the north. "The move will expose the maximum amount of the noxious vegetation and bottom to oxidation and drying," Shields said. The gates will be closed Dec. 15 to permit the reservior to refill. The Dead Lakes area was once one of the most prized fishing and recreational areas in the Southeast and visited by thousands of Floridians and others. Controlling weeds has been a problem there, as in many areas of the state. Police Beat RADIO TAKEN A citizen band radio was stolen from a vehicle parked in a lot behind Sears Thursday, according to Panama City police. C.L. Jinks Jr., 1900 Dewitt St., told police he parked the auto at noon Thursday and returned at 2 p.m. to find the radio had been stolen. It was valued at $150. The vehicle had been left unlocked. WINESTOLEN Navara E. Peterson, operator of Sunflower Cafe, 192 Cove Blvd, reported to Panama City police his business had been broken into. The building was entered by forcing the lock off the front door. The building was entered between midnight Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday. The only articles taken were two bottles of wine. ESCAPE CHARGED Wess Smith, Jr., 29, Lake Wales, was arrested and charged with escape from the • Community Correctional Center on State Road 390, according to the Bay County sheriff's office. The arrest came approximately one hour after the center reported that Smith had escaped. He was apprehended on State Road 390 one-fourth mile East of Stanford Road. Smith was serving a sentence for grand larceny. He is being held without bail in the Bay county jail following his arraignment Thursday. BREAKIN REPORTED Bay Animal Hospital, 2003 E. Business 98, was broken into Blind Guitarist Listed On Two Welfare Rolls TALLAHASSEE, (UPI) - N.L. Williams, a blind guitarist, has pleaded no contest on charges of receiving welfare payments from both Florida and Alabama. Williams is a familiar sight on the streets of Tallahassee where he plays his guitar for •nickles and dimes thrown by passersby. It was revealed that Williams has been receiving aid for the blind in Florida while collecting money from Alabama. . Assistant State Attorney Palmer Williams told county judge Hal McClamma that he received $12,555 from Florida between 1958 and this year, and > also was on the Alabama public welfare rolls from November, J956, to February, 1973. The monthly payments from Florida amounted to $60 to $105 over the 16-year period. McClamma ordered a presen­ tence investigation before disposing of the case. between 3 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday, according to Panama City police. A small amount of money, drugs and stamps were taken. Persons entered the building by breaking out a pane and forcing open a window on the east side of the building. BEER STOLEN Employes of Gator Distributing Company, 1111 Hub Drive, reported to Panama City • police Thursday that 16 cases of beer had been stolen from one of the company trucks. Someone broke the lock of a sliding door on the truck and unloaded the beer. The beer, which was in quart bottles, was valued at $78.40. Peace Talks Resume With Nurses SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) Peace talks resumed in the bitter 14-day walkout by 4,400 nurses Thursday —the same day the strikers were accused of causing a "crisis" situation by pulling out of emergency and intensive care units. Negotiations broke off Saturday between the California Nurses Association and representatives from 41 Bay Area hospitals. CNA chief negotiator Burton White said that no state conciliator would be present at new negotiations because "we got nowhere while they were present at bargaining sessions last week." Hospital administrators assailed the nurses' decision to walk off emergency and intensive care units as unethical. City, director of the department, is spearheading the move and he is confident of success. The area Involved is the Willis swamp, about 40 miles east of Panama City. There are 95,000 acres of swamp in all but Shields said it is planned to acquire, either by purchase or exchange, 26,000 acres. "We are trying to acquire land on both sides of Apalachicola river plus an island as far as the log jam at the brisk yard cutoff," Shields said. Nearly a mile of the river is Involved. Shields Is dedicated to putting the deal through. "If we are successful", he said, "we will have preserved one of the last wilderness frontiers in the state". Willis Swamp is a haven for hunters, fishermen and other sportsmen. Many have built camps in the area. A public hearing will be held at the Gulf County courthouse at Port St. Joe July 15 at 7 p.m., (EST), when comments from all persons interested will be solicited. The property involved, Shields said, meets the approved criteria for environmentally endangered lands. "The 26,600 acres in the river flood plain provide an important buffer and filter area and a nutrient source for marine life of Apalachicola Bay", Shields said. He added: "I firmly believe this is one of the most important parcels of endangered land in Florida and should be protected for future generations, not only to preserve the seafood produced in Apalachicola Bay but as a prime recreational area to be enjoyed not only today but by future generations." Pair Enter Court Pleasl Larry Lane Aultman, 24, Wee Don and Doris Trailer Court, lot A-Seven, pleaded guilty in circuit court Thursday to a charge of robbery. He admitted being involved In the March 21 robbery of Kwik Check Food Market, 620 E. Business when $1,720 was stolen. The court accepted the plea and a pre-sentencing investigation was ordered. Aultman had agreed to plead guilty to the robbery charge on condition that the state drop four counts of uttering a forged instrument and two other counts of robbery. The state said that it would not file information on charges against Aultman for carrying a concealed weapon or for possession of more than five grams of marijuana. Jesse L. Arts, charged with larceny of a firearm, pleaded guilty to buying, receiving and concealing stolen property. He was sentenced to the time he has already served, 88 days. The total price, he said, was actually $10 million because it Involved an agreement to give to the original owners 40 per cent of any profit made on re-sale, and to develop the acreage. O'Malley also discovered, during an investigation which he said he made on his own, that Brown had not given the state as required a policy guaranteeing the clear title to the land. O'Malley said failure by Brown to provide a valid title policy — a stipulation of the agreement to purchase — Is reason enough by itself to cancel the whole transaction. He said buying this land in a low population area was not a high priority until Smith and,> . Brown began pushing it. All the state had, he said, was an unsigned title policy which, after checking with Title Insurance Co. of Minnesota, O'Malley discovered was not recorded as having been Issued and on which no premium was ever paid. When O'Malley called this to Brown's attention, Brown rushed over a signed new title . policy Thursday, retroactive to a year ago. Brown said failure to file the policy was an oversight, but he said It did not affect the state's claim on a valid clear title because he had put down a binder covering it. O'Malley disagreed, and said officials of the title company, for which Brown is the authorized Tallahassee agent, said it was not a normal way to do business. Without making any charges, but telling newsmen to make their own interpretation, O'Malley went back to the beginning of the state's interest in buying beach and other lands for public recreation areas. He noted that Jay Landers, Askew's environmental advisor, State Land Manager Joel Kuperberg, and others campaigned for adoption of a $240 million bond issue to buy park lands and environmentally- endangered lands. It was approved, and part of these funds were pledged to the St. George. Island purchase, which is located in northwest Florida off Carrabelle. The negotiations for the pur­ chase were worked out, he said, by Park Director Ney Landrum with the governor's staff headed by Landers. ' Later, O'Malley said, the governor tried to get Landrum appointed director of the State Department of Natural Resources. • 1 He produced copies of a letter, signed by Smith and Brown as attorneys for the property, owners, which spoke of meetings with the governor and his staff on the night before the cabinet gave its final approval May 1, 1973, to the purchase. O'Malley said he was not given advance notice of any such meetings. "It was the smoothest operation, almost unbelievable," he said. But when asked if he has knowledge of any criminal law violations, he told newsmen they'd have to check with the* attorney general or a state attorney as to "the various relationships of various people." Brown said that the purchase was a bargain for the state. He said that an M.I.A. appraisal values the eight miles of beachfront land the sellers still have left at $23 million or $9,000 an acre as compared to the 4,400 the state is paying. • He also said that Smith had no financial Interest In the land other that what the law firm got in commissions for representing the owners. O'Malley Indicated that the owners, Leisure Properties Limited, headed by John R. Stocks?* Tallahassee, and Brown, has defaulted on Its payments on the $6 million promissory note by whlcH the island tract was bought.) But Brown said the first payment was made ahead of schedule and another payment is not due until November, 1975. Report Alleges Doctor Problem BOSTON (UPI) - A "medical underground" of thousands of unlicensed foreign-trained doctors, many of them unable to pass state examinations, is filling hospitals and clinics in the United States, a report released Thursday said. The report, prepared by five American physicians and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is based on data gleaned from surveys and interviews of 4,035 foreign medical graduates taking certification examinations given by the Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). Certification by ECFMG Is the first step taken by foreign- educated doctors in obtaining state licenses. The report indicated that an overwhelming number of the doctors taking the examination for the first time flunk. However, "its level of difficulty is such that an estimated 98 per cent of senior United States medical students would pass the ECFMG examination perfect co-ordinatf- FAMOUS MAKER • STRIPES • CHECKS • PLAIDS • SOLIDS in beautiful shades of rust, red, green, blue, brown - all famous names in easy care, beautiful knits. 2 RACKS SLACKS SKIRTS WESKITS BLAZERS BLOUSES LONG SKIRTS OFF ^^H^^H fcMtf ttltf ftStf fc&f IvMA^VtfiMf * Beck Ave oi 23id Si BLUE DOLPHIN Ph. 769-3226 OPEN 11 til 11 ITWO RACKS SPORTSWEAR & DRESSES 75% OFF ON OUR BALCONY SPECIAL SEAFOOD PLATTER ONE RACK LONG DRESSES OFF SCALLOPS . OYSTERS . SHRIMP . DEVILED CRAB. SCAMP 0 Plus hush puppies T choice of Potato ^ Tossed Salad FROSTY DRAUGHT BEER CHILLED CARAFES OF WINE 50 GRACE & 5TH OPEN 9:30 - 6:00 "Where taste costs no more" if they were to take it," the report said. •" Despite this, many of. the foreign doctors are employed— without certification or license —in hospitals and clinics, the majority of them responsible for direct patient care. Some are psychiatrists; many perform surgery. "It might have been expected that those working represent the best of the non-certified foreign medical graduates," the report said, "but the data show the contrary: only 15 per cent of the employed group passed the . ECFMG examination as compared to 26 per cent of the unemployed group." election," he said. miscellaneous alarms. This is a Kirkland continued that he is report from the official records still going to do his Job. "I have as required by the Federal no ill will toward the people or Communications Commission, the fire department. It disturbs "As far as the time limit, It me that people would feel this took 42 minutes for No. 3 Fire way about Henry Kirkland," he Station to answer 16 calls. It said. took No. 1 Fire Station 52 • minutes to back up the 16 calls which left 10 minutes deficit between No. 3 and No. 1. If you divide 10 minutes into the 16 back up calls, you have 1.6 minutes. "The question has been posed that the insurance rates would be increased in the Millville area if the transfer of the personnel was made. However, we are now in the process of a ruling from the Insurance Services office in Jacksonville, Florida, relative to this question. Several local insurance agents have been contacted relative to this and in each instance they have stated that in their opinion there would be none. Henry Kirkland Commissioner—Ward 1 The commissioner pointed out that although there is an apparent controversy over the fire station, he has received only four telephone calls and five visits from people opposed to it. "There is a recall petition going around but they cannot impeach me because I have not violated the city charter. They Lawyer Recommended For Dittrict Bench TALLAHASSEE, (UPI) Tallahassee attorney Wilfred Varn has been recommended to President Nixon for appointment to the North Florida District Court bench. The Republican Executive Committee urged that Varn be named to succeed retiring U.S. District Judge David L. Middlebrooks of Tallahassee. Varn was U.S. Attorney for the Northern District during the Eisenhower administration and a Republican candidate for congress in 1962. Meeting Scheduled A public meeting concerning the areas of Bayou George, Bennett, Youngstown and Fountain will be held at 7:30 p.m. today in the Waller School. The purpose of the meeting was not disclosed. . Another meeting is scheduled for Saturday at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the summer recreation program for children of these areas. MEXICO It's no Bull that you get the best deal NERVIG'S Si', Senor!! NIVIR A SIRVICI CHARGE NERVIfi TRAVEL SERVICE 569 HARRISON AVI. PANAMA CITY, FLA. Stools for i Comfort and Convenience Folding 2-Step Stool has a wide rubber treaded bottom step for easy climbing. Vinyl covered cushion seat comes in an attractive avocado floral design. Folds to a slim 43^ in. deep. Sears Low Price Handy Snack Bar Stool has a comfortable, 14-in. diameter, cushioned seat covered with easy-care black vinyl. Chromed footrests. 29-in. bar counter height. Sears Low Price si:\lts.l«)i:ni(K \M><:<>. CHARGE IT on.Sears Revolving Charge Sale prices in effect 2 days only DOWNTOWN PANAMA CITY

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