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The State from Columbia, South Carolina • 19

Publication:
The Statei
Location:
Columbia, South Carolina
Issue Date:
Page:
19
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

00.6 Rie The State I Columbia, South Carolina Saturday, June 7, 1986 4-year-old missing from Lexington home By STEVE HOOK State Staff Writer A 4-year-old girl disappeared from her Lexington County mobile home Thursday night, authorities said Friday. Jessica "Jesse" Gutierrez was reported missing Friday by her mother, Debra, who said she last saw her daughter asleep in a back bedroom about 11:30 p.m. Thursday. Jesse was reportedly sleeping in her bedroom along with two sisters, ages 6 and 10, one of whom was in the same bed with her. An 8- year-old brother and Mrs.

Gutierrez slept in adjoining bedrooms. Detectives were trying to locate Mrs. Gutierrez's ex-husband, David Romero GutierrezRuiz, who was reported to be living in Mexico Capital Report Good morning SOME THUNDERSTORMS probably will rumble through the Midlands today, but most folks will enjoy a little sunshine, too. The high today will again climb into the 90s, with a low tonight in the low 70s. SUN FESTIVAL '86, a family day hosted by the United Black Fund of the Midlands, runs from noon until 8:30 p.m.

at Meadowlake Park on Beckman Road. The festival, with appearances by Dr. Collete Hopkins, Sen. Kay Patterson and other community leaders, will include music, dance performances and loads of games. Proceeds will set up youth and community development programs this summer.

FOOD AND FUN provide the focus for today's 12th annual South Carolina Food Festival at the State Farmer's Market on Bluff Road. The program includes entertainment ranging from cloggers, dancers and folk music to clowns, doubledutch jump rope exhibitions and a senior citizens band. For the kids, there will be watermelon seedspitting, an egg toss and an apple-peeling contest. AN EASY WAY to adopt a pet is being offered by the Animal Protection League, which is holding Adopt-a-Cat Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

today at Woodhill Mall. Adult cats, neutered and with up-todate shots, will be available for adoption. HEJAZ AND JAMIL Shrine Temples are honoring Columbia's Bicentennial with a joint ceremonial, complete with a parade down Main Street, beginning at 10:30 this morning. The World War I Veterans and Auxiliary is holding its annual statewide convention today and Sunday: at the Town House on Gervais Street. Magpie, folk musicians Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner, will perform at 8 p.m.

at the amphitheater in Riverfront Park. BOYS CLUB MEMBERS current and former can meet old friends and make new ones at the Boys Clubs of Columbia's first Alumni Day, beginning at 10. Greenview Park will welcome back the warm weather with a swim party at 5 p.m. The public may attend. THE URBAN LEAGUE is holding its annual bridge benefit at 11 a.m.

at the Fountain Bleau on Farrow Road. GOVERNOR RILEY is at home for the weekend. Forecast calls for state deficit While state revenue rose 10.2 percent in May over a year ago, it is likely the state budget will run a deficit when the fiscal year ends June 30, the Board of Economic Advisors said Friday. "It is anticipated that June revenues will rise significantly over the same month last year, but the probabilities are low that receipts will be high enough to make the (board's) April 15 estimate," said James A. Morris, chairman of the economists.

The board told legislators earlier this week that the state could experience an additional shortfall of $25 million to $30 million, caused primarily by -expected revenue from individual income tax returns. The news prompted House-Senate budget conferees to cover the shortfall with the $28 million capital expenditure fund in next year's budget. Earlier this year, the economic advisors estimated that revenues would be $56 million below expenditures, and the Budget and Control Board imposed a 2 percent cut in most state agency City as late as December. "We'd like to know where he is now," said Capt. Bob Ford of the Lexington County sheriff's department.

"We don't know that this case is domestic-related, and we don't know that foul play was involved. But we have to consider both as possibilities." Mrs. Gutierrez told detectives that her exhusband has a "green card," which allows him to enter the United States temporarily, but that he has no custodial rights of the four children since their divorce in 1983, he said. No property was reported missing from the mobile home, and no signs of struggle were found. None of the other family members recalled seeing or hearing anything unusual during the night.

Sheriff's investigators found signs that the mobile home, located on a secluded private lot between Red Bank and Pelion, had been broken into during the night, Ford said. "We're was taken "We don't going under the premise that she from the mobile home," Ford said. believe she simply wandered off." A screen was removed from a rear window of the mobile home, Ford said, and its locked front door was unbolted when Mrs. Gutierrez woke up about 9 a.m. Friday.

Detectives believe the intruder entered through the window and left, with Jesse, through the front door. A team of investigators searched the area around the mobile home Friday, checking abandoned buildings and scanning nearby wilderness from a plane and helicopter. The State Law Enforcement Division released notices of the child's disappearance nationally, and other law enforcement agencies in Lexington County offered assistance. The child is white, with brown shoulderlength hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a sleeveless pink and white flowered T-shirt and white panties when she disappeared.

Sheriff James A. Metts, who was attending a national sheriff's convention, was notified and planned to supervise the search upon his return late Friday, Ford said. Win State Follow the leader Young William Lamb offers his father, Bill, a few Columbia. It was a beautiful day even for yard work pointers on horticulture Friday as they run their mow- with temperatures in the 90s and plenty of sunshine ers over the lawn at their home on Wheat Street in and blue skies. Fairfield County man found guilty Defendant admits slaying, but denies rape By JOHN COLLINS Newberry Barcas softly sobbing, under direct examinaWINNSBORO tion by one of his court-appointed deA jury deliberated less than 45 fense attorneys.

minutes Friday night before finding "I just went berserk," he later a Winnsboro man guilty of kidnap- told 6th Circuit Solicitor John R. ping, raping and mi murdering a Fair- Justice. field County woman. "She was a good woman I Max Spencer Peake, 33, admitted liked her," Peake told his attorney, on the witness stand Friday that he Walter B. Brown Jr.

of Winnsboro. killed 44-year-old Lillian Keisler by "We used to talk about the Bible repeatedly plunging a knife into her sometimes when I went with her body, "but I didn't rape her," he said. The state is seeking the death penalty in the case. The sentencing phase of the trial will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday in Fairfield County general sessions court.

Peake, who was charged with kidnapping Mrs. Keisler by tying her up in her home, said he "didn't know why" he killed the divorcee, whose daughter he had once dated. "I don't know why I did it," the tall, thin bespectacled Peake said, John State Max Spencer Peake is led from trial Sentencing phase of trial scheduled for Monday State's budgeting Holderman tells USC's trustees By SCOTT JOHNSON Holderman repeated earlier criticism of law- State Staff Writer University of South Carolina President James B. Holderman lashed out at the state's "nonsensical" budget process Friday, saying a new funding mechanism is needed that recognizes higher education's contributions to South Carolina. Holderman told USC trustees that, while the Legislature approved $5.3 million in new money for USC's Columbia campus for fiscal 1986-87, the increase is misleading and may not be enough to prevent tuition or fee increases next fall.

"We'll know within the next two to three weeks," he said. "We'll probably have a special board meeting to adopt a budget, but we just don't know how it's all going to turn out yet." makers' refusal to tap the state's reserve accounts 1 to fund research at colleges and universities. "The major universities in this state must have an appropriation which is at least equal to, if not greater than, the state's projected economic growth," Holderman said. The state's economy is expected to grow about 7 percent to 8 percent next year, he said, but USC's budget will grow only 1 percent to 2 percent under the 1986-87 appropriations bill approved Thursday by the General Assembly. See USC, 5-B 300,000 expected to jam Grand Strand for Sun Fun's fun By BRUCE SMITH Associated Press MYRTLE BEACH Sunshine was generally of the liquid variety as Sun Fun Festival weekend began Friday, but rain didn't dampen predictions of weekend crowds of up to 300,000 and another banner year for Grand Strand tourism.

Those optimistic feelings were echoed by officials in Columbia, who forecast the biggest tourism season in state history. About 250 people braved showers spinning in from Tropical Storm Andrew to catch a glimpse of television star Vanna White during welcoming ceremonies at the Myrtle Beach Pavilion. The blonde North Myrtle Beach native, who appears on the television game show Wheel of Fortune, wore a Jessica Gutierrez Disappeared during night FHA loans halted Processing requests may take more time for S.C. borrowers By LAURA DANNHARDT State Business Writer The expiration of Federal Home Administration loan backing authority may increase the waiting period for South Carolina homeowners and home buyers seeking FHA-backed mortgages. FHA loan applicants in South Carolina already are having to wait two months to get mortgage backing approved, but this time period is likely to increase, FHA officials said Friday.

The FHA in Washington halted its popular mortgage-backing program for single-family homes at midnight Thursday, and FHA offices across the country had to stop making conditional commitments for backing loans. The Senate voted Friday to restore operating authority to the Federal Housing Administration, which had halted its widely used mortgage insurance program a day earlier. The House has passed similar legislation, but the two versions are at odds, and the Senate version has been threatened with a presidential veto. Falling interest rates and an avalanche of home buying and home financing have triggered the increased demand for FHA loans. Authorities at the Columbia office of the U.S.

Department of Housing and Urban Development, where the FHA offices for the state are housed, are hoping that the halt will be cleared early next week to prevent an increase in the already two-month wait each owner and buyer has to endure to get FHA mortgage backing. The FHA office in Columbia, which is staffed by about 20 people, is digging its way through 600 backlogged applications dating from May 20, said Bill Nixon, director of housing development at Columbia HUD. "We're getting requests for about 2,500 appraisals a month," Nixon said. Only a year or two ago, the office received about 200 a month. "We are staffed for 200 or 300 a month." The department will meet Monday to look into hiring more help, he said.

A shutdown lasting a week would keep the FHA from extending $3 billion in mortgage insurance to about 50,000 homeowners and home buyers across the nation, FHA officials in Washington estimate. Such a shutdown in South Carolina would keep about $30 million from 600 home buyers and owners whose applications are backlogged, plus the additional requests that will continue to be submitted and accepted by the office, Nixon said. The average request is for mortgage backing on a $50,000 home, Nix- daughter. She trusted me. "I'm not saying I didn't kill the woman," Peake told Brown earlier.

"I just don't know why. It's not like someone to go out and do something and not be conscious of doing it. I've had trouble on the inside of me." During cross-examination by Justice, Peake said he had gone to Mrs. Keisler's during the early morning See Guilty, 5-B James B. Holderman Higher tuition, fees possible answer he gave me was I turned the letters better than anyone else," said Ms.

White, who once entered the Miss Sun Fun Pageant but didn't win. "I don't know why he chose me, but I'm very glad he did and I hope the show will be on for a while because it's a lot of fun," she said. It's the 35th year for a festival that has been a weekend affair in the past. This year, the 70 events, ranging from sandcastle building contests to beauty pageants, were spread over an entire week so there would be fewer schedule conflicts. Ashby Ward, the executive director of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, said about 175,000 people were on the Grand Strand this while weekend crowds were expected to reach 300,000.

A typical weekend at the height of the summer See Loans, 5-B green a and white floral print dress and was hounded for autographs after giving brief welcoming remarks. She later stood under an umbrella as she played checkers. The moves were translated to "human checkers" beauty queens and servicemen from the Myrtle Beach Air Foree Base who stood in the drizzle on a large checker board nearby. On Wheel of Fortune, Ms. White discloses letters to the audience as contestants try to solve word puzzles.

"It's not that easy," she quipped to reporters. "You have to know the entire alphabet. And you have to pay attention, too." Ms. White, 29, who will serve as grand marshal of today's Sun Fun parade, said she auditioned for the job before Merv Griffin as did hundreds of other hopefuls. "I asked him why did he select me and the only attracts about 325,000 to the Strand's 60 miles of beaches.

Ward said business is up primarily because of the bright economy. An estimated 12 million tourists are expected to spend a record $1.2 billion on the Strand this year, Ward said. "People tend to be very positive about the way the country is going. We don't have the massive layoffs we had a few years ago," he said. In Columbia, Fred Brinkman said that "1986 should be the biggest year we've ever had" for tourism across the state.

Brinkman, executive director of the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, said an estimated $1 billion will be spent statewide on new tourism facilities..

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