Tuesday, March 1, 1994

Kokomo Tribune

Location: Kokomo, Indiana

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Kokomo Tribune (Newspaper) - March 1, 1994, Kokomo, Indiana Vol 143 No 177 KOKOMO Kokomo Ind Tuesday March 50 cents Funds would go to Grissom Sen Johnson proposes bill By CATHARINE FERNANDO Tribune staff writer Sen Steve Johnson RKokomo this morning proposed a bill that would redirect million in state funds originally slated for a Defense Department finance cen ter toward the redevelopment of Grissom Air Force Base A year ago both Fort Benjamin Harrison and Evansville were being primed as suitable locations for the defense departments finance center There were plans to either refurbish the Fort Ben jamin Harrison facility or build a new one at Evansville The state legislature created a million incentive package to attract such a Defense Department finance center to Indiana But about two months into the Clinton Administration they pulled the plug on it Johnson said The money is now useless for this purpose because the federal government has put that finance center plan on hold indefinitely Johnson said Johnson is fighting against time because the legislature will wind up by Friday If no action is taken this week that million will revert to the states Rainy Day fund Johnson who authored Senate Bill 159 plans to amend the mea sure in conference committee this week to ensurethat those monies are channeled toward Grissom The House of Representatives which passed the bill on Friday had made some amendments that would take the money out of the Rainy Day fund and distribute Related story Clinton to hear from Kokomo Page 3 them throughout the state on a variety of small economic devel opment projects That is not John son said He emphasized that a substan tial sum of money is needed to save Grissom in order to preserve taxpayers investment in the Gris som property and promote eco nomic development in the HowardCassMiami county area Were kidding ourselves if we think the federal government is going to keep Grissom open for use by one or two small reserve Johnson said The bottom line is that unless there is some significant development of the Grissom property the base which belongs to the taxpayers is going to be padlocked and left to sit Under his plan the funding would be used to provide grants and loans to businesses seeking to locate at Grissom and for infra structure improvements to the property We will work out the details this week and Im hopeful that the House will accept this said Johnson who had not dis cussed his proposal with the Bayh administration The legislature saw the poten tial moneymaking possibilities of the United Airlines hub in Indi anapolis and was able to come up with a million incentive he said As I see it this is an even better Plan targets bases A1 Os Buyer voices criticism By DAVID HAWKINGS Thomson News Service WASHINGTON All 18 of Grissom Air Force Bases A10 attack planes and 689 associated reserve positions will be taken away late this year under an Air Force plan released Monday The move which had been rumored for the last month was part of a substantial force restruc turing the Air Force announced to comply with its postCold War military needs and budget con straints The Pentagon has the authority to make such a change without permission from Congress and Hoosier aides on Capitol Hill said it was unlikely that trie reductions would be challenged Rep Steve Buyer who repre sents Miami and Howard counties and is a freshman Republican on the House Armed Services Com mittee criticized the Grissom move but held out no hope he could do anything to reverse it A spokesman for Republican Sen Richard G Lugar said last night that the senator will review the changes planned for Indiana before deciding what to do The Air Force also said it plans to remove the remaining F16 fighter jets from Fort Wayne Municipal Airport while adding 9 KC135 tankers postponing the end of the battle between Grissom and Fort Wayne for the title of Indianas airborne refueling champion Buyer and Democratic Rep Jill Long of Indiana have been pub licly feuding over the tankers with Buyer maintaining all of them should be at Grissom to save money The Air Force statement did not give any rationale for pulling the AlOs out of Grissom which is being converted to an Air Force Reserve base after it was ordered closed by a special com mission three years ago All the announcement said was the move would take place in late that once the planes are gone the 930th Operations Group would cease to exist and that the 434th Wing will be renamed the 434th Air Refueling Wing The plan would cut 515 reserve drillers and 174 civilian manpow er posts We are now beginning to see the results of President Clintons rash defense Buyer said which have not been based on a risk assessment to national securi ty goals and were simply made to achieve a certain dollar savings in the Actually the changes announced Monday are the result of a bottomup review of force size and mission that the Penta gon began after the fall of the Soviet Union during the Bush administration Earlier Monday the Pentagon announced a nationwide series of Guard and reserve changes to remove positions from the rolls before the end of September Those moves would cost Indiana a net of spots twothirds of them from the ranks of the Army National Guard at Camp Atter bury Fort Benjamin Harrison Bloomington and South Bend The Grissom and Fort Wayne moves as well as removal of three Air Guard F16s from Terre Haute would create a net loss of 946 jobs It is impossible to direct an equal percentage reduction across the states if we are to maintain our commitment to Defense Secretary William Perry said An equal percentage cut would mean that many units would be left hollow and unable to accomplish their wartime mis Perry also said Mondays cuts reflect the Pentagons plan to realign the defense roles of the Guard and reserves Reserve units would be restrict ed to combat support roles and would gain medical and signal corps military police and trans portation units under the Pen tagons new plan The National Guard on the other hand would give up most of its combat sup port role and be dispatched to the front lines instead Kathy Stoops and Donna Kenworthy middle and right console Deanna Floyd as firefighters attempt to extinguish the blaze at Liberty Baptist Church this morning Tribune photo by Tim Bath Blaze damages Tipton County church ByLISAFIPPS Tribune Tipton Bureau GROOMSVILLE Ind Fire officials are unsure what sparked this mornings blaze at Liberty Baptist Church But area residents who gathered to take pic tures and videotape the scene say the hand writing is on the Painted in black paint on the brick exterior that housed the congregation established in 1854 were the numbers 666 and the word Kempton Fire Chief Russell Riddle said he has no idea if the fire was set or if the building was a total loss The church suffered at least major damages as flames several feet high were still shooting out of the roof at 9 and parts of the framework could be seen The fire was not extinguished as of Koko mo Tribune deadline Firefighters from five volunteer depart ments responded to the blaze which was reported by a nearby farmer at From Tipton County Kempton Cicero and Sharpsville volunteer firefighters battled the blaze Harrison Township from Howard County and Johnson Township from Clinton County assisted Tipton County firefighters The fire departments brought in tankers and used water from Shante Creek just south of Liberty Baptist Church to help extinguish the blaze Liberty Baptist Church is located less than a mile north of 350 North on 1000 West Road Accused spy was well paid ALEXANDRIA Va AP Alleged CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames and his wife were paid well beyond million by Moscow and she has admitted knowing of her husbands espionage federal prosecutors say In a court filing opposing her motion to be released on bail pros ecutors said evidence seized by the FBI since their arrest a week ago has raised the estimate of their ill gotten gains by more than mil lion above the million estimat ed then The government said the addi tional money was stashed in for eign bank accounts throughout the world many beyond the reach of the government in this but available to Mrs Ames from a home telephone should she be released on The government listed bank accounts in Italy three Swiss accounts in Zurich and Geneva and an account in Colombia Mrs Ames homeland where she owns two apartments and a ranch Big reach Rescue worker Gary Kapezneski reaches Barbara Harper take place Monday Harper into turbulent waters of the Lewis River while who disappeared Sunday was still missing suspended from ropes near Battle Ground late Monday as search efforts for missing kayaker AP photo Inside todays Tribune Local Two former Howard County Jail inmates threaten lawsuits Page 2 Style Stuck inside Stay in shape Page 9 Sports Hoosiers coach Bob Knight in swirl of controversy again Page 11 Also inside Business Classified Dear Local News of