Rapid City Journal from Rapid City, South Dakota on June 4, 1995 · 1
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Rapid City Journal from Rapid City, South Dakota · 1

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Rapid City, South Dakota
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Sunday, June 4, 1995
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1
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1 II TJ II II L II l V II Vf . H,IUU i I I fraures foot 8 " Black Hms Information and Perspective Since 1878 . I-.. V'p;'S 1 o - - . . ; . ; f UIOZ (o : DtfDysGjDr?y r7""' crazv Hore vo'ksmaroh 1 City woman still disputes husband's death a suicide By Bill Kaiian Journal Staff Writer Almost a year after her husband's death, Nancy Kueter still disputes a coroner's finding that Tom Kueter killed himself by letting a forklift roll over his head. "They were wrong," she said. They should have investigated more." She is fighting to get the ruling changed When Tom Kaeter died at age 29 he was the main suspect in the disappearance of Tina Marie Marcotte, 30, who remains missing to this day. Rapid City police think Kueter killed himself at work because he was afraid investigators were closing in. .Nancy Kueter vehe mently disagrees, and not just because the suicide ruling leaves a stain on her husband's reputation. The ruling also cost Kueter and her two young children thousands of dollars in workers' compensation benefit. She recently filed an appeal with the state Division of Labor and Management to reverse the decision by her husband's employer, Forest Products Distributors, and its insurance company, Wassau, not to pay the compensation claim. :'', y-v She also has notified Pennington County she migM sue the county. Nancy and Tom were high school sweethearts. She admits he had problems with the 6 Tom Kueter law as a young man, but she insists he had nothing to do with Marcotte's disappearance. In the four days before he died, Tom Kueter repeatedly told his wife that someone he didn't know who was trying to frame him. "I know my husband was innocent," Nancy Kueter said. "If it takes the rest of my life, I will prove it" She hired attorney Rich Bode and private investigator John Kbl-bach, and they have conducted dozens of interviews over the past year. They also hired psychologist Val Fanner, who concluded there was no evidence to show Kueter felt guilty about Marcotte's disappearance or that he was depressed enough to kill himself. Bode even found a man who worked with Kueter and who claims another coworker offered him $500 to break Kueter's legs over a dispute at work. The man, now in prison on a parole violation, says the same co-worker later bragged about bitting Kueter over the head and putting him under me forklift The inmate passed a lie detector test, but so did the man he accused. Police don't believe the story. ' Still, Bode says there is enough evidence to cast doubts on the police theory and the coroner's report "That suicide determination was preposterous," Bode said. Pennington County Coroner Marootte stands by his ruling. Chief of Detectives Craig Tieszen of the Rapid City Police Department says Kueter became a suspect almost as soon as Marootte was reported missing. Kueter and Marootte were casual acquaintances. They met when Kueter worked at Black HiUs Molding, a wood products plant on SD. Highway 79 where Marootte was working before she vanished. Marootte had three children, and she lived with Pat Gleason, the father of two of mem. She had a repu tation as someone Tom Kueter's who might stay last days out late and drink PaO0 A7 beer, but after she mam , disappeared, her mother, Joyce Hartz of Concord, Nil, said, "She would never leave her kids for anybody." Police are' still looking for Marootte, who they describe as 130 pounds, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with long brown hair. Investigators say the evidence pointing to Kueter included: The Vicky Riddle phone calL -? The missing three hours. ; The suspicious laundry. ; The suicide re-enactment Tom's tough-guy reputation. First, consider Marcotte's phone call to her friend, Vicky Riddle. When Marcotte got off work at 12:30 am on Friday, June 24, 1994, she discovered her tire had been slashed. She called friend Vicky Riddle for a ride. Riddle later told police that in the middle of that conversation, Marcotte said, Tom that used to work here" had pulled up outside and could give her a ride home, Mike Jacob See Kueter on page A6 New combat force would protect UN. peacekeepers in Bosnia. By Robert Burns Associated Press Writer PARIS - Allied defense chiefs, searching for a way to rescue the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, agreed Saturday to create a new combat force that could strike back in the event of future Serb challenges to the peacekeepers. U.S. forces will not be part of the "rapid reaction force," said Defense Secretary William Perry. But he offered air support, including attack helicopters, as well as specialized equipment, such as satellite navi gation systems. ' "I think this is going to make a substantial difference" in the United Nations' ability to deter or, if necessary, respond to Serb attacks or harassing actions, Perry told reporters. French Defense Minister Charles Millon, who hosted an afternoon-long meeting of defense and military chiefs from 15 nations, told a news conference that creation of the rapid-reaction force did not mean the United Nations was taking sides in the war. "This is not a warfare operation, it is a peacekeeping force," Millon said. He said the force would "undertake combat operations but only to provide protection" for the more vulnerable elements of the United Nations' 22,000 peacekeepers. "We would like to restore a balance of power" between the U.N. forces and the Serbs, who have repeatedly defied the' United Nations' efforts to stop the shelling of cities and to keep open land routes to Sarajevo and other parts of Bosnia. The rapid-reaction force would be composed of two parts, said British Defense Minister Malcolm Rifkind. One would be a multinational combat force of 3,000 to 4,000 French, British and Dutch soldiers, and the other would be a British air-mobile force of 4,000 to 5,000 men. Both would be under U.N. command, although Millon said they would be wearing their national military uniforms. , . ' Rifkind said it marked the first time in the history of U.N. peacekeeping operations that participating nations had agreed to es- See U.N. on page A2 .34 ' O- 'v C O " It 9 (1 .if - 9mi in ...v.-- i .A Ik k , 'i i 4A Journal photo by Stovt MeGnroo 5f740 hikors: JHikers in the 10th annual Crazy Horse Volks-march get an unusual view of the mountain carving Saturday. It's the only time of the year when visitors can see the back side of the three-dimensional carving. A record 5,748 persons registered Saturday, the first day of the two-day volksrnarch. Hikers can begin climbing the mountain again today from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. OTMORliG 1 Outcido Thunderstorms: Today's highs will range from 70 to 75, and there's a 30 percent chance of rain. More rain is forecast overnight and Monday. See map and details on page D10. 5 sections People A2 , Opinion .............................. A4 Travel & Arts B1-8 School B5 Weddings B6,7 Local C1 Obituaries C2 Business C6-10 Sports D1-5 Amusements D6,7 TVHills notebook D8 Weather D10 Classified ads E1-10 Family Time FT1 -2,7-8 Peter Martin: A singing quarterback Editor's note: Every year, high schools graduate students who will long be remembered not necessarily for grades or athletic prowess but for their contributions to their ; schools. Each year, the Journal profiles two of those "Students , Who Made a Difference." By Erin Andersen Journal Staff Writer - Not too often will you find the high school's star quarterback singing in the school's concert choir. t ; But Peter Martin defies a host of stereotypes. A National Honor Society student with a 3.7 grade-point average, an accomplished athlete in three sports, and a volunteer in youth athletics, the Stevens High School se-, nior was singled out by school officials as the student who most made a difference. - Principal Carole Tonn describes Martin as a leader in all his activities. "Peter is the kind of young man that Stevens High School is proud to claim as a graduate," Tonn said. "He is intelligent, personable, caring and hard-working." . , Martin, 18, smiles sheepishly and remains modest about the recognition. "It was probably difficult to single out one person," Martin said. "It's a nice honor, and I 'Students Who Made a Differencen-11- Mike Gilbert: A study in persistence I Iff i Journal photo by Johnny Sunrfby Peter Martin led by example in all his activities at Stevens High School. appreciate it But it could have gone to quite a few different kids." Perhaps that's true. But Martin's abilities and dedication are worthy of recognition. The son of Robert and Deborah Martin of Rapid City, Martin has always been involved in school activities particularly sports. The Stevens football quarterback hesitates to call himself a sports star. However, his abilities on the football field earned him a scholarship to the University of South Da-See Martin on page A2 By Erin Andersen Journal Staff Writer Mike Gilbert wasn't the fastest member of , the track team. He didn't score a single point during his three years with the basketball team. And his brief moment on the football field left him flattened. Although the Central High School senior will not be remembered for specific accomplishments, he long will be remembered for his attitude and effort - no matter how insurmountable the mountain before him. "As a child I was told I 'couldn't do this' and I was incapable of accomplishing that.' I learned to push that aside and reach for what I wanted," Gilbert said. "Those hurdles are going to be there. You need to learn how to approach them and step over them." Central staff say Gilbert's upbeat attitude, his constant smile, and willingness to try everything without fear of failure, make him the student who truly made a difference at the Rapid City high school. Gilbert's resume reads like a listing of student activities: student council, senior class president, chorus, pep club, R Club, drama, Students Against Drunk Driving, Allies, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, basketball, cross-country and track, and a volunteer in the school office - he graduates with few extracurricular areas untouched. "I tried to get involved with as much as V Journal photo by Johnny Sunday Mike Gilbert's determination and positive attitude will be remembered at Central High School. Graduations today 0 Rapid City Sttvens - 1:30 p.m., Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Arena. 0 Rapid City Central -5 p.m.,' Rushmore Plaza Civic , Center Arena. 0 List of graduates Page C4 possible, not just to make me look good, but to be one with the school," Gilbert said. The son of Jackie Gilbert of Rapid City and Milton Gilbert of Houston, Texas, Gilbert says it was tough dealing with the constant peer pressure from friends who urged him to See Gilbert on page A2 i,i.itl,i.i.,ilitoJI4lbitilRllitai(MRffiraj

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