The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California on August 3, 1997 · Page 1
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The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California · Page 1

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San Bernardino, California
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Sunday, August 3, 1997
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Page 1
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WW?.? ' Allft'-1 TODAY'S QUESTION . Do you think California's smog-flghtlng agencies are too soft on business polluters? StoryAl Yes: (909) 386-3888 No: (909) 386-3999 The Daily Question Is an unscientific sampling of pub- Pmion-1' you have an idea for a question, call (9-9' 384-9859 or fax your suggestion to (909) 885-8741. Please call between 6 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. YESTERDAY'S QUESTION Celebrate the pioneer spirit at the Yucaipa Adobe LIVINGEl TV actor Samuel Jackson brings intensity to his roles LIVINGEl Do you think gov. Responses: 1,318 Wilson snouia now out of the Indian gaming Issue? SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY SUNDAY August 3, 1997 9868 S.B. Valley: Sunny Smog level: Unhealthfiil Metro Final Edition (. YES Toe Gunman fires into Hesperia family's car, killing toddler D Deputies say night attack was unprovoked. They ate seeking witnesses. By Cerise A. Valenzuela Sun Staff Writer HESPERIA A taunting motorist pumped more than 10 gunshots into another car late Friday, fatally wounding a 2-year-boy in the back seat. San Bernardino County Sheriffs deputies said the attack on a city street in Hesperia was unprovoked. Robert Xavier James, strap- Robert Wendy Whitte, seat. ped in his child-safety seat, was struck once in the head. He was seated next to his 6-year-old sister and behind his father, Travis James, the driver. Robert's mother, sat in the front Only Robert was injured. "We are really challenged by this one," said Sheriffs spokesman Chip Patterson. Officers said the family didn't know the men in the other car. No words were exchanged. There's nothing to indicate the shooting is gang related, Patterson said. "I think it just goes to show you that nothing is worth your life. You don't know who's carrying a gun these days," he said. No one was arrested. Sheriffs deputies have no suspects, and little description to go by. James, Whitte, and their chil dren were headed west on Main Street, near 11th Avenue, just before 9 p.m. Friday. The family had been evicted and was going to gather a few last items, Patterson said. Travis James started to change lanes and the suspect's car cut him off. Someone in the suspect car possibly a dark, mid-1980s Chevrolet Camaro with a horizontal gray stripe then taunted him speeding, slowing and blocking James' attempts to pass the car. Then a passenger in the Camaro leaned out the window and Little League teams everywhere unite parents and fans In hopes for a berth In the regional playoffs. TDD Kids D)ff ii R f V Memone An Stars coacn Gaue Gnjaiva reviews the fine points with Steve Houston. Summer Manners' Larry Collins hangs behind a backstop watching the 11 and 12-year-olds. Story by Monica Whitaker Photos by David Creamer The long road to the Little League regional playoffs, which start Wednesday In San Bernardino, begins with a game of catch on a winter afternoon. It begins wKh a dream: a diving catch or a double to left field In the World Series In Wllllamsport, Pa. And so K was with the players and coaches of the Mentone All Stars. Here is their story. ey batter, batter! Look at him there: mOm. rhocf nnffoH full of summer air, baby cheeks set hard with that rear wagging to the crowd. Twelve years old, full of spit and sugar, raised to honor America and the game it gave him. Parents and grandparents whoop in the stands. He reminds them of the great ones and their own glory days. Generations grew up strong here, weaned on hotdogs and fists of licorice, drawn to the field each spring. Summer slips into sleepy summer. And so it comes to this: first pitch of the Little League game. The batter's cleats dig in penny-colored clay. He settles in, taps the plate and swings twice to show where he wants it. For a second there is silence, just the tip of his bat cutting curls overhead. Send him a clean one, sure across the plate, one that won't hang or fall away. Send him a hard one, strong and straight. Send him that one, and he'll crack you a memory. INSIDE "The bottom line Western ' Hey, listen up! The Regional starts bottom line is you guys Wednesday Played so good, I won't SportsC10 J" to le(? p t0,nieh,V That s the bottom line. ' Coach Mike Newlin looked over the team gathered at his feet, the team that had just finished off Newmark's 11 and 12-year-old All Stars, 4-3, with a double play. Under banks of lights on a mid-July night, they scored See BASEBALLA8 shot the car six times with a handgun. Seconds later, he fired again. This time, there were seven shots. James lost control of the car and swerved and stopped on a dirt shoulder. The suspect kept driving. The family discovered the boy's injury and rushed him to Desert Valley Hospital, where attempts to revive him failed. Travis James and Wendy Whitte could not be reached for comment Saturday. Audrey Frazier of Moreno Valley, the boy's great aunt, said Whitte called her Saturday morning and was devastated. "She said she's lost her son," Frazier said. "We're all just really shocked about this," she said. "Family is flying out and we just want to be with Wendy." Anyone who witnessed the shooting Friday evening or has seen the car is asked to call the homicide division at (909) 387-3589, the Sheriffs 24-hour dispatch center at (760) 245-4211, or WE TIP anonymous at 1(800) 78-CRIME. "Our hope is that the car is from this area and someone will turn them in," Patterson said. Q)dd psOOaatos D Program of fines not doing the job for which K was Intended, examiners say. Sun Staff and Wire Reports LOS ANGELES California's local smog-fighting agencies are too soft on businesses that violate pollution rules, according to a federal audit. The average penalties issued by four regional air quality agencies in recent years ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, compared to $30,900 for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to the audit released Friday by the EPA's Office of Inspector General. "While the (fine) program was designed to deter companies from violations, it was not working as designed," the audit concluded. It also faulted the EPA for failing to insist that local air districts follow stricter policies. Officials at the Sacramento Metropolitan AQMD said there was no reason to change their enforcement practices because they are among the best in the state. "We are happy where we are," said David Grose, who supervises inspections of businesses that emit air toxins in Sacramento. The South Coast AQMD is responsible for enforcing federal clean air laws in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, a Southern California region that has the nation's dirtiest air. One of the state's biggest polluters, a San Bernardino County mine owned by oil giant Unocal 76, avoided tough scrutiny for years. For 17 years, Molycorp Inc. piped three billion pounds of radiation-tainted water a year into a leaking, unlined pond Comparing fines The audit of 54 cases found that in the period between October 1994 and March 1996, the South Coast Air Quality Management District's average fine was $2,525, com-pared to $1,253 at the Sacramento Metropolitan AQMD, $409 at the Bay Area AQMD and $278 at Monterey Bay's pollution agency. threatening an aquifer used by thousands of people. San Bernardino County officials in June ordered Molycorp to stop the practice. County prosecutors are considering filing criminal charges against the mine because of a series of pipeline spills last year that spewed 240,000 gallons of radioactive and hazardous materials onto the Ivanpah Valley in the Mojave Desert. In one case cited in the federal audit, a Texaco oil refinery in the Los Angeles suburb of Wilmington was fined $500 for a sulfur dioxide leak in January 1995. The AQMD said state law limits such fines to $1,000 when no one exposed to the pollution requires medical treatment. Peter Mieras, a South Coast AQMD prosecutor, said that the EPA investigated only 12 cases in that agency's jurisdiction while neglecting others, including 83 during a l's-year period in which companies were fined more than $30,000 each. "If you look at the whole picture, you'll see that in egregious cases, we get very, very substantial penalties," Mieras said. "But when we're dealing with a small source and a lesser violation, we are doing the appropriate thing and getting less of a penalty." Was it rane? Jnrv E ' JL J News. Al-16 ?L Southland A3 never got to decide Local By PAMELA FiTZSIMMONS Sun Staff Writer It was a clean and friendly bar in Grand Terrace, and he seemed like a nice guy. She wasn't a regular there, but she had seen him at least once before and they had made eye contact. On this night, they smiled and spoke. They danced and talked for a couple of hours. Then he asked her over to his apartment. The man, his roommate, sheriffs deputies and prosecutors say what happened next was consensual. The woman it happened to says it wasn't: She never wanted the man and his roommate to sodomize her with foreign objects. Two months later, the 38-year-old ColtOn woman can still hear D1 B their laughter. Now she's trying obituaries B6 to live with prosecutors' decision Weather...!!."! B8 not to file charges against the two men, who were never ar- Business. .Dl-3 rested. Stocks D3 "What I want is not to be ig- Sports .... Cl-10 nored and shoved aside and Baseball. .CI, 4-6 pushed under the rug like I am WNBA CIO nobody and that this never hap- Golf C7 pened. I want them to be made to Little League answer for what they did. I want C10 them held accountable," said the Tennis C3 woman, who asked not to be Soccer C8 identified. Track C3 . .. California League The man, a 26-year-old ware- (2 house worker, said the woman is nfl!!!!!!!'.!!!!!!!!c2 a liar and that police saw Scoreboard!!c8-9 through her story. "She was not Motor racing detained against her will. She ci,7 didn't say stop." ru;r rvn..t.. ah UVing ....... See RAPEA2 AnnLanders.,..E2 Bridge E2 Horoscope E2 Family E3 Music E4 Movie Marquee E5 Arts EB Books E6 Travel E7-8 Hot Stuff E9 Classified .Fl-14 Crossword F4 I VA administrator defends his hospital TOMMY'S IN Former Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda enters the baseball Hall of Fame to-day. Story In SportsCl D Facility will be vindicated by Investigation, Dean Stordahl says. By Mark Muckenfuss and Michael Diamond Sun Staff Writers As federal investigators scrutinize the Veterans Affairs medical center in Loma Linda, a stoic Dean Stordahl defended his record as a hospital administrator and is confident the facility would emerge unscathed from the latest allegations involving patient care and employee discrimination. "I see myself as an advocate of patients and an advocate for employees," he said during a two-hour interview last week. "I think it shows itself in the success we've had." Since Stordahl became a hospital director, first at the Long Beach VA medical center in 1988, then at the Loma Linda facility in 1992, his hospitals haven't been immune from scrutiny. On several occasions, government officials during the past decade received enough complaints and questions about Stor-dahl's medical centers to do their own assessments. The most public case was in 1990 at the VA medical center in Long Beach, where five patients connected with the psychiatric ward committed suicide and prompted a federal investigation. The investigation concluded that the center had significant problems with the quality of See VAA5

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