The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on April 7, 1992 · 8
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The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma · 8

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 7, 1992
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i Tuotday. Apol 7. 1992 THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN House Defeats Proposal to Raise Library Millage Cap The House defeated a pro-xed state question Monday hat would have allowed Okla-tomans to vote on whether hey wanted to raise the cap n the millage that could be evied for county libraries. Senate Joint Resolution 32 Ailed on a 4945 vote after a parliamentary fight over a proposed amendment that wpuld have repealed the state's household personal property tax. It takes 51 votes topass any measure. The House did adopt an amendment by Rep. Emil Grieser. D-Hobart. to require a 60 percent vote to pass a millage Question instead of just a majority vote. In another action, the House gave 96-0 passage to Senate Joint Resolution 28. which would provide for a statewide vote on a proposed constitutional amendment forbidding the use of any money generat ed by any state-administered retirement system for any purpose other than for that system. An amendment to that resolution by Rep. John Bryant. R-Tulsa. would prohibit the addition of any benefits to any of the state's retirement systems unless there was a guaranteed source of revenue to pay for them. Monday's resolution was one of four measures before the House that had come from an interim study on libraries. The three bills passed after their titles were stricken, a move to get them into a joint House-Senate conference committee. Rep. BUI Widener. D-Weath-erford. told the House the joint resolution would only submit to the people a proposal to raise the cap from 4 mills to 8 mills. He said "it does not raise taxes." but would allow county residents to decide if they wanted to pay more toward libraries. Newly elected Rep. Tony Caldwell. R-Oklahoma City, argued that only four counties now levy the maximum 4 mills for libraries. He said the entire county government gets only 10 mills and the proposed state question "would give libraries almost as much." The amendment to repeal 1 4 Hurt as Van, Tractor-Trailer Collide on 1-40 Fourteen church members, mostly from Ard-more, traveling in a van were injured Monday in a collision with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 40 in Mcintosh County. Four were hospitalized overnight Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Mike Jordan said the accident occurred about 3:15 p.m. near Henryetta. The first of four church vans traveling in a convoy topped a hill and collided with the rear of a tractor-trailer driven by Curtis D. Sexton, 23, of Houston. Sexton was not injured. Jordan's report said Sexton was westbound in an outside lane going about 15 mph. The driver of the 15-passenger van, Zola M. Clark, 58, of Ardmore was taken to Henryetta Medical Center with leg and head injuries. She was treated and released. All others injured in the wreck were riding in Clark's van. Hospitalized and in guarded condition were: Pauline Youngblood, 69, of Ardmore, trunk and internal injuries, St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa; Ada M. Dykes, 82, Ardmore, trunk and internal injuries, Okmulgee Memorial Hospital; Glenda L. ;Berry, 60, Ringling, head and trunk injuries, Okmulgee Memorial; and Oleta Hicks, 70, Ardmore, trunk and internal injuries, Henryetta Medical Center. Treated for their injuries and released were: Virginia Mallory, 69, Ardmore; Letrice E. Kee-ton, 63, Ardmore; Hazel M. Harris, 83, Ardmore; Eulice Layne, 86, Ardmore; LaJoyce J. Thompson, 58, Healdton; Juanita B. Boyd, 83, Ardmore; Paul S. Boyd, 84, Ardmore; Helen Jacquelyn Gillum, 66, Wilson; and Charlene Herren, 57, Wilson. The van was equipped with seat belts and they were all in use when the collision occurred, the trooper said. ....... Senate Passes Bill to Regulate Bingo Games A bill to tighten regulation of charitable organizations' bingo games passed on a 40-7 vote Monday in the Oklahoma Senate. House Bill 2037, the Oklahoma Charity Games Act, is headed for a final review by a House-Senate conference committee. Sen. Jerry Smith, R-Tulsa, Senate author, said the; measure changes the way bingo games are taxed and is designed to outlaw commercial bingo games. In the past commercial bingo operations have flourished by "stacking" bingo licenses obtained byoperators from charitable organizations, Smith said. Among other things, the bill would tax distributors of bingo equipment one cent per game. Smith said there are estimates the new tax could raise $4 million to $8 million. The bill puts the Oklahoma Tax Commission in charge of regulating bingo games and collecting- the tax from distributors. Smith said 70 percent of the tax would go to the state general fund, 15 percent to the Tax Commission for administration and VA percent each to the cities and counties. The bill allows $25 cash prizes at charity hospitals, nursing homes and other convalescent facilities. Other groups could have prizes or cash awards of up to $500 per game, with a $5,000 total limit per Dingo session. Tho Associated Pros the household personal property tax was proposed by Rep. Wayne Court. R-Tulsa. Widener tried to kill it by having it tabled, but the House voted 89-5 against his motion. "This sounds like an awfully good project, but I wonder is it germane to the bill." said Rep. Jim Hamilton, D-Poteau. " A House rule prohibits loading a measure with amendments that do not deal with the same law as the proposed legislation addresses. After studying the matter. Rep. Jim Glover. D-Elgta, who was presiding, ruled that the amendment was not germane Rep. Ed Crocker. D-Norroan.""' asked for unanimous consent. to suspend that rule as it ap-r" jjlied to the resolution. There was an objection to the re-,.,.. Quest, and Crocker unsuccess- - -fully moved that the rule bo ... suspended. c Former Military Leaders To Attend UCO Meeting A former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will join two other retired generals today at the University of Central Oklahoma for a colloquium on national security in the post-Soviet world. Speakers will include Gen. John W. Vessey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Lt. Gen. Dave R. Palmer, former superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; and Lt. Gen. Hone Moellering, formerly a senior officer at the Pentagon. The presentations will be today and Thursday at UCO's Liberal Arts Building. The colloquium will feature three free sessions: "The U.S. Defense Policy in the 1980s: The Perceived Threat and the U.S. Response," 9:10-10:25 a.m. today, by Vessey and Palmer; "The U.S. Defense Policy for the 1990s: End of the Cold War and the U.S. Response," 10:40-11:55 a.m. today, by Vessey and Palmer; and "U.S. Defense Policy Today and Tomorrow: Problems, Opportunities and Options," 7:30-9 p.m. Thursday by Vessey, Palmer and Moellering, with reception following. gggggggggggggggpxTB. Staff Photo by Jim Beckel Final Touches With his father, Gary Ellis, offering some pointers, Chet Ellis, 14, makes last-minute repairs Monday to his radio-controlled sprint car. The younger Ellis, an El Reno Junior High student, is among 2,000 students participating in the Technology Student Association convention. The convention ends today at the Myriad Convention Center. What's in a Name? Little, Survey Shows State Voters Don't Recognize Elected By Mick Hinton Capitol Bureau About 40 percent of Oklahoma voters don't recognize the names of Lt Gov. Jack Mildren or state Treasurer Claudette Henry, according to the results of a telephone survey released Monday. Other statewide elected officials who received even less statewide recognition are Attorney General Susan Loving and Auditor and Inspector Clifton Scott. Best known among secondary statewide office-holders is Sandy Garrett, state superintendent of education, whose name is recognized by two-thirds of the voters. The telephone survey done in early February sampled 500 registered voters Republicans and Democrats in six regions of the state. Conducted by Republican Tom Cole and others who are part of Cole Hargrave Snodgrass and Associates in Oklahoma City, ; the scientific survey admits to a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent. Of those surveyed, only Henry is a Republican. The study notes that Henry became known because she opposed Democrat Ellis Edwards, "caught up in scandals." Deby Snodgrass, whose firm conducted the survey, said she is not at all surprised that few Oklahomans recognize several of the statewide elected officials. She noted that "as you get closer to the state Capitol," there is greater name recognition. Seventy percent of those polled said they do not know who Attorney General Loving is, while 71 percent said they did not recognize Auditor and Inspector Scott. Only 34 percent were unfamiliar with Sandy Garrett. Cole said he believes that Garrett is well known because of her pro-tax stands in the battle over House Bill 1017, the education-reform and tax package. She also spoke out publicly about State Question 640, Cole said. That law was approved by voters last month and calls for votes on tax measures failing to receive a three-fourths vote of approval by the Legislature. ,.; Snodgrass said the study cov-.--: ered only the five major state- wide secondary positions be cause questions had to bel" limited. She said a future sur-o vey might cover the Corpora" tion Commission. Democrat Co-r-:: dy Graves faces an election , this fall, while Republicans '. Bob Anthony and J.C. Watts J hold the other two positions. "' The latest survey also noted., that Gov. David Walters' rating0 is improving among OklahoVl'" mans. ,17,7, "Currently, 46 percent of all., ,.j voters have a favorable impres1 sion of Walters, while 34 percent have a negative percep-r tion," the survey said. In""' October 1991, those figures'" , 1 were reversed, Cole said. Cole said he believes Walters';,,, improved rating is due primart' ly "to the FBI decision to drop i. its investigation" of Walters'" campaign activities. Also ac"-" cording to the survey, 48 perj cent rate the Legislature's per- ,.JW formance as "only fair," while-;-;; 31 percent rate it as "poor." .i.-i Lawmen Strive to Unlock Bones' Secret Dad Saves 4 Children From Fire THERM OPOfilS, Wyo. (AP) Baffled Wyoming authorities are looking to Texas, Oklahoma and Iowa for clues to solving a murder mystery re-opened with the discovery of a box of human bones dating back to the 1940s. Newel Sessions, a retired tractor repairman who lives near Thermo-polis in central Wyoming, discovered the padlocked box of bones last week. He had been cleaning out an old shed friend had given him five years ago and decided to finally check inside a locked, rusted metal box. "I was trying to make some more room and I wanted to get rid of it," Sessions said. "I thought if there was anything in there of value, I'd save it. If not, I'd throw it in the trash." But after he used a cutting torch to slice open the padlock on the Patti Page Day Slated For Friday Friday will be Patti Page Day in Oklahoma. Gov. David Walters proclaimed the special event in honor of Page receiving the Rogers State College 1992 Lynn Riggs Day Award. Claremore Mayor Tom Pool has proclaimed Friday Patti Page Day in her hometown as well. Page will receive the Riggs award during a noon luncheon on the Rogers State " campus. An extensive exhibit of memorabilia from Page's singing career will be on display in Post Hall beginning at 11 a.m. Page is receiving the Riggs award for her commitment and dedication to the arts in Oklahoma. The award is given by the college annually to an Oklaho- man who has demonstrated those qualities. The award is named for Claremore native Lynn Riggs. Army footlocker, he was astonished to see a human skeleton inside. "Those bones, they were just lying loose in there," said Sessions, 68. "It's quite a surprise to see that and think it was someone who was walking around on this earth at one time." .. "This is one case that's going to take a long, long time," predicted Tom Pagel, director of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation. "Even then, the chances of solving it are very poor. It's like going back to World War II and deciding who killed who." Forensics reports show the man had been shot in the left eye. The bullet remains lodged in the skull. Experts believe the bones were . those of a man between 30 and 40 years old, shot in the head with a small pistol perhaps 50 years ago somewhere in the Midwest. By the look of the bones, they suspect the remains were buried without a cas-' ket, then dug up and locked in the trunk. Hot Springs County deputies and Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents are now investigating what they think is a decades-old murder one already drawing media interest from across the nation. Aside from a sack from an Iowa grocery chain, part of a belt and some clothing, there were few clues about who the victim was or where he was killed. Pagel said experts may make a model of the man's facial features from his skull to compare with pictures from old missing-person reports. After finding the bones, Sessions said, he called the insurance adjuster friend who had given him the shed in 1987 when moving from Thermopolis to the Dallas area; The Audit by State Asked in Use Of Safety Fund man said he had bought the trunk in the early 1980s at a yard sale in Oklahoma City, figuring to use it as a toolbox. But since the footlocker was locked tight. Sessions said, the Texas man "never bothered to take the damn padlock off either." On learning of the trunk's macabre contents, "he was just as surprised as I was." About two years ago, Sessions' friend returned to Thermopolis to pick up some furniture and other contents of the shed. "He was going to take the trunk too, but he had his trailer loaded plumb to the hilt," Sessions recalled, "so he said he would try to get it the next time." State agents will head out of Wyoming next week, Pagel said, first to question the man in Texas and then to track down the site of the Oklahoma City yard sale. By John Parker Staff Writer Oklahoma City's police and fire unions requested a state audit Monday of the city's public safety tax and accused Mayor Ron Norick of resisting efforts to clean up its alleged misuse. The Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police and the city Firefighters Association also announced they have filed a taxpayers' petition, demanding reimbursement of any earmarked tax funds spent illegally. The unions expect the city council to act by April 14 on the 10-signature, administrative petition, union attorney Jim Moore said at a city hall news conference. "If the city doesn't do what it's supposed to do, then we'll file a suit to restore the funds," Moore said. Union officials said Norick has worked against efforts to revamp spending of the three-quarter-cent sales tax, the subject of controversy since June 1991. The tax, approved by voters in 1989, is devoted solely to 32 specific public safety projects, including the hiring of 400 new employees, and undesignated "other projects" related to public safety. The "mayor refuses to admit misuse of the tax, Moore said, despite findings by the Oklahoma County district attorney's office that state laws were violated because the city paid for projects beyond the tax's limited purpose. "It's not a matter of right or wrong, it's a matter of what they can get away with," Moore said. "They like to be able to use that special tax fund for other purposes." t - Stan Photo by Roger Ktock Union leaders Jim Moore and Charles Stone, representing Oklahoma City firefighters, and P. D. Taylor, with the Fraternal Order of Police, discuss complaints about how the city's elected leaders have handled a three-quarter-cent public safety sales tax. Norick said that because the city attorney's office maintains there was no illegal use of funds, misuse is still in dispute. He is still open to changing spending policy, he said. "I have not resisted it at all," Norick said. "I have just followed what our city attorney's office has recommended." Norick has asked city staff to propose a new spending policy at the council's meeting April 14. The unions urge the council to adopt a policy recently proposed by Ward 2 Councilman b Mark Schwartz. Ma-cy's office also endorsed Schwartz's proposal. Charlie Stone, firefighter union president, and P.D. Taylor, police union president, both said they expect city officials to retaliate because of the union's criticism of the tax spending. The retaliation could come during current labor negotiations, regular grievance filings or directly against city employees, Stone said. Moore identified several areas of tax spending that should be reimbursed, including: About $200,000 a year to pay for work-by private attorneys representing officers in lawsuits. More than $2 million in medical insurance inflation for all officers, which has been paid out of the special tax fund. The tax only should cover higher insurance costs for the new officers and firefighters required by the tax ordinance, Moore said. Administrative "chargebacks" that represent the cost of other city departments' work for the police and fire departments. By Michael McNutt ' Enid Bureau ENID An Enid"' T man who dashed into-- a burning house and,!'r led four children tc" safety early Sunday. was in intensive care. Monday with second- ,, and third-degree burnsw on his hands and feet,o;; authorities said. - Clyde "Red" Lucas!;;:; was burned as he" searched through bed-'-' rooms for the chUdren before finding them asleep in the living. 3 room. The fire started? about 2 a.m. Firefighters say it's- likely all four children I would have been killed " if not for Lucas. He;; rescued his two sons? his daughter and a" friend visiting the girl. Lucas, 38, was in sat- -. isfactory condition in. ' an Enid hospital. ,"" The children, Lucas0 10- and 15-year-old"-'1 sons, a 13-year-old1"'1 daughter and a I2i"!' year-old girl, were not-;' injured, officials said.:-"'s Melinda Anderson," who owns the house;"" said she is trying t0r,." find accommodations for Lucas' three chiPr'j dren and her four chil-'c-" dren who live with the'"! couple. '"'M' Her children were at' " a grandmother's house- at the time of the fire" she said. C'J Anderson said the"-children were sleeping early Sunday when; she and Lucas, who-" works as a welder in'" Fairview, decided to go';"-to a diner. They were gone less'- than -an hour and dis-- covered the fire when"" they returned about 3'" a.m., she said. iv,' Firefighters suspect . a portable light in F shed attached to the"-15 back of the house." started the fire. ""- .X ..

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