County had four fatalities on Thursday Thursday was one of the worst days to recent memory for the Otter Tail County sheriff's department. Three men were electrocuted In a construction accident near Dalton. The search for the body of a man believed drowned in Rush Lake near Perham continued unsuccessfully, and there were (our automobile accidents to the county, one a fatality. The electrocution victims were identified as Michael Thompson, 18, Fergus Falls Route 3; Paul Farbo, 24, Thief River Falls and Larry Romaai, », New York Mills. Thompson was an' employee of the county highway engineering department and Farbo and Romann worked for . Adding Construction ofFraiee. They were working on a surfacing project on County Road 37 about a mile north of the county line when the accident happened at about 11:50 a.m. Deputy John Balvorson said that the construction project . had just been started, and crews were running scrapers, taking off a portion of a hill to use for fill. . Farbo, who was Ackling's foreman on the job, was removing a guy wire so that a scraper could get by. He was walking toward the power pole after removing the wire from its anchor when it struck a jumper wire on the pole, carrying 7,200 volts. Romann, who was operating a scraper a few feet away, and Thompson, standing 30 feet away, were electrocuted when they tried to extricate Farbo from the wire. The three were pronounced dead at the scene by Dr. Mebdi Orandi, Otter Tail County coroner. At Rush Lake, the search for the body of Randy Oothoudt, 25, Wadena, was to continue today after efforts by an observer to » helicopter were foiled by cloudy and windy weather Thursday. Boats were on the lake again this morning, the third day of the search. Oothoudt was believed to have drowned when he fell from a boat while fishing Tuesday night. The victim of a traffic accident near Deer Creek Thursday morning was identified by the State Patrol as. Michael James Bowman, 16, Cedar Falls, Iowa. Michael was a passenger in a car driven by Steven Simcox, New Hartford, Iowa, which was involved in a three-vehicle accident on Highway 29 three miles north of Deer Creek. The Simcox car collided with a truck driven by Thomas J. Skarka, Wadena, and a van driven by Jeannette Simcox, also of New Hartford. Jeannette Simcox and her husband, Terry, a passenger in the van, were checked at Tri-County Hospital in Wadena for minor injuries. Michael was pronounced dead on arrival there. 103rd YEAR NO. 128 FERGUS FALLS, MINNESOTA56537 FRIDAY, MAY 28, 1976 SINGLE COPY 15c |r | Federal tax cut extension wins panel approval ACCIDENT SCENE —TSree ma were electrocuted near Dalton yesterday while working on County Road r. A gay wire bolding a power pole hit a jumper wire, killing one of the three. Wbw me other two jomptd to H» rescue ftey too, were electrocuted, the sheriffs of fice said. See story at upper left for detail:. (JMnal pkotos by BUI Baik) Bomb scare • reported ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) Police officers tipped by an anonymous caller about a bomb confiscated a homemade dock constructed of traffic flares Thursday. Authorities located the clock in a tenant's room at a St Cloud boarding house. A Crime Bureau bomb expert inspected the device and determined it was not a bomb. . Tne dock was taken to police headquarters, while its owner was questioned and released. "It was just some traffic flares tied in a bundle with a dock on it, more or less a joke," said the rooming house manager, who asked not to be named. "I tried to tell them it was just a dock but they were Lt. Howie Paulson of the St. Cloud Police Department said there did not appear to be any link between the incident and the detonation of a bomb at Kimball, 20 miles south of SL Cloud, which killed a postal worker two weeks ago. WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress is taking steps to head off a tax increase scheduled for July 1 that would cost a typical four-member American family earning 115,000 an extra 1180 annually: The Senate Finance Commit,! ee voted unanimously Thursday in favor of extending current tax cuts. The House has approved a similar bill. If the antirecession tax cuts enacted last year are allowed to expire as scheduled on July 1, it would mean a $245 tax increase for a family of four earning 16,000 a year; a $204 hike for a couple earning $10,000, and a $151 increase for a single •person with adjusted gross income of $10,000. The Senate bill also has some bad news for wealthy investors and some good news for housewives and working parents. Some of the provisions that have been used by investors to shield their incomes from taxation would be tightened, but not as much as by a bill passed by the House last year. Working parents would be allowed a tax credit of up to $800 a year for certain childcare and household expenses necessary for both parents—or the sole parent — to work. And for 1 the first time, a housewife could qualify- for tax- 'exempt treatment of contributions to a pension fund. This would be available only to persons whose spouses are not covered by a company retirement plan but who contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). At a cost to the U S. treasury of $40 million a year, UK spouse's maximum IRA contribution of $l,50t a year could be increased to $2,000 for a joint retirement fund to cover husband and wife. Extension jrf the tax cuts will allow current withholding rates from paychecks to continue. Herearethetaxcutsthatwould be extended: .—Increases in the standard deduction, used by taxpayers who do not itemize, would be made permanent at a cost of M.I billion.a year. The minimum is $1,700 for single persons and $2,100 for joint returns; the maximum is $2,400 for singles and $2,800 for joint returns. -A $35 credit - which is subtracted directly from taxes owed — is provided for a taxpayer and each dependent at a cost of $9.6 billion. This would be extended through June 30, 1976, to allow the new Congress and the next president to gauge the economy before determining whether it should be renewed again. As an alternative, a taxpayer could have a credit of 2 per cent of the first $9,000 of taxable income, or a maximum credit of $180. —A "work bonus" for poor, working families with children (Federal tun) Continued cm page 14 Korp, Belka quit downtown panel To seed or not to seed, that was the question By BILL BANK Area News Editor EVANSVILLE — Farmers plowed through a driving rain, last night to attend a meeting in Gvansville on weather modification. It was the first rain in perhaps two .months for some of the farmers who expressed definite interest, combined with a bit of skepticism, in programs designed to increase rainfall. A panel of experts from South Dakota and Minnesota seemed to agree that weather modification was both desirable and efficacious, although they said nobody should expect miracles from it. But deciding which system of weather modification to use was not a subject inspiring unanimity. U.S. food stamp cutbacks blocked WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge today temporarily blocked the Ford administration from initiating new regulations that would eventually remove more than 1.1 million families from the food stamp program. ' V£. District Judge Howard F. Corcoran stayed -the regulations for at (east 16 days. The new regulations would have gone into effect next Tuesday. Another U.S. district judge, John H. Pratt, wfll hear arguments next Friday on whether he should issue a preliminary injunction against the regulations until legal and constitutional issues raised by groups opposing the new rules are resolved. The new rules would limit stamps to households with gross incomes that are no more than $100 above the nonfann poverty level. For the typical food stamp family of three living in the continental United States, the new income ceiling would be $3J3 a month, plus $100. The present system has no gross income ceiling, but consists of a net income figure calculated by deducting some expenses. The case was fikd by 73 food stamp families, 26 state governments, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, 53 labor unions, 33 civic, political and civil rights organizations and 22 church groups. Agriculture Department officials have predicted that the new rules would throw 1.66 million families off the food stamp program by the end of the year. In addition, another 1.72 million of the 5.« million families currently receiving food stamps would have to pay more f-jr the stamps under the administration's new rules. The groups seeking the feder- (Food stamps) Continued nn Marvin Jensen, Evansville, represented a nonprofit group seeking contributions to be used for cloud seeding with ground generators. (At a recent meeting in Alexandria the group collected $1,570 in cash and checks and another $550 in pledges and a total of $5,500 has been received in Douglas County as a whole, said Jensen. That group, and another consisting of nine counties in the Ortonville area, contend that ground-based generators are effective and less costly than seeding by airplane. Jack Dorman, director of the division of weather modification in South Dakota (that state has had a comprehensive cloud seeding •program since 1972) believes seeding with planes is a much better way of obtaining more moisture. But nobody denied that there was a need in Minnesota for a weather modification program with state controls and input from every .county expressing interest. The panel included a state legislator from southwestern Minnesota, a physics professor from B«midji State University, a consulting meteorologist and two officials from the South Dakota weather modification i program. Rep. Dave Fjoslien of Brandon was the moderator. Dr. Wes Winter of Bemidji, who was also a meteorologist in the Air Force, has been studying weather modification techniques for the past year. He believes that several myths associated with seeding by using silver iodide are without foundation. Among his observations: —seeding clouds isn't- stealing rain from, neighboring states, he says. Seeding simply produces a bit more rain than would normally have fallen if no one intervened. —seeding doesn't tend to produce too much rainfall and it won't cause flooding, he contends. "Big storms come naturally and seeding is simply suspended when more rain isn't wanted." —silver iodide is not a pollution hazard, Winter suggested, "the hazard from silver iodide is almost nonexistent from ground-based generators," he says studies have shown. -hot effective cloud seeding really is cannot be determined until more viable statistics are gathered, he concluded. Consulting meteorologist Bruce Watson explained a theory which suggests rainfall comes in 40-year cycles, and between those cycles one can expect some dry years. In 1971 he predicted that 1977 would be a peak year with more sunshine throughout the region than had been seen in decades. Sparse rainfall has been a problem recorded in 40-year cycles since back in the 1840s, he said. Donnan said South Dakota's program has been proven effective. Statistical evaluation over a four-year period indicates that rainfall has increased by nearly seven percent and hail decreased ty as much as 50 percent. But South Dakota seeds with airplanes. A study by the state school of mines found ground generators ineffective in plains areas, Donnan said, although they were effective in mountainous regions. Donnan also contended that the cost of seeding by airplane was not substantially greater than seeding by ground generator. The nine counties in the Ortonville area using ground generators are paying $80,000 for four months of seeding. An effective aerial program over the same land (Weatter) Contimie&onpagell ByRUTHNORRLS City Editor Chairman Otto Korp and committee member Ed Belka of the Municipal Development District Committee offered their resignations Thursday, but the commiltee.declined to accept; referring the matter to the City Council to decide. The resignations were offered as a result of public criticism of Die two men's dual roles as project proposers and commiltee members. Korp's plan for a retail-professional complex covering half a block of West Lincoln is under consideration by the committee, •and. Btlka is associated with Anderson Bros. Construction, . proposers of a housing complex in the area of the former Sheltered Workshop buMng. The committee unanimously rejected both resignations because there is seme doubt whether a conflict of interest in a legal sense actually exists. "We do have a built-in conflict, so to speak," commented committee member Nan Frick. She was referring to the state legislature's directive that an advisory board for a municipal development district shall consist of representatives from downtown business, construction, industry, real estate and so forth. Consultant Clarence Simonovich explained that the legislature had a specific intent to create a board of special interest groups as advisors in order to spark more developer input. The directives on makeup of the advisory committee are part of legislation authorizing tax increment financing. The specific development interest of the Municipal Development District Committee, Simonovich added, are balanced by the more general public interest of the city planning commission and housing authority, who will also be making recommendations to "the council on proposals. " I don't think that there's any precedent on this (the resignations) that I'm aware of," he concluded. The committee has discussed possible conflicts on other occasions. Committee member Terry Black brought up the issue after his election to the council, noting that the city charter forbids aldermen from serving on advisory boards and commissions, and again when several of the project proposals came from developers involved in joint ventures with- Simonovich or employing him •as a consultant. The committee, however, has a special status because it has not been established by ordinance as an advisory board. The council also directed that one alderman should serve'on the committee. That same exemption allows persons who are not residents of the city to save on the committee. None of the committee members, including Korp and Belka, felt that there were conflicts which would impair the committee's function. "When I started (on the committee)," Korp commented, "I didn't know I was going to be a proposer. But the more you look into it, the more you can see the need and the potential and, let's face it, the profit." The real problem for the committee, as Frick noted, is in losing its chairman and another member just as final recommendations are due to the council. When they meet next week to decide, they will not know yet whether i the resignations will be accepted. Randy Mann will serve as acting-chairman in the interim. Weot/ier rot Clear to partly cloudy tonight and Saturday. Lows tonight in the low to mid 40s. Highs Saturday mid 70s. Winds becoming northeast late evening and north tonight 10 miles per hour. HigtvThursday 74. Overnight Low 50. At 8 a.m. 58. At Noon 63. Precipitation 24 hours ending I a.m. today, trace. Temperature One Year Ago Maximum 78. Minimum 44. Hubert honored on h/s 65th birthday On the inside Planned minges set by Otter Tail Power. Page 2 Since von :.>ked. Page 6 Area happenings. Page 8 On the local scene. Page II MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey, proclaiming himself in excellent health and spirit, celebrated his . S5th birthday Thursday night with celebrities and a crowd of faithful Minnesota Democrats. "Age 65 is the spring of life, not the winter ofit," Humphrey toM< the $IOOi*r-pla(e gathering. "I'm not worn out and I'm not going downhill. In a lot of ways, my life is just beginning." While Humphrey did not make direct reference to a possible run for the Democratic presidential nomination, the party's keynote speaker did. "We have a leader who can bring back stability to America." Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (old the 2,000 Minnesota DFLers. "We have the challenge to give something back to America, and here is the leader we need." Joking about Humphrey's noncandidate status, Kennedy- said, "I believe Hubert is not running for president just like I believe my mother'when she says I'm not interested in the position." Opera star Robert Merrill led the singing of five choruses of "Happy Birthday" as a six- foot, red, white and blue birthday cake topped with Humphrey's initials were wheeled into the Minneapolis Auditorium. Humphrey, in emotional remarks,.told the party faithful that "I've heard the roar of the crowds, I've shared dinners with presidents; but the greatest honor is being with your friends." He spoke philosophically about the nation and its government.'"There are those who would say 'politics is a dirty word," the Minnesota Democrat said. "Politics is the people's business." Humphrey, after unsuccessful presidential campaigns in 1960, 196! and 1972, has refused to enter primaries this year but has said he would accept the Democratic nomination if it is offered at the party's national convention. The senator told a reporter he . will assess his position as to whether or not he would "actively seek the nomination" after June 8. He said he colliders it highly unlikely that the Democratic frontrunner, former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter, will win the bulk of delegates from Ohio, New Jersey and California. "Ifhe does," Humphrey said, "it's all over. There's no Cjues- tion about that." "It will be an open convention, not an open-and-shut convention," Humphrey continued. "1 do not believe there will be a first-ballot nomination." Other celebrities at the fundraiser for Humphrey's upcoming Senate campaign included actors Gregory Peck and Lome Greene. Albert Hofstede, chairman of Humphrey's Senate campaign, estimated more than $200,000 had been raised by the dinner.
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