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Arlington Morning News (Newspaper) - March 24, 1999, Arlington, Texas MANSFIELD BOYS SOCCER TEAMS ADVANCE TO REGIONALS PAGE 1B Own Newspaper Arlington Texas Wednesday March 24 1999 Arlington Morning Nrw 2 Sections 25 cents ACCIDENT AFTERMATH Theme parks share safety concerns House targets unsafe rides excludes large parks By April M Washington Staff Writer of the Arlington Morning News A House committee exempted Six Flags Over Texas from a it approved Tuesday clamping down on unsafe amusement rides through stringent state regula tions Some critics who demanded tougher statewide standards after an accident at Six Flags Sunday that killed a woman said the exemption is unfair A majority of these parks dont report their injuries and accidents like they said Dallas attor ney Frank Branson who helped clients involved in accidents at the Star Fair of Texas receive mil lion in judgments in the early 1980s Now theyre pushing a that only addresses a specific segment of the industry The entire system needs cor recting The traveling carnivals and Six Flags both need state Arlington lawmakers defended the Texas Amusement Ride Safety Act and the decision to exclude Six Flags and other large parks Ryan Kraudel a spokesman for Republican state Rep Kim Brimer of Arlington insisted the appropriately targets less regulat ed segments of the industry such as traveling carnivals and fairs the source of most reported injuries and fatalities We need to wait for Six Flags to finish their investigation into what Mr Kraudel said It needs to be determined whether the incident had anything to do Please see Large on Page Emergency procedures under review By Nancy Calaway Staff Writer of the Arlington Morning News The Arlington Fire Department will discuss emergency procedures with Six Flags Over Texas officials after Sundays accident that killed a woman and injured 10 people Fire Department officials are unsure what actions Six Flags per took before firefighters arrived spokesman Lt Marvin Shafer said I think its appropriate to sit down and see if theres anything we can do to help train them for a response in situations like Lt Shafer said We might not make any changes but we would like to meet and talk about the EMS RESPONSE Events of EMS response to Sundays accident at Six Rags Over Texas Ambulances are dispatched to the A 911 hangup call is made from a Six Rags telephone possibly unrelated placed from a different telephone at Six Rags SOURCE Department park tun Paramedics arrive at Rapids ride 2 p jn Cartwright dead Memorial Hospital Arlington Morning News Six Flags spokeswoman Nancy St Pierre said emergency procedures taken by the parks personnel were appropriate At this initial stage we believe our employees did what they were supposed to do but we are assessing that in the ongoing Please see Officials on Page Others closely follow Six Flags investigation By Jenni Smith Staff Writer of the Arlington Morning News and Selwyn Crawford Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News A deadly accident at Six Flags Over Texas has prompted another major theme park operator to review safety procedures Busch Entertainment Corp which operates nine theme parks including Sea World of Texas in San Antonio is reviewing the safety of company water rides similar to Six Flags Roaring Rapids attraction officials said Tuesday We do operate attractions of this kind in our parks and we will take this opportunity to look at it one more said Fred Jacobs Man recalls fight for life Ride serves as training ground 7 A Training similar to other parks spokesman for Clayton Busch Entertainment Our safety procedures are under continual refinement I think everyone in the industry will look at Six Flags investigation over the next couple of weeks and take a look at our oper A raft on the Roaring Rapids ride Sunday overturned killing old Valeria Cartwright of West Helena and injuring 10 others Paul Ruben North American edi tor of the monthly Park World mag azine said there had never been such a death on a raft ride like Please see Other on Page Serious horsing around Morning News Tom fox Ringman Tom Johnson of Company Inc takes bids from Training Sale at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie Nearly 300 horse were horse buyers on a dark bay filly as part of the annual In up for sale at the Tuesday event Please see story on Page City revives creek plan Officials agree to call sales tax election buy out area homes By Rani Cher Monson Staff Writer of the Arlington Morning News City Council members agreed Tuesday to call a January sales tax election financing a plan to end flood ing along Johnson Creek and revitalize the waterway They also revived a plan to buy the remaining homes in the area The move would allow city officials to make good on a promise they made in 1995 to the Johnson Creek residents who have spent years battling flooding The councils decisions marked the first progress on the Johnson Creek project since voters defeated a sales tax increase during a divisive May election Weve come up with ways to cut costs and get fund ing from the private said council member Dixon Holman adding that he envisions the same plan for substantially less than the original million price tag We can do that and still live up to the entire spirit of the Johnson Creek plan flood control and economic The president of a watchdog group that helped defeat the project 10 months ago questioned the councils emphasis on Johnson Creek Johnson Creek isnt our only need in the said Kent Kirmser president of People For Accountable Government That means theres nothing about other creeks in the plan Im going to hold back until I know more of whats going City officials outlined plans for Johnson Creek Please see Tax on Page SA Man hospitalized after wreck with patrol car By Julie Elliott Staff Writer of the Arlington Morning News A man remains in crit ical condition at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth after his 1989 Nissan car was struck by an Arlington patrol car last weekend Michael John Paddock of Arlington was injured when Officer Rodney Rundles ran a flashing red light while responding to a call for help from another officer The officer was using his lights and siren when the accident hap about Saturday at the intersection of South Cooper Street and Interstate 20 police said There is no guarantee officers have the right of way when operat ing with the emergency lights and said Officer Dee Anderson an Arlington police spokesman The officer has the authority to not stop at a red light But we also have policies in place to make sure that the intersection is clear before they go through it We are still in the preliminary stages of this case and are trying to learn the exact circumstances of Saturdays said Officer Anderson who released informa tion about the incident Tuesday Police said Officer Rundles was westbound on a service road north of the freeway and ran through a flashing red light when he struck Mr Paddocks vehicle as it traveled southbound on Cooper The signal was flashing yellow for motorists on Cooper Street Officer Rundles who has been on the force for 2 years is on injury leave while officials investigate the accident He suffered minor bruises and abrasions He was treated at an Arlington hospital and released A passenger in Mr Paddocks vehicle was not seriously injured Mr Paddocks relatives could not be reached for comment Tuesday Several witnesses told police that Officer Rundles was driving with his emergency lights and siren on when the accident occurred He was Please nee Patrol on Page INSIDE TY I Area traffic 2A Classifieds 91 OB Free Advice 2A Lottery Movies 2A Obituaries Opinions Sports IB Stocks TV listings Weather 2A WEATHER Chance of thunderstorms high 65 Winds easterly at 5 to 15 mph Chance of rain 60 percent 2A 83197 00025 The Early Risers Club roasts Tarrant County Commissioner Marti Van Ravenswaay OPINIONS Public officials should address lingering questions about death benefits for firefighters Transit users decry proposed rate increase Council delays decision after pleas By Nancy Calaway Staff Writer of the Arlington Morning News The City Council delayed action on a 50 percent increase in fares after 17 people com the proposed hike was too much The transportation service provides rides for senior citi zens and disabled residents Staff pro posed increasing the fare to per trip along with an annual user fee of I am in favor of a fair increase but this seems said Caroll Pilcher the program director for the local chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society There will be a number of people who will have to make very dif lifestyle choices They may have to choose between rides or food or Others echoed Ms con cerns saying their disabilities prevent them from affording their own trans But they added that ty is essential for their selfesteem and an independent life People with disabilities like to have fun said Terry Moore a user 1 have no problem with a fare increase but 1 do find a user fee a bit excessive Its like charg ing me The fare increases and addition of an annual user fee are proposed as a source of revenue to help offset oper ating costs said Mike Hasler the citys transportation director After federal funding for the trans service was cut then later reallocated for 1998 city officials formed a committee to examine whether is Although there has been no raise in fare since its inception in 1981 the cost for that same trip in 1996 had increased 48 Mr Hasler said Many speakers at the hearing said see on Page
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