The Commercial Appeal from Memphis, Tennessee on May 31, 1989 · 6
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The Commercial Appeal from Memphis, Tennessee · 6

Memphis, Tennessee
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 31, 1989
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iir i BUDSDWESS Pages B5-8 TkE Commercial Appeal MSAR EDITION MEMPHIS WEDNESDAY MAY 31 1989 SECTION vi ii ! : I RHETA GRIMSLEY JOHNSON Commentary Ganja land still a high for tourist KINGSTON Jamaica — A small airplane dangles like an oversized Christmas ornament in the treetops near the Norman Man-leylnteraatlonal Airport That suspended aircraft which gives Incoming tourists a quick study in Jamaica’s official nonchalance also symbolizes the three problems slapping the shores of this lush island It is a drug-smuggling plane confiscated oy a government trying to stem an illegal tide with a teaspoon And it was Hurricane Gilbert which blew through last September that lifted the plane from the tarmac into the trees Jamaica still is recovering from bully Gilbert the worst storm to hit here since the 1950s Economics keeps the airplane there high up for visitors to gawk at and laugh about This is a poor country where even official business — and airplanes in trees — must wait until the budget allows for resolution It is economics too that sorely tempts so many Jamaicans to sell the ganja that grows like a weed in this tropical hothouse Drugs are an important albeit illegal part of the economy not to mention the culture The Rastafarians believe ganja gives them wisdom The Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church on the island also smokes “the sacred herb” At political meetings football games and on the beach people indulge Some take it in their tea bake it Into their cakes or steam it Jamaican rum has a rival A majority of the ganja grown here ends up in the United States And that’s why traveling to Jamaica now affords more of a thrill than seeing a beach Pat-downs and strip searches are not unheard of in the crowded air- Eort Tourists with beaded raids in their hair must wait and watch while security men knock on the wood of intricate (sometimes tacky) carvings and rifle straw bags crammed with T-shirts and coffee bean beads Once past airport security it’s a different story Tourists are treated well for the most part because tourism is an important and legal Jamaican industry Though the sun-soaked North Shore — Montego Bay Ocho Rios — did not catch the wet brunt of Gilbert official reaction to the hurricane was to more or less agree to skip a year of the valued tourist season Many hotels restaurants and bars are using the slack season the result of bad publicity that blew in with the storm as an opportunity to refurbish or expand gambling that next year the tourists scared off by Willard Scott and his pointer will once again seek out Jamaica There are some tourists of course They can rent a sailboat a sailboard or a dreadlock as a weekend escort all from the same beach booth The wild distinctive manes of the dreads are seen all along the exclusive tourist beaches as the dark lion-inspired Rastas play host to Kle coeds from the Midwest ie services desired are the services rendered There are nude beaches topless beaches family beaches and ust beach beaches There are lotels called “all inclusives" where you pay a flat fee for food drink beach entertainment and lodging Some hotels are for couples only and a marriage certificate is definitely not required Quick wedding ceremonies however are usually provided upon request It is a perfect tourist spot actually Just enough pickpockets and shysters to keep it interesting English is spoken Sort of Yet there is enough exotic about Jamaica to excite the cultural adventurer There are "Banana Crossings” and caution signs for “Sleeping Policemen” a British term for speed bumps Dogs needing a dip for fleas are sent to “the hairdresser” Oranges and grapefruits are strung on sticks and sold roadside The first banana crop since Gilbert recently came In and prices are high but otherwise tropical delights are a bargain And the storm damage drug trade and Third World poverty tlpt punish the locals must seem as far away to most tourists as 9-to-5 Removal of Herenton urged Sisson writes to school board chief By Paula Wade Staff Reporter County Commissioner Pete Sisson wants the city school board to replace embattled Supt Willie Herenton In a letter to school board president Carl Johnson Sisson outlined three steps he said would address charges of sexual harassment and other personnel abuses in the school system Sisson said the recommendations come in answer to hundreds of calls he has received alleging improper hiring and promotion practices in the schools Sisson has launched his own unofficial “investigation into the whole matter of sex for promotion in the public schools1’ in the wake of a lawsuit filed against Herenton last month The suit filed by Bellevue Junior High School teacher Mahnaz Bahrmand claims that Herenton began their two-year affair by promising her career advancement and that he broke a promise to marry her “The superintendent's conduct has made it impossible for him to manage the school system in the future” Sisson’s letter reads “I would suggest that the board the business commu nity and the black leaders negotiate with the superintendent as to his present contract in order that a new person be selected for the new school year” Herenton’s five-year employment contract expires June 30 1990 His contract states that if the board fires him before his contract expires it must pay him what he would have earned under the contract Herenton’s salary is $91364 a year He also receives a 54800-a-year automobile allowance and an annual $2500 payment for a tax-sheltered annuity Herenton would not comment on the matter Tuesday Regardless of Siskin's call for replacing Herenton the school board must decide this month whether Herenton will be retained as superintendent after his contract expires Herenton’s contract requires that the board notify him in writing before June 30 if it does not intend to retain him after his contract expires If he re- P lease see SISSON Page B3 Bald eagle is taken to Reelfoot By Richard Gardner A yesr-old bald eagle wounded last year in Michigan arrived in Memphis Tuesday aboard a Northwest Airlines jet Met at the airport by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer Allan Paterson the bird was taken to Reelfoot Lake where it will be released today Above the eagle rests at its temporary roost a radio transmitter on its back A satellite will track the bird through the transmitter At right Peterson carries the cage containing the eagle to the hacking tower where the bird will spend the nighL Goff surrenders in Sigmin slaying Victim’s wife still sought in 1986 Caruthersville case By Cornell Chrlstlon Jonosboro Ark Bureau CARUTHERSVILLE Mo — A local man charged with a 1986 slaying that drew national attention has surrendered and authorities are on the trail of another suspect Garey Edward Goff 46 turned himself in last week after more than two years on the run He is accused of first-degree murder in the Oct 19 1986 shooting death of Charles Sigmin 39 of Blytheville Ark Sigmin’s estranged wife Ann Sigmin also has been charged and has been eluding authorities since warrants for her and Goff were issued in April 1987 The slaying was featured on NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries last November An updated segment will be broadcast next Wednesday a program spokesman said Tuesday Sigmin was found shot to death in Goff’s Caruthersville apartment Mrs Sigmin had lived with Goff for a month or two before the shooting said Pemiscot County Sheriff Jack Davis Sigmin a lineman for Southwestern Bell Telephone Co was shot seven times with both a 32-and 25-caliber handgun Davis said Goff initially told authorities he shot Sigmin in self-defense The story stood until investigators unearthed evidence about six months later indicating that the shooting was planned Davis declined Tuesday to say what the evidence is Goff a truck driver and Mrs Sigmin worked for the same trucking company in Steele Mo before they fled The television account of the slaying suggested that Ms Sigmin was involved in witchcraft and that Sigmin may have left her because of it Authorities have refused to confirm or deny evidence of witchcraft or devil-worship Stuart Schwartz a coordinating producer for the program said Tuesday the suggestion of “ritualistic magic” was based on interviews with acquaintances of the couple Goff told police he turned himself in because he was tired of running He said that until last month he and Mrs Sigmin had been together living in Arizona New Mexico and California under assumed names Davis said Davis said Goff told authorities where he last saw Mrs Sigmin Davis said the FBI is searching for Mrs Sigmin and the people she is believed to be with on the West Coast He said more than ISO tips were received after the television program aired Goff who is maintaining that the shooting was in self-defense is being held in the Pemiscot County Jail Bond has been set at $100000 Associate Circuit Judge Byron Luber is scheduled to set a preliminary hearing date for the case on Thursday Caruthersville is about 100 miles north of Memphis White plot is alleged in wrangle over ballot Black’s name held from slate By Marc Perrusquia Greanvllla MIm Bureau CHARLESTON Miss — Some people claim there is a racial conspiracy here Others say a botch by the local state representative caused the problem Whatever the cause racial tensions have flared here since city officials — citing a rarely used law — refused to put the name of a black candidate on the June 6 general election ballot — even though the city commis sion candidate qualified by winning the May 2 Democratic primary “It'sa total conspiracy” to keep blacks from gaining a majority on the five-member city commission said black leader Bertha Hamilton At issue is a lawsuit filed by Robert Hill 74 a black who won the Democratic primary for the Ward 2 city commission race After his primary victory Hill's name was stricken from the general election when officials invoked a little-known state law that bars members of city election commissions from running for public office Mrs Hamilton Hill and black candidate Richard Gardner all won primaiy races for city commission Mrs Hamilton and Gardner were outright winners because they are not challenged in the general election However white candidate Margaret ’Meg’ Miller's name will appear unopposed on the general election ballot in the Ward 2 race Hill was a member of the Charleston Municipal Election Commission until he resigned re- Please see ELECT Page B2 Mayor race focusing on unions By Dave Ilirschman Northeast Miss Bureau TUPELO Miss — Political accusations official denials and countercharges have become almost daily occurrences here as the increasingly bitter mayoral campaign enters its final week The harsh words leading up to the June 6 election have nothing to do with the more common- Eilace political scandals involv-ng money corruption or sex however Instead the charge — first leveled by Mayor Jack Marshall against Democratic challenger Gene Barton during a televised debate two weeks ago — was that Barton met with union officials In contrast to most of the country where politicians actively court the union vote some in this part of the state consider associations with organized labor the political kiss of death For politicians in Tupelo a pro-industry city of 30000 about 90 miles southeast of Memphis “Sitting down with us is worse than the Ku Klux Klan” conceded Carolyn Phillips a spokesman for the AFL-CIO in Jackson Miss “I know what I saw” Marshall said in the televised debate referring to his opponent's mid-May gathering at the Tupelo Ra-mada Inn where the mayor claims to have witnessed the union connection firsthand Marshall said he was having breakfast at the hotel when he Please see UNIONS Page B2 TODAY RHINE-ITIS: In Bonn West Germany President Bush continues his talks with West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl Bush delivers a post-NATO meeting speech in Mainz and then takes a two-hour boat ride up the Rhine River CORPORATE CHICKENFIGHT: Delaware Vice Chancellor Maurice Hartnett will hear lawyers for Tyson Foods Inc challenge the latest merger agreement between Memphis-based Holly Farms Corp and Omaha-based Con-Agralnc CAPITAL ABUZZ: The 62nd annual Scrlpps Howard National Spelling Bee gets under way at the Capitol Hilton in Washington OUTSIDE TODAY: Mostly sunny and hot High in the lower 90s Southwest wind at 10 mph Overnight low in the lower 70s Sunrise 5:47 Sunset 8:08 More about TODAY Page B3 Term eases road to license By Sonya Mason Staff Raportar Getting a Tennessee driver's license is becoming easier for some people Changes in state law and better planning mean applicants will spend less time standing in line and being processed than in the past state officials said Key changes streamline application processing and redefine who must take tests The improvements are the latest in a series of steps taken over the past several months to simplify licensing Coming soon are new take-home license applications which shohid be available sometime in June said Capt Mike Walker director of the driver control division of the Department of Safety Current applications are considered controlled documents and must be completed at the testing stations Automated testing — both written and oral — will be introduced by January 1990 Walker said This change will save time because examiners won't have to grade written tests said Jimmie Pannell supervisor of the Department of Saftey’s West Tennessee District A law passed in April removed the requirement for retesting before many Tennessee drivers with restricted or suspended licenses can have them reinstated When these persons apply for reinstatement they do not have to be retested if their li censes have not been expired or suspended for more tnan six months Ms Pannell said Also new residents with valid out-of-state licenses now can receive Tennessee licenses with no written test An eye test a quick computer check to verify the validity of the license and an application are the only tests involved in the process now according to Walker The change was requested last summer but the idea wasn’t signed into law until April 3 1989 Ms Pannell said New residents — even if they had valid out-of-state licenses — originally were required to take a 30-question written test which on Oct 31 1988 was reduced to a Please see LICENSE Page B3

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