Panama City News-Herald from Panama City, Florida on September 14, 1973 · Page 10
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Panama City News-Herald from Panama City, Florida · Page 10

Panama City, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, September 14, 1973
Page 10
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Florida Tourism Plummets; Bay County Records Soar By CYNTHIA KDWAKDS Stuff Writer Bay County apparently did not follow the downward trend in tourism set this summer by areas of south Florida according to statistics released Tuesday by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Chamber sources noted that the state's overall summer tourist season fell far below expectations, with the visitor count for July of this year lieing 21 per cent below the total for July of 1972. Local spokesmen, however, reported this week that the summer tourist season on Bay County beaches was better than last year and probably was the most successful one in the area's history. Barney Gray, member of the board of dlroctois of the Hay County Motel and Restaurant Association, asserted that this summer's business exceeded last yeai's by 20 per cent. In the 20 years that he has been operating business on the Ijeacli, Gray said he has never seen a .season as prosperous as this one. The large-scale construction at the west end of the Miracle Strip, in the Destin area, does not seem to have cut into the tourist industry here, he maintained. Prospects are equally encouraging for the winter influx of Canadian tourists and, according to Gray, one reason is that a winter' accommodation rates along Bay County beaches are generally more reasonable than rates in South Florida. Martha Anderson of the Bay Dismembered Body Found By Police ASHEBORO, N.C. (UPI) The dismembered body of Frank Meglino of Philadelphia, Pa., allegedly murdered by his daughter three years ago, was unearthed in a remote section of Fort Myers, Fla., Wednesday, authorities revealed here Thursday. The Randolph County Sheriff's Office said the juvenile son of Toni Parks, an alleged accomplice, led authorities to the grave just two blocks west of property owned by her ex-husband, Leo Zari of Boca Raton, Fla. Mrs. Carmella Meglino Robbins, 27, who had been living here the past three years with her husband and two daughters, walked into the Local Church Has Anniversary St. Andrews Presbyterian Church celebrated its 87th Anniversary Thursday. On the 13th, of September in the year 1886, the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church was organized at the home of Hiram Mapes by a commission of the Presbytery. Sixteen members were enrolled and Reverend E. H. Post, grandfather of one of our Elders, J. Richard Post, was elected and installed as the first pastor of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 14th Street and Beck Avenue, Panama City. "As we commemorate our anniversary, we do so with the joy that comes from deep gratitude for the past and sincere desire to become worthy of our privileges here in the corner of God's Kingdom," says Pastor Frank C. Havlicek. "We will celebrate our 87th Birthday on Sunday, September 16th, with our traditional Dinner-On-The-Grounds, after the morning worship service." Gaming Convictions Handed Six Men MOBILE, Ala. :UPI) - Six men were convicted in federal court Wednesday of directing dice and black jack games in trailer homes near the Florida state line in nearby Baldwin County. The six were Sam Lee Presley of Biloxi, Miss., Albert L. Slaughter, Roy W. Nelson, John H. McEarchern, Jo.seph Paul Poulos Jr, and Robert W. Marrifield, all of Mobile. The men were to be sentenced Sept. 26. FBI agents said the charges against the six stemmed from a March 2 raid on several trailer Sheriff's Office Aug. 27 and confessed to killing her father in their south Philadelphia home. She said her father had sexually abused her since she was 11-years-old. Mrs. Robbins told Sheriff Lloyd Brown that she and Miss Parks, her father's girlfriend, plotted the killing and she shot her father with a small caliber pistol. The sheriff said she related how the body was chopped up with a butcher knife and hacksaw and the pieces sealed in garbage cans before they rented a trailer to haul the remains to Florida for burial. Miss Parks' son, now 15, was 12 at the time that he allegedly accompanied the women to Florida. Police in Newburg, N.Y., arrested Miss Parks last Thursday and she waived extradition to Philadelphia, where she is charged with being an accessory after the fact of murder. Philadelphia Police Det. Larry Grade said the boy was able to pinpoint the burial site 'after a two-day search by deputies was unsuccessful. The body was found buried about three feet deep and was cut into 12 sections, each individually wrapped in newspapers and sealed in a plastic bag. Police said thev recovered four slugs from a .25-caliber pistol in the skull. Authorities said the boy told them he helped dig the grave but it started to fill with water. That's when pieces of the body were taken from the cans for burial. FBI Agent Kills Family PALM BEACH GARDENS (UPI) — Robert Weisman, special agent in charge of the West Palm Beach office of the FBI throughout most of the 1960s, shot and killed his wife and son Thursday and then committed suicide, sheriff's deputies said. Officers said the former FBI agent, despondent over family and health problems, pulled a .38 caliber pistol and killed his wife, Maxine, 50, and his son, Thomas, 17, before shooting himself. Police said he died more than an hour later in a hospital without regaining consciousness. Weisman, 50, headed the FBI office in West Palm Beach for 10 years. He was a security guard for the Palm Beach County School Ssytem at the time of his death. County Chamb(!r' of Commerce agreed that this summer's tourist .sea.son was much better than last year's, particularly (luring the month of June. The threat of Hurricane Agnes discouraged a number of tourists last June, she pointed out but, periodic spot checks among beach businesses this year indicated a record season. Tourist patronage remains concentrated at the Bay County end of the Miracle Strip because of the variety of amusements available here, according to Mrs, Anderson. This feature appeals to families with children visiting the area .she .said, whereas the developing western end so far furnishes few such diversions. Mrs. Anderson noted that many of the beach motels which have chosen to remain open during the winter season are already "booked solid" and reservations, scores of which are from Canada, continue to pour in. One reason for this may be the apparent popularity of Bay County brochures and flyers at the recent Canadian National Exposition in Toronto, she observed. The Florida Chamber of Commerce is able to keep more complete records, and the overall state picture for this summer's tourism appears disappointing, sources say. The Hotel and Motel Association reported statewide occupancy rates of 65 per cent for July compared to 69 per cent for July of 1972. The most heavily tourist-oriented areas showed the sharpest declines in occupancy, the Commerce department said. It said the Walt Disney World-Orange county area plummeted from 89 per cent occupancy in July of 1972 to 62 per cent last July. Band Boosters Meet Tuesday The Rosenwald Band Boosters will meet Tuesday, at 7:30 p.m. in the band room of the school. All parents of the students in the band program, whether advanced, cadet, or beginner, are urged to attend. With Fire Chief Ousted Citizen Rebutts Council AN HOUR LATER — An armed robbery occurred Thursday afternoon, and this scene was enacted than an hour later. Bay County Deputy Sgt. .Johnny Harrell and Investigator Chuck Robinson escort one of the two suspects in the front door of the Bay County Jail. This man and one other were charged with the robbery a short time later. See story below for further details. Myriad Of Problems Plague School Board ByCRISBENSE State. Editor Members of the Bay County School Board Wednesday sliced their way through a jungle of talk about computers, textbook shortages, construction delays and double session, to schedule a special meeting for 2 p.m. Friday, Sepii. 21. Beginning; Monday, teachers in Bay Couhty schools will begin paying more for a la carte meals at their respective school, board members decided Wednesday night. In a memorandum forwarded by Elizabeth Nixon, director of food school services, it was pointed out the price hikes "are necessary in order to offset the current increases in food and labor costs." Prices adopted by the board range from 10 cents for a serving of orange juice to 75 cents for a "protein-type salad." It further was agreed that standard meals would be made available to school and County School Board employes for 75 cents. Haney Vocation Center, to the tune of $100,000 of State Department of Education funds, was the next item of discussion. "Is it overcrowded at this school?" inquired Board Member Deane Bozeman. "Yes, it is," replied Supt. Curtis Jackson, who listed one reason for the overcrowding of the school as the doubling and almost tripling of shop programs. After Mrs. Bozeman mentioned she had been petitioning the board for improvements at the school for five years, Jackson pointed out the school is now moving into a phase of expanding its vocational program. Discussion followed concerning construction at Mosley High School and of changes in the construction contract. Attorney Julian Bennett PC Beach Plays Musical Chairs SPAGHEITI SUPPER-Dr. R.E. Morley, president of Gulf Coast Community College buys a ticket fioin student nurse, Patty Mason for the spaghetti supper to bo held this Friday from 4-8 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church on Business 98 and Palo Alto. Tickets may bo purchased at tlio inu'sing building at the commimity college oi- from any stiidf'iil, By JIM JOHNSON Staff Writer Mayor Dan Russell of Panama City Beach told a News-Herald reporter Thursday that the pay status of the on-again, off-again beach fire chief, Joe Flynn, "is none of your business." The question concerning the chief's pay came after the city commission in its Wednesday meeting authorized the drafting of a letter to the civil service board asking the board to fill the position of fire chief. The News-Herald telephoned Russell Thursday to question the fact that since the civil service board had reinstated Flynn as fire chief on Aug. 24, then did not thh Beach Commission consider Flynn the fire chief? Russell said that Flynn was retired on Aug. 1 and he was "not" the fire chief. When asked if Flynn was receiving a pay check, Russell said, "yes". Russell was asked if the pay Flynn was receiving now was the same as before the city retired him, Russell said, "it is none of your business," and said the pay matter would have to be taken up with Flynn. Flynn who is still working said he was being paid his usual salary but it would stop on Sept. 30. C Of C Receives Excellence Award The Bay County Chamber of Commei'ce has received an "Award of Excellence" foi- its communications program for 1973, The chamber parlicipted n the 1973 Communications Council Evaluation Progi-am sponsored by the American Chamber of Coinniorco Executives, the national professional association for those iiivolviHl in chiunber of commerce management, Over 200 chanibei's participated in the aiuuial evaluation effoi'l that seeks both to recognize the most effective m e a n s o f communications by chambers of commerce and to assist chan)l)ers In the im|)i'ovemenl of their conuiuinlcatlons tools, an as.sociatloii spokesmiui said. On July 25, the city commission passed an ordinance to retire all employes at age 6:5. ' On Aug. 1, Flynn reportedly was notified by Russell that he was beiing retired and would be paid his sick leave and vacation time pay until Sept. 30. Flynn then appealed the retirement to the Beach Civil Service Board. The civil service board, after holding a hearing, reinstated Flynn as fire chief. The findings of the civil service board on Aug. 24, in an order and directive it sent to Rus.sell and the city commission, were as follows: —Flynn was near the age of 65 wh en he was hired on Dec. 12, 1970, and was not told of any mandatory retirement age; —Flynn is in good health and no complaint has been made as the quality of performance of his job; —Flynn had been given no notice of the July 25 retirement 0 rd i nanc'e prior to his discharge; —and at no time haS the civil setA 'ice board been i-equested to establish a retirement age by the city commission, and under law the civil .service alone has the authority to establish such ten ure requirements. The dii'ective portion of the civil service boards findings were as follows: —the discharge of Fire Chief Joe F'lynn from his position was unlawful in that it contravened Mnyor Dun l{iiss(>ll civil service law of Panama City Beach; —and therefore, Joe Flynn is hereby restored to his position as Panama City Beach fire chief, effective as of the date of his unlawful discharge. The order and directive was signed by board members B. K. Brown, Ben Graham, Don Stephenson, and board chairman Jut Stroud. On Aug. 24, when the civil service board gave Russell a report of its findings, he said he was not going to allow Flynn to go back to work, according to civil service board members. The day Flynn reported for work Russell, Vice Mayor Sam Scott, and Commissioner Barney Gray, reportedly told Flynn in a closed-door meeting, he had one hour to vacate the fire station or he would be evicted. Flynn was never evicted. And, that day, Russell, Scott, and Gray left for a trip to Canada to promote Panama City Beach iio-spitalitv. Police Hold Two Suspects A 4 p,m. armed robbery sent Bay County Sheriff's Deputies and the Springfield Police Department scrambling for information Tluii 'sday, and one hour later the two prime suspects were in jail. According to a news relea .se from Springfield Police Chief . George Kittrell and Bay County Sheriff Tullis Easterfing, the two suspects had been charged with armed robbery' late Thursday night, and were being held pending their aiTaigruiienl this morning. The two robbery suspects were listed in the news r(>lease as Gregory O'Neal Gray, 17, of 3515 First Court, Panama City, and Curtis Cooper, 20, who refused to give ol 'ficei's his address, According to the joint news release,the ,scene of the criin(> was listed as Vann's Grocreiy Store, located at 3717 E, Third St., Springfield. The clerk in the store, Mrs. Vann, called officers immediately after the robb (M 'y and told them that two men had held a knife on liei' and had taken about $75 in cash. stated the "board's agents" include the new school's architect, and that change orders should be acted upon promptly. Harold McLeod, director of business affairs, said 'The board's agent has delayed them considerably." Jackson stated the .school is "still a long way from being complete. There's no way we can plan to be in the school by Nov. 1 — it's more like the Christmas holidays." Upon Jackson's request, the board decided to call a special meeting for 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, to consider all change orders, and to notify ail parties involved to ask they be present. Construction reports on projects at other schools resulted in the board's decision to have Bennett "initiate whatever legal action necessary" to see the projects are completed. The projects listed were roof repairs at Beach Elementary School, mechanical and electrical problems at Mowat Junior High School, construction defeciencies at the Oak Grove Center and electrical problems at Callaway Elementary School Media Center. A hour's discussion followed on the pilot Management Information Systems Project, initiated in Bay County and funded by the State Department of Education. The program's director, Thomas, E. Smith, recommended to the board that West Florida Data Processing Center Inc. be contracted for data procession, computer time and courier services. However, a representative of Compuman Services Inc., which also bid for the contract, spoke for his company, and a discussion filled with technical jargon followed. After a time. Board Chairman Bill Glenn broke in: "I don't see what either one of them is going to," he .said, "and I don't know what we're talking about." Mrs. Bozeman moved to have "someone able to analyze the two systems" to bring the board a report at the special meeting on Sept. 21. The motion passed unanimously. Mosley High School Principal Marvin McCain then reported "a minimum of problems" had arisen from Mosley students attending double sessions at Bay High School. The two biggest problems, he said, were overcrowded dassi-ooms and shortages of textbooks. Parents of Mosley High School students in the audience asked for the reason behind the shortage. "The theoi'y is we had no more students in the county than last year, and there should be plenty foi' evei'vbody," McCain answered. "We're hurting in, and we're hurting in math," said McCain. "We're way short, and I have spent niy allocations." He explained he had been allocated $7,200 l)y the board foi' textbooks and that his original reciuest li.'id been $17,000, He said students were short one and one-half books each, on the average, "That's $10,000," he computed. J a c k s 0 n s t a I e d administrators are "vvoi'king on a $4,000 order right now" luid added, "1 don't .see bow we can cover textbook shortages in a month's time. We've been woi'king on it for months." Jackson then ,stated that the bands of each of the three high .schools are having "extreme problems" .scheduling for out-of-town football g;imes. Morris Mi.ssler, resident of Mexico Bear'h ami member of the Concerned Citizens Group for Better Business of Mexico Beach, .says he had raised his hand for recognition to speak during a financial di.scu.ssion at Tuesday night's Mixico Beacti City Council meeting. Missler, wlio later was ejected fr'om the meeting l)y Mexico Beach Policeman Kenneth Ryan, says lie was ignored when he sought recognition during the council's Sikes Presented Award TALLAHASSEE - Rep. Robert L.F. "Bob" Sikes (D-Fla.) Thursday was presented a service award for his service to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer .Services. Commi.ssioner Doyle Conner presented the plaque to Sikes for his "many contributions to agriculture and to the people of this great state, on many fronts." Sikes, representative of the First Congressional District and dean of the Florida delegation in Wa.shington, D.C., was one of the guest speakers at the general session of the department's 13th Annual Business Conference. Other speakers were Dr. Stanley Marshall, president of Florida State University, and Earl Nightingale, radio and television personality. Sikes told the audience of nearly 1,000 department employes he was "as tired of Watergate as you are.I'say let the grand jury investigate ana the courts convict — if there are any convictions in order — and let congress get back to other problems like the energy crisis." Sikes also said he was against any proposals for oil drilling off Florida shores. "Let them drill, but off Alabama and Mississippi," he said. "Agriculture has been the unwanted step-child in the eyes of many since we were paying people not to grow crops," said Sikes, "but now that has changed, due in part to the food shortage, and agriculture is making a come-back." The congressman said government needs to plan wisely and well, but needs more involvement by the people. "Good government starts with you and your families and the people around you," he said. Conner opened the session by reviewing progress made during the past year. He told how the government department had grown and how it must continue to grow in order to serve Floridians. Marshall reminded the crowd the purpose of life is to serve mankind: "In oi-der to serve each other, we must become individuals and imagination. But this requires an education that doesn't stop with graduation from school." Sheriff Appeals County Action TALLAHASSEE (UPI) — Palm Beach County Sheriff William Heidtman Thur'sday appealed to the state to 0 V e*r t u 1- n the county commission's action in chopping $1.2 million off his $7.7 million budget r-equest. "I consider this action totally arbitrary," Heidtman told Kenneth Ir'eland, .seci'etary of the State Administration Department, and Wallace Henderson, stale Budgets dir-ector, at the beginning of the appeal hearing. County Administratoi' Jack Dean and County Attor-ney William Rutter' r'e|)fe.scnted the county commission and defended its si a s h i ii g Heidtman's budget request fr-om $7.7 million to $(5.5 million for the 1973-74 budget year'. The budget for the curr-ent year' is $6 million. When Heidtman began complaining to Ireland that he had not been invited to the Commission's public hear'ing on the budget, Rutter objected that the sher'iff was arguing about side issues rather than concentr'ating on the budget iLself. Rirtter- said if side issues vver'e going to be injected, he coirld nrention that Heidtman was late in pr'esenting his budget to the commission. Heidtman countered that "some hi.stor'y of what took place is rrecessary to understand" the budget contr'oversy. Ir'elirnd said he would not I 'ule oirt the discussiorr but itrged lleidtriian to cinfine his r'ernar'ks to the budget itself as rrrucli as possible. discu.ssion ot a r 'cparr nm .m ,. police car. He says the item of discu .ssion had not l )een printed on the agenda and ther'efori' he could could not have known to offer- his r'emarks diir 'ing a frrevious "citizens' coiTrriient" por'tion of the meeting. In a statement prepared by four' merrrber 's of Concer'ntui Citizens-Missler, John P. Philbin, I ">dwar 'd A. Marlsenand Edgar' Field—it was stated, "Mayor' (Char'les) Guilfor'd r 'efused Mr. .Missler the right to speak, saying 'the subject was closed'." The statement says Missler then directed his rernarks to City Attor'ney Fred Whill 'Ti, "and ;i( this time Mayor Guilford ordered iilni ejected fr'oni the Town Hall." "The policeman, Ken Ryan, unplugged Mr. Mi.ssler's tape recorder and escorted Mr. Mi.ssler fr'onr the Town Hall. Several of the citi'zens attending the meeting objected to Mr. Mi.ssler's r 'emoval, and Mayor Guilfor'd asked them to remove themselves or remain cjuiet for the rest of the meeting," says the statement. "The citizens replied, 'If you want us removed, you will liave to thr-ow us out.' The issue was dropped," it says. The statement says "the interesting par't of this bazaar affair" was when Misslerasked the attorney if he had a right to .speak, the attorney remained silent. "At the end of the meeting, the attorney finally did admit that all citizens be treated equally and if one is allowed to speak, all should be allowed to speak," the statement continues. The four Concerned Citzens also say a motion to buy water from Mexico Beach Utilities for the Fire Department died for a lack of a second, contrary to earlier reports. "After the motion died, Councilman Thursby made a motion that the fire tr'uck owned by the city be sold and the Fii'e Department be disbanded, and the motion did not pass," runs the statement. The Citizens further charge. "Close analysis reveals that some business interests in the city are given favorable consideration on rates for city services, while the average Mr. Citizen is being stuck for the financing of the garbage service." The spokesr'rien say the council lowered garbages rates for certain per-sons: "Apartment owner-s may have garbage pick-up for up to four-or' five-unit apartments for only $5 per month. These property owners do not pay the occupational (fee) since they rent their pr'operty thr'ough r-eal estate agents in the town, and the aver-age citizen will pay ,$3.50 per month for garbage pick-up." Philbin says in a separ'atc statement that at approximately 7 [). m . Wednesday, he got a phone call fr'om Councilman William Fite who stated he knew that the driver of the town's garbage tr 'Uck is an uncle of Mayor' Charles Guilford, who had hir-ed the man. Philbin, a motel owner', says he was told by Fite if he made "any r-efer-ence to this, to the public's attention, that he would cut off the gar 'bage .ser'vice to the rriotel" he owns, even though Philbin says he has paid foi' the service thr'ee months in advance. Fite, who was contacted by the News-Her-ald on Thur'sday, said he did not wish to make a statement on the sul)ject. Natural Disaster Hearing Held The Floi'ida Department of Conrrrrunity Affair's spoii .soi 'ed the four'th and final |)ublic hear'ing orr Natur'al Disaster' Pr'ei)ar'edness in Florida Thursday in City, Followirrg opening r'emarks by Edwar'd J. Trorrrhetta. secr'ctar'v of the Depar'trrrent of Conirruirrity Affair's, and Mayor' M. B, Miller' of Pairarna City, a pr'eserrtatiorr w;is rrrade by .J. K. Buchaiiarr, south Morida area cooi'dinator' of the Division^ of Errrer'gerrcy (joverirrrrerrt. The focus of Buchanan's aildi'css w.'is the uirgrailirrg of civil pr'ep;rr'(.'( for' rratural disaster's such as hur'r'icanes, tor'iiadoes, arrd floods. Other' spe .'iker 's on the agenda wer'c Col. (!. L. Hobinsorr, dii'ector' of the Division of Erner 'geircy Gover'irrrieiit, rmd •lay Miles, dir'cctor of Civil Defense for' Bay County. Arirong the local officials altendirrg the public heirring Thur'sday were Rep. Earl Ilutto; Bay County Comiirissioner .lohn MuUins; Millei', and J, II. Petty, mayor of l,v 11 rr Haven.

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