The Monroe News-Star from Monroe, Louisiana on April 5, 1977 · Page 3
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The Monroe News-Star from Monroe, Louisiana · Page 3

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Monroe, Louisiana
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Tuesday, April 5, 1977
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Page 3
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Ouachita River Basin Monro# N#w»-$tor Tuetdoy, April 3, 1977 3-A Killer Storm Debris litters the Smithfield Estates section of twisters across north Alabama. (AP Laser- Birmingham, Ala., after a Monday tornado photo) struck, killing at least 17 people. Twenty died in Storms Blast Southeast By JOHN LESAR United Press International Deadly storms battered the Southeast Monday, spawning tornadoes that crushed towns like tln- derboxes, triggering fatal floods and unleashing a fierce hailstorm that may have contributed to a fatal airline crash. The lethal combination of tornadoes, floods and thunderstorms claimed at least 103 lives. A Southern Airways DC9 jetliner, flying through a hailstorm, suffered two engine blowouts, forced the pilot to attempt a crash landing on a two-lane highway at New Hope, Ga. The landing failed and the plane plowed through the com­ munity and burst into flames. More than 70 persons were killed. At least 18 persons were killed by a twister that devastated Ingham, Ala., a Birmingham suburb. Two others were fatally injured in the nearby suburb of Fultondale and an twister in St. Clair County claimed one life. Nearly 100 persons were Injured. Authorities said the death toll in Smithfield Estates would rise as the debris was cleared. The twister flattened virtually every home in an area several blocks wide in Ingham before skipping off to Fultondale. Residents of the subdivision wandered through the streets in shock, hunting for relatives who may have survived the storm. Twisters skipped over Floyd County, Georgia, killing one person Two persons drowned in West Virginia floods that forced thousands of residents in southern counties to flee their homes. The wet weather also was blamed for one traffic death in West Virginia. Tornadoes damaged house trailers and barns in parts of Mississippi and flash floods hit other sections of the state. “We are having lots of calls coming in about people who have been stranded on the tops of cars, who needed to be rescued,” a spokesman for the Jackson, Miss., SS S.’1 Louisiana ^ Hearings Continue Today * BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A legislative committee hears more arguments today on two proposed constitutional amendments involving the administration of education in the state. One proposal would remove the five education boards from the constitution, giving the legislature more authority over them. Sen. Edgar Mouton of Lafayette and Rep. Kenneth Leitnman of Gretna are sponsoring that PXS other proposal would shift the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from an elected, policy-making board to an appointed, advisory Doard. Rep. Alphonse Jackson of Shreveport proposes that change, which includes giving the board’s present power to the state superintendent of education. A constitutional amendment requires two-thirds approval in both the House and the Senate, and majority approval by the public in a statewide vote. Jackson said the conflict between an elected superintendent and an elected board cannot “provide the leadership to do a good job for us. We cannot postpone any longer the day that someone provides creative leadership” in education. Collins: I'm Not Guilty SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - “Im not guilty" City Public Utilities Commissioner Bill Collins said Monday in his first public statement since being booked with drunken driving. Collins was arrested Sunday by Caddo Parish sheriff’s deputies, who said his car was weaving down a Shreveport street. H3 said he would plead innocent at his April 19 arraignment Collins explained why he refused to take a blood test “I’m not familiar with blood tests,” he to d reporters. “If they had said sobriety tests, I would have understood what they meant.” Collins said he was so shocked at being arrested, he may have failed to understand some things the deputies said. “I’ve never been arrested before in my life,” he said. , . , . Last December, Collins was involved in a fight with a city jailer at an American legion club, and he later admitted publicly he had been drinking at the Retirement Meet Today News-Star Capital Bureau BATON ROUGE — Shreveport Mayor Calhoun Allen and other city officials were to meet with the Joint Legislative Committee on Retirement today concerning their system’s financial troubles. To provide the committee with background information on independent m u n i c i pa 1 retirement systems, Kep. Shady Wall of West Monroe, chairman, called a Baton Rouge city retirement officiai before the committee Monday, ficial before the committee Monday. The official, Gary Van Oss, said the East Baton Rouge City-Parish Em­ ployes Retirement System is financially sound and able to pay any benefits in the future without difficulty. Several weeks ago, Mayor Allen said the City of Shreveport’s retirement systems needed about $29 million to meet future liabilities. ' The mayor said he wanted assistance from the legislature in getting the Shreveport retirement programs in better shape because the legislature provided for additional retirement benefits through the years. At the time, Wall countered that Mayor Allen had always supported retirement benefit increases, including three bills authored by Vivian Sen. Don Williamson during the 1976 legislative session. The three bills were killed in the House of Representatives by the Shreveport representatives. But following Monday’s committee hearing, Wall hinted he would try to help the mayor solve Shreveport’s problems. “I’ll support him to get it straightened out,” said Wall. Thatcher Seeks Funds Disaster Control Center said. Flooding was blamed for three deaths in Kentucky. Floodwaters isolated the Kentucky communities of Evarts and Harlan. The Cumberland River topped its floodwall at Pineville, Ky., Monday night and some 1,000 persons were ordered out of their homes. Flooding also plagued Tennessee. An 8-year-old girl drowned when she was swept away by a small stream behind her home near the border of Tennessee’s Lincoln and Moore counties. Several evacuations were ordered. One traffic death also was blamed on the wet weather in Tennessee. By Virginia Robicheaux News-Star Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — The executive vice president of the Ouachita River Valley Association, H. K. Thatcher, Monday called for a federal appropriation of $600,000 for continuation of a study of the Ouachita River Basin. That figure compared to only $250,000 recommended in President Ford’s fiscal 1978 budget. In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Public Works, Thatcher, of Camden, Ark., also called for $312,000 for the Crossett, Ark., harbor project, which is not in the budget currently under review by both Congress and the administration of President Carter. Noting that the Corps of Engineers has construction capabilities of the sought $312,000, Thatcher pointed out that Crossett residents have established a public port authority to build port facilities, but cannot proceed until the Corps completes necessary advance study work. Thatcher also sought sharp increases over the budget recommendation for the Tensas River Basin project — one of the projects on Carter’s controversial “hit list” of projects under federal réévaluation — and the Red River backwater area construction project. Increases also were sought for operation and maintenance of the Ouachita-Black, Tensas River Basin project, the Blakely Mt.- Liability Issue Raised BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A legislative committee heard arguments Monday on whether the state should reguire motorists to have auto liability insurance, then told its staff to prepare a report without recommendation. Rep. Charles Grisbaum of Metairie proposed, as he did last year, that Louisiana have a compulsory liability insurance law. Under his plan, all auto owners would have to carry insurance up to $1,000 for damage to other property and up to $5,000 for death or injury. It a motorist perferred, Grisbaum’s proposal would allow him to make a cash deposit or post bond to guarantee payment of any judgment against him. Grisbaum estimated that at least 38 per cent of the drivers in Louisiana are not covered by insurance. Donald Phelps, representing the National Association of Independent Insurers, opposed the idea. “I know of no single element of the insurance industry that supports compulsory liability insurance,” said Phelps. “It does not work. You can’t enforce it.” D'Artois Trial Ordered SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Former City Public Safety Commissioner George D’Artois has been ordered to go on trial May 2, despite his lawyers’ claims that he might die of a heart attack. State District Judge William Fleniken said Monday that D’Artois can be tried if prosecutors have doctors and equipment at the courthouse to monitor D’Artois’ condition. The trial of D’Artois has been delayed several times because of his health. The ex-commissioner is accused of felony theft of $30,000 in city funds listed as paid to police informers. The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled last month that iudges should consider the defendant’s lifestyle in deciding whether a person is too sick to stand trial. Judge Fleniken heard more than three hours of testimony Monday before scheduling D’Artois’ trial. His lawyers said they would appeal Fleniken’s action. D’Artois’ wife testified that her husband, 51, spends most of his time watching television. She said he sometimes walks around the yard and ocasionally goes to the grocery store or bank. Several bank employes testified that D’Artois visits their office regularly to extend loans. Pat Butler, a teller at First National Bank, said he saw D’Artois at the bank last week. “He looked real good to me,” Butler said. TAX FREE INCOME? Earn income you don’t report to the IRS with... American General Municipal Bond Fund, Inc. A broadly diversified portfolio of selected high quality municipal bonds, continuously managed by prolessionals in the municipal bond market Tax Free Income Capital Preservation To AG Capital Distnoutors PO Bo* 1411, Houston, TX 77001 Withoul obligation a prospectus containing more complete information about American General Municipal Bond Fund, Inc . including all charges and expenses will be sent upon your returning this coupon. Read it carefully before you invest Send no money. Name Address City State Zip Phone Lake Ouachita project, the DeGray River-Lake DeGray project, the Ouachita-Black River project and the Narrows Dam-Lake Greeson project. A complete breakdown of the funding sought by Thatcher, compared to the existing fiscal 1978 budget request: Investigations — Crossett Harbor, $312,000 (not in budget request); Walnut Roundaway Bayou, $30,000 (not in budget); Larto Lake-Saline Lake, $30.000 (not in budget); Ouachita River Basin, $600,000 ($250,000); Pine Bluff metropolitan area, $334,000 (not in budget). Operation and Maintenance — Tensas River Basin — $404.000 ($174,000); Blakely Mt.-Lake Ouachita, $2,313,000 ($1,133.000); DeGray River-Lake DeGray, $1,731,000 ($1,091,000); Narrows Dam Lake Greeson, $1,403,000 ($873,000); Ouachita-Black River, $3,483,000 ($2,213,000). Construction — Tensas River Basin, $17 1 million ($10 million); Red River Backwater Area, $8.225,000 ($6,025,000); Lake DeGray, $3.1 million (same); Ouachita-Black River, $9.3 million (same); Blakely Mt.-Lake Ouachita, $26,000 (same); Narrows Dam-Lake Greeson (same). In all cases, Thatcher said, ORVA was recommending the stated Corps of Engineers capability. In his testimony, Wedon Smith, president of the Tensas Basin Levee District at Jonesville, La. requested funds for initiation of studies for several items that are not in the budget. Johnston Raps 'Hit List' News-Star Washington Bureau WASHINGTON - Louisiana Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Monday criticized President Carter for placing Louisiana water projects on the so-called “hit list” while “wanting to spend triple the amount for World Bank water projects in foreign lands.” “1 think it’s the grossest kind of injustice,” said the freshman Democrat — who chaired Carter’s Louisiana campaign last fall — during brief remarks before a Senate subcommittee airing fiscal 1978 appropriations for a number of Monroe area water resources projects. “I can’t imagine that the country would cut back on projects so energy- efficient—twice as good as railroads and better than trucks,” Johnston said. ‘I commend you for yourt amendment requiring the President to fund all projects in the budget (former President Ford’s) for fiscal 1977,” said Sen. John Stennis (D.-Miss.), who chaired the panel, in reference to Johnston’s recent attachment to a public works unemployment biU. “It gave the Senate a vehicle to show its support. My fear, though, is not for survival in the present budget, but future appropriations to keep the projects going in the years ahead. That’s why it’s imperative that we have sustained support from the executive branch,” Stennis said. During a brief interview during a recess in the hearing, Stennis told The News-Star that he feels the Red River Waterway and some of the other major projects on Carter’s “hit list” won’t be deauthorized, when it comes to the political finish line. “The fact that he called Among the requests were; — Graham Burke pumping plant in Arkansas, $50,000 for a study to determine the need and justification of modifying the existing pumping plant to reduce the level and frequency flooding in the White River backwater area This normally occurs, Smith said, during the spring months, delaying planting of crops or damaging crops already planted. — Larto Lake-Saline Lake area, Louisiana — $30,000 to study siltation with an eye toward improvement of fish and wildlife habitat and water quality, and flood control. — Mississippi and Louisiana estuarine areas — $30,000 to study the economic feasibility of providing fresh water into Lakes Mauerepas, Ponchartrain, Borgne and the Mississippi Sound areas in the interest of improving area wildlife and fisheries resources. — Walnut-Roundaway Bayou, Louisiana — $30,000 for a feasibility study to determine an economical method of providing flows in the bayou for irrigation, recreation, industry, municipal and other uses. Testifying as vice president of the Lower Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association, Smith sought, altogether, $2,980,000 for general investigations under the Mississippi River and tributaries appropriation. This compares to the present budget figure of $2,665,000. A similar House appropriations subcommittee hearing will be held this morning. hearings (such as the Corps of Engineers hearing in Shreveport several days ago on the waterway and Bodcau project) was admission he wasn’t fully advised,’’ Stennis added. EASTER SHOES? 1131 FORSYTHE Mon-Sat 9:30-5:30 OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK WEDNESDAY ONLY! HALF PRICED STEAKS NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES SOLD a M0NR0E-WESTM0NR0E & RUSTON S'] My Investment Representative is i HERE’S HOW IT WORKS Bring someone Buy one steak at regular price and get another one just like it for with you and enjoy a great steak & a great salad At a great Price! I OUR ENTIRE REGULA» MENU INCLUDED 1 NEW FREE SALAD BAR iS\ a.V'.ViB,-

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