Two Sections, 48 Pages Traverse City Record-Eagle Wednesday, December 14, 1J77, -- Traverse City, Mich. 4M84 Price 20c Blackboard flu shuts schools By BILL PRITCHARD Record-Eagle sta/f writer TRAVERSE CITY - It looked like a case of blackboard flu as 216 of the 400-plus Traverse City Public School teachers called in sick causing both public and parochial schools in the area to close for the day. The closing affected more than 11,000 students. Traverse City Education Association (TCEA) officials said no walkout was authorized by the union. Tom Stokes. TCEA crisis committee chairman, said the teachers who called in sick followed "correct procedure" by informing the teacher substitute office. "With 216 teachers absent there was no way that we could possibly operate a day of instruction," said Gene Lawler, public schools assistant superintendent, "Therefore in the best interest and safety of the kids we had to call school off." Historic session begins CAIRO, Egypt (UPH -- Egypt and Israel today opened history-making direct talks to end three decades of hatred and war but five empty seats at the round, leather-topped conference table emphasized the difficulties ahead. Al.'. parties stressed the need fora comprehensive -- not a separate Egyptian- Israeli -- settlement, in what amounted to a reply to the hardline Arabs who f e a r a s e p a r a t e peace and who boycotted the meeting. "Egypt has launched a new era," said chief Egyptian delegate Esmat Abdel Meguid, seated directly across from the chief Israeli envoy. Eliahu BenElissar, at the table President Anwar Sadat sent in from his Cairo palace. Ben-Elissar said in reply, "It is a real peace that we seek." The five empty chairs around the conference table were reserved for the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Soviet Union, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. To emphasize their differences with Sadat Syria. Iraq and other of the hardline nations filled the airwaves with broadcasts calling the meeting a "humiliating conference of treason" and a "conference of surrender." Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin flew from Tel Aviv to the United States for talks with President Carter, carrying new proposals that could hold the key to an agreeement. And despite the hardline opposition Egyptian officials displayed some optimism. A high level official said, "We see Begin's trip as an encouraging sign. The whole trend here and in Israel is toward accomodation." I n a n o t h e r d i p l o m a t i c e f f o r t , Secretary of State Cyrus Vance arrived in Riyadh for talks with Saudi Arabian leaders, whose immense oil wealth has made them traditional power brokers in the region. "The e n t i r e w o r l d c o m m u n i t y earnestly hopes that Egypt's genuine desire to establish a just and lasting peace bo reciprocated by Israel," said Meguid in the first of brief English- language statements by the heads of the four delegations -- Egypt, Israel, the United States and the United Nations. The lost day will have to be made up sometime before the end of the school year in order to meet with a state requirement to hold 180 days of instruction. Grand Traverse Area Catholic schools also called school off today as did Trinity Lutheran. Catholic schools superintendent Jerome Allore said he heard the announcement of the public schools closing on the radio and decided to close St. Francis and Immaculate Conception. The Catholic and Lutheran schools depend on public school buses to transport their students. Allore said that since 80 percent of the 1,071 Catholic school students are brought to school by public school buses, it was impossible on short notice to make other transportation arrangements. More than 45 buses were on the road this morning picking up students when the school closing announcement was made. Some buses simply turned around and dropped their loads of children back at home. Other drivers told groups of students waiting at the roadside that they wouldn't be picking them up this morning. Public school principals called homes where both parents worked to tell them so the children wouldn't return to locked, empty houses. The switchboard at the school administrative offices on Boardman St. was jammed with calls from parents seeking information on the closing. Most parents simply aske what was happening, a switchboard operator said. But some were irate. One, who apparently diagnosed the teachers' ailment as blackboard flu, said she hoped they wouldn't get a contract "until hell freezes over." Negotiations between the teachers and the school board have become increasingly tense over the past month as the talks reached an impasse. TCEA president John Sonneman has been authorized by the membership to call a strike when he thinks it's appropriate. Calls from teachers who said they would be sick today apparently were recorded by the teacher substitute office answering device beginning last night. There was a meeting of teachers last night at the First Congregational Church. When one teacher called in to say he was ill there was cheer and a smattering of applause in the background. Other callers simply said they were going to be away one day because of illness. Stokes said that "it was an administration decision to close the school. "This leaves the other teachers who are well and able up in the air." The administration must now decide whether to recognize the situation as illness, or take some kind of action against the teachers. Taking action may require obtaining doctor certification from each of the 216 teachers. Rescue workers carry a body through the imoldering rubble after a chartered plane crashed on takeoff at Evaniville, Indiana plane crash kills basketball team Related story on Page 20. EVANSVILLE, Ind. (UPI) - Two minutes after takeoff Tuesday night, with no time to get off a radio message, the chartered DC-3 carrying the University of Evansville basketball team plunged into a fog-shrouded ravine, kiijine all 2y on board. Only one lived long enought to reach a hospital. The last of the 14 team members, Artis Greg Smith, 18, of West Frankfort, 111., died early today in an Evansville hospital. The plane, owned by National Jet Service Inc, of Indianapolis, went down about 1.5 miles east of the main runwav at Dress Regional Airport in this Ohio River city. "The plane disappeared into the fog and about a minute and a half later I heard the engine cutting out. and it went down," said Rick Notter, an airport worker. "I saw it explode in flame." Airport manager James Stapleton said the plane struck below the crest of the small hill at a time when visibility was three-quarters of a mile, but fog was heavy in places. "Bodies in the front were melted into the wreckage," said Stapleton, who rushed to the crash site. "Some of the bodies were tossed into a gully. It was a tragic, gruesome scene." Shelden left a trail of shock By MARILYN WRIGHT Record-Eagle staff writer Copyright 1977, The Record-Eagle TRAVERSE CITY - When Francis D. Shelden went into hiding to avoid prosecution on sexual misconduct charges he left behind a trail of shock, disbelief, anger, betrayal a n d , ultimately, suicide. Although a year has passed since his disappearance, Shelden's name today remains on the lobby registry of the Buhl Building in Detroit. And. authorities say. the 49-year-old Ann Arbor millionaire's business is being conducted by the fugitive's Birmingham attorney. L. Bennett Young. A bachelor, licensed pilot, graduate g e o l o g i s t , p a r t - t i m e u n i v e r s i t y professor, amateur botanist, land developer, oil consultant, market investor, reputed author, and sole owner of N o r t h Fox I s l a n d , S h e l d e n ' s e n t e r p r i s e s hop-scotch across the country: Oil leases in Kansas City, a ski lodge in Aspen, a land investment company in Denver, the Monroe Creek development in Charlevoix, and extensive stock holdings in a West Indies trust company. Police records i n d i c a t e Shelden cleaned out his Ann Arbor and North Fox Island residences shortly after Gerald S. Richards, an associate of Shelden's in Brother Paul's Childrens Mission, was arrested on criminal sexual conduct charges. That was in July, 1976, approximately one week before state police obtained a search warrant for the Ann Arbor premises. A warrant was issued for his arrest on Dec. 7. A second warrant was issued a week later. His prominent Grosse Pointe parents, the Alger Sheldens. say they have had no contact with their son since he fled Michigan. Both are reported to be ill. His brother. Alger Jr., is reported to have told authorities that he was hiring an armed guard and posting North Fox Island, the alleged site of illicit sexual conduct, to keep curiosity seekers and unauthorized police away. Many residents of Charlevoix who knew Shelden as a gentlemanly scholar who was willing to share his good life, have yet to fully recover from the shock of his alleged sexual deviation and his disappearance. Authorities, on the other hand, now believe that the purported benefactor had ulterior motives when he treated youths to hunting trips on the island, skiing trips at Aspen, beach parties at the family estate on Antigua in the Caribbean, and set up trust funds for their college educations. The tiny lakeside community was f u r t h e r jolted when shortly after Shelden disappeared, an 18-year-old y o u t h whom the millionaire had befriended since he was nine, committed suicide. Informed sources say Shelden wrote the youth from Miami, explaining that he would be "away for awhile" working on some "personal problems" but didn't want the youth to think he had forgotten about his promise to send him through college. A trust fund had been set up, Shelden wrote, to be administered by his brother, Alger Jr. A simple phone call would put the money in the youth's hands, Shelden said in the letter. Three days after the warrant for Shelden's arrest was issued, and one day prior to the charges being publicly exposed in the Record-Eagle, the young man put a rifle in his mouth and pulled the trigger. And. FBI agents say they plan to conduct a follow-up interview with another Charlevoix youth who was a frequent traveling companion of Shelden's. The young man was reported to be attending college on a similar trust fund. Authorities say the young man recently has been driving Shelden's car which earlier had been abandoned at the Charlevoix airport. Airport officials confirm that the car has been removed from the parking lot. They couldn^t say who drove it away. On the same day that the first young man's letter was sent from Miami, Oct. 10, 1976, another letter purportedly by Shelden was sent to Cranbrook Science Institute in Bloomfield Hills. That Francis D. Shelden . . . disappeared last year letter, submitting his resignation as a member of the board of directors of the exclusive educational community, was postmarked from Kearney, N.J., where Adam Starchild, the Church of the New Revelation, and Ocean Living Institute are all located. About that same time. Starchild was reportedly negotiating the sale of Shelden's plane through Combsgate Aviation in Denver. Colo. In January of this year, Shelden resigned from the board of directors of Boys Republic, Inc., a Farmington Hills residential center for the treatment of emotionally disturbed young boys. The envelope, bearing the name and address of the family firm, Shelden Land Co., was postmarked Jan. 19, from Detroit. That was the last public word from Francis D. Shelden. . Next: A profile of another suspected child pornographer wanted by police. Acme OKs Hilton --new fight looms Unllcd Pren Inlenutloul Ind., killing 29 persons, Including the University of Evansville basketball team. Killed in the crash of the vintage, twin-propeller plane were all 24 passengers and five crew members. Among the passengers were Coach Bobby Watson, sportscaster Marvin Bates and executives of the of the charter firm. The team was flying to Nashville, Tenn., for a game tonight at Middle Tennessee State at Murfreesboro. The University of Evansville, once a Midwestern small college basketball powerhouse which moved into major college competition this season, declared a day of mourning and cancelled classes for its 3,000 students. By DAVID HAYES Record-Eagle staff writer ACME -- Rezoning for a Hilton Inn hotel, a golf course, shopping center and large housing complex in Acme Township received final approval from the township board Tuesday night. The unanimous approval of the $50 million project by the board will allow developers to submit a site plan for a 150-foot-tall Hilton Inn hotel and begin construction on the complex next spring. However, plans for construction may be delayed or upset by township residents who are threatening a petition drive to place the rezoning issue on a township-wide ballot. A petition drive "is in the making," Kenneth Enyart of Williamsburg, who opposed the project, said. "This decision is too important to leave to the board. This project would change the entire character of Acme Township." The board rezoned the 411-acre site from urban- and rural-residential and agricultural to golf course residential -a special zoning district established for the Grand Traverse Development Co. project. Enyart and others who opposed the project during a hearing before the township board Tuesday night informally discussed the possibility of forming a petition drive following the meeting. They said they would meet within the next few days to decide if they would seek petitions asking for a referendum. "I'd like to see the whole township vote on it," Lyndon Salathiel of Five Mile Road said. "It might serve notice on other developers that there might be some opposition if they come in again with this type of project." To force a referendum, township residents must submit petitions with signatures of eight percent of the registered voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election. The petitions must be filed with the township clerk within 30 days. If township residents voted against the rezoning, the board's decision to rezone the property would be overturned. Approximately 40 persond attended the special township board meeting called to consider the rezoning request from developer Paul Nine. About a dozen persons, who split on opposition and support of the project, spoke during an informal public hearing. Most of the comments dealt with the effects the development will have on the township's taxes, road system, sewer and water supply and fire department. Most of the comments echoed comments aired at a Township Planning Commission public hearing last week. Paul Nine . . , heads dfri-lopment group Nine, who represents a development group consisting of 15 persons, owns 411 acres near the intersection of M-72 and U.S. 31-North. The property includes the present Sand Trap Restaurant and Grand Traverse Golf Course, as well as several recently-constructed apartment buildings. The northeast section of the 411-acre property would consist of another 9 or 18 hole golf course surrounded by a large residential subdivision, with as many as 200 single-family houses. Apartments or condominiums are planned for the southeast, south- central, and southwest portions of the property. A large regional shopping center or office center is planned for the northwest corner of the property. Up to 837 housing units could be built on the property. The Sand Trap Restaurant would remain, as would the present golf course, although the course presently is being realigned. The 10-story Hilton Inn tower would stand atop a large ballroom and consist of 190 rooms. The tower would adjoin a three-story complex and convention facilities for 1.000 persons. The Hilton complex would be located on a hill presently used for cherry farming. Above the sixth story. Nine said, the hotel would offer a view of the entire Old Mission Peninsula. A restaurant also svould be located on the top floor of the hotel. R a l p h Bergsma. a project coordinator of the development, said construction will begin soon on the first six units of a 24-unit condominium project. The final permits for the three- story buildings were approved last week, he said. Partly cloudy tonight with a high In the mid 20s. Increasing cloudinett Thursday with a high in the mid 30*. Page 14. Flashing arrows and pulsating letters probably will not be on the city lgn scene with the advent of a new ordinance control Ing business signs. Page 3. A study of the Fishtown Dam in Leland finds It to be in terrible shape and estimates It will cost, S350.000 to replace it. Page 4. * * Â· The state court of appeals denies a request for an order halting exploratory oil drilling in the Pigeon River Country State Forest. Page 7. Frankfort stages a second-half comeback to hand St. Francis a 60-57 boys basketball loss. Page 20. Calendar 28 Classified . . .41-47 Comics 40 Dixon 40 Editorials Â« Farm and Orchard 27 Landers . . . 20 Obituaries . . . 30 Porter 12 Sports 20-23 Stocks 12 TV 28 Tbostoon.... 40 From tree decorations to jewelry, area artists and craftsmen have designs on Christmas. For a "shopper's-eye" review, see page 25.
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